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Buddha Answers Christian Questions in Kindness Friday, April 27, 2007

Posted by Henry in Buddha, Buddhism, Christianity, faith, funny, God, humour, parody, religion, sarcasm.

A Christian website has published 10 questions that they would love to ask Buddha if they could – and someone has cleverly responded with love:

“Buddha, in his typical spirit of compassion and kindness, decided to answer their questions. He allowed an appearance-body to emanate into our world, and took a walking/bus tour of America, giving representatives from this Christian website a chance to find him, and finally get the answers to their concerns.”

As an atheist, this little exchange makes it an entertaining read. If I could ask Buddha 10 questions – not that I have given it much thought – I’d ask more constructive, non-Christian related questions such as solutions to today’s humanity problems, or would Buddha modify any of its tenets after thousands of years have gone by, and so on – rather than focusing narrow-mindedly on Christian ideology such as a personal God.

I thought this little dialogue is so good that I will duplicate it here in its entirety. Mine own commentary is not in quotes.

Fat Buddha

Here is question 1:

A group of brave Christians, intent on following the example of ancient Brahmins and interviewing the Buddha, found him walking in a forest near the small town of Jaredville, Indiana, and asked him:

“If there is no personal God, and if one can attain nirvana only as a result of the destruction of thirst (tanha) / desire, therefore the destruction of attachment, therefore the destruction of existence–from whence, do you suppose, did personality (or even the sense of personality) ever come? Exactly what is it, and where does it go when one ceases to exist?”

The World-Honored One smiled and responded:

“Christian friend, “Nirvana” is not the name given by me to something lacking, nor to something attained; Nor do I teach of the “end of existence”, nor of its beginning. Those things only lead to ceaseless speculation, and to inevitable suffering. I suggest that your question has been misframed. There is suffering, and there is a way to the end of suffering, and this is all the Buddha teaches. What you call “personality” arises when the conditions necessary for the formation of “personality” are present, and it vanishes when those conditions are no longer present. To ask “where the personality goes” is also a mis-framed question; where does a fire go, when its fuel is exhausted? You have twice stated that I teach of the “destruction of existence” or the idea of “ceasing to exist”, but I teach none of those things. I teach only of the arising of unsatisfactory states, and of the ceasing of unsatisfactory states.”

Here is question 2, another one related to the concept of personal god.

Intent on outsmarting the Buddha, those Christians found him again at a Bus stop out on Route 8. They asked him:

“Without a personal God, on what basis can there ever exist any human moral standard or ethic–and therefore, in what sense do you mean for us to understand the terms noble and truth, i.e. The Four Noble Truths, or the term right in the eight-fold path of right views, resolve, speech, conduct, occupation, efforts, awareness, and meditation?”

The World-Honored One said: