Charlotte Kozak

Mrs. Curtis

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January 22, 2018

HRT3M1

 

Culminating
Activity

     In such a multicultural society, every
country has different customs and practices. Religion can often affect these
practices, when examining the concept of worldview, which is defined as: a philosophy
of life or conception of the world. Depending on the religion practiced, world
view can differ. This is evident when examining the worldview of Buddhism and
Catholicism, through studying their view on the afterlife, human nature, and basic
practices.

     To begin, the differing worldviews of
Catholicism and Buddhism can be seen when examining their view of the
afterlife. Similarly, both Buddhists and Catholics believe in the afterlife,
but in contrasting ways. Buddhists believe in the process of reincarnation, which
is avoided by gaining enlightenment and reaching nirvana. In order to do this, they
dedicate their lives to gaining good karma through honorable actions. By
developing concentration and wisdom, Buddhists hope to ensure themselves a
better future. On the contrary, Catholics do not believe in the cycle of
reincarnation. Instead, they believe that after death, they pass onwards to
experience one of three states of being: heaven, hell, or purgatory. Heaven is
said to be the place of perfect peace and joy, as is evident when examining the
following scripture passage:

 “And God will wipe away every tear from
their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall
be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation
21:4).

It is the hope of
all Catholics to reach heaven and exist in the perfection that God has made for
them, which they can accomplish by leading a good life. Purgatory is a place
where humans purify their souls that have been warped from sin. If they cannot
be cleansed and are too depraved by sin, instead, they will go on to hell, which
is the state of being removed from God’s goodness. In summary, Buddhists and Catholics
view the afterlife in very different ways. Buddhists believe that after living
many lives as wholesomely as possible, eventually they will gain enlightenment and
pass on to nirvana; a place free of suffering. On the other hand, Catholics
believe that if they fail at living a good life and following God’s commandments,
they may not reach the peaceful afterlife that God created for them. Thus, even
though Catholics and Buddhists think of the afterlife differently, there is one
value the two share. They both believe that in order to reach peace, they must
live a good life through performing righteous deeds and displaying love to
those around them.

     Next, the differing worldviews of Buddhism
and Catholicism can be seen when looking at their basic principles. The basic
concepts of Buddhism can be summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Noble
Eightfold Path. Buddhists believe that all life includes suffering, and the only
way to overcome this suffering is to be moral through their actions. An example
of this can be seen within the following passage: “As a bee gathering nectar does
not harm or disturb the colour and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move
through the world.” (Dhammapada:
Flowers, verse 49) This passage reflects one moral belief Buddhists practice,
which is to harm no living thing, as all life is precious. Likewise, in Catholicism,
the Gospel calls Catholics to be peacemakers of the world by showing respect to
God’s creation: “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the
birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will
teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.

Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done
this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all
mankind.” (Job 12:7-10) While Buddhists and Catholics both believe in similar
principles of human morality, they approach it in different ways. For example,
Buddhists follow the Eightfold Path, while Catholics follow the teachings of
the Gospel.

     Lastly, the differing world
views of Catholicism and Buddhism can be viewed when examining the concept of
human nature. The Buddha taught that everything is impermanent, which means
that nothing lasts forever. This consists of everything that people normally identity
as being human: sensations, feelings, thoughts, and even consciousness. For
this reason, Buddhists do not believe in the concept of having a soul, also
called “anatta.” Instead, they believe that a human has a sense of self in that
they may be affected by their own moral actions, but not in the sense that they
have an everlasting soul that exists past death. In a different manner, Catholics
trust that their soul will live on eternally in heaven with God. They believe
that all humans were created in the image of God and were supposed to reflect
the divine life, as is evident when reading the following passage:

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to
Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of
the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping
thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

However, sin was said to have entered the world when humans disobeyed God.
Humans are viewed as flawed images of God, but the goodness of what they were meant
to be remains. In this way, salvation is the objective of human existence. “For
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the
world through him.” (John 3:17) Therefore, Buddhists believe that nothing is
everlasting, including their souls, while Catholics believe their souls will exist
forever in heaven as long as they reach salvation.

     In conclusion, the differing
worldviews of Buddhism and Catholicism can be seen through their view on the
afterlife, basic practices, and human nature. Through a careful analysis, it is
evident that while both religions differ in many ways, they also share similar
beliefs. For example, Buddhists do not believe in the concept of having a soul,
while Catholics do. On the other hand, they both believe that all life is precious
and should be protected. Ultimately, it can be said that amongst all their
differences, they both choose to live their lives morally through virtuous
actions.

 

 

 

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