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Hinduism and Buddhism

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Hinduism and Buddhism

The concept of God

It is first of all necessary to establish what is meant by the term "God". This term is used to designate a Supreme Being endowed with the qualities of omnipotence and omniscience, which is the creator of the universe with all its contents, and the chief lawgiver for humans. God is generally considered as being concerned with the welfare of his human creatures, and the ultimate salvation of those who follow his dictates. God is therefore a person of some kind, and the question whether such an entity exists or not is fundamental to all theistic systems.

In contrast to this notion of a personal God some modern theologians have interpreted the term "God" as representing some kind of abstract principle of good. This view was first developed in the ancient Indian Upanishads where God is equated with an abstract principle, the Brahman. The ancient Indian philosophers could entertain such a view because they also had a theory of karma, which really does away with the need for a personal God. Buddhists too have a theory of karma, which is different from that of the Hindus, and which even more unequivocally dispenses with the need for a deity. The use of the term "God' to denote an abstract reality by monotheistic theologians who have no theory of karma is difficult to justify, consequently this is merely a device to explain away the contradictions that arise from the notion of a personal God. In fact the actual practice of theistic ...

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...chers often make a direct reference to others, and even if they do not, one can relate their ideas to something that has gone before.

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