Buddhism and Science Essay

Buddhism and Science Essay

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Buddhism places a high value on finding the truth. This fundamental principal allows for an acceptance of science, as it is seen as a modern truth to most. Furthermore, Buddhists believe in the evolution of human consciousness—this evolution, along with the truth presented from science, allows for an over arching acceptance of biological evolution. Even more interesting is that in the Agganna Sutta, a sacred Buddhist text, Buddha explains the world as having evolved over time. Though there is no mention of biological evolution, there is still an emphasis of evolution as a whole—both physically and spiritually. Tibetan Buddhism is known as the branch of Buddhism that has the largest emphasis on reincarnation, which is the most relevant to this research. Reincarnation is driven by the decisions made in each life and is basically the knowledge that one’s spirit travels between material beings over different lives. The spirit evolves as one becomes closer and closer to Nirvana, or perfection. Karma, too, influences the lives of the reincarnated as this idea causes the consequences of both good and bad deeds from each past life to be brought over to the current life. Overall, Tibetan Buddhism and evolution flow very well together as various Buddhist beliefs in spiritual evolution and karma, and the search for truth lead to the acceptance of science and evolution.
Spiritual evolution is a key aspect of Buddhist philosophy. According to Bill Broderick in the Cobourg Atheist, “Spiritual evolution supposes that the soul or conscious entity that animates a human or animal body somehow survives death and returns to life in a somewhat evolved form. ” The article goes on to say that over time and after countless reincarnations, a sou...


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Pilgrim, PJ, “The Origin of the World,” Buddhist Answers: The Buddha, His Identity, Purpose, and Teachings (2005). http://www. parami. org/buddhistanswers/origin_of_the_world. htm


Ratnaprabha. “Review: Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed. ” Review of Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Donald S Lopez. Western Buddhist Review, 2008. http://www. westernbuddhistreview. com/vol5/buddhism-and-science. html


Rinpoche, Samdhong. Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised World: Tibetan Buddhism in Today’s World; forward by 14th Dalai Lama. (Tibet: World Wisdom, 2006), 264.

Verhoeven, Martin J. “Buddhism and Science: Probing the Boundaries of Faith and Reason.” Religion East and West, Issue 1, June 2001, pp. 77-97 http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/Buddhism/VerhoevenBuddhismScience.htm

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