Monday, June 29, 2015




No matter what priests, ministers, or prophets say, belief is an unclear idea in which vague assurance is placed. The notion is prevalent in religion, in philosophy, in logic, and in human gullibility. The Buddha may never have used the word “belief,” or its equivalent in whatever language he spoke, but according to an ancient record called the Kalama Sutta, he might have hinted about the subject.

Many people think that Siddhartha Gautama’s original teaching did not include concepts such as fate and reincarnation. Others maintain that he neither favored nor disapproved such ideas, and instead he suggested the concept of “not knowing.” You know, answering a question by professing ignorance.

This brings up the Kalama Sutta, a set of instructions supposedly proposed by Gautama for a method of investigation that is exempt from fanaticism, bigotry, dogmatism, and intolerance. Named the Buddha's "commission of free inquiry," it can be interpreted in a number of different ways, so you pays your money and you takes your choice.

In other words, you should think for yourself.

The story of Kalama Sutta tells that the Buddha was asked who to believe out of all the ascetics, sages, and self-proclaimed holy ones. People claimed they were confused by the many contradictions in what they heard.

Here is what the Buddha may have replied.

n  Do not believe anything based on rumor, gossip, or plain old scuttlebutt.

n   Do not believe in traditions merely because they are deep-rooted and may have been handed down for many generations and in many places.

n  Do not believe anything because people talk a lot about it.

n  Do not believe anything because you are shown the written testimony of someone.

n  Do not believe in what you have dreamed up, thinking that because it is extraordinary it must have been inspired by a god or other great being.

n  Do not believe anything merely because opinion is in its favor, or because the custom of many years inclines you to take it as true.

n  Do not believe anything merely on the authority of teachers or priests.

n  Do not accept any doctrine from reverence, but first try it as gold is tried by fire.

n  Do apply all of what I say to everything I say.

n  Remember, there is a sucker born every minute.


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