0 votes
by (120 points)

To whom it may be concern, I had a few questions about Buddhism and Secularism. While I do believe that Buddhism is the most secular religion among the major religions that exist today, there were a couple of things about Buddhism that I found to be nonsecular. My brother and I argued about the “secular-ness” of Buddhism and there was one point in particular that we found to be quite interesting. According to Buddhism, Buddha did not teach about the origns of the universe or how we came to be because it is pointless to wonder about such things. A analogy that is used is that why would someone who has been shot by an arrow want/need to know the direction/details/origin of the arrow instead of knowing the cure to the injury. In this analogy, the Buddha is the medic and hence cares only for curing the injured rather than identifying the direction/details/origin of the arrow. This is why the Buddha does not teach the origins of the universe and says that it’s better to focus on escaping suffering rather than worrying about things that are not useful. However, this goes against a core principle of Secularism. In this aspect many other religions including Buddishm say “We (the religious text/bible/preachings) know everything that is useful and that things we don’t know (if any exists) are useless.” Secularism on the other hand says “There are things out there we don’t know, and that they are useful”, which is the foundation of science and exploration. In this regard, how is Buddhism still secular?

1 Answer

0 votes
by (5.3k points)
Buddhism is not secular. It's a religion. It's not interested in technological or scientific advancement. It's only interest is freedom from suffering.

It's different from a theistic religion. Although there are some aspects of faith, it does not depend on faith for its end goal. It depends on seeing things for ourselves in order to gain insight which liberates us from suffering.
Welcome to Sirimangalo Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.