Sunday, December 18, 2011

Essay Questions on Buddhism

I found these four essay questions on Buddhism on a college website for a world religions class. I think I'll attempt to answer the questions here on the blog. If any reader wants to write one or more, I'd love to post them and credit you.

* The Four Noble Truths form the basis of Buddhist beliefs. Explain the Four Noble Truths and show how they were illustrated by specific events in the life of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha).

* Buddhism prescribes the Eightfold Path as a way to more closely approach nirvana. Choose at least four components of the Path and describe how you observe those goals in your life. (Note: This questions neither assumes you are, nor requires you to be, a Buddhist.)

* If you were Buddhist, would you be a Therevadan or a Mahayanan Buddhist? Of course, you answer should both explain your choice and display an understanding of basic beliefs of that particular form of Buddhism.

* Is Buddhism a religion? Some say that it obviously is a religion. Others argue that it is instead a "philosophy of life". Still others claim that it is a "non-theistic" religion. Explain your position on this issue. Defend your answer with specific reasons and arguments.