PHIL PAPER - Question Explain and evaluate the Buddhist...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Question: Explain and evaluate the Buddhist theory of no-self (anatman) [using the ideas of dependent origination and annihilationism/eternalism for further analysis] Buddhism’s teachings of the “Middle Way” can often be misunderstood and viewed as an equivocal philosophy as it explains its theories regarding those of self and human behavior with an abstract and indefinite point of view. The religion falls in between two theories of eternalism and annihilationism, and its rejection of the extremities of both philosophies results in this conceived “middle” and neutral path. Through one of the religion’s main doctrines of Dependent Origination, Buddha is able to provide evidence for the dismissal of eternal and annihilist views and draw up the Buddhist plan that will lead followers to attain eventual truth, nirvana and freedom. By the refuting of these two concepts, the philosophy of the “Middle Way” arises and brings to light its essential theory of no-self or anatman to escape reincarnation and lead to the ultimate cessation of human suffering. Annihilationism is a theory that rejects the ideas of reincarnation and the existence of an afterlife, believing that the self ceases to exist as a sequential result of death and that life’s continuation without a tangible entity is a physical impossibility. While annihilationism follows a more scientific philosophy, the spiritual ideas of eternalism explain that the soul continues on forever and lives on in a persistent existence of immortality. Buddha denies these two ideas on one important basis that both are characterized by their arbitrary and unpredictable natures. Buddha’s doctrine of Dependent Origination explains that everything follows the law of cause- and-effect and that nothing can be created without a prior cause or ended without further effect, leaving no exceptions for random arising. Annihilationism violates this idea since its scientific implications show that the metaphysical nature of the universe with elements such as molecules
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
and atoms are arbitrarily assigned their functions with unknown or non-existent cause. Since the theory of dependent origination also permits any random cessation of an object or entity, the
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern