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Bernard White

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Should (+ why is) Buddhism ( be) held in such high regard compared to other religions?

Also if Colleen Steen, Jordan Burrill and Obey No1kinobe help me with the description, for I feel it is lacking in something. (Only if you want to, of course!)
The comment (by me) which inspired this debate : "I personally have never got why Buddhism is held in such high regard compared to other religions.
It believes in reincarnation, and that the dalai lama is the Buddha "reincarnate", (which from the New Atheist perspective that there is a need for evidence to make any claim valid, I don't see much evidence to suggest that reincarnation is correct, at this current moment in time.) and that "desire is the root to all suffering". While I would say rationalization was, but am happy to debate this with many.
I mean, do Buddhists want us just to be zombies? With no desire, or wishes. I am afraid I could not live in a world like that.
Buddhism, has a focus on getting rid of consumerism (and focus more on happiness economics), yet when my brother visited some Buddhist monasteries in Sri Lanka, some Buddhist monks forced him to pay to see the monasty, and made him pay more if he wanted to stay. Which seems rather ironic.
Also I find it rather odd when people say Buddhists are the most "peaceful" when they have extreme discrimination against Islam, which goes contrary to their own beliefs.
I hope you can help with this dilemma I have.
While I am willing to accept that Buddhism does have some amazing insights into what people fulfilled and happy (Which to be honest, I feel is quite amazing, and the main reason they are held in such high regard. And their research into meditation) I just disagree with (from what I understand of my very limiting knowledge of Buddhism) with some of the things they say!
I just view Buddhism in the same light, as I view all religions. (Which is strong agnosticism concerning their spiritual beliefs)"

I know I may have got some of my facts wrong! And apologise if I have!

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    Apr 10 2013: Personally as a 'strong atheist' (I've heard it labelled that many times),
    I only hold buddhism in a high regard (solely in comparison to my aggressive contempt for the abrahamic faiths) due to its appearance of being largely pacifist and non-confrontational.
    Essentially, it collectively leaves me alone and therefore I leave it alone in response.

    Now if I was in a country such as Thailand or Srilanka I may have a different opinion, but as it stands I have no reason to attack it or defend myself from it, directly or indirectly.

    My position on the dalai-lama and the belief system on the other hand is ultimately the same as any other faith.
    Superstition, faulty reasoning, lack of evidence, indoctrination and ruled by charlatans..
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      Apr 10 2013: Wow! This can make an interesting side debate, because I have often been labelled a strong agnostic, so I believer we might be polar opposites (in one sense)!
      I view 'God' as a poorly defined (in the way it only has subjective definitions!) hypothesis.
      I would recommend the other debate I started called : Can we create an experiment to test the hypothesis of God? (Or something like that!)

      While to the current debate at hand, before I get too carried away as Colleen suggests so brilliantly, it's interesting to see how you note that if you were born in a different country your opinion might the different, which is kind of crucial!

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