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@Kerome said:> It's certainly a difficult area to come to a decision, and the only way to judge is by comparing what we know of the Buddha's work to that of modern teachers.
Sure, experience is key. But I don't think it's enough to just read what different teachers have to say, you actually need to immerse yourself in their approach to practice for a period of time, be involved in a sangha, get to know teachers personally, etc. Some schools are very different "in the flesh" to the way they are presented in books or on the internet.
@person said: We can find purpose and meaning even on a grand scale within our own human mind.
In my view meaning is always within our mind, and problems arise to the extent that we project our meaning onto the universe. Probably a good argument for not taking our opinions too seriously.
@vinlyn said:And when you consider that over 6 BILLION people believe in God, it isn't exactly an idea to just dismiss.
Perhaps not, but then most people used to believe the earth was flat, and that the earth was at the centre of the universe.
In my view the prevalence of God belief is quite straightforwardly explained by the human need for comfort in a brief and uncertain existence.
I also suspect it is fear of death as final extinction which underlies most religious belief. Religions invariably propose some sort of afterlife or continuation ( Buddhism included ), which is part of their comfort and appeal.
@federica said:>...they're no more Muslim than you or I are.
I don't think it's as simple as that, and the jihadists clearly see themselves as Muslims. It seems they are inspired by the Wahhabi sect in Saudi Arabia.
A related problem seems to be the inteminable conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
I think Islam is in urgent need of modernisation, it reminds me of Christianity in the medieval period. For example attitudes toward women and gays are atrocious in some Muslim countries.
@DhammaDragon said: Dukkha will never cease.
The N8P aims to help us develop the insight and wisdom to cope with dukkha.
I don't know where you are getting this from, but it directly contradicts what the Noble Truths say.
The 3rd and 4th Noble Truths are about cessation of dukkha, not about coping with it.
"'Cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this.' Such was the vision... 'This cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, can be verified.' Such was the vision... 'This cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, has been verified.' Such was the vision... in regard to ideas not heard by me before."