The Dalai Lama, the high leader of Tibetan Buddhism, is considered to be a hub of wisdom and compassion. In fact, he is considered to be the reincarnation of Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion, so of course, he is a frequent Facebook poster. The Dali Lama recently posted on Facebook that
religion is no longer adequate.
He strongly asserts that
all the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.
The Dalai Lama is calling for an end to forms of morality and spiritual thought that require scripture and dogma, a notion that could have, and still could, save millions of lives and end many seemingly endless wars.
Unlike cults like the Catholic Church, which took nearly 400 years to apologize to Galileo, many sects of Buddhism are founded in and adhere to scientific scrutiny. The Dalai Lama is famous for saying that
if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.
These beliefs have lead to such practices as Secular Buddhism, which is
based on humanist, naturalist, agnostic values and pragmatism rather than religious beliefs.
Is religion really necessary anymore? Should a moral code be based on fear and scripture, or on self-truth? Isn’t it better to be a good person for the sake of being a good person, not for the sake of a reward or not going to hell?
It’s long past time to find our own answers or swallow the hard truth and admit that we are simply dumbfounded, strange creatures of a dream, crafting fictions to comfort our ignorance and fear of the unknown.