Saturday, November 7, 2009

Some words from the Buddha

I was poking around the 'Net last night reading about karate when I came across this quote attributed to the Buddha. My initial reaction was to think, "Oh yeah!". My second reaction was to think, "But it's more complicated than that." and to start thinking about it more deeply. I expect the Buddha, and God, would encourage that. Because of reaction number two I decided it was worth presenting here for your thoughts.

Do you agree or disagree with it?
Can you think of any scriptures that are in harmony or conflict with the idea presented?

Do not believe on the strength of traditions even if they have been held in honour for many generations and in many places; do not believe anything because many people speak of it; do not believe on the strength of sages of old times; do not believe that which you have yourselves imagined, thinking that a god has inspired you. Believe nothing which depends only on the authority of your masters or of priests. After investigation believe that which you have yourselves tested and found reasonable, and which is for your good and that of others.


  1. I am mostly inclined to agree with this statement, and I think the scriptures are in harmony of it. The Gospel is all about finding out the truth of it for yourself (Moroni 10:4-5), and it is made clear that you can't get into heaven on someone else's testimony (Parable of the 10 virgins). Furthermore, the Lamanies who join the Church in the Book of Mormon are praised for giving up the traditions of their fathers (I don't have the reference for that one but I know it's in there.)

    The Church is often criticized for being run by a bunch of old guys, so I can see how this quote would be fodder for additional insults, framing Mormons as sheep who blindly pay tithing just because they told us to. But that's not how it works at all.

    That is how we know the Gospel to be true; Moroni's promise works. It stands up to scrutiny.

  2. Thanks, Beth.

    The scriptures that came to my mind were Alma 32 and Moroni 7.

    I listened to an interesting discussion last night between individuals, some of whom associate atonement with communicating shared, or mutually reproducible, results of testable hypotheses. I'm not really quite smart enough to wrap my head entirely around the idea, but they took Alma 32 to the next level from an individual experiment to a communal "experiment upon [the] words.