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Thread: Buddhism Voted Best Religion in the World; too humble to accept award

  1. #1

    Default Buddhism Voted Best Religion in the World; too humble to accept award

    Freedom From Religion: Buddhism Wins Best Religion in the World Award - One City: A Buddhist Blog for Everyone


    Groehlichen said the award was voted on by an international roundtable of more than 200 religious leaders from every part of the spiritual spectrum. "It was interesting to note that once we supplied the criteria, many religious leaders voted for Buddhism rather than their own religion," said Groehlichen.


    Jonna Hult, Director of Research for ICARUS said "It wasn't a surprise to me that Buddhism won Best Religion in the World, because we could find literally not one single instance of a war fought in the name of Buddhism, in contrast to every other religion that seems to keep a gun in the closet just in case God makes a mistake.


    And Rabbi Shmuel Wasserstein said from Jerusalem, "Of course, I love Judaism, and I think it's the greatest religion in the world. But to be honest, I've been practicing Vipassana meditation every day before minyan (daily Jewish prayer) since 1993. So I get it."


    Groehlichen said that the plan was for the award to Buddhism for "Best Religion in the World" to be given to leaders from the various lineages in the Buddhist community. However, there was one snag. "Basically we can't find anyone to give it to," said Groehlichen in a followup call late Tuesday. "All the Buddhists we call keep saying they don't want the award."

  2. #2
    EmeraldsAndLime

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    Religion? I thought it was more a way of life... a spiritual lifestyle. Sure there is an idol, but not in the traditional, worshipped sense. The teachings are what's important, not the deities, which is what many people in all religions fall victim too.

  3. #3

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    It is not religions at fault so much to my mind, practically any faith has latitude to make it suit one's needs. One can pick and choose schools of orthodoxy, bits of scripture and so on; as to the behaviour of faith-based communities in general, I have only positive things to say about the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists, Bahais, certain Mormons, most Wiccans, and the bulk of Unitarians. Even the Ordo Templi Orientis. US Grand Lodge, OTO: Main page

    Just because someone who wants a body of ecclestiacal doctrine to follow, and a community of roughly like-minded people to follow it in, doesn't mean their character is like every other person in their circle.

  4. #4

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    Now, I gave that article a glance when it first popped up one of the RSS feeds I subscribe to, and something about it seemed odd. That comment about no wars being fought for Buddhism, specifically. I've talked to a LOT of religious people, and the topic of holy wars and crimes committed in the name of various gods is a popular one. One thing I've noticed is that every religious person, with a few notable seriously crazy exceptions, thinks that no violence is ever done in the name of their religion or their god. They always play it off with a 'No True Scottsman' fallacy: the violent aggressors are never TRUE Catholics/Evangelicals/Muslims/whatever. On the rare occasion where someone admits that a violent act was really done under the banner of their religion or god, they really do believe it was justified and therefore righteous. But since this press release never really made it anywhere, I didn't think much more about it.

    Then this post turned up and I decided to look in to it further. I can't find any record of this "International Coalition for the Advancement of Religious and Spirituality" organization that sponsored the award. Nothing. The press release says they like to fly below the radar. These guys aren't just below the radar, they're fucking invisible except for mentions of this press release. Nothing in the english-language Geneva phonebook I checked online, nothing on Google that didn't mention this press release, they don't even have a freaking website. When an organization is harder to find online than I am (and I'm REALLY hard to find online), I tend to think that they were completely invented.

    So I checked out the website of the newspaper that supposedly published this article. It's a french language newspaper with no english edition I was able to find. That's another mark against this story. Fortunately, I know french, so I was able to still read and navigate their site. After searching for a few key terms (Buddhism, the Institute's name, the name of the director, the name of the reporter in the byline, etc), I found nothing that even came close to matching. As far as I can tell, this newspaper doesn't even employ someone by the name Linda Moulin, and Linda certainly didn't have anything published by them on the 17th of July.

    The whole thing is bunk - invented by someone unknown for reasons unknown.

  5. #5

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    Out of all modern day religions, I find Buddhism to be my favorite. While not actually a practicing Buddhist myself, I incorporate aspects of it into my life. One of my major philosophies about life is impermanence, that nothing in this world can truly last forever, and that life goes on towards some manner of enlightenment.

    Due to its naturally peaceful and pacifistic nature, I love Buddhism. You really won't see any fights started over Buddhism, as opposed to arguments over other religions. If you did find an argument between someone and a Buddhist, regarding religion, and the person was accusing Buddhism of being wrong/evil/etc, the Buddhist would not see a need to fight back, as getting into conflict would add to suffering, which keeps one away from enlightenment.

    I can see how it would be voted, "best religion," and I am not at all surprised Seeing this sort of thing makes me quite happy. It's like seeing a peaceful philanthropist recognized with an award for his/her contributions to humanity.

  6. #6

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    Anybody else find the idea of voting for the 'best religion' completely disturbing?

    In fact, this doesn't even make any sense to me whatsoever.

    I'm just picturing Jesus and Buddha holding hands nervously, whilst some cute, young presenter opens up an envelope and says, "And the winner, of Religious Idol 2009 is..."

    "..."

    "..."







    "..."

    "BUDDHA!"



    *Buddha tearfully recites the winning mantra*


    Doesn't make any fucking sense.

  7. #7
    Butterfly Mage

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    If there was a runner-up prize, would Wicca win? We never start wars either!

  8. #8
    Asher

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    Quote Originally Posted by bgi39jsjw0ggg View Post
    Now, I gave that article a glance when it first popped up one of the RSS feeds I subscribe to, and something about it seemed odd. That comment about no wars being fought for Buddhism, specifically. I've talked to a LOT of religious people, and the topic of holy wars and crimes committed in the name of various gods is a popular one. One thing I've noticed is that every religious person, with a few notable seriously crazy exceptions, thinks that no violence is ever done in the name of their religion or their god. They always play it off with a 'No True Scottsman' fallacy: the violent aggressors are never TRUE Catholics/Evangelicals/Muslims/whatever. On the rare occasion where someone admits that a violent act was really done under the banner of their religion or god, they really do believe it was justified and therefore righteous. But since this press release never really made it anywhere, I didn't think much more about it.

    Then this post turned up and I decided to look in to it further. I can't find any record of this "International Coalition for the Advancement of Religious and Spirituality" organization that sponsored the award. Nothing. The press release says they like to fly below the radar. These guys aren't just below the radar, they're fucking invisible except for mentions of this press release. Nothing in the english-language Geneva phonebook I checked online, nothing on Google that didn't mention this press release, they don't even have a freaking website. When an organization is harder to find online than I am (and I'm REALLY hard to find online), I tend to think that they were completely invented.

    So I checked out the website of the newspaper that supposedly published this article. It's a french language newspaper with no english edition I was able to find. That's another mark against this story. Fortunately, I know french, so I was able to still read and navigate their site. After searching for a few key terms (Buddhism, the Institute's name, the name of the director, the name of the reporter in the byline, etc), I found nothing that even came close to matching. As far as I can tell, this newspaper doesn't even employ someone by the name Linda Moulin, and Linda certainly didn't have anything published by them on the 17th of July.
    I just did the same thing; I can't find anything either : / The only thing about it is the fact being that this "organization" decided that Buddhism is the best religion. There is NOTHING else about it... Guess they really do like to keep things under the radar (if they actually exist that is...)

    That's great that Buddhism won and all, but this "study" will probably not turn too many heads; most people believe that their own religion is "best" anyway (I don't think "best" would be the right word here; maybe "truthful," etc.). How many people do you think are going to change their beliefs just because some International Committee decided that Buddhism was the best? Probably not a lot.

    Interesting "study" nonetheless. It would had been cool to see maybe a top 5 best and worst just to see where some religions rank on the list. Personally, I'm kind of curious to see where Christianity and Islam landed on the "list"...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asher View Post
    Interesting "study" nonetheless. It would had been cool to see maybe a top 5 best and worst just to see where some religions rank on the list. Personally, I'm kind of curious to see where Christianity and Islam landed on the "list"...
    Christianity (or at least the catholic church) would fare rather badly. The crusades, the inquisition, among other things.

    In fact, I'd imagine most mainstream organised religions would far poorly. They've been around long enough, and gotten big enough, that when something goes wrong, they do a lot of harm.

    If some psycho uses Scientology to justify discrimination/violence, well he/she's already considered a nut. If the same psycho uses Christianity/Islam/insert big religion here as an excuse, then unfortunately, some people will listen to him/her.

  10. #10

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    Hmm, this does seem kind of fishy, actualy...

    I'm no fan of any organized religion, so it doesn't bother me much, but it is interesting that this organization doesn't seem to exist.



    The trouble with the Internet Age is, no one bothers fact-checking. Everyone hastens to post (or re-post) stories that sound fascinating.

    A few observations that convince me this is hoax:

    The acronym for the organization that gave out the award is ICARUS, a name from Greek mythology (the character who flew too close to the sun), which seems a pretty silly symbol for a religious coalition. By the way, no one can find ICARUS' official Web site.

    The name of the Burmese Buddhist monk cited in the story is "Bhante Ghurata Hanta," which is neither Burmese nor Sanskrit. (I should know, because I grew up in Burma.)

    Tribune de Geneve, the paper that supposedly first published the news, is a French language paper -- not English. Doing searches on "Buddhist" or "ICARUS" at the paper's site produced no story -- neither in French nor English -- matching the one we received.

    I have enormous admiration for the Buddhist tradition, but the story above may be someone's attempt to have a few laughs -- unfortunately at our expense and at Buddhism's expense.

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