Explain the Buddhist conception of the human “problem” and the ethical prescriptions which are supposed to correct it.

Essay #5 – Explain the Buddhist conception of the human “problem” and the ethical                                prescriptions which are supposed to correct it.

 

  • The first of the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism is the notion that ordinary human existence is permeated with suffering (dukkha). Write an essay about the meaning of this claim.

 

 

  • What does it mean to claim that ordinary human experience is permeated by suffering?

 

  • To what extent might this claim be true?
  • To what extent might this claim be false?
  • (Think about the evidence that might be found in day to day life.)

 

  • Why might it be stated that desire is the root of suffering? Do you agree?
    • Could the Noble Eightfold Path really bring about the end of suffering?

 

  • In a sense, the Buddha has a solution to the “problem of evil”: suffering exists in the world because of karma and trsna.  Is this an acceptable explanation?

 

  • Explain the meaning and importance of each of the eight elements of the eightfold path. (p. 84) (Discuss, avoid listing)

 

  • For each of these elements, include an example of how an individual might behave in order to act in accordance with it. How does the path apply to day to day life?

 

  • The state of the enlightened individual is one of “no more learning,” without desire, and without suffering. What do you think this state must be like?
    • Why is the state of nirvana related to “extinguishing” something?

 

  • What is your overall impression of the Buddha’s philosophy?Other thoughts?

 

  • Remember that as you discuss various topics you should always remain focused on your main idea and relating each paragraph to the overall statement you wish to demonstrate.