Eastern and Western Philosophers Comparison Pape
University of Phoenix
What is philosophy? Philosophy is the study of some of the most fundamental questions asked by mankind, such as why we are here and what the purpose of life is. Throughout the history of philosophy, there have been many influential figures coming from all corners of the planet. Despite having worldwide influences, philosophy is usually divided into eastern and western schools of thought. Eastern philosophy is centered on cognitive dimensions that revolve around meditative thinking in order to reach enlightenment, while the western school of thought subscribes to the idea of ...view middle of the document...
” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p.530) The Eightfold Path lays out the means to live properly. The following is a brief overview of the Eightfold Path. First is the Right View, which is having the knowledge of “the things that make human life sick and unwholesome.” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p.531) Second is the Right Aim, which is the “overcoming of selfish passions and desires by an effort of will” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p.532), which results in the absence of envy or reason for causing another harm. Third is the Right Speech, which is the refraining from practices such as lying, gossiping, idle chattering, and deception. Forth is Right Action, which is not giving in to “improper desires or cravings.” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p.532) Fifth is Right Living, which is the making of one’s living through proper means and striving for selfish wants. The sixth fold is Right effort, which refers to the constant struggle against “immoral and corrupt conditions.” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p.532) Seventh is Right Mindfulness, which refers to the idea of the individual having a duty to reach for enlightenment. “It is to bring all human activities under conscious control and thoughtfulness.” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p.532) The final and eighth fold is Right Contemplation, “which is ultimate concentration of mind. Right concentration is uninterrupted, blissful thoughtfulness that purifies deeds, words, and thoughts.” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p.532)
“Buddha did not believe in a divine creator or in divine salvation; thus in his thinking, the problem of suffering is one humans must cope with themselves.” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p.534) As he did not believe in the divine, Buddha believed that suffering came from a variety of sources. Buddha believed that suffering was a result of Karma, mixed with ignorance and selfishness which prevent an individual from attaining enlightenment. He also believed that through peace and a positive state of mind anyone can reach enlightenment. “He taught methods for gradually overcoming our negative minds such as anger, jealousy and ignorance, and developing our positive minds such as love, compassion and wisdom. Through this we will come to experience lasting peace and happiness. These methods work for anyone, in any country, in any age. Once we have gained experience of them for ourselves we can pass them on to others so they too can enjoy the same benefits.” (About Buddhism, 2007).
Soren Kierkegaard was born to a father that “raised his son in an atmosphere of extreme piety amounting to religious terror.” (Kolakowski, 2007, p.183) As a result, Kierkegaard was a devote Christian. Kierkegaard believed that the only way to achieve salvation was only obtainable “through a leap of faith, through a nonintellectual, passionate, “infinite” commitment to Christianity.” (Moore & Bruder, 2008) Kierkegaard thought it impossible to prove God’s existence through rational thought. In fact, Kierkegaard believed that...