On Facebook, Dalai Lama Says That Religion Is Obsolete

If religion is no longer useful as a framework for morality, then what purpose does it retain — to provide a warm feeling of soothing comfort in a harsh world? Don’t we have spas for that? Via io9:

This past Monday, people who have the Dalai Lama as a Facebook friend found this little gem in their newsfeed.

The Dalai Lama’s advice sounds startling familiar — one that echos the sentiment put forth by outspoken atheist Sam Harris who argues that science can answer moral questions. The Dalai Lama is no stranger to scientific discourse, and has developed a great fascination with neuroscience in particular.

It’s important to remember that Tibetan Buddhists, while rejecting belief in God and the soul, still cling to various metaphysical beliefs, including karma, infinite rebirths, and reincarnation.

, , , ,

  • DeepCough

    I had no idea the Dalai Lama resigned.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      I heard him speak once and he spent a bit of time talking of the importance in the world of what he called “secular sages”. I think this is what he was talking about.

      • DeepCough

        Dalai Lama sure is a fucking ironist, since he owes his position to the beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Wait… What?

  • Guru

    Religion is absolutely alien to human nature. If look back at history, there was no religion in ancient cultures. No, it was not a religion. It was a culture.They talked about morals but never mixed morals  with  gods.  Religion emerged when some people started  waking up from dogmas imposed by abrahamic religions. So they needed to call something from which they woke up. Buddhist beliefs are not religion. They are just a philosophy. Philosophy is natural to humans. Same as science. 

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      ” Religion emerged when some people started  waking up from dogmas imposed by abrahamic religions”

      What?

      • Guru

        The need to define the system of beliefs (which includes morals and rituals) from different system of views led to  emergence of the word “religion”. Understanding that there is different system that process of waking up. If there is no different system there is no need to define what religion is. 

  • Pro-Crowley

    Well their are many buddhists who dont even think of themselves as religious. It comes down to what you actually think the word religion means. A highly organized and hierarchical institution or a set of beliefs and philosophies about the world.

  • emperorreagan

    Morality and ethics have always been based on other factors than just religion.  We build up plenty of mythology to transmit cultural values.  The US has mythology about the founding fathers, the constitution, rugged individuals, and countless other topics.  We can replace one creation myth for another, or one ideal person to aspire to for another.  Doesn’t really matter.    

    The primary mode of transmission has changed in many places around the world without the need for the Dalai Lama, Sam Harris, or anyone else to weigh in on the matter.  As religious institutions cede functions they traditionally provided to other sources in some regions, their relevance there has declined.

  • http://about.me/plusaziz +Aziz

    Very bold!

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    When will people realize that Science does not equal to “not religion”. Silly tiny minded dualists.

    • Canniball40

       What people, specifically? I saw no religious person rejecting science, but quite a bunch of idiotic scientists actively, histerically combating religion!!

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        i mean.. i kinda agree with you. Religious people more often than not (fanatics notwithstanding) accept the value of science, but sciencism commonly  takes up the only mental port available, and pushes everything else aside. But Science and Sciencism don’t have to be attached at the hip.

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        i mean.. i kinda agree with you. Religious people more often than not (fanatics notwithstanding) accept the value of science, but sciencism commonly  takes up the only mental port available, and pushes everything else aside. But Science and Sciencism don’t have to be attached at the hip.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    interesting that he makes news saying something Sid Gautama said about 2500 years ago
    but better late than neva

    • http://twitter.com/RobertH21390659 RobertHill


      goo.gl/sJ3PB

    • http://twitter.com/RobertH21390659 RobertHill

      like make money online(Click on menu Home)

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    Of course the problem is belief, a world that makes atheists become constipated.  Which is why I have gone Beyond Belief.  Belief in something other what human experience has to offer is being deceived by a cheap imitation.  And when you actually experience that, with no filters or ideologies or someone telling you what it means, belief does become obsolete because you’re then dealing with reality.  It’s like listening to the puppet instead of the ventriliquist.  It’s like the Muslims.  Well, Mohammed probably never existed and your religion is entirely based on changing a few words around in the Old Testament, which itself is a collection of folk tales from just one Semitic group out of all the other cultures extant in their day.  You’re getting all hot and bothered over something you were forced to believe by someone else who was forced to believe it, too.  Just be and KNOW THYSELF.

    The cosmos is supposed to be your book.  Put down the Koran, the Bible, L Ron Hubbard’s Cookbook, The Brothers Grimm, The Works of JRR Tolkien or whatever book you’ve used to define your worldview and simply open your eyes and mind to LIFE and you’ll find yourself sorted out.

    Fiat lux

  • SoulQuestion

    Just curious, how do Tibetan Buddhists belief in reincarnation if they reject the belief in a soul?

  • bobbiethejean

    I understand what he’s saying and I agree. He’s not saying “stop believing in things.” He’s saying “don’t be stupid, blind sheep.” Spirituality is an eternal library, religion is being trapped in a filing cabinet. “Come out of the filing cabinet,” that’s all he’s saying….. or at least that what it seems like to me…. granted, he’s saying it a little more eloquently…. but there it is.

  • Dhatz

    science is a method, while philosophy is the thinking from principles what actually does define morality. Stephan Molyneux has been developing secular ethics (he uses these two words interchangeably) and has produced the most popular philosophy show and website ever: FreeDomainRadio.com . all information takes energy to spread, that is work across time. that is why it takes you to change you and showing the door is not walking through it. even if you do get through significant portion of that, the principles never change, it takes occultation and obfuscation to make us know nothing of WhatOnEarthIsHappening.com

21