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Dalai Lama: non-religious people can be good too

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The Dalai Lama has over 1.2 million 'likers' of his Facebook page. It's probably maintained by assistants I'd guess, but it seems to be official in that it has inside information on his travels, schedule, and seems to be real messages from him.

Anyway, he wrote recently about the relationship between goodness and religious belief...

"My belief is that the various religious traditions have great potential to increase compassion, the sense of caring for one another, and the spirit of reconciliation. However, I believe that a human being, without religious faith, can be a very good person - sincere, a good heart, having a sense of concern for others - without belief in a particular religious faith."

We Humanists would agree! :)

[See also: Why this Humanist admires the Dalai Lama]

Comments

  • Profile picture of Khandarohi
    Khandarohi 3 years ago

    This is a beautifully true sentiment, which exemplifies so much of what I love about Buddhism – that kindness and goodness can be cultivated in all religions, and even without religion. Implicit in that statement is the understanding that any teachings based on love and kindness are beneficial. I was deeply saddened to learn that while giving these teachings, the Dali Lama is actively suppressing the religious freedom of his own people, so much so that people are being ostracized and even killed over the matter. More information can be found here: http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/

  • Profile picture of DT Strain
    DT Strain 3 years ago

    Khandarohi, that is only true if you mean the monks in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. He has only banned his monks from practices that are not a part of Buddhism (like Dorje Shugden), and has every right to. It would be like the head of a church banning priests who were practicing or preaching Islam or atheism. A religious order has a right to expect that its leaders actually practice the religion of their order.

    That in no way contradicts the principle of religious freedom. Tibetan monasteries are free to run their orders as they see fit, and individuals are free to practice whatever religion they choose or don't. And monks, if they want to practice other things, can go serve the orders that practice those things. But to expect that religious freedom means the Pope, for example, must allow Bishops to practice whatever religions they like, is obviously silly. Lastly, while Dorje Shugden practitioners have been unfortunate victims of violence, the Dalai Lama has certainly not advocated this.

    It should also be noted that the Chinese government has long been against the Dalai Lama, and plants false things about him all over the web on a regular basis. Some who seem to support the WSS seem possibly tied to the Chinese government or helped by them. However, that is just my personal impression and opinion after comparing their tone with other things I've seen the Chinese government say, and I have no direct evidence they are involved in this case, but would not be surprised.

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