The Relationship of Buddhism to Belief

I think of Buddhism as existing, and being able to be followed, without beliefs.  The Eightfold Path can be followed even if one believes in a creator god who will save him after death.  Buddhism can help one now, and it certainly can’t hurt after death. Even if a person didn’t believe in an afterlife at all, being a better person by practicing the Eightfold Path won’t cause any additional suffering, and at best, can lead to a happier life now.  Perhaps the only belief necessary is that the Eightfold Path can lead to the end of suffering.  But even that isn’t absolutely necessary, because the Buddha himself taught to try the Dharma for oneself.  Don’t accept what anyone else taught or wrote – even him.  Try reproducing the Buddha’s path and see if you can replicate his results.  Viewing Buddhism as a grand experiment, then, no belief is required.

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