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When Faith Promoted Prestige

posted Mar 18, 2011, 7:17 AM by Phil Spitze

Some musings on a point my professor made about the oral teachings in Buddhism during the 1st century CE.  He speculated that during that time-frame in history, any mention of a conversation with a god or with the Buddha after his death gave a story more credit; elevated its prestige.  That having faith in such an event actually taking place was common and not challenged as it might be today.  I find this quite interesting and without having studied much Buddhist or religious history, I’d agree.  In current times, any mention of a “miracle” or a “healing” or even a dream in which a conversation was had with someone deceased brings about doubt.  Brings about criticism of truth.  Why?  I suppose in today’s time we are a more science-anchored people, and demand proof instead of taking things on faith.  I think this is good and bad.  I think we need more faith, but perhaps should apply that faith with a dose of common sense.  But, maybe not.  Who are we to decide if a friend did or did not communicate with God, or his deceased friend, or even saw a ghost?  How can we?  We’re not that person.  We don’t know what they can and cannot perceive.  Interesting and demanding of more thought and study.

-PHIL