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So What Good Is Buddhism?

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Chapter Summary

Whatever oversights Buddhists suffer concerning the moral law and human nature, Mou thinks the Tiantai thinkers were exactly right about buddhas' relationship to ordinary people: even though buddhas differ from the rest of us in many ways, nevertheless in some respects they are "identical" to us. Mou thinks that in both the Buddhist and Confucian traditions, the orthodox teaching is that ordinary people and things are "paradoxically identical" to ultimate value. Mou sub-divides Separation Theories into two classes, corresponding to the Buddhist "Beginning" and "Mature" theories. To differentiate them, he looks to see just how separate and distant they claim that ultimate value is from the universe of objects. In Buddhism, even the lower teachings abound with paradoxical statements. But they are not complete and perfect because they do not venture ontological assertions of the universe's identity with buddhahood.

Keywords: Buddhism; Confucian; Mou; Tiantai



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