Beyond Religion

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I am confident that it is both possible and worthwhile to attempt a new secular approach to universal ethics. My confidence comes from my conviction that all of us, all human beings, are basically inclined or disposed toward what we perceive to be good. Whatever we do, we do because we think it will be of some benefit. At the same time, we all appreciate the kindness of others. We are all, by nature, oriented toward the basic human values of love and compassion.

We all prefer the love of others to their hatred. Update Consent. Tech Science Reviews Search for:. Logout Login. Search for:. Speaking Tree. View 1 comments Post a comment. What is Congress so wary about? Popular Tags featuredet congress rbi aap gdp featured bjp narendra-modi arvind-kejriwal rahul-gandhi delhi arun-jaitley india china us Featured ET demonetisation modi pakistan bollywood gst donald-trump supreme-court cricket economy. Certified Buyer , Bengaluru 1 month ago. Great book but only one star for providing an old book having poor paper quality. Souvik Chatterjee Certified Buyer , Kolkata 6 months ago.

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The most important book of this Era. A must read for anyone who wants to be happy. Guy Rom Certified Buyer , Tattilli 9 months ago. Have doubts regarding this product? Post your question. Safe and Secure Payments. Easy returns. You might be interested in. Back to top.

Beyond Religion by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

So, why only 3 stars? The topics were only superficially addressed. Only passing reference was made to recent developments in fields such as neuroscience and evolutionary biology that support the positions staked out. I would highly recommend this to someone who has not had much exposure to these topics, but for those who are familiar with it, this presents nothing more than a pleasant, and generally well written, walk through familiar grounds. View 2 comments. Nov 23, Sara Easton rated it it was amazing.

I am a Goodreads First Reads winner of this book. This is a great book for anyone interested in philosophy who wants a book as entertaining as it is intellectually challenging. Each new concept is backed up with anecdotes from the Dalai Lama's life, told "half-jokingly" in a way that doesn't fly over your head.

I finished the book several hours ago, and I'm still thinking about everything His Holiness said about our common humanity and the place ethics has in society. Thank you for the great rea I am a Goodreads First Reads winner of this book. Thank you for the great read! View 1 comment.

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Jul 02, Jennifer rated it liked it Shelves: finished. This book is part of a larger movement by progressive religious leaders - one that makes the argument for ethics outside of the constructs of religious teachings. I really appreciated the time the Dalai Lama spent defining "secular", a term which, all too often, has a negative connotation. His reasoning and practical approach to implementation was intriguing.

Book review: ‘Beyond Religion’ by the Dalai Lama

While Humanist principles assert ethics and morality without religion, I'm left to wonder how accepting the larger religious community w This book is part of a larger movement by progressive religious leaders - one that makes the argument for ethics outside of the constructs of religious teachings.

While Humanist principles assert ethics and morality without religion, I'm left to wonder how accepting the larger religious community would be to the concept? Ultimately, does the why really matter if we're working to the same end? May 10, Robin Friedman rated it it was amazing. In the first, the Dalai Lama writes specifically about the teachings and practices of Buddhism, particularly his own Tibetan Buddhism.

In the second group, the Dalai Lama takes a broader approach and writes on a range of subjects such as ethics, happiness, and the scientific worldview that are not specifically tied to Buddhism or to any particular faith religion. Both groups of books are marked by accessibility and openness. The Dalai Lama in fact discourages Westerners from conversion to Buddhism and advises them instead to practice within their own traditions to the extent that is an option for them.

Still, his teachings about Buddhist and about broader subjects is enlightening and humbling. Without giving up in any way his own religious convictions, the Dalai Lama writes to show the nature and possibility of ethics without a commitment to any specific religion or to a religious worldview. In other words, the book separates ethics and religion.

Many books have been written taking various perspectives on the difficult question of the relationship between religion and ethics.

Highland Views: The Dalai Lama and ethics beyond religion

The issue is also addressed in two of the Dalai Lama's earlier books to which he refers in this one: "Ethics for the New Millennium" and "Towards a True Kinship of Faiths" With its provocative title, "Beyond Religion" offers the Dalai Lama's fullest treatment of secular ethics. The most challenging and important part of this book is the Dalai Lama's discussion of the need for ethics and for an ethics not tied to religious belief. He finds that increasingly in the modern world, scientific and technological ability has outpaced human, interior growth with the result that individuals and groups are increasingly discontented, unhappy, and belligerent in spite of the vast increase in human ability to control and understand the external environment.

With a focus on materialism and knowledge of things, individuals lose sight of meaning. Religion has traditionally been a way of attempting to meet these issues. But religion has become difficult or impossible for many people due to the commitment to a scientific outlook and due as well to the sheer variety of religions with their competing and apparently inconsistent claims.

The Dalai Lama's book is not written to dissuade any person from their faith. Rather the book is addressed to those without religious faith and, without judging them, to show the possibility of a universal, secular based ethics. The Dalai Lama has undertaken a challenging task and he performs it well in this book. The chief insight in the Dalai Lama's approach is that beneath all the differences among people and the differences in identity, we are all human beings with the same wants and fundamental needs as human beings.

We share a "common humanity". A secular ethics identifies and builds on the factors in our common humanity assisted to a degree by the sciences. Thus the Dalai Lama finds that all human beings want to by happy and need on another.

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He builds an ethics on the need for a compassion for all persons and develops how, in his view, compassion leads to qualities including justice, forgiveness, and understanding. He finds a secular ethics has much to teach both to individual human relationships and to political and international questions. The Dalai Lama's vision of secular ethics is developed in the first part of the book, "A New Vision of Secular Ethics" while the second part "Educating the Heart Through Training the Mind" offers guides for increasing one's ability for ethical behavior.

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These guides focus on understanding one's emotions, on controlling emotions such as anger and envy deemed destructive and on developing positive emotions such as contentment, self-discipline and generosity. The Dalai Lama introduces meditation techniques derived from the Buddhist tradition. Still the practice of these techniques, to the extent presented in this book, do not presuppose a commitment to Buddhism or any other religion. Some forms of meditation are widely-practiced, and their introduction does not change this book's secular character.

This is a thoughtful, moving book. Some readers may question whether the Dalai Lama's ethics follows fully from the secular commitments from which he starts or, alternatively, whether there somehow is an unstated religious or metaphysical position lurking in the presentation. In addition, those holding to a secular worldview may disagree on proper behavior and fight, just as adherents of competing religions sometimes do. These questions are important but secondary.

The teachings of this book are demanding and difficult. The Dalai Lama talks persuasively about the importance of ethics and of self-reflection and compassion. Most importantly, he reminds the reader of our shared "common humanity". Much is to be learned from the goals of the Dalai Lama's book and from the simplicity of its presentation.

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Robin Friedman Jun 08, Jud Barry rated it really liked it. All my life I have been told by "religious" people that religion is necessary for morality. I have never believed this, mostly because my own parents were every bit as moral as they were secular. Also, growing up I absorbed the "enlightened," civic faith of the Founding Fathers of the U.

All that was needed was the right framework laws and a willingness to work for the comm All my life I have been told by "religious" people that religion is necessary for morality. All that was needed was the right framework laws and a willingness to work for the common good of all.

Beyond Religion

But this seems to me to be less and less understood, in the U. Maybe it just seems that way because I live in the hyper-religious South. It has recently seemed less and less likely that anyone be very effective in advancing the cause of the same kind of common-sense approach to religion and morals that our Founding Fathers took. Enter The Dalai Lama. In simple and engaging language, he goes beyond my fondest hopes by articulating a case for, if not the superiority of secular ethics, then at least its existence as a phenomenon that pre-exists religion.