Philosophy is the study of elementary predicaments including factors linked with realism, existence, knowledge, ethics, rationale, and language. Conversely, religion is a collection of systematic beliefs on the cause, nature, and proposes of the universe, particularly with reference to the contribution of a supernatural creator. Scholars have debated on the question whether Buddhism is a religion or not and concluded that the answer depends on what a person mean by a "religion " and "philosophy." Commonly, people consider that the presence or absence of a deity in a practice determines whether it is a religion or a philosophy (Faure 102). In this essay I will argue if Buddhism is a religion, philosophy, or both.
The definition of the two terms suggests that Buddhism be a philosophy, not a religion. Philosophers believe that Buddhism is a philosophy since it is an educational practice that does not center on a supernatural being. Buddha never required his followers to worship any deity. He never recognized the role of a prophet to ensure the successful implementation of the practice. Therefore, Buddha comes out as an ordinary person with an absolute appreciative of the veracity of life and the universe. According to his teachings, people have the ability to reach an absolute understanding of themselves and their living surrounding ("Buddhism in a Nutshell "). He believed that all beings could free themselves from sufferings and achieve utmost happiness.
A person becoming a Buddha owns the process of understanding both the environment and self-completeness. The teaching implies that all human beings and the Buddha have equal abilities. It also puts across that the Buddha is a teacher, not a God or Prophet, whose fundamental duty is to teach human beings the means to restore Wisdom through overcoming greed, hatred, and ignorance that makes people lack focus in life (Faure 92).
The term Buddha means, "Wisdom and Awareness.