The hornets stirred up by my "Nihilism..." essay are still buzzing and trying to sting. The professor of world religions has returned to deliver yet another sting. A death-dealing sting, or so he hopes. This time he emphasizes the extreme importance of not confusing " what one wants to be true for (what) actually is true. This article is not written with any level of competent research or scholarship and that should be recognized." The professor's anxiety is palpable and understandable. Having submitted himself to Budda's path of enlightenment he needs to believe that his choice is the absolutely right one, which accounts for his attempts at undermining the credibility of yours truly.
It is vitally important that we acquire a competant understanding of Buddhism, not only because of its dominant influence in China, Japan, and other Oriental nations, but because a Westernized version of Buddhism is the freely chosen path of enlightenment for many of America's 'elite ruling class,' which includes the professor of world religions whose lecturn is his pulpit. Countless souls have no doubt been converted---and lost-- to Buddhism by this one man.
David Bentley Taylor, a professor in the School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London says of Buddhism:
"God in the objective, personal sense does not fit into the system...Buddhism as taught by its founders is in no sense a system of faith and worship. (Buddha) inculcated neither prayer nor praise, he offered neither redemption, nor forgiveness, nor heaven; he warned of no judgment and no hell. He refused to speculate on ultimate reality or the First Cause..." ("Buddhism," Taylor, in The Long War Against God, Henry Morris, p. 222)
Prominent in Buddhism is the doctrine of karma, a fatalistic system of rigid cause-and-effect whereby one's deeds committed in a former incarnation (life) are precisely reflected in his situation in his next incarnation. It may be that in your former life as a rabid dog you bit someone, causing him to suffer and die for which reason karma dictates that in your current incarnation you are a rapidly melting ice cube on a hot summer's day or perhaps a dung beetle on a pile of cow dung.
Whether atheistic or pantheistic (i.e., Japanese Shinto) all modern versions of Buddhism have largely adapted to modern scientific evolutionism.
Gene Edward Veith the Provost and Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College notes that the relatively easy entrance of Marxism and communism into China was greatly facilitated by the prior entrance of Darwinism. Darwinism was compatible with Chinese Buddhism with its evolutionary ways of thinking. It was Thomas Huxley, a convert to Vedanta monism who introduced Darwinism to China. Veith observes:
"...it was Darwinism, speaking through Huxley, and made to appear organically related to ancient Chinese thought on evolution, that furnished the intellectual basis for China's great upheaval beginning in 1911."
That upheaval led ultimately to Mao Tse-tung and the slaughter of millions in China as communism became established there.
Even before that development, WWI caused a highly respected Chinese scholar to raise doubts. In 1920 he wrote:
"This great European war has nearly wiped out human civilization; although its causes were many, it must be said that Darwinian theory had a very great influence." The Darwinian influence was drawn from "Yen Fu's translation of T.H. Huxley's Principles of Evolution. One can see that the influence of theory on men's minds is enormous." (The Long War Against God, Dr. Henry Morris, p. 222)
In the West and here in America Buddhism is fused with theosophy, pantheism, spiritism, Darwinism and Teilhard's evolutionary idea. Even now it is fusing with Christianity. Even so, a form of Christianized-Vedanta monism is already here said Dr. Peter Jones in his article, Confronting Neo-Paganism in the Culture and the Church:
"Evolutionary Christianity" is producing the longed-for and much-prophesied synthesis, namely, the union of science and spirituality.... Evolutionary Christianity is a variant of Wilber's 'Theory of Everything,' a worldview of (Vedanta monism) that claims to explain everything through the notion of human evolution into a non-dual divine. Michael Dowd, the ex-Evangelical now evangelist for evolution (agrees) with Bishop's Spong's post-theistic Christianity (and) declares supernatural other-worldly religion will die out for a post-metaphysical natural religion."
"Nihilism: Why America and the West are Committing Suicide" http://patriotsandliberty.com/?p=16038
The great attraction to Buddhism is the very reason that Adam and Eve broke their fellowship with God. They wanted to be independent of Him and to invent their own reality. In like manner, Buddha rejected the living God and claimed to be more enlightened than Him, and so Buddha's path of enlightenment is a philosophy of how one can be good without God.
Buddhism is a fruitless endeavor for all who don't look before leaping, for even as it crowns the individual (i.e., the professor of world religions) with total autonomy, at the same time it declares that the self (individual soul) is an illusion. It is a system of moral teachings for non-persons. It encourages thought and contemplation, but because it denies self, the final destination is thoughtlessness and oblivion.
In conclusion, for the professor of world religions as well as for all who follow the teachings of Buddha, Buddhism is a religion without God---the source of life, consciousness, and soul---therefore it is a religion without even a final existence, which is why Buddhism promises non-existence in a nowhere land of nothingness. Is Buddhism nihilism? Yes.