East and West Philosophers Comparison

East and West Philosophers Comparison


August 29, 2010

Vince Colvin

      Different philosophical perspectives are what make philosophy such an intriguing science.   Will we ever fully comprehend the source or intentions of different philosophical beliefs?   I suppose that would depend upon each philosopher, how much we know about them, and how much we can relate to their individual ideas.   What we can do to help bridge the gaps of time and understanding is to carefully study each philosopher and their ideas, paying special attention to where and when they lived in hopes of finding common ground with present-day ideas that we are more familiar with.

Eastern Philosopher - Siddhartha Gautama Buddha (563-483 B.C.E.)

Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, was the eastern philosopher that began the philosophy and religion of Buddhism.   Buddhism is still practiced throughout Asia today and is becoming more popular in the western world as well.   Buddha’s great concern for human suffering is what led him to begin his lifelong journey.   According to Moore & Bruder (2008), Buddha defined suffering as not only the distress and sense of unfulfillment endured in daily life but also as the long-term anguish inflicted on an individual’s body and soul.

Buddha was born into a life of wealth and luxury.   Although he was blessed with every material possession and advantage that a man could ever wish for, at age 29 he left his life, including his wife and child, and set out on his own to discover the causes of suffering and what can be done to cure it.   After six years spent roaming and meditating, Buddha achieved enlightenment, or true understanding (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Through his enlightenment, Buddha concluded that human suffering was explained in his doctrine known as the Four Noble Truths.   According to Moore & Bruder (2008) the Four Noble truths declared: 1) There is suffering; 2) suffering has specific and identifiable causes; 3) suffering...