THE SCIENTIFIC OUTLOOK OF BUDDHISM
Buddhism, that oldest world religion, is generally misconceived to be a blind faith. As seen from its outward appearance, really it is painted with a strong religious color. To a non-Buddhist, who sees the golden image of Buddha, and hears the chanting of Sanscrit Sutras and the clinking of the bell, Buddhism is nothing but idolatry; in view of their passive life, Buddhists of the Order are said to be “social parasites”. However, on the contrary, whatever is expounded in Buddhism, down to every minor matter, is based on the Teaching of Buddha. Indeed, some of the Buddhist principles are too profound to be easily explained and understood by the lay people, except those of high intellect. Without making a serious effort to study the issue in question, those who say what others say, and believe what others believe, that Buddhism is a superstitious faith, betray not only their ignorance of its fundamental principles but also their lack of common sense and understanding; therefore, in regard to Buddhism, what they say and what they believe cannot but be blind and untrue.
Depending in what sense Religion is defined, Buddhism may be called Religion or non-Religion. If religion refers to Monotheism or Polytheism, then Buddhism, being non-theological, is no religion at all. If religion, broadly defined, refers to some School of Teaching, Buddhism in that sense may be said to be in the same category as Confucianism and Taoism.
In the wake of the remarkable development of modern Science, the monotheistic and polytheistic religions of the world are open to scientists’ attack rather helplessly, but Buddhism stands out as unique exception to this. It is because the more advanced is Science, the more and the better is Buddhism understood. In the meantime, in parallel to the stupendous scientific achievements of this age. Buddhism spreads more and more to the world. In China, at one time some engineers and scientists were not only devout Buddhists but also conversant with Buddhist Scriptures. This is an eloquent proof that Buddhist theories can be tested and corroborated by science. In reality, the more learned the scientist is, the easier and the better can he comprehend the difficult Buddhist terms and the profound theories of Buddhism. Thus he would come to realize that whatever phenomena, physical or psychical, as explained by Buddha, far from being superstitious, are all based on Reason and reality only. In the light of this understanding, the writer was prompted to present to readers “The scientific Outlook of Buddhism.”