COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS 8
There are many religions in the world. Each of these religions isguided by their beliefs and perception of society, family and evenhealth care. People of divergent religions are likely to come intocontact within the health care setting. Patients from differentreligions seek medical assistance from health care providers ofdifferent religions. The differing spiritual beliefs may affect theprovision of health care (Fogel & Rivera, 2003). Hence, it isimportant that all health care providers are aware of the beliefs inthe different religions. This will ensure they are aware of how torelate with patients from all belief systems, which enhances thequality of health care provided.
The paper is a comparative analysis of Christianity and Buddhismfaith philosophies. The analysis addresses worldview questions forthe religions, the disparity in belief systems, and view on healing,healing components and factors to consider when caring for patientsof a different religion.
The word worldview is used to refer to devotion to what peoplesuppose to be true. They are the assumptions individuals haveconcerning what the world is made up of. Worldviews are a collectionof beliefs, which guide how people live. The worldviews ofChristianity and Buddhism are addressed by responding to theworldview questions.
This refers to what every religion considers to be real. Christiansbelieve that nobody can be compared to God. They define prime realityas God, who is supernatural because He cannot be compared to humans,in addition to being omniscient (Moreland& William, 2003). In addition, Christianity defines primereality as the infinite God revealed to them via the Bible. Buddhismdiffers from Christianity in the definition on prime reality. Insteadof viewing prime reality as a supreme being, like God for Christians,Buddhism views it as a supreme condition or nirvana (Stoddart,2013). This meansthat the world exists via causal action.
Nature of the World
The question focuses on whether religions view the world as createdor an illusion. Christians believe that the world is a creation byGod. In the book of Genesis, we are informed that God created a worldfrom nothing (Genesis 1). Hence, the world depends on God, as He hasthe power to create and end life. Buddhism considers the world to bean illusion (Stoddart,2013). The religionconsiders the world as a human perception, which makes it unreal.
Both religions believe that death is the transcendence into a newlife. This means that when someone dies they stop living in theirphysical form and transcend into a spiritual form. Christianitysupposes that when people die they go to join their creator (Moreland& William, 2003). Death marks the end of life on earth andthe beginning of eternal life, meaning life without end. Buddhismsupposes that life does not end. Even in death, one is simplypromoted to a different state.
There is a clear contrast in Christianity and Buddhism beliefsconcerning what a human being refers to. According to Christianity,human beings are God’s creation. This means that people are createdin the likeness of God. Thus, humans have the qualities of God andare expected to live a life just like God dictates. Buddhism likenslife to an expression of cosmic life, where human beings aresubjective agents (Stoddart,2013). The religiondoes not view human beings as a creation but an illusion.
How we Know Things
Christians believe that because human beings are a creation of God,it is through Him it becomes possible to know things (King,2013). God is all knowing, and because Christians resembleHim, they are able to know what He knows. God is defined asChristian’s main intelligence agency, which implies that theability to become aware derives from God. Contrary, Buddhism believesthat it is not possible to know things, because knowledge is amisconception (King, 2013).
Discerning Right from Wrong
According to Christians, we are created to resemble God, who has agood character. Hence, it becomes possible to discern right fromwrong by following God’s teachings (Moreland& William, 2003). God establishes morality throughspiritual direction on what is moral and that which is immoral. TheBible is very significant to Christians in teaching them how todifferentiate between good and bad (1 John 5:18). Buddhism is foundedon self-discipline of compassion. The law describes all humans asbasically good. However, through cosmic subjectivity, it becomespossible to differentiate what is good from evil (Tsong-kha-paet al., 2004).
History is significant to Christians because it is through humanhistory that human existence can be explained. Right from Adam andEve, Christians believe that to be the basis of our existence. Thecreation history makes it possible to explain human life. Contrary,Buddhism does not believe in history. Buddhists suppose that theworld is a rotation and not a history. It is a rotation because aspeople die others are born.
Comparative Analysis of Christian and Buddhist Belief Systems
Based on the religion’s worldviews, there are differences andsimilarities between Christianity and Buddhism. One of thedifferences is that while Buddhism is founded on the teachings ofBuddha, Christianity is founded on Christ’s teachings (Tsai,Miao & Seppala, 2007). Buddhists do not believe in theexistence of someone as Supreme as God. The implication of thedifference to health care is that patients who associate asChristians believe that God is responsible for their wellbeing.Hence, a health care practitioner from a different religion mustrespect the need for a Christian patient to pray to God for healing.Buddhist patients on the other hand are less likely to believe inprayer to a supreme being. Hence, health care providers must respectthe differences and allow their patients to practice their beliefs.
Another significant disparity with implications to health care is onhow we know things. Since Christians believe in God’s creation,they are likely to believe that God knows the reason for causing themmuch suffering, for instance through sickness. When a Christiansbecomes sick, he/she prays to God to relieve their suffering.Christians are also positive concerning their recovery. This isbecause they believe that God instructs Christians to ask foranything they want from Him and He will provide. However, the answercan either be yes, no or maybe. Hence, when a Christian patientreceives healing they know that God answered yes to their prayer.Buddhists, on the contrary, do not believe that it is possible toknow how their health will turn out. Buddhists’ think of knowing asa misconception. Hence a health care provider attending to aChristian may inform the patient about how their health will be infuture. But, when attending to a Buddhist patient, the health careprovider should avoid any indication of knowing unless asked by thepatient.
Buddhists adhere to the teaching of Buddha, which instruct them onwhat to do when facing difficult situations. Individuals associatedwith the belief system live a life that can be likened to that ofBuddha. Such a life is characterized by love, peace and joy(Tsong-kha-paet al., 2004). Buddhist teaching can be summarized as alwaystrying to do what is right, avoid causing harm to others andmeditation, which results in peace (Tsong-kha-paet al., 2004). When a Buddhist falls ill, the sickness may beassociated to having done something wrong. Hence, for the individualto receive healing, the religion emphasizes on the need to meditate.It is through meditation that Buddhists are able to receive healing.This is because the individual, through meditation is able to reflecton their life, which is psychologically soothing and in turnstimulates healing.
On the contrary, Christians have a strong believe in God. Christiansbelieve that it is God who gives life and has the right to take awaythe life. When a Christians falls ill, rarely is the focus on thecause of the illness. Rather, the religion emphasizes that peopleshould pray. By praying an individual is able to talk to theircreator and plead for healing. Also, Christians believe that Godworks through health care providers to assist in their healingprocess.
Christians and Buddhists are more open to having different healthcare providers meeting their health care needs as compared to otherreligions. However, many patients would prefer to be attended by aprovider of the same religion because they share similar beliefsystems. An important factor is respect for each other’s religion(Fogel & Rivera, 2003). Respect is very important because itensures that the health care provider and patient appreciate eachother’s differences. Also, health care providers must ensure thatthey have a patient’s history. The history informs on issues suchas religion. As such, the provider becomes aware of what to avoidwhen providing care to a patient of a different religion. Inaddition, patients must be allowed to practice their religiousbeliefs. For instance, when attending to a Buddhist patient, it isimportant to ensure they are allowed time to meditate. Likewise, whenattending to a Christian patient, they must be allowed to pray at anytime they want. In both cases, the patients must not be interfered,either when praying or meditating.
Based on the research, I now understand that healing is connected tothe religious beliefs of individuals. It is apparent that when peoplefall ill, they depend on their spiritual beliefs as a source ofhealing. This is because spirituality enhances the ability to copewith the suffering one experiences when seek. For instance,meditation by Buddhists results in inner peace, which is a form ofpsychological healing for the patient. For Christians, praying actsas a way for them to talk to their creator and ask for healing. Dueto the belief that God will answer their prayers, Christians are ableto cope with their illness. Religion is also important in preparingthe patient for what to expect. For instance, critically ill patientsmay be prepared for death. Although no one desires to die, religionreassures them that only the physical body dies, but their spiritsremain alive. Also, the patients are reassured that death takes themto a better place.
It is apparent that the different religions have different beliefs,which affect their healing process. For instance, Buddhists do notbelieve in God, like Christians. Hence, a Christian nurse caring fora Buddhist must avoid any reference to believing in God for healing.It is important for a health care provider to be aware of thereligion of their patient. This ensures that respect for thedifferent religious beliefs is achieved when providing care. It alsoreduces the possibility of the provider instilling their spiritualbeliefs on patients.
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