Easter and Western Philosopher Essay

Submitted By Xokimxo23xo1
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Eastern and Western Philosophers Comparison

Whether we know it or not, philosophy is major part of everyone’s life. Even those who know nothing of the history of philosophy have, in a way, created their own philosophies to live by. In my opinion, we all unknowingly challenge truths, knowledge, principles of being, and morals on a daily basis. Eastern and Western philosophy has been around for a long time, and there will always be a constant analysis of the true meaning behind every philosopher’s beliefs. Hopefully one day there will be a mutual understanding of each philosopher’s intentions and beliefs. The only way to arrive to this understanding is to analyze our philosophers past history and beliefs to gain incite of why the ancient philosophers chose the theories that they, in fact, came to believe. Eastern philosopher Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha or The Enlightened One, is well known this day in age for developing the religion Buddhism. Buddha had a belief that pain and suffering was not just the result of a temporary bump in the road that would soon pass, but that it was caused by continual excruciating distress to one’s body and sole (Moore & Bruder, 2008). This interest is what caused him to leave his family in pursuit of his quest of enlightenment to find the reason that so many people suffered so tremendously. Buddha was so troubled by the people suffering around him that he left a luxurious life, which included a wife and child, to set out to find a solution that would end the suffering of these people. It took him six long years in his journey to learn that the suffering he witnessed was a result of the natural occurrences, change, and decisions made by these people over long periods of time (Moore & Bruder, 2008). It was at this point when he found his enlightenment. Buddha’s philosophical belief’s can even be witnessed in this day in age. Buddha did not believe in a higher power such as God. He felt that people themselves were responsible for learning to live a life without pain and suffering. “Buddha’s answer to the problem of suffering was contained in his doctrine of the Four Noble Truths: (1) There is suffering; (2) suffering has specific and identifiable causes; (3) suffering can be ended; (4) the way to end suffering is through enlightened living as expressed in the Eightfold Path” (Moore & Bruder, 2008, p. 530). Buddha developed The Eightfold Path to show others that true bliss and eternal happiness can be accomplished by essentially living a life of honesty and selflessness. He believed that karma is what would make or break the type of life that we would live. On the western side of philosophy we have William James, whose philosophy was more or less a class of pragmatism. As a pragmatist, James rejected the idea of there being an established truth that is set in stone. Therefore, he believed that truth was ever-changing, depending upon purpose, place, and time (Moore & Bruder, 2008). We can see this in the world today as unexpected events cause series of changes that, more or less, would not have occurred if that initial unexpected event had not taken place to begin with. James had a modern way of thinking. It was his philosophy that later brought the concept that people could use their minds to solve problems, rather than continuing to search for a fixed truth. The idea that people could think themselves out of anguish, pain, and suffering sounds crazy, but the fundamentals of it are quite simple. From what I