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Is Buddhist Karmic Theory False?

  • J. E. White (a1)
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In his recent article ‘Notes Towards a Critique of Buddhist Karmic Theory’ Paul J. Griffiths makes four criticisms of Buddhist karmic theory: it is empirically false, it is incoherent, it is morally repugnant, and it is vacuous. After listing these four criticisms, Griffiths concludes that ‘all these mean that Buddhist karmic theory as expounded in the major theoretical works devoted to it must be false’ (p. 291).

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page 223 note 1 Griffiths, Paul J., –Notes Towards a Critique of Buddhist Karmic Theory’, Religious Studies, XVIII, 3 (09 1982), 277–91. References in the text are to this paper.

page 223 note 2 For example, see Gudmunsen, Chris, Wittgenstein and Buddhism (the Macmillan Press, 1977), chapter 5. A similar view is found in Streng, F. J., Emptiness: A Study in Religious Meaning (Nashville, 1967).

page 225 note 1 Th. Stcherbatsky, The Central Conception of Buddhism and the Meaning of the Word ‘Dharma‘ (Delhi, 1970), p. 32.

page 225 note 2 Ibid. p. 31.

page 225 note 3 See, Rahula, WalpolaWhat the Buddha Taught ‘Dharma‘ (Grove Press, 1974), p. 55.

page 226 note 1 Cula-Malunkyd-sutta. This sutra is quoted at length by Rahula, op. cit. pp. 1215.

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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