Last night I was listening to the Skeptoid podcast, which examines various things from a skeptic’s perspective. The host was discussing sin and mentioned that being skeptical was a sin in Buddhism. Your podcasts have lead me to think otherwise. Was the host misinformed? Please elaborate. Thanks!
I listen to a couple of skeptic podcasts as well; I prefer the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe. I didn’t hear the episode of Skeptoid in question, but yes, I’d guess the speaker was probably just misinformed about Buddhism; they can’t be expects in everything. Generally, I agree with the skeptics’ views on religion, but I think in this case, he was either looking at some specific sect of Buddhism or just plain wrong.
Most, if not all, sects of Buddhism encourage open-minded thought and debate. Some are more open to modern science and thinking than others, but I’m not aware of any group that would consider doubt a form of “sin.” There is a reason many people (although once again, not everyone) prefer to call Buddhism a philosophy rather than a religion, and open-mindedness is a big part of it.
If any of the Daily Buddhism readers out there are familiar with a case where skepticism or critical thinking was discouraged in Buddhism, please post a comment. I’m sure it happens, but it’s definitely not the general rule.