to Buddhist Antitheistic Arguments John B. King Jr. Independent Scholar In his battle against theism, Vasubandhu developed three classical arguments that have set the agenda for Buddhist apologetics.1 More recently, Mattieu Ricard has employed these arguments within the field of religion and science.2 Because these arguments make their case from distinct angles of attack, they function as distinct means to a common end. Yet it is precisely this end that is problematic. Because the arguments rebut a bare monotheism, they fail to address the complexity of Trinitarian theism.3 As a result, the Buddhist arguments appear to be strawperson arguments from the Trinitarian side. This failure to establish a point of contact is not an intrinsic failure of Buddhist polemics. Rather it is the result of two historical accidents. First, the Buddhist arguments were originally developed in a non-Christian context where Trinitarian theism was not in play. Second, Christians have often advanced a bare monotheism in their apologetic work because they have failed to grasp the architectonic significance of the Trinity.4 For both of these reasons, Buddhist antitheistic arguments are underdeveloped. Consequently, I cannot claim to refute the Buddhist case against theism by responding to these arguments. Indeed, I
Buddhist-Christian Studies – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Oct 28, 2017
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