RST 205 Why Buddhism? Buddhism is a pessimistic religion

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You run into a friend from high school. She asks you about which courses you are taking this semester. You respond that you are taking a few courses, including one on Buddhism. She asks: “Why Buddhism? Buddhism is a pessimistic religion. Buddhism is only focused on suffering and the negative aspects of human life. Buddhism rejects the ordinary pleasures and good things of this world, such as love, the joy of raising a family, and of earning income to contribute to one’s personal and familial well-being.” Do you agree with your friend’s characterization of Buddhism? How would you respond? Discuss. Please refer to either secondary (e.g., Mitchell & Jacoby) or primary sources (e.g., Buddhaghoṣa, “How to Meditate on Love”) in your discussion. (12 points, double spaced, minimum word count of 1,200)

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