Buddhism has its positive and negative factors. Here is a list though there are genuine exceptions in both lists.

Alphabetical Order

10 Positive Factors about Buddhism

  1.     Develops ethics, mindfulness, dedication to dana (donations, generosity, support for teachings and practices) calm and insight meditation and a liberating wisdom
  2.     Endorses widespread inquiry through knowledge, discourses, ancient texts, dialogue, diverse methods and environments, such as support for seekers/practitioners in monasteries and centres. Recognition of  solitary practice in a monastery, cave or forest in a forest following training in depths of mindfulness and meditation.
  3.     Ends rebirth (rebecoming, renewal) of the ego, of personality issues.
  4.     Explores relative/ultimate truth.
  5.     Knows the importance of abiding in the divine, namely love, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity. Abiding in the Divine is a Western translation of Brahma Vihara. Literally translation: Abiding in God. The Buddha used regularly the religious language of God as feature of his teachings – to know deep love/friendship/kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity means to abide in God. He does not use, nor believe in God the Creator.
  6.     Points to awakening and liberation through seeing the emptiness of self-existence of ‘I’ and ‘my’ and inquiry into dependent arising.
  7.     Recognises a human being has the potential to abide as a god (brahma vihara) through love, compassion, etc.
  8.    Recognises mara (the power of temptation, the power to deceive, shadows) and karma (unsatisfactory or harmful influence of the past on unfolding processes). Karma is also about the potency of wholesome action with blind spots.
  9.    Recognition of the five domains for consciousness – heaven, human, animal, hungry ghost and hell – dependently arising on causes and conditions.
  10.  The essential teachings and practices (the Dharma) stands free from limitations of Western categories such as theism, atheism, agnosticism dogmatism, philosophy, theology, psychology and any kind of scientific view of materialism/matter.

10 Negative Factors about Buddhism

  1.    A Patriarchal religion. Barely any application of change to the status quo.
  2.    Acceptance or ignoring of repressive political/military regimes running a country.
  3.     Beliefs in physical miracles, power of sacred objects, relics, oracles, prophecy, magical powers, fortune telling and other superstitions.
  4.    Various Buddhist monks make claims for a better rebirth for lay people. Monks tell people to make merit, offer rituals but  give little Dharma practice to end rebirth of “I” and “my.”
  5.     Chanting, rituals and identification with tradition can overshadow acts of wisdom and compassion.
  6.     General lack of application of Dharma to social, political and global issues.
  7.     Confusion of Buddha-Dharma with Buddhism, such as mediaeval beliefs and simplistic judgemental views about karma including groups and nations.
  8.     Lack of effective communication for creative action to resolve 21st century suffering due to issues facing humanity, animals and the environment.
  9.     Unquestioning devotion to lineages, Lamas, Ajahns and Zen masters. instead of listening, discernment and wise application.
  10.   Worship of the Buddha rather than application of the Buddha-Dharma.




      1. Your saying is right. But, just think how buddhism is well matched with modern science. Someone may tell some parts of Buddhism may not match with science. But rember that, science is only made with physical characteristics in the universe. But there is a spiritual side of the universe. As you are western people, you may not understand it correctly. (But I’m not blaming you)

        Just give up Nibbana. Think about how buddhism teaches us to have a better life. Also keep in your mind, Lord Buddha didn’t only told us to reach Nibbana, but also told us to have a better life in this world.(Wyaggapajja sutta, mahaa mangala sutta and paraabhawa sutta) And Lord Buddha says us not to accept anything, even his learnings without checking them exactly. So it is truly said that buddhism is one of the best free-to-think religion.

        Also Lord Buddha said that don’t be angry with anyone who rejects buddhism and don’t be overjoyed with anyone who accepts buddhism. As I am a truly buddhist, I don’t blame anyone who rejects buddhism, but I suggest them to rethink about their decision about buddhism.

        May the triple gem bless you.

  1. We cannot appraise or judge religions by comparing its teachings or philosophy as this issue is very flexible and delicate.
    As we cannot compare how many people in a religion have already arrived to Nirvana (heaven), the following points are in general to compare among the religions.
    By comparing how effective a teachings of religion is, in a country which has majority of one religion.
    Comparing the effectiveness of religious teachings such as the attitude towards minority groups, holding views on nationalism, committing violence and holding extreme views on religion.
    In short, It is, how much a country or countries with same religion support to the constructive views, actions, peace, stability and development

  2. This list it’s just on how the Dharma has been adapted by the different schools of buddhism which developed over the centuries (and to be honest if we have to describe buddhism from this point of view the list of negatives aspects would be way more long), and how sociologically buddhism has been developed in different countries and cultures. But actually do not reflects what buddhism actually is as a spiritual path.

    Let’s take n.3 of the negative list, for example: actually one of the most important elements in buddhism is to recognize the total uselessness of rites. This is of the same importance as for the concept of Anatta and Anicca in order to enter the “stream”. Yet it is true: in all major branches of buddhism we can easily find examples of stupid rites and superstitions; but this have the same relevance in describing what buddhism is as the Jonestown “christian” mass suicide has to describe what christianity is.

    While I can agree with most of those statements from a sociological point of view, these do not describe and/or analyze buddhism but just, ehm, human beings; and when human beings joins together the results are not always that good: the result tends to be always in the direction of ignorance, and as an organized religion buddhism makes no exception to this. What should be understood, once for all, is that buddhism is a solitary path; the investigations on the path belongs to the single individual (even when he bolongs to a community) which must not believe in something just because someone told him that that is the “truth”, but just by its own experience. That’s why buddhism should not be judged in its entirety as a religion: actually it is not. The so called “sangha”, in its essence, it’s something totally different and the religion organization of buddhism it’s just something that can be tolerated as a “first step” for the ignorant masses towards the path, but not the path itself.

  3. I want to touch a little bit about KARMA , I feel it has absolutely nothing to do with a past life at all …..Life is the Now moment and truly that is the only thing you can experience, There is no Past or Future , obviously there is memories of the past and ambitions for the future but never let that Define you , the past was already experienced in multiple present moments and the future is simply present moments becoming the past.
    Understand that Karma is 100% in your control Now , so if you believe in good karma you will have it , and if you believe in bad karma you will have it. Don’t do anything else to achieve any goal or listen to any mumbo jumbo like this religion or that religion is the best ect. including this what i am writing! Do not believe it, There is nothing to Attain , you already have it(consciousness), you only have to understand you have it and continue to understand it, don’t do anything to get it you’re simply NOW.
    We are social and enjoy company of others so naturally different religions come about and slowly over time religions are tampered with and twisted to push people in a direction that is desirable to the person or people in control and are only in it for an end goal , be it money or power or followers. If you are in a religion and disagree with another, please understand that GOD is Universal and your religion is not special, religions are useful to many people sure, religions hold positive values absolutely, but they also hold negative values.
    Without Negative ,Positive Would Never Exist.

    Thank you

  4. The Problem with Boodha and Boodhessts

    Can a religion “born in the land” of the Dindoo Hindoo vermin, “have any worth” ? dindooohindoo

    Let us forget the Dindoo Hindooo prophecies and Tales,of Boodha,and “look at the rest”,as under:

    That Boodha was born of a Dindoo Bindoo Sakya and the “Sakyas are bred through Incest ”
    That Boodha till the age of 32 “did not see an old,sick,diseased, dead, sad sentient being”(what could be his mental state)
    That the turning point of Boodha was when he saw the “dishevelled and naked bodies”, of dancers
    That Booodha was “not an Indian”, but of Sakya origin
    That Boodhism and Boodheets were exterminated by the Dindoo Hindoos
    Accorinding to Sankara Digvijaya Sarg The king (Sudhanva) commanded his servants to “kill all Buddhists from Himalaya to Rameshvaram”

      1. At first, I thought this may just be new pali/Sanskrit translation I’m not familiar with however I think he may have just lost it

  5. As per Hindooism – Boodhism was a lie introduced by the Hindoo Gods to distract Atheists , idolators and animal sacrifices ! dindooohindoo

    But they lost control of the plot ! If the Buddhists knew ……

    Sample 1 – Lord Shiva is “explicitly ordered by Lord Vishnu”,to promote the philosophy(i.e. Advaita Vedanta) to “fool and beguile”, the Dindoo Hindoo Bindoo

    sv?gamaih? kalpitais tvam? ca
    jan?n mad-vimukh?n kuru
    m?m? ca gopaya yena sy?t
    sr?s?t?ir es?ottarottar?

    ? [Addressing Lord Siva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead said:] Please make the “general populace averse to Me” by imagining your own interpretation of the Vedas.
    ? Also, cover Me in such a way that people will take more interest in “advancing material civilization”, just to “propagate a population bereft of spiritual knowledge”. ’Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda (62.31).

    Sample 2 – Lord Vishnu instructs Siva,in the “Varaha Purana”,by saying:

    esa moham srjamy asu yo janan mohayisyati
    tvam ca rudra maha-baho moha-sastrani karaya

    ? O mighty-armed Siva, please “write books filled with lies”, and thus bewilder the people.

    atathyani vitathyani darsayasva maha-bhuja
    prakasam kuru catmanam aprakasam ca mam kuru

    ? O mighty-armed one, please “preach a collection of lies”. Place yourself in the forefront,and conceal Me.

    Sample 3 – Shiva tells his “wife Parvati”,as under

    mayavadam asac-chastram pracchannah baudham ucyate
    mayaiva kalpitam devi kalau brahmana-rupina

    ? O Goddess, in the age of Kali I shall “descend in the form of a brahmana” to spread this “Mayavada philosophy”, which is actually “covered Buddhism”. (Padma Purana)

  6. Buddhists believe that they have a special bond with India and Hindoos !

    The poor souls – if they knew ! dindooohindoo


    ? “In the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana,in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those atheists.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1:3:24)

    ??? ?? ??? ??? ??? ?? ?????-???????? ??????????? ???????

    ? “As a thief, so is Buddha”. Know that “Tathagatas are atheists”. [Ayodhya Kandam,Sarga 109; shloka 34]

    1. As we are buddhists, we never be discouraged with your sayings because Buddha taught us to accept anything; even very cruel accusations aimed at buddhism, with patience. But never think we are doing that because of timidness. We, as buddhists give our highest respect to every religion and philosophy on this world, even to your Hinduism because Lord Buddha taught us to respect to all religions and work with other people who belongs to other religions peacefully, not like you. But I think you don’t respect other religions, if it is your habit, I have nothing to say about it and I only have a sympathy about you. But as I know, Hindus are very peaceful people who lived well with buddhists throughout the history not like you.

      May the triple gem bless you!

  7. Dear Mr Christopher, 

    After coming across your post, and reading it thoroughly, I must say that although you are partly right about the ‘seemingly’ negative sides of Buddhism, some claims you’ve listed here are incorrect. (I am a Buddhist.)

    (Note: I used ‘seemingly’ because I believe it is ‘subjective’ to judge that being a patriarchal religion is a bad thing – the Buddha certainly has had his reasons for it, and everything makes sense if you understand the whole picture, which you can find in the records of Dharma; ) 

    Firstly, the original ‘Buddhism’ emphasizes ‘karma’ and the fact that you can only rely on yourself. Later on, when other religions (especially Hinduism) or beliefs have migrated into and combined with the pure ‘Buddhism’, many Buddhists turn to matters of ‘sacred objects and other supernatural things’. Even monks who have practiced meditation to the level that they are capable of supernatural abilities are forbidden to show off their power. Please do not confuse how people today have twisted the real / true teaching of the religion with the actual / true concept of the religion. I’m going to cite myself as an example: I used to be obsessed with fortune telling and praying to the holy entities to grant me my wishes, and my father would ask me if I considered myself a Buddhist. Because a true Buddhist does not ask anyone or any holy being anything – a true Buddhist believes that he is in charge of his own life, dictated by his own karma. If you did good deeds, when such deeds come back to you as rewards, not a single holy being can stop it; likewise, if you did bad things, when they return to you according to the rule of karma, no matter how much you pray to avoid them, nothing and no one can help you. 

    Secondly, while I must say that your claim about Buddhist monks are true at times, like I mentioned earlier, your view on this matter does not seem to lie on today’s reality. There are both good & respectable as well as ill-behaved & immoral monks out there. Also, with today’s technology and trend that constantly drive people away from religions and instead push them into materialism, the chance of people actually ‘making an effort’ to study Dharma is slim, and monks cannot ‘force’ people to adopt any religious practice. I must admit that I’ve learned most of the Dharma and practice from various sources, and none of them are from a face-to-face conversation or observation from monks. However, there are still many people whose Buddhist ways have been influenced and ‘corrected’ by respectable monks. My point is when you’re talking about negative sides of Buddhism, I tend to look at the religion ‘Buddhism’ itself, not how people ‘modified’ Buddhism to their own convenience. 

    Next, again, we see that ‘people’ prioritise ‘chanting, rituals and religiosity’ over the act of wisdom and compassion; what people do does not mean they are doing everything correctly according to how things should be done; besides, chanting, if done properly, is a key to wisdom. I admit that today many Buddhists call themselves Buddhists but hardly practice like one. They, thus, should not be seen as an example of how the religion Buddhism actually is. 

    Similarly, your 9th claim is based on the practice of certain groups of people – not what the Buddha has actually said. The Buddha actually taught us to not believe anything just because of ….. (as Genghis Khan wrote it in his comment).

    Your final claim about how people worship of the Buddha rather than apply Dharma in their lives is actually true, given the fact that your ‘worship’ means pray and ‘Buddha’ means the statue. People ‘pray’ because it looks ‘tangible’ and lasts less than a day (maximum a few hours, if you’re not a monk), but fail to be a good human being because it takes a long time (all their lives). Nonetheless, again, your claim is not clear. What do you mean by ‘worship’, because for me to ‘worship’ the Buddha (the person, not the statue) means to ‘follow’ his teaching, which is to apply Dharma in life. It’s a bit tricky here.  

    I know it’s a bit lengthy, and from reading your short biography, I’m aware that you’re knowledgeable and were once a monk too. Still, as a Buddhist, I don’t want people to ‘misunderstand’ what the Buddha has actually taught, i.e., what real Buddhism is about. For instance, of course, there are many supernatural aspects involved in those who have achieved high levels of meditation, or in other areas, but they are NEVER important, and should NOT be taken into account as a way of Buddhism. It is an extra that people should just shrug and walk away, going back to focusing on how to reach Nirvana – which is the protagonist – by accepting the nature of life. 

    Kind regards

  8. Valerio La Mendola

    Most points about “Buddhism” and not about the teachings of the Buddha. Buddhism as a religion was much later developed by humans.. and once they touch it it becomes institutionalized (just look at Tibetan Buddhism and all the Lamas). Chanting and showing respect to the Buddha is a good things, because if your mind is focused on positive states that’s all you need, though devotion is of course too much. Buddha wasn’t a savior and never will be.

    1. The main problem with Buddhism is that it allows human worship. So called “gurus” or “teachers” are only teaching a philosophy as no one can prove it. There is not even an ancient text or scripture written by buddha to follow or compare to ensure accuracy.

      Followers become obsessed with what ever teacher they discover and they are encouraged not to question the teachings (much like catholicism). Therefore it attracts people who are followers and could be easily lead. As a critic or person who needs proof of something I am taught…it would never answer my questions or satisfy my curiosity. Just a philosophy designed to talk in circles and you are left with pointless nothing answers that have no sense, only good for practicing overthinking.
      Buddhism is dangerous because it distracts people from find real answers.

  9. Chandra Kant Neupane

    Hi sir,
    Good morning.
    I am under studying about buddhism. may i get ideas about the “social effects of Buddhism in human values and assumption”
    What may be the socio-cultural distraction in Buddhism .
    Chandra kant Neupane.

  10. I can see that your jugdements on Buddhism are wrong. Buddha never mentioned Buddhism as a religion in his life. I am an ex-muslim atheist but I constantly practice Buddhism and I can say my life is full of joy, joy is the only thing I care for.
    Buddha had a message for all us human beings;
    Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. -Buddha
    Namaste* My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.
    Love, love

  11. hi sir,
    I searched for negative and positive sides and it came up for everything I was searching for this is a amazing website keep writing them

    your sincerely bethany

  12. Hi Sir,

    Even I was searching for negative sides of buddhism, as there are usually only positive things stated and whatever negative statements are made are somewhat opinionated rather than factual.

    Any idea where i could read more about negative aspects of buddhism?

    Would also like to know what religious (or not religious) belief if you have, if you don’t mind.

  13. Hi,

    First of all i want to greatly thank you for writing this short and concise article. Thank you sir!

    I was searching for negative sides of buddhism, as there are usually only positive things stated and whatever negative statements are made are somewhat opinionated rather than factual.

    Any idea where i could read more about negative aspects of buddhism?

    Would also like to know what religious (or not religious) belief if you have, if you don’t mind.

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