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Question
Well, my teacher directed me to this site. I'm doing this as a school assignment, but I am really interested. Please try to get back to me by Tuesday, October 5.(That's when my assignment is due)

   Without a personal God, on what basis can there ever exist any human moral standard or ethic?

    Does Buddhism advocate for renunciation of the world?

    Regarding practical activities, is there any difference between Southern Buddhism and Northern Buddhism?

   Why eat vegetarian foods?

   What are the seven branches of enlightenment?

   What is the true career that a Buddhist would have?

Answer
Hi Bryanna,

Sorry for the delay.  Hope this reaches you on time.

Without a personal God, on what basis can there ever exist any human moral standard or ethic?

The easy answer is "Why not?"  Why should we need God to tell us?  In the first place, can anyone proves that there is any God?  Don't belittle our human intelligence.  Don't you know what is right and what is wrong, even without religion?


Does Buddhism advocate for renunciation of the world?
It does not advocate.  It points to the truth that this world is not perfect, and full of unsatisfactoriness.  To be really free, one needs to be above the dictates of this world.  Renunciation is a step away from the vicissitudes of the worldly conditions.


Regarding practical activities, is there any difference between Southern Buddhism and Northern Buddhism?

Southern Buddhism is used to refer to Theravada, while Northern refers to Mahayana.  Theravada follows the Tipitakka texts, the pristine teachings of the historical Buddha.  While Mahayana has more than the Tipitakka, incorporating other texts not recognized by the Theravada. Mahayana emphasizes on compassion, while Theravada on personal development.


Why eat vegetarian foods?
"Why not?"  Eating vegetarian foods avoid the eating of meat, which indirectly reduces the killing of life for food.


What are the seven branches of enlightenment?
It is actually 7 factors of enlightenment.  Very difficult to explain in detail.  Refer these two links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Factors_of_Enlightenment
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/piyadassi/wheel001.html


What is the true career that a Buddhist would have?
Being Buddhists doesn't mean that they are different from others.  However, there are certain trades that Buddhists should refrain from doing : trading in arms, human beings, flesh (including the breeding of animals for slaughter), intoxicants and harmful drugs, and poisons.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Justin Choo  

Buddhists

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Justin Choo

Expertise

All your questions will be answered, and you may not have to agree with the answers. Such is the beauty of Buddhism. I follow the Theravada tradition, and have been studying Buddhism for more than 50 years. As I am not a Buddhist scholar, I answer in simple language, and I prefer answering general questions rather than textual.

Experience

I was brought up in the 50's as a Buddhist. For the past 50 years I have read numerous books on Buddhism and listened to numerous talks on Buddhism by well-respected and learned monks and lay teachers. I have conducted Buddhist classes for parents of Sunday School children in a Theravada Buddhist Temple. My teacher was the late Chief Reverend, The Ven. K Sri Dhammananda of The Brickfields Buddhist Mahavihara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can view the relevant website in memory of my revered late teacher @ http://www.ksridhammananda.com and my blog posting at http://blackandwhite999.blogspot.com/2008/08/my-revered-teacher.html

Organizations
I am a life member of the Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia.

Publications
YOU ARE INVITED TO VISIT MY BLOG @ http://lifeislikethat999.blogspot.com/ Published a book called "The Rainbow And The Treasure". It is a compilation of extracts from various sources to introduce Buddhism to beginners. (Currently out of print)

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Commerce And Administration, Victoria University Of Wellington, NZ.(1974)

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