Thanks for enlightening me about Buddhism. But really - do you believe in a god or gods who created everything? Or could Buddists be considered Athiest?
Not to hijack the topic, but I think the way someone interprets Buddhism in their lives depends on the type of Buddhism they study and their personal perception. I found this great discussion on about.com, so I am going to include it here, as it sums up what I want to say:
Buddhism and Atheism
Lots of people in the West misunderstand Buddhism, especially it's general lack of any divine figures. They don't realize that, for many, Buddhism is essentially an atheistic religion. People in the West are accustomed to religions all being theistic, so the idea of an atheistic religion is almost incomprehensible. 3. Buddhist are Godless, aethists, and nihilistic
No we aren’t. Just because Buddhism teaches that there is no God or Gods, doesn’t mean that a Buddhist is directionless in life! True, we do not aspire to do good in this life so that we are qualified to spend our afterlife in a blissful Heaven, like what Christians, Muslims and the Jews believe. However, instead of that aim, all Buddhist should try to attain Nirvana, through understanding what causes their suffering in life.
And just because Buddhists do not believe in the concept of Heaven and Hell, that doesn’t mean that Buddhists do not believe in the existence of an afterlife. We do, we believe in the Karmic Law and reincarnation. To me personally, this Karmic Law can be regarded like one of the scientific laws of nature, such as the law of gravity, or the law of preservation of energy, etc.
The Karmic Law is a ‘cause and effect’ law in which determines what form of being one would be reborn into (ie happy person, suffering person, animals, deities, etc) based on the the accumulated karmic points of each person, not only in his this present life, but also based on all of this past lives. One accumulates good karma when one does a good deed, and a bad one when one does otherwise. So this is our system for the afterlife. Cyrix also doesn’t mention the fact that some Buddhists are theists. Traditional Buddhism has taught that either there are no gods or, if there are, they aren’t worth bothering with — but people being people, gods have been added to Buddhist practice over the centuries. They aren’t creator gods like we find in Western religion, but they are gods nonetheless. Not all Buddhists are atheists, but there are quite a few. __________________________________________ As for my personal feelings, I believe in a spiritual realm, but I believe that it is completely and totally misunderstood today. So I would say that I don't believe in Gods in the way that most people interpret God to mean.