ornate doorSiddharta Gautama, the Buddha, taught that all existence is suffering, and that all suffering is predominantly caused by want - or desire. In order to be free of suffering, we must rid ourselves of wanting.

The precepts seem quite sensible, but there is a paradox here.

We are told that we must end suffering by ending wanting.

But wanting to end suffering is in itself a further want.

So, by wanting to decrease our suffering we are actually increasing it.

John Visvader refers to this as an uroboric (like a snake swallowing its own tail) philosophy.

Wayne Alt argues that there is no paradox

Al Herman replies to Wayne Alt

Published in Philosophy

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