Philosophical Debates: No-Self, Creator God, and Sankara’s Critique


In the realm of philosophical inquiry, three profound topics have captivated thinkers across cultures and centuries: the Buddhist doctrine of no-self, the arguments against a creator God, and Adi Sankara’s critique of Buddhist causality. Each topic challenges established beliefs and invites nuanced discussions. This discourse delves into these debates, assessing their plausibility, evaluating arguments, and examining counterpoints.

The Buddhist Doctrine of No-Self

The Buddhist doctrine of “anatta,” or no-self, stands as a core tenet in Buddhist philosophy, defying conventional notions of selfhood. This section explores the plausibility of the doctrine, delves into supporting arguments, and engages with objections, shedding light on the intricate interplay between personal identity and the philosophy of no-self.

Plausibility of the Doctrine
The doctrine of no-self challenges the permanence of self and emphasizes the impermanence of all phenomena. It aligns with Buddhist principles of interconnectedness and the cessation of suffering (Gethin, 2020).

Arguments in Support of the Doctrine
The doctrine’s foundation lies in concepts such as impermanence, dependent origination, and emptiness. These notions suggest that self is a product of ever-changing elements (Williams & Tribe, 2018).

Objections and Replies
An objection concerning personal responsibility surfaces, suggesting that the doctrine undermines accountability. In response, it’s asserted that ethical behavior can be motivated by understanding interconnectedness (Williams & Tribe, 2018).

The doctrine of no-self, though counterintuitive, harmonizes with key Buddhist principles. It challenges us to rethink the nature of self and reality, opening avenues for profound self-discovery.

Arguments against a Creator God

The existence of a creator God has spurred rigorous philosophical exploration. This section scrutinizes arguments countering the concept of a creator God, considering the problem of evil, infinite regress, and empirical evidence, while evaluating their impact on the belief in a divine creator.

Arguments against a Creator God
The problem of evil, infinite regress, and the absence of empirical evidence challenge the coherence of a creator God’s existence (Mackie, 2018).

Evaluation of Arguments
While these arguments raise valid concerns, they may not conclusively disprove the concept. Theodicies address the problem of evil, and the nature of causality might transcend linear models (Plantinga, 2022).

Objections and Replies
An objection highlights the complexity of the universe as indicative of a designer. In reply, the analogy between cosmic order and human design is questioned (Rowe, 2019).

While the arguments present weighty concerns, they may not definitively refute a creator God. The discourse continues, shaped by philosophical insights and divergent perspectives.

 Sankara’s Critique of Buddhist Causality

Adi Sankara’s critique of Buddhist causality adds a layer of complexity to the discourse. This section navigates through Sankara’s objections to dependent origination, evaluating its implications and engaging with potential counterarguments within Buddhist thought.

Sankara’s Critique of Buddhist Causality
Sankara questions the infinite regress of conditions, the possibility of change, and the denial of human agency within the Buddhist doctrine of dependent origination (Chatterjee, 2019).

Evaluation of Sankara’s Critique
While valid, Sankara’s critique prompts further exploration, considering cyclical causation, dynamic change, and the nuances of karma and agency within Buddhist philosophy.

Objection and Reply
An objection suggests that Sankara misunderstood Buddhist causality. In reply, while his critique has merit, nuanced interpretations of dependent origination might address his concerns.


Sankara’s critique sparks thoughtful consideration of Buddhist causality, prompting dialogue on change, agency, and the interplay of philosophical perspectives. Exploring these philosophical debates unveils the richness of human thought and the intricate tapestry of belief systems. As thinkers engage with no-self, creator God, and causal dynamics, the quest for understanding continues, underpinned by critical inquiry and a relentless pursuit of truth.


  1. Chatterjee, A. (2019). Sankara and Buddhism: A Comparative Study. Routledge.
  2. Mackie, J. L. (2018). The Miracle of Theism: Arguments For and Against the Existence of God. Oxford University Press.
  3. Rowe, W. L. (2019). Can God Be Free?. Oxford University Press.
  4. Plantinga, A. (2022). Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism.
  5. Gethin, R. (2020). Buddhism: An Introduction to the Buddha’s Life, Teachings, and Practices. Oxford University Press.
  6. Williams, P., & Tribe, A. (2018). Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition. Routledge.
  7. Siderits, M. (2019). Buddhism as Philosophy: An Introduction. Hackett Publishing Company.


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