A List Of Great Exploratory Essay Topics On Buddhism And Conscience

Few people understand Buddhism in any great depth, be it as a religion or as a philosophy. And yet, it has a mythos in the West that has made it extremely popular as a topic of conversation, or even as a belief system to flirt with. Debunking some of the common misconceptions about it, and exploring its deeper relationships with ethics, morality, and conscience, makes for some fantastic topics for exploratory essays. We’ve got some ideas to get you thinking of your own explorations.

Is Buddhism a religion?

All of the world’s great religions place belief in a deity. But Buddhism does not believe in a creator deity at all. This challenges the notion that it is a religion at all, but may rather be a philosophy.

Karma: It’s not payback time

In popular culture, Karma is often understood as a form of cosmic poetic justice: That evildoers will receive their come-uppance. That’s not accurate, though… The concept is more subtle than most people realise.

Coming back to reincarnation

Many people joke about “I’d like to come back as…” The tenets go far deeper than that, through five or six realms and 31 distinct planes of existence.

The muted self

To overcome suffering, Buddhists look to overcome their egos and desires completely. As this reduces suffering, does it also reduce the peaks of joy and happiness?

The middle way

This is the guiding principle that seeks to avoid extremes of all kinds. That might be an extreme view!

Nothing is independent

The concept of the oneness of all beings within the cosmos is a central tenet of Buddhism. How does that concept influence the thinking on the morality of harming and being harmed by others?

Moral inactions

The rules to live a better life are oriented towards asceticism and not harming others. How does this reconcile with moral dilemmas where inaction results in harm to others?

White lies

One of the core ethical precepts is always to tell the truth. Doing so though, often can harm others. How would the different schools of Buddhism resolve this apparent contradiction?

Schools of thought

Like all religions, there are different interpretations of the teachings of the Buddha. What are their key differences and ideological debates?


The philosophy of the middle way means that adherents of the religion do not seek to proselytize or convert others to the same following. Indeed, they can comfortably co-exist with other religions. How does this coexistence change all of the belief systems involved?