Cyrix writes about several myths about Buddhism, including:
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 is a bit confusing here because, in writing that “Buddhism teaches that there is no God or Gods,” he acknowledges that it isn’t a myth that Buddhists are godless atheists. The myth is that this necessarily means that they are nihilistic — a myth that exists generally about atheists, not just Buddhist atheists.
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.