Buddhism, Nondualism, Christianity: Preliminary Thoughts on Love and Ontology
On the other hand, nondualistic ontology (that of Advaita Vedanta Hinduism and Zen Buddhism) affirms that there is a substance (Brahman), but that this substance has no qualities or attributes: Nirguna Brahman. So, there is purportedly a Universal Self, but lacking any determinable nature, since there are no qualities. (Keith Yandell rightly argues that the idea is incoheren; if something exists it must have at least some qualities or features of its existence.) But a substance with no qualities cannot allow for persons either, since there is but one substance (no pluralisty; all is one) and that substance cannot be considered personal. If it were personal, it would have the qualities of personality. If nondualism disallows persons, it excludes love as well.
Thus, both Buddhism and nondualism evacuate reality of persons and love, each in its own way: attributes without substance (Buddhism: all is many) or substance without attributes (nondualism: all is one).
Christianity asserts that God is one substance in three persons (one and many). God possesses both essence and attributes. God is personal, even tri-personal (without being tri-theistic). Love, therefore, has an ontological rootage and explanation. "God so loved the world..." (John 3:16).
1. If love is real and valuable, a worldview should be able to explain or account for it and not eliminate it. This is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for the truth of a worldview.
2. Neither original Buddhism nor nondualism can fulfill (1)
3. Therefore, both original Buddhism and nondualism are false.
4. Christianity, however, can account for the reality of love, based on the very character of God as love.
5. Therfore, Christianity fulfills (1) and passes a necessary test for the truth of a worldview.