Buddhism and ChristianityAlthough he considered both Christianity and Buddhism to be nihilistic, decadent religions, Nietzsche did consider Buddhism more realistic because it posed objective problems and did not use the concept of God. In all religious history, Nietzsche believed, Buddhism was the only positivistic religion because it struggles against actual suffering, which is experienced as fact or illusion (the concept of Maya) in various Buddhist traditions. Christianity, by contrast, struggles against sin, while suggesting that suffering can have a redemptive quality.
Nietzsche claimed that Buddhism is "beyond good and evil" because it has developed past the "...self–deception of moral concepts... ." Buddha created the religion in order to assist individuals in ridding themselves of the suffering of life. "The supreme goal is cheerfulness, stillness, absence of desire, and this goal is achieved." Buddhism had its roots in higher and also learned classes of people, whereas Christianity was the religion of the lowest classes, Nietzsche wrote. He also believed Christianity had conquered barbarians by making them sick. Buddhism objectively claims "I suffer". Christianity, on the other hand, interprets suffering as related to sin.The Antichrist, § 23 Buddhism is too positivistic and truthful, according to Nietzsche, to have advocated the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity. He called these virtues the three Christian shrewdnesses. Faith and belief are opposed to reason, knowledge, and inquiry, he believed. Hope, to him, in the Beyond sustains the unhappy multitudes.