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Dalai Lama tells Facebook fans "religion is no longer adequate"

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 Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/GettyImages)The Dalai Lama sparked a great deal of discussion this week by writing "religion is no longer adequate" on his Facebook page.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader, who has 4.3 million Facebook fans, posted this status update on Monday:

"All the world's major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether."

The post got over 4, 770 comments, and over 53, 920 shares.

Because the Dalai Lama, 77, is one of the world's most recognizable religious figures, his words got others talking-and questioning his intent.

"It's one thing when philosophers, atheists or even religious folks on the fringes of a system call for serious reevaluation, but when the Dalai Lama says it, that's enough to give me pause and wonder if this post-Christendom direction we've been headed toward in the west isn't a greater trend that's seeping into the global zeitgeist," wrote Christian Piatt in a reactionary blog post called "Does the Dalai Lama Want to End All Religion?"

The Huffington Post reports that the status update was actually excerpted from a from a book released by the Dalai Lama last year called "Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World."

In it, he argues that secular ethics are more important when it comes to dealing with the problems in today's world than organized religion.

Some suggest that by "secular ethics" the Dalai Lama is referring to science - a field that the Nobel Peace Prize winner has shown a keen interest in for years.

"The Dalai Lama's advice sounds startling familiar (sic) -- one that echos the sentiment put forth by outspoken atheist Sam Harris who argues that science can answer moral questions," writes Geoge Dvorsky on i09. "The Dalai Lama is no stranger to scientific discourse, and has developed a great fascination with neuroscience in particular. It's very possible, therefore, that his thinking has aligned with Harris."

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