One of the most unique and philosophically debated aspects of Buddhism is its explicit denial of any eternal soul or self (Anatta). In contrast to other schools of thought that gave ultimate value to human individuality or to God, the Buddha affirmed instead that each person is not self-contained but is a causal composite of five interdependent co-arising aggregates called Skandhas. These aggregates are said to be generated by the power of self-deluding karma combined with the act of clinging to mistaken views of the ego. Eventually, Mahayana Buddhists even suggested that everything is empty of self-essence, including the Skandhas themselves.
The Buddhist concept of skandhas raises parallel questions in western thought regarding the possibility of free-will versus predestination, as well as the exact relationship between the body and soul, which have been widely discussed in western philosophy. Unification Thought affirms the core insight of Buddhism that humanity is interconnected in a causal nexus of mutual interdependence, but it also affirms the permanence of virtues and ideals such as love and goodness, which are ultimately associated with God.