By Damien Keown

The latter half the 20th century witnessed a becoming curiosity in Buddhism, and it maintains to seize the mind's eye of many within the West who see it as both an alternate or a complement to their very own non secular ideals. a number of introductory books have seemed lately to cater to this growing to be curiosity, yet nearly none devotes awareness to the particularly moral dimensions of the culture. for varied complicated cultural and historic purposes, ethics has no longer bought as a lot recognition in conventional Buddhist proposal because it has within the West. Written by means of Damien Keown, one of many few specialists around the globe who makes a speciality of the world, Buddhist Ethics illustrates how Buddhism could technique a variety of modern morals starting from abortion to euthanasia, sexuality to cloning, or even struggle and economics.

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Clearly, there is a connection between them, and it can be no coincidence that both these disciplines have arisen at roughly the same time as Buddhism encounters the West. Perhaps we can see 32 Buddhist ethics and engaged Buddhism as corresponding to two of the major branches of Western thought – ethics and politics – which for one reason or another never attained an autonomous status in the canon of Buddhist learning. The promotion of engaged Buddhism owes much to the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, now mainly resident at Plum Village near Bordeaux in France.

All the above directives are clearly aimed towards the protection of animals. Buddhist Ethics universal seed of Buddhahood is present in all living beings, including animals, further strengthen the ethical identification between self and others which is vital to ecological concern. The Buddhist values of non-violence and compassion are clearly expressed in the Buddha’s opposition to animal sacrifice. 141). 75). Yet although evincing concern for their suffering, Buddhist sources show little interest in understanding the nature of animals.

An implication of adopting the criterion of karmic life, however, is that the greater part of the natural world – especially inanimate nature such as mountains, rivers, and lakes – would lack inherent moral value, although retaining instrumental value to the extent that it provides support for karmic life. Even though a natural hierarchy seems to exist, Buddhist literature does not make use of this structure to discuss matters such as species conservation or selective conservation, which are issues that must be dealt with in modern ecology.

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Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Damien Keown


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