An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and by Peter Harvey

By Peter Harvey

This systematic advent to Buddhist ethics is geared toward an individual drawn to Buddhism, together with scholars, students and basic readers. Peter Harvey is the writer of the acclaimed creation to Buddhism (Cambridge, 1990), and his new publication is written in a transparent variety, assuming no previous wisdom. whilst it develops a cautious, probing research of the character and useful dynamics of Buddhist ethics in either its unifying issues and within the particularities of other Buddhist traditions. The booklet applies Buddhist ethics to more than a few problems with modern problem: humanity's dating with the remainder of nature; economics; battle and peace; euthanasia; abortion; the prestige of ladies; and homosexuality. Professor Harvey attracts on texts of the most Buddhist traditions, and on old and modern debts of the behaviour of Buddhists, to explain latest Buddhist ethics, to evaluate diverse perspectives inside it, and to increase its software into new components.

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So that lovingkindness towards them is appropriate. Thus in Ja¯taka story no.  ( J. –), a man and his wife address the Buddha as their son, and say that it is the duty of children to comfort their parents in old age. As the man and woman are not the Buddha’s recognized parents, they explain that, in past lives, the man had been his father, uncle and grandfather  times each; likewise the woman had been his mother, aunt and grandmother  times each. Such teachings, of course, urge a kindness and non-violence towards all forms of life.

Only when things happen in spite of efforts to avert them might they be put down to past karma (Ingersoll, : –). If the situation can be averted or changed, fine, but then any anxiety or suffering it led to may be still seen as due to past karma. As an aid to planning courses of action in a karma-influenced world, many traditionalist Buddhists use divination methods such as astrology at certain points in their lives, so as to try to gauge what their karma has in store for them (Ingersoll, : –).

All other actions are indeterminate as to when they will bring their results. It is thus said that the next life of one who lives a moral life and is of right view might be in a heaven or a hell (M. –). The latter will be the case if he or she did a strong evil deed in a previous life that had not yet produced its result, if he or she took to evil deeds late in life, or if he or she firmly took up a wrong view at the time of dying. That might be the case if an habitually generous person were to come to regret his generosity as worthless, and resent those who had not repayed his kindness.

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