Questions tagged [ethics]

Skillful and unskillful thought, speech and action. These questions include but are not limited to questions on the vinaya and precepts.

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7
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6answers
749 views

Why is contributing to the market demand for meat not wrong?

According to this article by Ven. Dhammavuddho Thero: Majjhima Nikaya 55 ..... The Buddha denied this, adding “Jivaka, I say that there are three instances in which meat should not be eaten: ...
31
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10answers
4k views

Does illegal downloading or viewing of copyright material violate the second precept?

As a kid I used to download a lot of softwares and movies using torrents. Even if something illegal is done, it doesn't necessarily mean that it violates a precept. But can this be considered as ...
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8answers
4k views

Can a Buddhist own and run a billion dollar business?

China, Japan, Korea, etc. have so many companies and Buddhism is widespread in those areas. My question is: can a Buddhist make the aim of his life to run a billion dollar business?
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8answers
570 views

What should you do when someone teaches false Dharma?

I was part of a religious group that claimed to be everything that the Buddha teaches. But, when you listen to their teachings, you can tell discrepancies between their teachings and Buddhist ...
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14answers
14k views

Can or should a Buddhist defend themselves physically?

If someone is attacking you to kill you should you defend yourself? Would it be ethical to kill an intruder coming into your home? If not, how did the bushido samauri warriors justify it? We're they ...
8
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8answers
2k views

Can Buddhism give any justification for military violence?

In Buddhism can there be found any justification (whatever the perceived provocation) for war and military violence?
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13answers
3k views

Will actors really go to hell?

In the Talaputta Sutra the Buddha says that actors will either be reborn as an animal or go to hell When an actor on the stage, [he thinks that] after death, he is reborn in the company of the ...
33
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10answers
14k views

Is killing vermin and insects justifiable?

The first precept goes something similar to I undertake the training rule to abstain from killing. Now, I understand that, for instance, eating meat is allowed, but what about, for instance, ...
3
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1answer
688 views

What does Buddhism say about the consequences of good and bad behaviour?

Please someone clarify: Does Buddhism believe in rebirth? There is an general belief in almost all religions that our good and bad will be carry forwarded to next and next to next generation and all, ...
30
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17answers
43k views

Is moderate drinking acceptable in Buddhism?

I have heard a certain interpretation of the 5th precept and I'm curious about it, the person said that for lay people the 5th precept means "not drinking alcohol to the point you get intoxicated or ...
12
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9answers
2k views

Enlightened Lies - Can lying be the correct action in certain situations?

Can lying be the correct action in certain situations? Bhikkhu Bodhi gave an example of a situation where lying might be appropriate: In World War II some nice people would hide those oppressed by ...
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11answers
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Trolley problem and its variants in Buddhist ethics

What choice does Buddhist ethics recommend when faced with the moral dilemmas present in the trolley problem? The problem has quite a few variants, here are the most important ones: you are the ...
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3answers
2k views

Drunk monks and the 5th precept

I have heard that the 5th precept was not a core of Buddhism, it was created later by the Buddha after some monks returned drunk from alms because they had something with alcohol (accidently I believe)...
34
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7answers
9k views

If a buddhist should not kill a mouse living in their home, what justification do they have to rid themselves of a parasite such tapeworms

An extension of this question posted earlier: How not to kill the mouse in my house? Where does one draw the line for which forms of life are ok to destroy, and which ones are not? Is it just a ...
14
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12answers
3k views

What determines whether actions are good or bad?

In a large number of religions, 'good' and 'bad' are defined by some all-powerful diety who either sends a representative or himself to tell us about what exactly they want us mortals to do. In ...
7
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10answers
4k views

Plants may be sentient beings like animals so how do you decide what to eat?

There is some evidence that plants are 'sentient beings' and can communicate (e.g. see this article or this wikipedia page). However Buddhists believe eating meat is wrong because of killing a living ...
2
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9answers
256 views

Are ecological concerns supported explicitly in Buddhism?

Many practising Buddhists that I know also have strong ecological concerns. Is this concern for 'green' issues part of Buddhism or do the two things just attract the same kind of people i.e. people ...
4
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2answers
347 views

Did the Buddha try to effect social change?

This month is Buddhist Action Month in the UK when we try to be a bit more socially engaged. To quote from the website Despite Buddhism's reputation for stillness and withdrawal from the world, ...
9
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1answer
244 views

What do buddhists do in a situation of war where all able-bodied men must become soldiers?

I was reading a chapter called "The Buddhist Stand on the Death Sentence" on p. 390-393 in the book "What Buddhists Believe" by Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda. In here it is written that the law is supreme ...
7
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2answers
670 views

Euthanasia for animals

Killing and harming are against the first precept. I understand that an important part of the practice is being mindful at the time of death, but do animals have this capacity? Would it be better to ...
7
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4answers
229 views

Is it more important not to break precepts through proxy, or to not cause suffering to your family?

An important point I see is how one furthers death and lying. Through working, you are taxed, and taxes fund the breaking of the precepts. Taxes fund war and espionage, so killing and stealing are ...
6
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4answers
960 views

Eating meat and buying meat

Buddha said to his disciples (monks), meat can be eaten if they are not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed on purpose for a monk. Eating meat is different from killing animal, it's clear. ...
27
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10answers
8k views

How not to kill the mouse in my house?

I live with my mother in her house. There have been a mouse for a few months, living in the ceiling of my bedroom, and since a few weeks, it has been a nuisance for it scratches something, day and ...
13
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10answers
2k views

Why not kill animals to hasten their rebirth?

This may be primarily for the Tibetan style practitioners. Also, my question assumes that "rebirth" etc are not metaphors. Since non-human animal existence is lower down in the six realms, why ...
5
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3answers
747 views

How can killing of Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar be justified? [duplicate]

Considering whatever atrocities Muslims did (I don't know if they did any) or are going to do, is killing Muslims the only solution the Myanmar Buddhists could adopt? Is it wise? Is violence ...
4
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4answers
221 views

Sutta/Sutra guideline for choosing actions in ethical dilemmas

I am searching for a sutta which gives a general guideline which helps in making ethical decisions. There are many suttas which give a skillful action for a specific scenario but I am looking for a ...
6
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4answers
576 views

Is shellfish aquaculture considered a wrong livelihood?

I am currently employed on an aquaculture farm that specializes in clams and oysters. According to our modern system of taxonomy, both of these organisms are considered animals. I also know that a ...
6
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9answers
9k views

Is it useful to practice intoxicated?

I am aware that drinking is against the fifth precept, but there are certain occasions where I can enjoy a few drinks (few times a month). I read a lot that it is not recommended to meditate purposely ...
5
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7answers
928 views

How to determine whether a 10 days S.N. Goenka Vipassana course is safe for my friend or relative?

I have recently participated in a 10 days S.N. Goenka Vipassna course, which had incredible positive results. I feel like I shed 20 tons off my heart, and most importantly I am able to practice daily ...
5
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3answers
312 views

Euthanasia and Buddhism

The first precept makes it clear that we should refrain from killing. However let's say you have an animal (or worse, a human) who is going to die anyway (say from being attacked by another animal, ...
4
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2answers
423 views

Are there examples of humor and irreverence in Buddhist scriptures?

Irreverent humour is reasonably well-tolerated in some sections of modern society. For instance, jokes about the pope and about pastors' wives are fairly widespread among even church-going Christians. ...
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5answers
276 views

Ignorance and the root of suffering?

Searching the Pali Canon for the "root of suffering", we find the direct definition only occurs in a few suttas: delight is the root of suffering (MN1) attachment is the root of suffering (MN105, ...
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3answers
1k views

Theravada perspective on transgender people

What would be the Theravada approach to people who have a transgender experience? As far as I understand it, the mind does not have a gender. So should a Buddhist, out of compassion alone, indulge a ...
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6answers
1k views

What are the benefits of practicing Sila?

I need incentive; what's in it for me? Also please don't answer with there's no self or I or me to get incentive, its just that I'm not enlightened yet. This is a selfish question but I need to know ...
3
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3answers
472 views

Does 'kusala' (skillful) also mean 'wholesome' and 'morally good'?

According to this page the same word, 'kusala', can mean 'wholesome', 'skillful', 'good', or 'meritorious'. In English, these words have very different meanings or connotations, especially in ...
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5answers
887 views

Should person with schizophrenia have children?

I wanted to ask you whether it is ethical for a person with schizophrenia to have biological children. Do any Buddhist traditions teach anything in that regard? When one parent has this illness, the ...
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2answers
602 views

What do Buddhists religious texts say about the environment?

My name is John and I am a grade 12 student living in Australia. I am currently in the process of doing research for a religion assignment.
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1answer
229 views

How come SN Goenka thought that buying milk does not lead to suffering?

During the lectures on a 10-day vipassana retreat, SN Goenka made it clear that an action is unwholesome not only when it directly causes suffering - e.g. shooting at sentient beings, but also when it ...
28
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14answers
7k views

Should one give to beggars?

I'm very fortunate to live in an affluent part of the world. Even so, it is a common site to see people begging for money in the street. In our town there are posters up asking people not to give to ...
11
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6answers
375 views

How to address wrong view

Did the Buddha give any teachings on how to deal with individuals spreading wrong view? If someone is expounding their beliefs in a public forum under the guise of the Buddha's teaching, given the ...
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9answers
2k views

Can bad kammas be eased by apologizing?

For example if I have lied to my parents and can the bad kamma be deleted when I apologize to them? What is the difference between the bad kamma that are committed to parents and ordinary people?
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9answers
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The buddhist dillema on lesser evil

Imagine this scenario: A serial killer is pointing his gun at an innocent person John and wants to kill John. An arahant is near the killer and knows that the killer will kill 5 more innocent people ...
3
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2answers
1k views

What did the Buddha say about gratitude?

I'm looking for early Sutras that talk about gratitude. I'm especially interested in if there are lists of things that we can be grateful for, and there are sources that deal with gratitude for lay ...
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6answers
3k views

A Good Career for a Buddhist?

I am a business woman and my job is stressful. It is entirely motivated by greed. I want to leave my career but I have a dream to help poor people in my country and also to make my parents proud of me....
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3answers
2k views

What does buddhism say about bodybuilding (and weights training)?

Bodybuilding and powerlifting are making us stronger and more manliness, body can produce more testosterone and we're generally healthier. Yes, there are some bad things about this like anabolics or ...
7
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4answers
739 views

Right speech in social situations

My boss has a tendency to gossip and speak negatively about his clients when they are not present. Sometimes he speaks to me about these people, and I am unsure of how to respond with regard to right ...
6
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2answers
421 views

Buddhism view on mercy

When I come across animal or bird or bug injured and in pain, no resources available nearby to shelter, do I leave it to nature or kill it to end its misery. What is Buddhism view on mercy?
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4answers
496 views

What does a monk think on a day to day basis?

I go through my daily chores and it has become habituated to the extent that i do not need to concentrate on the action and my mind has some time to do thinking or just wander. Now monks life is also ...
4
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3answers
123 views

Should a beginner try to educate others about the benefits of Vipassana?

As a practitioner (but a beginner) of Anapana and Vipassana meditation, I have realized and experienced the immense benefits of the technique and the immense potential of Dhamma to bring change and ...
3
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4answers
434 views

Can another being/thing be credited or blamed for causing your emotions?

CONTEXT: In everyday conversations, we often blame other things or persons for causing our positive or negative emotions. For example, people say things like, "That dog disturbs me by always barking", ...