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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57 views

Did the Buddha himself say anything about 'greater good'?

The phrase comes up -- especially when discussing 'militarism' -- in the secondary literature; e.g. that “one must sacrifice the lesser good for the greater good”; so too must “our heroes ...
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1answer
56 views

Monk wanting to upgrade technology

If there have been donations for technology upgrades... Is it possible for someone to ask an abbott exactly what he wants donated funds to be used for? To ask the what specific items he could use?
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Do monks HAVE to accept anything offered to them?

Does a theravada abbott have to accept everything / anything that is offered to them? I'm referencing technology, things beyond requisites. I know it is important for abbotts to set a good example ...
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1answer
116 views

Buddhist origin of tobacco and its relation to Native American use

Can anything wholesome, helpful, wise and skillful be mentioned about the (Chinese and/or nearby regions) origin(s) of tobacco and how it may and/or may not relate to tobacco use among Native American ...
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60 views

Do insects feel less pain and humans more?

Buddha has asked to refrain from killing. However if small insects do not feel any pain then what is the harm in killing them? To simply put : Do insects feel less pain and humans more ?
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Is it compatible with Buddha's teachings to sell meditation courses and Buddhist magazines? [duplicate]

I see a lot of meditation courses and retreats on the internet, and all are offered to laypeople for money, and never for free. Also, there are online Buddhist magazines which allow reading their ...
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5answers
142 views

Animals and morality

I'm thinking a lot about the animal issue right now, and a question came to me. Are the five precepts universal? If so, are animals required to respect them? If not, what morals must animals follow? ...
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3answers
888 views

Things that I have pirated in the past

Ever since I was a kid I have pirated and bought illegal copies of many different kind of media such as music, movies, video games and softwares. Now as an adult do I have to pay for all these ...
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6answers
1k views

Doing evil knowingly and unknowingly

In the Milindapanha, Nagasena points out to king Milinda that doing evil knowingly accrues lesser demerit than doing evil unknowingly. Does the Buddha make the same statement anywhere in the Suttas? ...
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3answers
146 views

Oral sex and semen swallowing

My girlfriend does oral sex and she likes to swallow my sperm during sex. Will these activities violate any precep? Will swallowing of semen violate the no killing precet and are sperm cells ...
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5answers
144 views

Is the Dhamma objective?

Does the Dhamma allow the philosophical establishment of an objective and/or universal morality without God? If yes, how? Do all beings intuitively know what is right and what is wrong deep within ...
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2answers
60 views

Animals: why did the Buddha remain silent? [closed]

I know there have been discussions about vegetarianism, but my question is not exactly that. I know that: The Buddha allowed eating meat for monks, if it is clear that the animal was not killed on ...
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5answers
173 views

Responding skillfully to an insincere apology

from AN 2.21: "Monks, these two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn't see his transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn't rightfully pardon another who has confessed his ...
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6answers
872 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: ...
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10answers
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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, ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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15answers
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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 ...
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18answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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4answers
137 views

Is upaya a lie?

According to upaya, the doctrine of 'skillful means', as it appears in the Lotus Sutra, was the Buddha lying when he said that there are three vehicles? Presumably he knew there was only one: so why ...
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24 views

What is the main difference between buddhist and others? [duplicate]

If 2 groups of people are there: 1st group claims to follow and practice teachings given by someone who followed THE 5 PERCEPTS. 2nd group follows and practices the teachings of someone who NEVER ...
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10answers
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The Third Precept and Prostitution

For a Buddhist who is single, do occasional "visits" to the brothel break the observing of the Third Precept? In other words, the Third Precept is perfectly "intact" when one engages in such activity (...
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15answers
4k 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 ...
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4answers
200 views

Buddha's view on sexuality

In contemporary society (apart from religion) sex is mostly seen as something pleasurable, which is done even without considering childbearing. As far as I can see, Buddha taught extensively to lay ...
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4answers
239 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 ...
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6answers
4k 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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4answers
584 views

Possible to intentionally kill without “intention”?

The 5 criteria of killing 1) There is life present 2) The person knows "there is life present" 3) Intention to take away the life 4) Action or speech that causes "life is taken away" 5) Life is taken ...
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141 views

Conscience and Buddhism

How does Buddhism view conscience? Do you follow your conscience or Buddhist morality? Your conscience does not always in line with Buddhist morality. For example, cakes are not poison but generally ...
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2answers
115 views

Can a warrior reach enlightenment?

Can someone who fights, even maybe kills or dies, for a cause he considers right, attain enlightenment? I wonder that after reading that some Buddhists did not share the Zen samurai's vision at all.
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9answers
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How/Why to be moral without believing God or any supernatural entity?

Being believer or dependent on God so far in my life, I'm clueless how exactly can I become independent without turning morally Bankrupt? Being devotee I'm automatically moral & lovingly but When ...
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1answer
724 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, ...
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3answers
482 views

What is the view of Buddhism in correcting others' view in spite of their willingness to accept it?

I have these questions: If an enlightened mind sees that helping someone is beneficial to them, then would they do it even when the helped doesn't proactively ask? If they are hated by the helped, ...
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10answers
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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 ...
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6answers
171 views

Does Western Philosophy Have Conceptual Overlaps with Buddhism?

I think I've noticed some conceptual overlaps between Buddhism and Western Philosophy and Science. What are good sources for comparing and contrasting Western ideas and Buddhism? What are suspected ...
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2answers
305 views

Are some forms of employment less just to workers, according to Buddhism?

I live in a pleasant apartment complex and work as an Instructor. My job is cushy, which is good because I have health issues (and teach adults with health issues). But I watch workers mow the lawn at ...
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8answers
247 views

Good is not different from Bad?

In the book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, I read the following statement: This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. Pleasure is not different from difficulty. Good is not different from bad. Bad is good;...
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4answers
485 views

Does Theravada Buddhism encourages animal release?

Does Theravada Buddhism encourages animal release? Would it be conflicting if one is under the branch Theravada Buddhism but perform animal release?
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3answers
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Question on Dhammapada 124

That is a question that emerged from a previous discussion, but here I would like to focus on this story. From the background story: "Venerable Sir, is the wife of the hunter who is a sotapanna, ...
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4answers
524 views

Willpower in Buddhism

I don't see any other questions, in the suggestions of the site, linked with this precise topic. What is the equivalent of "willpower" in Buddhism? How is it developped? Thank you.
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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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3answers
246 views

How do Buddhists justify or explain that monks and/or temples amass and use wealth?

This question applies mainly to Theravada Buddhism, which is the prevailing branch of Buddhism in my country (Sri Lanka). I've observed, many times, how many temples and monks are amassing wealth and ...
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8answers
3k views

Will Buddhism last only 5,000 years after Buddha's Mahaparinirvana?

Is there any reference/citation saying that Buddhism or Buddha's teachings will last only 5,000 years after Buddha's Mahaparinirvana? How can this be possible if more people like to learn more about ...
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127 views

Are there Bad teachers? Is Mara in the Sanga?

I have had an experience with a top teacher, Regional Assistant Teacher, and Center Manager acting in ways very disturbing to the path. Later I saw clearly that they were controlled by Mara or had ...
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1answer
79 views

While body is not me or mine what is a wise response to those claiming various degrees of ownerships on body? [closed]

What are some kind, wholesome, skillful, wise and helpful responses and views to the following various claims of body ownership: “The United States government claims 100% ownership over all your DNA ...
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6answers
506 views

Should I judge the efficacy of Samadhi based on the ethical qualities of the meditator?

As far as I understand, one of the main purposes of the eight factor of the Path (samma samadhi) is to clean the mind from impurities. I've read a lot of discussions where one meditator states that ...
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4answers
493 views

Would the Buddha have considered engaging in anal sex as breaking the 1st and/or 5th precept?

Would the Buddha have considered engaging in anal sex as breaking the 1st and/or 5th precepts? I would like to know this as I am trying to better understand the 5 precepts.
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Providing a prayer for others

As someone that is actively seeking to be a Buddhist, how does one show emotional support for others in time of need? Christians offer to pray for them if someone or some person is going through a ...
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2answers
115 views

Is the reputation system counterproductive to Buddhist practice?

Are we sure that the search for credit and for approval does not infect the ego of the users of this site?
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148 views

Did the Buddha ever teach that we have a special responsibility to those we have injured?

I posted the identikit question to Christianity stackexchange, and was met with dumb silence. Which, really, I was shocked by. E.g. the parable of the good samaratin: Jesus answered, "A certain ...
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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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