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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28
votes
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
285 views

Information Technology Careers and Right Livelihood Dharma

As a Buddhist looking for perfecting his Right Livelihood: finding a Livelihood which is so perfect and Right that it not only avoids bad-karma-making (killing, stealing, intoxication, etc.) but even ...
5
votes
1answer
807 views

How does one Practice Sila?

There are many techniques to practice meditation but how exactly do you practice Sila? Are there any methods or techniques mentioned in the Suttas or by Buddhist Teachers to practice Sila. Exactly ...
7
votes
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)...
7
votes
4answers
344 views

What can be done about fake monks?

in the city where i live (Toronto, although this is an issue in many cities around the world), there are people dressed as monks soliciting others on the street for donations. In return, various good ...
4
votes
8answers
2k views

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 (...
3
votes
2answers
436 views

Seeing things for what they are

I'd like to ask a few questions, if I may. I am having some trouble seeing meanings or attributes being assigned to some things in Buddhism. The yellow robe worn by monks is an emblem and reminder ...
7
votes
6answers
748 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: ...
4
votes
3answers
12k views

Does eating eggs break the precepts?

On the Buddhist days for eating vegetarian, as laypeople is it okay if we eat eggs? I hear people say that eggs grown for eating are not devoid of life. If eaten, is one guilty of killing?
2
votes
3answers
144 views

What does “heard” mean in “I allow fish and meat that is pure in three respects: One has not seen, heard, or suspected…”

In Vinaya, there is this rule (copied from Buddhist Monastic Code II): "One should not knowingly consume meat killed on purpose (for a bhikkhu). Whoever should consume it: an offense of wrong ...
5
votes
2answers
508 views

Buddhist “code of ethics” on talking about other religions

I took a friend interested in Buddhism to a centre. This person is Catholic and doesn't want to change that; she is very satisfied with her religion. However she was curious about Buddhism and ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

What is the appropriate course of action for disagreeing with an authority figure?

For example... If a senior monk is basing his judgement on personal opinion and not the vinaya, creating dukkha in the community and sowing discord... how would another person (monk or lay) go about ...
5
votes
3answers
503 views

Is there a moral aspect to financial debt in Buddhism?

If I recall correctly I've heard that one can not be ordained if one has debts. Is this just a practical rule to avoid ordaining people that run away from financial problems or does it also have moral ...
6
votes
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
votes
6answers
976 views

Is lying at a job interview breaking a precept?

Since lying is not really directed at a person, can it still be harmful? I have had multiple jobs before when the companies I worked for had no issues lying to me(on a organizational level) I can ...
3
votes
5answers
287 views

Should Buddhists avoid Amazon and Starbucks out of concerns about tax avoidance?

Recently companies such as Starbucks and Amazon were accused of avoiding paying UK tax. Many people were quite upset about this and people began to boycott those companies involved. From a Buddhist ...
3
votes
3answers
393 views

Does the second precept only apply to theft?

Considering the second precept Adinnādānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi. which I am most familiar with its translation as I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not ...
7
votes
4answers
342 views

Is assault against the first precept?

The first precept states I undertake the training rule to abstain from killing. So does this mean that punching someone in the nose isn't actually against the first precept and the five precepts ...
31
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
666 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
220 views

Does any modern Buddhist sangha still support slavery?

Also, in the ordination rules ceremony slaves are excluded from the possibility of ordaining. ref. Has any modern sangha made a point of allowing current or former slaves to ordain? Historically ...
2
votes
9answers
255 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 ...
30
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
153 views

Does avoiding a person mean I have not truly forgiven them?

This individual has been belligerent in the past causing a lot of grief to myself. I've felt a great deal of animosity towards this individual in the past but after some time forgave them. The ...
5
votes
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, ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the motivation for the list of 5 deadly sins?

I'm particularly interested in if there is any evidence in the sutras (or commentaries or anything old) that explains this peculiar list of transgressions (the Ānantarika-karma): patricide matricide ...
7
votes
10answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
469 views

What are some examples of Buddhist rulers?

I've been searching about this for a while, I have been looking for historical rulers who based their way of governing off Buddhist principles. But haven't been able to find a lot.
3
votes
1answer
424 views

How does Buddhism define abortion? [duplicate]

Abortion is a much-debated topic, and religion frequently plays a role in any such discussion. How does abortion fit into Buddhist faith? Is it considered negative karma by definition, or perhaps ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to make a decision based on Buddhist principles?

I have been practicing Buddhism since a child, about twenty years. Throughout my adult life I have been trying to combine my practical life with my Buddhist beliefs. In some situations, however, I ...
20
votes
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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
470 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
248 views

The danger in lying

"For the person who transgresses in one thing, I tell you, there is no evil deed that is not to be done. Which one thing? This: telling a deliberate lie." Also The person who lies, who ...
14
votes
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 ...
9
votes
10answers
836 views

Should Buddhist teachers get rich?

In recent years in "Western" culture, teachings derived from Buddhist practices have been increasingly common. These teachings are often of a secular nature and are about compassion, meditation and ...
33
votes
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, ...