41 votes
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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

The Mahayana perspective on social and ecological ethics is based on the high ideals of symbiosis, harmony, and cooperation. In the old times there were wandering monks who did not work and lived on ...
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37 votes
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Does illegal downloading or viewing of copyright material violate the second precept?

No, it does not. In order to steal, something has to be misappropriated from the original owner. Copying is not theft, even according to modern jurisprudence; copyright is an artificial "right&...
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32 votes
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Are all Buddhists vegetarian?

Very much not the case, so long as you don't engage in a No true Scotsman fallacy and say that they aren't really Buddhists unless they are also vegetarian. In some traditions it is common for a ...
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  • 1,239
28 votes

Is killing vermin and insects justifiable?

In order to understand this issue, we have to understand morality according to Buddhism. In Theravada Buddhism, morality is completely based on the effect that an act has on the mind of the actor. ...
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27 votes
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Masturbation: Does it break the 3rd precept?

Argumentation is a tricky thing; it's easy to skip a step and before you realize it, you've got an argument whose premises don't actually necessitate their conclusion. Premise: The whole point (in ...
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25 votes

Is drinking coffee or tea against the fifth precept?

The literal meaing there is avoiding fermented drink that causes heedlessness. Surā-meraya-majja-pamāda-ṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi I undertake the precept to avoid [that big long ...
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21 votes
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Is lying at a job interview breaking a precept?

Causes of False Speech The root causes of false speech are greed, hatred and delusion. Greed is the root cause when false speech is used to obtain material gain or status for oneself or someone ...
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19 votes
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How is sexual misconduct explained in regards to the five precepts?

In MN 41 (and elsewhere), the Buddha describes sexual misconduct as follows: He is given over to misconduct in sexual desires: he has intercourse with such (women) as are protected by the mother, ...
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17 votes
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Are Buddhists against abortion?

This is one of those questions that is complicated by that in the United States the conversation around abortion looks and feels very different than it does from other countries in the world. It is ...
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  • 1,239
17 votes

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

From Mahayana perspective, illegally downloading e.g. a movie is definitely a breach of precepts, for three reasons: because this entails acting out of desire for pleasure, because this upsets, not ...
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16 votes

Is killing vermin and insects justifiable?

The five precepts are an absolute entry-level teaching that is designed to help the practitioner master basic discipline of self-control and self-reflection. Abstaining from killing, stealing etc. ...
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15 votes
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How should Buddhists handle prayer requests?

This is a great question, certainly understandable. I don't think it's right to say that prayer as an activity goes against the Buddha's teaching; certainly prayer that stems from desire is ...
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14 votes

Is drinking coffee or tea against the fifth precept?

The five precepts are an entry-level practice that is designed to help practitioner master basic discipline of self-reflection and self-control. Abstaining from killing, stealing etc. implies basic ...
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  • 55.2k
14 votes

Are all Buddhists vegetarian?

Among my own school (Nyingma from Tibetan Buddhism), encouraging vegetarianism is a relatively recent trend, mostly grounded on the teachings of Patrul Rinpoche, who lived in the 19th century and was ...
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14 votes

Can or should a Buddhist defend themselves physically?

If someone is attacking you to kill you should you defend yourself? ... I think yes, you may. Our religion has never stopped us from doing that. Would it be ethical to kill an intruder coming ...
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  • 652
12 votes

Masturbation: Does it break the 3rd precept?

Masturbation is unwholesome just like getting angry is unwholesome. Getting angry is not recommended, but it is not against a precept. I think there is confusion with abrahmacariya precept taken ...
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12 votes

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

Where does one draw the line for which forms of life are ok to destroy, and which ones are not? That (i.e. "which forms of life?") might be not the right question. If you're describing the ...
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11 votes

Is killing vermin and insects justifiable?

It's not justifiable even if the killing is for self or others protection. If killing of an animal fulfills below five conditions it will give bad results (akusla karma vipaka) There should be a ...
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11 votes
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Do all Buddhists abstain from alcohol?

In Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, the 5th precept is interpreted mostly as 'do not get intoxicated by alcohol and drugs' for non-ordained practitioners, meaning that it's up to you to know how much you ...
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11 votes

Is moderate drinking acceptable in Buddhism?

There are many different views on the 5th precept. I'll sum up the 3 main views that I've encountered most: 1. Theravada In this article Bikkhu Bodhi explains that The taking of intoxicants is ...
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10 votes
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Is celibacy intrinsic to Buddhism?

Is celibacy intrinsic to Buddhism? The answer depends as follows: As a householder, no, celibacy is not required. It is only required to abstain from improper sexual conduct. And what is improper ...
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  • 3,716
9 votes

How should Buddhists handle prayer requests?

In Mahayana Buddhism one takes a Bodhisattva Vow which in essence means that one practises in order to liberate all the sentient beings as their well-being is more important than one's own. Thus, if ...
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  • 2,756
9 votes
Accepted

Does not keeping a promise violate the precept on lying? What if I promised myself?

In order to answer this sort of question, you have to be clear on what the precepts are and what they are not. They are a set of intentional statements of will to keep a finite set of basic moral ...
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9 votes

How is sexual misconduct explained in regards to the five precepts?

The meaning of third precept is that one's actions must never be motivated by desire of sensual pleasure. The Pali text for third precept says: Kāmesumicchācāra veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi. ...
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  • 55.2k
9 votes
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Is self-immolation an ethical act?

There is no simple answer, since it will always depend on the context. However, in most cases, it would go agains the first precept: to abstain from killing. However, there could be situations where ...
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9 votes

Can or should a Buddhist defend themselves physically?

Yes. Buddhists can and sometimes even should defend themselves and people around them. However, consider the following: If you do it out of anger, you will suffer from the results of this anger. The ...
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  • 2,756
9 votes

Euthanasia and Buddhism

I've been to a lecture in which a Tibetan Buddhist monk (specifically, a nyingmapa) was asked the same question by a teenage girl. Basically, his answer was, such killing would both end some existing ...
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