• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain how a moral life could be said to be at the heart of Lay Buddhism.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Hossein Amini 5S GCSE COURSEWORK- BUDDHISM The Life of the Buddha Question 2- Explain how a moral life could be said to be at the heart of Lay Buddhism Moral life, in many ways, can be said to be at the heart of lay Buddhism. However, the first thing to get clear is the meaning of the term morality. The word morality, technically means, the distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, in relation to actions, volitions, and character. Essentially, it relates to the nature and application of what is ethical. So by a moral sense, we mean the power, and ability to understand the difference between what is right, and what is wrong. There are several aspects to a Buddhist's moral life. Karma is the law that every action, word, or thought, has consequences. This law of karma, which is the way in which life works, affects a Buddhist's reaction to his or her surroundings, thereby giving the opportunity to decide by moral means. For example, when a Buddhist does something good for the environment, such as setting up a clear up program in parks, this action of his, is 'ethically significant', and thus, this generates good karma, which then consequently, goes towards the next life. So, in this way, moral life can be said to be at the heart of Buddhism, because the law of karma, (one of the most crucial and fundamental aspects of Buddhism) causes one to decide by moral means, and hence develop, spiritually and mentally, so to build a right frame of mind. ...read more.

Middle

4.The 4th precept 'concerning the spoken word or Right Speech, is Samma vaca.'3 This is a unique gift to mankind of which the most harmless, fruitful use should be made. 5. The 5th Precept about the abstinence from intoxicants in whatever form, liquid or solid, involves several aspects of the Noble Eight Fold path - Right Mindfulness, Understanding, Thought, Livelihood, Action and Effort. The five precepts essentially undermine the true way to live a Buddhist life. Hence, because the five precepts, like Metta, and Kamma, branch externally out from morality, this does give evidence that moral life is the heart of Buddhism. Moreover, the precepts, form a foundation for the religious development of a Buddhist, and hence are crucially important. In general, all lay people, aim to abide as best as they can, by the precepts, so to develop an understanding of what is around them, and hence decide by moral means. For Buddhists, the five precepts provide the essential guidelines for living an ethical life. The issue I have chosen to discuss is the issue of life and death (i.e. abortion and euthanasia). The key ethical principles involved in making a decision on abortion or euthanasia, is ahimsa, which means non-violence. The principle of ahimsa is based on an understanding of the inter-connectedness of life and involves avoiding deliberate harm, and striving to bring out the greater good. Metta is also a key principle, as we have mentioned, in deciding on such issues. ...read more.

Conclusion

It guides one to be good and to keep away from evil. It involves performance of certain deeds and the avoidance of others. Buddhist morality goes hand in hand with wisdom and concentration - sila, samadhi, and panna. Here, wisdom is not the same as being knowledgeable only. Gaining knowledge only, without wisdom, could turn out to be a dangerous asset. Leading a positive and wholesome life on earth following the guidelines in Buddhism, creating true happiness, peace and contentment to oneself and others is certainly worthier than a life of trying to satisfy one's ego and greed. It also automatically builds up an insurance policy for the future after death. 'If you can honestly and sincerely say to one another, you are a blessing to us, we are practitioners of the Buddhist perspective of morality and are also treading on the Noble Eight Fold Path.'6 Therefore a time-tested, rational, reasonable, logical, practicable moral code is essential for everyone, just as we need the knowledge and application of the highway code for all road-users and motorists in particular. The Buddha's teachings have given Buddhists such a code, but if only one cares to recognise and abide by it. 1 S. Clark & M. Thompson: Buddhism: a New Approach London, Hodder and Stoughton 1996, p 45 2 D.Subhadra & B. Richardson: Buddhist Ethics and the Moral Life 1990, p36 3 A.Lambert: A Dharmacchari's Life in Tibet 1982 pp56 4 D.Subhadra & B. Richardson: Buddhist Ethics and the Moral Life 1990, p38 5 D.Subhadra & B.Richardson: Buddhist Ethics and the Moral Life 1990, p39 6 A.Lambert: A Dharmacchari's Life in Tibet 1982 pp72 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Ethics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Ethics essays

  1. What is the relationship between religion and morality?

    For example, Moore said that 'good' simply could not be defined, but was known through intuition. Some people argue that religion is a source of moral absolutes and this should not be dismissed. For example, Mother Teresa was inspired by her religious beliefs.

  2. Explain how a Hindu marriage service might guide a couple in their married life?

    Poorer people and those who live in the villages who are desperate to have children sometimes adopt a child from elsewhere in the family, especially from relations who have many children and cannot afford to look after all of them.

  1. Religion Speech IVF

    In a media release from the Christian Democratic Party issued on the 3rd of August 2000, it supported a ban on IVF for single women. The party believes in the fundamental right of children to grow up in a family with its natural mother and father.

  2. In Vitro Fertilization and it's Moral and Ethical issues.

    This aspect will defiantly not have much support. Added to this a lot of independent women, who want to conceive without a male counterpart, has caused a lot of concern in the ethics of life and in the socio-psyche of society.

  1. Famine, Affluence and Morality - Peter Singer.

    Singer has twisted his thought experiments so that they only deal with the here and now; it seems absurd to ask why the child is in the pond in the first place, which is what we should do. Singer declares that constant poverty, a cyclone and civil war were the reasons why the people of Bengal were suffering so much.

  2. Outline the main features of Jeremy Bentham's guide to making moral decisions.

    Mill believed that engaging in things that made the mind think and were difficult could attain more pleasure once they were understood rather than something that was pleasurable for while but had no real relevance to the intellectual mind. For example, Mill believed there was more value in 'Pushpin than poetry.'

  1. life after death

    They were judged according to there deeds". There in the bible it talks about the consequences of your deed, showing the significance of what we do in this life.

  2. Explain ethical egoism. Do you believe that it is true? Why or why not?

    While it is true that we are often able to make an immediate moral judgment without resorting to logic, Objectivism would hold that emotions are simple immediate reactions based on the values and judgments we hold. As such, they may be imitated from society or arrived at independently, but they must be the result of a rational choice.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work