ethics in religion


  • [26] Later studies have yielded the above four approaches to ethics in different schools of Hinduism, tied together with three common themes:[12][26][27] (1) ethics is an
    essential part of dharma concept,[28][29] (2) Ahimsa (non-violence) is the foundational premise without which – suggests Hinduism – ethics and any consistent ethical theory is impossible,[30][31] and (3) Ethics cannot always be dualistically
    or non-dualistically reduced from first principles, ethics is closely related to moksha (self realization and spiritual freedom) with Vivekacudamani stating, “individuals with self knowledge and spiritual freedom are inherently self examining
    and ethical” and “ethics, freedom and knowledge require each other”.

  • [14][15] Virtue, right conduct, ethics and morality are part of the complex concept Hindus call Dharma – everything that is essential for people, the world and nature to exist
    and prosper together, in harmony.

  • The book contains popular ethics in proverbial form as the result of everyday life experience, without higher philosophical or religious principles and ideals.

  • [1] A central aspect of ethics is “the good life”, the life worth living or life that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than traditional
    moral conduct.

  • [25] Hindu literature variously discuss ethics as one or more of four topics: (1) Gunas that is inner tendencies of conduct found in every individual (in large measure, psychology);
    (2) Purushartha that is proper aims of life for every individual for self-development and happiness (dharma, artha, kama and moksha); (3) Ashramas that is ethics for an individual in different periods of one’s lifetime (ethical expectations
    for a child are distinguished from those for adults, old age); and (4) Varnasramas that is ethics and conduct for every individual in relation to society.

  • The Bhagavad Gita – considered one of the epitomes of historic Hindu discussion of virtues and an allegorical debate on what is right and what is wrong – argues some virtues
    are not necessarily always absolute, but sometimes relational; for example, it explains a virtue such as Ahimsa must be re-examined when one is faced with war or violence from the aggressiveness, immaturity or ignorance of others.

  • There are even more elaborate ethical teachings in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, in which each of the twelve sons of Jacob, in his last words to his children and
    children’s children, reviews his life and gives them moral lessons, either warning them against a certain vice he had been guilty of, so that they may avoid divine punishment, or recommending them to cultivate a certain virtue he had practised
    during life, so that they may win God’s favor.

  • Before that period the Wisdom literature shows a tendency to dwell solely on the moral obligations and problems of life as appealing to man as an individual, leaving out of
    consideration the ceremonial and other laws which concern only the Jewish nation.

  • This natural inclination is, according to the Qur’an, subverted by mankind’s focus on material success: such focus first presents itself as a need for basic survival or security,
    but then tends to manifest into a desire to become distinguished among one’s peers.

  • These changes lay in the reorientation of society as regards to identity and life of the Muslim belief, world view, and the hierarchy of values.

  • [56] By the 6th century CE, Shinto had drawn from a Chinese idea that good people will adhere to societal norms, and emperors have a divine mandate to bring about the “desirable
    and required order”.

  • Christian ethics includes questions regarding how the rich should act toward the poor, how women are to be treated, and the morality of war.

  • Simon Blackburn states that there are those who “would say that we can only flourish under the umbrella of a strong social order, cemented by common adherence to a particular
    religious tradition”.

  • [23] In addition to these five negative things to abstain from, Hindu ethics also recommends five positive things to strive for as Niyamas: Śauca (purity in body, speech and
    mind), Santosha (contentment, acceptance of circumstances with optimism), Tapas (perseverance, meditation, austerity), Swadhyaya (lifelong learning) and Pranidhan (right attitude, contemplation).

  • [23][24] An ethical life in Hinduism is essential for a liberated life, one without craving, one that is content, attained through knowledge and by abstaining from evil.

  • [citation needed] This approach avoids basing Buddhist ethics solely on faith in the Buddha’s enlightenment or Buddhist tradition, and may allow more universal non-Buddhist
    access to the insights offered by Buddhist ethics.

  • [citation needed] Zoroastrian ethics Main article: Zoroastrianism In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to become an Ashavan (a master of Asha) and to bring happiness
    into the world, which contributes to the cosmic battle against evil.

  • “[55] Secular ethics Main article: Morality without religion See also: Secular ethics Secular ethics is a moral philosophy in which ethics are based solely on human faculties
    such as scientific reason, sociobiological composition, or ethical intuition, and not derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance.

  • The main branch of Confucianism, however, argues that human nature must be nurtured through ritual (li ), culture (wen ) and other things, while the Daoists (Taoists) argued
    that the trappings of society were to be gotten rid of.

  • Here the first ethical will or testament is found, giving a summary of moral teachings, with the Golden Rule, “Do that to no man which thou hatest!”

  • [42] This is the highest ethical duty in Jainism, and it applies not only to one’s actions, but demands that one be non-violent in one’s speech and thoughts.

  • [56] Although State Shinto reinforced subordination to the emperor and the state, Shrine Shinto is a situation-based ethical system that emphasizes right actions toward others,
    versus adherence to a specific belief system.

  • While it is often interpreted as meaning “duty”, it can mean justice, right, moral, good, and much more.

  • Ultimately, the focus on materialism, according to the Islamic texts, hampers with the innate reflection as described above, resulting in a state of jahiliyya or “ignorance”.

  • ; neither the Gods, Gandharvas, nor ancestors can convince us – this is right, this is wrong; virtue is an elusive concept, it demands careful and sustained reflection by
    every man and woman before it can become part of one’s life.

  • [38] Muslims believe that Muhammad, like other prophets in Islam, was sent by God to remind human beings of their moral responsibility, and challenge those ideas in society
    which opposed submission to God.

  • The Buddhist practice of this does not extend to the extremes exhibited by Jainism, but from both the Buddhist and Jain perspectives, non-violence suggests an intimate involvement
    with, and relationship to, all living things.

  • Zoroastrianism’s core teachings include but are not limited to: • Follow the Threefold Path of Asha: Humata, Huxta, Huvarshta (Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds).

  • In other words, they must not only be morally healthy, but they must also contribute to the moral health of society as a whole.

  • [7] Christian ethics Main article: Christian ethics See also: Biblical law in Christianity, Sermon on the Mount, New Commandment, and Ministry of Jesus Christian ethics is
    a branch of Christian theology that defines virtuous behavior and wrong behavior from a Christian perspective.

  • It was owing to this endeavor that certain ethical principles were laid down as guiding maxims for the Gentiles, first of all the three capital sins, idolatry, murder, and
    incest, were prohibited (see Sibyllines, iii.

  • The reverence of and compliance with ancestral traditions, a practice challenged by Islam – which instead assigned primacy to submitting to God and following revelation.

  • [28][32] In addition to the above four topics in Hindu ethics, scholars[33][34] state that the karma doctrine of Hinduism is part of its ethical theory compendium.

  • [38] Furthermore, a Muslim should not only follow these five main characteristics, but also be more broad about his morals.

  • [17] Ethics are explained in Hindu philosophy as something that cannot be imposed, but something that is realized and voluntarily lived up to by each individual.

  • This faculty most crucially involves reflecting on the meaning of existence, which, as John Kelsay in the Encyclopedia of Ethics phrases, “ultimately points to the reality
    of God.”

  • Taoist ethics ask for a greater sense of being and less identification with the act of doing.

  • The majority of secular moral concepts are based on the acceptance of natural rights and social contracts, and on a more individual scale of either some form of attribution
    of intrinsic value to things, Kantianesque ethical intuitionism or of a logical deduction that establishes a preference for one thing over another, as with Occam’s razor.

  • Islam is a way of life and it does not work in isolation.

  • The Hellenistic Jewish propaganda literature made the propagation of Jewish ethics taken from the Bible its main object for the sake of winning the pagan world to pure monotheism.

  • – Lao Tzu Wiccan ethics Main article: Wiccan morality Wiccan morality is largely based on the Wiccan Rede: ‘An’ it harm none, do what ye will’ — old-fashioned language for
    ‘as long as you aren’t harming anyone, do as you wish’.

  • The focus on achieving fame or establishing a legacy, which was replaced by the concept that mankind would be called to account before God on the day of resurrection; 5.

  • In later Jewish rabbinic literature these Noachide Laws were gradually developed into six, seven, and ten, or thirty laws of ethics binding upon every human being.

  • Other discourses prescribe numerous family, social, and political duties establishing the well being of society.

  • Muhammad approved and exhorted certain aspects of the Arab pre-Islamic tradition, such as the care for one’s near kin, for widows, orphans, and others in need and for the
    establishment of justice.

  • However, these values would be re-ordered in importance and placed in the context of strict monotheism.

  • The relevance of natural law to medieval Jewish philosophy is a matter of dispute among scholars.

  • [41] Jain monks and nuns completely renounce property and social relations, own nothing and are attached to no one.

  • In this ‘ethical’ environment, Scientology would be able to impose its courses, philosophy, and ‘justice system’ – its so-called technology – onto society.

  • [58] Another element of Wiccan Morality comes from the Law of Threefold Return, which is understood to mean that whatever one does to another person or thing (benevolent or
    otherwise) returns with triple force.

  • While this could be interpreted to mean “do no harm at all”, it is usually interpreted as a declaration of the freedom to act, along with the necessity of thinking through
    and taking responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions.

  • — Surah Al Imran 3:110 Muhammad summarized the conduct of a Muslim when he said: “My Sustainer has given me nine commands: to remain conscious of God, whether in private or
    in public; to speak justly, whether angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich, to reunite friendship with those who have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses me; that my silence should be occupied with thought;
    that my looking should be an admonition; and that I should command what is right.”

  • In a business practice for example, the Muslims are call to adhere good business ethical values, does not cheat, and does not charge interests to the buyers.

  • You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah.

  • He codified traditional practice and actually changed the meaning of the prior concepts that those words had meant.

  • The Confucian view eventually held sway, however, and continues to dominate many aspects of Chinese thought.

  • In other words, the ideal ruler does not go out and force the people to become good, but instead leads by example.

  • In plain English, the purpose of Scientology ethics is to eliminate opponents, then eliminate people’s interests in things other than Scientology.

  • Most subsequent Jewish ethical claims may be traced back to the texts, themes and teachings of the written Torah.

  • [12] Ancient literature at the foundation of various Hindu traditions primarily discuss the first three, while the last has attracted greater attention since the 18th century.

  • The chief virtues recommended are love for one’s fellow man, industry, especially in agricultural pursuits, simplicity, sobriety, benevolence toward the poor, compassion even
    for the brute and avoidance of all passion, pride, and hatred.

  • For example, Manusamhita initially listed ten virtues necessary for a human being to live a dharmic life: Dhriti (courage), Kshama (forgiveness), Dama (temperance), Asteya
    (Non-covetousness/Non-stealing), Saucha (inner purity), Indriyani-graha (control of senses), dhi (reflective prudence), vidya (wisdom), satyam (truthfulness), akrodha (freedom from anger).

  • This early Rabbinic ethics shows signs of cross-fertilization and polemical exchange with both the Greek (Western philosophical) ethical tradition and early Christian tradition.


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