Buddhist view on abortion essays

The only child of an assimilated Jewish father and Corsican Catholic mother, he began studies in music and philosophy at an early age. There he joined other exiled members of the Institute of Social Research, a center for interdisciplinary Marxist scholarship founded in Collectively known as the Frankfurt School, their members included Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, and other scholars in literature, psychology, economics, and political theory.

Buddhist view on abortion essays

Kingsborough, CUNY I It is quite clear from a variety of sources that abortion has been severely disapproved Buddhist view on abortion essays in the Buddhist tradition.

It is also equally clear that abortion has been tolerated in Buddhist Japan and accommodated under exceptional circumstances by some modern Buddhists in the U.

By contrast, Japanese Buddhism as well as the traditions out of which a more lenient approach emerges are more recent and Mahaayaana traditions.

Superficially, the situation seems not unlike that of Roman Catholicism, where abortion, though disapproved of in the strongest terms by Church authorities drawing on the canonical tradition, is nonetheless practiced by a large number of devout Catholics and defended by at least a few, sometimes renegade, theologians and philosophers, as acceptable in some circumstances.

Therefore, if it makes sense to speak of a possible Catholic defense of abortion, then it makes equally good sense to speak of a Buddhist defense of abortion, a defense made in full knowledge that one is swimming against the tide of conventional interpretation but still within the tradition.

Buddhism itself, therefore, speaks with more than one moral voice on this issue, and furthermore, the nature of the moral debate may have important applications for similarly situated others and constitute an enlargement of the repertoire of applicable moral theories and rationales.

In support, he develops two lines of argument.

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The first relies on the nearly uniform rejection of abortion, especially in ancient Theravaada texts, what Keown regards as the core of the tradition.

Here I believe he is on fairly firm ground although I am uncertain regarding his preference for what he calls "Buddhist fundamentalism" and his concomitant emphasis on "scriptural authority. Especially in the Pi. However, as Keown points out, 92 the cases dealt with involve women seeking abortions for questionable, perhaps self-serving, reasons including "concealing extramarital affairs, preventing inheritances, and domestic rivalry between co-wives.

Keown does comment in an endnote that Buddhism would surely have sided with a woman seeking an abortion in order to save her own life, a position he attributes to Hindu jurists of the time.

Buddhist view on abortion essays

Why Buddhism would make such an exception is unclear, especially given the case Keown builds against the practice.

Why prefer one life to another? One might, of course, argue that abortion in such circumstances was a form of self-defense. Indeed, Keown seems to feel that killing in self-defense is not itself an example of taking life again indicated in an endnote. But pregnancy and its associated dangers present a wholly different kind of situation from that of self-defense.

The fetus is not responsible for its medical condition and in no way intends to harm its mother. Hence, the question why such special exceptions to a general prohibition on abortion are acceptable remains unanswered.

Correlatively, if such exceptions can be made, why not make them in other, perhaps less threatening but still serious, circumstances? However, when it comes to connecting the apparent condemnation of abortion with the deeper inspirations of Buddhism, the case is less compelling and perhaps affords a toehold in the Theravaada tradition for a different evaluation of abortion.

While respect for life is undeniable, the abortion issue usually hinges on whether the fetus is indeed a life in the relevant sense, and one could challenge either Buddhism or Keown on this point. That is, as Keown makes quite clear, though Buddhism values life, it does not value all life equally, and human life as a karmically advanced stage is particularly important.

The fetus at any stage in its development is certainly in some measure living, but it is not obviously a recognizable human being at every stage. As a mere conceptus it lacks, of course, many of the attributes one might label distinctively human except its genotype. Therefore, unless one insists, reductionistically, that a certain genetic sequence just is the essence of our humanity, one cannot say that a fertilized egg is a karmically advanced human being just because it is a fertilized egg.

In other words, one needs a theory as to what constitutes a human being, a human life, and therefore a thing worthy of the greatest possible protection. This Keown attempts to provide through a discussion of the traditional skandha theory and its implications for the various embryonic stages of human development.

The other four are the following: Keown 36 Earlier he claims that "although feeling and thought define the architecture of experience, it is. As he himself notes and the Pali canon repeats ad nauseum, it is the conjunction of all five of the groups that constitute a living being, at least by any meaning of constitute that I am aware of.

The above-stated reasons are, to my mind, weak. It is no less true that without a body, without sensation, without disposition in the sense of a karmic pastone would not be a living, at least human, being. That is, lacking form, a body, perhaps one could qualify as a hungry ghost, but the Pali texts are very clear that the "groups" form the basis of the human ego, or at least the illusion of an ego.

In short, it is impossible to isolate any of these groups from "the psychosomatic totality of a living being.[The following is a transcription of Igor Shafarevich's The Socialist alphabetnyc.com work was originally published in Russian in France under the title Sotsializm kak iavlenie mirovoi istorii in , by YMCA Press.

An English translation was subsequently published in by Harper & Row. The latest breaking news video and visual storytelling from HuffPost. Buddhism and the Morality of Abortion. difficulty with Keown's analysis has to do with his understanding of the Buddhist view of life which subsumes abortion under the general heading of intentional killing.

this version of the Buddhist view would echo what bioethicist Bonnie Steinbock has called the "interest view". Digital Impact LLC produces large format, high-resolution, semi-permanent corrugated/mixed material POP & POS displays, product packaging and specialized permanent displays for companies of all backgrounds.

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