Buddhist Ethical Teachings

On the following cards are some Buddhist ethical teachings that can be applied to every situation you may be studying in Religious Studies, ethics. These teachings apply to all living things, which includes humans, animals as well as plants.

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The Five Precepts

These are five guidelines that Buddhists are encouraged to live their life by:

1) Do not harm any living things

2) Do not take what isn't given

3) Don not engage in sexual activity that harms others

4) Do not speak falsely

5) Do not put anything into your body that will cloud your mind

An example of when this teaching may be applied:

A Buddhist could disagree with euthanasia as they may believe that you are harming a living thing, and taking a life that isn't yours, i.e. hasn't been given to you.

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Karma

This is the Buddhist belief that every action has a consequence which can be good or bad. They believe that Karma cannot only harm you in this current life, but it also affecrs the type of person you are when you are reborn in the future.

An example of when this teaching may be applied:

A Buddhist may disagree with Capital Punishment, as it does not allow the criminal to earn good karma to help balance out their bad karma. They don't get the opportunity to change. Those who choose and perform the execution may also gain bad karma as the result of it.

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Metta

This means 'Loving Kindness'. Within Buddhism, they teach that we should show loving kindness to all people, no matter who they are, no matter what religion they are from, no matter what race, age, gender etc they are. 

An example of when this teaching may be applied:

A Buddhist may support the rehabilitation of Criminals. This could help the criminal feel more welcome and wanted by society, therefore encouraging them to act in a better way. It may also provide the chance for the criminal to gain good karma, which is a loving thing to do as it will help improve not only this life, but the next too.

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Ahisma

Ahimsa means not using violence. Buddhism teaches that violence is wrong, no matter what the circumstances are or the reason for it.

The teaching suggests that you should be peaceful in your actions, and not harm any living things.

An example of when this teaching may be applied:

A Buddhist may be against embryology. By law, the embryos have to be destroyed after 14 days. Some Buddhists believe that life begins at conception and so they may believe that you are using violdence by destroying the embryos.

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Ahisma

Ahimsa means not using violence. Buddhism teaches that violence is wrong, no matter what the circumstances are or the reason for it.

The teaching suggests that you should be peaceful in your actions, and not harm any living things.

An example of when this teaching may be applied:

A Buddhist may be against embryology. By law, the embryos have to be destroyed after 14 days. Some Buddhists believe that life begins at conception and so they may believe that you are using violdence by destroying the embryos.

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Skilful and unskilful actions

In this context, skilful considers the intention of an action. What is the motive behind it? Is the person intending to do good through their actions, or cause harm?

A skilful action is one that is motivated by good intentions.

An unskilful action is one motivated by selfish/bad intentions.

An example of when this teaching may be applied:

A Buddhist may support blood transfusions, as the intention to save someone else's life is good, and not selfish, because the donor is trying to help someone else.

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The Sanctity of Life

This is the belief that Life is a special gift that should be valued at all costs. Of course, they do not believe in a God, but believe that life is a special energy that should be protected and celebrated.

An example of when this teaching may be applied:

A Buddhist may disagree with the use of IVF because it is creating life, when they believe that life is a gift.

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Karuna

This is the concept of showing compassion.

Buddhism teaches that we should be compassionate in out approach to others, and also not to make super high expectations.

They believe that when making a decision, we should consider what is the compassionate thing for all living things.

An example of when this teaching may be applied:

A Buddhist may look at Capital Punishment and make a decision about whether or not it should be performed depending by considering what is the most caring and loving thing to for the majority. They could argue that is should be use to protect society. On the other hand, they may disagree with it, especially as innocent people have been hung before.

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Comments

wakz

this is good


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