Topic 1: Prejudice and Discrimintation
Prejudice = Judging another person without any evidence. Bias for/against people or things without any proper reasons
Discrimination = Treating people differently because of race, gender, religion, etc.
Actions that result from prejudice
Topic 1: Types of prejudice
Topic 1: Causes and origins of prejudice
- Influence from parents
- Influence from media
- One off bad personal experience
Topic 1: Religious attitudes to prejudice and disc
Buddhist response involves 4 key concepts
- Justice - To act or treat fairly
- Tolerance - A fair and objective attitude towards those whose opinions differ from our own
- Harmony - Agreement in relationships
- Value of the individual
Buddhism: Discrimination leads to suffering therefore it is wrong and should be avoided
The 5 Precepts - Belief not to harm others or use harmful language
Metta (loving kindness)
Sangha (everyone is equal)
Karma - Prejudice = Bad Karma
Dalai Lama: stated that the best way to live life is to 'always think compassion'
Dhammapada - Hate is conquered by love
Prejudice comes from six main delusions - Ignorance, greed, anger, pride, doubt and the doctrine of delusion.
Topic 1: Effects of prejudice and discrimination
Feelings of isolation, exclusion, depression, anger
Discrimination leads to extremism if discriminated groups band together and share the anger
Positive discrimination: A reference to policies that take factors including race, colour, religion etc. into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually to counter the effects of a history of discrimination. Eg. Women only seats in parliament.
Topic 1: Religious response to prejudice and discr
Religion provides practical and spiritual support to victims of discrimination.
- A religious book may have teachings that offer comfort, support and perspective.
- Religious leaders offer help and listen to issues
- Meetings can be organised to highlight the problems and set up support groups
- Tolerance and harmony can be promoted through school assemblies for example
- People can pray for/with you and make you feel you are not on your own
Law: Race Relations Act of 1976, Equal Pay, Sex Discrimination, Disability Discrimination and Sexual Orientation Regulation
Groups: The Fawcett Society, Fare, Stonewall and Age Concern all fight discrimination
Topic 1: Mahatma Gandhi
Worked to gain migrant Indian workers in South Africa basic rights
Peacfully protested the British rule in India.
Tryed to improve race relations between Hindus and Muslims.
Fought against unfair caste system.
Legacy of non-violence
"An eye for an eye...and soon we shall all be blind"
Studied as barrister but became a non-violent activist for human rights universally
Topic 1: Martin Luther King
Black american born in a time of segregation.
Learned through Christianity that everyone was equal and that colour shouldn't matter.
Influenced by Gandhi, using non-violent means for the end of segregation.
Became political figure whose rousing speeches elicited change.
Used marches and boycotts to demonstrate that every child should have the same rights, education and opportunities.
Topic 1: Desmond Tutu
Born in South Africa 1931 where there was a separation of the black and white community, with a white minority.
Became Anglican bishop in 1976, criticising the apartheid government.
With the risk of imprisonment, the apartheid system in South Africa was dismantled
Next elections gave first black President - Nelson Mandela.
Brought international pressure on the South African government to alter Apartheid Laws.
Topic 2: Uses/abuses of animals Part 1
Transport and work - Mules, sniffer dogs, Trained cormorants for fish catching in Japan
Not natural, Often not fed/rested/cared for, Worked to Death
Farming - Organic, free range and battery farming
Animals not cared for, Forced to breed and grow, Focus on profits
Sport/Hunting - Horse/Greyhound racing, dog fights, badger baiting
Cruel training, injuries, no vet treatment and chance of death
Bull Fighting - Spain national sport.
Slow painful death, provocation and stress, poor vet care
Experimentation - Drugs/make up/surgery. Usually rats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, guinea pigs
Suffering for man's benefit, possible alternatives, often useless due to differences
Topic 2: Uses/Abuses of animals Part 2
Zoo - Not natural environment, Small cages, Stress to animals
Genetic Modification/Cloning - Altering DNA (glow in dark cats), Cloning (Dolly the sheep)
Usually don't work, Messing around with nature unaware of consequences
Fur/Ivory - Animals farmed and electrocuted for fur. Elephants/Rhino hunted.
Unnecessary items, Causes great suffering, Unregulated farms
Preventing extinction - All animals have a role in ecosystem. Extinct animal = Consequences
Some animals helpful in medical research, Planet affected for children
Topic 2: Animals and Humans
Both are sentient beings
Peter Singer, philosopher, says that "speciesism" (we are more valuable than animals) equal to racism and sexism
Possible reasons we are more important:
Yet we are unsure that animals don't have some of these qualities
Topic 2: Value of animals
RSPCA - Rescue animals who have been abused
PETA - Fight for animal rights and ethics
Animal Rights - Basic entitlements that animals should have food, water, shelter etc.
Topic 2: Buddhist views on Animal rights
First Precept: "I undertake to abstain from taking life"
Second Precept: "I undertake to abstain from taking what is not freely given"
Show metta (loving kindness) and karuna (compassion) to all sentient beings.
Practise ahimsa (non-violence)
Buddha: "All living things fear being beaten with clubs. All living things fear being put to death. Putting oneself in the place of the other, Let no-one kill nor cause another to kill (Dhammapada)
Jataka Tales: When the Buddha attained enlightenment, he remembered all previous lives, animal and human.
Belief that because animals unable to engage in conscious acts of selfimprovement, they will continue to be reborn as animals until their karmic debt is exhausted. Only when they are reborn as human beings can they resume the quest for nirvana.
Topic 2: Buddhism and Vegetarianism
Due to 1st Precept, ahimsa, metta, karuna and the buddha himself, many buddhists are vegetarian.
The Buddha forbade monks and nuns from slaughtering animals.
Many Buddhists feel that vegetarianism does less damage to the environment and enables the earth's resources to be shared more fairly
Buddhism expects individual to excercise their own judgement
Different interpretations of First Precept, killing an animal not the same as eating meat
If offered meat, it should be accepted as generosity(dana). Monks and nuns eat meat if placed in their alms bowls.
Vegetarianism not practical: Tibetan Buddhists eat meat as not enough land for sufficient crops
Dalai Lama eats meat for health reasons.
Topic 3: Origins of Life
Three schools of thought
1. World came into existence by nature. Nature not an intelligent force. Goes on changing and works on its own accord
2. World created by almighty God, responsible for everything
3. Beginning of world and life is inconceivable since they have neither beginning nor end
Buddhist believe the third option. Opposite to Judeo-Christian religions.
Samsara cycle of birth - life - death - rebirth. Cyclical view of time.
Supported by Three Marks of Existence/ Three Universal Truths, particularly:
- Anatta: No soul
- Anicca: Impermanence-Everything constantly changing, nothing lasts
- Together these suggest all things are interdependent. Nothing REALLY has beginning/end
Topic 3: Buddha story about origin of world
One day a man called Malunkyaputta approached the Master and demanded that He explain the origin of the Universe to him. He even threatened to cease to be His follow if the Buddha's answer was not satisfactory.
In answer, the Buddha related the parable of a man who was shot by a poisoned arrow. This foolish man refused to have the arrow removed until he found out all about the person who shot the arrow. By the time his attendants discovered these unnecessary details, the man was dead.
Buddha saying that there are more important questions.
Understanding existence we have matters - being enlightened
This will give us the only chance of happiness/satisfaction we have
Topic 3: Awe and Wonder
Awe and wonder words used to describe the special feeling people have when experiencing natural phenomena (beauty of a sunset, feeling of insignificence when looking at a starry sky, feeling of privelige to exist in such a world)
Other religions feel this is evidence of a purpose to life and a creator God.
Glimpse of three truths: Anicca and anatta = interdependence, Dukkha: once realised, we are not bothered by "unsatisfactoriness"
Realisation of possibility of acheiving Nirvana. Nirvana is an inner peace, feeling at one with all things. Not desiring anything, but feeling metta, karuna, uppekha, mudita
Overall, this sense of awe and wonder may be seen as a permanent part of an enlightened state.
Topic 3: Religious response to stewardship
Stewardship - belief that people should care for the planet as a duty
Buddhist beliefs: Eightfold Path - Right livelihood(should not earn a living that violates Buddhist Principles), Right action - Five precepts - precept one (do not harm living beings)Anatta and anicca- all things interdependent, therefore harming the environment harms yourself.
Brahma Viharas - Metta, karuna, uppekha and mudita. Should be felt for all beings in the world. Supports caring for planet now and in the future
3 poisons (ignorance, hatred and greed) - These keep us in samsara and prevent us from enlightenment. Greed for money leads to destruction of natural habitats and abuse of resources. Buddhist duty to stop these poisons misleading their choices. Bodhisattva path also shows that Buddhists should help others to realise the truth.
Karma: continues after death therefore we should leave a good legacy.
Buddha's past lives: When enlightened, the buddha recalled all of his past lives, many as animals. Therefore we must protect the environment. This may symbolise the interpendence of life, therefore we must protect and respect all life.
Topic 3: Climate Change
Climate is changing due to natural cycles of change in Earth's temperature. Due to path through space, goes through hotter and cooler periods. Yet most scientists believe that human activity over past 250 years has contributed to climate change
Consequences: average temperature increase between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius in 2100.
More extreme weather patterns e.g. hurricanes
Melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
Desertification leads to death of animals
Solutions: Find renewable energy sources.
Topic 3: Pollution
Fumes from car exhausts pollutes the air, acid rain damages building and land, factories empty waste into rivers, fertiliser from farms gets into water cycle and poisons fish.
Light pollution from cities block out the stars
Litter can poison animals
Airports and flight routes cause noise pollution.
Waste produces greenhouse gases
Topic 3: Destruction of natural habitats
Oil spills wipe out all life in an area.
Any time land is cleared, plants and habitats destroyed.
Deforestation: Creates grazing areas/mines/roads/accommodation leads to death of species
Also means fewer trees to photosynthesise and remove CO2 from environment.
Some plants have medical qualities that may never be discovered.
Topic 3: Use/abuse of Natural Resources
Vegetation, minerals and fossil fuels.
Tech advances = more fossil fuels required
Alternative sources of fuel needed because :
- Fossil fuels cause greenhouse gases and are major contributors to climate change
- They are running out
Topic 3: Modern Living
Reduce unnecessary use of cars, share lifts, recycle more, waste less food, buy organic food, avoid fast food that gets meat from herds grazed on deforested land, contact local MPs, never litter and actually pick up rubbish, join/donate to organisations like Greenpeace, don't replace tech so often.
Gandhi: You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Topic 3: International Efforts
Earth summit happens every 10 years
1972: Stockholm Declaration and Action Plan: set out principles for helping the environment
1982: Our Common Future: we must meet the current needs of people but not at expense of the future
1992: Rio De Janeiro: Commission for Sustainable Development formed
Ten years enough?
2002: Targets agreed to use cleaner fuels. USA and Aussie withdraw
Topic 3: Sustainable Development
Aim that all new tech developments should be long-lasting
Conservation: Attempt to protect an area or species
Removing polluting factor from lakes and rivers, Planting trees to prevent landslide.
Holidays to help environment (Kenyan lion reserve, vegetation walls in Scotland)