Thursday, September 01, 2011

Adding Buddhism to the Potter Box

A friend who is both Buddhist and journalist responded thus to my questions about Buddhist ethics. He said that in his experience ethics was not a word often evoked by Buddhists. However,

I’ve heard teachers say that all you need to know are the Four Noble Truths. That encompasses Buddhism. You’re done. What they don’t tell you, at first anyway, is how incredibly dense, and difficult, and especially, how layered the Four Noble Truths are. It’s a lifetime of work.

Anyway, for your students, this is Buddhism, all the sects subscribe to the Four Noble Truths.

The Four Noble Truths

1. The First Noble Truth is the Noble Truth of Suffering. Life contains inevitable, unavoidable suffering.

2. The Second Noble Truth is the Cause of Suffering. The principal cause of suffering is clinging to anything at all.

3. The Third Noble Truth is the End of Suffering. The end of suffering comes with the end of clinging.

4. The Fourth Noble Truth is The Truth of the Path Leading to the End of Suffering. The Path is The Eightfold Path.

1. Right Understanding.

2. Right Aspiration

3. Right Effort

4. Right Speech

5. Right Conduct

6.Right Livelihood

7.Right Mindfulness

8.Right Concentration


Unknown said...
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Todd A said...

"The cause of suffering is clinging to anything at all."
Journalism, in my eyes, is mainly about clinging onto something: clinging onto tragic events past, clinging onto a major storm that may cause massive devastation, clinging onto the results of the latest football game, etc. Therefore, it would seem, that the act of journalism would beget some form of suffering (Suffering does not necessarily denote massive, unimaginable pain, I believe in this context it refers to any sort of adverse/negative emotion). For example, a journalist does a story on how unhealthy McDonalds food is --> those who work for McDonalds will suffer the consequences of this story. But, on the other hand a large number of people will benefit from this info. In this light, Journalism and Buddhism together would have to go down the middle path: the aim is to inflict as little suffering as possible and be as beneficial to as many people as possible. I believe that the eight-fold path is a more obvious parallel to ethics in Buddhism.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Glad you commented on this post. I'll encourage my friend to respond.