Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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pilgrim wrote: ↑
Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:25 pm
Yes, you are right. Perhaps I should word it the other way - Having children cannot be an unskillful act.
It could be if the parents happen to have no sense of irony and are inspired to procreate after reading Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal
"A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout."
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta
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Do you think all the people in third world countries having kids is unethical? They tend to have a lot of kids too. If you live in an affluent society then you can bring up a child with a decent lifestyle, but if you live in poverty stricken Ethiopia and decide to have kids...is that wrong?
I personally don't want to have kids. I never felt I could handle such a big responsibility. Also, the thought of having kids just never interested me much. I've always seen having kids as a lifestyle choice, rather than a moral decision. I think the moral issue comes into play when you know that you're bringing the child into the world in a less than ideal scenario. Like living in a poverty stricken country, not being mentally/emotionally ready to raise a child, etc.
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mddrill wrote: ↑
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:36 am
Wouldn't that be bringing a child into an existence which is suffering?
In case it's not been pointed out already, the Buddha didn't phrase it like that. He didn't say 'life is suffering'
, he said, 'there is (this noble truth of) suffering'
. He then lists all the stressful things beings can experience. Do we want these things? No. What can we do about it? Develop the Noble Eight-fold Path to completion. Then, no more suffering.
It can take a while to grasp the subtlety, but there is a difference between these two statements, 'life is suffering'
, and 'there is (this noble truth of) suffering'
. They are not
NB: 'suffering' as a term, does not fully express what is meant by the Pali term, 'dukkha', which (as I understand it) encapsulates not just obvious, gut-wrenching instances of pain or distress, but also milder experiences such as irritation, dissatisfaction, or even just disturbance (lack of peace).
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