Abortion

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Will
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Re: Abortion

Post by Will » Fri May 17, 2013 2:30 pm

Bakmoon wrote:
Will wrote:As yogurt put it: "trying to form an opinion on abortion in today's world based on the suttas". Very true, but I was not trying to form my opinion or anyone's else's. I simply wanted to get many Theravadin sources on the subject and discuss how abortion was viewed THEN not now.
The Vinaya says that it is a Parajika offense for a monk to be involved in an abortion after the consciousness has manifested itself. That is stated in Parajika 3 in the Sutta Vibhanga.

Ajahn Brahm discusses the issue of abortion in regards to the canonical material in this article which may be helpful:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn ... _Begin.pdf
Yes, the canonical sources quoted are helpful. His analysis seems flawed at this point though:
The ethical quality of karma has much to do with the happiness or suffering that one deliberately inflicts upon another. When the other is incapable of feeling pleasure or pain, such considerations become irrelevant.
That is exactly the rationale that was used to justify animal cruelty, 'animals nervous system are not very sensitive', thus humans can relax and torture freely. Also, I think kamma has more to do with the mind of the actor, not the subject of any action. That is, having in mind any negative feeling from ridding one's (or another's) body of an unwanted creature - the embryo or fetus - is still implanting negative kamma in our mindstream.
Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. -- MN 19

Zakattack
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Re: Abortion

Post by Zakattack » Fri May 17, 2013 7:40 pm

Will wrote:Yes, the canonical sources quoted are helpful. His analysis seems flawed at this point though:
The ethical quality of karma has much to do with the happiness or suffering that one deliberately inflicts upon another. When the other is incapable of feeling pleasure or pain, such considerations become irrelevant.
That is exactly the rationale that was used to justify animal cruelty, 'animals nervous system are not very sensitive', thus humans can relax and torture freely.

Taken in context (rather than isolated on its own, out of context), Ajahn Brahma's analysis, pertaining to the primitive embryo, is a statement of fact rather than flawed. Ajahn Brahma's analysis is not the rationale that was used to justify animal cruelty because animals have a fully developed nervous system where the embryo does not.
Will wrote:Also, I think kamma has more to do with the mind of the actor, not the subject of any action. That is, having in mind any negative feeling from ridding one's (or another's) body of an unwanted creature - the embryo or fetus - is still implanting negative kamma in our mindstream.
Yes. This consideration is valid. The mind of the actor must bear instinctual negative sorrow & regret that may arise & reconcile these feelings with their intention. Ultimately, Buddha taught kamma is intention (rather than feeling vedana). Women often abort due to believing they are not in a position to take the many year responsibility for a new life, due to personal, financial, social, etc, deficiencies. Their intentions are often based in concern & fear rather than in violence & hate. Attempting to examine their state of intention may be more profitable than rigid moral fundamentalism. Of course, it is ideal a women carry the pregnancy & place the child for adoption but Buddha explained the world is not an 'ideal' place but, instead, a world fraught with ignorance, craving & suffering.

:alien:

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fivebells
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Re: Abortion

Post by fivebells » Fri May 17, 2013 8:58 pm

Will wrote:Sure is difficult to focus on what Buddha taught - evidently.
He taught one thing: suffering and the end of suffering. From that perspective, this thread is very ironic.

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Will
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Re: Abortion

Post by Will » Fri May 17, 2013 9:59 pm

fivebells wrote:
Will wrote:Sure is difficult to focus on what Buddha taught - evidently.
He taught one thing: suffering and the end of suffering. From that perspective, this thread is very ironic.
Which is why I basically gave up on this one and started another 'Abortion Sources' under Classical. It is there I hope to see more of Buddha's teachings related to abortion.
Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. -- MN 19

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Mr Man
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Re: Abortion

Post by Mr Man » Sat May 18, 2013 8:42 am

Will wrote:
fivebells wrote:
Will wrote:Sure is difficult to focus on what Buddha taught - evidently.
He taught one thing: suffering and the end of suffering. From that perspective, this thread is very ironic.
Which is why I basically gave up on this one and started another 'Abortion Sources' under Classical. It is there I hope to see more of Buddha's teachings related to abortion.
Will, what would you like the Buddha's teachings related to abortion to be?

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Will
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Re: Abortion

Post by Will » Sat May 18, 2013 2:29 pm

Will wrote:
Which is why I basically gave up on this one and started another 'Abortion Sources' under Classical. It is there I hope to see more of Buddha's teachings related to abortion.
Mr Man wrote:Will, what would you like the Buddha's teachings related to abortion to be?
First- in the other thread 'Abortion Sources' - not here.
Second - anything related to the birth process & the termination in the womb of that;
Third - the ethical teachings or kammic results of such.
Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. -- MN 19

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binocular
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Re: Abortion

Post by binocular » Sun May 19, 2013 7:12 pm

Ajahn Brahm wrote:The ethical quality of karma has much to do with the happiness or suffering that one deliberately inflicts upon another. When the other is incapable of feeling pleasure or pain, such considerations become irrelevant.
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn ... _Begin.pdf
The language is convulted here. First he talks about happiness and suffering, and then about pleasure and pain.

If he's trying to convey that embryos don't suffer, and that it is therefore not wrong to kill them - then this also suggests that it is not wrong to kill an arahant, since an arahant also doesn't suffer.

!!

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