[Buddha-l] Re: Karma and ethics [was: angels]

jkirk jkirk at spro.net
Fri May 27 19:46:10 MDT 2005

> Something that has long fascinated me is that Indian philosophers put
> huge amounts of energy into sorting out metaphysical and epistemological
> and linguistic issues but next to no energy into sorting out ethical
> theories. Buddhist ethics, at least in India, strikes me as quite
> primitive. (I use that term not pejoratively but actually as a virtue.)
> --
> Richard Hayes
The reason for this was that the caste system was so complicated, with each
caste and sub-caste having its own dharma of rules and regs., that the task
was irrelevant if not impossible. That made it easier for Buddhism to be
simple (or primitive, if you prefer) and chuck out the whole idea of merit
based on birth.
As we know, the Buddha deplored the concept of caste, teaching, e.g., that
Brahmins can be discerned by their deeds not their birth, and so by
inference other highnesses as well.

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