A Basic Buddhism Guide: Buddhist Ethics
Religious people were less inclined when it came to seeing how much compassion motivated participants to be charitable in other ways, such as in giving money or food to a homeless person and to non-believers. A review of studies on this topic found "The existing evidence surrounding the effect of religion on crime is varied, contested, and inconclusive, and currently no persuasive answer exists as to the empirical relationship between religion and crime.
A study by Gregory S. Paul argues for a positive correlation between the degree of public religiosity in a society and certain measures of dysfunction,  however, an analysis published later in the same journal contends that a number of methodological and theoretical problems undermine any findings or conclusions taken from Paul's research. Some works indicate that some societies with lower religiosity have lower crime rates—especially violent crime, compared to some societies with higher religiosity.
Ethics in religion
For example, Simon Blackburn states that "apologists for Hinduism defend or explain away its involvement with the caste system, and apologists for Islam defend or explain away its harsh penal code or its attitude to women and infidels".
The Catholic condemnation of birth control, if it could prevail, would make the mitigation of poverty and the abolition of war impossible. The Hindu beliefs that the cow is a sacred animal and that it is wicked for widows to remarry cause quite needless suffering.
You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world.
This can be seen as a recognition of the fact that it is impossible to love the entire world equally and simultaneously. This is called relational ethics, or situational ethics. The Confucian system differs very strongly from Kantian ethics in that there are rarely laws or principles which can be said to be true absolutely or universally.
Ethics in religion - Wikipedia
This is not to say that there has never been any consideration given to universalist ethics. In fact, in Zhou Dynasty China, the Confucians' main opponents, the followers of Mozi argued for universal love Chinese: The Confucian view eventually held sway, however, and continues to dominate many aspects of Chinese thought. Many have argued, for example, that Mao Zedong was more Confucian than Communist. Confucianism, especially of the type argued for by Mencius Chinese: In other words, the ideal ruler does not go out and force the people to become good, but instead leads by example.
The ideal ruler fosters harmony rather than laws. Confucius stresses honesty above all.
He codified traditional practice and actually changed the meaning of the prior concepts that those words had meant. His model of the Confucian family and Confucian ruler dominated Chinese life into the early 20th century. This had ossified by then into an Imperial hierarchy of rigid property rightshard to distinguish from any other dictatorship. Traditional ethics had been perverted by legalism.
Buddhist influence[ edit ] Buddhism, and specifically Mahayana Buddhismbrought a cohesive metaphysic to Chinese thought and a strong emphasis on universalism.
Morality and religion
June Learn how and when to remove this template message Laozi Lao Tzu and other Taoist Daoist authors argued for an even greater passivity on the part of rulers than did the Confucians. For Laozi, Lao Tzu the ideal ruler is one who does virtually nothing that can be directly identified as ruling. Ethics and Community Principles of Moral Thought and Action One of the fundamental Buddhist principles of moral thought and action is karma.
Until such time as one becomes enlightened, one's actions in this life will determine the nature of future rebirths. A related concept fundamental to Buddhism is merit.
Acts of generosity toward and support of Buddhist monks are channeled by the monks toward advancement for the giver in future rebirths or toward improving the lot of deceased relatives.
The Buddha's Four Noble Truths are another guiding principle of moral thought and action, particularly as expressed in the fourth truth, the Eightfold Path. The motivation for following the Four Noble Truths is not to "be good" per se, but to facilitate the realization the Buddhists call enlightenment. The English translation of the terms within the path does nothing to dispel the impression that the Eightfold Path is a series of moral injunctions — "right effort," "right livelihood," etc.
Even in the early texts, the Buddha often mentioned "do nots" when discussing the Eightfold Path. The eight items in the Eightfold Path are often divided into three categories: These classifications are aids to remembering and understanding the nature of each item in the list.
Ethics | The Buddhist Centre
It is important to note that the Eightfold Path is not a series of consecutive steps like the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. In a sense, each is a path in and of itself.
For example, it is not necessary to establish "right understanding" before undertaking "right livelihood. Recalling that the first step in dependent arising is ignoranceit is not surprising that the first item the Buddha mentioned in listing the Eightfold Path was right understanding.