Today we face an unprecedented crisis of living. That's because modern civilization rushes against the dignity of life. We, human beings, who have been pretending creator's agents, were contaminated with anthropocentricism that men should control all creatures. Also, we commit destruction of lives, not recognizing our own danger.
Anthropocentricism can be defined as a belief that all value is a human value and other beings except man are just tools or means for the value. The belief came out as modern humanism in man's history. Modern humanism starting with Francis Becon's statement, “Knowledge is power(Credo est potentia).” triggered Western capitalism and made rapid progress in science and technology.
The science and technology brought man a modern convenience to which they don't want to go back again, however, a frame for coexistence of human and animal got broken, and then even a final stronghold of life value was lost or destructed, while man destroys nature in the rapture of the convenience. If we don't stop destroying nature and coexistent life, we can't help facing only ruins. The important thing to us is living together with nature.
Man should not be the lord of creation in the universe any more. Moreover, man destroying an ecosystem of the earth or the universe should realize that he plays a role of cancerous cell. Unless there is a great turnover in an ethic outlook, man's future is hopeless. We should overcome a conflicting ethic viewpoint of discriminating or separating man/man, man/animal, and man/nature to deepen an ethic of coexistence.
The recently suggested ethical points refer to even living-being liberation. However, those assertions have already been explained in precepts of Buddhism. Moreover, Buddhism presents an expanded ethic outlook on a living -being liberation. It is not a limited opinion but an universal explanation covering Buddhism at large.
Buddhism gives the best virtue to life. In Buddhism, life has an absolute value. Accordingly, Buddhism prohibits from taking life. We have a loyal summons to protect other lives and also should protect our own lives. That's because everyone wants to be freed from death and destruction of life. Putting ourselves in others' shoes, we shouldn't kill another living thing or make it lead to death.
Buddhism understands the precept of abstention from taking life in a broader moral horizon than other religions. In Buddhism, killing the living is prohibited by a precept whether they are people, animals or any being with a life. It teaches to leave or keep away from that behavior.
Prof. Sung Hyun, Shin The Dongguk Post
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