Contemporary Buddhism 16 (1):43-54 (2015)

This paper examines the viability, in principle, of a secular Buddhist ethics, aimed at Buddhists, in the absence of the traditional, non-secular motivators of the laws of karma and the doctrine of rebirth. I argue that Buddhist ethics can be construed either as a consequentialist or virtue ethics, with anattā or suññatā as grounding metaphysical ideas, neither of which presupposes a belief in either the cosmic-retribution idea of karma or any multiple-life view of human existence. Additionally, consequentialism is primarily concerned with compassion, which is very much a within-world action tendency, and virtue ethics can be construed such that both the end goal as well as the relevant virtues are perfectly circumscribed within a single lifetime.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/14639947.2015.1006802
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The Nature of Buddhist Ethics.Damien Keown - 1992 - St. Martin's Press.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Secular Buddhism and Justice.Bruno Contestabile - 2018 - Contemporary Buddhism 19 (2):237-250.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Introduction.Robert K. Garcia & Nathan L. King - 2009 - In Robert K. Garcia & Nathan L. King (eds.), Is Goodness Without God Good Enough? A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield.
On Science, Good, Bad and Ugly.David Tribe - 2012 - The Australian Humanist 107 (107):15.


Added to PP index

Total views
44 ( #256,919 of 2,505,154 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,587 of 2,505,154 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes