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Buddha and Socrates share Common ground

David Tanguay

January 24, 2014

“Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.” Buddha



This quote by Buddha holds many truths, for if we speak or act with a pure mind then happiness will indeed dwell in our souls. To show a certain amount of decency in our behavior towards our fellow human beings i.e. to portray love and respect with one another as we go about our daily lives in society will only strengthen our character with moral integrity.

The following excerpt from wikipedia encyclopedia is taken to define ethics.

Richard Paul and Linda Elder of the Foundation for Critical Thinking define ethics as "a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures ''[[Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy]]'' states that the word ethics is "commonly used interchangeably with '[[morality]]'& nbsp;... and sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a particular tradition, group or individual ''The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy'', 1995.</ref> Paul and Elder state that, "most people confuse ethics with behaving in accordance with social conventions, religious beliefs and the law", and don't treat ethics as a stand-alone concept

The word ethics in English can mean several things. It can refer to philosophical ethics—a project that attempts to use reason in order to answer various kinds of ethical questions. It can also be used to describe a particular person's own, idiosyncratic principles or habits. For example: "Joe has good ethics." It may also be used to characterize the questions of right-conduct in some specific sphere, even when such right-conduct is not examined philosophically: "business ethics or the ethics of child-rearing" may refer, but need not refer, to a philosophical examination of such issues.

     Virtue ethics

According to Socrates “Virtue ethics” describes the character of a moral agent as a driving force for ethical behavior, and is used to describe the ethics of [[Socrates]], [[Aristotle]], and other early Greek philosophers. [[Socrates]] (469&nbsp; BC – 399&nbsp; BC) was one of the first [[Greek philosophy to encourage both scholars and the common citizen to turn their attention from the outside world to the condition of humankind.

In this view, [[knowledge]] having a bearing on human life was placed highest, all other knowledge being secondary. [[Self-knowledge (psychology) |Self-knowledge]] was considered necessary for success and inherently an essential good. A self-aware person will act completely within his capabilities to his pinnacle, while an ignorant person will flounder and encounter difficulty.

To Socrates, a person must become aware of every fact (and its context) relevant to his existence, if he wishes to attain self-knowledge. He posited that people will naturally do what is good, if they know what is right.

Evil or bad actions are the result of ignorance. If a criminal was truly aware of the intellectual and spiritual consequences of his actions, he would neither commit nor even consider committing those actions. Any person who knows what is truly right will automatically do it, according to Socrates. While he correlated knowledge with [[virtue]], he similarly equated virtue with [[joy]]. The truly wise man will know what is right, do what is good, and therefore be happy.



Wikipedia provides the following  information on ethics


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by Jennifer Stewart
2 years 149 days ago.
David was such a private person in many ways. I wondered after he came back from being in hospital what had happened, but he never said. I feel bereft at losing him. He was very kind to me. God rest his beautiful soul.
by Connor Davidson
2 years 150 days ago.
It's just such a shame. I think it is fair to say that Dave was one of the nicest men on the internet. Everything I ever read that he wrote (over the last 6 years) is evidence of this. His comments and emails were always impeccably polite regardless of how strongly you disagreed with him. We should learn from that in the same way we should learn from this article.
by Hilda Cang
2 years 151 days ago.
David, you left us so sudden. This is going to be the last article you have ever written for us.

However, I'm sure many of us here are missing you.

Rest in peace !
by Bruce Horst
2 years 151 days ago.
And with this, Dave has written his last poem. His brother Mike told me that his family read this after Dave's passing and concluded that he knew that this was his last poem before his death.

I'm going to miss him, and his poems.
by Bruce Horst
2 years 149 days ago.
After writing this, I realized that it is probably Dave's poem on SearchWarp, "Starry Starry Night" which is the poem which Dave's family read and concluded that Dave knew his passing was near.

by Steve Kovacs
2 years 154 days ago.
I liked this article for two reasons. First, I never knew Buddha said what he did which I agree with and I never knew that Socrates thought as you explain about knowledge, right, good and happiness. I agree with him too. It's good to know that I agree with what these great thinkers knew so many eons ago. Thanks for writing this article which is kind of like a reaffirmation for me.
by David Tanguay
2 years 153 days ago.
Thank you for commnting Steve, I also agre with with thesse great thinkers.
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