Where There Is Knowledge, There Is Moksha

742 Words3 Pages
Every religion, society, or community has a different framework for deciding what is good or bad. Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and for that reason its ethics has been influenced by many different sources such as modernization and other cultures. But, the troubling question arises, what is Hinduism ethics? Many philosophers have debated on this subject. Some agree that Hindu ethics is based on dhrama, the duty of maintaining order in the universe. But, philosophers end up trapped in a maze because there are many definitions of what dhrama is. According to “Origins of Hindu Ethics”, “the uncertainty of dharma,[comes from] the difficulties in determining the proper path of conduct for [humankind] amid the messiness of human life” (Monius, 334). Humankind may want to control the outcomes of their actions, but the reality is that they cannot. It would be a mistake to pinpoint Hindu ethics as a single idea when it has a variety of concepts integrated into its belief system. Throughout time, many Hindu traditions have changed, including its moral code. Hindu ethics takes into consideration some of the aspects of the three main ethical theories: deontology, consequentialism, and virtue ethics. By not strictly incorporating the three theories into its belief system, but does uses some of its original elements, making it versatile. In Anne Monius article, “Origins of Hindu Ethics,” she discusses that “to be moral, to act rightly, is to realize actively one’s place in the ritually constituted cosmos”(331). This exemplifies dhrama and what deontology is, the duty and obligation of acting righteously. For many years, this had been the central philosophy of Hindu ethics. A person was born into a society that had est... ... middle of paper ... ...hics is acquired through learning as suggested by Manu and Aristotle. Many of the original features of virtue ethics have influenced the Hindu moral reasoning. Hindu ethics like virtue ethics has adapted to individual circumstances rather than the belief of a universal law. The integration of the three theories has made Hindu ethics into a versatile philosophy that will last for many more centuries According to Joseph Prabhu in his article “Trajectories of Hindu ethics”, Hindu ethics has advanced to a point where it “[is] free to seek truth in, and to adapt to, different circumstances, all while maintaining a continuity, but not a sameness, with the past” (356). Hindu ethics maintains some aspects of its traditional ideals, such as the value of duty, the outcome of freedom and knowledge, and overall character. But as the world progresses, Hindu ethics does also.
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