Friday, July 24, 2009

Kirkpatrick Sale, Buddhist Economics: The Eight-Fold Path

Sale develops a Buddhist Economics, perhaps too much in that direction, when E. F. Schumacher admittedly named it such because if he called it "Christian Economics" it would be ignored. So we get this from Mr. Sale: "All production of goods and services would be based on a reverence for life, a biocentric world view that takes in animals, birds, fishes, insects, plants, trees (especially important to Buddha), all the living ecosystems and the air and water they depend on—in short the living earth, Gaea herself."

He also writes: "All economic decisions would be made in accordance with the Buddhist principle, “Cease to do evil, try to do good,” and the definition of “good” would be that which preserves and enhances the integrity, stability, diversity, continuity, and beauty of living species and systems; that which does the contrary is evil."

That is nothing more than the first principle of practical reason... is man a part of a system, and does the good of the system outweigh the good of men? Or is the good of the system ordered to the good of men?

Some are not content with Christians advocating stewardship -- they see Christianity as being wrong because Christians hold the rest of material Creation is for the sake of man. But this does not entail that man is free to do whatever he pleases with the rest of Creation. That the rest of material Creation is for man to use for his own perfection is not by itself the foundation of Christian moral teaching, from which all other precepts are derived.

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