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Write a five-paragraph application exercise, following the guidelines attached. Be sure that the introductory paragraph briefly restates the (a) and (b) options of your “Dilemma in the News.” Be sure that you have “paraphrased” (not re-quoted) the ethical teachings of the Summary that you selected; be sure that you have labeled three body paragraphs 1, 2, 3 where you apply the three teachings from your summary. And be sure that the last sentence in each of the last four paragraphs clearly states what is to be done, (a) or (b).
An Ethical Dilemma in the News
Sarah is a young adult, and her career as a journalist is just now getting started. After showing symptoms, she decided to take a pregnancy test that returned a positive. She knew her whole life was about to change, no matter what decision she was to make. The decision at hand is no easy one either, as there are two options which each have their own ethical reasonings behind them. She is now faced with a difficult choice, whether she should have an abortion, or carry through with the pregnancy as a single woman straight out of college.
(a) Sarah’s first option is to have an abortion. There are “good and bad” sides to every decision that anyone could make, and this one is no different. A vital belief in favor of this option is the value of freedom and choice. As an American, Sarah has grown up being told that her liberty is something to be celebrated, and something that was fought for. Her freedom to choose what happens with her own life and her own body is no different. Another reasoning towards this option is Sarah’s career. She has put so much time, effort, and money into her college education, and she is only just now getting started. She has been over the moon about the new job that she just landed and choosing this option would allow her to continue working at her dream job. There are always two sides to every choice though, and Sarah feels deep down the weight that this decision could have on her life. There are many differing opinions about at what point human life begins. Sarah is not super confident in her stance on this and would not be able to forgive herself if she felt as if she took away a life.
(b) Sarah’s other option is to carry out the pregnancy and begin her new life as a single mother. She is not currently in any kind of committed relationship and lives on her own in a studio apartment in a big city. Having a child was nowhere near on her radar and having to turn her life upside down to raise one is the most daunting thing that has ever happened to her in her life. The largest belief in favor of this decision is the value of human life. However, the question is, at what point does human life truly begin? As stated before, there are many differing opinions on this, and Sarah still has no idea how far along in her pregnancy she could be at the moment. Another reasoning for choosing this option is actually having a child. Sarah has always wanted to be a mother one day, and she feels as though this could possibly be the time. Although unexpected, she knows that it would still fulfill her dream of having a child of her own. On the other side of this decision, she would be giving up the career that she has worked so hard for. She cannot help but believe that making this choice would crush her lifelong dream of being a journalist that was just beginning to become a reality for her.
After finding out she is pregnant, Sarah is faced with the most difficult decision of her life. The big picture comes to the weight of the value of freedom to choose, and the value of human life. Both of these are values that Sarah and most other Americans hold very high. Should she have an abortion? Or should she carry out the pregnancy and become a single mother?
Summary of Ethical Teachings from precepts of Buddhism
Learning ethics is the basis of having a harmonious, peaceful, and thriving community. One of the important ways of learning ethics is by examining ethical teaching from reliable and authoritative doctrines, such as the precepts of Buddhism. Therefore, this paper seeks to summarize The Fourteen Mindfulness Teachings created by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966 in Saigon, Vietnam. The Fourteen Mindfulness Training is the fundamental guiding principle for the Order of Interbeing. This growing community started in Plum Village but now the teachings are spreading rapidly across the globe. Thich Nhat Hanh Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings teaches the best ways of having a harmonious community through openness, compassion, and right livelihood.
Understandably, in the first four steps of mindfulness training, emphasis is placed on the importance of openness as a way of freeing our thoughts, avoiding narrow-mindedness, and wading of suffering. What is even more surprising is the determination the writer instills in the followers to pursue openness by not allowing any fanaticism, even if it relates to Buddhism. The emphasized part reads, “Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones” (Hanh). Such commitment and devotion to seeing everything with openness show unmatched conviction to create a harmonious world free of violence, discrimination, and suffering.
Additionally, the emphasis on compassion, love, and understanding throughout the Fourteen Mindfulness Training tells more about the concept’s significance. The author asserts that “we are determined not to accumulate wealth while millions are hungry and dying nor to take as the aim of our life fame, power, wealth, or sensual pleasure, which can bring much suffering and despair” (Hanh). The main aim of compassion and showing love is purely to avoid suffering on an individual and others. The author notes that staying conscious of toxins that affect both body and mind is one of the best practices to be compassionate. Thus, the focus is to avoid intoxicating the body and mind by not taking alcohol, indulging in sensual activities, succumbing to anger, being greedy, watching toxic programs, and listening to unhelpful talks.
Besides, right livelihood is another central idea argued for in the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. It involves dwelling happily in the present moment, observing proper communication, committing to truthfulness, and protecting nature. The notable point within the text is that “We will do our best to select a livelihood that contributes to the wellbeing of all species on earth and helps realize our ideal of understanding and compassion” (Hanh). That means living in the right manner involves minding about others, including the environment and everything that determines peoples’ and species’ lives. Not harming others or the environment in any way or depriving others of the chance to lead a good life is emphasized.
In brief, The Fourteen Mindfulness Training are guidelines developed by Thich Nhat Hanh to teach how to lead a harmonious life. The emphasis throughout the text is on the significance of absolute openness, compassion, and the right livelihood. Observing the suggested principles, the author presumes a progressive community devoid of suffering, hate, greed, social evils, and other problems. Thus, it is enlightenment for good and better living.
Hanh, Thich Nhat. “The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings.” Plum Village, https://plumvillage.org/mindfulness-practice/the-14-mindfulness-trainings/
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