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How Does an Empty Buddhist Bioethics Work: The Example of Abortion
Author Tsai, Yao-ming
Source Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Applied Ethics and Applied Philosophy in East Asia
Pages148 - 159
PublisherKobe University
Publisher Url
Location兵庫, 日本 [Hyogo, Japan]
Content type專題研究論文=Research Paper
NoteAuthor affiliations: Professor, Department of Philosophy, National Taiwan University.
AbstractBuddhist bioethics aims to identify and evaluate different bioethical positions advanced in Buddhist texts and traditions. The Buddhist aim of eliminating suffering coincides with the objectives of medicine. Increasingly, researchers see the value of Buddhist bioethical discourse on various topics and apply its tenets to contemporary issues and problems. However, central to Buddhist philosophy is the concept of emptiness (śūnyatā), which means the absence of inherent existence in all phenomena. Emptiness signifies that everything encountered in life lacks an absolute identity, is impermanent, and does not support a personal self. From this perspective, the idea that anything can be wholly self-sufficient or independent is the primary delusion we confront in our existence. Can Buddhist philosophy maintain a bioethical system? If our existence is essentially empty what scope is there for bioethical discourse or a bioethical system? Is it not debatable that any prescriptions for or against specific actions are equally empty? Finally, if personhood is empty who carries out action? To address these questions this article will demonstrate that a Buddhist bioethics based on the doctrine of emptiness is both feasible and effective.
Table of contentsI. Introduction 148
II. What is Buddhist Bioethics? 149
III. A Shift of Bioethical Questions from Entity-centered to A Process-oriented Perspective 149
IV. Insight into Emptiness from a Process-oriented Perspective 151
V. What Can an Empty Vision Offer for Bioethical Exploration? 152
VI. What Can an Empty Vision Suggest for Bioethical Controversies? 154
VII. Conclusion 158
Created date2020.11.26

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