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Moral Dilemmas Response Paper

             In the situation of an instructor of religion traveling at a rate of sixty-five miles per hour in a fifty-five miles per hour zone, killing an opossum, there are ethical and religious dilemmas. In the religions of Jainism and Buddhism, the ethical outlooks of ahimsa (Jainism) and dharma (Buddhism) coincide and are used to reinforce religious doctrines. It is ethically and religiously wrong for a human to break the law by speeding, creating the right conditions to cause harm to an animal, killing that animal. Jainism and Buddhism have different, yet similar, ethical and religious views on this situation. .
             In the religion of Jainism it is ethically and religiously wrong to break the law and to kill an animal. From an ethical standpoint, According to the six authors of Invitation to World Religions, "ahimsa is understood to be the foundation of the entire outlook of Jainism" (227). The basic definition of ahimsa is to not harm anything that is living. To further explain the effect ahimsa has on the Jain community and religion itself, (in respect to animals) it is noted in Invitation to World Religions that, "Jains commonly take in and care for animals that are maltreated or are targeted for slaughter" (232). This is part of the ascetic lifestyle of Jainism.
             From a religious standpoint, it is also wrong to kill an animal in the textbook Invitation to World Religions, "The Five Great Vows" of Jainism states: "1. Avoid inflicting violence (ahimsa) on other life forms5. Renounce possession" (227). The First Great Vow instructs Jains to avoid violence, which in turn reinforces the outlook of ahimsa. The Fifth Great Vow of renouncing possession implements the avoidance of violence (Brodd 227). The instructor broke these two vows. For Jains, the ascetic lifestyle and nonviolence for all living creatures coincide with one another. .
             In regard to the instructor speeding and breaking the law, Jains honor the doctrine of karma.

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