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Buddhist Economy and Other Issues

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The Presentation on "Buddhist Economy" Living life through their four noble truths, Buddhist throughout the world lives not just within their means but with peace in their soul and mind. Buddhist economic is spiritual approach to Economics. It examines the psychology of the human mind and the anxiety, ambition and emotions that direct economic activity. E.F. Schumacher, an economic advisor to British National Coal Board, compares and contrasts the differences between two economic outlooks, which he labels Buddhist economics and modern economics. Those who practice the former are called Buddhists and those who practice the latter are called materialists. Schumacher assumes that there must be such a thing as Buddhist economics, given that one part of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path is "Right Livelihood".

The Four Noble Truths consist of various beliefs and values. This first is that life is suffering (birth, illness, death, etc.). During our lifetime, we certainly have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. The second noble truth is that the origin of suffering is desire. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are temporary, their loss is expected, therefore suffering will necessarily follow. The third noble truth is that cessation of desire leads to the cessation of suffering; expressing the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering. The fourth and last noble truth is the eightfold path, the way to cease or minimizing desires, craving, ignorance and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.

The Modern Economies main source of function is "human labor." Goods and production are seen as having primary importance, with respect to work. The employer sees labor as of benefit only inasmuch as it provides a means of producing goods. Schumacher argues that "the modern economist has been brought up to consider "labor" or work as little more than a necessary evil. "The employee sees labor as of benefit only as it provides wages. The more one works, the more one sacrifices one's leisure and comfort, and wages are a kind of compensation for the sacrifice. Basically meaning that the employer wants "output without employees" and the employee wants "income without employment".

The Buddhist Economies points of view take the function of work to be at least threefold. People are seen as having primary importance, in the context of work. First to develop and utilize one's faculties. Second, to enable one to overcome one's ego-centeredness by joining in common activities and tasks. Third to being forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence. They believe that good character is developed primarily through work. It provides discipline and encourages one to do the best one can, developing one's personality and allowing one to display one's values. Schumacher also cover the Buddhist point of view on tools and mechanics. "There are two types of mechanization." The first is a "tool" which enhances one's skill and power. The Second is "machines," which force one to serve as "mechanical slaves" that do the work of people. The Buddhist will also argue that Work should not be "meaningless, boring, stultifying, or nerve-racking", but should be managed with human character development in mind. Work and leisure are complimentary, and one should not aim to reduce or eliminate work. Similarly, one should not aim to have only leisure. Full employment, which is aimed for, is more likely to be achieved if women do not have "outside" jobs. Women generally should not have an outside job, and their job is primarily to look after the home and children. Schumacher and the group clearly stated that "Woman does not need an "outside" job, and the large scale employment of women in offices and factories would be considered a sign of serious economic failure."

In a modern economy the standard of living is measured by the amount of annual consumption. One is better off if one consumes more, as the theory is that as consumption is increased so too is satisfaction. Consumption is the sole end of all economic activity, and land, labor and capital are the means The Buddhist economy has opposite views and beliefs. Buddhist believes that the aim is to attain a maximum of well-being with a minimum of consumption. Consumption is simply a means to well-being, but is not an indicator in itself of success. The aim is for ideal consumption, not maximal consumption. Physical well-being and pleasure generated from it are not avoided, but craving for this is seen as unhealthy and wrong. Meaning it is not wealth that is wrong, but the attachment to wealth.

The Presentation on "Technology, Demography and the Anachronism of Traditional Rights" Robert E. McGinn argued for a new conception of rights. The three



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