AIC ►Jain Ethics in Modern World: Western Approach ►Dr. Natalia Zheleznova

Published: 10.02.2015

Anuvrat International Conference

There is a serious demand in modern world of a fresh approach to the ethical problems raised by contemporary multicultural reality. Relevance and adequate answers given by major monotheistic traditions are under question. Christianity, Islam, Judaism and so on claim their own doctrines as the only Truth in Itself without hesitating about rights and truths of others.

Obviously, the modern or even post-modern society of consumption leads the mankind to the unlimited unreasonable consumerism and thus reduces human life to a mere aggregate of goods, services and experiences, to the desire of possessing and experiencing of everything possible which absorbs the individual entirely. The ideals of consumption make service of everything on the planet: the flora and fauna, natural sources and human resources. In the light of threatening the very existence of man on Earth ecological and spiritual disaster, today many people are turning towards alternative to Western ways of life, to various philosophical and religious teachings of the East.

In this context Jainism takes its own unique place. The special appeal of this tradition lies in the exceptional attention and consistent adherence of the idea of non-violence, non-injury towards all living beings, Ahimsa. It is literally, in the words of very famous humanist Albert Schweitzer, Reverence for life in all its forms and manifestations, causes deep sympathy not only in India itself, which is natural and understandable, but with far more enthusiasm include representatives of the Western civilization. Westerns see in Jainism the way out of the impasse, in which, according to prosecutors of the Western civilization, European culture has been stymied itself with its cult of individualism, anthropocentrism, monotheism and relentless pursuit of technological innovations.

Jain tradition in general and Jain ethic particular puts the limitations to the unnecessarily consumption and makes the border for the tolerable level of violence in everyday activity. This implies vegetarianism and non-possessiveness in different ways.

In this context Terapantha Jain tradition with its stress on education and spreading widely the Mahavira’s ideals of conscious life, responsible for its actions and deeds, plays a special role and has got a great mission in human society not only inside the India but in the whole world as well. This task is to inform and to show other people all round the world that there is another, more reasonable way of life which gives to every living being opportunity to realize their very true nature and  to live according to this knowledge. 

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  1. Ahimsa
  2. Albert Schweitzer
  3. Anuvrat
  4. Anuvrat International Conference
  5. Christianity
  6. Consumerism
  7. Islam
  8. Jainism
  9. Judaism
  10. Mahavira
  11. Monotheism
  12. Non-violence
  13. Terapantha
  14. Vegetarianism
  15. Violence
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