COURSE: PHL 4220- ASIAN PHILOSOPHY
TERM PAPER: INFLUENCE OF HINDU PHILOSOPHY ON MAHATMA GANDHI’S DOCTRINE OF NON-VIOLENCE
SEMESTER: SPRING 2013
INFLUENCE OF HINDU PHILOSOPHY ON MAHATMA GANDHI’S DOCTRINE OF NON-VIOLENCE Introduction
Nonviolence is the practice of being harmless to self and others under every condition. It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the environment is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence based on moral, religious or spiritual principles. The term "nonviolence" is often linked with or even used as a synonym for peace, passivity and pacifism. Non-violence (with a hyphen) refers more specifically to the absence of violence and is always the choice to do no harm or the least harm, and passivity is the choice to do nothing. Sometimes non-violence is the same as being passive, and other times it isn't. So for example, if a house is burning down, the most harmless appropriate action is to put the fire out, not to sit by and passively let the fire burn. There is considerable confusion and contradiction written about non-violence, harmlessness and passivity. A person may advocate nonviolence in a specific context while advocating violence in other contexts. For example, someone who passionately opposes abortion as a life-saving practice may concurrently advocate violence to kill an abortionist Philosophical Nonviolence
Love of the enemy, or the realization of the humanity of all people, is a fundamental concept of philosophical nonviolence. The goal of this type of nonviolence is not to defeat the enemy, but to develop tolerance for all by understanding and loving all beings. According to Mark Kurlansky, "all religions discuss the power of nonviolence and the evil of violence." Such principles or tenets can be found in each of the major Indian religious traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism) as well as in the...