Comparison between the Ten Commandments and Buddhist Precepts
The Ten Commandments, which, according to the Holy Bible, are inscribed on two stone tablets and presented to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, are the most prominent biblical principle adhered by believers of Judaism and Christianity. Not too far around the globe, Buddhism, a religion that originated in India, also upholds its own disciplines, the most fundamental of which is commonly known as “the Five Precepts”, namely to abstain from harming living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. By a simple glance, it is not hard to tell that the second and third items of the Five Precepts precisely overlap two of the Ten Commandments while the first and fourth, which prohibits killing and lying, are approximate equivalents of “You shall not murder” and “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”. Despite the argument proposed by a minority of scholars in the field that there were potential contact between these two religions, and Jesus Christ could have possibly visited India during his mysterious early years that are not recorded in any historical documents , this paper tends to believe that these four admonitions were incorporated into the basic principles of the two major religions as a result of human communities’ need for order and prosperity. These four baleful deeds are just individual-level embodiment of those human qualities that result in the scourge of war, fraud, rape and other issues in the modern world. These vices are of no difference in any time and space and they hinder the development of a sound society. To abstain from harming living beings, or the biblical version “You shall not murder”, is an injunction against human ferocity; To refrain from stealing is a rejection to selfishness; To restrain from sexual misconduct or “adultery” is a prohibition of insatiable lust; To quit lying is to resist dishonesty. The Roman law and the Code of Hammurabi also...
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