RELG 271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Thought Experiment, Miscarriage, Fetus

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Misconduct concerning sense-pleasures:
—> Includes avoiding adultery, incase, coercive intercourse (non-procreative sex acts)
—> About avoiding sexual activity which is exploitative or hurts others
*—> Polyandry as a legitimate practice thus, more tolerated
—> Condemnation of homosexuality
*—> Monogamy or settled sexuality (with one partner or a few) is preferred
-Monastic code (Vinaya): ties back to the notion of craving
—> Monks and nuns have the strictest ethical codes, observing additional precepts
—> Monastic life necessitates total avoidance of sexual intercourse; transgression results in
permanent dismissal
-Buddhism on sex:
-Mara - the God of death, a demon who hold the realm of rebirth. Constantly deploying sex in
order to deploy buddhist practitioners from meditation.
-The buddha - Corporate, jolly man, heavy set. Brings prosperity, beauty and grace.
Remarkable to be hold.
-Early buddhist perspectives on homosexuality
—> Monastic code dictates that intercourse with emission by design results in expulsion from
the order, regardless of gender
—> Only a few later commentators list homosexuality as a taboo
-The Pandaka
—> Third gender construct commonly referenced in early Buddhist texts
—> Encompasses a wide range of behaviours and sexual characteristics
—> Viewed negatively, having either too much or too little desire
—> Not allowed to be ordained as monks or nuns
-Contemporary Buddhism on homosexuality:
—> Debate continues about what is deemed culturally acceptable
-Buddhist tantra: historical precursors -
-Three major streams of Buddhism:
-Theravada (sri lanka)
-Mahayana (medieval India, China, Japan)
-Vajryana (Tibet)
-Boddhisattva. Mahayana is based around the figure of the Boddhisattva.
-Upaya (skillful means). Use a variety of means to move people towards the dawn. The skillful
means are seen as means to an end. One can utilize whatever it takes to bring people people to
the darn.
-Buddhist tantra
-Vajryana: the thunderbolt school.
—> Offers enlightenment in one lifetime
—> Powerful means to a powerful end
-Utilizes Tantra: thought of spiritual sex
-From the root tan “to expand” or “to weave”.
-Powerful vehicle towards salvation
-Employs antinomian (breaking taboos) acts and sexual yoga
-Buddhist tantra
-Employs sex metaphorically and sometimes physically in secretive rituals (for religious ends)
-The goddess Vajrayogini
Concluding remarks:
From the monastic perspective sexuality is a major impediment to spiritual progress
Sexual ethics are largely a question of what a culture defines as “conventional”
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-Homosexuality in itself is not necessarily a taboo
While desire must be overcome, it can also be employed in service of the Dharma as a “skillful
means”
Abortion:
Justin Trudeau
-“I have made it clear that future candidates need to be completely understanding that they will
be expected to vote pro-choice on any bills. The existing MPs who have been grandfathered in
to a certain extent, in their choices, but our position as a party is we do not open that debate”
-“The police going forward is that every single Liberal MP will be expected to stand up for
women’s rights to choose”
-“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary
opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing hat one person, than he, if he has the
power, would be justified in silencing mankind” John Stuart Mill - father of liberalism
-Which is more important? The fetus’ right to life or the women’s right to determination
Roe V wade (1973)
Decided for women’s right to abortion (based on 14th amendment)
Right to decide for an abortion balanced against state’s two legitimate interests regulating the
practice
-Protecting women’s health
-Protecting the potentiality of human life
Viability - “potentially able to live outside of mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid”
-Roe V. Wade - state regulation 3rd trimester (28 weeks)
-Planned parenthood - v. Casey (1992) set viability at 23 or 24 weeks
Abortion law in Canada
1892 - first criminal code passed (prohibits abortion)
1967-1988 - lobbying Henry Morgentaler
1969 - liberalizing of abortion laws (Pierre Trudeau)
-Special circumstances (threat to mother’s life or health) determined by panel of (3) doctors
-Virtually no access to abortion for poor women and those living outside major centres
1982 - charter of rights and freedoms enacted
1988 - SCC declares abortion law unconstitutional (in breach of the charter); abortion governed
by provincial and medical regulations (health issue)
(Some) pro-life arguments
1 - Life begins at conception (abortion = murder)
2- Punishing intentional harm is a marker of civilization
3- Adoption is a viable alternative and accomplishes the same result
4- Potential medical complications later in life (ectopic pregnancies, miscarriage, pelvic
inflammation)
5- Incest and rape are no justification for abortion
6- Abortion is not contraception
7- Unwanted pregnancy should be avoided through contraception or abstinence
8- Immoral use of tax dollars
9- Lack of experience to make decisions (minors, young women)
10- Intense psychological pain (regret, suffering)
(Some) pro-choice arguments
1 - When a fetus cannot survive apart from mother it is not a separate entity
2- Distinction between personhood and human life
3- Adoption does not equal abortion
4- Abortion is a safe medical procedure
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Document Summary

> includes avoiding adultery, incase, coercive intercourse (non-procreative sex acts) > about avoiding sexual activity which is exploitative or hurts others. * > polyandry as a legitimate practice thus, more tolerated. * > monogamy or settled sexuality (with one partner or a few) is preferred. Monastic code (vinaya): ties back to the notion of craving. > monks and nuns have the strictest ethical codes, observing additional precepts. > monastic life necessitates total avoidance of sexual intercourse; transgression results in permanent dismissal. Mara - the god of death, a demon who hold the realm of rebirth. Constantly deploying sex in order to deploy buddhist practitioners from meditation. The buddha - corporate, jolly man, heavy set. > monastic code dictates that intercourse with emission by design results in expulsion from the order, regardless of gender. > only a few later commentators list homosexuality as a taboo. > third gender construct commonly referenced in early buddhist texts.

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