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Ethics in Religion Test 1

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Caste system
Four castes: Hinduism is distinguished by its system of classes or castes. Traditionally, four
castes are identified as belonging to the classical tradition: Note that the highest three classes of the varnas became known as the "twice born," because young
males in these classes traditionally engaged in an initiatory rite of passage, through which they
symbolically experienced a "second birth."
Brahmin
Brahmins were priests, powerful spiritual leaders, knowledgeable in the Vedas, and the
ones who performed the rites of sacrifice.
Kshatriyas
the Kshatriyas, who were warriors like Arjuna in the
Bhagavad-Gita.
vaisyas
The third caste, the includes all members of the merchant class: producers, farmers, and bankers.
sudras
The fourth caste, the includes servants and laborer.Shudras are not permitted to perform the upanayana, the initiatory rite into the study of the Vedas (earliest sacred literature of India).
Varna
Ancient Hindu literature classified all humankind, and all created beings, in principle into four varnas. the word Varna designates this class or caste system as it existed in early Hinduism, in the four Vedas, for example, and in another set of classical texts, the Laws of Manu, which were written between 200 BCE and 200 CE.
biocentric
worldview that recognizes all living beings (and
often inanimate objects, such as rocks and mountains) as part of one big spiritual family is common
to most indigenous traditions.
anthropocentric
philosophical viewpoint arguing that human beings are the central or most significant entities in the world. This is a basic belief embedded in many Western religions and philosophies. Anthropocentrism regards humans as separate from and superior to nature and holds that human life has intrinsic value while other entities (including animals, plants, mineral resources, and so on) are resources that may justifiably be exploited for the benefit of humankind.
Wakan Tanka
Among the Lakota who is said to represent sixteen powers and embody the entirety of existence. Wakan's presence, however, is not limited to the gods but is manifest in all of nature, from birds to buffalo, to the smallest creatures in
the sky, sea, and land. All creatures are said to possess a wochangi or "sacred influence." It is
therefore imperative that humans be aware of this influence so that they might receive these powers
from other being. Wakan Tanka is thought of the creator of the world or universe; believed to be the All-Providing One. This Spirit is paid reverence as providing for the needs of everyone. This reverence is displayed when the people honor the four directions, the Sun, Mother Earth, and their fellow man because these are Wakan Tanka's creation; when honoring them, people honor the spirit of Wakan Tanka which resides within each of them. The American Native does not attempt to describe this Great Power that Created All because "it is a Mystery," they advise, "leave it alone; no one describe such a vast mystery."
Wochangi
sacred influence, having the ability to listen to nature/ other people, humility to observe.
Orisa
the orisa are seen as projections of the power of the Supreme God Olorun
Olodumare, whose name means "owner of the sky." According to common legends, there are some
401 orisa, all of whom were at one time human beings and whose variety represents the diversity of
needs amongst the Yoruba people. To understand the relationship between Olodumare and the
orisa, one must consider the role that the supreme beings play in the lives of Yoruba communities .that suggests their supreme being is far removed from
human beings and has created lesser spirits, divine servants, to handle specific types of
problems. In both cases, the implication is that humans should avoid appealing to the supreme
being except in matters of great importance or when appeals to lesser spirits have repeatedly
failed. The orisa each have a distinct personality, a specific set of duties, and expect certain behaviours
from their followers. For this reason, the requirements of particular ethical practices can vary
depending on which orisa are worshiped at a given time.
Esu
A trickster figure who deceives people into wrong actions and mediates between heaven and earth. (one of the Orisas). The orisa each have a distinct personality, a specific set of duties, and expect certain behaviours
from their followers. For this reason, the requirements of particular ethical practices can vary
depending on which orisa are worshiped at a given time.
Theravada
Theravada is the dominant form of Buddhism in most of southeast Asia -- Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It claims about 100 million adherents worldwide. Its doctrines are taken from the Pali Tipitaka or Pali Canon, and its basic teachings begin with the Four Noble Truths. Above all, Theravada emphasizes direct insight gained through critical analysis and experience rather than blind faith. Theravada emphasizes individual enlightenment; the ideal is to become an arhat (sometimes arahant), which means "worthy one" in Pali. An arhat is a person who has realized enlightenment and freed himself from the cycle of birth and death.
Beneath the arhat ideal is an understanding of the doctrine of anatman -- the nature of the self -- that differs from that of the Mahayana. Very basically, Theravada considers anatman to mean that an individual's ego or personality is a fetter and delusion. Once freed of this delusion, the individual may enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.
Mahayana, on the other hand, considers all physical forms to be void of intrinsic, separate self. Therefore, according to Mahayana, "individual enlightenment" is an oxymoron. The ideal in Mahayana is to enable all beings to be enlightened together.Theravada teaches that enlightenment comes entirely through one's own efforts, without help from gods or other outside forces. Some Mahayana schools teach this also; others do not. Theravada accepts only the Pali Tipitika as scripture. There are a large number of other sutras that are venerated by Mahayana that Theravada does not accept as legitimate.
The primary means of realizing enlightenment in the Theravada tradition is through Vipassana or "insight" meditation. Vipassana emphasizes disciplined self-observation of body and thoughts and how they interconnect. WRITTEN IN PALI. These texts, written
in the Pali language and referred to as the Tripitika, the "three baskets," include:
• the suttas (discourses or sayings of the Buddha, often presented in story form);
• the Vinaya (ethical rules of conduct or discipline for monks and nuns who have joined the
monastic order, the sangha); and
• Abhidhamma (more complex philosophical teachings).
Mahayana
While Theravada emphasizes individual enlightenment, Mahayana emphasizes the enlightenment of all beings. Beneath the bodhisattva ideal is an understanding of the doctrine of anatman -- the nature of the self -- that differs from that of Theravada. Very basically, Theravada considers anatman to mean that an individual's ego or personality is a fetter and delusion. Once freed of this delusion, the individual may enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.Mahayana, on the other hand, considers all physical forms to be void of intrinsic self (a teaching called sunyata, which means "emptiness"). Therefore, according to Mahayana, individual enlightenment is not possible. The ideal in Mahayana is to enable all beings to be enlightened together, not only out of a sense of compassion, but because we cannot separate ourselves from each other. Mahayana originated in India and subsequently spread throughout China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Central Asia, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
Bhagavad Gita
sixth book of Mahabharata epic Bhagavad-Gita,
1. that the Gita is an "ethical guide book," or what Mahatma Gandhi called a "dictionary for life;"
2. that the hero of the Gita is the warrior, Arjuna, who faces the ethical dilemma of leading battle in
war, thus the possibility of killing his own kin;
3. this ethical dilemma is examined through a dialogue that takes place between Arjuna and his
charioteer, Krishna;
4. Krishna turns out to be an avatar of the divine Vishnu;
5. the Gita dialogue comprises a synthesis of some Upanishad teachings and the introduction of
some new ideas;
6. that Krishna's counsel to Arjuna centers on the ethical notion of dharma, duty or moral
responsibility, the obligation that he must fulfill as a member of the warrior caste;
7. the ethical principle that Krishna articulates for Arjuna is "non-attached action;"
8. in explaining this principle of acting in accord with one's duty but without attachment to the fruits
of these duties, Krishna reaffirms the teaching put forward in the Upanishads: that only the
eternal self, atman, is real, and that identification with one's temporal self binds one to samsara,
endless rebirth;
9. the Gita suggests that the path to moksha, ethical and spiritual realization (these two are one
and the same in Hinduism) is meditation (the yoga of knowledge);
10. the Gita also introduces the notion that the yoga of devotion and compassionate service (bhakti)
to Vishnu and his avatars, including Krishna, is another path to ethical realization (a third path,
added to the path of ritual and the path of meditation); and
11. the Gita teaches readers about the nature of the ultimate, as comprising both prakriti (material
nature, matter) and purusha (spiritual nature, supreme being)
Upanishads
The term Upanishad means "to sit close by," referring to the place of a student or novice at the feet
of a spiritual teacher. In keeping with this meaning, the texts the Upanishads, composed between
4000 BCE and 600 BCE, are speculative and reflective. They represent the transition from a tradition
based in ritual and the duties associated with its communal performance, to a tradition that is more
introspective, contemplative, and individualized. The Upanishads teach the student of Hinduism all
that is required to achieve insight into the spiritual ground of reality, into the essence of things. The
Upanishads are also called "Vedanta," or "the end of the Vedas." While the four Vedas are studied
as guides to the understanding and performance of ritual, the Upanishads, which conclude the
Vedas, are studied for perfection of knowledge, for insight into the truth through which ignorance is
destroyed. These texts have dominated the Hindu philosophical and mystical tradition for thousands
of years, and even now are studied as spiritual and ethical source texts.
The first four Vedas refer to many gods and goddesses, but the Upanishads represent the transition
to one supreme reality, Brahman, from which all other reality is considered to stem, and of which all
other Vedic gods are said to be manifestations. Moreover, while the first four Vedas are, as the
Anthology of World Scriptures puts it, "world-affirming" texts that seek "blessing in this world" and
communion with it, the Upanishads suggest a more "world-negating" outlook, that "seeks release
from samsara, the continually reincarnated existence in this world. The Upanishads form the core of Indian philosophy. They are an amazing collection of writings from original oral transmissions, which have been aptly described by Shri Aurobindo as "the supreme work of the Indian mind". It is here that we find all the fundamental teachings that are central to Hinduism — the concepts of 'karma' (action), 'samsara' (reincarnation), 'moksha' (nirvana), the 'atman' (soul), and the 'Brahman' (Absolute Almighty).
Dharma
Dharma is the path of righteousness and living one's life according to the codes of conduct as described by the Hindu scriptures.​
Ogun
Orisa from Yoruba Tradition. Ogun,
the god of war and iron, who represents both creation and destruction.
Supreme God Olorun Olodumare
The correct position is that olodumare is neither male or female, olodumare is transcendent omniscient and gender neutral deity. In yoruba cosmology Olodumare is believe to be ONE, it is believe that Olodumare is the creator of heaven and earth and whole universe, he is supreme over what is on earth and in heaven. The orisa are seen as projections of the power Olodumare.
Shopona
Orisa who was traditionally associated with smallpox and, in modern times, with HIV-AIDS, requires a standard
of cleanliness, along with an awareness of the risks of sexual behaviour. God of infectious disease and healing.
the four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths comprise the essentials of Buddhist teaching and the essentials of Buddhist
ethics. The following is a summary of Young's discussion:
• The First Noble Truth is the truth concerning suffering. It tells us that all life is suffering
(dukkha), that suffering is the fate of all who live. Young illustrates this truth with the famous
story of the mustard seed. In this story, a woman who is overcome with despair when her
only son dies learns that she is not alone in grief, and that no one is free of the sorrow of
death. As Buddhaghosa puts it in his Visuddhimagga, the truth of suffering is a disease that
afflicts all who live.
• The Second Noble Truth is the truth concerning the origin of suffering. In this truth, Buddha
offers a diagnosis of the cause of the disease that afflicts all who live: Suffering is caused by
craving for, or attachment to, this material world. Young's discussion compares this Buddhist
analysis of the cause of human ill to that found in the Hindu and Jain traditions.
• The Third Noble Truth is the truth concerning the stopping of suffering. With this truth,
Buddha, the healer, offers a cure for the disease that afflicts all who live: let go of craving.
With the cessation of craving, suffering ends, and one becomes a "worthy one" (an arhat),
liberated from the cycle of rebirth (samsara). With the cessation of craving, one achieves
enlightenment or nibbana (nirvana).
The Fourth Noble Truth is the truth concerning the way that leads to the cessation of
craving. With this truth, Buddha presents his Middle Way, his ethical Eightfold Path (magga),
as the medicine that will cure one of craving and make one an arhat. The Eightfold Path
recalls a point we have already made: In Buddhism, the moral life is conceived of as a way
or a journey that progresses from one stage to another until enlightenment is reached. It may
take several lives to achieve the final goal of enlightenment, and thus to be released from
samsara, the cycle of rebirth. Generally speaking, in early Buddhist society, monks and nuns
comprised a "morally elite" class and were considered to have progressed to more advanced
stages along the Eightfold Path
koyaanisqatsi
proper conduct amongst indigenous peoples is intimately
linked to their relationship with the natural world. Any sort of behaviour that is incongruent with this
principle will contribute to what the Hopi's termed koyaanisqatsi or "life out of balance."
Samsara
This process of reincarnation is called samsara, a continuous cycle in which the soul is reborn over and over again according to the law of action and reaction. At death many Hindus believe the soul is carried by a subtle body into a new physical body which can be a human or non-human form (an animal or divine being). Saṃsāra (Sanskrit, Pali; also samsara) in Buddhism is the beginning-less cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again. Samsara is considered to be dukkha, unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.
atman
The atman is spirit (brahman) - unchanging, eternal and conscious. Consciousness, as spread throughout the body, is a symptom of the soul. Atman is immortal and eternal. Brahman is "world soul" or "cosmic soul." It is the eternal essence of the universe and the ultimate divine reality. It is the life source of all that has been, is and will be throughout the entire cosmos.
Anatman
in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul. Instead, the individual is compounded of five factors (Pali khandha; Sanskrit skandha) that are constantly changing. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman ("the self"). The absence of a self, anicca (the impermanence of all being), and dukkha ("suffering") are the three characteristics of all existence (ti-lakkhana). Recognition of these three doctrines—anatta, anicca, and dukkha—constitutes "right understanding."
Skandhas
In Buddhism, it refers to the five aggregates concept that asserts five elements constitute and completely explain a living being's mental and physical existence.
• material form
• feelings
• perceptions
• volitions
• consciousness
Tipi
Oglala's traditional home, the tipi, as seen from
above, is in the shape of a circle and symbolizes, both figuratively and literally, a living embodiment
of spiritual unity.
sacred hoop
The circle symbolism of the sacred hoop is representative of the principle of wochangi,
as it highlights the connections and interdependence of all living things. This interdependence is further highlighted in the architecture of the Oglala's traditional home, the tipi. The tipi, as seen from
above, is in the shape of a circle and symbolizes, both figuratively and literally, a living embodiment
of spiritual unity.
Siddhartha
Early Years. The Buddha, or "enlightened one," was born Siddhartha (which means "he who achieves his aim") Gautama to a large clan called the Shakyas in Lumbini, (today, modern Nepal) in the 6th century B.C.
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