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Examine the usefulness of ethics as a code of conduct


There are two core principles used by philosophers to determine goodness in conduct. It is
generally regarded that certain types of conduct are good in themselves while some are good
as they conform to a particular moral standard. It is important to note that the type of conduct
that is good in itself implies a final value and the conduct that conform to a particular moral
standard are regarded as a means to reach the highest good.
The principle basic of the Buddhist conduct mainly dealing with morality, behavior of good
and establish harmonious and peace in the society. In order to establish harmonious and
peaceful society, the Buddha laid the basic conduct of morality for anyone who wishes to
become his lay disciple as follows:
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2.
3.
4.
5.

Abstaining from taking of life.


Abstaining from stealing what is not given.
Abstaining from sexual misconduct
Abstention from abuse of language and
Abstention from falling into intoxication.

The first precept is meant to safeguard the right to the safety of life. It is undeniable that
Buddhism is concerned with not only human beings but also animals (sabbe satta). That is
clear from the Metta Sutta. Rights are not only for human beings but also for living creatures,
too.
The second precept is to guarantee the safety of personal property. In other word, it is an
assertion regarding ownership and protection of both private and common property Stealing
or committing theft is also a crime and is the violation of the laws of every nation. It is not
keeping with the Dhamma as well.
The sexual misconduct also generates problems in family and causes divorce. The
misconduct of sexuality can be the great scourge of family problem. According to Buddhism,
family is a social institution founded by love-kindness and truthfulness.
The fourth precept is to abstain from the false speech. Speech is a wonderful thing in
the world. It is the speech that makes what one thinks known to the world. Words spoken may
be either beneficial or disadvantageous. A single polite, pleasant and courteous, but not
flattering word can be the great effect on the person who hears and can be advantageous. The
good outcome of it certainly can be produced to both speaker and listener.
The fifth precept concerns the Buddhists abstention from taking distilled and fermented
intoxicating liquors. He should not take intoxicating drinks. The householder who likes this
teaching does not urge others to drink and does not condone drinking, knowing that it ends in
madness.
It is very important to note that the moral principles of five precepts have much relevance to
the value of ethics which subsequently leading to the social peace and harmony for social
well being and goodness. Therefore, when one understands oneself and behaves in good
conduct, the society becomes very peaceful and very useful to live in.