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Consider two Jain views: 1) that everything in the universe is conscious, and 2) we ought to live so as to avoid causing harm. Together, these claims contribute to Jains embracing vegetarianism, so as to avoid harming other animals.  However, even vegetables are conscious, on this view. So, committing harm in one form or another seems unavoidable. This presents a problem. Should one opt for sitting motionless and starving to death, so as to avoid harming any other being? But in doing so, does one not still harm oneself?

In a clear, carefully written discussion post, develop an answer these questions. That is, on the assumption of the two Jain views mentioned above, what seems the right course of action to take? Is the same course action required by both Jain monks and nuns (on the one hand) and laypersons (on the other)? Whatever shape your answer takes, it  should be informed by Michael Molloys presentation of Jainism (in the chapter entitled Jainism and Sikhism). You are also welcome to reference other presentations of Jain philosophy.

As always, you should think of your discussion post as a short (1-2 page) essay


1. Michael Molloy, Excerpt from Experience the World’s Religions, Chapter 5: Jainism and Sikhism


Jainism and Avoiding Harm
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