Volume 11, 2018
Jain Acceptance of Life in Nonhuman Entities as a Basis for Environmental Ethics
Environmental ethics as a discipline deals with the morality of human actions and its consequences on the environment and its nonhuman elements. It addresses the question of whether there is a moral implication in harming the nonhuman contents of the environment, animate or inanimate. Jains identify with life being existent not only in humans and animals but also equally in earth, fire, air, water and vegetation. Life in these seemingly inanimate objects is considered at par with human or animal life form. Code of conduct for Jain householders and monks alike stipulates avoiding unnecessary harm to life including these inanimate life forms. When the entire world around us comes alive, this code of conduct helps create an abiding ethics that requires one to protect and pledge non-harming to all elements of the environment we live in.