Religion- Health and Wellbeing

RELIGION ESSAY -By Alyssa Health is one of the many contemporary issues that revolve around our world today, it is a concern of any entity that lives and breathes; it is the general condition of the body or mind associating with the durability and alacrity of a character. Roman Catholics and Buddhists teach the value of health; they are often compared in their views in terms of health-related subjects such as their beliefs in contraception, sexual activity, and concepts of general wellbeing (Meditation).

Although the views of Roman Catholicism and Buddhism seem to be contrasting, there are certain similarities between the two religions, such as their views and attitudes towards drugs, chastity, and abortion. Health and wellbeing of one is essential to live life fully; drugs are perceived as the creator of challenge compared to daily life, along with an attempted expedition to satisfy ones needs is rewarded only when they luxuriate in the drugs, thus becoming dependent upon their addiction.

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Buddhists views on drugs are discouraged as they are seen so be misleading in terms of the impact that occurs in the mind and spirit. Drugs are seen to be misleading in terms of their effects on the mind and the spirit. When using drugs there is a high possibility that it will lead to an addiction where the person becomes dependant on them and this in turn leads to imprudence. This statement is proved by the fifth of the five precepts “I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness. As well as Buddhists, Roman Catholics oppose the use of drugs because it is believed that ones body received from God- the Holy Spirit and God are working and living within you; therefore it’s not acceptable to abuse substances that would ruin their sanctuary. “2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense … They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practice gravely contrary to the moral law. Chastity is defined as one living in a ‘pure’ state who refrains from sexual urges and desires or who is sexually abstinent especially before marriage. Buddhists believe they are entitled to be labeled a Buddhist if they lead a life of complete chastity, the dharma has stressed heavily on the fact of sexual desire and to remove the thought of it so they aim to seek chastity in the mind, body and spirit to gain purity; this is showcased in the third of the five precepts “I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct. Roman Catholics have similar beliefs about chastity which is that being chaste promotes more of a relationship with God. It is better to put your health and body first before the feel of sexual desires; it is inappropriate to be promiscuous, as you lose control over your actions and passion for impurity for all morality disappears along with chastity and self-restraint. This is seen though the Catechism of the Catholic Church “2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom.

The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. “Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end. Life is created for us to enjoy which is important to one because if a being was meant to be in existence on earth then one should not barricade the chance to live the life that the being is blessed with. Buddhists believe that a life is precious and should not be exterminated because Buddhists are brought up to believe that it is morally wrong to kill a life if abortion is performed at or after the time that a soul enters the body of an embryo or foetus which holds karmatic energy deriving from rebirth; therefore a person arriving from conception was once an adult human being.

The quote from the first of the five precepts supports this belief “Undertaking the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures. ” Roman Catholics have similar beliefs to Buddhists on abortion. Roman Catholics believe that abortion terminates Gods will for us, if a child that were to be aborted it would not live the life that God would have wanted, it also disobeys the rule of the 10 commandments ‘thou shall not kill’, murdering a life is unacceptable and is classified as a sin no matter if the life is still inside the womb or not.

This is supported by the quote from Pope Pius XI  “What could ever be a sufficient reason for excusing in any way the direct murder of the innocent? This is precisely what we are dealing with here. Whether inflicted upon the mother or upon the child, it is against the precept of God and the law of nature:  ‘Thou shalt not kill. ‘ ” Buddhism’s mental outlook of contraception is established on the fact that it is wrong to kill any living individual without any exceptions.

Birth control is acceptable if it prevents conception, but the contraceptives which terminate the advancement of a fertilized egg is unethical and is believed that it should not be able to be exhibited a product available for use. This is seen through the quote from the Buddhist tenets “The life cycle of a sentient being begins when consciousness enters the womb, and traditionally this has been considered the moment of conception. Roman Catholic churches are definitely against any form of contraception to prevent birth of a new life because it would prevent God’s will from taking place which would therefore be playing God and the plan laid out for the person. Supporting the statements is the ‘Humanae Vitae’ in which Pope Paul VI set, which held two rules regarding sexual intercourse: “(1) That it should strengthen the bond between a husband and wife. (2) That it should always be open to the possibility of creating new life.

The only form of contraception that Roman Catholics have permission to use is natural family planning, which a woman discovers her fertile period each month, thus avoiding sexual intercourse at that temporary length of time. ” A loving, sexual life is one of the many important concepts to a human being. Buddhists teachings regarding a sexual life would be that it is better to have sexual intercourse in a loving long-term relationship rather than committing a succession of temporary affairs.

A quote that sufficiently supports this belief is seen in this quote “When you are a slave of your senses you cannot know what love really is. If you only use other people as a means of satisfying your own desires, then you can never really know them for who they are. This leads to a deep sense of loss and loneliness which many people foolishly try to fill by seeking still further indulgence, without realizing they are making things worse” (Rev. Daishin Morgan, The place of Sexuality in Training).

The difference with the Christian belief about having a sexual life is that two people must be married in order to have sexual intercourse, as the precious moment must be a special part of their life that is why being celibate before marriage is essential. The bible states that fornication outside marriage is condemned, therefore sex inside a marriage is the most appropriate “2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence.

They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity. ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church. ) Everyone has a different way to practice healing and strengthening their body, which helps a person with their general wellbeing, be it spiritual, mental or emotional.

Mediation is one of the many ways to help discipline and control the body which assists one to reach a certain stage of purification. Buddhists practice meditation to reach enlightenment; they aim to clear certain positive qualities of a human such as concentration, awareness, sympathetic joy and tranquility. Meditation is the practice of the seventh factor of the eightfold path labeled ‘Right mindfulness’ as it states “(7) Right mindfulness involves self-awareness of the body feelings and thought” which is of the eight factors to the goal of gaining entire intuitiveness and peacefulness.

Although Buddhists use meditation to rid of negative energy and focus more on the feeling of satisfaction, the reason Roman Catholics use meditation is because of the bible and God’s word which we on concentrate while meditating; Jesus taught us that meditation creates a place where one can spend continuous time with God, that, in turn makes us physically healthier and improves the connection with God which creates peace of mind, joy and contentment in life.

This is showcased in the quote form the bible “8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8) It is clearly evident that the teaching on the value of life of the health and wellbeing of a person is valued and nurtured because of ones faith and personal perspectives of the issue; there are various similarities and differences between the two faiths and their beliefs regarding sub-topics of health such as contraception, sexual activity, and concepts of general wellbeing (Meditation), drugs, chastity, and abortion.

However, despite all of these difference and cohesion of opinion, the ultimate goal for both faiths is that the general health and well being of a person is well respected as well the body and soul being well maintained as an important part of fulfilling their values and moral beliefs. BIBLIOGRAPHY Lama, Dalai. (2007) Ethics for the new millennium. (Internet). Los Altos Study Group. Available from <http://www. dalailamafoundation. org/dlf/en/documents/enm-study-guide-2007-09-07. pdf> (Accessed ) N/A. (2005). The Christian Meditation and relaxation. Internet). Serenity enterprises. Available from: <http://www. thechristianmeditator. com/> (Accessed ) Blackburn, Sanja. (N/A). Buddhism and Alcohol. (Internet). Available from: <http://www. purifymind. com/BuddhismAlcohol. htm> N/A. (2005) Religion and Ethics – Buddhism. (Internet). BBC. Available from: <http://www. bbc. co. uk/religion/religions/buddhism/buddhistethics/contraception. shtml> Bullitt, John. (2009). The Five Precepts: panca-sila. (Internet). Access to insight. Available from: <http://www. accesstoinsight. rg/ptf/dhamma/sila/pancasila. html> (2009). Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Internet). Available from: <http://www. scborromeo. org/ccc. htm> Harvey, Brian Peter. (2000). An introduction to Buddhist ethics: foundations, values, and issues. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Keene, Michael. (1995). The Christian experience – Living faith. Stanley Thornes, England. Adam, Enid and Hughes, Philip. (1996). The Buddhists in Australia. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. Wilkinson, Philip. (2003). Christianity. Dorling Kindersley Limited, Great Britain.


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