Buddhist Approaches to Cultural Ecology by Means of Virtue Ethics


  • Natpiya Saradum Dhammachai International Research Institute (DIRI), Australia


cultural ecology, virtue ethics, approach and sustainable development


Humans are social beings that have a long history of development since the Paleolithic (the Old Stone Age) to the contemporary day and the IT world. Humans try to survive by creating cultures to correspond to the environment from generation to generation. The environmental adaptation of humans is the way of cultural ecology. As the development of humans approached the modern era of the third millennium, the global cultural ecology changed into an IT society. Many new innovations were created to service social demands. Daily life is much more convenient and luxurious nowadays. Transport and communication function on a global scale. The IT society most responds to the increase in social consumption. Economic development is a matter of great concern. People place a great significance on materialism. However, with the growth of materialism, violence in the form of corruption, crime and terrorism happens around the world. This denotes that a cultural ecology with a great concern for materialism does not absolutely respond to the sustainable development of humans. It reveals a lack of balance in the present system of cultural ecology. If we consider human nature we see that it is composed of physical (material) and mental dimensions. Therefore, the productivity of humans as a culture is subject to the processes of mind and material. Furthermore, as ecology is composed of technology and nature, cultural ecology is the interrelation of mind and a material with the technologies and nature. Regarding the modern day, violence happens because of a lack of concern about the mental dimension of cultural ecology. The imbalanced development between mental and material dimensions means that the society has been experiencing a systematic collapse. People cannot approach true peace and happiness. From a Buddhist perspective, mind is a dominant dimension. It is the forerunner of speech and action. If the mind is undeveloped to be pure from immorality, speech and action must affect people and ecology in a negative way. Thus the polluted mind is a cause of the self-violence involved in global issues. To give back the balance of cultural ecology,it is necessary to develop the mind to be moral through Buddhist virtue ethics. Therefore, this paper will clarify the weak points of the interrelation between human beings, technologies and nature in the cultural ecology that are less concerned with the dimension of mental development. Besides, the paper will show how the Buddhist approaches in the form of Buddhist virtue ethics can respond to the sustainable development aspect of cultural ecology by regarding the Pāli canon and other academic texts.


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How to Cite

Saradum, N. . (2023). Buddhist Approaches to Cultural Ecology by Means of Virtue Ethics. Journal of International Buddhist Studies, 6(1). Retrieved from https://so09.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/jibs/article/view/2391