Analysis and Justification of Privacy from a Buddhist Perspective

Analysis and Justification of Privacy from a Buddhist Perspective

S. Hongladarom (Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-310-4.ch008
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Abstract

The perspective of various Buddhist traditions offers an illuminating insight into the nature and justification of the concept of privacy in information ethics. This chapter begins by outlining the major literature in the West that deals with the issue. What has emerged in the literature is a common assumption of a separately existing individual whose privacy needs to be protected. Then I present the thoughts of two Buddhist thinkers, Nagasena (1894) and Nagarjuna (1995), who are representatives of the two major traditions: Theravada and Mahayana, respectively. The two Buddhist saints agree that the concept of privacy is a construct, since it presupposes the inherently existing individual, which runs contrary to the basic Buddhist tenet of no-self. However, this does not mean that there can be no analysis and justification of privacy in Buddhism, because there is the distinction between two views regarding reality—the conventional and the ultimate views. Both are indispensable.

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