Interpretation of the Eight Precepts According to Postmodern Philosophy

Natsuda Chiaowet, Kirti Bunchua, Metha Harimtepathip


This is a philosophical research, having as its objective to answer the philosophical question whether it is possible to reinterpret the Eight Precepts by the Moderate-Postmodern Paradigm. The research found out that it had an important objection that it was impossible, because  it had been prescripted in the ambiance of the medieval paradigm and had to be interpreted by the medieval paradigm, and such was supported by 2 important reasons: firstly the Eight Precepts belong to the doctrine of the Buddhist religion as guidelines for the observers of chastity who turned away from the worldly happiness and directed themselves to the level of the Buddhist Brahmins or upper in the Brahmin World; secondly the Eight Precepts absolutely direct to the Transcendental Life. But the research also found out that the above-mentioned arguments had weak points and could be objected that they were based on the narrow-mindedness that restricted the scope of the Buddhist Chastity within  the sexuality only and so undermining value of the other related  observances. In fact the Buddha’ teaching has a wider ranges of the meaning of chastity, for examples: Dana, Viriya, Ariyamagga, Dhammadesana, which are morals needed for the development of quality of life according to the postmodern philosophy. Therefore the arguments proposed by the objectioners were invalid. The research concluded that the Eight Precepts should not be interpreted only by the medieval paradigm, but should especially be interpreted by the moderate-postmodern paradigm.

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