Research papers: Each research paper is to be no less than 6 pages (1,500 words) and no more
than eight (8) pages in length (2,000 words), double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font, with
standard one-inch margins on a topic of your choice.
In the writing of your paper, you must make use of at least four (4) academic sources, in addition to
the Young and Van Voorst texts. While it is not mandatory to include Young in your analysis, it will
be helpful if you include scriptural examples from the Van Voorst text. Proper bibliographic and
footnoting format is likewise required. You may use either MLA, Chicago, or APA referencing style.
Please consult the style sheets available at Dafoe Library or browse the Internet. Please submit your
assignment online using the assignment submission tool.
Please choose one of the four essay topics listed below.
1. Compare the idea of a biocentric world-view in two indigenous traditions. *Note that at least one
of these traditions (or both) must be different from the two traditions addressed in your textbook.
How does this world-view contribute to ethical practices in each of these traditions? Compare
and contrast any notable similarities and differences.
2. Compare and contrast the notion of ahimsa as it is understood in both the Buddhist and the Jain
traditions. *Note that in Buddhism, ahimsa is equal to the first precept “not to take life.” It is
commonly noted that in Jainism, ahimsa is taken to the extreme. Do you agree with this
statement? How does the Buddhist understanding of ahimsa differ from the Jain perspective,
and how do both constitute ethical behaviour for their given tradition?
3. Discuss the ethical significance of the four noble truths in the Buddhist tradition. In your
response, pay special attention to the eight-fold path.
4. In Hinduism, the four stages of life each consist of certain duties and requirements. Discuss how
these stages offer a guideline for ethical behaviour. *Note how these stages are only available to
the highest three classes in Hindu society. In your response, briefly comment on the “ethics” of
the exclusion of the lower classes.
5. With reference to either wu wei as it is understood in the Taoist tradition, or ren (jen) as it is
understood in Confucianism, discuss the ethical implications for the individual and for society
according to these principles.
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