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Is Ahimsa workable?
The author on the one hand says that the Jains are ideal in respecting the sacredness of life but one the other hand they are too impractical. Even Gandhi himself claimed to follow ahimas yet he had to allow use of DDT to kill mosquitoes. Thus, the idea of ahimas is impractical for protecting lower species because they often kill too many people. Thus the workability of an idea depends on the balance. If the idea of behaving positively to members of species means to respect their light to live than every specie should be allowed to live without harming the other and the one harming the other. And the answer given by the Jainism to author's question is not perfect.
How to React?
The author of the essay does not only give an overview of how people behave but he also tells how they people should behave. He recommends a tip that will help them be fair in treating other species. David gives a very interesting and somehow romantic solution of determining the behavior towards members of other species. He says "Make eye contact with the beast, the other, before you decide upon action." David is confident that upon looking in the eyes of the beast and reading the expressions in them, the human will feel the guilt for the intentions to harm the beast and will drop the idea. The person would remember that the beast is also the child of a mother and deserves to be with her. The author says, "I've been experimenting with the eye contact approach for some time myself. I don't claim that it has made me gentle or holy or put me in tune with the cosmic hum, but definitely it has been interesting." He says that the technique works best with spiders. The author romanticizes the sight of a spider and says that the spider looks like nothing else. It is so unique that the author says "The word "ugly" doesn't even begin to serve. "Grotesque" and "menacing" are too mild." He says that only one word suits it and that the spider has such a different appearance.
The author supports his idea of behaving well with the spiders by saying that not only that a spider looks stylish to him but he tries to imagine how ugly he would be looking to the spider. But that does not mean that the spider should attack David because a human may look ugly to the spider. The baby spiders are too little for the author to make an eye contact but he is also too big for them. He says that requires moral growth for a person to respect the other species.
Generalize all the Species
The author wishes not to harm the life on earth unnecessarily. He believes that the species should not be killed at a very vast scale when the actual damage to human beings was far less. The author says that the technique of eye contact does not work only with the spiders but can also be used with other species. Even with big hairy tarantula, David tried the method and it hid it self in distrust. Thus he believes that he needs to develop trust with the species and to let them live too. The idea of generalization basically helps develop fair system so that we see the other species with same eyesight with which we want them to see us. All life is same in their right to life thus they should be equally allowed to live and enjoy life with families.
What is learnt?
In the world where we see some very selfish people that rob other people and take their lives, there are also some people that respect eve the members of minor species. There are the followers of Jainism that neither intentionally nor unintentionally kills the members of other species. Still some Jainism ideas about other species are very impractical. It is suggested to adopt a method that creates balance between species i.e. neither to do harm to upper or lower level species. The author uses a technique what he calls eye contact method. He says a fair and sensitive eye contact will tell the worth of other species. He has used the method on spiders and is also trying it on other…[continue]
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