+1 vote
by (180 points)
Does using antibiotics break first precept?

I humbly appreciate answers from everybody. But I also expect Bhante Yuttadhammo's view on this because I trust Bhante.

Thank you for your help!

4 Answers

+2 votes
by (1.1k points)
Bacterium and viruses don't appear to have a conscious mind.
by (150 points)
agreed.  In YB's 'Morality' booklet, he states that the first precept "refers to sentient beings, not living beings."  If you were to interpret this scientifically, that would mean that the being would need to have some kind of nervous system, which would exclude unicellular organisms
0 votes
by (18.8k points)
Bacteria are cells smaller than animal cells. Viruses are not even a complete cell. If destroying cells breaks the first precept, shaking hands with someone will break the first precept too. Because some of your skin cells die due to the friction as you shake hands. Doctors taking your blood to do a blood test will be breaking the first precept too as so many blood cells die during the procedure. Cells or things less than cells are not conscious beings.
0 votes
by (3.0k points)
Breaking a precept doesn't really have anything to do with the other. Doesn't matter whether it is an animal, a human or a bacteria. Preventing the dying of another being is not the point.

It has to do with your intentions. Is your intention to harm another being? Or is your intention to take care and relief yourself of suffering? Death can never be avoided, unnecessary suffering on the other hand, can.

As a side note: virusses are not living and antibiotics don't work on those anyway. Antibiotics only work on bacteria.
0 votes
by (2.0k points)
edited by
Good question, good householder, and my person gave it also thoughts, whether proper to accept and to make use. As far as understanding the work of Antibiotics, as far as informed, they 'only' stop reproducing. So one somehow stops 'orgies' if having such perceptions, and let's live on. There are also natural antibiotics, such as honey, which are allowed, like most kind of medicine.

Surely, the Buddha did not wished his disciple to harm other life, or conduct wrong to gain medicine. If one would be aware, having the perception, of 'that's means to kill' and 'there are those to kill', then one would not easy stay remorseless/faultless, of which is of much more benefit then to gain temporary health (or even not either).

From experiances, yet sure a matter of gained liberality, metta does 'wonders' that occupations end, aside of the proper reflections for sick.

Generaly 'knowing' much, perceiving much, much ideas, do not turn toward stay simple but make all much more complicated.

Feeling not well, act in doubt, is always already a fault, so pretty good to go after doubtlessness.

For someone with Sila, metta, a go through the factors (in regard of precepts) or even look at the mind (to cover the whole range of kamma), are of releasing help.
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