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Divorce in Religions - Hindu, Buddhist, and Christain

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In my Religion 110 class, we have been asked to research a moral dilemma topic from a religious standpoint, and research how varying religions would handle the situation. The religions in which I will compare consist of Buddhism, Hinduism, and my personal religion, Christianity. The dilemma that I chose states, “You thought you were in love. You got married, had three children, but you find that you no longer love your spouse. You begin seeing someone else, someone that makes you happy. Isn’t that the most important thing?”

I will begin with Buddhism. Buddhism offers timeless wisdom for dealing with life’s real problems. Buddhism teaches Karma, which is the law that a person’s thoughts and deeds are followed eventually by deserved pleasure or pain. My interpretation of Karma is that everyone is responsible for his/her own actions and its consequences, if you do bad things in your present life, they will carry over to the next life. Marriage in the Buddhist culture is very liberal, and regarded as a personal and individual concern, not a religious duty. Therefore, I believe that if one is entirely unhappy with his/her spouse, then that person would be free to do as they please, whether it is to get a divorce or not. Though this action might carry over to the next life, a person chooses his Karma; they know that there might be consequences to suffer one day. Buddha gave us teachings about what a man and wife can expect from a marriage.

The husband can expect the following qualities from his wife:

• Love

• Attentiveness

• Family obligations

• Faithfulness

• Child-care

• Thrift

• Provision of meals

• To calm him down when he is upset

• Sweetness in everything

In return, the wife’s expectation from the husband:

• Tenderness

• Courtesy

• Sociability

• Security

• Fairness

• Loyalty

• Honesty

• Good companionship

• Moral support

If people follow the advice given by the Buddha to fulfill their duties towards each other, then, such unfortunate occurrences like divorce or separation will never happen in the first place.

Hindus believe that marriage is an extension of the four aims and four stages of life. Marriage is a sacred responsibility of each and every person in society. Hindus consider marriage as a sacred relationship between two souls, not just two bodies. Marriage is meant for the continuation of family and the practice of Dharma. In Hindu culture, there is no concept of divorce; once a couple is married they are married for life. From this we know that if a Hindu person was engaging in an extramarital relationship it would not be accepted. In the Hindu culture adultery is simply viewed as a mortal sin. People who get caught would deal with social ridicule and public disgrace, this would be even worse for women. Adulteress actions are rarely forgotten or forgiven. If I were Hindu and in the situation stated at the beginning of this paper, I would try and find a way to reconnect with my spouse. Somehow, I just don’t think having an extramarital relationship would out weigh the punishment if I were to get caught.

Christianity is the religion of my choice. I believe that God gave his son so that my sins can be forgiven,

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