chapter  Chapter 10
13 Pages

Interest and debt in Buddhist economic doctrine

WithEsra Türkoz, Mehmet Akyol, Murat Ustaoğlu

Some economists argue that the Buddhist economic doctrine promoting the idea that welfare should be generated for the humanity, not for individual prosperity, offers an alternative to the existing economic order. But this optimistic theory has a different approach toward debt. Particularly the rules applicable to the interest-bearing debt practices are accentuated in the epistemological roots of the main concepts. It is possible to argue that the precepts of Buddhism on the matter have been shaped by the customs and the sociological past. Buddhism, while placing emphasis upon pursuit of ultimate morality, does not prohibit interest-bearing debt practices, which essentially mean exploitation of human beings and of nature. Instead, it seeks to maintain a balance by addressing what is considered extreme in interest-bearing debt practices.