chapter  10
Ten Bio-ethical Issues: Jaina Perspective and Prospects
ByAsha Mukherjee
Pages 19

During the past two centuries, the West has experienced dramatic developments in science and technology, especially in the bio-sciences. This has changed the life pattern of human beings and has affected the planet tremendously. But science does not happen in a vacuum; it is either supported or restricted by the society and culture in which it functions. Each culture and society has its own ‘science’, and the interaction between science and society has its own norms. Science in the Asian context has its own logic, methodology, and epistemology as it is practised. This may lead to a clash or uneasy co-existence between what we call ‘traditional’ science and modern, or the so-called ‘universal’, science. Pre-modern science and modern science may simply be seen as alternative knowledge systems. Keeping this mode of understanding of science, in this chapter we concentrate on the issues related with bio-ethics from a Jaina perspective, which is one of the major Asian philosophical traditions. Religions do not remain static, and perhaps through the Jaina perspective we can see the emergence of a modern ethical discourse within and for a laity, whose concerns throughout history has generally been more diverse and variable than those of the ascetic community.