45 Sw. L. Rev. 861 (2015-2016)
Bridging the Secular-Religious Divide with Assistance from the Buddha

handle is hein.journals/swulr45 and id is 883 raw text is: 








        BRIDGING THE SECULAR-RELIGIOUS
        DIVIDE WITH ASSISTANCE FROM THE
                                                        BUDDHA


                                                      James G. Wilson*

I.  INTRODUCTION

     The Seventh  ClassCrit Conference contemplated emerging  coalitions
that could effectively combat unjust structural inequalities. To determine the
appropriate size, nature, and durability of any humane electoral/cultural
coalition, one must  first estimate the severity of our species' current
problems. The next step is to build a conceptual framework that might create
and maintain an adequate alliance. Tragically, most prior political ideologies
have been primarily animated by our instinct to optimize power, not just over
each other but also the rest of Nature. As a result, our legal and philosophical
systems  laid the intellectual foundation for humanity's deepest structural
inequality, one that is exponentially accelerating: mankind's temporary
dominance   of the biosphere, a  relationship that may  not outlast this
millennium.  To employ  the enduringly useful political terminology of the
ancient Greeks, humans  are the few and all other beings and landscapes
constitute the many.' The  most troubling prophecy is that nine billion
people will soon seek some form  of satisfaction on this diminutive planet.
Strain is evident everywhere: filthy sewage ruining the sacred waters of India,
drought in California and Australia, melting and collapsing ice caps at both
poles and Greenland, annihilation of rain forests, acidic oceans, dwindling
fish populations, earthquakes caused by fracking, and so forth. We recklessly
abuse  the four  elements: voraciously burning  limited fossil fuels and
producing innumerable  chemicals that toxify the earth, air, sky, and water.


     * Professor Emeritus of Law, Cleveland Marshall College of Law. A.B., 1969, Princeton
University; J.D., 1974, University of Chicago Law School.
    1. For example, Aristotle discussed how governments of the one, the few, and the
many are pervert[ted] when they fail to pursue the common good of all. 2 ARISTOTLE, Politics,
Book III, in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF ARISTOTLE 2023, 2030 (Jonathan Barnes ed., B. Jowett
trans., Princeton University Press 1984) (c. 384 B.C.E).


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