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  • MIT717403 Ethics – Major Assignment (20% 0f final grade) Present an essay in good form ( say 2,000 words) on the following topic. Topic: Using the philosopher for which you have made a Seminar presentation, prepare an essay which examines the

MIT717403 Ethics – Major Assignment (20% 0f final grade) Present an essay in good form ( say 2,000 words) on the following topic. Topic: Using the philosopher for which you have made a Seminar presentation, prepare an essay which examines the Example

Application of ethics in the Buddhist perspective to APES110 code of ethics


Ethical codes are adopted by organizations in order to help persons working in the organization differentiate between what is wrong and right and apply this while making a decision (Australian Psychological Society, 2007). Generally, ethical codes involve documents at various levels which include codes of professional practice, codes of business ethics, and codes of conduct for employees. Many organizations adopt ethical codes as a requirement for running such organizations in a multifaceted community where moral notions play a significant responsibility (CCH Editors, 2008). Ethical codes are different from moral codes which particularly apply to education, religion, and culture of an entire society. Ethics are standards that guide people’s behaviour professionally or in their way of life (Australian Psychological Society, 2007). Ethics vary according to people’s culture or religion. This essay seeks to analyze the major ideas of Lord Buddha with reference to ethics in the Buddhist society and apply ideas to APES110 code of ethics.


According to studies, a number of people refer to Buddhism as a religion. However Buddhism is actually a point of view, a philosophy that assumes a moral life and develops wisdom and understanding (Gavin, 1996). In addition it is a way of life. Buddhism does not believe in a personal God. It does not require people to pray or praise. Furthermore, it does not have the idea of heaven or hell and its followers do not practice any form of forgiveness and redemption since they do not believe in any judgments at the end of times. Buddhism was founded by Lord Buddha originally known as Gautama. Gautama referred to his teachings as Dhamma-vinaya which when translated simply means the principle and discipline. This therefore means that Buddhism is an ethical system, simply a way of life (Sayadaw, 2011). All religions teach basic ethics which relate either to social conduct or individual. Certainly, the advocacy of an ethical system does not necessitate a religious framework, and Socrates, one of the ethical teachers of the universe believed that there was no need for one (Gavin, 1996). The rationalism, humanism, and communism, which are considered as the religion-surrogates of the contemporary world have developed individual norms of ethics and though inadequate, they still remain (Sayadaw, 2011).

APES 110 – Code of Ethics

APES 110 – Code of Ethics are set standards to govern the professional behaviour of accountants. Generally, codes of practice are embraced by organizations or by a profession with an aim of regulating that profession. APES110- Code of Ethics was prepared and dispensed by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB). This is a sovereign body which was founded by the professional accounting agencies to set the professional standards and code of ethics. The code lays down fundamental principles which necessitate to be abided by, by all individuals in an organization (APESB, 2006). These include integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour. In addition, the code sets measures to ethical conflict resolution among others. The employment of the word shall in the Code imply that members have to act in accordance with the particular provision where the word has been used (APESB, 2006; CCH Editors, 2008). This means that compliance is a must unless there is an exclusion that is acceptable by the code.

Application of ethics in the Buddhist perspective to APES110 code of ethics

According to the Buddhists teachings, the moral as well as ethical principles are governed by scrutinizing if a particular action is either linked to speech or body is likely to be harmful to others or one (Gavin, 1996). They base their argument on doing what is right according to an individual. They hence justify their actions and are therefore liable for any consequences thereafter. The Buddhism kind of ethics differs greatly with the APE code of ethics. This code of ethics unlike that of the Buddhists work on the principle of accepting the responsibility to act in the interest of the public (APESB, 2006). The responsibility of its members is not just to meet the need s of its clients. The codes necessitates that one complies and observes the law in his/ her line of duty (APESB, 2006).

From the very beginning, Buddhism is known as a set of standards guided by human behaviour as well as feelings. They therefore determine good or bad on the basis of free thinking as well as bad or good sovereign reasoning process (Sayadaw, 2011). According to Buddhism, human behaviour is defined as a very important and in order to be defined as bad or good it should comply with a certain criteria which include; analyzing the consequent reaction of the deed in order to decide if the action was bad or good and judging an action by examining its cause (Sayadaw, 2011). This is due to the fact that the resultant of an action depends on the intention of doing that action and not the action itself (Gavin, 1996). It therefore entails less feelings of guilt as compared to other religions. On the other hand, the APE code of ethics provides professional ethics fundamental principles for its members and a conceptual framework that they use in identifying the threats and making their judgments (APESB, 2006). The APE110 code of ethics necessitates that the judgment should be professional.

According to Buddhism, if one breaches their code of ethics, they believe that Karma will have you punished but when a good deed is done, a good result come along. Karma is the notion of action understood as that which brings about the entire cycle of effect and cause (Sayadaw, 2011). In addition, Karma is known as the law of moral causation. The Buddhists believe that this law says that every action performed results to another action that is as a result of the action performed first. This resultant action could be pleasant or unpleasant depending on whether its cause was unskilful or skilful. A skilful event is one that is not dependant on resistance or craving whereas an unskilful event is that which is dependant on any of them. Therefore, Karma law is a moral teaching that teaches responsibility and emphasizes that full responsibility of all unskilled deeds is born by the person who performs them (Gavin, 1996). On the other hand APE 110 code of ethics states that when one breaches the code of ethics, he faces the law. The law punishes one when they act contrary to the laws governing them, mislead others or lie to them, act contrary to professional standards or is associated with reports that misinterprets the facts. According to the law and regulations, such people who go against the APE 110 code of ethics, face a jail sentence, the law suits or hefty charges (APESB, 2006).

The exceptionality of the Buddhist ethics is dependent on its various outstanding qualities. It is comprehensive and all-embracing without being impossible or impractical to follow. In addition, Buddhist ethics are independent from taboos that relates to dress, behaviour, and diet which in most cases are considered as ethical principles (Sayadaw, 2011). Buddhist ethics serves as a standard for measuring the ethical norms of other teachings (Gavin, 1996). To fit in to Buddhist ethics, an individual must be a Buddhist.


Ethics is a code of behaviour that governs the way of life of people. Ethics is mainly influenced by a people’s culture. This paper has explained the difference between the APE code of ethics and the ethics in Buddhism perspective. According to the ethics Buddhism, every action performed by man is justified on the basis of a realist view point, as man and the universe are just the way they are. On the other hand, in the APE 110 code of ethics, the actions of professionals could not be justified on a realistic point of view. The actions are governed by the set laws and regulations and every professional has to abide by them. In addition, the paper shows how the two ethics determine good or bad so as to take a judgment. The Buddhists judge an action by analyzing the root associated with it. The APE 11o code of ethics on the other hand provides fundamental principles and a framework that enables the professionals to determine threat and make a judgment. Finally the paper shows how a breach of the two codes is punished. The Buddhists believe that when one does an unskilful act, Karma will get you and you will be held responsible for your actions but when a good action is done you get rewarded. According to APE 110 code of ethics, failure to abide by the rules and regulation leads one to face the law suits or charges or might even face a jail sentence. In conclusion both principles though governing different people’s behaviour teach responsibility and they need to be followed.


Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB). (2006). APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.

Australian Psychological Society. (2007). Code of ethics. Sydney: Australian Psychological Society.

CCH Editors. (2008). Australian master accountants guide 2008/09. Queensland: CCH Australia Limited.

Gavin D. F. (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sayadaw, M. V. (2011). The theory of Karma. Retrieved from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma.htm