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Defense industry and right livelihood

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Defense industry and right livelihood
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9/13/19 9:19 AM
Looking for others opinions and views;

I work (director level) in a company that designs protective equpment - tactical equipment (clothing), and also armor (material and products to stop bullets) that is sold to police and military.

The products are designed either as a clothing facility or designed to save the users life from weapons. I've been in this sector before the Dharma.

Is there any clash with right livelihood - although it isn't weaponary (it's the opposite part to protect against weaponary) Im starting to explore whether being in the defense industry at all is moral. 

Is it moral to sell protectiive products into the defense industry? 

RE: Defense industry and right livelihood
Answer
9/13/19 10:27 AM as a reply to Tom C.
I think the question of right livelihood was much simpler in Buddha's time. Because of the scope and interconnectedness of today's businesses, it is hard to find a job that does not contribute, in some way, to negative effects (war, environmental degradation, exploitation, ill health, waste, corruption, and whatever else you care to name). It is worthwhile to seek a career path that reduces your karmic impact, but most of us can only go so far with that, especially if we have a family to support. 

RE: Defense industry and right livelihood
Answer
9/13/19 10:49 AM as a reply to Tom C.
I think this question should be thought about in different scales, for instance in one scale, what job should I have, an in the other scales, how I should I perform that job, how should greet the person that cleans the building that I am working on and etc. I would add our votes to this whole question, since it's easy to forget the power that our political thoughts and actions have over other people's life. In this "modern" era, votes legitimize firing of those weapons (either that weapon be a jet or rifle, or be a rule on paper that limits other people from their rights.).

RE: Defense industry and right livelihood
Answer
9/13/19 11:15 AM as a reply to Tom C.
I don't think it's an objective thing that others can answer for you. If you have doubts about the morality of what you do for a living then it will probably cause agitation / be a hindrance on some level.

The first response has a good point about the relativism. It's unlikely you'll get this perfect, but you might ask yourself whether there's something you can do for a living, given your current circumstances, that would cause less agitation and doubt in yourself.

Doing this thoroughly and honestly might require questioning some underlying assumptions about what you really need or value in your life.

While it's not specifically about right livelihood, the intro video here [https://pointingoutway.org] (a guided meditation from a Harvard Psychology professor / long-time Tibetan lineage practitioner) gave me a lot of clarity while pondering a similar question recently.

RE: Defense industry and right livelihood
Answer
9/13/19 12:31 PM as a reply to Tom C.
Thanks for the input everyone. I hold no firm opinion either way right now - I'm just trying to see different perspectives;

One perspective is the actual products we sell help save lives (our products have saved 100's of people from death so far) - this could be seen as morally positive within this relative context.

One perspective is it's profiting from war, and fueling an industry that would best serve the world if it didn't exist - but is this overly idealistic? How far does this go - what about selling medical equipment or operating on soldiers?

I agree on the micro aspect of our life we should operate as skilfully and compassionately as possible - but the bigger questions come into the macro decisions of our life from political voting, marriage and to our jobs.