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May 26, 2010

Religious Tradition and Concern for the Welfare of All Living Beings

JAMA. 2010;303(20):2033-2034. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.664

To the Editor: In his Commentary, Dr Ekman1 presented a succinct overview of Darwin's understanding of compassion as a basic component of human nature and placed it in the framework of Buddhism's compassion for all living beings. In the process of arriving at the similarity between the positions of Darwin and of Buddhism, Ekman asserted that “[a] concern for the welfare of all living beings is not found in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) [and] is unique to Buddhism.” We believe that this assertion is incorrect.

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