BP#3 Ordering Priests on Amazon causes debate

New technology in Japan has just made it easier to practice religion. With the help of the internet almost anything is possible, just recently including ordering a Buddhist priest to your home through Amazon, known as obosan-bin. The company is criticized by the Japanese Buddhist Federation for operating like a business. Traditionally to a see a priest, community members attend local temples where they are not “charged” for services, but are expected to make donations. Obosan-bin argues that these temples operate similarly to businesses where no specific donation amount it given and therefore members are pressured into over paying. With Amazon they are given an upfront and affordable price when placing an order. These priests view their work as helping out the community by making priests available to Japanese citizens everywhere and allowing those who have become estranged to Buddhism to reconnect.

The company was created to allowed religious access to those in need. In one case, a man who lost his wife and moved away to an area without access to a temple, was able to order a Buddhist priest to his home to honor his wife on her anniversary. This group of priests have devoted their lives to bring happiness and comfort to those in need. Despite being a part of a business and charging a fee, these man are still virtuous individuals. Through passion of their religion they have created a service that they practice regularly whenever they are needed.  Starting a company dedicated to being there for others during their struggle is certainly a demonstration of virtue.

 

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