This exploration of what it means to be healthy from a physical, mental, and spiritual standpoint discusses Western humanism, Japanese Buddhism, and modern science from three divergent, yet expert, perspectives. Seeking common ground through dialogue, this ambitious work broaches questions about issues that face today's society, such as cancer, AIDS, death with dignity, in vitro fertilisation, biomedical ethics, and more. The discussions cut through linguistic and cultural barriers to present a vision of the potential -- and the inherent challenges -- of being human. Avoiding scientific jargon, the book begins with a medical discussion of cancer and AIDS, as well as the problem of social discrimination against those infected. Questions about the fundamental nature of a harmonious existence are considered, as are specific issues such as the nature of brain death and ethical problems relating to fertility and childbirth. The origins of life, evolution, and the birth of humanity are also discussed.
Daisaku Ikeda is the president of the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist association pursuing the values of peace, culture, and education. He is the author of "Choose Hope", "For the Sake of Peace", and "On Being Human".