Firstly my respects to Venerables Sujato and Brahmali and many thanks to everyone who has made this series possible.
It has been made very clear to me that karma is intentional action. I was wondering whether the Buddha ever talked about karma in reference to a failure to act, for example, in the context of a duty-bound relationship, or where failure to act may foreseeably lead to harm?
This has been puzzling me because in civil law countries like France, there is a duty, for example, for a strong swimmer to rescue a drowning child. In common law countries like Australia (except NT) there is no such general duty because it would impose on people’s freedom. Would pushing someone into a lake be karmically different to watching them drown without helping?
I know the discussion on Claralynn’s post (karma of unintentional actions) indicated that karma may not be useful as a complete ethical system but any thoughts would be appreciated.