The Humanity Of Gandhi And Albert Schweitzer And Mahatma Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement, saw nonviolence as an “end in itself” where one is able to see the true nature of things. Similarly, Albert Schweitzer, a Christian missionary, saw the nonhuman world as sacred and held a deep respect for all life. My paper will take a comparative look at both men and their practice of non-violence in ways that promote oneness between humans and nonhumans. I will also take a comparative look at the two men and their differing rationale and language between humans and nonhumans in distinct situations. In the next paragraphs, I will take a look at Gandhi and Schweitzer’s early life and influences behind their philosophies of non-violence in regards to nonhumans.
Early in his life, Gandhi
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Both men drew greatly from both of their traditions for nonviolence, while taking from other nationalities and traditions as well. Gandhi admired Jesus’ take on nonviolence in the Christian faith while at the same time Schweitzer admired the other cultures and traditions of the East. Particularly, for Schweitzer he admired the concept ahimsa. However, he felt ahimsa was limited mostly to humans and not as much to the non-human realm. Schweitzer knew about Gandhi through his research and knew that the ahimsa was closely related to the philosophy that he was searching for. These two important men were living in the same time period, looking for the same things, but never truly interacted, and never had their paths fully cross. I believe if they had met and worked together they might have come to an agreement or similar understanding to spread nonviolence and better respect for …show more content…
Whereas, Schweitzer’s view was to include everything from animals, to plants, and to minerals in the ground. This can be looked at as an extremist view of nonviolence towards life and anything that can contribute. This view is in line with the fact that Gandhi’s work primarily dealt with mostly human relationships and the freedom of India. Whereas Schweitzer’s was more independent although his mission to Africa. His excursions allowed him to contemplate life in general in which he developed a “deep respect for life, which led him to display a sensitivity to all lifeforms that some found extreme” (Kinsley,

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