Shin teaches that Amida accepts us "just as we are" and saves and enlightens us regardless of our actions. This brings in the question of ethical action, "Buddhistic" action, in the world. If, because of Amida's guarantee of salvation, we are free to do anything, Shinjin could be viewed as a license for committing anti-Dharmic acts. I am certain that this was not Shinran Shonin's ntention, but the only thing I recall him saying about indulging in bad behavior, knowing that we're already saved, was something to the effect, "Just because we know there is an antidote, doesn't mean that we should drink poison".
I really don't think that moral nihilism is, or ought to be, a consequence of being embraced by Amida's grace, but my education on this point appears to be somewhat inadequate.
Can anyone enlighten me on this issue?
It's a great question Steve, and something that everyone that considers themself a 'Nembutsu Practitioner' or even having an interest in Pure Land should ask themselves.
My own take is that whether we have the faith that Amida will accept us as bombu, as we are, as fallible humans, or whether we're 'strictly self power' practioners of other schools of Buddhism, if we're going to act immorally, we will. I explained what I meant really poorly there! but what I mean is, that neither an attitude towards self power nor other power will stop us from acting immorally if the intent arises and our resilience is weak.
In the most part, speaking only for myself (who else can I speak for!
), my faith in Amida's infinite life and acceptance of me just as I am, is more likely to cause me to make more effort where the precepts are concerned, than seeing myself as 'off the hook' and making less effort to act morally.
Namu Amida Bu!