Hello bodom, all,
Yes, sometimes difficult decisions have to be made. I can remember assisting in killing a poisonous red-bellied black snake in our toilet area when I had very young childre. But there are still kammic effects.
There isn’t any wiggle room in Buddhism … the deliberate knowing killing another being is just that, and will have its results. The mosquito in this re-becoming, may well have been a human in a previous birth….
Getting The Message … Thanissaro Bhikkhuhttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ssage.html
Vipaka Sutta … Resultshttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And a little more:
I think it is essential to have a definition of exactly what a sentient being is within Buddhism.
Someone said that sentient beings are those who are capable of experiencing suffering (Dukkha), that if a being seeks to avoid a blow, it is sentient
So a kangaroo seeking to get out of the spotlight of a night shooter, is seeking to avoid suffering (pain of being wounded/killed). The snails on the paths at my workplace seeking to (very slowly) avoid the shoes of the passers-by are seeking to avoid suffering (pain of being squashed). The fear they feel is also suffering. This would fit with a Tibetan teachings which says that sentient beings are all beings that have mind, and mind is found in all beings that breathe. I think this would cut out all bacteria, virus, and plants. One wonders about beings in other realms, like petas, devas etc (Do they breathe. can they feel a blow?)
In "An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics" Peter Harvey (p151)'sentience,
the ability to experience and to suffer, and the related ability, in this or a future life, to transcend suffering by attaining enlightenment'
'The flux of consciousness from a previous being is a necessary condition for the arising and development in the womb of a body (rupa) endowed with mental abilities which amount to sentience (nama): feeling, identification, volition, sensory stimulation and attention (S.II.3-4)'