During the 1960’s, the Departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy at South African universities arranged a series of public lectures on ethical subjects, such as euthanasia, professional secrecy, suicide and so on. I was then practicing as an architect and civil engineer, but was also an enthusiastic student of eastern philosophy - in particular, Buddhism. I noticed that the lecturers were largely ignorant of the teachings of the Buddha. I therefore made contributions to the debates from a Buddhist perspective, from the floor, as a member of the audience. I felt that it could add a vital element to our understanding of how religions and philosophies can throw a useful perspective on contemporary social problems.