Thank you for your question. I will take this chance to talk about the ethical conducts of a Buddhist.
If you have watched my previous videos, you will know that the ultimate goal of a Buddhist is to achieve liberation from the Six Realms’ Wheel of Life. So how can we get rid of it? We need to cultivate ourselves in three aspects: precepts, meditative concentration, and prajna wisdom. The three factors influence and promote each other. The precepts or the ethical conducts are the foundation of the practice.
Without the above context, you would not agree with the value of the precepts of a Buddhist. There are different sets of precepts in Buddhism for different practitioners and in different practising stages. But all Buddhists usually uphold the below five basic precepts.
The first precept prohibits killing, both humans and all animals.
The second precept prohibits stealing and related activities such as fraud and forgery.
The third precept refers to sexual misconduct.
The fourth precept prohibits lying, as well as malicious [məˈlɪʃəs] speech, flowery speech and gossip.
The fifth precept prohibits intoxication through alcohol, drugs, or other means.
Yes, it is not easy to fully satisfy the Five Precepts in our daily life. However, as a true Buddhist practitioner, he will find that the more self-discipline, the more freedom, rather than restrictions.
This is what I perceived from my experience with Buddhism, and there might be flaws in my statement. However, I hope it can help you to further understand the spirit of Buddhism. By the way, I know you are a scholar of Chinese History and Philosophy. You are welcome to raise more topics that we can discuss and share opinions on Chinese culture and Buddhism.