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How can we have compassion for child abusers? - Dhamma Wheel

How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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manas
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How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby manas » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:50 am

EDIT: When I wrote this, I was obviously affected by the news article I had read, and used some emotive terms, which seem to have provoked some reaction from some persons. For the record:

1. Maybe I should have titled it differently, and said 'persons who have abused children' rather than 'child abusers', as to affix a label to someone, as if that label defines who they intrinsically are, is false.

2. They are not 'monsters', rather thay are merely immoral and/or unwell human beings.

Thank you for reading.

______________________________________________________________________________________

This is not an easy subject. So, read at your own risk. But I made the mistake of reading the news again, and as per usual, am upset by an article I read:

http://www.theage.com.au/world/staff-re ... 1retx.html

I have compassion even for the tiniest creature. I was stung by a wasp recently, and as soon as I had brushed it out from my clothes, I shouted to the kids, "don't kill it!". I let the insect out the window. But I cannot have compassion for the human monsters who either kill, torture or sexually abuse children. I had better not state in this Buddhist forum what i think such monsters deserve, as it is more severe than the meagre punishments these scum are usually given by the lax legal system.

manas.
Last edited by manas on Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Dan74
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:04 am

Perhaps by recognizing that there are no such things are "child abusers" but causes and conditions that lead to committing such an act.

I don't mean to excuse this behaviour or imply that it is anything other than heinous. Just that there is no such thing as "essence of child abuser", no self of a child abuser that is different to you or me. What is different is their kamma and kamma is constantly changing just like everything else.

So there is nothing really there to pin our hate onto. The hate or lack of compassion is ours and ours alone.
_/|\_

perkele
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby perkele » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:24 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:35 am

well I know a person who was locked up for downloading child pornography, and one of them told me when I asked why said "I got addicted to porn, and the longer I looked for it the more sick it got' it is simple going from bad to worse, in that instance.

but I don't know how anyone could find a young child attractive in such a way, or want to hurt them??? it does boggle my mind, but just like I have been violent and been to prison for it, these were something done not who and what I am, so maybe these people are likewise the product of their conditioning, of inappropriate attention, and the three defilements which cause unskilled actions? maybe they are brain damaged in some way? mentally unstable with distorted perceptions?

the acts are not who they are, but have they been given the appropriate support to break free from this sort of blameworthy behaviour? saying the punishment doesn't fit the crime is well and good, but does the system support re-offending or rehabilitation?


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

Buckwheat
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:07 am

This kind of compassion is recognizing that he has terrible psychological demons he needs to deal with. What we wish for is that he learns to deal with them in a healthy way so that he can end the cycle of perversion and violence. It is only with that realization that he will stop being a molestor in this lifetime or the next. Then, once he drops the "evil molestor" kamma, we hope that he goes on to become a stream-enterer. Maybe in a few lifetimes he could be my dhamma teacher. If you don't wish for his recovery, you may miss the opportunity to study dhamma under a great sage. You never know, look at how Angulimala turned out.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Goofaholix
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:19 am

The child abuser is a victim of causality too, we can have compassion for him for just that much.

I think we owe it to the victims and potential future victims to stop him from doing it again by any means necessary.

Not preventing the abuser from doing it again is not only allowing him to hurt others it's allowing him to hurt himself, that wouldn't be a compassionate response.

Buckwheat
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:26 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:46 am

Maybe I am a pervert — I have more compassion for evil doers than for good people.

Due to their evil kamma in previous lives, such sexual deviants are reborn in families with abusive parents. While growing up, they don't learn about normal human affection and kindness. As they become adults, they abuse other in turn, perpetuating the vicious psycle (sic).

If they are caught, they get imprisoned and abused by the other prisoners. On their death they are very likely to be reborn in hell. If, due to some good kamma, they are eventually reborn in the human realm again, they again get reborn as the children of abusive parents, and/or go to a school where they have an abusive teacher.

How and when will they ever get free from the cycle of suffering?
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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cooran
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby cooran » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:21 pm

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

Misperceptions about child sex offenders
Kelly Richards ISSN 1836-2206 Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, September 2011

This paper addresses five common misperceptions about the perpetrators of sexual offences against children.
Specifically, the issues addressed include:
whether all child sex offenders are ‘paedophiles’, who sexually abuse children,
whether most child sex offenders were victims of sexual abuse themselves,
rates of recidivism among child sex offenders and
the number of children sex offenders typically abuse before they are detected by police.
http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/curr ... di429.aspx

with metta
Chris
with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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retrofuturist
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:07 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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manas
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby manas » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:50 pm

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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ground
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby ground » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:43 am

How come you think that one has to have compassion for child abusers? There is not need to have compassion. However ill-will, hate, anger are unwholesome.

Kind regards

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fig tree
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby fig tree » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:19 am

Preventing criminals from going on to do further or worse crimes seems like one of the most helpful things we can do for them.

Fig Tree

Buckwheat
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:23 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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ground
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby ground » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:32 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:33 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Buckwheat
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:39 am

As a victim of abuse, they are going to be on my mind. While I recognize my role in choosing to focus on the issue, I am not yet strong enough to keep my focus elsewhere.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Dan74
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Dan74 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:17 am

_/|\_

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retrofuturist
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:42 am

Greetings Dan,

I don't think you've quite grasped the point I was making earlier.

How many things/groups/dhammas etc. can you avert your mind (placing attention - manasikara) to at once? For me the answer is just one.

Of all the things I could avert my mind to, out of the vast number of dhammas I could fabricate, I see no compelling reason to avert it specifically towards child abusers. More likely than not, the mind would be better placed on the six-sense-sphere, the five aggregates, the qualities of the Buddha, the qualities of the Dhamma, the qualities of the Sangha, the breath etc.

Out of interest, do you ever feel compassion for the endangered Guatemalan Tree Walrus? Not likely, because I bet you'd never before brought it to mind until I mentioned it. Yet, that doesn't mean you regard it with hatred or other unwholesome attitudes either.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Aloka
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Re: How can we have compassion for child abusers?

Postby Aloka » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:00 am

Hi All,


I highly recommend taking a little time to read "Holistic Kindness : Metta Parami " by Ajahn Sucitto.






with kind wishes,

Aloka


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