The 1st precept

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Modus.Ponens
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The 1st precept

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun May 05, 2013 1:40 pm

Hello.

When I follow the 1st precept, I try to follow it with all its sides included in the vinaya. That means that I try not to speak of the advantages of death. My interpretation of this part of the rule is deficient because I don't know the vinaya. So I see three interpretations, of increasing restriction over ones actions, of this rule and it's exemplified in the following three questions. Now is it only breaking the precept if the person whom you talk to about the advantages of death commits suicide? If I were to praise the advantages of abortion to a woman facing this choice, and she did made an abortion, would that be a breach of the precept? Is it breaking the precept just to speak of the advantages of death without it having the consequence of someone dying?

Be well :)
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

Dennenappelmoes
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Sun May 05, 2013 2:22 pm

To me it isn't, but that's me. I don't believe in precepts as a rulebook or think in terms of violation as a yes-no matter. Sometimes we have clear and simple choices, sometimes lifes pushes us down dark paths where we are faced with dilemmas. The way I see it, the point of the precepts is not to be individual flavours of rules and regulations that you risk "violating", but they all are different aspects of the one and same thing: Letting go.
In my opinion, the advice not to kill is letting go of 2 things: Letting go of taking control over your environment, shape it the way you want it (whether killing a bug in your room or commiting genocide for your regime), and letting go of feelings of hatred or revenge that may cause someone to passionately try to kill, harm or get rid of something or someone, or a desire to judge others, which is also taking control. Every moment we let something live, is a moment we let go.

So, if you'd do the things you describe I wouldn't take them as bad kamma because there is no clinging to particular desires. If you would be saying them because you hate the person, or you hate the unborn baby, and that is sort of your hidden agenda to insincerely promote death, then obviously that is an act of controlling which is bad kamma.
Personally I'd go as far as to say abortion is a virtuous if you do it out of considerations of the wellbeing for all (for example if there is no food and the baby would die slowly), and a non virtuous act if it is done because we have a sense of the ideal live we crave to have ("I want a baby in a year from now, not yet"). I would call the latter 'taking control', which would lead to suffering as it brings us away from the realisation that samsara cannot be controlled or bring happiness.

Just my view. Would be interesting to see others as well. Metta :hello:

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Indrajala
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Indrajala » Sun May 05, 2013 3:49 pm

To violate the precept requires the intent to harm or kill someone either directly or indirectly.

So, encouraging a woman to get an abortion and them going through with it as a result would constitute a violation of the precept, even though you personally did not carry out the deed yourself.

It all comes down to your intent.

Talking about death in a general sense and this inadvertently resulting in a suicide or abortion wouldn't be a transgression.





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Re: The 1st precept

Postby daverupa » Sun May 05, 2013 4:09 pm

Equating abortion with death, depending on how long it's been since the two gametes became a zygote, may be unwarranted.

Of course, shooting a dead person with the intent to kill them (thinking they were asleep) would break the precept, even though no death occurred due to the action.

It's a little more complex than it might seem at first.

:heart:

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun May 05, 2013 5:32 pm

Please, let's not discuss abortion. It has been discussed to death (pun intended) in our society, and it's off topic. I just want to know what people who know the vinaya think.

Thank you Bhante Indrajala for your reply. :anjali:
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Sun May 05, 2013 6:03 pm


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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Coyote » Sun May 05, 2013 6:06 pm

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

Dennenappelmoes
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Sun May 05, 2013 6:11 pm

Last edited by Dennenappelmoes on Sun May 05, 2013 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Coyote » Sun May 05, 2013 6:20 pm

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

Dennenappelmoes
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Sun May 05, 2013 6:33 pm


Coyote
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Coyote » Sun May 05, 2013 7:12 pm

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

Dennenappelmoes
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Sun May 05, 2013 7:51 pm


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun May 05, 2013 8:57 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

Dennenappelmoes
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Sun May 05, 2013 10:23 pm

To anyone interested in the point of view that I described, here is Ajahn Brahm defending it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlvYJK0NXOM
Ajahn Brahm argues that in some cases, intentional killing can be the most wholesome thing to do whereas hiding from the situation, playing safe and not intervening, could be considered negligence and thus bad kamma. The motivation / intended goal is key.

I'm not sharing this to complicate matters, only to add some nuance and room for different people's interpretations. Just so that nobody ends up feeling a bad Buddhist over this :hug:

Metta :hello:

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun May 05, 2013 11:06 pm

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Indrajala
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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Indrajala » Mon May 06, 2013 2:08 am






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Re: The 1st precept

Postby Cittasanto » Mon May 06, 2013 11:04 am



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.


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