Policy of Tolerance

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Policy of Tolerance

Postby untxi » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:45 pm

Friends...

While it is true that the ToS stipulates that discrimination against board members because of race, gender or sexual orientation will not be prohibited, I think it would be a good idea to construct and subsequently enforce a policy of tolerance. It's a simple fact that Buddhism in diaspora has to deal with issues of race, gender constructions and different lifestyles. Quite simply, the world is full of non-Asian, female, and queer Buddhists. It's a fact. It's reality. There's nothing to change it. And there's no going back. Maybe it's the end of Buddhist civilization as we know it as some conservative Buddhists indicate-- but again, this is a fact and there's no going back. I'm a white cis-hetero male American and the latent racism, misogyny and queer phobia I see on this board is distressing. I can't imagine what people of color, women and LBGT people think. The whole purpose of the dharma is to tame one's mind and cultivate love and compassion. If it's making us more judgmental and hateful then there's no point. I'm sure some conservative Buddhist will say I'm questioning the Buddha's teachings in some way. We could debate with is neyartha and what is nithartha all day-- that's not the point. The point is how to present the dharma and sangha to others, especially people who are radically outside socially conservative traditional Asian Buddhist society. Drive them away from dharma with hate, or draw them to dharma with tolerance? It's a simple choice IMHO, and I think a board like this potentially a strong voice to bring people towards Buddhism or to drive them away from it.

Said and done.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:58 pm

untxi wrote:While it is true that the ToS stipulates that discrimination against board members because of race, gender or sexual orientation will not be prohibited...


...ehmmm... this is a misunderstanding, right? Or am I missing something? The ToS state:

No Discriminating Against Members on the Basis of their Gender, Sexual Preferences, Ethnic Group, Language, etc


I'd say you're preaching to the choir :shrug:
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby untxi » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:49 pm

There's a big difference between racist, misogynistic, and/or queer phobic language as conduct... I.e. as an act todirectly harm specific individuals... and the same speech bantered about in generalities. IMHO this board guards against the former, not the later.

Personally if I wanted to hear about the ethcial failures of others, and the lack of value and worth of women and LGBT people... I'd have stuck with my birth religion.

There is no place in dharma to make anyone feel lesser because of their gender or sexuality.

This suggestion is in response to homophobic and misogynistic themes in some recent threads.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:08 pm

I'm afraid I'm not sure if I can follow you... homophobic and misogynistic statements are certainly against the ToS. If the moderators have missed out on some discriminating remarks you can indicate those posts to the mods using the report function.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby Adi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:53 am

untxi wrote:... I can't imagine what people of color, women and LBGT people think….


There is no need to try to imagine such things. Just ask a specific question if you want to know a specific answer.

In the meantime, as already noted, "If the moderators have missed out on some discriminating remarks you can indicate those posts to the mods using the report function."

That being said, most people here are apparently Mahayanists of one kind or another and that includes Bodhicitta. It can take time for people to realize that all sentient beings means all. :)

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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:36 am

untxi wrote:There's a big difference between racist, misogynistic, and/or queer phobic language as conduct... I.e. as an act todirectly harm specific individuals... and the same speech bantered about in generalities. IMHO this board guards against the former, not the later.

Personally if I wanted to hear about the ethcial failures of others, and the lack of value and worth of women and LGBT people... I'd have stuck with my birth religion.

There is no place in dharma to make anyone feel lesser because of their gender or sexuality.

This suggestion is in response to homophobic and misogynistic themes in some recent threads.

I would say the expression of those themes was only from a select few, and they undoubtably met critique and resistance because of it. There's always going to be that small few who hold views of that nature, all that can really be done is to address their points with counterpoints when they come up.

The unfortunate flip side of tolerance is that we sometimes need to be tolerant of views we aren't fond of as well. Good way to practice compassion.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby Vidyaraja » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:19 am

What about tolerance of viewpoints which contradict politically correct dogmas and thus are incorrectly labeled "hateful" because they disagree with modern, politically correct memes, such as the support of feminism or homosexuality? If a person felt that those things were incorrect and harmful, should he thus be silenced because those positions are considered "intolerant" by the apostles of "tolerance"?

A Buddhist is supposed to be compassionate and look out for the welfare of all beings. This means helping sentient beings avoid suffering. When there are traditional Buddhist teachings in scripture and by reputable monks such as this:

Image

Image

Wouldn't the compassionate route be to maintain and defend teachings of proper morality as an example for all in order to prevent suffering? Wouldn't the foolish and deluded route be to arrogantly believe that "I am right, modern values are right, and the Buddhist teachings of men more wise than me which contradict my modern political and social beliefs can be discarded, i.e. I decide what Buddhism is, and it is whatever I want it to be." (rather than what it really is)? I suppose such is the way of things at the height of the Dharma Ending Age/Latter Day of the Law/Kali Yuga, where making Buddhism conform to the religion of modern cultural Marxism, i.e. progressive leftism, rather than taking Buddhism on its own terms, is the true practice.

In short, modern politically correct "tolerance" is really intolerance of opposing views, which stifles freedom of expression and speech under the preposterous notion that preventing people's feelings from being hurt is more important than truth or freedom of thought. How about this stunning notion--if you read or hear a viewpoint which offends you, either ignore it or try to understand it, don't censor it.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:40 am

There's a difference between compassion and dumb compassion. Being tolerant of racists, homophobes, misogynists, etc. has it's place relatively, but a bit of tolerance is quite different than enabling ignorance. There are ignorant people in the world, whether naturally or conditioned, so in that way bigoted rhetoric has its place, and should be expected. The world can't be cleansed of fools. Overall though there's a fine line between tolerating bigots and allowing ignorant people to be bigots.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby Adi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:48 am

Samsara, by its very nature, changes all the time. What once was considered normal is now viewed with suspicion, what once was widely practiced is now in decline, and what could once be voiced without animus now comes across as hate speech.

"Wouldn't the compassionate route be to maintain and defend teachings of proper morality as an example for all in order to prevent suffering? "

Morality is also a thing that changes over time. What is proper in one era is abhorrent in another.

On this board it seems the moderators do a good job of catching things before they descend into poisonous realms. I don't think people can expect much more.

"How about this stunning notion--if you read or hear a viewpoint which offends you, either ignore it or try to understand it, don't censor it."

If a person becomes offended from what they read or hear then they're already unable to ignore it and don't understand it. You can't go back in time and become un-offended. In any case, people's viewpoints are a usually product of the five poisons and will always disappoint.

And of course if anyone wishes to go form a Buddhist discussion board where feminism and homosexuality are forbidden topics, they are welcome to do so.

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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby Vidyaraja » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:00 am

asunthatneversets wrote:There's a difference between compassion and dumb compassion. Being tolerant of racists, homophobes, misogynists, etc. has it's place relatively, but there's a difference between a bit of tolerance and enabling ignorance. There are ignorant people in the world, whether naturally or conditioned, so in that way bigoted rhetoric has its place, and should be expected. The world can't be cleansed of fools. Overall though there's a fine line between tolerating bigots and allowing ignorant people to be bigots.


Racist, homophobe, and misogynists are buzzwords which have become nearly meaningless--at the present they can mean the belief that race exists or has meaning, that homosexuality is wrong and shouldn't be encouraged, or that men and women are different, respectively. In other words, these terms have become so broad as to encompass anything which disagrees with the leftist, politically correct dogmas on how people should think on these issues, thus functioning as mere ways to enforce the status quo and silence any opposing views under the fanatical notion that any deviation from those politically correct views will lead to genocide or some other boogeyman in the minds of progressives.

Better to be called a "bigot" and see things how they really are than to be deluded by a fluffy ideology which nearly all civilizations prior to the 20th and 21st centuries did without.

Adi wrote:Samsara, by its very nature, changes all the time. What once was considered normal is now viewed with suspicion, what once was widely practiced is now in decline, and what could once be voiced without animus now comes across as hate speech. Morality is also a thing that changes over time. What is proper in one era is abhorrent in another.


You are right. The Hindus, the Buddhists, the Taoists, the ancient Greeks, the ancient Celts and Germanic people, and various other people understood that time is cyclical and that as time progresses we go into decline until the start of a new cycle. Right now we are at the height of what the Hindus (and some Buddhists) call the Kali Yuga or Hesiod would have called the Age of Iron, i.e. the dark or sinful age. So while samsara and morality changes overtime, it isn't changing for the better. Hence what is consider proper today is actually degenerate and wrong, but due to the nature of the times people believe that these changes are morally and objectively right, whereas the more traditional civilizations of this world were, while not without evil of their own, more correct on these issues. Most of these civilizations understood the existence of race and ethnicity, most of them were patriarchal and would laugh (or cry) at modern feminism, and most of them thought homosexuality was morally wrong (despite the tremendous efforts of homosexual propagandists to distort history as being widely accepting of them.) Moderners, in their arrogance and delusion, as well as after drinking the koolaid given to them in public education, the mass media, university, etc. find these ideas repugnant since they deviate from their own, but such was the nature of most successful civilizations of history, in contrast to the fringe anomaly of the modern Western world of the 20th and 21st centuries.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby Adi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:19 am

Vidyaraja wrote:...Better to be called a "bigot" and see things how they really are than to be deluded by a fluffy ideology which nearly all civilizations prior to the 20th and 21st centuries did without….


Ok, you're a bigot. :hi:
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby Adi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:24 am

But seriously, folks...

asunthatneversets wrote:...There are ignorant people in the world, whether naturally or conditioned, so in that way bigoted rhetoric has its place, and should be expected. The world can't be cleansed of fools. Overall though there's a fine line between tolerating bigots and allowing ignorant people to be bigots.


I would place Vidyaraja in the ignorant category, but I really have no idea whether or not his or her post goes against the TOS here. I've known many people who held similar opinions as Vidyaraja and some held on until death, others changed, a select few got even worse. I think the only thing to do is let the moderators set some kind of policy on that line "between tolerating bigots and allowing ignorant people to be bigots." Sometimes such a line is obvious, sometimes devious, but always needs attending.

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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:34 am

Vidyaraja wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:There's a difference between compassion and dumb compassion. Being tolerant of racists, homophobes, misogynists, etc. has it's place relatively, but there's a difference between a bit of tolerance and enabling ignorance. There are ignorant people in the world, whether naturally or conditioned, so in that way bigoted rhetoric has its place, and should be expected. The world can't be cleansed of fools. Overall though there's a fine line between tolerating bigots and allowing ignorant people to be bigots.


Racist, homophobe, and misogynists are buzzwords which have become nearly meaningless--at the present they can mean the belief that race exists or has meaning, that homosexuality is wrong and shouldn't be encouraged, or that men and women are different, respectively. In other words, these terms have become so broad as to encompass anything which disagrees with the leftist, politically correct dogmas on how people should think on these issues, thus functioning as mere ways to enforce the status quo and silence any opposing views under the fanatical notion that any deviation from those politically correct views will lead to genocide or some other boogeyman in the minds of progressives.

Better to be called a "bigot" and see things how they really are than to be deluded by a fluffy ideology which nearly all civilizations prior to the 20th and 21st centuries did without.


Well, you already seem to have a bias to promulgate, evident by your use of terms such as 'leftist' and 'progressive'. At any rate though, your contention that the meaning of said terms has become so broad as to obfuscate the possibility of having a meaning to be broad in the first place is really reaching. The majority of people know full well what a racist, homophobic or misogynistic view entails.

The opposition of such rhetoric has nothing to do with towing party lines or ideologies like you suggest, which again seems to be where your head is at. The opposition simply has to do with creating a welcoming environment where those who belong to certain communities, races, sexual preferences, etc., are not persecuted. And if the argument is raised that the persecutors are then being persecuted, well, being a racist is a choice, being a certain race is not. Being a homophobe is a choice, being gay or lesbian is not. Being a misogynist is a choice, being a woman is not. That is where the issue lies.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby untxi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:02 am

My phrase "I can't imagine what people of color, women and LBGT people thing" was in reference to the bigotry that is exhibited on this forum-- and it was a rhetorical question. I have queer friends who are utterly repulsed by the homophobia of Buddhists. It's awesome to claim the path to liberation from suffering, but then to cause people suffering by claiming they have no access to liberation because of their sexuality. Awesome.

Adi wrote:
untxi wrote:... I can't imagine what people of color, women and LBGT people think….


There is no need to try to imagine such things. Just ask a specific question if you want to know a specific answer.

In the meantime, as already noted, "If the moderators have missed out on some discriminating remarks you can indicate those posts to the mods using the report function."

That being said, most people here are apparently Mahayanists of one kind or another and that includes Bodhicitta. It can take time for people to realize that all sentient beings means all. :)

Adi
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby untxi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:06 am

Tolerance of intolerance is not an option. That is enabling. It is against my personal understanding of my precepts to do so. And thus my post here. I am glad that the ToS forbid harassment, but harassment is when speech becomes conduct by harming or inciting to harm. I would like to see the ToS explicitly embrace tolerance by condemning and not tolerating racist, misogynistic and queer phobic speech. At the very least it is harsh speech and divisive speech, regardless of whatever views one might have about gender and sexuality.

asunthatneversets wrote:
untxi wrote:There's a big difference between racist, misogynistic, and/or queer phobic language as conduct... I.e. as an act todirectly harm specific individuals... and the same speech bantered about in generalities. IMHO this board guards against the former, not the later.

Personally if I wanted to hear about the ethcial failures of others, and the lack of value and worth of women and LGBT people... I'd have stuck with my birth religion.

There is no place in dharma to make anyone feel lesser because of their gender or sexuality.

This suggestion is in response to homophobic and misogynistic themes in some recent threads.

I would say the expression of those themes was only from a select few, and they undoubtably met critique and resistance because of it. There's always going to be that small few who hold views of that nature, all that can really be done is to address their points with counterpoints when they come up.

The unfortunate flip side of tolerance is that we sometimes need to be tolerant of views we aren't fond of as well. Good way to practice compassion.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby Adi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:12 am

untxi wrote: My phrase "I can't imagine what people of color, women and LBGT people thing" was in reference to the bigotry that is exhibited on this forum-- and it was a rhetorical question.


Ah, my fault for being too literal. I've been reading this site on and off for five years but only recently has it come to be anything like a regular visit. Have you seen a lot of such bigotry? I am curious as I've seen some but my limited experience here does not afford me a wide scope.


I have queer friends who are utterly repulsed by the homophobia of Buddhists.


This has been the opposite of my experience, in that Buddhists seem quite accepting of most things in life. Though again to qualify, such experience has mostly been with Tibetan Buddhists.

It's awesome to claim the path to liberation from suffering, but then to cause people suffering by claiming they have no access to liberation because of their sexuality. Awesome.


Yes, that is not only tragic but also it is terribly flawed from a sutrayana, mahayana or tantrayana perspective. Such opinions seem to have more to do with cultural values than Dharma. At least to my mind.

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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:20 am

Untxi, be careful not to let a few bad apples spoil the bunch. Those few bad apples aren't reflecting the buddhadharma itself, or as a whole. Just because there are a few intolerant Buddhists doesn't mean that Buddhism is intolerant. It just means there is an intolerant person involved with the buddhadharma.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby untxi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:44 am

I have seen a fair amount of homophobia and sexism on this board, and it's antecedents which are now deceased. I have also seen a fair amount in real-life sanghas.

This is where we put our practice in action. OK, we have agreed to not harass. Let's agree to not talk bigoted crap.

I reject such a proposal to be politically correct drivel. One, there are antecedents in the larger Buddhist tradition that support such tolerance, and that refute that such things as being a woman or homosexual are a detriment to Buddhist spiritual practice. Two, there is the issue of ascertaining what are provisional (neyartha) and definitive (nitartha) teachings. Three, there is the issue of ascertaining what is Buddhism re culture and Buddhism re dharma practice. Fourth, there is the pragmatic question of how to most constructively present the dharma in a pluralistic society which does, and will continue to, have practitioners who are people of color, women and LGBT people. Five, there are bona fide traditionally trained and arguably realized adepts who call for this very tolerance. And lastly, generally this bigoted talk has at its root some form of aversion and contempt for others, and that is universally an obstacle and poison in Buddhist practice.

Adi wrote:
untxi wrote: My phrase "I can't imagine what people of color, women and LBGT people thing" was in reference to the bigotry that is exhibited on this forum-- and it was a rhetorical question.


Ah, my fault for being too literal. I've been reading this site on and off for five years but only recently has it come to be anything like a regular visit. Have you seen a lot of such bigotry? I am curious as I've seen some but my limited experience here does not afford me a wide scope.


I have queer friends who are utterly repulsed by the homophobia of Buddhists.


This has been the opposite of my experience, in that Buddhists seem quite accepting of most things in life. Though again to qualify, such experience has mostly been with Tibetan Buddhists.

It's awesome to claim the path to liberation from suffering, but then to cause people suffering by claiming they have no access to liberation because of their sexuality. Awesome.


Yes, that is not only tragic but also it is terribly flawed from a sutrayana, mahayana or tantrayana perspective. Such opinions seem to have more to do with cultural values than Dharma. At least to my mind.

Adi
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby oushi » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:57 am

untxi wrote:I think it would be a good idea to construct and subsequently enforce a policy of tolerance.

Enforce tolerance? :roll: That's self-contradicting.
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Re: Policy of Tolerance

Postby Indrajala » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:00 am

Vidyaraja wrote:This means helping sentient beings avoid suffering. When there are traditional Buddhist teachings in scripture and by reputable monks such as this:
...


In general, western Buddhists just write these things off as cultural elements that are secondary and can be discarded, rather than admitting that, perhaps, their adopted religious tradition does in fact contain many elements that would be classified as sexist, anti-homosexual and irrational by many people today.

I've offended western Tibetan nuns just by pointing out their lineage predecessor Nāgārjuna is credited with writing the following:

    63. A conqueror, a water channel, a creeping plant,
    Women and the blind, these five,
    How they are led by the crafty!
    And this leading places them in the power of others.

    182. A woman's appetite is twice (that of a man),
    Her deceitfulness four times (as much),
    Her shame six times,
    And her passions eight times--so it is said.

    194. When milk is got from a horn,
    When the reed-flower drops honey,
    Then, when a woman is true,
    The lotus will grow in dry ground.

    246. An evil man, gold, a drum,
    A wild horse, women and cloth
    Are controlled by beating.
    These are not vessels for elegant doings.


I was told it was offensive just to cite such things, even though it comes straight from a key text from their own tradition.

I feel many western Buddhists are more invested in modern liberal values than they are in Buddhadharma. Quite often they cite such values mistakenly as Dharma, too. I mean just look at the ongoing feminist crusade amongst western nuns trying to get full ordinations for Tibetan nuns. They are ironically promoting an inherently unequal system of ordination (according to Vinaya law nuns are always subordinate to monks) in the name of advancing equality!

That being said, we should tolerate all discussions provided they remain civil, and thus have healthy discussions with which we can learn and develop our opinions.
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