YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

The role of debate and discussion in understanding - Dhamma Wheel

The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:15 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 3633
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby SDC » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:51 am

Debate is great IF those engaged are willing to follow through and not duck out no matter how long it takes. Be willing to allow your own views to be attacked! And if they are shown to be wrong/inconsistent/weak, and you understand why and are willing to admit it, then those views can be modified accordingly. And that is possible for everyone that witnesses the discussion.

For example, I must be willing to allow ^^this^^ view I just presented to be brutally attacked by anyone here because I chose to put it out there. And if I am not willing to deal with that I should not have hit "Submit".

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:59 am

Greetings,

I think it's very useful if you frame it as a learning opportunity.

We could all speak in accord on something incredibly obvious, but would we learn anything new from that?

If people are prepared to engaged in a frank but respectful, exchange of perspsectives, check their egos out at the door, and engage in questioning and counter-questioning then I think that's fantastic. Looking at the Sutta Pitaka, it seems as if this is very much how it was done "back in the day".

No need to get heated... you don't want to vomit blood! 8-)

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

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:36 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:47 am

Greetings Bodom,

Excellent sutta... nice find.

I've just referenced it in the following topic.

Appropriate conduct within the Dhammic free-for-all forum
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=175

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

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 3633
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby SDC » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:24 am


chownah
Posts: 6161
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby chownah » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:51 am

I studied education at university in preparation to becoming a teacher....one theme they emphasized over and over again was "learning style".....everyone has a style for learning...some people learn best when alone and some learn best when in groups....some when being calm...some when being active....some through visual....some through tactile...some through auitory...some through conflict....some through compromise.....
Everyone learns in a different way. People who learn one way sometimes do not understand how it can be that people who learn in some other way can possibly be learning anything. My view is that we are all learning all the time and the Buddha teaches us how to use this constant learning to achieve the best.
chownah

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby alan » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:21 am

Depends on how you define spiritual development. In some traditions, rationality seems to be subservient.
There is no way to argue against, or for, a koan answer. But in Theravada there is a set of principles, and an outlook that needs to be understood. If the best way to understand is to contrast and compare, then why not do it?

User avatar
ground
Posts: 2591
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby ground » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:06 am


PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby PeterB » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:20 am

In my view there comes a distinctive cut off point in any thread debate that exceeds a dozen or so posts.
At this stage almost invariably a thread will start to develop certain characteristics.

People will start to make assertions beyond their level of personal experience and Insight.
These assertions will follow party lines or personal quirks.
An attempt to parse and analyse in English certain Pali terms will result in the spirit of that term being lost and the letter being disputed.
Someone like me will get pissed off with what they see as self indulgence and attempt to throw a spanner in the works, which will often come close to being a breach of Right Speech or even cross into a clear breach.
People will have more justification and rationalisation for walking passed their cushion and turning on the PC.

In short, I think debate and discussion is of very limited value in understanding the Dhamma. And that any online debate or discussion should be conducted within certain defined and pragmatic boundaries.
By pragmatic I mean that which leads directly to more time spent on the cushion , under the guidance of experienced meditators.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:47 am


PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby PeterB » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:59 am

See I find them neither entertaining nor stimulating most of the time Mike. I just get pissed off and start behaving badly.
I am aware that this is MY problem and I am trying to develop equanimity in the face of endless train spotterish discussions about the precise way to dot an I or cross a t.
I just keep getting the smiling face of Luang Por Chah in my mind, putting his finger to his lips and then pointing to the cushion.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:14 am


PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby PeterB » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:20 am

Why bother reading them ? Good question. At times I manage to not. Then I find myself watching with fascination as the usual sus......cough.... as those members much given to debate break open their Pali dictionaries again and wag the ol' forefinger of truth. But you are right.


Ajahn Chah often spoke at length. However that was entirely uncontaminated by debate... :smile:

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:36 am


PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby PeterB » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:48 am

You are of course absolutely correct Tilt.
I am sure that I can count on your assistance in my renewed determination to keep those hands well sat on.

User avatar
Jaidyn
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:47 am

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby Jaidyn » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:06 am


User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 4346
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:46 am


User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: The role of debate and discussion in understanding

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:15 am

Hi everyone,

My own experience has been that day-to-day - I don't think I get a lot out of online dhamma discussions and debates. I'll occassionally participate but - I tend to leave it to others to get involved. I'm much more practice oriented and feel I can be more effective by encouraging others to engage in practice. And by practice I mean developing sila, samadhi and panna (via meditation); pariyatti and dana. Something one does rather than what one talks about (if you like).
But on the other hand, I owe a debt of gratitude to members of a couple of Buddhist discussion boards for assisting me with developing my intellectual understanding of the Dhamma and that has happened through the prism of public and private discussion. Cinta-maya-panna conditions (in part) Bhavana-maya-panna. We also know from the Brahmajala Sutta that a primary source of micchaditthi is meditative experiences. So, for me its been important to continue to give primacy to meditation but to also temper it with pariyatti and association with my kalayanamittas and their counsel.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..


Return to “Connections to Other Paths”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine