the great vegetarian debate

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:09 pm

seeker242 wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
seeker242 wrote:You sure do enjoy putting words in other people's mouths! Too bad that isn't a reasonable thing to do.

Dearest seeker242, did you say this:
Thanissaro Bhikkhu must just be wrong then? Although, I find that hard to believe. More like impossible to believe!

here: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=213&p=202665#p202665 ?

Do you only find it impossible to believe that TB is wrong when he supports your position?

Dearest dzogchungpa. It would be nice if you didn't take comments out of context. But I guess that is asking too much from you. The context of the comment was "killing is bad" and yes it impossible to believe that this is not the case. Since when is one required to agree with everything another says, in order to agree with one thing a person says? Answer: since never.

Very good. So now I am only taking your comments out of context, and in a gently teasing manner at that, not putting words in your mouth, right? My point is that you seem to view TB as some kind of authority, so presumably you would be willing to consider his position on this issue seriously, even if he disagrees with you. Are you?
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:12 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Jigme Tsultrim wrote:All of this was originally to dispute questioning whether most Buddhists reject vegetarianism. I believe the facts support this.


Argumentum ad populum (just because the majority of people believe in something, believe it to be true; does not make it true or correct).

dzogchungpa wrote:I find it impossible to believe that Thanissaro Bhikkhu could be wrong, so I feel that the view expressed in the following passage must be absolutely correct and should be adopted by all Buddhists everywhere:


Appeal to authority (Thanissaro is not the pope or sole authority on Buddhism).


Dr Snyder if you go back in the thread you will find that dzogchungpa was quoting back a passage from Thanissaro Bkikkhu that seeker242 had quoted in an appeal to authority.
A passage that appeared to contradict seeker242's own later statements.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:20 pm

Simon E. wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:
Jigme Tsultrim wrote:All of this was originally to dispute questioning whether most Buddhists reject vegetarianism. I believe the facts support this.


Argumentum ad populum (just because the majority of people believe in something, believe it to be true; does not make it true or correct).

dzogchungpa wrote:I find it impossible to believe that Thanissaro Bhikkhu could be wrong, so I feel that the view expressed in the following passage must be absolutely correct and should be adopted by all Buddhists everywhere:


Appeal to authority (Thanissaro is not the pope or sole authority on Buddhism).


Dr Snyder if you go back in the thread you will find that dzogchungpa was quoting back a passage from Thanissaro Bkikkhu that seeker242 had quoted in an appeal to authority.
A passage that appeared to contradict seeker242's own later statements.

Yes, I was just teasing beloved seeker242 a bit. My point is not frivolous though.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:30 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Very good. So now I am only taking your comments out of context, and in a gently teasing manner at that, not putting words in your mouth, right? My point is that you seem to view TB as some kind of authority,


TB is an authority when it comes to the question of "Is killing bad?"

so presumably you would be willing to consider his position on this issue seriously, even if he disagrees with you. Are you?


Of course. I do seriously consider his position and have come to the conclusion that I disagree with it. In this particular instance, in this particular context, on this particular question and take the Nirvana Sutra's position instead. I don't think this is inappropriate since TB is Theravada monk and I am a Mahayana practitioner.

However, when it comes to the previous question of "Is killing bad" both Theravada and Mahayana are in agreement. There is no debate on that particular question. You could go to any authority on that particular question and they are going to say the same thing whether they are Theravada or Mahayana. But quite obviously, there is a difference between the pali canon and the nirvana sutra, etc. when it come to the particular question of eating or not eating meat.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:39 pm

seeker242 wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Very good. So now I am only taking your comments out of context, and in a gently teasing manner at that, not putting words in your mouth, right? My point is that you seem to view TB as some kind of authority,


TB is an authority when it comes to the question of "Is killing bad?"

Why is that?

seeker242 wrote:
so presumably you would be willing to consider his position on this issue seriously, even if he disagrees with you. Are you?


Of course. I do seriously consider his position and have come to the conclusion that I disagree with it. In this particular instance, in this particular context, on this particular question and take the Nirvana Sutra's position instead. I don't think this is inappropriate since TB is Theravada monk and I am a Mahayana practitioner.

However, when it comes to the previous question of "Is killing bad" both Theravada and Mahayana are in agreement. There is no debate on that particular question. You could go to any authority on that particular question and they are going to say the same thing whether they are Theravada or Mahayana. But quite obviously, there is a difference between the pali canon and the nirvana sutra, etc. when it come to the particular question of eating or not eating meat.

Don't be so quick to speak for "Mahayana". As our very own Ven. Indrajala says here http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=14826#p199456 :
Generally speaking, most Sravakayana models just say, "Don't kill." However, Mahayana theory allows for all manner of harmful and/or questionable actions if the motivation is essentially benevolent.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:47 pm

What does the Nirvana sutra say about the question of eating meat? Does it agree or disagree with TB?
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:25 pm

Nematodes..... :twothumbsup:
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Norwegian » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:44 pm

seeker242,

What is your opinion then on the following quote from the Shurangama sutra, a Mahayana sutra (the very same sutra that says meat eaters are great rakshasas, and are not disciples of the Buddha):
Bodhisattvas and bhikshus who practice purity will not even step on grass in the pathway; even less will they pull it up with their hand. How can one with great compassion pick up the flesh and blood of living beings and proceed to eat his fill? 6:26


A user on another forum (the same forum you posted the Shurangama quote), said the following about vegetarianism and the above quote:

karasti,
I find it interesting that the one passage that was latched onto was the one that appears to be pro-Vegan. Interesting how we automatically look for things that match our views and dismiss things more quickly, such as the :
Bodhisattvas and bhikshus who practice purity will not even step on grass in the pathway; even less will they pull it up with their hand.
line.

Funny how the same people who would relate (I'm not talking about anyone in particular) to the Vegan portion and say "yes! see! I'm right in being Vegan, it says so right here!" will then proceed to go outside and cut their grass and weed their garden without giving it a thought.


If I remember correctly, you said that you yourself actually mow your lawn, in other words cut the grass. Your excuse was that you cannot ignore doing this, because the city will give you a fine, as not cutting the grass would be a city code violation.

So, in this thread, you've been pointing fingers, and you've been promoting the superiority of vegetarianism, and criticizing meat-eaters, even if these meat eaters never killed or requested for an animal to be killed.

And yet, you mow your own lawn - and in the process you yourself injure and kill myriad sentient beings knowingly. If you are so adamant about vegetarianism, the least you could do, was to not mow your own lawn. If the fine is such a big problem, you should do what's right, and that's move to a place where you can avoid mowing your own lawn, and wouldn't have to be worried about fines, because I got the understanding that you were a Mahayana Buddhist, so naturally you would avoid a situation where you will have to kill myriad beings.

So don't be such a hypocrite. And perhaps you shouldn't be talking so loudly. It's very silly.
Norwegian
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:52 pm

You are saying I'm a hypocrite because I mow the lawn? Really? What ever happened to "reasonable discussion"?
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:16 pm

Simon E. wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Many senior Tibetan teachers take the view that to draw a line between vertebrate and invertebrate creatures is not warranted in relation to the Dharmic view of killing.

What about the others? What view do they take?

As has been repeated by a number of members a number of times there is a spectrum of views on the issue..thats rather the point. There is no pan- Buddhist position. There is no pan-Vajrayana position.
We have to form our own judgements.

So there are Buddhists teachers that don't take the view that nematodes are equally equipped to experience suffering as mammals? Whereas you have presented this as an undisputed fact.
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:32 pm

Simon E. wrote:I am sure that some means of food production cause more harm to more sentient creatures than others. I am sure that eating organically produced meat causes less general harm than eating maize for example.

We cant fix samsara, neither can we ' minimise ' it. Its samsara. Its all of a piece.

Those of us advocating personal responsibility in the minimising of harm to other living beings are not talking about 'changing the world', yet many others are clearly stuck on this idea, unable to see the point of any kind of positive action if this goal can't be realised.

You seem to lack all comprehension of kindness and compassion.
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:35 pm

There is no Pan-Buddhist or Pan-Vajrayana view of meat eating. That is the undisputed fact.

The presence of nematodes and their ubiquity are a relatively recently discovery, as is the fact that they have pain receptors.
How Buddhist teachers react to this knowledge will be interesting to watch..
The Tibetans after all are just coming to grips with the idea that the Earth is not flat and dominated at its centre by an enormous mountain.

I dare say some of them are nostalgic for the old days when life was simpler and questions of sentience ( for example ) had yet to be formed.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:37 pm

seeker242 wrote:You are saying I'm a hypocrite because I mow the lawn? Really?

I believe he was pointing out the hypocrisy of taking a sutra literally and considering it authoritative only insofar as it suits you.
seeker242 wrote:What ever happened to "reasonable discussion"?

Speaking of reasonable discussion, how about responding to my post a few posts up? Why do you say that Thanissaro Bhikkhu is an authority when it comes to the question of "Is killing bad?", but not other Buddhist issues? As I've pointed out, the "Mahayana" POV on killing is not as simple as you would like to have people believe.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:37 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I am sure that some means of food production cause more harm to more sentient creatures than others. I am sure that eating organically produced meat causes less general harm than eating maize for example.

We cant fix samsara, neither can we ' minimise ' it. Its samsara. Its all of a piece.

Those of us advocating personal responsibility in the minimising of harm to other living beings are not talking about 'changing the world', yet many others are clearly stuck on this idea, unable to see the point of any kind of positive action if this goal can't be realised.

You seem to lack all comprehension of kindness and compassion.


Woe is me. :smile:
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:45 pm

The standards set by the precepts are simple. You promise yourself not to
engage intentionally in any of the five kinds of harmful activities, and not to tell anyone
else to engage in them, either. That’s all. You don’t have to worry about controlling more
than that. This means that the precepts don’t require you to focus on indirect or
unintended ways in which your actions may lead to someone else’s breaking the precepts.
You focus first on your own choices to act.

Simon E. wrote:So what to you think of the Bhikkhu's statement seeker242 ?
Particularly 'you dont have to control more than that ' ? i.e. your own efforts and understanding..

How can you side with Thanissaro's statement when you don't appear to follow the first precept at all?
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:45 pm

Simon E. wrote:Woe is me. :smile:

I believe so.
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:48 pm

:namaste:
much metta Dharmagoat.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2131
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:53 pm

Simon E. wrote: :namaste:
much metta Dharmagoat.

:anjali: (with sincerity)
User avatar
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:10 pm

palchi wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:What about Africa?
Well, what about it? What proportion of people in Africa never eat meat at all? I don't know. Do you?
Not talking for all of Africa... Here in Namibia it's a mixed picture. Traditionally Namibia is a meat-eating country because it has such a dry climate that very little vegetables can grow here, apart from some kind of squash and some spinach. Plus mahangu, a kind of millet. So traditionally many people are cattle farmers. But cattle is also currency so no cow would be slaughtered 'just' to feed the family. Mostly animals would only be slaughtered for major celebrations (weddings, funerals etc). Most Namibians will eat lots of meat given the chance - and those who can afford it definitely do.

In practice, however, a rather large part of the population is day to day living on pap (mahangu) with some kind of sauce and (for the few months it grows) spinach. Too many children eat just one small bowl of pap a day if at all. And Namibia is still one of the better off countries in Africa. Many other countries have much higher levels of food insecurity.

For the better off it's a different picture of course with everything you can think of - including veggies and fruit - available in the supermarkets.

I just noticed this. Thanks for the info. I just did a quick search and found this:
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2008/0221/p20s01-woaf.html
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:11 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
seeker242 wrote:You are saying I'm a hypocrite because I mow the lawn? Really?

I believe he was pointing out the hypocrisy of taking a sutra literally and considering it authoritative only insofar as it suits you.


You think monks vows against eating meat are a metaphor? Not to be taken literally? Alright then... :roll:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dan74, Norwegian, tomamundsen and 18 guests

>