Massive Threads - Dhamma Wheel

Massive Threads

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Massive Threads

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:27 pm

There are a handful of massive threads that are totally daunting and I don't even know how to get started. I tried to read the rebirth thread and couldn't get past the first six pages of bickering - and I still don't know where to find the one little aspect of rebirth discussion that I'm interested in even though I was told on one of my postings "this has already been discussed, read the thread before posting". My suggestion is for these topics that are huge, instead of combining them into a single thread, how about we create a new board so that it can be broken into subtopics? I don't know, you probably considered this and have a reason for making is a single thread, but I tend to avoid long threads because I know at least half the posts are bickering and I won't be able to find the main, strong points of argument in the haystack of debate - at least not if I still want to have time to meditate. ;)

For instance, rebirth seems like it could be broken into:

What the Buddha said about rebirth. - It seems this one could be short, and glued to the top of the board.
Personal experiences that validate rebirth.
Studies of rebirth, their strengths and weaknesses.
For those who do accept rebirth, how does it strengthen their practice?
For individuals that just can't accept rebirth, how does it affect practice?
For those that are on the fence, how does it affect practice?

I'm sure a similar breakdown could be made for the vegetarian debate, such as:
What the Buddha said about diet.
Health reasons for dietary decisions.
Ethical reasons for dietary decisions.
How dietary changes affect practice.
How to fit dietary changes into the real world.

Of course, you have to draw the line somewhere, but there are a few threads that are ridiculously long. I find the length of some of these important topics to be stifling. This is just a suggestion, and the outlines are just an off the cuff outline. If it's all rubbish, OK. I can live with that.

Another part of my motivation here is that I might not want to discuss vegetarianism in the dhammic free for all.

Metta :anjali:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: Massive Threads

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:46 pm

Hi Buckwheat,

We decided to conjoin all the threads on rebirth shortly after our inception to control a profusion on threads on rebirth. The vast majority of them were either very closely related or identical in enquiry and subsequent discussion. I am not in favour of pulling the thread appart to create new threads. It will destroy what train of discussion that has been preserved in the great rebirth debate and I believe it would prove to be of limited utility given the amount of time and effort it will take to untangle. I think if you have picked any point and read five or six pages of discussion you will have probably read 95 percent of all the arguments presented. The repetition of ideas and arguments is quite high. I also suggest that if you want to read something authoritative on rebirth you should go for a published source by reputable scholars.

Vegetarianism gets discussed here depending on its context. For discussions centred on the health benefits - those threads should appear in the Wellbeing Forum. The Ethical dimension on vegetarianism may appear in the Wellbeing forum or personal experience. But for the never-ending debate as to whether the Buddha advocated vegetarianism or not - that appears in the DFFA Forum in the great vegetarianism debate. Again, I am not inclined to dismember the Great Vegetarianism Debate for the reasons I gave above for the Great Rebirth Debate. As I mentioned above - the content on that thread tends to repeat itself.
kind regards

“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

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Re: Massive Threads

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:52 pm

OK, thanks for you clarification, Ben. That all seems very logical.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: Massive Threads

Postby nameless » Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:57 am

I think a related issue is the attitude of some people when they say "go read this first", "do a search on the forums" etc.

Some are helpful in the sense that "if you want to know more, there's been some conversation about this, you can find out more here".

Some are pretty rude in the implication that "lets stop this conversation, it's been had before, go look here".

There's probably a lot of new people coming on forums all the time, and for people who weren't here the first time the conversation was had, I don't see any harm in allowing them to start the same topic and discussing with other people who are having the conversation the first time. The "read before posting" attitude is really the real world equivalent of, when being asked a question, saying "oh I've talked about this before, here are the records of what has been said, go look through them yourself so I don't need to talk to you". And you do get a sense of how rude it actually is if you imagine doing it in offline interactions.

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Re: Massive Threads

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:03 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

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Re: Massive Threads

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:30 am

If only there was a magic genie that could take these large threads and root out the strong points and create a nice summary. :tongue:

I totally get the reason for "go read the other thread" because, well, I get sick of reading some of the redundant topics and I've only been here a couple of months. At the same time, there is the frustration of trying to suss out the good stuff from the... less relevant posts. Alas, there is suffering. If I could always have it the way I wanted it, there wouldn't be a need for Buddhism in the first place.

Hats off to the moderators, past and present, who work hard to keep things working smoothly on Dhammawheel. :twothumbsup:
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Re: Massive Threads

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:48 am

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