Is violence ever really justifiable?

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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:46 pm

In neither example, yours or the link MrG posted, does it say if anyones on the trolly. So it must be empty. Throw the switch half way and derail the trolly! :woohoo:

All lives are saved and the evil plot is spoiled. :thumbsup:

Kindest wishes, Dave
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:52 pm

I got the answer! I will kill them all before the trolley has the chance to run over them thus freeing the trolley driver from the negative karma of killing! What an amazing bodhisattva I am! Just ike the one in the ferry boat story.
:namaste:
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:47 pm

I believe in violence but only as a very last resort.
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Tarpa » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:15 am

Of course violence is necessary sometimes. You could simply ask yourself if the police are necessary in society or not. Or if surgery is sometimes necessary, If you think they are then you think violence / force is necessary, unless you know of some police somewhere that use super chill out mantras to subdue people or something, if you don't think they are necessary then good luck. By police I mean the principle of protection, force, defense, and even attack.
Imagine a world where nobody protected their spouses or families, nobody protected anybody from rape, murder, theft etc., nations didn't protect themselves from invasion, societies didn't protect themselves from oppression, nothing was worth protecting, nothing worth fighting for........who would want to live in such a society ?
Non harming is all well and good but it is passive, it doesn't imply doing anything it's simply a refraining. Sometimes passivity is very un compassionate, sometimes action is the highest compassion. If pacifists ran the world we'd all be speaking German now because of some weirdo german meth head on a power trip from hell.
I've always found this discussion topic to be amusing among Buddhists because I just have never understood why the topic's such a bogeyman for Buddhists because we all hold vows relating to this topic in mahayana and vajrayana, and yes it says sometimes it is not only necessary but one is bound by oath to act forcefully sometimes, if one has the means, physically or ritually.
Even if you are out in the middle of nowhere you still may need to protect yourself from an animal attack, this is a part of nature, this is life,.......or you could do the jataka tale Bodhisattva in training trip and just let it eat you, but certainly imposing this ideal on a societal level, throwing them to the lions and giving them a lollipop for being a good bodhisattva, not very compassionate. Force is necessary on a societal as well as personal level, this is life, even dharma has its police.
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and delightfully experiencing the magnificent dharma,
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby wisdom » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:47 am

Sometimes violence is justifiable, but hatred and cruelty are not. We can use violence in a situation if it calls for it, such as saving a rape victim or saving yourself from harm, but hating the offender, being unduly cruel, enjoying causing pain, all these things would create karma.

As for the train, the right thing to do is to pull the switch. Because the choice is in your hands, a failure to act is the same as a choice, the choice to do nothing no matter the rationalization for inaction is still a choice. The reality is that physically multiple people will die if you, the person with power to pull the switch, does not pull a switch. Regardless of any contrived ideas, failure to pull the switch and cause one instead of many people to die means that you've contributed to their deaths.

But if you really want to contemplate these kinds of moral dilemmas theres always the SAW movies.
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby AlexanderS » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:04 pm

What are Shaolin Monks for?
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:25 pm

David N. Snyder wrote::stirthepot:

The Train morality problem / philosophical dilemma / (First Precept issues)

A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you could flip a switch, which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch or do nothing?

(If you flip the switch, you are possibly "responsible" for the death of that person. If you don't flip the switch, five people die)

What would you do?

What would Buddha do?

Image


Buddha would make the tracks run into space. Me. I let the five people die. I'm not going to prison for that. They probably had it coming. Karma and all that. To be quite real, every second is a moral dilemma exactly like this. Thank you mom and dad you had a tingle in your nethers and now I'm stuck in this dimension of hounds hunting hounds. But if I'm on the plane and I know the dude is going to kill everyone, I'll take his damn head off. It's just a reaction.
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:28 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I got the answer! I will kill them all before the trolley has the chance to run over them thus freeing the trolley driver from the negative karma of killing! What an amazing bodhisattva I am! Just ike the one in the ferry boat story.
:namaste:


Nah, you'll kill the one guy, thus screwing yourself. And then you get killed along with all the others while trying to kill them all, thus screwing yourself more. In the meantime, the trolly guy will read about it on the morning news and go to work facing an investigation.
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:37 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Nah, you'll kill the one guy, thus screwing yourself. And then you get killed along with all the others while trying to kill them all, thus screwing yourself more. In the meantime, the trolly guy will read about it on the morning news and go to work facing an investigation.
Dude, you have no idea how deadly I really am! :twisted:
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:39 pm

Tarpa wrote:Imagine a world where nobody protected their spouses or families, nobody protected anybody from rape, murder, theft etc.,
I imagine that a world where this is the norm would also be a world where people did not need to protect their loved ones ie a world without rape, murder, theft, etc... I can easily imagine a world without violence, can't you?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:40 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Nah, you'll kill the one guy, thus screwing yourself. And then you get killed along with all the others while trying to kill them all, thus screwing yourself more. In the meantime, the trolly guy will read about it on the morning news and go to work facing an investigation.
Dude, you have no idea how deadly I really am! :twisted:
:namaste:


Oh you're real tough turkey, huh?
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:43 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Oh you're real tough turkey, huh?
As tough as candy floss and marshmallows! :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Ogyen » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:53 pm

I think at this point in the thread after the series of comments made, I need a definition of 'violence'

please define, and then we can discuss what is justifiable or not in it.

And Greg - that's pretty deadly.
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby underthetree » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:22 pm

The poor sod who has to pull the switch isn't committing an act of violence. The violence already occurred when the people were tied to the tracks, and the negative consequences are also already assured, as either the five or the one are doomed. The stick figure at the switch has no intention to harm anybody: his motivation, if he has one, is presumably to save. The violent individual with the rope might wish to transfer his negative actions onto the individual at the switch, but that doesn't work. If it did, ER surgeons would be responsible for the gunshot wounds they attempt to treat.

This dilemma is simply about consequences, not violence, as the violent actor has, apparently, escaped.

Alternatively, the bodhisattva at the switch could trip the switch and exchange his mind-stream, Kamilashila/Padampa Sangye-style, with the single victim before the trolley hit, thus sacrificing himself. Just a thought.
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby dharmagoat » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:33 pm

underthetree wrote:The poor sod who has to pull the switch isn't committing an act of violence. The violence already occurred when the people were tied to the tracks, and the negative consequences are also already assured, as either the five or the one are doomed. The stick figure at the switch has no intention to harm anybody: his motivation, if he has one, is presumably to save. The violent individual with the rope might wish to transfer his negative actions onto the individual at the switch, but that doesn't work. If it did, ER surgeons would be responsible for the gunshot wounds they attempt to treat.

I agree with this analysis.

I wonder if the guy flips the switch whether he could be sued by the family of the one person who dies. I expect that the law would favour inaction in this example.

gregkavarnos wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Oh you're real tough turkey, huh?
As tough as candy floss and marshmallows! :tongue:

So you entice people with your sweetness, and then ruin their teeth? :smile:
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby seeker242 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:24 am

The Seeker wrote:I came across this topic on another Buddhist forum and since it had been locked I couldn't reply to some of the comments made.
So I figured I'd post this here and see what you all had to say.

I don't believe violence will ever be the answer to any problem/situation.

And as I've understood, He did not condone violence in any situation.


Kindest wishes, Dave


It depends on what you define as "violence" IMO. If "violence" means intent to cause harm where this intention comes from some unskillful quality, then no it's never justified, not ever! However, if you are being robbed or something and the guy goes to stab you or something, and you forcefully punch him in the face, without actually wanting to cause him serious harm, then you could say it's justified. But at the same time, you could say that really isn't "violence" to begin with.
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!
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby seeker242 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:29 am

David N. Snyder wrote::stirthepot:

The Train morality problem / philosophical dilemma / (First Precept issues)

A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you could flip a switch, which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch or do nothing?

(If you flip the switch, you are possibly "responsible" for the death of that person. If you don't flip the switch, five people die)

What would you do?



Run really fast, jump on the trolly and pull the brake handle, thus saving all of them. :smile:
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!
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Tarpa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:24 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Tarpa wrote:Imagine a world where nobody protected their spouses or families, nobody protected anybody from rape, murder, theft etc.,
I imagine that a world where this is the norm would also be a world where people did not need to protect their loved ones ie a world without rape, murder, theft, etc... I can easily imagine a world without violence, can't you?
:namaste:


Yes, that would be the ideal, utopic, however I was talking about this world.

Also anybody who has ever read any root tantra knows..........all I'm going to say is that the bulk of them is more than just the soteriological side, these are Buddhist works, I think it's an extremely neglected, not talked about, ignored, and mostly unknown side of tantric practice, apart from the soteriological side and trans-significations they are in effect grimoires.
The nonexistence of the transcendence of suffering
is what the protector of the world has taught as the transcendence
of suffering.
Knots tied on space
are untied by space itself.

May I never be seperated from perfect masters in all lives,
and delightfully experiencing the magnificent dharma,
completing all qualities of the stages of the paths
may I quickly attain the state of Vajradhara
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:29 am

Tarpa wrote:Yes, that would be the ideal, utopic, however I was talking about this world.
So am I.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby catmoon » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:41 am

Flip the switch. Then put the switch lever on the track on a diagonal, derailing the trolley.

There are always ways to beat the Kobayashi Maru scenario. The only unacceptable course of action is to say "Well, all I could do was throw the switch one way or the other, so thats what I did."
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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