Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:04 pm

JKhedrup, as usual, you are just being balanced and sane.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:07 pm

If this Bangladesh situation stirs you because it happened to Buddhists
then I think you are missing something important.
As Norbu implied, it is all of humanity that is hurt by these actions.
And as Kedrup suggested, such actions should be called out and condemned.
From a Buddhist standpoint
this is not only to benefit those who are directly hurt by such actions,
but also for the benefit of those who have been led or who are likely to be led into committing such violent actions.
Unfortunately, there is not really much anyone can do
but to support those Muslims who want to take violence out of Islam.
.
.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:24 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Criticizing violence is not intolerance. It's sanity.
Nowadays it seems to be called intolerance when violence is perpetrated by Muslims and the ideology backing up their actions is called into question.
This is ridiculous. The same can be applied to any ideology. If it has passages that promote violence, they should be questioned.
NOBODY said that one should not criticise vioent actions. NOBODY said that we should not act to stop the perpetration of violence. NOBODY said that Muslims (and Christians and Buddhists and Hindus) do not commit acts of violence. What I have said is that one must find the true source of the violence commited, a source common to all human beings. What I said is that blaming an -ism is a complete waste of time because it takes the onus of responsibility away from the individual perpetrating the violence. Doing this leads to the deluded idea that destroying -isms will destroy violence. As long as humans exist there will be -isms to justify their ignorant actions.
Kodhavagga: Anger
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

221. One should give up anger, renounce pride, and overcome all fetters. Suffering never befalls him who clings not to mind and body and is detached.

222. He who checks rising anger as a charioteer checks a rolling chariot, him I call a true charioteer. Others only hold the reins.

223. Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth.

224. Speak the truth; yield not to anger; when asked, give even if you only have a little. By these three means can one reach the presence of the gods.

225. Those sages who are inoffensive and ever restrained in body, go to the Deathless State, where, having gone, they grieve no more.

226. Those who are ever vigilant, who discipline themselves day and night, and are ever intent upon Nibbana — their defilements fade away.

227. O Atula! Indeed, this is an ancient practice, not one only of today: they blame those who remain silent, they blame those who speak much, they blame those who speak in moderation. There is none in the world who is not blamed.

228. There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a person who is wholly blamed or wholly praised.

229. But the man whom the wise praise, after observing him day after day, is one of flawless character, wise, and endowed with knowledge and virtue.

230. Who can blame such a one, as worthy as a coin of refined gold? Even the gods praise him; by Brahma, too, is he praised.

231. Let a man guard himself against irritability in bodily action; let him be controlled in deed. Abandoning bodily misconduct, let him practice good conduct in deed.

232. Let a man guard himself against irritability in speech; let him be controlled in speech. Abandoning verbal misconduct, let him practice good conduct in speech.

233. Let a man guard himself against irritability in thought; let him be controlled in mind. Abandoning mental misconduct, let him practice good conduct in thought.

234. The wise are controlled in bodily action, controlled in speech and controlled in thought. They are truly well-controlled.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:26 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:but to support those Muslims who want to take violence out of Islam.

I'm confident that their numbers are high.
The problem is that there's a lot of politics brewed in greed involved.
I think a good start would be the so called indignated peaceful people of the world demanding the same of their religions/ ideologies. Let violence be taken out of every book that we want to hold as sacred. That would be a good start. Because if people demand the Qu'ran to be edited (and theologically this poses many problems), they must be ready to see their own holly books or ideologies challenged. Nobody but a hypocrite can expect otherwise. When I speak of ideologies, Capitalism - perhaps the most widespread ideology in the world, with many faces- is one that comes to mind easily, one that urgently needs deep revision.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Norwegian » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:33 pm

Here's Stephen Fry on "being offended":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnSByCb8lqY#t=70s

People need to stop being offended by so much, and relax more. It would make the world a better place...
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:37 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Criticizing violence is not intolerance. It's sanity.
Nowadays it seems to be called intolerance when violence is perpetrated by Muslims and the ideology backing up their actions is called into question.
This is ridiculous. The same can be applied to any ideology. If it has passages that promote violence, they should be questioned.
NOBODY said that one should not criticise vioent actions. NOBODY said that we should not act to stop the perpetration of violence. NOBODY said that Muslims (and Christians and Buddhists and Hindus) do not commit acts of violence. What I have said is that one must find the true source of the violence commited, a source common to all human beings. What I said is that blaming an -ism is a complete waste of time because it takes the onus of responsibility away from the individual perpetrating the violence. Doing this means leads to the deluded idea that destroying -isms will destroy violence. As long as humans exist there will be -isms to justify their ignorant actions.

Listen Greg, this is a very complex matter. I'm sure we are all aware of that. However, there's no denying that the passages inciting to violence withing the Qu'ran can and are used to brew violence. These should go away. That simple. Would that solve the problem? No. Why, because in many parts of the world such wouldn't be done.

What needs to be deeply pondered is why some Muslims renegate those parts of their religion while others adopt them and take them to heart. This is a complex multifactorial problem that needs addressing. Solving this, the rest gets solved by itself. But this is a gargantuan problem, one we won't live to see solved. Our nations, who want to see this problem go away, have much to blame in that matter.

However, a good start is removing passages that incite to hate from religious books. We shouldn't tolerate such speech in our nations. We the people! :lol: That can't do harm. We can't condone with hate speech in the name of religious tolerance. There are wonderful things withing the Qu'ran, the Bible, the Tora and so on. And there are very uggly ones. The later need addressing, realistic addressing, that's all. They need to be banished from civilization. They can't be accepted in name of religious tolerance.

Let the isms come. They should be taken down as they appear. Zero tolerance for hate speech, wherever it comes from. Muslims don't get a rain check on this matter, not does anyone else. That's all I'm saying. If we start opening exceptions, for the sake of this and that, hate speech will always find an entry.

Of course the ultimate remedy is practice, become a bodhisattva and never stop helping others.
This is S... amsara! What can we expect? But we can always try to make this a better world.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:39 pm

Norwegian wrote:Here's Stephen Fry on "being offended":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnSByCb8lqY#t=70s

People need to stop being offended by so much, and relax more. It would make the world a better place...

:lol:
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:59 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:What needs to be deeply pondered is why some Muslims renegate those parts of their religion while others adopt them and take them to heart.
I don't think it takes that much deep pondering: this is samsara, it is characterised by suffering based on "ignorance". Some of the beings dwelling in this state are more ignorant and make dumb ass choices, some are less ignorant and make wiser and more intelligent choices. REGARDLESS (or in spite of) OF THEIR (professed) RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.
"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: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:26 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:What needs to be deeply pondered is why some Muslims renegate those parts of their religion while others adopt them and take them to heart.
I don't think it takes that much deep pondering: this is samsara, it is characterised by suffering based on "ignorance". Some of the beings dwelling in this state are more ignorant and make dumb ass choices, some are less ignorant and make wiser and more intelligent choices. REGARDLESS (or in spite of) OF THEIR (professed) RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

I wish it was that simple. Some people live in environments where it is rather hard to think differently. Bring a Muslim child, born in Iran here to Portugal and she probably will become a peaceful person, tolerant of other religions. However, if she is raised there, who knows what views will she have? What we know is that the Qu'ran has passages that will allow opportunists to indoctrinate her into violence. Of course they could find other ways (there are many ideologies that have passages promoting violence). Religion is a very powerful tool. It is built that way, built to reach people, to convince, to promote a certain lifestyle, a certain moral system etc. Mostly, the objective of religions is not war or hatred, much the opposite.
None of this excuses the fact that the Qu'ran, supposedly a holly book, contains hate speech. Incitement to violence is wrong, wherever it comes from, not mattering if the texts promoting it are religious or not. All should be banished. We could have a non violent version of every holly book. Those should be the only ones allowed in civilized nations. That and any religious practice that is a violation of human rights. I, for one, think we should never allow Burqas in our territory. Why? Because that is spitting in the memory of every women who fought to get equal rights. That's just an example. There are many others.

Religious tolerance stops when human rights are violated, when values that took a long time to be implemented in our society are transgressed. To this we must keep faithful. Otherwise we've lost our sanity for the sake of a tolerance that will lead nowhere but suffering. We can't tell Muslim nations that uphold sharia law what to do in their territory. I wish we could for the sake of the murdered people due to the aberration that is the sharia law, but we can't. So they have their people oppressed, cheated, lied to and use religion for such purpose. There are similar scenarios in non-Islamic nations too and the same criticism applies with the due corrections.

We can, however, uphold certain standards at least in our nations. If people want to come here, not mattering from where, not mattering their faith or beliefs, there are values they should know they need to respect. Women have equal rights, a husband can't beat his wife,there's no criminal penalty for adultery and so on and so forth.

If a guy wears a t-shirt with swastika, I understand a lot of people will feel disturbed because that symbol meant (not originally) the oppression of humans based on their ethnicity. Burqas stand for the oppression of humans based on gender. Same thing, different shape.
If people, not mattering their religious orientation, want to keep practices and costumes that are a violation of what we consider basic rights, then it's better they stay where people agree with those same practices and costumes. I, for one, don't feel any need to accept that women can wear burqas in this country, Portugal. That should be forbidden as it stands for the oppression of women and I have the right of not wanting to see such symbols strolling freely in my country just because the women who want to wear them do so based on ignorance or fear. They have the right to do so in nations where the majority of people agrees with that sh1t. Of course then they are subjected to be spanked freely by their husbands and whatever other atrocities are allowed by law in those countries. But that's the price to pay for defending the right to wear the burqa. Because in fact, that's what the Burqa stands for. However here that is unacceptable. Women should have equal rights and any symbol suggesting otherwise should be forbidden.

If we demand that of our fellow neighbors uphold a certain civilized behavior, we're considered ordinary, law abiding folk. Sane and just people who only want a peaceful coexistence among everyone. But if we even suggest the same when it comes to Muslims, emigrant or otherwise, there are people who rise and call us bigots, intolerant and what have you. This double standard is a farce and needs to end, that's all. Incitement to violence and any violation of human rights is wrong, not mattering it's origin. That applies to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians, atheists, agnostics, etc., and, of course, Muslims.
Last edited by Dechen Norbu on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Norwegian » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:55 pm

But Dechen Norbu, I oppose to that idea (of removing sections of literature that is disagreeable).

Why? Because it's censorship, and it flies straight in the face of freedom of speech.

From a Dharma point of view, saying that the infidels shall be slayed and so forth most certainly is not right speech if we consider the content of a book, but it belongs to freedom of speech. Of course, I find it to also be intolerant and hateful speech, but that's that.

Look, you're faced with alternatives throughout life from the moment you're born til you die: Do I go left, do I go right? Do I go to bed or do I go outside? Do I do this or do I do that? All of this helps shaping who you are and who you become. Your views and your actions. I am quite sure that there are many Muslims who do not kill infidels, just because their texts encourage it, and of course I know this to be true as well. But the problem is the overall view far too many Muslims have towards both their god and their prophet, and their holy texts. They are viewed as infallible, and one cannot edit the Qu'ran and leave out portions of it. Nor should they need to. What they should do, is treat the sections which is more or less written in blood, and consider them to be improper, at least for our current era anyways.

Now here's the thing: How many will be able to do this in countries like say Pakistan? Not too long ago, we heard in the news that a 10 year old Christian girl with Down's Syndrome was arrested on the basis of allegedly having torn out a couple of pages from a childrens book, and burnt the pages. In those pages were several childrens songs, but also some Qu'ranic verses. Hence her reason for being arrested. Large groups of people started protesting, and in the end several thousands called for her execution, for having committed blasphemous acts.

The story so far to my knowledge, is that apparently a Muslim cleric was behind it all, having planted the evidence on the girl, and while this in itself is appalling, the real problem is that there were thousands of people calling for the execution of a 10 year old girl with Downs Syndrome, on the basis of having burnt a few pages of a kids book.

This is beyond messed up.

I know cultural differences and everything, but behaviour like this I cannot tolerate. Ever.

To me this topic isn't about Buddhist temples being destroyed primarily, it's about destruction as a whole. I linked the Stephen Fry comment on being offended, and I think it's very worthwhile considering. You got offended, but so what?

Look at The Onion piece above, the "No one murdered because of this image" article. One could probably say that the drawing as a whole is silly, immature, and even offensive. But I think it illustrates a fine point: That it is insignificant in the big picture, because there's really only one special group of people that react with violence over silly things like being "offended" (at least in a religious context).

As for freedom of speech, I think the above image fits nicely under it, and I see no problem with it. As for right speech, it probably isn't, although I think it serves to make a fine point here.

People should act more rationally and level-headed, be more relaxed and kind - and also consider alternatives to any given situation - and you know, not opt for burning down buildings and killing people if a cartoonist across the world made a satirical image of your favorite god or prophet or whatever.
Last edited by Norwegian on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:13 pm

I didn't get offended. I get sad when I see violence, that's all. The origin matters little.
Incitement to violence should be forbidden by law. In most cases it is. Write a pamphlet inciting your followers to kill others who don't agree with you, publish it and post it. See what happens then. I tell you: you'll be judged by that. Why whould we open exceptions when it comes to religious texts?
Free speech and abuse of free speech are two different things. The second can't replace the first. Ever. The line is not always easy to draw, but most of the important things in life aren't easy.
But mostly I agree with the ideas you expressed. Just wanted to make that note about free speech and it's abuse. Free speech should not be used as a weapon to strike down those who don't agree with us. That's where I draw the line. If I write something that commands my followers to be violent towards someone else because they hold a different belief, that is not free speech. It's a criminal action. If the same sort of speech appears in a religious text, the text needs revision as incitement to violence based on religion, ethnicity, sex and so on is criminal. I'm sorry if it comes from a text some people hold as sacred. It's hate speech anyway and hate speech should always be forbidden by law. Nobody gets a free pass.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:46 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Bring a Muslim child, born in Iran here to Portugal and she probably will become a peaceful person, tolerant of other religions. However, if she is raised there, who knows what views will she have?
What are you taling about Dechen? There are plenty of people in Iran that are democratic, liberal, tolerant and critical of their government and religion. There are plently of people in Europe in America that are undemocratic, violent, intolerant and blindly follow extreme political and religious positions.

Critical and intelligent thought is not the monopoly of any political or religious system, it is a human quality which can be found developed or undeveloped in people regardless of their social circumstances.
: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: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:00 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Bring a Muslim child, born in Iran here to Portugal and she probably will become a peaceful person, tolerant of other religions. However, if she is raised there, who knows what views will she have?
What are you taling about Dechen? There are plenty of people in Iran that are democratic, liberal, tolerant and critical of their government and religion. There are plently of people in Europe in America that are undemocratic, violent, intolerant and blindly follow extreme political and religious positions.

Critical and intelligent thought is not the monopoly of any political or religious system, it is a human quality which can be found developed or undeveloped in people regardless of their social circumstances.
:namaste:

You're clearly so enamorated with your view that your eyes are shut, like during a french kiss. :lol: Are you saying that Iran or Pakistan is a place as anywhere else for the breeding of Islamic radicals? I'm sorry, but have you lost your senses? Are you saying that a Muslim who lives in Portugal has the same chances of becoming a radical than a Muslim who was born in Pakistan? Because if you are saying that, your objectivity just left the building, I'm sorry to say. :crazy:
Humm... I'm sure we have here in Portugal Al Qaeda training camps funded by the government somewhere... let me check... humm no. I'm sure in our mosques we have people preaching hate. Humm.... also no. Perhaps in the government we have Islamic radicals! Also... no. Scoundrels for sure, but not Islamic radicals. :lol:

You are pointing a minority, an endangered minority in fact, as the rule? Is that your rebuttal of what I said? Unfortunately, most people in countries like Iran, Pakistan and other Islamic republics are brain washed by Islamic fundamentalist leaders. This is very unfortunate for them (most won't ever harm anyone) as they live cheated by their religious leaders, in hate towards others who don't share their faith.

Sadly, not all have access to the means, money and courage needed to break free from such intellectual oppression in those countries. They take a fundamentalist stance not because they are bad people, but because they were indoctrinated from birth on a fanatical deviation of what the practice of Qu'ran should be (and is in many other countries). They are being deceived by their leaders. If you think living in an Islamic nation as Iraq is the same as living in the EU or the USA, you're sorely mistaken. But travel there, say you are a Buddhist and let's see what happens (don't). Chances are you get beaten or killed.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:12 pm

How long was Portugal a dictatorship? 1932-1974? And in this 42 years of dicatatorship, under (essentially) Fascist social and political conditions, there were no Democrats in Portugal? Did people (both Portugese and others) get jailed, tortured and killed for espousing socialist or democratic ideologies? So why do you find it so hard to believe that there are liberal Muslims in Iran (a fundamentalist Theocracy) then?
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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: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Tara » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:12 pm

The following may be controversial, especially as this topic is located in the "News and Current Events" forum so please feel free to ignore this post.

A thought occurred - as this is supposed to be a Buddhist discussion forum, yes even the News and Current Events section, perhaps it might be appropriate to copy and paste some words attributed to Buddha Shakyamuni:

    4 Noble Truths

    The core of the Buddhist teaching is the Four Noble Truths: There is suffering. There is a cause to suffering. There is an end to suffering. There is a path out of suffering (the Noble 8-fold path).

As an explanation as to why things are the way they are (Samsara) they are worth reading again, maybe even several times to truly comprehend what is being said.

Four Noble Truths
The Reality of Suffering - dukkha
The Cause of Suffering - samudaya
The Cessation of Suffering - nirodha
The Path to the Cessation of Suffering - magga

Carry on!

Regards,
It's not a competition. It's a choice.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:35 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:How long was Portugal a dictatorship? 1932-1974? And in this 42 years of dicatatorship, under (essentially) Fascist social and political conditions, there were no Democrats in Portugal? Did people (both Portugese and others) get jailed, tortured and killed for espousing socialist or democratic ideologies? So why do you find it so hard to believe that there are liberal Muslims in Iran (a fundamentalist Theocracy) then?
:namaste:

Ah... again the exception being taken as the rule. You know, there's a funny saying here. Prior to 25 April (when the revolution took place), everyone was pro regimen. After, everyone was against it. People often are "victims of the circumstances".
I won't comment this subject any further Greg. I don't think there's much more to say.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:38 pm

Tara, I don't know to whom you refer when you say many here probably are beyond the level of the Four Noble Truths, especially because they encompass the entire Path, but since you are an administrator I think such remarks should be well pondered before posted. I don't see the point either as the four NTs if something help explain why things are the way they are and why we should reject violence, wherever it comes from. Just saying...
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby viniketa » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:42 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:There are plenty of people in Iran that are democratic, liberal, tolerant and critical of their government and religion. There are plently of people in Europe in America that are undemocratic, violent, intolerant and blindly follow extreme political and religious positions.

Critical and intelligent thought is not the monopoly of any political or religious system, it is a human quality which can be found developed or undeveloped in people regardless of their social circumstances.


This seems a very clear-headed statement unaffected by dream states...

So far, thoughtful debate has occurred on this thread. Please don't let this turn into another mindless, unthinking Islam-bashing thread. Not only is it wrong speech, it is tiresome.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:45 pm

The problem is that any criticism of Islam is seen as Islam bashing by some people. Islam, as any religion or ideology is not above criticism. Buddhism included.
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Re: Buddhist temples destroyed in Bangladesh.

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:52 pm

Agreed DN. When people are being killed, intimidated, made homeless or suffer at the hands of some in the name of religion, we must speak out against it.
We need to come up with a common set of human values so that we can live in this world together. HH Dalai Lama has been mentioning that in a globalized world religion is not enough and we need a secular ethical system. He is very right.
And for that system to work, it must be in the framework of anti-oppression, and people have to be able to call each other out. No one is free of the rules, and the expectations are the same for everyone. Otherwise there will always be those who try to manipulate the goodwill or the silence of others to pursue their own advantage.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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