Why is right right and wrong wrong?

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Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Ervin » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:53 pm

The truth as I see it is that the Infinite Good doesn't judge. However I do believe that there is good and evil. What I mean is who is to say that evil is wrong to the infinite Good that you might believe somwhere somehow exists?

Whose the judge in deciding what's what according to your knowledge and or beliefs?

Thanks
Last edited by Ervin on Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby KeithBC » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:08 am

Ervin wrote:The truth as I see it is that the Infinite Good doesn't judge. However I do believe that there is good and evil. Whose the judge in deciding what's what according to your knowledge and or beliefs?

Thanks

Right is that which reduces suffering. Wrong is that which increases suffering. You judge your own conduct as best you can before you act.

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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:48 am

All things are interconnected. So, ultimately, good and evil, right and wrong do not really happen outside of the imagination.

In a belief system where, for example, one holds to the idea of a god, or of some universal law (often a misunderstanding of karma) right and wrong are regarded as inherently existing conditions of things. a thing is either a good thing, or a bad thing, or partly good and partly bad, meaning that good and bad are conditions that exist outside of the mind.

The reason hy good and bad (positive or negative actions of body, speech and mind) are referred to in Dharma is because the purpose of practicing dharma is the cessation of suffering and the perfect realization of unobstructed mind.

So, there is what you might call a destination.

Actions such as killing, stealing, and so forth are regarded as negative actions not because one will be judged, but because such actions lead one in the opposite direction, away from one's destination.

All beings want to be free from suffering, and to have what one might call "happiness" although "happiness" is really just a word, and the experience of "happiness' for a human might be different from what would be satisfying to a housefly. But if you swat at a housefly it will try to escape being hit. So, even in this way, all beings seek some kind of "happiness".

Mind's original nature is unobstructed. It is "buddha" --awake. Unconfused. All beings possess at least a little bit of the potential for realizing mind's original nature which is free from attachments and aversions. Humans possess the greatest potential for realizing it. The mind's original state, "peace of mind" is what all beings strive for.

If the original, true nature of the mind was a confused and agitated state, then confusion and the various destructive actions resulting from confusion would bring lasting happiness rather than suffering. If mind's original state were one of agitation, then constant agitation would be bliss. There would be no point in striving for peace of mind, and no point in practicing Dharma.

But since mental agitation does not bring bliss, but instead brings suffering, we can deduce that constant agitation is not the mind's true nature.

So, the whole point is that good and bad in the Buddhist context refers to that which brings you either closer to, or further from, realizing mind's true nature.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Huifeng » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:56 am

Ervin wrote:The truth as I see it is that the Infinite Good doesn't judge. However I do believe that there is good and evil. What I mean is who is to say that evil is wrong to the infinite Good that you might believe somwhere somehow exists?

Whose the judge in deciding what's what according to your knowledge and or beliefs?

Thanks


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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Anistar » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:27 am

I think that loving kindness is the natural unaffected universal nature of all sentient beings. Therefore anything that shifts us outside of this centre of loving kindness is illusion of the mind. All illusion of the mind is wrong because it is illusion.

That is how I am coming to think of it.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby oushi » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:49 am

Right and wrong depends on the standing point, so they cannot be viewed universally.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:00 am

oushi wrote:Right and wrong depends on the standing point, so they cannot be viewed universally.
Really? So why did the Buddha speak of wholesome and unwholesome acts? Why is it that the vast majority of religions in this world consider taking life wrong/negative/unwholesome?
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby oushi » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:22 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Really? So why did the Buddha speak of wholesome and unwholesome acts?
:namaste:

Ask Sakyamuni.
Why is it that the vast majority of religions in this world consider taking life wrong/negative/unwholesome?

Ask majority of religions.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby lobster » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:01 pm

I feel the idea of right, wholesome, skilful is dependent on ones sanity and personal growth. So for example those engaged in personal behaviour lacking these qualities and feeling the need to justify are part of their negative karma.

If you do not have an innate sense of ethical morality, basic humanism, you are effectively somewhere very wrong for yourself, for others and for society. :oops:

It is right to encourage all beings to improve the situation for the betterment of all . . . otherwise what a waste . . . :popcorn:
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:11 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote:Right and wrong depends on the standing point, so they cannot be viewed universally.
Really? So why did the Buddha speak of wholesome and unwholesome acts? Why is it that the vast majority of religions in this world consider taking life wrong/negative/unwholesome?
:namaste:


Sakyamuni spoke of right and wrong because these are the concepts that people grasp.
Religions as well as non-religious governments have concepts of right and wrong, but this doesn't mean that why they share the same ones is the same.

If you believe in God, and god says "thou shalt not kill" then maybe the reason is that if you kill, god will punish you and send you to hell.

If a secular government says "thou shalt not kill" it must come up with secular reasons. Perhaps killing people reduces the number of taxpayers!

If you follow Buddhism, and Buddha says "thou shalt not kill" the reason is that killing leads one off the path (leading to the end of suffering), not because of a divine source of judgement. All that Buddha taught was aimed at understanding the end of suffering.

In the grand scope of the universe, me killing you or you killing me doesn't count for much.
It only speeds up the inevitable. We all die.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:25 pm

oushi wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Really? So why did the Buddha speak of wholesome and unwholesome acts?
:namaste:

Ask Sakyamuni.
Why is it that the vast majority of religions in this world consider taking life wrong/negative/unwholesome?

Ask majority of religions.
Sorry, maybe I didn't word my question correctly:
[Given that you say that]: Right and wrong depends on the standing point, so they cannot be viewed universally.
[What do you believe is the reason that] the Buddha spoke of wholesome and unwholesome acts?
[What do you believe is the reason] that the vast majority of religions in this world consider taking life wrong/negative/unwholesome?

Is that clearer?
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:30 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Sakyamuni spoke of right and wrong because these are the concepts that people grasp.
Hence the importance of relative truth.
Religions as well as non-religious governments have concepts of right and wrong, but this doesn't mean that why they share the same ones is the same.
relatively, maybe not, but ultimately?
In the grand scope of the universe, me killing you or you killing me doesn't count for much.
It only speeds up the inevitable. We all die.
Well, two points come to mind: 1. Is there actually a "grand scope". 2. If it doesn't count for much then why are so many Buddhas taking the time to protect us from untimely death? Why do they spend so much time trying to help us be healthy? Whay do they take vows to liberate every single one of us? :thinking:

Again, TWO truths which we have to unite.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Matt J » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:46 pm

Right leads to a calm, collected, clear mind that can comprehend the teachings which lead to the end of suffering.

Wrong leads to a dull, agitated, greedy mind that does not.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby oushi » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:08 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Really? So why did the Buddha speak of wholesome and unwholesome acts?
:namaste:

Ask Sakyamuni.
Why is it that the vast majority of religions in this world consider taking life wrong/negative/unwholesome?

Ask majority of religions.
Sorry, maybe I didn't word my question correctly:
[Given that you say that]: Right and wrong depends on the standing point, so they cannot be viewed universally.
[What do you believe is the reason that] the Buddha spoke of wholesome and unwholesome acts?
[What do you believe is the reason] that the vast majority of religions in this world consider taking life wrong/negative/unwholesome?

Is that clearer?
:namaste:

Yes, now it is clear, but I'm not eager to guess why Sakyamuni used such a method. There can be many reasons why he did that. Only few are capable of attaining liberation, but many can contribute in decreasing suffering.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby oushi » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:12 pm

Matt J wrote:Right leads to a calm, collected, clear mind that can comprehend the teachings which lead to the end of suffering.

Wrong leads to a dull, agitated, greedy mind that does not.

When there is no differentiation to right and wrong, there is nothing to comprehend and liberation is reached. Still, to reach such an understanding, one needs to start somewhere. That is why Buddhism as a path is faulty:
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:21 pm

oushi wrote:... Only few are capable of attaining liberation, but many can contribute in decreasing suffering.
Actually I would have to disagree and say that due to the Tahagatagarbha all are capable of attaining liberation given the correct practical and ethical framework. Of course, because it is a potential, if one does not apply correct practice and ethical actions it will be pretty difficult to develop or uncover this potential.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:54 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Sakyamuni spoke of right and wrong because these are the concepts that people grasp.
Hence the importance of relative truth.
Religions as well as non-religious governments have concepts of right and wrong, but this doesn't mean that why they share the same ones is the same.
relatively, maybe not, but ultimately?
In the grand scope of the universe, me killing you or you killing me doesn't count for much.
It only speeds up the inevitable. We all die.
Well, two points come to mind: 1. Is there actually a "grand scope". 2. If it doesn't count for much then why are so many Buddhas taking the time to protect us from untimely death? Why do they spend so much time trying to help us be healthy? Whay do they take vows to liberate every single one of us? :thinking:

Again, TWO truths which we have to unite.
:namaste:


To the 2nd point:
In most cultures, killing or not killing is seen as conditionally a good or bad thing to do. In other words, sometimes it is good to do, sometimes bad to do. And while probably all religions (generally)prohibit murder, there is a shared experience of all people and killing is generally considered a bad thing to do. But that doesn't mean ultimately.

To the 3rd point:
Buddhas spend so much time on little specks of dust such as ourselves, not because we are important, but because they are buddhas.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:27 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Buddhas spend so much time on little specks of dust such as ourselves, not because we are important, but because they are buddhas.


Notable quote! :D

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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:14 am

Ervin wrote:The truth as I see it is that the Infinite Good doesn't judge. However I do believe that there is good and evil. What I mean is who is to say that evil is wrong to the infinite Good that you might believe somwhere somehow exists?

Whose the judge in deciding what's what according to your knowledge and or beliefs?

Thanks


Karma: Do good, feel good. Do bad, feel bad.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:37 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:To the 2nd point:
In most cultures, killing or not killing is seen as conditionally a good or bad thing to do. In other words, sometimes it is good to do, sometimes bad to do. And while probably all religions (generally)prohibit murder, there is a shared experience of all people and killing is generally considered a bad thing to do. But that doesn't mean ultimately.
I don't really know exactly how conditional the Buddhas teachings on abstainging from killing are. While it is true that over time some humans decided to make them conditional in order to justify their actions... but I see no real reason to believe that Shakyamuni Buddhas teachings on killing were meant to be intrepreted as conditional (not to mention Christs teachings, since I also threw in the case of other religions).
To the 3rd point:
Buddhas spend so much time on little specks of dust such as ourselves, not because we are important, but because they are buddhas.
Hmmmm... I am going to have to kind of disagree. Every single being has the potential for enlightenment, this makes them all unimportant (as importance is generally a quality which is dependent on differing from those around you, and since all beings...) and at the same time it makes each being extraordinarily important.
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