Why is right right and wrong wrong?

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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Adumbra » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:10 am

I think it was Lao Tzu who said that Good and Evil are diseases of the mind.

Good and evil (in the moral sense) essentially mean whatever you want them to mean and every culture has its own definition (though there is an overwhelming consensus is some areas). I think a much more objective and universal criteria would be not to ask if an action is good or bad, but whether it in benevolent or malevolent.

For example: Adolf Hitler believed that murdering six million jews was a 'good' action. He cited what he believed to be facts such as:

    * Jews are parisites who live off of the toil of others through practices like usury, renting, and lawyering.
    * They refuse to integrate culturally with the nations they inhabit and thus have no allegience to Germany or Germans.
    * They see all gentiles as subhuman.
Therefore, killing the jews is a good idea.

But what if we replace the word 'good' with 'benevolent'. Is killing six million people (jews or gentiles) a benevolent action? Of course not!

Good and evil are phantoms created by theologians that have no root in human experience. They are theological spooks designed to scare the ignorant. Whenever you catch yourself asking whether something is good or evil, switch to benevolent versus malevolent. I think that you will find that it clears up your thinking and points you in the right direction.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:21 am

Adumbra wrote:But what if we replace the word 'good' with 'benevolent'. Is killing six million people (jews or gentiles) a benevolent action? Of course not.
A rose by any other name would smell as putrid! (apologies to Shakespeare)
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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: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:55 pm

Adumbra wrote: I think a much more objective and criteria would be not to ask if an action is good or bad, but whether it in benevolent or malevolent.
For example: Adolf Hitler believed that murdering six million jews was a 'good' action.


Benevolence really means wishing well for others.
Hitler may have had good wishes for 9some of) the German people,
or he may have just been using everyone for his own power trip and didn't really care about anybody else at all.

So, I think what you are saying is, the universal criteria might be one's motivation?
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:54 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Karma: Do good, feel good. Do bad, feel bad.


Yes and who is to say where the center of the balance scale is to be located?
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby zAnt » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:26 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Adumbra wrote:Benevolence really means wishing well for others.
Hitler may have had good wishes for 9some of) the German people,
or he may have just been using everyone for his own power trip and didn't really care about anybody else at all.

So, I think what you are saying is, the universal criteria might be one's motivation?
.
.
.

Hitler did wish good for the pure Germans. So some of his acts are benevolen, and really we can only classify acts to benevolent and maleovent, rather then classifying characters as such.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby zAnt » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:27 pm

Sorry for the double post.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:42 pm

zAnt wrote:Hitler did wish good for the pure Germans. So some of his acts are benevolen, and really we can only classify acts to benevolent and maleovent, rather then classifying characters as such.
I think you'll find that Hitler was motivated by a hyper-egotistical wish for absolute power at any cost, rather than a wish to benefit "pure" Germans. Somebody that wishes well for "pure" Germans would not send 6,630,000 to 8,680,000 of them to die, unless of course you consider wishing people dead is benevolent.
"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."
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby oldbob » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:39 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
zAnt wrote:Hitler did wish good for the pure Germans. So some of his acts are benevolen, and really we can only classify acts to benevolent and maleovent, rather then classifying characters as such.
I think you'll find that Hitler was motivated by a hyper-egotistical wish for absolute power at any cost, rather than a wish to benefit "pure" Germans. Somebody that wishes well for "pure" Germans would not send 6,630,000 to 8,680,000 of them to die, unless of course you consider wishing people dead is benevolent.



[Sorry innocents for the HEAVY post - but enough of this no karma nonsense.]

Excuse me zAnt
You want to bet? This is a real question.

Hitler was not benevolent in any way. He and those who followed him reaped the crop of their ripened Karma.

Sometimes death is a good thing. It is sad, but necessary. The greater good ALWAYS prevails.

Good makes good and bad makes bad. This is how the universe is hard wired.

The good guys always win eventually. Sometimes it takes a while.

If you think that Hitler was benevolent in ANY way is up to you.

If you think this, I most strongly suggest you rethink your position.

Six million angry spirits and oldbob are on your case. Good Luck!

Have a nice rebirth, but I don't think it will be too nice.

You might research the 18 hells.

Maybe you will meet Hitler there and can talk this over.

From:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diyu

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eighteen levels of hell
The headless ghost of Yue Fei confronting the recently deceased spirit of Qin Hui in the sixth court. The plaque held by the attendant on the left reads: "Qin Hui's ten wicked crimes." From a 19th century Chinese Hell Scroll.

The concept of the eighteen hells started in the Tang Dynasty. The Buddhist text Wen Diyu Jing (問地獄經) mentioned 134 worlds of hell, but was simplified to the Eighteen Levels of Hell for convenience. Sinners feel pain and agony just like living human beings when they are subjected to the tortures listed below. They cannot "die" from the torment because when the ordeal is over, their bodies will be restored to their original states for the torture to be repeated. The following is a list of common punishments and tortures in the eighteen levels of hell:

Mountain of Knives: Sinners are made to shed blood by climbing a mountain with sharp blades sticking out. Some depictions show offenders climbing trees with knives or sharp thorns sticking out from trunks and branches.
Cauldron torture: Sinners are fried in oil cauldrons. Some depictions show offenders being steamed instead of being fried.
Dismemberment: Sinners' bodies are dismembered by various means, including, but not limited to, the following:
Sawing
Carving
Slicing into half
Mashing or pounding into pulp
Crushed by heavy rocks or boulders
Run over by vehicles
Grinding torture: Sinners are put into a grinding machine and ground into a bloody pulp.
Tortures involving fire:
Burning: Sinners are set aflame or cast into fiery infernos.
Paolao torture: Sinners are stripped naked and made to climb a large metal cylinder with a fire lit at its base.
Boiling liquid torture: Sinners have boiling liquids forced down their throats or poured on parts of their bodies.
Tortures involving removal of body parts or organs:
Tongue-ripping
Eye-gouging
Heart-digging
Disembowelment: Sinners have their internal organs dug out.
Skinning
Slicing off fingers and toes
Ice World: Sinners are frozen in ice. Some depictions show unclothed sinners suffering from frostbite in an icy world. Their bodies eventually fall apart or break into pieces.
Scales and hooks torture: Sinners have hooks pierced into their bodies and are hung upside down. Some depictions show sinners having nails hammered into their bodies (similar to crucifixion).
Pool of Blood: Sinners are cast into a pool of blood. Blood spills from all body orifices.
Tortures involving animals: Sinners are trampled by cattle, gored by animals with horns or tusks, mauled or eaten by predators, stung or bitten by poisonous species etc.
Avīci: The period of suffering in this chamber is the longest and it is reserved for sinners who have committed heinous crimes, including the Five Grave Offences.

Some literature refers to eighteen types of hells or to eighteen hells for each type of punishment. Some religious or literature books say that wrongdoers who were not punished when they were alive are punished in the hells after death.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24] [25][26] [27][28][29]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sincerely suggest you rethink your position. The 18 hells are the easy side of things. You can ask Hitler.

Best,

ob
Last edited by oldbob on Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:02 pm

oldbob wrote:Good makes good and bad makes bad. This is how the universe is hard wired.

Everything is interconnected.
My parents (Americans) were brought together by the events of WW2.
I am here indirectly because of that. Is that good or bad?
In fact, it is hard to grasp how much that war changed the world
The universe isn't hard-wired at all,
and especially not for the good/bad preferences of puny earthlings.

But more to the point,
people do all sorts of terrible things, thinking that they are doing good things,
believing that such actions will result in something positive.
it doesn't matter what you call them...benevolent, good...
without wisdom, we usually just perpetuate samsara.
.
.
.
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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 oldbob » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:21 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
oldbob wrote:Good makes good and bad makes bad. This is how the universe is hard wired.

Everything is interconnected.
My parents (Americans) were brought together by the events of WW2.
I am here indirectly because of that. Is that good or bad?
In fact, it is hard to grasp how much that war changed the world
The universe isn't hard-wired at all,
and especially not for the good/bad preferences of puny earthlings.

But more to the point,
people do all sorts of terrible things, thinking that they are doing good things,
believing that such actions will result in something positive.
it doesn't matter what you call them...benevolent, good...
without wisdom, we usually just perpetuate samsara.
.
.
.


Good luck!

ob
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:22 pm

oldbob wrote:Six million angry spirits and oldbob are on your case. Good Luck!

Have a nice rebirth, but I don't think it will be too nice.

You might research the 18 hells.

Maybe you will meet Hitler there and can talk this over.


Surely you are not predicting that someone will take rebirth in a hell for surmising, in accordance with scripture, that even Hitler had Buddha-nature?

Seems the most extreme views are to be found on Buddhism boards these days - in the way that Buddhists talk about other Buddhists.

:namaste:
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby oldbob » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:47 pm

viniketa wrote:
oldbob wrote:Six million angry spirits and oldbob are on your case. Good Luck!

Have a nice rebirth, but I don't think it will be too nice.

You might research the 18 hells.

Maybe you will meet Hitler there and can talk this over.


Surely you are not predicting that someone will take rebirth in a hell for surmising, in accordance with scripture, that even Hitler had Buddha-nature?

Seems the most extreme views are to be found on Buddhism boards these days - in the way that Buddhists talk about other Buddhists.

:namaste:


Dear Viniketa,

:namaste:

Sure, all sentient beings have Buddha nature, even Hitler. Where did I, or anyone, say otherwise?

I don't believe that this was mentioned as an issue, anywhere in this thread. This is a NEW direction to the thread coming only from you.

Did I miss something? Where did zAnt, or anyone, surmise in any way that Hitler had, or had not, Buddha-nature. This is not an issue.

This is an added construct from you - perhaps just to make trouble. Are you trying to make a provocation?

Please advise.

I am making the suggestion that if people want to say that Hitler was benevolent in ANY way, then this is a hell going statement.

Is this an extreme view?

Are you claiming that Hitler was benevolent in ANY way? If so, good luck!

Please advise.

Respectfully, though I am suspect of your motivation,

ob
Last edited by oldbob on Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:05 pm

oldbob wrote:Did I miss something? Where did zAnt, or anyone, surmise in any way that Hitler had, or had not, Buddha-nature. This is not an issue.

This is an added construct from you - perhaps just to make trouble. Are you trying to make a provocation?


Only an attempt to provoke thought. If Hitler, or anyone, was 100% evil, that would preclude Buddha-nature.


oldbob wrote:I am making the suggestion that if people want to say that Hitler was benevolent in ANY way, then this is a hell going statement.

Is this an extreme view?


Yes, this is an extreme view. Is there scripture to back your claim? There is scripture that the results of someone's karma are imponderable...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:namaste:
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby oldbob » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:30 pm

viniketa wrote:
oldbob wrote:Did I miss something? Where did zAnt, or anyone, surmise in any way that Hitler had, or had not, Buddha-nature. This is not an issue.

This is an added construct from you - perhaps just to make trouble. Are you trying to make a provocation?


Only an attempt to provoke thought. If Hitler, or anyone, was 100% evil, that would preclude Buddha-nature.


oldbob wrote:I am making the suggestion that if people want to say that Hitler was benevolent in ANY way, then this is a hell going statement.

Is this an extreme view?


Yes, this is an extreme view. Is there scripture to back your claim? There is scripture that the results of someone's karma are imponderable...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:namaste:


Venerable (giving you the benefit of the doubt) viniketa,

Saying that Hitler was not benevolent in any way is NOT the same as saying he is 100% evil. This is your / your construction.

Where did I, or anyone, say that Hitler was 100% evil?

This is your / your construct, only.

Also, the fact that Hitler, or anyone, was 100% evil (though I never claimed this) does not preclude them from having Buddha nature. This is your / your construct only.

Sure the results of someone's karma are imponderable.

I am also sure that Hitler, and perhaps a few other innocent, and not so innocent, Germans (and many others), suffered hell in their lives and in their future lives, because of Hitler's actions.

Just my limited view opinion.

This is based on common sense, not scripture.

I stand by my claim, if you do good - you get good. If you do bad - you get bad.

I think you are just trying to make a provocation, for whatever personal motivations that you have, so I will not respond to further posts.

Good luck!

ob
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:41 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:people do all sorts of terrible things, thinking that they are doing good things,
believing that such actions will result in something positive.
it doesn't matter what you call them...benevolent, good...
without wisdom, we usually just perpetuate samsara.
.
.
.


:good:


Old Bob, each person is entitled to a point of view. You may not agree with zAnt or Viniketa in their statements.
This is fine, but one must also remember to further progress on our path, we must have wisdom, compassion and understanding......

Not judgment.

:namaste:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:49 pm

the concepts of "100% evil" or "100% good" are absurd, for many reasons,
not the least of which is the idea of dividing ethics up into measurable hundredths.
.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:11 pm

oldbob wrote:Venerable (giving you the benefit of the doubt) viniketa


Thank you for the benefit of the doubt. To be clear, for the record, I am merely a member of this community.

:namaste:
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby oldbob » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:18 pm

Dave The Seeker wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:people do all sorts of terrible things, thinking that they are doing good things,
believing that such actions will result in something positive.
it doesn't matter what you call them...benevolent, good...
without wisdom, we usually just perpetuate samsara.
.
.
.


:good:


Old Bob, each person is entitled to a point of view. You may not agree with zAnt or Viniketa in their statements.
This is fine, but one must also remember to further progress on our path, we must have wisdom, compassion and understanding......

Not judgment.



:namaste:


:namaste:

:good:

Completely agree.

ob
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby zAnt » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:30 pm

I wouldn't think I'd be attacked from this of all places. Old Bob, I respect your opinion, but I do not respect you wishing me hell. It reminds me of Christianity, and it surprises me.

A little back story of me, I am a historian. I mainly study the lives of those we consider extremist. Like Hitler, Stalin, Zedong, and men of that source. And also the Soviet Union.
I am not a Buddhist, not at this point, but I wish to be considered one in the future.

Have you ever been in Hitlers shoes?


Once, when he was studying art, He lived in a dorm with a man whom was Jewish. Hitler was going to his classes and it was raining outside. His room-mate offered him his coat before he left the dorm. Much later, when he has became the Dictator of Germany, and his plan of extermination was coming intact, he made sure that his friend was never harmed. He shipped him out of the country, and to somewhere safe. Although he created this reign of terror, he made benevolent decision. But he by no means was a benevolent person.

This is why I said people should not be judged by those two words, only their actions should.
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Re: Why is right right and wrong wrong?

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:45 pm

zAnt wrote:This is why I said people should not be judged by those two words, only their actions should.


Yet, karma works on its own, without our judgements of beings or their actions...

:namaste:
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