pacifism

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Re: pacifism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:21 am

Huseng wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:What about a destitute refugee forced into prostitution? Child soldiering?


The former is still better than fighting a war.

Look ... if you feel compelled to die in a war for a purportedly just cause, I doubt I'd be able to convince you otherwise. How many people marched off to the Middle East after 9/11 to participate in what they thought was just war, but just ended up being about securing Iraq's oil reserves for the western power bloc?

However, if you are concerned about your post-mortem fate on the far side of death you might think twice about exercising violence of any kind. If you abhor your own suffering, stop harming others. That means if someone throws a stone, you walk away. If they keep throwing stones you still don't retaliate.

This doesn't work for states and governments of course, but as an individual you have the freedom to walk away and abandon such evils. You might be disgraced and dishonoured, and called a coward, but in the end it is better to be a human coward with a means to liberation than some being in the lower realms.


I don't personally feel compelled to fight in a war, especially not a war clearly for the gain of resources such as those my country is perpetually involved in. If I lived in Spain in the midst of the Spanish Civil war for instance, I imagine I would face a starker choice! As you have mentioned many times, first worlders are in the sad positions of sitting back and being able to have whatever opinion they like on war, because the vast majority of us benefit from it materially, but are not in a position to have to support it, and far removed from it's consequences. Incidentally, I do not consider it likely that there are many "just wars", but I do not think it is by necessity an empty category either. I recognize that some people have far less choice than me.

How is it that Buddhists, who are supposed to have a genuine concern with the welfare of other beings are answering this question with concerns about their own well being first and foremost? Is your greatest concern with violence really preserving your own well being by avoiding it, before considering the implications for others that your failure to act could have? While cliche, the Hitler example example is a reasonable one...

I am not asking this question as an individual per se, I am not asking you to tell me what to believe.. like you guys I already have my own opinions on this. I am not exactly trying to get the perspective of a Buddhist deciding on his or her own personal view of violence, but rather connected with the "engaged Buddhism" thread..surely it is important for Buddhist who want to be "engaged" on any level to have opinions, be able to differentiate between the violence of oppressor and oppressed, and be willing and capable of reasoning out the answer..rather than these frankly doctrinaire responses about rebirth into lower realms etc.

Vinetka so far has made to my mind the most compelling argument, violence or no, the willingness to endure harm for the welfare of other beings can certainly be called Bodhicitta..can't it? Gonna chew on Vinetka's response a bit, thank you all for the responses.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:17 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: pacifism

Postby lobster » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:31 am

The most difficult aspect of recovery was not physical. It was dealing with the anger directed at me by family and friends because I was not angry and full of blood revenge toward my attackers.


Brave. I do not have that sort of courage. Maybe one day . . . :thumbsup:

Fighting is always a manifestation of fear and projects that onto 'the other'.
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Re: pacifism

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:57 am

lowlydog wrote:
Red Faced Buddha wrote:No,we Zen have never been considered pacifist.Fire is in our veins. :smile: If there was a second Hitler,who was putting people in death camps,would you go to war with him to stop him from sticking any more innocent people in ovens?I would,I would utterly destroy that ****** until he's nothing more than ashes.


That action will lead you into the womb of an animal, or worse.


Metaphorically leave him in ashes.In my opinion,if you kill someone in vengeance,you are no better than that person(that goes for you to Liam Neeson.)but if you could stop a person from committing Stalinistic crimes,would it matter what result it had for you?
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Re: pacifism

Postby Indrajala » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:42 am

Red Faced Buddha wrote:Metaphorically leave him in ashes.In my opinion,if you kill someone in vengeance,you are no better than that person(that goes for you to Liam Neeson.)but if you could stop a person from committing Stalinistic crimes,would it matter what result it had for you?


Most people cannot prevent crimes the like Stalin committed.
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Re: pacifism

Postby duckfiasco » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:16 am

I think most people also lack the wisdom to intentionally kill another being and have anything but negative karmic effects from it, especially if they rejoice in it, even if it's for apparently altruistic reasons.
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: pacifism

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:21 am

@ Red Faced Buddha,

perhaps you should reread the Dhammapada quote you use a couple more times, its a good one! :twothumbsup: you might also like to recall the context of that particular passage. If I am correct, it is verses 129-130? If that is correct, it would be good to call to mind the following two verses (131-132) : "He who seeking his own happiness, punishes or kills beings who also long for happiness, will not find happiness after death." and "he who seeking his own happiness does not punish or kill beings who also long for happiness, will find happiness after death." granted you are not suggesting that such actions be performed for ones own happiness, but rather the suggestion is that in doing an act of violence, you may remove the incidence of greater evil and thus contribute to the happiness of others. However, you are talking about killing, and certainly a punishment in some sense- and at any rate, your happiness is arguably achieved by the knowledge that such acts as would otherwise have been committed would now not be so. Number 21 of the minor Bodhisattva Precepts states that a disciple of the Buddha "should not seek revenge, even if his father, mother siblings or close relatives are killed- nor should he do so if the ruler or king of his country is murdered." Of course, I could go through sutra after sutra and time and again find these same teachings. My point is simply that, it is not Buddhist, to behave violently, for any reason. once this is established, If you wish to suggest that you yourself personally might act that way in order to fight injustice, that is one thing- But it is certainly not in line with the Buddha's teachings. And therefore such thoughts, ideas, must be discarded if enlightenment for yourself or any other for that matter is achievable.

as mentioned by Huseng, that type of action only leads to the lower realms. If "a second hitler" were to perpetrate a genocide of some sort, indeed any of those perpetrating will suffer the karmic rewards for such conduct. In the same thread, provided the idividuals who are suffering at the hands of the tyrant, are blameless, their rebirth in better conditions is assured. To have yourself 'enter into' this situation and likewise engage in violence, rather than saving anyone from harm would merely bring about added bad karma for yourself. Please understand that I am not suggesting that we do not help individuals suffering in such circumstances; I am merely suggesting that violence in no way is 'helping'.


I think the issue you may actually be fleshing out is how firmly you take doctrines such as rebirth and karma and so forth to be true. If you do believe that such doctrines are in fact true and good, then we must be guided by the sutras and the like of the above quotes. If not, then that is a different matter. If you are of the latter group, that is fine inasmuch as the views you express here are personal convictions separate from Buddhist Orthodoxy. But the trade-off of that is that you somewhat alienate yourself from recognizable Buddhist moral Orthodoxy :quoteunquote: .
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Re: pacifism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:57 am

I care alot more about answers that seem to come from someone examining their own heart and speaking from it, -like the small bit Vinetka wrote- than I do about pages of "Buddhist orthodoxy", even if the answer given is the same in the end. Stuff that basically comes down to "you'll go to hell" don't make for persuasive argument to my eyes.

There are and have been 'second Hitlers' operating all over the world constantly, genocide and war is a nonstop business basically, all the more reason to actually have a considered opinion on the subject outside of dogma should you ever find yourself having to make just the kind of decisions we are talking about in this thread.
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Re: pacifism

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:08 am

The second have of your orignial question was in regards to whether or not a "Buddhist" should be a pacifist. I do indeed have my own opinions about such a topic which relate to the first half of your original question- they may be seen to some degree here:

"as mentioned by Huseng, that type of action only leads to the lower realms. If "a second hitler" were to perpetrate a genocide of some sort, indeed any of those perpetrating will suffer the karmic rewards for such conduct. In the same thread, provided the idividuals who are suffering at the hands of the tyrant, are blameless, their rebirth in better conditions is assured. To have yourself 'enter into' this situation and likewise engage in violence, rather than saving anyone from harm would merely bring about added bad karma for yourself. Please understand that I am not suggesting that we do not help individuals suffering in such circumstances; I am merely suggesting that violence in no way is 'helping'. "

However the main thrust of my post was to suggest that as "Buddhists" our guide is Buddhist Orthodoxy. If we disagree fine, but then that is not what a "Buddhist" necessarily ought to do. My beliefs coincide with Buddhist Orthodoxy because I have found it to be generally true. Short of giving you a list of examples and so forth I'm not sure what else would be appropriate to put forward that my personal opinion is that Orthodox Buddhism got this one right. I'm not sure what part of my post drew offense, I apologise if it was recieved that way.

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Re: pacifism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:14 am

jikai wrote:The second have of your orignial question was in regards to whether or not a "Buddhist" should be a pacifist. I do indeed have my own opinions about such a topic which relate to the first half of your original question- they may be seen to some degree here:

"as mentioned by Huseng, that type of action only leads to the lower realms. If "a second hitler" were to perpetrate a genocide of some sort, indeed any of those perpetrating will suffer the karmic rewards for such conduct. In the same thread, provided the idividuals who are suffering at the hands of the tyrant, are blameless, their rebirth in better conditions is assured. To have yourself 'enter into' this situation and likewise engage in violence, rather than saving anyone from harm would merely bring about added bad karma for yourself. Please understand that I am not suggesting that we do not help individuals suffering in such circumstances; I am merely suggesting that violence in no way is 'helping'. "

However the main thrust of my post was to suggest that as "Buddhists" our guide is Buddhist Orthodoxy. If we disagree fine, but then that is not what a "Buddhist" necessarily ought to do. My beliefs coincide with Buddhist Orthodoxy because I have found it to be generally true. Short of giving you a list of examples and so forth I'm not sure what else would be appropriate to put forward that my personal opinion is that Orthodox Buddhism got this one right. I'm not sure what part of my post drew offense, I apologise if it was recieved that way.

Gassho
Jikai.


None of it drew offense, i'm just responding because I find some of the answers given not only doctrinaire, but there is also a claim of "Buddhist Orthodoxy" regarding war and violence - which in any human endeavor is patent nonsense, frankly. You are basically saying that "Buddhist Orthodoxy" means simply your view of the Buddha's teachings, or views you favor. Buddhist ethics are based on reason and investigation...not only doctrine.

Here is HHDL on war:

http://www.dalailama.com/messages/world ... ity-of-war

Notice the last paragraph, and so much for "Buddhist Orthodoxy" I guess, unless you do not count him? Clearly HHDL is nothing like man who would advocate violence, but even he admits that there are times where the possibility of justification on some moral level may exist.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: pacifism

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:16 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Did a search and didn't find a direct thread on this.

Are you a pacifist? Do you believe Buddhists should necessarily be complete pacifists, why or why not?


Yes I am a pacifist. Yes I do believe Buddhists should necessarily be complete pacifists. why am I a pacifist? Because I have yet to observe justified violence. Why do I think Buddhists should necessarily be complete pacifists? Because the Buddha's Teachings (yes, thats Buddhist Orthodoxy) suggests we should because of Karma and Rebirth etc.

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Re: pacifism

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:22 am

[quote="Johnny Dangerous]None of it drew offense, i'm just responding because I find some of the answers given not only doctrinaire, but there is also a claim of "Buddhist Orthodoxy" regarding war and violence - which in any human endeavor is patent nonsense, frankly. You are basically saying that "Buddhist Orthodoxy" means simply your view of the Buddha's teachings, or views you favor. Buddhist ethics are based on reason and investigation...not only doctrine.

Here is HHDL on war:

http://www.dalailama.com/messages/world ... ity-of-war

Notice the last paragraph, and so much for "Buddhist Orthodoxy" I guess, unless you do not count him? Clearly HHDL is nothing like man who would advocate violence, but even he admits that there are times where the possibility of justification on some moral level may exist.[/quote]

Surely the Buddha's own words may be counted as Buddhist Orthodoxy?

In the same paragraph his Holiness laments that such actions have lead to merely a period without war, rather than peace itself. His Holiness's own actions bear out that Buddhist Orthodoxy including his own actions suggests that violence is not an appropriate response to violence.

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Re: pacifism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:22 am

jikai wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Did a search and didn't find a direct thread on this.

Are you a pacifist? Do you believe Buddhists should necessarily be complete pacifists, why or why not?


Yes I am a pacifist. Yes I do believe Buddhists should necessarily be complete pacifists. why am I a pacifist? Because I have yet to observe justified violence. Why do I think Buddhists should necessarily be complete pacifists? Because the Buddha's Teachings (yes, thats Buddhist Orthodoxy) suggests we should because of Karma and Rebirth etc.

Gassho
Jikai.


If his teachings suggested doctrinaire, unwavering pacifism he would have just said so, but the teachings are not structured this way.

The last paragraph of HHDL's words are pretty obvious, he believes that on some level the second world war was justified...this by definition is not the position of an absolute pacifist, though clearly he is in his own actions. Regardless, it was posted only to show that I think positions on subjects such as this are worthy of more than someone's claim to 'Buddhist Orthodoxy" when clearly there are many different voices and all do not speak the same things.
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Re: pacifism

Postby Indrajala » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:26 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:If his teachings suggested doctrinaire, unwavering pacifism he would have just said so, but the teachings are not structured this way.



He was a pacifist himself.

We should follow his good example.
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Re: pacifism

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:35 am

Surely the Buddha's own words and actions may said to constitute Buddhist Orthodoxy on the matter.

What his Holiness says there may simply be considered Upaya. Considering that his actions are pacifistic, this indeed seems likely. Consider the reaction from a Western Audience if His Holiness stated that no war was justified given examples such as the Second World War. The Second World War of course being the most extreme and violent conflict in human history may have some impact upon his statements there as well. The Buddha's own homeland was ransacked and I have yet to read that he rushed off with arms to avenge it. I am not merely spouting Doctrine- on a Buddhist forum it is not uncommon to find individuals who genuinely believe that the Buddha's teachings are valid. You may not be convinced with arguments such as "your going to hell" as you put it, but I have reason to believe the man who sprouted such doctrine. Also, "going to hell" seems like a pretty good reason in my opinion. I have no problem with you feeling that that is not enough. BUT faith is an element of Buddhist Practice- of which I attempt to partake.

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Re: pacifism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:53 am

jikai wrote:Surely the Buddha's own words and actions may said to constitute Buddhist Orthodoxy on the matter.


Since critical thought is so highly valued in Buddhism, the Buddha never spoke of being an absolute pacifist, and even Buddhist leaders do not speak with one voice..the no, I would argue it is not Buddhist Orthodoxy, nor am I sure there is any such thing outside of overzealous followers, as any religion has.

"Killing is Demerit" is not the same thing as saying "never, ever, ever commit violence under any circumstances whatsoever". I know there are many other examples in the suttas of the evils of violence, ill-will, anger etc. But to my knowledge there is no endorsement of absolute pacifism (though of course feel free to correct me if i'm wrong), and in my view this is likely intentional, as a reasoned answer to questions of war and violence, especially one backed up by a long tradition of deep, profound ethical thought is always preferable to simple, off the cuff answers that fail to provide any direction for real life decision making.

How is it that you cannot take HHDL's words at face value? There is no need to read into and further interpret them, he says clearly he believes that WW2 might be justified, and even the Korean war..which i'm not sure about!

You are really grasping at straws trying to eke any other meaning out of what he says, the rest of what is there is stuff that i'm willing to bet you would find almost 100% agreement on on a Buddhist forum - that human beings are better off never killing or committing violence, that the culture of war perpetuates itself, and that the outcomes of wars are impossible to know beforehand.

The Buddha's own homeland was ransacked and I have yet to read that he rushed off with arms to avenge it. I


Unless you have lived the exact life of the Buddha, there is no point in you using this as "proof" of the position of absolute pacifism. Obviously Buddhism and The Buddha condemn war and abhor violence on the whole, this is not the same thing as absolute pacifism, certainly not of the kind that westerners living in the first world, most of whom live comparatively safe lives are free to engage in.
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Re: pacifism

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:02 am

jikai wrote:The second have of your orignial question was in regards to whether or not a "Buddhist" should be a pacifist. I do indeed have my own opinions about such a topic which relate to the first half of your original question- they may be seen to some degree here:

"as mentioned by Huseng, that type of action only leads to the lower realms. If "a second hitler" were to perpetrate a genocide of some sort, indeed any of those perpetrating will suffer the karmic rewards for such conduct. In the same thread, provided the idividuals who are suffering at the hands of the tyrant, are blameless, their rebirth in better conditions is assured. To have yourself 'enter into' this situation and likewise engage in violence, rather than saving anyone from harm would merely bring about added bad karma for yourself. Please understand that I am not suggesting that we do not help individuals suffering in such circumstances; I am merely suggesting that violence in no way is 'helping'. "

However the main thrust of my post was to suggest that as "Buddhists" our guide is Buddhist Orthodoxy. If we disagree fine, but then that is not what a "Buddhist" necessarily ought to do. My beliefs coincide with Buddhist Orthodoxy because I have found it to be generally true. Short of giving you a list of examples and so forth I'm not sure what else would be appropriate to put forward that my personal opinion is that Orthodox Buddhism got this one right. I'm not sure what part of my post drew offense, I apologise if it was recieved that way.

Gassho
Jikai.


:good:
It really depends on the brand of tea you prefer(where the tea is actually Buddhism :smile: .)anyway,thanks for your explaining,most people don't post their reasons for believing or rejecting something.
It is the duty of a Buddhist to help the less fortunate.I remember a Buddhist story where a captain(can't remember if this was supposed to be one of Buddha's past lives or not)and 500 passengers were on a ferry.A man came on board and the captain realized the man intended to kill everyone on board.To spare the man the aeons of excruciating pain,the captain killed him.
Although I don't place much trust in myths and legends,I feel the story has a lot of meaning.However,I agree with you in that killing is almost always wrong.However,it is even more wrong if it does with hate(which is hard not to do I guess.)
I'm arguing that while killing is not okay,it is not wrong if done to protect innocent being's lives.
Kind of sidewise,I interpret the verse differently.Don't hurt another being except in defense of yourself or others.Remember that like you,all other beings have feelings,fear punishment,and fear death even more and therefore you should feel compassion for them.
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Re: pacifism

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:01 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
jikai wrote:Surely the Buddha's own words and actions may said to constitute Buddhist Orthodoxy on the matter.


Since critical thought is so highly valued in Buddhism, the Buddha never spoke of being an absolute pacifist, and even Buddhist leaders do not speak with one voice..the no, I would argue it is not Buddhist Orthodoxy, nor am I sure there is any such thing outside of overzealous followers, as any religion has.

"Killing is Demerit" is not the same thing as saying "never, ever, ever commit violence under any circumstances whatsoever". I know there are many other examples in the suttas of the evils of violence, ill-will, anger etc. But to my knowledge there is no endorsement of absolute pacifism (though of course feel free to correct me if i'm wrong), and in my view this is likely intentional, as a reasoned answer to questions of war and violence, especially one backed up by a long tradition of deep, profound ethical thought is always preferable to simple, off the cuff answers that fail to provide any direction for real life decision making.

How is it that you cannot take HHDL's words at face value? There is no need to read into and further interpret them, he says clearly he believes that WW2 might be justified, and even the Korean war..which i'm not sure about!

You are really grasping at straws trying to eke any other meaning out of what he says, the rest of what is there is stuff that i'm willing to bet you would find almost 100% agreement on on a Buddhist forum - that human beings are better off never killing or committing violence, that the culture of war perpetuates itself, and that the outcomes of wars are impossible to know beforehand.

The Buddha's own homeland was ransacked and I have yet to read that he rushed off with arms to avenge it. I


Unless you have lived the exact life of the Buddha, there is no point in you using this as "proof" of the position of absolute pacifism. Obviously Buddhism and The Buddha condemn war and abhor violence on the whole, this is not the same thing as absolute pacifism, certainly not of the kind that westerners living in the first world, most of whom live comparatively safe lives are free to engage in.


I think the First Major Precept on Killing in the Bodhisattva Precepts and therefore arguably the Buddha is pretty clear on this one. It reads as follows:
“A disciple of the Buddha must not himself kill, encourage others to kill, kill by expedient means, praise killing, rejoice at witnessing killing, or kill through incantation or deviant mantras. He must not create the causes, conditions, methods or karma of killing, and shall not intentionally kill any living being. As a Buddha’s disciple, he ought to nurture a mind of compassion and filial piety, always devising expedient means (upaya) to rescue and protect all beings. If instead, he fails to retrain himself and kills sentient beings…he commits a Parajika Offense.”
So my response would be, Yes, there is an orthodox stance of non-violence taken by the Buddha. And Yes, Buddhism does endorse complete pacifism. Yes, Buddhism does encourage critical thought- it also however has some base values and principles which if not accepted make it hard to call oneself a Buddhist. For example, in taking Refuge you are trusting in the Buddha and the Dharma- if you don’t trust the basic premise’s of his teachings and thus the man himself, it is hard to see how one may be a Buddhist. Obviously, I am not suggesting that we just accept everything “off the cuff” but I don’t see this particular domain of discourse as being ‘up for debate’ if we are “Buddhists” if you will excuse the expression.
Why do I not take his words in this instance at face value in this instance? Because his own actions (and we all know the famous maxim “actions speak louder than words”) regarding the forceful occupation of his homeland(for which he was awarded the Peace Prize) and because of the fact that he goes on to state that such behaviour on both sides leads to nothing more than an uneasy arms build-up. And most importantly because I cannot imagine a Bodhisattva condoning conditional killing ‘for real’ (which would have to be ok if his authority as a Bodhisattva…of compassion…is maintained). Let alone the fact that Upaya is a central tool in teaching Buddhism and the text from which you quote was not one aimed at a traditionally Buddhist audience but rather a Western one.
Clutching at straws? I think the above quote from the Brahmajala Sutra is pretty direct- re devising skilfull means instead.
Yes, the outcomes of wars are unknown, and for that very reason, I don’t see a case in which a Buddhist would be justified in violence because much of the horror cannot be known until post-atrocity (of course I am not stating that this is always the case). Yes the culture of war perpetuates itself and thus is never ended through continued application of violence.
I think referring to the destruction of the Buddha’s homeland can be used as an example in this case, I’m not sure I understand why you disagree.
I might also add (even though not strictly necessarily as I have used a quote to suggest Buddhism teaches pacifism) that while most quotes from the Sutta’s and Sutra’s telling us to refrain from violence do not make a blanket statement like the one above suggesting complete pacifism, I have yet to read a single Sutra in which the Buddha says, ‘do not kill! Except when…’ If the system has as a foundational belief that taking life is the worst thing we can do, it must be applicable unconditionally. And in my opinion the opposite proposition; that is that our not killing may be conditional has always seemed a bit iffy to me…

Gassho

Jikai.
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"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: pacifism

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:14 am

Red Faced Buddha wrote:
jikai wrote:The second have of your orignial question was in regards to whether or not a "Buddhist" should be a pacifist. I do indeed have my own opinions about such a topic which relate to the first half of your original question- they may be seen to some degree here:

"as mentioned by Huseng, that type of action only leads to the lower realms. If "a second hitler" were to perpetrate a genocide of some sort, indeed any of those perpetrating will suffer the karmic rewards for such conduct. In the same thread, provided the idividuals who are suffering at the hands of the tyrant, are blameless, their rebirth in better conditions is assured. To have yourself 'enter into' this situation and likewise engage in violence, rather than saving anyone from harm would merely bring about added bad karma for yourself. Please understand that I am not suggesting that we do not help individuals suffering in such circumstances; I am merely suggesting that violence in no way is 'helping'. "

However the main thrust of my post was to suggest that as "Buddhists" our guide is Buddhist Orthodoxy. If we disagree fine, but then that is not what a "Buddhist" necessarily ought to do. My beliefs coincide with Buddhist Orthodoxy because I have found it to be generally true. Short of giving you a list of examples and so forth I'm not sure what else would be appropriate to put forward that my personal opinion is that Orthodox Buddhism got this one right. I'm not sure what part of my post drew offense, I apologise if it was recieved that way.

Gassho
Jikai.


:good:
It really depends on the brand of tea you prefer(where the tea is actually Buddhism :smile: .)anyway,thanks for your explaining,most people don't post their reasons for believing or rejecting something.
It is the duty of a Buddhist to help the less fortunate.I remember a Buddhist story where a captain(can't remember if this was supposed to be one of Buddha's past lives or not)and 500 passengers were on a ferry.A man came on board and the captain realized the man intended to kill everyone on board.To spare the man the aeons of excruciating pain,the captain killed him.
Although I don't place much trust in myths and legends,I feel the story has a lot of meaning.However,I agree with you in that killing is almost always wrong.However,it is even more wrong if it does with hate(which is hard not to do I guess.)
I'm arguing that while killing is not okay,it is not wrong if done to protect innocent being's lives.
Kind of sidewise,I interpret the verse differently.Don't hurt another being except in defense of yourself or others.Remember that like you,all other beings have feelings,fear punishment,and fear death even more and therefore you should feel compassion for them.



I agree completely, as you suggest these things have and are interpreted in many different ways. In regards to what you say about killing, I understand what you mean in that in defence of the innocent and so forth there are other factors, and I will say when push comes to shove, I am not entirely sure that my habitual reaction would not be to as you suggest protect. But I’m not sure I agree that killing is ‘ok’ in those circumstances. What I mean is, sure, I or yourself might kill in order to defend somebody, and yes our motivation here was not one of hate. But it is still not ‘ok’ to do. It seems to me that if we were to decide to act that way, we would be making that decision based on right motivation- which would give us merit, but the action is still wrong and cannot be made right simply by virtue of right motivation- and therefore would accumulate bad karma. If push came to shove, we could say that as Bodhisattva aspirant’s, its part of our duty to take such karma upon ourselves, but if we were also to accumulate bad karma, whatever the reason, we would also be hindering the potential awakening of others in that we, as Bodhisattva aspirants, fall from the attainment we have achieved (at least to some extent) due to the wrong action.
Having said that, I understand where you are coming from and of course, and not being a Buddha myself, I respect your different interpretation of the quote
Gassho
Jikai.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: pacifism

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:36 am

jikai wrote:
Red Faced Buddha wrote:
jikai wrote:The second have of your orignial question was in regards to whether or not a "Buddhist" should be a pacifist. I do indeed have my own opinions about such a topic which relate to the first half of your original question- they may be seen to some degree here:

"as mentioned by Huseng, that type of action only leads to the lower realms. If "a second hitler" were to perpetrate a genocide of some sort, indeed any of those perpetrating will suffer the karmic rewards for such conduct. In the same thread, provided the idividuals who are suffering at the hands of the tyrant, are blameless, their rebirth in better conditions is assured. To have yourself 'enter into' this situation and likewise engage in violence, rather than saving anyone from harm would merely bring about added bad karma for yourself. Please understand that I am not suggesting that we do not help individuals suffering in such circumstances; I am merely suggesting that violence in no way is 'helping'. "

However the main thrust of my post was to suggest that as "Buddhists" our guide is Buddhist Orthodoxy. If we disagree fine, but then that is not what a "Buddhist" necessarily ought to do. My beliefs coincide with Buddhist Orthodoxy because I have found it to be generally true. Short of giving you a list of examples and so forth I'm not sure what else would be appropriate to put forward that my personal opinion is that Orthodox Buddhism got this one right. I'm not sure what part of my post drew offense, I apologise if it was recieved that way.

Gassho
Jikai.


:good:
It really depends on the brand of tea you prefer(where the tea is actually Buddhism :smile: .)anyway,thanks for your explaining,most people don't post their reasons for believing or rejecting something.
It is the duty of a Buddhist to help the less fortunate.I remember a Buddhist story where a captain(can't remember if this was supposed to be one of Buddha's past lives or not)and 500 passengers were on a ferry.A man came on board and the captain realized the man intended to kill everyone on board.To spare the man the aeons of excruciating pain,the captain killed him.
Although I don't place much trust in myths and legends,I feel the story has a lot of meaning.However,I agree with you in that killing is almost always wrong.However,it is even more wrong if it does with hate(which is hard not to do I guess.)
I'm arguing that while killing is not okay,it is not wrong if done to protect innocent being's lives.
Kind of sidewise,I interpret the verse differently.Don't hurt another being except in defense of yourself or others.Remember that like you,all other beings have feelings,fear punishment,and fear death even more and therefore you should feel compassion for them.



I agree completely, as you suggest these things have and are interpreted in many different ways. In regards to what you say about killing, I understand what you mean in that in defence of the innocent and so forth there are other factors, and I will say when push comes to shove, I am not entirely sure that my habitual reaction would not be to as you suggest protect. But I’m not sure I agree that killing is ‘ok’ in those circumstances. What I mean is, sure, I or yourself might kill in order to defend somebody, and yes our motivation here was not one of hate. But it is still not ‘ok’ to do. It seems to me that if we were to decide to act that way, we would be making that decision based on right motivation- which would give us merit, but the action is still wrong and cannot be made right simply by virtue of right motivation- and therefore would accumulate bad karma. If push came to shove, we could say that as Bodhisattva aspirant’s, its part of our duty to take such karma upon ourselves, but if we were also to accumulate bad karma, whatever the reason, we would also be hindering the potential awakening of others in that we, as Bodhisattva aspirants, fall from the attainment we have achieved (at least to some extent) due to the wrong action.
Having said that, I understand where you are coming from and of course, and not being a Buddha myself, I respect your different interpretation of the quote
Gassho
Jikai.


I wouldn't say it's ok to kill.I'd say it's necessary.However,anger is the biggest danger out of it all.I have a saying "When a person is reborn in hell,it is the fires of his own anger that burn him."anger is one of the biggest dangers as it can cause as much harm to you as much as fire can.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: pacifism

Postby lowlydog » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:28 pm

Red Faced Buddha wrote:I wouldn't say it's ok to kill.I'd say it's necessary.However,anger is the biggest danger out of it all.I have a saying "When a person is reborn in hell,it is the fires of his own anger that burn him."anger is one of the biggest dangers as it can cause as much harm to you as much as fire can.


Your body is your guide to know what effects your actions have led to. The Buddha's teach us to observe bodily sensations(know thyself), this is how one knows an action is leading us towards peace or towards hell. When something feels good keep doing it, if it feels bad stop, only by developing the ability to feel the body at the subtlest level and keep ones composure will you learn to walk the path.
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