Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:33 pm

The title of this thread is "Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption." This thread has been posted at a Buddhist discussion board. To me, this coincidence invites a question:

Is there any religious justification for vaccine avoidance in any tradition of Buddhism? Alternatively, have any recognized masters advised their students publicly to avoid vaccines?

Now turn that around: are there any plausible arguments in favor of routine and generalized vaccination programs for public health purposes on Buddhist premises? Have any Buddhist teachers or traditions advocated for general vaccination or promoted this practice in any way?

I'm asking because this seems like the most direct way to address the OP, and because a reorientation of the discussion seems in order.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Namgyal » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:04 pm

Simon E. wrote:Maybe...what I know for a fact is that there are many physicians, biologists, researchers, chemists, radiologists and providers of care battling at the coalface in dealing with a variety of enormously complex conditions that cause enormous suffering

Dear Simon, Since you are very bright, compassionate, and you have faith in the Three Jewels, perhaps you should consider additional training as a Tibetan Physician.
http://www.manjushree-culture.org/
http://www.chagpori-tibetan-medical-institute.com/
The Tibetans would be endlessly grateful for your professional input as a Western physician and in return they would teach you skills that combined with your existing knowledge would make you the single handed equivalent of a million miners working at the coalface of human suffering.
:namaste:
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:24 pm

Thrasymachus,

I neglected to ask before: have you asked your teacher's opinion about vaccines and vaccination? Has your teacher made public comment on this issue?
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Simon E. » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:12 pm

Namgyal wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Maybe...what I know for a fact is that there are many physicians, biologists, researchers, chemists, radiologists and providers of care battling at the coalface in dealing with a variety of enormously complex conditions that cause enormous suffering

Dear Simon, Since you are very bright, compassionate, and you have faith in the Three Jewels, perhaps you should consider additional training as a Tibetan Physician.
http://www.manjushree-culture.org/
http://www.chagpori-tibetan-medical-institute.com/
The Tibetans would be endlessly grateful for your professional input as a Western physician and in return they would teach you skills that combined with your existing knowledge would make you the single handed equivalent of a million miners working at the coalface of human suffering.
:namaste:

A ) You have no idea what involvement if any, I have with Tibetan medicine.
B) Among my many faults delusions of grandeur do not feature ( greatly ).
C) Hyperbole does not aid the discussion.

I think that the debate needs to follow the direction suggested by Jikan.
Last edited by Simon E. on Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Simon E. » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:13 pm

Jikan wrote:The title of this thread is "Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption." This thread has been posted at a Buddhist discussion board. To me, this coincidence invites a question:

Is there any religious justification for vaccine avoidance in any tradition of Buddhism? Alternatively, have any recognized masters advised their students publicly to avoid vaccines?

Now turn that around: are there any plausible arguments in favor of routine and generalized vaccination programs for public health purposes on Buddhist premises? Have any Buddhist teachers or traditions advocated for general vaccination or promoted this practice in any way?

I'm asking because this seems like the most direct way to address the OP, and because a reorientation of the discussion seems in order.

Bump.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:58 pm

Here's the sort of example that may have some credibility among mainstream Buddhists on the topic of vaccination.

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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Namgyal » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:06 pm

Simon E. wrote:A ) You have no idea what involvement if any, I have with Tibetan medicine.
B) Among my many faults delusions of grandeur do not feature ( greatly ).

For all I know you are really a fat bloke called Reggie who has a comb-over and lives in Hull.
As for 'delusions of grandeur' they are par for the course in Buddhist practice...
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:09 pm

Namgyal wrote:
Simon E. wrote:A ) You have no idea what involvement if any, I have with Tibetan medicine.
B) Among my many faults delusions of grandeur do not feature ( greatly ).

:lol: For all I know you are really a fat bloke called Reggie who has a comb-over and lives in Hull.
As for 'delusions of grandeur' they are par for the course in Buddhist practice...


Please, let's try to stay on topic.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Simon E. » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:46 pm

Jikan wrote:Here's the sort of example that may have some credibility among mainstream Buddhists on the topic of vaccination.


Excellent. HH is of course a well known advocate of an eclectic approach to the management of disease..including the allopathic medicine that he himself is prescribed.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Nemo » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:04 pm

A Bodhisattva with functioning critical faculties would get vaccinated for the benefit of other sentient beings. If I was hiring in a medical field I would not hire someone too stupid or selfish not to vet vaccinated.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:29 pm

Jikan wrote:Here's the sort of example that may have some credibility among mainstream Buddhists on the topic of vaccination.



Well then maybe this is one of those very rare circumstances where vaccines might actually be useful, that is if administered without the mercury and other garbage often found in vaccines.

And I doubt H.H. the Dalai Lama would tell people that they should go and "get their flu-shot" at Walmart, or even that the average person should get any kind of regular vaccination.

Also, what allopathic prescription is he supposedly taking?

Anyway, the Dalai Lama often speaks to people of little understanding (i.e. the average person), and so perhaps his launching of vaccinations and taking allopathic medicine, etc. is only publicity; in other words a skillful means to show the average person that he's integrated with ordinary society and not a religious elitist etc. (not saying that he is a religious elitist, just saying that many people might view him as such). I don't think that many people know what H.H. the Dalai Lama's views are aside from what he says and writes about Dharma. When it comes to social issues, he has to appear to blend in with the mainstream. In other words, I think that when he writes about his views regarding Vajrayana and Dzogchen, he is telling us his actual precise views regarding Dharma. When it comes to social issues however, he has to use a lot of Skillful Means.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:44 pm

The Knowledge of Healing - H.H. the Dalai Lama and Dr. Tenzin Choedrak


Image


The new documentary THE KNOWLEDGE OF HEALING is an illuminating examination of Tibetan medicine, a practice which has developed over two millennia into a modern day successful method of healing that rivals western medical practices.

Unlike Western medicine, based on biochemistry, Tibetan medical thinking (which is strongly rooted in Buddhist principles) views the human body as governed by an elaborately organized system of energies flowing through a network of channels. In the 12th century, the Gyüshi (Knowledge of Healing) was created, a text codifying this intricate system. The medications used comprise herbs, roots, minerals, etc. After flourishing for centuries, most Tibetan medical schools were destroyed by the Chinese in the 1950's and 1960's, and many physicians were executed.

Speaking from exile, the Dalai Lama argues for the value of Tibetan medicine, while his personal physician Dr. Tenzin Choedrak describes the principles behind it. We follow physicians in India and Siberia treating patients for a variety of ailments from paralysis to heart disease, and meet researchers in Israel and Switzerland to see how western clinical studies are testing the effectiveness of Tibetan medicine.

THE KNOWLEDGE OF HEALING is not propaganda for alternative medicine, but a thorough, objective examination of an ancient interpretation of human physiology, and a compelling investigation into an alternative approach to healing.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby justsit » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:26 pm

HH Dalai Lama - vaccination scars on right arm, likely smallpox/polio.

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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:38 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:
The new documentary THE KNOWLEDGE OF HEALING is an illuminating examination of Tibetan medicine, a practice which has developed over two millennia into a modern day successful method of healing that rivals western medical practices.

Unlike Western medicine, based on biochemistry, Tibetan medical thinking (which is strongly rooted in Buddhist principles) views the human body as governed by an elaborately organized system of energies flowing through a network of channels. In the 12th century, the Gyüshi (Knowledge of Healing) was created, a text codifying this intricate system. The medications used comprise herbs, roots, minerals, etc. After flourishing for centuries, most Tibetan medical schools were destroyed by the Chinese in the 1950's and 1960's, and many physicians were executed.

Speaking from exile, the Dalai Lama argues for the value of Tibetan medicine, while his personal physician Dr. Tenzin Choedrak describes the principles behind it. We follow physicians in India and Siberia treating patients for a variety of ailments from paralysis to heart disease, and meet researchers in Israel and Switzerland to see how western clinical studies are testing the effectiveness of Tibetan medicine.

THE KNOWLEDGE OF HEALING is not propaganda for alternative medicine, but a thorough, objective examination of an ancient interpretation of human physiology, and a compelling investigation into an alternative approach to healing.


That's very good. I'm interested in traditional Tibetan medicine myself.

How does this relate in any way at all to the question at hand?
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:43 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Anyway, the Dalai Lama often speaks to people of little understanding (i.e. the average person), and so perhaps his launching of vaccinations and taking allopathic medicine, etc. is only publicity; in other words a skillful means to show the average person that he's integrated with ordinary society and not a religious elitist etc. (not saying that he is a religious elitist, just saying that many people might view him as such). I don't think that many people know what H.H. the Dalai Lama's views are aside from what he says and writes about Dharma. When it comes to social issues, he has to appear to blend in with the mainstream. In other words, I think that when he writes about his views regarding Vajrayana and Dzogchen, he is telling us his actual precise views regarding Dharma. When it comes to social issues however, he has to use a lot of Skillful Means.


Sure, maybe HHDL is just putting on a show like this in order to do something. But do what? It seems to me he's encouraging villagers to vaccinate their kids.

His views on social issues are hardly secret. He's outlined them consistently and publicly in many books, speeches, and media appearances. HHDL seems to be a very transparent leader in that respect. I think he means it, for instance, when he claims to identify with the Marxist critique of the social order of capitalist accumulation.

Meanwhile, I wonder if you'd be interested in tackling these questions, as I'd very much like to hear your perspective on them:

Jikan wrote:The title of this thread is "Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption." This thread has been posted at a Buddhist discussion board. To me, this coincidence invites a question:

Is there any religious justification for vaccine avoidance in any tradition of Buddhism? Alternatively, have any recognized masters advised their students publicly to avoid vaccines?

Now turn that around: are there any plausible arguments in favor of routine and generalized vaccination programs for public health purposes on Buddhist premises? Have any Buddhist teachers or traditions advocated for general vaccination or promoted this practice in any way?

I'm asking because this seems like the most direct way to address the OP, and because a reorientation of the discussion seems in order.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Nemo » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:03 pm

Widespread vaccination COMES FROM INDIA. It originated, not in Europe, but in the worship of Sitala(smallpox) Devi and is thousands of years old. Priests would dry the pus from the smallpox pustules and then put them in children's arms with a needle. It was taken up by Chinese traditional medicine after travelers saw the process. They would dry the exudate and blow it up people's noses with a tube to confer immunity. One would wonder if a beneficent Devi is why smallpox has been eradicated.

So any aspiring Bodhsattva wishing to not be a vector of sickness, suffering and death would be the first in line for vaccination.

Image
Jaya jaya Mātā Śītalā tumahī dharē jō dhyāna. Hōya bimala Śītala hr̥daya, vikasē buddhī bala jñāna. Ghaţa ghaţa vāsī Śītalā, Śītala prabhā tumhāra. Śītala chaiṃyyā Śītala maiṃyyā pala nā dāra.
Last edited by Nemo on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Clarence » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:10 pm

Welcome back Nemo. Always the straight talking sense maker. :-)
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:14 pm

Nemo wrote:Widespread vaccination COMES FROM INDIA. It originated, not in Europe, but in the worship of Sitala(smallpox) Devi and is thousands of years old. Priests would dry the pus from the smallpox pustules and then put them in children's arms with a needle. It was taken up by Chinese traditional medicine after travelers saw the process. They would dry the exudate and blow it up people's noses with a tube to confer immunity. One would wonder if a beneficent Devi is why smallpox has been eradicated.

So any aspiring Bodhsattva wishing to not be a vector of sickness, suffering and death would be the first in line for vaccination.

Image
Jaya jaya Mātā Śītalā tumahī dharē jō dhyāna. Hōya bimala Śītala hr̥daya, vikasē buddhī bala jñāna. Ghaţa ghaţa vāsī Śītalā, Śītala prabhā tumhāra. Śītala chaiṃyyā Śītala maiṃyyā pala nā dāra.

And course those aspiring Bodhisattvas would not need to risk exposure to the causal organism in an unmodified state as did those brave pioneers.
Any more than they would need to wash their clothes in the river.
But their motivation..to protect others, would be the same.
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:19 pm

Simon E. wrote:But their motivation..to protect others, would be the same.


Is this not the crux of the issue?
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Re: Is it possible to get a religious vaccine exemption?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:42 pm

I believe so.
I am no masochist..I would not subject myself to unreasonable danger. But I recognise that it is not all about me and my 6 foot body and my 12 pints of blood and my skeleton and organs all of which are built from the elements of the universe and all of which will return to great nature.
My form is a changing series of events..I will not put it in unnecessary danger..I need it.
But neither will I treat it as a discrete entity to be kept pure and free from 'sinful' pollutants.
This body and that of everyone else every will be dead in a short few decades anyway.
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