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Irony, sarcasm, cynicism - Dhamma Wheel

Irony, sarcasm, cynicism

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David2
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Irony, sarcasm, cynicism

Postby David2 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:46 pm

Greetings,

if one uses in his speaking irony, sarcasm or cynicism, is that considered as a violation of the 4th precept (one should not lie)?
Last edited by David2 on Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Irony, sarcasm, cynism

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:24 pm

Good question. I guess it would depend on how it is used and the context. If it is done to poke fun at someone, then it probably would be a violation. If it is to make an important point, without being mean or done in a humorous way, perhaps not.
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daverupa
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Re: Irony, sarcasm, cynism

Postby daverupa » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:39 pm

Cynicism probably runs afoul of the admonition to watch after others "...through endurance, through harmlessness, and through a mind of kindness & sympathy" per SN 47.19.

Sarcasm, defined as "the use of irony to mock or convey contempt", strikes me as an obvious example of harsh speech.

However, irony can be put to numerous sorts of uses, so isn't necessarily proscribed. It seems in this case, intention is of paramount importance; irony qua a figure of speech is in and of itself morally neutral.

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cooran
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Re: Irony, sarcasm, cynicism

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:21 pm

Hello David2 , all,

The Fourth Precept is, for me, the hardest one to keep.

It is not just about ‘not lying’.

Here are the Sutta references regarding Right Speech - samma vaca
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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cooran
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Re: Irony, sarcasm, cynicism

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:25 pm

Hello David2, all,

Additionally - I have found this, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, invaluable:
Right Speech From His Own Lips
http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive/rtspch1.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Prasadachitta
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Re: Irony, sarcasm, cynicism

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:55 pm

Hello David 2,

Cooran makes a good point.

If you want to know how to approach right speech ask yourself...

Is it true?

Is it gracious?

Is it helpful?

Is it harmonious?

This makes right speech into a constant practice whenever you have anything to say. Practiced in this way it is not a simple matter of following a rule.


Metta

Prasadachitta
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: Irony, sarcasm, cynicism

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:44 pm

It may not be in violation of a Precept, but it's boorish and reveals lack of fluency in communication skills. People who rely on such verbal ploys like to think they're presenting themselves as clever, sophisticated, jaded people-of-the-world,floating intellectually above the mundane concerns of the hoi-poloi--when in reality they seem insecure and socially awkward.

M4
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Zom
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Re: Irony, sarcasm, cynicism

Postby Zom » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:22 pm


David2
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Re: Irony, sarcasm, cynicism

Postby David2 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:35 pm



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