Buddhist Hate Crimes

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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby tellyontellyon » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:04 am

Is somebody who fails to help guilty....

If a person was drowning and calling out to you, would you extend your hand to them?
If you didn't, would you be responisble if they drowned?

I say yes. If we fail to condemn the crimes of fellow Buddhists then we are facilitating the continuation of those crimes. We need to stand up and be counted, not hide behind hypocritical double-speak.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Indrajala » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:08 am

tellyontellyon wrote:I say yes. If we fail to condemn the crimes of fellow Buddhists then we are facilitating the continuation of those crimes. We need to stand up and be counted, not hide behind hypocritical double-speak.


Are you going to pay for lawsuits?
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Fa Dao » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:22 am

While not condoning the actions of those Buddhists it might be prudent for those screaming the loudest about it to actually check a little deeper and see what set them off in the first place...the media has been unusually one-sided on this...but suffice it to say that there is more to this story than "ohh those poor muslim victims.."
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Nemo » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:51 pm

AlexanderS wrote:
Nemo wrote:I am quite embarrassed by the Tamil persecution in Sri Lanka. Even Western Buddhists repeat the most ridiculous lies of Sinhalese ethnic destiny occasionally. I had close ties to both sides in this conflict and have enough knowledge to have an opinion.

Myanmar I may not choose to get involved because of the recent genocide against Buddhists next door in Bangladesh.


I haven't heard about this recent genocide in Bangladesh. Can you provide a link to a story or news about it?


Bangladeshi authorities put the dead at up to 3,000,000(that is likely an inflated figure) and 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 fled the country. Hindus, Buddhists, intellectuals and even Bihari Muslims were targeted for what State Department cables called "selective genocide". Most fled to India but some fled to Burma. That was in 1971. With the Bangladeshi genocide still unresolved I don't think much progress can be made in Burma.

Getting the Sinhalese to stop their aggression on the Tamil minority is another story. Blame the British for the mess and start working together like you always did in the past. Sri Lanka is not some Buddhist Israel. Tamils were there since the time of the Mahabharata and the assertions that they are new immigrants is a lie. The attempts to bring in Tamil migrant workers from India and then blaming them for all the countries woes is very transparent.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby AlexanderS » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:54 pm

I thought by "recent" you meant within the last month or so. Of course 1971 is also recent in a historical perspective.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Nemo » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:09 pm

Perhaps saying it is in living memory is more accurate.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby AlexanderS » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:53 pm

Sorry, I wasn't belittling the issue. I simply meant you meant recent news.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby tingdzin » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:27 am

News about the Muslim majority in Bangladesh persecuting Buddhists and Christian minorities, stealing their land, and committing atrocities appear fairly regularly in the Press, but for some reason it has never received the widespread attention that the Rohingya issue has currently been enjoying. Search around on the net for Chakmas Bangladesh persecution and you'll probably find something.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby tellyontellyon » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:34 pm

Two wrongs don't make a right.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Rickpa wrote:As a member of a group, you should be mindful that humans tend to judge any group of which they are outside, by the worst examples.


Indeed, this however does not mean that one need feel "shame" for being a Buddhist merely because there are afflicted "Buddhists" out there who do murderous things to innocents.

Likewise, I feel no shame about being an American despite that fact my government has done terrible things. But those things were done without my consent and I oppose them.

Sorry, but you should in both cases.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:23 pm

Indrajala wrote:
tellyontellyon wrote:I say yes. If we fail to condemn the crimes of fellow Buddhists then we are facilitating the continuation of those crimes. We need to stand up and be counted, not hide behind hypocritical double-speak.


Are you going to pay for lawsuits?
So in general one should avoid any sort of action possibly seen as being critical of others, or institutions, because of a fear of LAWSUITS?? How ethically bankrupt! Since when can one be sued for libel for making a true statement? Sorry, but this is equivalent to saying that marching the Jews off to the camps was just embarrassing.
In regard to Thailand's failings please note that Thailand is over 90% Buddhist. Is is absurd to say that individuals who act for institutions are not culpable. Both the individuals and the institution in this case claim to be Buddhist. We were just following orders?
Ethical countries commonly grant asylum to refugees who fear death because of ther culture, race or religion if they are returned to their country of origin. If you throw someone into the lions den, you have led to their death, even though the lion actually did the killing.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby theanarchist » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:41 pm

tingdzin wrote:News about the Muslim majority in Bangladesh persecuting Buddhists and Christian minorities, stealing their land, and committing atrocities appear fairly regularly in the Press, but for some reason it has never received the widespread attention that the Rohingya issue has currently been enjoying. Search around on the net for Chakmas Bangladesh persecution and you'll probably find something.



Couldn't Burma and Bangladesh swap their minorities?
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:46 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Rickpa wrote:As a member of a group, you should be mindful that humans tend to judge any group of which they are outside, by the worst examples.


Indeed, this however does not mean that one need feel "shame" for being a Buddhist merely because there are afflicted "Buddhists" out there who do murderous things to innocents.

Likewise, I feel no shame about being an American despite that fact my government has done terrible things. But those things were done without my consent and I oppose them.

Sorry, but you should in both cases.



As you can tell, I don't agree. I never feel shame for negative karma that I had no hand in creating. Compassion for the people who engage in such deeds, yes; shame, never.

In any event, it is very presumptuous for you to mandate how anyone ought to feel about anything. The reason I replied was to let others know that it was not necessary to pander to "politically correct" guilt-mongering.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:00 pm

I'm not really seeking "agreement". I'm trying to raise some compassion for the victims. I'm trying to get those who consider themselves as Buddhist to realize that if they feel real compassion for those in error, that the really kind thing for all concerned is to point their error out to them. To claim that as a Buddhist one has no involvement in the activities of others, especially Buddhists, is to deny interdependence.
In teaching interedeoendence it is pointed out when someone claims that they did something by themselves that they must consider all the others involved in making the materials that went into whatever. So, turning this around are we not all involved in the actions of others? Even leaving out the special responsibility created by the Teachings, are we not responsible as fellow human beings?
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:23 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:I'm not really seeking "agreement". I'm trying to raise some compassion for the victims. I'm trying to get those who consider themselves as Buddhist to realize that if they feel real compassion for those in error, that the really kind thing for all concerned is to point their error out to them. To claim that as a Buddhist one has no involvement in the activities of others, especially Buddhists, is to deny interdependence.
In teaching interedeoendence it is pointed out when someone claims that they did something by themselves that they must consider all the others involved in making the materials that went into whatever. So, turning this around are we not all involved in the actions of others? Even leaving out the special responsibility created by the Teachings, are we not responsible as fellow human beings?


The Buddha said "Karma is volition and its products".

We are not involved in the actions of others apart from the extent to which we agree to the intentions pursued by others. For example, someone who opposed the Vietnam war is responsible for none of the negative karma generated by that war, while all who supported it earn the negative karma * as many people who supported that war. This is very clearly explained in Abhidharma.

Our mind streams are not interdependent in the same way the roots of trees and mycelium in a forest are. Our mind streams are unique, and the gathering and ripening of karma upon it is individual, not collective. When beings engage in similar acts, they have similar ripenings, but that is as far as it goes.

Being responsible human beings does not bear the consequence that we must be ashamed of human beings when they engage in negative actions because of the three poisons. We do not feel shame when a person with a disease does something wrong. We understand that they are ill and in need of treatment. Likewise, when sentient beings engage in the ten non-virtues, they do so only because of the three poisons in their own minds.

Can we feel sad that sentient beings engage in negative karma? Yes. Is that sadness connected to the fact that we understand all of our unpleasant experiences in samsara are connected with our own negative actions? Yes. Should we feel shame that other sentient beings engage in non-virtuous actions because of the three poisons? No. No, unless at some point, for example, we whole heartedly backed the killing of a bunch of Ronhingyas for the "sin" of being Muslims because of our own afflictions. If we realize that this was wrong on our part, then we should voice that regret, confess it, and move on. But there is very little point in feeling shame at the actions of others in which we played no part.

In order to point out the error of someone, first you must gain their trust and respect. Only then will your admonishments be heeded, respected and effective. Otherwise, admonishing those who do not respect you is like pissing into the wind, it just turns back on you.

As to your point about interdependence. If I am a miner, and I unearth iron to make steel, after it goes to market I have no idea if it will make a car or a gun. So whether it is made into a car or gun has nothing to do with me. I am just mining the ore, and that is all.

One must understand that the way this is taught is that first we have the presentation of the six causes and four conditions; then there is the presentation of dependent origination, and then, only after that is there the presentation of karma, the first is part of the teaching of the noble's truth of suffering, the latter two belong to the noble's truth of the origination of suffering. Cause and condition is not moral cause and condition, so the karana-hetu, which means that everything is a cause for everything else apart from itself does not apply to moral questions of karma-vipaka. If you overextend the limit of mutual causation, even the Buddha becomes responsible for the crimes of Angulimala.

Therefore, it needs to be understood that the only thing one needs to feel shame about is one's own action that arise out of the three poisons. Feeling shame for actions of others is a misplaced sense of identity which arises from a false grasping to self.

As for our responsibility towards other humans, well, again it is question of limitations. We are very limited, our capacity to help others is miniscule. We do what we can, we act as witnesses when there are those who are committing crimes, but we don't judge, and we don't abandon the fact that everyone involved in such events also has their own karma, positive and negative which led to that karmavipaka they are experiencing, including being murdered. The Buddhist view about the karmavipaka is dispassionate. If you engaged in a lot of killing in this life, your life will be shortened in the next. If you engage in a lot of violence in this life, you can bet that in the next you will be subjected to a lot of violence. Karma, like death, is pitiless.

Further, if we engage in judgement, we will lose compassion for the those who truly deserve it, the perpetrators of those crimes. For example, who is deserving of more compassion in this example: the SS soldiers who murdered millions of Jews, or the murdered Jews? Who is going to experience more suffering as a result? Most people feel no compassion for the SS soldiers and wish them into hell, saving their compassion for those who suffered terribly in the death camps. Who is more deserving of compassion, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, or the millions they left in the killing fields? Who is more deserving of compassion, Kissinger and Nixon, who murdered hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese or the murdered Vietnamese.

The reality is that they are all equally deserving of compassion. This is the Mahāyāna approach. We do not judge and say this sentient beings deserves more compassion, this one less. All sentient beings are deserving of equal levels of compassions, whether they are Hitler, Mao, Stalin or a Rohingya Muslim or Nāgaland Buddhist, or a Sinhalese Tamil.
Last edited by Malcolm on Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby pemachophel » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:34 pm

Thanks Malcolm for that explanation.

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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Adamantine » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:54 pm

Yes, thanks Malcolm :good:
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:21 pm

Well said Malcolm! :twothumbsup:
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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: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Jigme Tsultrim » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:03 pm

Yes, well said. Let's agree to disagree, especially that this is a Buddhist view, although I do agree that all beings are ultimately equally deserving of compassion. The symbol of the sword and the book of Manjushri is of discriminating wisdom. One does not have to be a Buddhist to act in concert with the teachings, and conversely being a Buddhist does not grant one immunity from common sense. Surely MLK, Gandhi, and HHDL have chosen to act, rather than just letting karma settle things in due time.
To define compassion in the real and relative world so broadly that there can be no distinction between its application to a guard at Dachau and a starving child renders the word devoid of meaning.
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Re: Buddhist Hate Crimes

Postby Malcolm » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:34 pm

Jigme Tsultrim wrote:To define compassion in the real and relative world so broadly that there can be no distinction between its application to a guard at Dachau and a starving child renders the word devoid of meaning.


No, it renders compassion impartial, which is the step before "objectless".

The buddhas and ārya-bodhisattvas do not make a distinction between a torturer and a victim, so why should we? It does not mean we do not intercede where we can to protect the victims, or convince the victimizers to restrain their violence, but we certainly do not judge the victimizer to be any other than a suffering sentient being. Extending compassion impartially does not condone those deeds acted out of the three poisons, nor does it condone the karmic ripening of those whose negative karma is ripening upon them. Your extension of compassion to the victims of a flood will have no impact on the ripening of their karma, will prevent no deaths, will not stem the loss of property and suffering. Your extension of compassion to the victims of war will not indict war criminals, nor save them from the fruit of their own actions.

Compassion needs to be wed with equanimity in order for compassion to become impartial. Otherwise, compassion swiftly turns into recrimination and judgement and bias.

When we bring to mind our bodhicitta vows we are not saying, "I vow to do this practice just to save only the sentient beings I like", we are saying "I am practicing the six perfections in order to become a Buddha so that I might rescue all beings from samsara."

In the end, we Mahāyāna Buddhist practitioners seek to develop objectless, unconditional compassion.

So what do we do? We try to stem what suffering we see, and we wish that the suffering we cannot address in others as well as ourselves be pacified. That is all we can do, and nothing more. Compassion is nothing more and nothing less than the wish that sentient beings be free from suffering. All sentient beings are suffering at all times. Some suffering is more obvious than others, which is the suffering we tend to focus on. We need to understand that the nature of samsara is suffering through and through. When we understand this, we can then understand that we should experience compassion for those sentient beings who are involved in heavy actions of warring against unarmed people, as well as the people being warred against and so on. No sentient being is less deserving of our compassion as bodhisattvas than any other.
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