Zhen Li wrote:tobes wrote:For example, isn't the topic of justice (what is it, how might we achieve this as a polis etc) actually far more important than gossiping about a king or battle? Surely a Platonic treatise on that matter (or something more contemporary) is more exalted than a bunch of people at the bar expressing conceited opinions about Christopher Pyne's evil smile?
It's not gossiping about a king or battle, it's "talking about X" specifically. Gossiping is wrong speech by the nature of the type of speech, not the subject matter. And unless that talk leads to the goal of the path, it's not right speech. Remember right speech is part of the path, we're not talking about a definition of good speech regardless of Buddhism, but as a part of the proper and full practice of Buddhism as expressed by the texts.
Well, surely the goal of the path for Mahayanists is the enlightenment of all sentient beings. So it follows that there is much political content directly connected to that goal. Can a sentient being gain enlightenment without education, food, water or security? No? Are there right now many sentient beings lacking some or all of those things? Yes? Then it follows that those (political and economic) concerns are indeed directly connected to the goal.