Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby Clueless Git » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:08 pm

'Lo All :)

I'm gonna have to concede that the motor industry analogy was too weak to explain the point on my mind. Gonna have to give up on that one altogether I reckon ... There is no true parralel anywhere I can think of with which to analogise.

Was a complicated thought I was having. Best I can offer as to what is on my mind is contained within the following ramble ..

I find myself constantly observing that there are many areas in which the faster 'cures' are put into place the faster the original 'problem' seems to escalate. Examples (mostly p***-poor, admittedly) I can think of include:

The faster good people and good causes create places for abandoned animals the faster the problem people seem to aquire animals and then abandon them.

Violent crime seems to escalate in direct accordance to attempts, by law, to stamp it out.

The more money they pour into education the faster the average educational standard seem to fall.

The faster well intentioned people try to increase our freedoms the faster our genuine freedoms seem to be slipping away.

The more 'labour saving' technology that emerges the harder we end up having to work.

The more they build bigger and better roads to allow traffic to move freely the more vehicles appear on the roads and the worse the congestion gets.

The more initiatives made to eradicate poverty the wider the wealth gap becomes.

Attempts to reduce teenage pregnancies by sex education, free contraception, housing and benefits etc, seem only to have resulted in an ever increasing number of teens seeing pregnancy as an entirely choice of 'career'.


My personal theory is that, pretty much across the board, 'problem causers' multiply in direct proportion to well intentioned attempts to accommodate the out fall of the various messes they create.

If I am correct then solutions which simply accomodate the fall out of problems are integral escalators of the problem and, despite the best of intentions, are thus part of the problem and nowt to do with the cure.

Any reduction of any problem, I therefore reason, will never come by solutions that accomodate the outfall of the problem but only by solutions that attack the cause of the problem at it's actual roots.

Getting :focus:

Being too damn dense in the head to see owt but the simplest of things; I can only see that the deepest root of the problem of animals suffering at human hands is the human delusion that animals exist to serve or convenience us in ANY way at all.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby Clueless Git » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:19 pm

ronnewmexico wrote: A PETA member usually holds that any personal involvement or useage of animals in other than their natural state is a ethical no no.

I would be interested in any buddhist teachings that do not accord with PETA's position on that, if anyone knows of any?
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:58 pm

Well CG I have researched the animal useage thing in one regard pretty thoroughly, as I was contemplating giving up useing honey if it harms more than helps.

Queen bees due to genetic structure deterioration with age start producing many more drones than worker bees eventually as they age. In the wild this may go on for several years with the queen not being replaced or dying before she produces many many more drones than would be produced by a younger queen. The drones are all eventually pushed out of the hive and left to die by the other bees. In commercial bee keeping the queen is replaced every two years, as the drone production erodes the viability of the hive. She may be immediately killed by the beekeeper or just throw our of the hive. So far fewer drones are produced by this action and thusly far fewer are killed by their fellow bees. One queen for many many drones. So in this manner it appears that interaction by humans does cause less killing by bees of bees. Thusly it reduces harm by bees of bees and would accord and reinforce Buddhist principal.

As to the rest CG....you are of course expressing typical anachist thought as I am sure you are aware.
That all seems to play out as generalizations but if we examine the specifics it really does not. Countries with essentially no governments and thusly no police forces to stop things like theft and murder are in fact not the safest of places but the least safe globally.Many examples suffice, but Somalia is probably most relevent in that regard. The life expectancy of the typical Somalian male....check it out. The expectancy of death due to violence in Somalia compared to other nations...check it out.

Teen pregency and abortions and things of that nature, the country with the best rates on such things is that with the best planned parenthood educational system in Europe on those things...Belgium. NOt the least. The US would probably qualify with the least educational resources devoted to planned parenthood and contraceptive protection of developed nations due to the tenure of the most recent president and has corrospondingly far less success in these areas.

I could go on and on but specifically there is little if one studies the anarchist philosophy to recommend it. I was one myself at a much much earlier age and have studied it to some degree.

Those generalizations generally....they are not fact. Keep in mind in the US at least all governmental actions are kept suspect and denigrated by media driven focus, as there are those who benefit economically greatly by less government and less taxes to support such things. These are peoples who generally can afford to live in gated communities and such where private security can attend to normal governmental issue and see no benefit to governmental social programs. So they attack government.
So there is specific agenda to reinforce this perception.

I do not agree that government should reign supreme in all areas a balance seems appropriate. The specific balance necessary depending upon the culture that balance is representing. Some peoples(by nation) probably should not even vote, they are to uneducated and berift with ethnic and racial hatred to do such objectively but some certainly should,and some perhaps should be complete democracies not republics as we find in the US and many western oriented countries the populace is that aware. We should not determine other countries balance based on our own. But no balance with one or the other in total predominance.....it is in a word...perposterous. The facts of such places where such does exist speak of a far greater harm to peoples.

As a aside but relevent....looking at that list agenda comes to mind. A brief example......the major city with the least effective mass transportation in the US....Los Angeles. Did you perhaps know that General Motors did indeed buy up at the time the privately held trolley system in LA and..... then summarily dismantle it? That is not opinion or conspiricy theory but fact....check it out. There exists specific agenda to make certain any governmental actions do not work to include mass transit. There is a concerted opposition to such governmental things due to economic interest, but no concerted support. The potential supporters are only acting when things get so bad they have to act and are left with(due to corporate media control) not knowing if they are coming or going. I could go on and on but that is a brief example on how things really work or why they don't work. It is not inherant to government on such things failing. Failure is built into the system by those that want it not to work. The SEC is another recent example but not so brief. A 150 MPG car...well suddenly they (GM) has one, to come out mid year the Volt. Why not one prior.....? Impossible prior, or so they told us.

Things can work they do not because concerted interests(economic) want them not to work. Anarchists to my view...victims of the propoganda machine held by those in economic control.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:32 pm

I'm so glad the puppy is recovering.

_/\_
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:37 am

Clueless Git wrote:
ronnewmexico wrote: A PETA member usually holds that any personal involvement or useage of animals in other than their natural state is a ethical no no.

I would be interested in any buddhist teachings that do not accord with PETA's position on that, if anyone knows of any?


Required reading for anyone involved with, or considering involvement with PETA: The Wiki article
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby BFS » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:37 pm

LauraJ wrote:I'm so glad the puppy is recovering.

_/\_



I second that! :D :heart:
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:58 pm

As the poster mentions and to quote the Wiki article. ."PETA recommends euthanasia for certain breeds of animals, such as pit bull terriers, and in certain situations for unwanted animals in shelters:"

So it seems as official position PETA supports euthanasia, which I would suppose by my take opposes the Buddhist precepts on not taking lives and such for those purposes.

Earth first a radical environmental group was founded to provide a extream from which a middle ground could be negotiated in environmentalism. Prior, only middle of the road environmental groups existed and thusly any mediated solutions to environmental problems were of the middle of the road to far right product. Hence they created Earth First(New Mexican resident, Dave Foreman and others),. to make mediated solutions real middle solutions.

Similiarily to my take is PETA serving the same function in animal rights venues. The HUmane society and others are all middle of the road.

So I do not agree with all their positions but see the need for the organizations existance. A far side must be provided as regards animal rights so mediated solutions of concenus are real middle solutions, not products of far right and middle of the road groups. So I personally support them, but their ideas...

No carriage riding no horse riding no bee keeping no animals for companionship.....I find no harm if those things are conducted in a ethical manner. personally. A trade off is made. but animals are not human and can benefit in many ways by our participation in their lives. I for instance have sung many a mantra to my dogpound animals and suspect they benefit from that in subtle ways.

Seems about right, they support euthanasia by my take. Euthanasia personally to me is a product of a absolutist thought stream, as is Peta. The idea things may be totally wrong or right in isolation by their nature. But that is a personal opinion. My personal Buddhist view disallows that, all is gray not black nor white to my view. NOt to state that view is the only Buddhist view or better than others

To be clear even euthanasia by my take is not strictly a nono. For old age or most disease certainly. If a dog were to have rabies with 0 percent chance of survival and be threatening others...certainly that animal must be eutrhanized. But those are rare circumstances. But again all is gray not black or white. Rarely euthanasia is a OK. Rarely eating meat is A OK. Rarely is eating Dairy A OK. Rarely killing other sentinent beings is A OK. All those things cause harm but the benefit to continuance of our human lives may rarely but certainly occasionally suprecede. So this particular form of Buddhism(mine) is not absolutist and thusly PETA's views are not mine. They are not Buddhist to my personal view, somewhat in effect but coming from a differing place.

Their absolute wrong...... human intervention and any useage of animals for any purpose being a absolutely wrong thing always.

My Buddhism simply has no objectified absolute wrongs. Even ignorance is not by my take, a absolute wrong thing in its nature, being simply a misconstruing of things by aspects of our consciousness.
Simply a product of certain circumstances and awarenesses interaction.

JUst my view others certainly hold equally viable Buddhist views that oppose that.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ChangYuan » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:51 pm

BFS wrote:
LauraJ wrote:I'm so glad the puppy is recovering.

_/\_



I second that! :D :heart:


Thanks, both of you. She is back to acting like a happy go lucky puppy, with only a few upper GI problems still going on, so it looks like all will be well.

Now, on the topic of people having animals as pets, there is a large chunk that people seem to be missing. Most breeds of dogs and cats cannot function in the wild anymore. The domestication has been completely bred into them, and they would just suffer and die if left out on their own in the wild.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby catmoon » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:49 pm

Well it's my turn. Kitty is very ill at the vet's and under treatment. We will know if she will recover or not within the next 24 hrs. If not, well... I'm gonna have to call the shot one way or the other. I might end up with a half paralyzed cat to care for. This could get difficult.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:16 pm

Well here's my personal advice for what its worth...

don't pull the trigger. You will not provide perfect care, but who could. The best you can do is it. But that is far short of death to my opinion.

I had a dog that killed a very infant rabbit.It severed its spine it seemed from its legs with its teeth. The legs kept kicking till eventually they stopped. I scolded it but the damage was done. The dog one night escaped from our care and was hit by a car. Severing its spinal cord it seemed. It died very shortly thereafter,nothing could be done. But I did not kill it to put it out of its misery....Easier for me to pull the trigger as I cared for that dog very much it was my wilderness companion for many a trek. But would it have been better for that dog not to suffer the natural course of things? Of course if its suffering could have been spared I would have done so, but that was not possible as it was not possible for me to prevent it from killing that baby rabbit. That was the circumstance of its dying.

Sure help if we can certainly...but help by killing...seems unlikely.

Rarely we see directly karmic effect but the principal remains though it is not obvious usually.
Most Buddists hold to a continum of consciousness which results in rebirth. The supposition of euthanasia is that we end suffering of a animal by killing it. Certainly we should end suffering if we can but to suppose that we end a animals suffering by killing it.....opposes the continum of consciousness view. We end the present appearence of suffering by the killing. The suffering....still to be borne.
This is simply not the same circumstance as taking a pet to a vet to get pain medication or help for a injury....those acts do actually end suffering. Killing we can not suppose it does end the animals suffering. The appearence of such removal is all we can know.

If however one is not a Buddhist who holds to such(some do not) views certainly euthanasia makes the best only choice.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:32 pm

catmoon wrote:Well it's my turn. Kitty is very ill at the vet's and under treatment. We will know if she will recover or not within the next 24 hrs. If not, well... I'm gonna have to call the shot one way or the other. I might end up with a half paralyzed cat to care for. This could get difficult.


Catmoon, I'm sorry. _/\_

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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ChangYuan » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:41 pm

ronnewmexico wrote: The dog one night escaped from our care and was hit by a car. Severing its spinal cord it seemed. It died very shortly thereafter,nothing could be done. But I did not kill it to put it out of its misery....Easier for me to pull the trigger as I cared for that dog very much it was my wilderness companion for many a trek. But would it have been better for that dog not to suffer the natural course of things? Of course if its suffering could have been spared I would have done so, but that was not possible as it was not possible for me to prevent it from killing that baby rabbit. That was the circumstance of its dying.


Those 2 highlighted comments contradict each other. But, have you ever thought about the fact that it may have been the dogs karma to be in your care so that you COULD relieve its suffering? The difference between the rabbits and dogs death are huge. In 1, the dog was acting out of instinct, in line with its nature. In the dogs death, it was most likely someone not bothering to pay attention which brought it about. I think what bothers me most, is that you think the dog acting in a way a dog should, brought about bad karma leading to it being killed by someones negligence.


*edit* Duh. Sorry to hear about your cat Catmoon. I recited the Green Tara Mantra often while our puppy was sick, and strongly believe it helped.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:53 pm

Unfortunately I have edited my recent post but will repeat the content of that edit.

We suppose we can relieve the animals suffering by killing it. If you are a Buddhist that holds to the continum of consciousness view(some Buddhists do not) the suffering will be borne nevertheless.

The removal of suffering when we can takeing a animal to the vet to get pain meds or heal a injury is actually removing suffering. Suffering removal by death....all we remove is the present appearence of suffering. Nothing says we remove the suffering. WE kill... we do not in any manner shape nor form remove suffering with our action. This is a differing circumstance than assisting removal of suffering.

If however one is a Buddhist who does not hold continum of consciousness views euthanasia makes perfect sense and is the logial choice.

As a aside...karmic effect has no relationship to instinct or such things. Animals are not exempt from effect by nature of a nebulous "instinct". Not effected in a similiar manner as if they made a conscious decision to kill....certainly. But their present ignorant state is due to ignorance and thusly they suffer from effect and are not exempt due to their ignorance.

To add also....I don't care what bothers you or does not. I don't give ....a rats ass.
That's my opinion. Refute the issue or not, or don't read it or do.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:10 pm

Ron I do understand where you're coming from.

I'll share a personal story. I lost my dog months ago. When she first got really sick of course I was distressed so much because I just love her so much. Because I have particular beliefs since converting to Buddhism, I was really concerned that I would be faced with a decision like this. Both of those issues had me so horribly upset.

She wound up dying very shortly after, in her sleep, in a car-ride home from visiting family. She wasn't in pain and we had no idea she was back there breathing her last breaths. She died just like she lived, hanging out with us and being with her family, being loved. She was just done with this body.

I'm so glad that it was SO swift and natural, and on my end there was only grief. I've been hesitating to contribute to this thread only because it still brings me to tears a little; she was my best friend for so many years. I don't like to talk about it.

But basically I feel tremendous sympathy and empathy for those who are faced with such a decision. I was so fortunate to be let off the hook like that. I'm so sorry not just that anyone has to deal with death and dying and loss, but also to be in a position of having to make a terrible choice about whether to intervene with a being's life or death.

That's all I really have to offer, my heart goes out to you. And I know that no one makes this decision lightly.

I know for me I couldn't really have put her down when it came down to it; I would have paid whatever amount of money and come up with the money any way I had to in order to keep her pain-free as she finished out her life. But that's where I am, that's what I would have had to do. I don't assume that others are in the same mental space. And at other times in my life I felt differently.

May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering _/\_
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby catmoon » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:21 pm

Hi guys. How about an emergency crash course in how to use my rudimentary knowledge of Green Tara practice while kitty is sick? I know the mantra, but that's about it. Thanks for your kindnesses. I'm completely going through the wringer here, and poor Missy, well... it's a painful lonely situation for her.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:48 pm

LJ

Thank you for your careful considerate response.
As a Buddhist however who believes in the concept of continum of consciousness the choice is quite clear to me always...I must not euthanize with the very rare exception of some contagious diseases.

Personally I have no problem what so ever with killing a suffering animal. It relieves my suffering since what I see is quite often what I think. But to my view it would not end the suffering of that animal not a whit. It would present again if it did not come to complete fruition. So I cannot. I care not a whit about ending my suffering. What happens to the being is more important.

Receiting any mantra is helpful. To completely engage in the Green Tara practice one must receive a ceremony and empowerment. Internet short cuts I would advocate against. Just recieting the mantra would however be quite helpful even without the visualizations and additions.

To my opinion however a medicine Buddha ceremony and empowerment would be more useful in this particular if the animal is expected to live a bit. It could be performed for the animal and have direct perhaps effect of a remedial sort. Medicine Buddha (filled and blessed) statues may also be found in some places. That may be useful as well as a object of meditation even if not receiving the empowerment.

To my opinion.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby BFS » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:17 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:
The removal of suffering when we can takeing a animal to the vet to get pain meds or heal a injury is actually removing suffering. Suffering removal by death....all we remove is the present appearence of suffering. Nothing says we remove the suffering. WE kill... we do not in any manner shape nor form remove suffering with our action. This is a differing circumstance than assisting removal of suffering.



Yes, that is the way I see it too.

You often hear good hearted people say that they will willingly take on the karma of killing to relieve the animals suffering. Imo, that is not the point, it is not about me me me - if I don't have the wisdom mind, the omniscience, and can't see what will happen after the animal body is dead, and can't be sure that the act of killing has removed the suffering and not just become the cause of even worse suffering, I would say to myself: mind your own business. Stick to getting the animal pain meds and stick to making that animal comfortable. I would rather the suffering ripen and wear out in a loving environment where the pain can be controlled.

That's the way I see it.

Everyone else must naturally do as they please.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:56 pm

Of course if one is not Buddhist, or their Buddhist practice does not include notions such as continum of consciousness, dependent origination, karmic effect, and such things, euthanasia is the only choice is such circumstances. Leonard Cohen for example (a Canadian singer) is a ordained Buddhist functionary within his Buddhist faith, yet maintains his faith and beliefs in Judism, so such may be the issue.

That aside, if I put it on a personal level..... if I say was dying of a incurable disease and had a mother or father figure(as we perhaps would present to a dog or cat we own) put me to death and I had a notion of belief that this occured, would I perhaps not remember the pain and suffering of the body but instead remember or retain what may be perceived as a betrayal of sorts. Life to ignorant beings such as animals to my experience being the ultimate good, end of life being the ultimate bad. Would a ingnorant being understand the nuances and moral dilemma of a mercy killing, or would such a ignorant being understand only that a loved one took its life? I would suppose knowing ignorance first hand in a personal sense that the latter would be the case., Would I if I were that animal then not retain such memory in my mind stream of retention?

If we could suppose(wrongly by my take) that we end a beings suffering by ending its life, I could also suppose such a circumstance.

If we do believe or know of continum of consciousness, dependent origination and such things, as it being a part of our Buddhist practice,(not to infer here that is a superior view), I know no reason under the sun we could suppose we are ending anything other than a present instance of life in this particular realm by killing a being.

If one does kill me, they will not be killing me, nor ending or begining anything other than this moment of life in this particular realm. They will be initiating a action which will have a result, and nothing presupposes such action will have any effect upon the removal of my suffering or the addition of pleasure or happiness to what I consider to be me. If I have suffeing as a result of a playing out of karma, I am in a life circumstance that no known remedy is available to extract me from my suffering state by self actions nor actions of others.... it cannot be that ending a life will end suffering. Nothing that I know of presupposes the ending of a life in a life realm in any manner shape nor form will end anything other than that specific effect....the ending of a life in a particular realm. The basis of the karmic effect is the basis upon which we reincarnate and thusly suffer and joy again and again. So such will simply not happen. Euthanasia is thusly a effort that will not effect its intended aim, and possibly its real effect may be mostly negative for ourselves and the being it is perfomed upon.

Such circumstances are not accidental. We suffer by being owners of the animal as well as the animal. That we are in such circumstances is also not accidental but a result of karmic effect. We must bear it, not shun it nor remove its apparent appearence. To do such assures that it will present in this exact form again and again.
To my personal view this is part of this human life. To advance ourselves we must eventually admit to ourselves this is not a absolute realm of absolute solutions of entire right or wrong or good or bad consequence. This human realm is one of grayness not black nor white. NOt absolutism(the theist view) nor negativism(the nihilist view). As product of cause and effect since there are seemingly no absolutely good or right causes there can be no absolutely good or right effects. All products are a composite and thusly a agalomoration of of what they are composed. We tend one way or another. We however take outselves to be perhaps in another realm, maybe a god realm where we can seemingly do things like ultimately end suffering and provide joy. We cannot, but do what we may. When circumstance presents that we may end suffering of course we do. When circumstance presents that we or others may not end suffering we do not.

When circumstance presents when we may not end suffering nothing is furthured to pretend we may do so. We have not that capacity though we may want to think we do. A dying animal..... we do not end its suffering by killing it. The appearence of the animals suffering is removed nothing more than that.
To us the suffering is ended.

We pretend we are gods...we are not. NO gods exist. NOt in the forms nor with the powers we attribute to them. Death nor life ends suffering, understanding ends suffering. If I could provide such to a dying being, I and certainly most, would. We cannot. WE can provide comfort that's about it. When possible we end suffering..... when not not. Such are the perameters of our human realm.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ChangYuan » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:14 am

I seem to be rather confused by what you are saying. It seems as though you are saying that we should allow physical suffering in a terminal case to continue because we wouldn't be ending any of their karmic suffering. You wouldn't find euthanasia to be an act of compassion at this point?
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Re: Euthanasia and the 1st Precept

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:31 am

Yeah...you're confused.

My point is we can't end their suffering by killing them. And yes to the second....it is thusly not a compassionate act to euthanize

Seems pretty simple...capiche?

Hey if your Buddhist principles do not include such things as continum of consciousness, karmic effect dependant origination, and lack of inherantly existant things and beings.....I say go for it.

Kill away...enjoy!!!
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