The Great Abortion Debate

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.
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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by YesheD. »

Brunelleschi wrote: Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:44 pm
tkp67 wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:37 pm
Jingtoo2 wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:06 pm Which begs the question.
Can a view which is typical of thinking at a specific time and place ever be the eternal Dharma of The Buddhas?
I don't believe specific dharma teachings are meant to me treated as the wonderful law itself. Rather specific teachings appear in accordance to the people, the time, their capacity, their causes and their conditions.

Much like how languages changes as humanity continues. Regardless of continuous changes the underlying purpose and those it serves is the same.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
That is a good point - and sometimes cruicial. However, I'm worried it creates all kinds of problems if individuals start rejecting Sutras left and right because they don't agree with some of its content. Suddenly it becomes "tkp67:ism" and "Brunelleschi:ism", not Buddhism. What's your view on this?

Talking more about the principle - not this specific teaching.
Our original mind precedes Sutras. Sutras can be a means of pointing to our original minds. They are not rule books.
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Re: The Great Abortion Debate

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

The core purpose of the Buddhist teachings is to bring the practitioner to the personal realization of the cessation of suffering and is causes.
Springing from that, there is the purpose of attaining realization not only for one’s own benefit, but for the benefit of others as well.
Springing from that is the practice of not bringing harm to others.
From that, the wish to benefit others
...and so on.

At any point along this “unfolding lotus” one can establish a standard on which to base one’s interpretations of the teachings. But the closer one gets to the core, the closer one gets to the so-called, “true purpose” of the Buddhist teachings, which is liberation from the cycle of samsaric rebirth. Buddhism doesn’t suggest people have abortions to accomplish this.

At the same time, Buddhism doesn’t say abortion should be outlawed. If one thinks abortion is killing, that’s their business. Buddhism doesn’t teach that killing should be outlawed either. Buddha never said that butchering animals for meat should be outlawed either.
But, if you are a monk or a nun or have taken vows against killing, then there is a lot of karmic baggage you take on if you break that vow, and that karmic baggage will impede your attainment of realization. Again, it all goes back to the core purpose.
If you are a monk and someone offers you meat, you eat it.
Likewise, there will be conditions that arise where having an abortion is, even regrettably, the wisest option, even if it carries some kind of karmic baggage or whatever (which only a Buddha can know). So, Buddhism can’t say “a person must never have an abortion” because you don’t know what circumstances will arise in the future.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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