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Old 06-28-2019, 04:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
But I am sure that Buddhism had never found excuses for the taking of life as distinct from people who found they had to fight or be eliminated who found ways around the problem.
Sorry, Trans, I'm not quite sure what you mean by this sentence. If you're saying that Buddhism didn't develop its position on taking life independent of the society's need for militancy, then I think that'd be a given. In fact, I would go as far as to say that no philosophy or religious teaching arose in a vacuum and all have and continue to be influenced by the environment in which they take root. Or did you mean something else? Am I being a bit dense here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
And whatever deal Buddhism made with Asoka [...] this didn't get exported, as Kingship was essentially Hindu and was at times a cause of conflict [...] and in China was regarded with Royal disapproveal, until of course, the Royals were converted and then Buddhism would go along with whatever was needed to keep the support of Royalty [...]
It wasn't any particular deal that got exported. It was a way in which the Sangha learned to sacrifice their independence in favour of whatever seat of authority to which they found themselves subject. This was particularly of value during the fall of the Han dynasty and China's subsequent fracture into the feudal Three Kingdoms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
I'm not sure that Bushido was an Imperial thing
Strictly speaking, it wasn't.

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Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
but more a role of the nobles (Samurai class)
Bushido was the way of the Samurai (though that's a very narrow way of describing its larger philosophy). But the Samurai were a different cast to the ruling nobility or the daimyō; though it's important to note that, unlike some other casts, the two were by no means mutually exclusive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
and wasn't the emperor essentially a Shinto entity
Yes. Though it wasn't an issue for Buddhism as previously mentioned.

On a separate note, and to summarise this slight detour from the subject, whatever part Buddhism played in justifying militarism throughout its history it did so out of necessity. Similar survival adaptations can be seen in the evolution of other major religions, regardless of the role that belief in god plays in them. Saying that the foundation of something may be peaceful does not mean that - taken in the context of other teachings, narratives, and accounts - it could not be interpreted/revised in a new light. Even with schools of thought that tend to adhere to basics (like forgiveness and/or compassion), there arise such circumstances that may necessitate departure from its tenets, which, in turn, leads to the rationalisation of said departure in accordance with the already existing principles and beliefs. Finally, since peaceful is not equivalent to harmless, perhaps OP's message could too benefit from some revision.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:54 AM
 
410 posts, read 79,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzpapalotl View Post
...Samurai were a different cast...
It just struck me that I misspelled 'caste'... Talk about dense...
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:56 AM
 
39,014 posts, read 10,812,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzpapalotl View Post
Sorry, Trans, I'm not quite sure what you mean by this sentence. If you're saying that Buddhism didn't develop its position on taking life independent of the society's need for militancy, then I think that'd be a given. In fact, I would go as far as to say that no philosophy or religious teaching arose in a vacuum and all have and continue to be influenced by the environment in which they take root. Or did you mean something else? Am I being a bit dense here?


It wasn't any particular deal that got exported. It was a way in which the Sangha learned to sacrifice their independence in favour of whatever seat of authority to which they found themselves subject. This was particularly of value during the fall of the Han dynasty and China's subsequent fracture into the feudal Three Kingdoms.


Strictly speaking, it wasn't.


Bushido was the way of the Samurai (though that's a very narrow way of describing its larger philosophy). But the Samurai were a different cast to the ruling nobility or the daimyō; though it's important to note that, unlike some other casts, the two were by no means mutually exclusive.


Yes. Though it wasn't an issue for Buddhism as previously mentioned.

On a separate note, and to summarise this slight detour from the subject, whatever part Buddhism played in justifying militarism throughout its history it did so out of necessity. Similar survival adaptations can be seen in the evolution of other major religions, regardless of the role that belief in god plays in them. Saying that the foundation of something may be peaceful does not mean that - taken in the context of other teachings, narratives, and accounts - it could not be interpreted/revised in a new light. Even with schools of thought that tend to adhere to basics (like forgiveness and/or compassion), there arise such circumstances that may necessitate departure from its tenets, which, in turn, leads to the rationalisation of said departure in accordance with the already existing principles and beliefs. Finally, since peaceful is not equivalent to harmless, perhaps OP's message could too benefit from some revision.
What this all comes down to is that we agree that what deals religious people make with conditions and temporal authority and how ideals have to be adapted to actually work in human society applies to pretty much all religions but does not mean that this is the ideals or characteristics of Buddhism or what it teaches, any more than any other religion.

Take for instance Christianity and how Some can use it as a money making industry, if not an outright scam. But we don't say 'Look at what Christianity teaches!'; we say: "This is totally contrary to what Christianity teaches!".
And we are staggered, when Believers protest about the good these people are doing...giving hope and Faith and spreading the gospel, and didn't Paul say that this justified ripping off the flock?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzpapalotl View Post
It just struck me that I misspelled 'caste'... Talk about dense...
Worry not We all do it, and we are used to Interpreting the word from the context.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:09 PM
 
410 posts, read 79,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
What this all comes down to is that we agree that what deals religious people make with conditions and temporal authority and how ideals have to be adapted to actually work in human society applies to pretty much all religions but does not mean that this is the ideals or characteristics of Buddhism or what it teaches, any more than any other religion.
Again, I’m afraid it is.

One of the Upāyakauśalya-sūtra stories describes an incident that occurred on a ship transporting 500 merchants. The Captain of the ship, Buddha in his previous life as a bodhisattva, through some fantastical means, came to know the identity of someone on the ship who planned to murder every single person there. So, the Captain had a moral dilemma… Should he not interfere, in which case the bandit would incur bad karma for killing each and every person? Should he tell the others who would, no doubt, kill the bandit out of anger and incur bad karma themselves? Or should he kill the bandit himself? The Captain decides that the third option would be the right thing to do – not because he'd be saving all these people but out of compassion for the bandit’s soul and preventing him from accumulating all that bad karma.

The point is that these ideals you speak of, seen in isolation, might not support violence or killing, some even admonish it, but they, not unlike the Ten Commandments, are fixed within a larger context of canonical literature that aims to provide contextual interpretation of these moral imperatives in view of life’s complexities. It is in the Buddhist canon that the undertaking to refrain from the killing of living creatures finds an exception to the rule. (Even Tibetan monks have been known to make use of alternative interpretations of compassion, though Dalai Lama cautions against it - Compassionate Killing).

I understand the temptation to reduce everything to its purest elements, this desire is not unique to Buddhism, but its akin to Jefferson taking a razor to the Bible. Sure, you can cut out the bits you don’t like but you can’t pretend they never existed and you can’t avoid these issues creeping up again because, whether one likes it or not, the ‘purest elements’ are not as pure and universal as one might hope and are just vague enough to attract exceptions.

The author of the book that I referenced here is desperate to have this aspect of Buddhism addressed and if not excised then at least have the loophole fixed. Whilst, I have questions about some of his rationalisations, I have great admiration for his willingness to confront the problem head on, to acknowledge the ambiguity and fallibility of some of the teachings and the horrors that sprung out as their direct or indirect result, and accept the need for change. One might say, in this, I recognise a true Buddhist in him.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:14 PM
 
13,450 posts, read 4,976,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzpapalotl View Post
Again, Iím afraid it is.

One of the Upāyakauśalya-sūtra stories describes an incident that occurred on a ship transporting 500 merchants. The Captain of the ship, Buddha in his previous life as a bodhisattva, through some fantastical means, came to know the identity of someone on the ship who planned to murder every single person there. So, the Captain had a moral dilemmaÖ Should he not interfere, in which case the bandit would incur bad karma for killing each and every person? Should he tell the others who would, no doubt, kill the bandit out of anger and incur bad karma themselves? Or should he kill the bandit himself? The Captain decides that the third option would be the right thing to do Ė not because he'd be saving all these people but out of compassion for the banditís soul and preventing him from accumulating all that bad karma.

The point is that these ideals you speak of, seen in isolation, might not support violence or killing, some even admonish it, but they, not unlike the Ten Commandments, are fixed within a larger context of canonical literature that aims to provide contextual interpretation of these moral imperatives in view of lifeís complexities. It is in the Buddhist canon that the undertaking to refrain from the killing of living creatures finds an exception to the rule. (Even Tibetan monks have been known to make use of alternative interpretations of compassion, though Dalai Lama cautions against it - Compassionate Killing).

I understand the temptation to reduce everything to its purest elements, this desire is not unique to Buddhism, but its akin to Jefferson taking a razor to the Bible. Sure, you can cut out the bits you donít like but you canít pretend they never existed and you canít avoid these issues creeping up again because, whether one likes it or not, the Ďpurest elementsí are not as pure and universal as one might hope and are just vague enough to attract exceptions.

The author of the book that I referenced here is desperate to have this aspect of Buddhism addressed and if not excised then at least have the loophole fixed. Whilst, I have questions about some of his rationalisations, I have great admiration for his willingness to confront the problem head on, to acknowledge the ambiguity and fallibility of some of the teachings and the horrors that sprung out as their direct or indirect result, and accept the need for change. One might say, in this, I recognise a true Buddhist in him.
Groups and periods
Groups and periods.

rational thinking always leads us back to them.
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Old 07-06-2019, 04:22 AM
 
39,014 posts, read 10,812,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzpapalotl View Post
Again, I’m afraid it is.

One of the Upāyakauśalya-sūtra stories describes an incident that occurred on a ship transporting 500 merchants. The Captain of the ship, Buddha in his previous life as a bodhisattva, through some fantastical means, came to know the identity of someone on the ship who planned to murder every single person there. So, the Captain had a moral dilemma… Should he not interfere, in which case the bandit would incur bad karma for killing each and every person? Should he tell the others who would, no doubt, kill the bandit out of anger and incur bad karma themselves? Or should he kill the bandit himself? The Captain decides that the third option would be the right thing to do – not because he'd be saving all these people but out of compassion for the bandit’s soul and preventing him from accumulating all that bad karma.

The point is that these ideals you speak of, seen in isolation, might not support violence or killing, some even admonish it, but they, not unlike the Ten Commandments, are fixed within a larger context of canonical literature that aims to provide contextual interpretation of these moral imperatives in view of life’s complexities. It is in the Buddhist canon that the undertaking to refrain from the killing of living creatures finds an exception to the rule. (Even Tibetan monks have been known to make use of alternative interpretations of compassion, though Dalai Lama cautions against it - Compassionate Killing).

I understand the temptation to reduce everything to its purest elements, this desire is not unique to Buddhism, but its akin to Jefferson taking a razor to the Bible. Sure, you can cut out the bits you don’t like but you can’t pretend they never existed and you can’t avoid these issues creeping up again because, whether one likes it or not, the ‘purest elements’ are not as pure and universal as one might hope and are just vague enough to attract exceptions.

The author of the book that I referenced here is desperate to have this aspect of Buddhism addressed and if not excised then at least have the loophole fixed. Whilst, I have questions about some of his rationalisations, I have great admiration for his willingness to confront the problem head on, to acknowledge the ambiguity and fallibility of some of the teachings and the horrors that sprung out as their direct or indirect result, and accept the need for change. One might say, in this, I recognise a true Buddhist in him.
I was going to go into the idea of commentary -stories as distinct from the original doctrine, but I think it makes more sense to point out that the story you mentioned is not saying that Buddhism teaches that it's ok to kill, but that the initial doctrine was not to kill at all and that creates a moral dilemma - not for monks. Not for doctrine - if untimely death is working out of karma, the last thing you want to do is blot your own karma by interfering. The problem is the one that comes from morals being humanist, not religious. So when religious ethics causes a problem, you have to come up with an excuse, like killing a person to save others is justified. This is reasonable discussion on ethics, but it is Not Buddhist doctrine.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:51 AM
 
410 posts, read 79,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
I was going to go into the idea of commentary -stories as distinct from the original doctrine, but I think it makes more sense to point out that the story you mentioned is not saying that Buddhism teaches that it's ok to kill, but that the initial doctrine was not to kill at all and that creates a moral dilemma - not for monks. Not for doctrine - if untimely death is working out of karma, the last thing you want to do is blot your own karma by interfering. The problem is the one that comes from morals being humanist, not religious. So when religious ethics causes a problem, you have to come up with an excuse, like killing a person to save others is justified. This is reasonable discussion on ethics, but it is Not Buddhist doctrine.
Well, Trans, I've never said that Buddhism teaches that it's ok to kill. What I said, is that Buddhism is vague enough to justify killing in certain circumstances. Again, this is not unlike Christian Commandment of 'Though shalt not murder', which whilst forbidding of unlawful killing leaves room for exceptions.

I don't know why it's so hard for you to accept this aspect of Buddhism. You do know that being pragmatic about it doesn't diminish the spiritual value of Buddhism? You might not like this element of Buddhism, you might even pretend that none of the killing justifiably done because of this loophole could ever be attributable to Buddhism but it won't change history. It won't change some of the current Mahāyāna Buddhist teachings that explicitly permit certain types of killing and state worship. It won't change the fact that even within Theravāda Buddhist school that is more in line with your thinking there exist historical precedents where the same sutras were used to justify the taking of life. It most certainly won't change the fact that representatives of some of the Buddhist sect went to publicly admit and apologize for their sects' roles in exploiting this loophole. Basically, it won't change the fact that Buddhism is not as peaceful as OP tried to portray.

I'll leave you with the words of the 14th Dalai Lama:

Quote:
If someone has resolved to commit a certain crime that would create negative karma, and if there exists no other choice for hindering this person from the crime and thus the highly negative karma that would result for all his future lives, then a pure motivation of compassion would theoretically justify the killing of this person.
Note that this loophole is not about saving lives but saving a soul of a killer.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:10 AM
 
Location: california
5,656 posts, read 4,875,766 times
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If you don't believe in the airplane ,boat, car, hover craft , space shuttle , you won't get in .
Believing entails many levels .
Some people say they believe in God but they are not honestly committed to Him rather the concept of the existence of a God, their behavior is basically unchanged living the way they want. AA is famous for this.
Jesus being the epitome of God being God demonstrated to those committed to Him both one's responsibilities and accountability and His provision of the Holy spirit to teach in His place and miraculous intervention .
I thoroughly believe in God knowing His instruction and guidance and intervention through out my life .
Some folk prefer the instruction of men because it is debatable ,
but when one is taught of God there is no debate.
Men prefer darkness rather than light justifying their rebellious tendencies.
Jesus said , " Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. " Matthew 4;
Honest Desperation to Be consumed of God , there is nothing greater.
God is so merciful to me and patient and just , the word trust is not enough.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
22,437 posts, read 10,385,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzpapalotl View Post
Well, Trans, I've never said that Buddhism teaches that it's ok to kill. What I said, is that Buddhism is vague enough to justify killing in certain circumstances. Again, this is not unlike Christian Commandment of 'Though shalt not murder', which whilst forbidding of unlawful killing leaves room for exceptions.

I don't know why it's so hard for you to accept this aspect of Buddhism. You do know that being pragmatic about it doesn't diminish the spiritual value of Buddhism? You might not like this element of Buddhism, you might even pretend that none of the killing justifiably done because of this loophole could ever be attributable to Buddhism but it won't change history. It won't change some of the current Mahāyāna Buddhist teachings that explicitly permit certain types of killing and state worship. It won't change the fact that even within Theravāda Buddhist school that is more in line with your thinking there exist historical precedents where the same sutras were used to justify the taking of life. It most certainly won't change the fact that representatives of some of the Buddhist sect went to publicly admit and apologize for their sects' roles in exploiting this loophole. Basically, it won't change the fact that Buddhism is not as peaceful as OP tried to portray.

I'll leave you with the words of the 14th Dalai Lama:



Note that this loophole is not about saving lives but saving a soul of a killer.
I think you need to keep in mind that the intent of Buddhism is to reduce or eliminate suffering. It is not comparable to Ten Commandments. No one -- other than monks -- is commanded to do or not do anything in Buddhism. Advice is given to reduce suffering.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
I think you need to keep in mind that the intent of Buddhism is to reduce or eliminate suffering. It is not comparable to Ten Commandments. No one -- other than monks -- is commanded to do or not do anything in Buddhism. Advice is given to reduce suffering.
Absolutely. That's not even a question. The author that I mentioned puts this above anything else and is keen for the loophole permitting stepping away from these ideals to be closed. However, in his experience there has been a reluctance, even by those who go out of their way to shine light on it, to actually do anything about it, like issue a declaration against 'just' killing.

P.S. It's comparable to the Ten Commandments in a sense of there being structured moral precepts at a core of a belief.

Last edited by Itzpapalotl; 07-06-2019 at 11:12 AM..
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