on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:57 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
alan... wrote:instead of forcing belief, this would be a page or forum section that presents firm practice and results that do not require belief in anything that is not testable and quantifiable here and now. something like: buddhism can be practiced without belief in anything whatsoever, here's how and why...

Yeah, I've already done that...

Buddhism for the Modern Skeptic
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... rn_Skeptic

... and deliberately kept it offsite. 8-)


:thumbsup: And/or Retro's post above sounds like a good guideline to go by for new members and moderators.

For more info on what happened at e-sangha, see this thread at our sister site:
Why was E-Sangha controversial?


i agree! that's exactly what i would like to see on the forum itself (in addition to a perfect balance counterpart that would be the exact opposite) but i understand where you guys are coming from in keeping it off site.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alan...,

alan... wrote:instead of forcing belief, this would be a page or forum section that presents firm practice and results that do not require belief in anything that is not testable and quantifiable here and now. something like: buddhism can be practiced without belief in anything whatsoever, here's how and why...

Yeah, I've already done that...

Buddhism for the Modern Skeptic
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... rn_Skeptic

... and deliberately kept it offsite. 8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)


beautiful!
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Bakmoon » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:01 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alan...,

This Dhamma Wheel site was founded upon a principle that its membership would be autonomous adults, and that they should be treated as such. This means respecting their rights to hold certain views, to manage their own spiritual lives, to manage their own learning, and to act in their own best interests.

This is in contrast to a site that preceded Dhamma Wheel called E-Sangha - you may have heard of it? At E-Sangha, the management enforced and mandated adherence to particular views, and sought to "protect" newcomers to Buddhism from what it often arbitrarily decided to be Wrong View or "adhamma" merely by virtue of it not conforming to their view of orthodoxy. This resulted in all manner of dedicated Buddhist practitioners, and just good decent people in general, being alienated, bullied, and often banned by the site administrators for little reason other than that their views were in conflict with what the management had deemed orthodox and acceptable.

We don't have any of that Dhamma policing here. The way we go about it is to have different sub-forums for different purposes - much like how in a house you have both a kitchen and a toilet and while each are used for their correct and intended purposes, things will more or less go well. Moderators moderate according to the Terms Of Service and the parameters for each forum. By that means, people can indeed pick and choose what "rooms they enter" based on what is of interest to them personally. When they enter a room, they know what it is about, and what is appropriate in the context of that room - the power to decide what suits their requirements lies with them. If they're a beginner they can go to the Discovering Theravada forum that was mentioned earlier and know that they will be shielded from heterodox views if that is what they feel they need. If they want to know only what the ancient Theravada commentators said the Dhamma, there are special places for that too.

When moderators and administrators challenge the views and perspectives of others in discussion at this forum they do so as fellow forum members only, and not in the capacity of forum staff. Once we step over that line and start to regard ourselves as "teachers", "experts" or "defenders of the Dhamma", problems invariably arise for the very reason that such positioning oversteps the line of respect for the autonomy of fellow members to do, say and believe what they think appropriate, within the bounds of the Terms of Service. We don't need to defend the Dhamma, because we respect the intelligence of members enough that they can sort out for themselves what is right and what is wrong - seriously, who are we to tell them? What makes us so special that we should take it upon ourselves to mandate certain views? This underlying principle of respect for our fellow membership is important as it underpins what makes the culture at this forum probably the most successful I have seen on any Buddhist forum on the Internet. If members aren't treated with respect by those who run the place - they'll sense it and will respond in kind. The respect and the egalitarian spiritual friendship that can naturally arise in the absence of forced respect and hierarchies is invaluable.

That might all sound rather hi-falutin, abstract and disconnected from what you're saying, but once we start taking it upon ourselves to formally define at this site what is and is not Dhamma, or what is and is not Right View, it opens up a veritable Pandora's Box of trouble... one that I strive to avoid at all cost. Speaking for myself, whilst I don't formally moderate or administer this site or Dharma Wheel (i.e. this site's Mahayana equivalent), I do take it upon myself to ensure that the forums continue to be managed in such a way that the founding principles that have made them successful are not compromised. I have seen enough to know that whilst your suggestions are well meaning, it is better to publish Dhamma information on sites dedicated to such a purpose (e.g. Access To Insight, Just Be Good, Buddhanet) and to keep forums focused on their primary function of allowing people to openly and respectfully discuss the Dhamma, without coersion and without the arbitrary censorship of views that are relevant in the forum in which they are spoken.

One site needn't be all things to all people - it just needs to know what its about, where it fits in the broader context, and fulfil its role in the best way it possibly can... and very often that involves giving people the freedom to debunk something traditionally established in the name of the Dhamma, because, who knows... the person challenging orthodoxy might actually be right. People should not grant an intellectual monopoly to anyone, let alone to a forum of netizens they have never met - if they do then more fool them.

Metta,
Retro. :)


:goodpost:
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby danieLion » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:15 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alan...,

This Dhamma Wheel site was founded upon a principle that its membership would be autonomous adults, and that they should be treated as such. This means respecting their rights to hold certain views, to manage their own spiritual lives, to manage their own learning, and to act in their own best interests.

This is in contrast to a site that preceded Dhamma Wheel called E-Sangha - you may have heard of it? At E-Sangha, the management enforced and mandated adherence to particular views, and sought to "protect" newcomers to Buddhism from what it often arbitrarily decided to be Wrong View or "adhamma" merely by virtue of it not conforming to their view of orthodoxy. This resulted in all manner of dedicated Buddhist practitioners, and just good decent people in general, being alienated, bullied, and often banned by the site administrators for little reason other than that their views were in conflict with what the management had deemed orthodox and acceptable.

We don't have any of that Dhamma policing here.

I joined Dhammawheel after E-Sangha so wasn't aware of this but find it quite enlightening and very comforting.

Thanks Retro
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Dmytro » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:55 am

This is in contrast to a site that preceded Dhamma Wheel called E-Sangha - you may have heard of it? At E-Sangha, the management enforced and mandated adherence to particular views, and sought to "protect" newcomers to Buddhism from what it often arbitrarily decided to be Wrong View or "adhamma" merely by virtue of it not conforming to their view of orthodoxy. This resulted in all manner of dedicated Buddhist practitioners, and just good decent people in general, being alienated, bullied, and often banned by the site administrators for little reason other than that their views were in conflict with what the management had deemed orthodox and acceptable.


I have been an active participant of E-Sangha, and have not observed such things there.

DhammaWheel is clearly a liberal forum, and will remain such, since the key maintainer of it, David Snyder, advocates "modern Buddhism".

Since I'm not an adherent of such kind of Buddhism, I would gladly participate in the creation of traditional Dhamma forum, with "Four Great References" from Mahaparinibbana sutta as guidelines, and with five training rules (sikkhapada) strictly maintaned (including respect to the copyright).
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Re: on the constant debunking of the dhamma on this forum

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:43 am

Dmytro wrote:
This is in contrast to a site that preceded Dhamma Wheel called E-Sangha - you may have heard of it? At E-Sangha, the management enforced and mandated adherence to particular views, and sought to "protect" newcomers to Buddhism from what it often arbitrarily decided to be Wrong View or "adhamma" merely by virtue of it not conforming to their view of orthodoxy. This resulted in all manner of dedicated Buddhist practitioners, and just good decent people in general, being alienated, bullied, and often banned by the site administrators for little reason other than that their views were in conflict with what the management had deemed orthodox and acceptable.


I have been an active participant of E-Sangha, and have not observed such things there.

Which means that you just didn't see it happening. Retro's observation is spot on the money.

DhammaWheel is clearly a liberal forum, and will remain such, since the key maintainer of it, David Snyder, advocates "modern Buddhism".

Dhamma Wheel is a forum for all who are interested in the Theravada. No one particular form of Theravada is mandated as pre-eminent, or orthodox. All Theravadins, and all those interested in the Theravada should find a place here.

Since I'm not an adherent of such kind of Buddhism, I would gladly participate in the creation of traditional Dhamma forum, with "Four Great References" from Mahaparinibbana sutta as guidelines, and with five training rules (sikkhapada) strictly maintaned
Try the Classical Theravada Forum.

(including respect to the copyright).

Our policy on copyright is based on legal advice prepared for Dhamma Wheel's owner.
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saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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