clw_uk wrote:Just like "do not lie"
If it was ww2 and I was hiding a Jewish child in my basement, would it be moral to tell the SS that they were there when they come knocking, or not? Or is truth relative to circumstance?
Would it be moral to see a child taken off to austiwch, just so I could say I was a good Buddhist and didn't lie?
I think it's reasonable if a person didn't want to tell the SS officer that there was a Jewish kid in the house. I don't think that anyone would blame him for that... but it seems to me like you were making a straw man argument if the point was that a "good" Buddhist, if he wanted to keep his precepts, would've just told the officer... and then just left it at that.
I think that'd only make him a very lazy Buddhist, and extremely irresponsible one at that.
What do you think if we looked at the scenario in this following way?
If the person decided to give the officer a chance to do something which is right, do you think that is good or not?
Of course, I'd agree it's probably very unlikely that the officer would do something good just like that, right out of the blue... but what if the person tried to figure out a way to encourage that in the officer? Is that still good, or not?
If a person tried to do something like that I think it would be extremely difficult, of course... but if the person was willing to do it, what kind of benefits do you think that would have on the karma? Not just his, but maybe for everyone involved?
If he managed to convince the officer to do something good, what would you think? If he wasn't successful, would you think that it was a waste? I think he still gets some experience in the process...
Also, if the officer encountered something like that, what kind of effects do you think that would have on his mindset later on?
Of course, all of that is an idealist way of thinking (and very speculative), I will not argue with that... but is making up some straw man arguments really any better?
There are so many possibilities. It's not black and white. I think it's like what the Buddha said: it's impossible for us to work out the karma and all of the effects that it would have later on.
It's not really as simple as not lying (or not killing) and then leaving it just like that... since when does real life work like that? Nothing can be isolated out by itself, and I think that includes actions.