cooran wrote:I think they try to be Dhamma-followers
but are deluded on this matter (and perhaps other things).
Better to concentrate on our own thoughts and behaviour than to judge and discuss the behaviour of others.
retrofuturist wrote:This may be a by-product of monasticism being regarded sometimes as an equivalent of a 'welfare state' in Asia.
Some people become bhikkhus because that's the only way they can see themselves receiving requisites, education and such.
To that extent, some may not have fully bought into the Dhamma (incl. non-violence) and are in it more for the worldly support.
Lazy_eye wrote:The Buddha's disciples were forthright with each other. If a bhikkhu started saying things that were contrary to the Dhamma, other bhikkhus would tell him so and try to show him why. Bhikkhus who promote hatred and killing are misrepresenting the Dhamma. To say so plainly does not necessarily require us to be angry or rancorous or entertain bad mind states.
I can feel compassion for Venerable Wirathu, the monk who thinks "killing is forgivable" and that Muslims should be wiped out "like snakes". It must be very flattering to have a following and be a person of influence. It is gratifying to feel that one is a hero protecting one's people. From his interviews we can see he has found ways to rationalize the violence and he probably even believes his own distortions and lies. All this is very human, very predictable. I cannot be sure that in his position I would not also become corrupted in this way.
Nevertheless, his actions are harmful and contrary to the Dhamma, and I don't think it is somehow wrong or overly "judgmental" for a Buddhist to point this out. To use an analogy, if I logged on to this board and started claiming that the Buddha endorsed intoxicants as a tool for awakening, surely somebody would correct my interpretation.
If I'm out walking and happen to notice that a distracted pedestrian is about to cross into the path of an oncoming truck, should I just let the person get hit? Is that the more compassionate choice?
mettafuture wrote:cooran wrote:I think they try to be Dhamma-followers
The precepts are clear: No killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, or intoxicants. If someone killed a fly, stole a piece of candy, slapped someone on the butt, lied about why they were late for work, or drank a beer, and this person felt guilt afterwards, it would be fair to qualify their actions as a lapse in judgement. But if someone is willfully and repeatedly committing violent acts against others, it can't really be said that they're trying to be Buddhists.
mettafuture wrote:but are deluded on this matter (and perhaps other things).
There's a difference between being deluded and doing something that blatantly goes against the teachings.
mettafuture wrote:Better to concentrate on our own thoughts and behaviour than to judge and discuss the behaviour of others.
We shouldn't sit silently while the anti-religious use these stories to attack Buddhism as just another "bad religion."
Dan74 wrote:The thing is we often act unskillfully and do not repent because we don't see it as unskillful. I suspect most of these monks, don't blatantly break the precepts but actually perceive themselves as guardians of the Dhamma.
Vern Stevens wrote:However, am I not supposed to look on to the actions of these people with compassion and empathy, recognizing that their actions are arising from their suffering however off course they may be?
Doshin wrote:You do write "precepts", but I suspect that you think of them as commandments ?
Doshin wrote:Why ? Is it because it harms a label on the ego, as being a buddhist ?mettafuture wrote:We shouldn't sit silently while the anti-religious use these stories to attack Buddhism as just another "bad religion."
If a person intentionally and repeatedly inflicts harm on other sentient beings, that person cannot rightfully call themselves a Buddhist, let alone a monk.
Broadly speaking, the fallacy does not apply if there is a clear and well-understood definition of what membership in a group requires and it is that definition which is broken (e.g., "no honest man would lie like that!", "no Christian would worship Satan!" and so on).
mettafuture wrote:Vern Stevens wrote:However, am I not supposed to look on to the actions of these people with compassion and empathy, recognizing that their actions are arising from their suffering however off course they may be?
Of course not.
Sam Vara wrote:..."No true Scotsman"...
mettafuture wrote:Dan74 wrote:The thing is we often act unskillfully and do not repent because we don't see it as unskillful. I suspect most of these monks, don't blatantly break the precepts but actually perceive themselves as guardians of the Dhamma.
If that's the case, then they are deluded.
mettafuture wrote:The anti-religious have tried to use this and similar stories to fuel the idea that Buddhism "has a violent side." But is this a fair assessment?
Most Buddhists see the violent "monks" in Myanmar in the same way most Christians see members of the Westboro Baptist Church. These thugs should not be used as examples of "Buddhist violence" because their behavior alone disqualifies them from being Buddhist, just as worshipping Satan would disqualify someone from being a Christian or a Muslim.
You're kind of asking two questions at once:
1. Does the religion outright call for violence?
2. Has the religion been used for a justification for violence?
We shouldn't confuse these two questions: #1 does not mean that #2 isn't possible.
Buddhism is not unique in the fact that it calls for non-violence. As I said in the post above, most people are aware that the New Testament speaks strongly against violence and presents a strong message of brotherly-love, compassion and acceptance.
That doesn't mean Christianity hasn't been used for some of the worst violence with world has ever seen in the past and the present. History and current world politics shows that Buddhism falls into the same category.
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