Diversity among mods

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No_Mind
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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by No_Mind » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:55 pm
This is a completely bogus argument against diversity, the reason diversity is so important is that each race and gender has certain positive and otherwise attributes that they can bring to the table that a member of another race or gender might not even be aware of, its not about equality, its about welcoming diverse and differing viewpoints into the equation. The Idea of an Asian religions forum being run by all white Western men does not really bring the full beauty, viewpoints, and traditional history of what is almost exclusively in terms of numbers an Asian tradition. The idea that advanced English proficiency is a prerequisite for moderators, would eliminate 99% of the Buddhist monks and nuns in the world, including the Venerable Ajahn Chah if he were still with us.
Let me interject about Asian mods -

Asian-American mods will have an American's/westerners outlook.

Asian-Asians can never be mods. Because Asians will never argue and never be present at any forum (the reason why forums are so lacking in India .. except one about broadband and one about Hinduism which has lot of members but very few active threads and ironically most participants are white Hindu converts .. there is no discussion because discussion leads to arguments and arguments are energy sapping)

Debating publicly is looked upon as an inferior and unnecessary skill in Asia.

:namaste:
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Sam Vara
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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:43 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 am

Debating publicly is looked upon as an inferior and unnecessary skill in Asia.

:namaste:
Things seem to have changed since this guy:
Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha-son went to those Licchavis and, on arrival, said to them, "Come out, good Licchavis! Come out, good Licchavis! Today will be my discussion with Gotama the contemplative! If he takes the position with me that was taken with me by his famous disciples, the monk named Assaji, then just as a strong man, seizing a long-haired ram by the hair, would drag him to and drag him fro and drag him all around, in the same way I, statement by statement, will drag Gotama the contemplative to and drag him fro and drag him all around. Just as a strong distillery worker, throwing a large distiller's strainer into a deep water tank and grabbing it by the corners, would drag it to and drag it fro and drag it all around, in the same way I, statement by statement, will drag Gotama the contemplative to and drag him fro and drag him all around. Just as a strong distillery ruffian, grabbing a horse-hair strainer by the corners, would shake it down and shake it out and thump it, in the same way I, statement by statement, will shake Gotama the contemplative down and shake him out and thump him. Just as a sixty-year old elephant, plunging into a deep pond, would amuse itself playing the game of hemp-washing, in the same way I will amuse myself playing the game of hemp-washing Gotama the contemplative, as it were. Come on out, good Licchavis! Come on out, good Licchavis! Today will be my discussion with Gotama the contemplative!"
And lots of suttas depict the Buddha debating socratically. Maybe debate is praised and practised during times when there is a lot of uncertainty, and then declines when the truth (or the perceived truth) is accepted by a majority of the population.

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by binocular » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:19 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:43 am
Maybe debate is praised and practised during times when there is a lot of uncertainty, and then declines when the truth (or the perceived truth) is accepted by a majority of the population.
It seems to me that it's the other way around: In times of certainty, people can afford to indulge in luxuries, such as talking that is pretty much for the sake of talking. When times are tough, people preach, or don't talk much at all.

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:43 am
And lots of suttas depict the Buddha debating socratically.
Were those debates, though?
The communications in the suttas don't fall into the categories of debates, some are discussions, many are preaching (yes, yes, a term many people don't like nowadays ...).
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Sam Vara
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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:56 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:19 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:43 am
Maybe debate is praised and practised during times when there is a lot of uncertainty, and then declines when the truth (or the perceived truth) is accepted by a majority of the population.
It seems to me that it's the other way around: In times of certainty, people can afford to indulge in luxuries, such as talking that is pretty much for the sake of talking. When times are tough, people preach, or don't talk much at all.
Possibly. Historical examples required.
Were those debates, though?
The communications in the suttas don't fall into the categories of debates, some are discussions, many are preaching (yes, yes, a term many people don't like nowadays ...).
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of methods or styles within the suttas, but there is certainly a great deal of preaching, and there are lots of debates which take the form of Socratic elenchus.

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Circle5
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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Circle5 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:10 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 am
lyndon taylor wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:55 pm
This is a completely bogus argument against diversity, the reason diversity is so important is that each race and gender has certain positive and otherwise attributes that they can bring to the table that a member of another race or gender might not even be aware of, its not about equality, its about welcoming diverse and differing viewpoints into the equation. The Idea of an Asian religions forum being run by all white Western men does not really bring the full beauty, viewpoints, and traditional history of what is almost exclusively in terms of numbers an Asian tradition. The idea that advanced English proficiency is a prerequisite for moderators, would eliminate 99% of the Buddhist monks and nuns in the world, including the Venerable Ajahn Chah if he were still with us.
Let me interject about Asian mods -

Asian-American mods will have an American's/westerners outlook.

Asian-Asians can never be mods. Because Asians will never argue and never be present at any forum (the reason why forums are so lacking in India .. except one about broadband and one about Hinduism which has lot of members but very few active threads and ironically most participants are white Hindu converts .. there is no discussion because discussion leads to arguments and arguments are energy sapping)

Debating publicly is looked upon as an inferior and unnecessary skill in Asia.

:namaste:
Asian monks ? Are you kidding ? What exactly do asian monks have to do with what the historical Buddha taught ? Monks in asian countries have nothing to do with the 4 nikayas, they only read abbhidhama and stuff like that. They have 8 years of buddhist collage where they have zero suttas into the program. I am sure there are some that somehow stumble across the nikayas and read them, but such a thing is extremely rate.

They didn't even translate the nikayas from Pali into Thai language or any other modern language. It was the americans that first translated them. So what exactly do those asian monks have to do with what the Buddha taught ? For me they are just like christian monks.

Actually, they are not even like christian monks, they are like christian orthodox priest. This happened because by lacking priest in the buddhist tradition, monks filled the gap and now they are simply like christian priest. Same as infamous orthodox priest from Romania, they have a pretty bad image over there. For me, praising these asian monks is just like praising christian orthodox priest from my country.

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Circle5 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:17 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:43 am
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 am

Debating publicly is looked upon as an inferior and unnecessary skill in Asia.

:namaste:
Things seem to have changed since this guy:
Saccaka the Nigaṇṭha-son went to those Licchavis and, on arrival, said to them, "Come out, good Licchavis! Come out, good Licchavis! Today will be my discussion with Gotama the contemplative! If he takes the position with me that was taken with me by his famous disciples, the monk named Assaji, then just as a strong man, seizing a long-haired ram by the hair, would drag him to and drag him fro and drag him all around, in the same way I, statement by statement, will drag Gotama the contemplative to and drag him fro and drag him all around. Just as a strong distillery worker, throwing a large distiller's strainer into a deep water tank and grabbing it by the corners, would drag it to and drag it fro and drag it all around, in the same way I, statement by statement, will drag Gotama the contemplative to and drag him fro and drag him all around. Just as a strong distillery ruffian, grabbing a horse-hair strainer by the corners, would shake it down and shake it out and thump it, in the same way I, statement by statement, will shake Gotama the contemplative down and shake him out and thump him. Just as a sixty-year old elephant, plunging into a deep pond, would amuse itself playing the game of hemp-washing, in the same way I will amuse myself playing the game of hemp-washing Gotama the contemplative, as it were. Come on out, good Licchavis! Come on out, good Licchavis! Today will be my discussion with Gotama the contemplative!"
And lots of suttas depict the Buddha debating socratically. Maybe debate is praised and practised during times when there is a lot of uncertainty, and then declines when the truth (or the perceived truth) is accepted by a majority of the population.
A lot has changed since the Buddha times indeed:
In ancient India, Greece and Tibet, the art of argumentation was an extremely important (and prestigious) activity. To win a formal debate was to demonstrate the truth of one’s school of thought or spiritual faith. The Buddha was a potent and charismatic debater who threatened the intellectual complacency of many Brahmins. The famous consequence of losing a debate in India was to lose one’s students, who would all convert to the winning school of thought. In Buddhist Tibet, monastic universities still put heavy emphasis on training students for debate, which is an essential part of the monastery curriculum.
There are countless suttas about Buddha scolding monks for not knowing how to debate well. There is even a case where some monks won a debate but did so only because the debaters were more stupid then them, and Buddha still scolds them for not knowing how to debate. In the suttas, we see monks regulary going to the debating hall in the morning so that they can convert more people into buddhism. "truth always rises to the surface in a debate"

Having monks profficient in debating is also one of the 5 things Buddha enumerates when he answeres the question regarding why he should not die yet. And it is normal since as you can see from my previous quote, people in ancient india weren't reddit circle-talk "safe-spacers", but were honestly intereted in finding out the truth. Today in some countries we have people with big egos and that makes debating impossible. When narcissism is bigger than the honest quest for the truth, debating becomes very difficult.

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:15 pm

Circle5 wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:10 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:56 am
lyndon taylor wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:55 pm
This is a completely bogus argument against diversity, the reason diversity is so important is that each race and gender has certain positive and otherwise attributes that they can bring to the table that a member of another race or gender might not even be aware of, its not about equality, its about welcoming diverse and differing viewpoints into the equation. The Idea of an Asian religions forum being run by all white Western men does not really bring the full beauty, viewpoints, and traditional history of what is almost exclusively in terms of numbers an Asian tradition. The idea that advanced English proficiency is a prerequisite for moderators, would eliminate 99% of the Buddhist monks and nuns in the world, including the Venerable Ajahn Chah if he were still with us.
Let me interject about Asian mods -

Asian-American mods will have an American's/westerners outlook.

Asian-Asians can never be mods. Because Asians will never argue and never be present at any forum (the reason why forums are so lacking in India .. except one about broadband and one about Hinduism which has lot of members but very few active threads and ironically most participants are white Hindu converts .. there is no discussion because discussion leads to arguments and arguments are energy sapping)

Debating publicly is looked upon as an inferior and unnecessary skill in Asia.

:namaste:
Asian monks ? Are you kidding ? What exactly do asian monks have to do with what the historical Buddha taught ?
This forum still has a sizeable population who believe that the Buddha taught Abhidhamma. These people are attacked quite frequently in such manners.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:33 pm

Greetings Coëmgenu,
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:15 pm
This forum still has a sizeable population who believe that the Buddha taught Abhidhamma. These people are attacked quite frequently in such manners.
Is it these people being attacked, or is it their articles of faith about the origins of the Abhidhamma being challenged?

Those are two very different propositions, so it would be good if we're clear on what you're actually alleging.

(P.S. In terms of "Diversity among mods", it's worth noting that one current moderator is very much pro-Abhidhamma, and venerable Dhammanando, who is welcome back on board at any time his availability permits, is also pro-Abhidhamma. If memory serves me, DNS has also read most if not all of the Abhidhamma Pitaka)

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Circle5 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:17 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:15 pm
This forum still has a sizeable population who believe that the Buddha taught Abhidhamma. These people are attacked quite frequently in such manners.
Almost makes you drop a tear when you see people having different opinions and trying to find out the truth...

Without different opinions and critical thinking, how can one ever traverse the jungle of views ? How can truth ever be found ? How can clinging to view, the most challanging problem within the buddhist community (same as it is in all religions or philosopies) - how could this clinging ever be defeated ?

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:38 pm

I think that misappropriated hermeneutics inspired by EBT studies has always been something of an aggressive mainstream here, at least since I joined the forum. Casual offhand comments about Abhidhamma & Mahāṭṭhakathā abound. I myself am guilty of this as well.

We don't actually know that the Venerable Śāriputra did not transmit definitive Abhidhamma clarifications of suttanta. Anyone who tells you otherwise in an absolutist manner is not being academically honest.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by binocular » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:52 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:33 pm
Is it these people being attacked, or is it their articles of faith about the origins of the Abhidhamma being challenged?
In this particular case, is there really a difference between the two?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by binocular » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:08 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:56 pm
binocular wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:19 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:43 am
Maybe debate is praised and practised during times when there is a lot of uncertainty, and then declines when the truth (or the perceived truth) is accepted by a majority of the population.
It seems to me that it's the other way around: In times of certainty, people can afford to indulge in luxuries, such as talking that is pretty much for the sake of talking. When times are tough, people preach, or don't talk much at all.
Possibly. Historical examples required.
Come to think of it, it's a matter of perspective and which sector of society one focuses on. Look at the global crisis and the way people talk about it, for example: some people believe the solution is relatively simple and that there is nothing much to discuss or debate; some others think the crisis is intractable and can show this by citing abundant evidence and arguments.

What you said earlier seems counterintuitive to me: I think that in times of (personal) uncertainty, people will act defensively and try to reduce their vulnerability, which means, among other things, they will avoid exposing their mental and other weaknesses, which could be exposed in debate.
Were those debates, though?
The communications in the suttas don't fall into the categories of debates, some are discussions, many are preaching (yes, yes, a term many people don't like nowadays ...).
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of methods or styles within the suttas, but there is certainly a great deal of preaching, and there are lots of debates which take the form of Socratic elenchus.
How can there be a "Socratic debate" -- isn't that a contradiction in terms? But that's for another thread.
:focus:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by DNS » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:21 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:38 pm
We don't actually know that the Venerable Śāriputra did not transmit definitive Abhidhamma clarifications of suttanta. Anyone who tells you otherwise in an absolutist manner is not being academically honest.
Possibly; and then conversely:

We don't actually know that the Venerable Śāriputra did transmit definitive Abhidhamma clarifications of suttanta. Anyone who tells you otherwise in an absolutist manner is not being academically honest.

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:44 pm

DNS wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:21 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:38 pm
We don't actually know that the Venerable Śāriputra did not transmit definitive Abhidhamma clarifications of suttanta. Anyone who tells you otherwise in an absolutist manner is not being academically honest.
Possibly; and then conversely:

We don't actually know that the Venerable Śāriputra did transmit definitive Abhidhamma clarifications of suttanta. Anyone who tells you otherwise in an absolutist manner is not being academically honest.
Certainly, if that person were an academic or if they were basing their appeals upon contemporary academic Buddhology.

But if I could offer a point-counter-point: perspectives rooted in EBT studies, however right or wrong, are perspectives rooted in the academy, specifically the academy of textual criticism. Perspectives rooted in traditional Theravada are not. In light of that I don't think one can 'honestly' call out a traditional Theravadin for being specifically academically dishonest. They and the academy are different things altogether.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Re: Diversity among mods

Post by Circle5 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:09 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:44 pm
Certainly, if that person were an academic or if they were basing their appeals upon contemporary academic Buddhology.

But if I could offer a point-counter-point: perspectives rooted in EBT studies, however right or wrong, are perspectives rooted in the academy, specifically the academy of textual criticism. Perspectives rooted in traditional Theravada are not. In light of that I don't think one can 'honestly' call out a traditional Theravadin for being specifically academically dishonest. They and the academy are different things altogether.
Abbhidhamma did not exist untill 3rd century. It did not exist at the first 2 buddhist councils. That is the end of the discussion about weather Sariputta transmited it or not. Sariputta was dead for 300 years for god sake.

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