Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Tell us how you think the forum can be improved. We will listen.

In relation to "News, Current Events & Politics", I believe such discussion...

Should continue to be allowed at Dhamma Wheel, as is, because the Dhamma can influence how we see the world, and vice versa.
8
23%
Should go back to being in the Lounge, because having a dedicated section seems to give it too much prominence.
8
23%
Is fine in theory, but has become too difficult to manage in 2018, given people's attachment to views and widespread political polarization.
3
9%
Is fine in theory, but staff need to clamp down harder on serial offenders who cannot abide by the rules of that section.
1
3%
Is fine in theory, but staff unfairly oppress me and don't let me express my views.
1
3%
Should be prohibited at Dhamma Wheel altogether, because the topics and potential disputes tend to detract from the true purpose of the forum.
12
34%
Should be prohibited at Dhamma Wheel, altogether because worldly matters and religious matters should be kept separate.
1
3%
Is... (something else altogether, please explain below)
1
3%
 
Total votes: 35

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binocular
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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by binocular » Fri May 25, 2018 4:24 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 4:03 pm
I think a problem is that most of the topics are just discussing news and politics and are not even trying to Discuss it in terms of the Dhamma, perhaps that is the problem and enforcement of what is already in the description of the sub is the way to handle it;
A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
rather than a place to talk about news, current events and culture in general.
The thing is that from a Dhammic perspective, pretty much all there is to say about the vast majority of things one reads in the news amounts to
"Men, women, horses, and elephants";
"Like fish, struggling for the last drops of water in a pond that is being rapidly shrunk by the scorching sun";
"Aging, illness, death, and separation".

There are no real news.

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by SDC » Fri May 25, 2018 10:09 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 4:19 pm
I think that as it is, the forum does encourage some adhammic tendencies and activities. It's like having a bag of potato chips hidden away in some drawer when one has decided to not eat junkfood anymore. The temptation is there, and that's bad enough.
True. But again we are dealing with something that varies between individuals. Engaged Buddhism, for example, is surely a very real thing to many, and dealing with worldly issues that some may see as adhammic is part of that.

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri May 25, 2018 10:17 pm

Now that I've opted out of the News and Politics section, everything looks nice and restful, and dhammic. Highly recommended.

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 25, 2018 10:20 pm

Greetings James,
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:17 pm
Now that I've opted out of the News and Politics section, everything looks nice and restful, and dhammic. Highly recommended.
I'm glad you like it. That's precisely why we split the News out of the Lounge and created that functionality in the first place.

Unfortunately, most who have complained about the News section, or the views expressed therein, have not demonstrated such a degree of sense restraint. I thank you for having done so.

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: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by Kim OHara » Fri May 25, 2018 11:43 pm

Option 2 is a :strawman: or :redherring: or something similar since the amount of activity in the area will not change much according to where on the board index it is listed.

Other than that, I would just like to say that the current tolerant moderation policy - "Let them fight it out as they like because the correct view will prevail," OWTTE, as one team member said to me not long ago, is a failure of leadership on two counts:
(1) The nastiest person wins because the other/s can't or won't descend to that level. DW becomes a nastier place.
(2) DW becomes a far less inviting place to sincere newbies, because they see it filled with all the hate and anger which they expect Buddhism should teach a solution to.

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by retrofuturist » Sat May 26, 2018 12:31 am

Greetings,
Kim OHara wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 11:43 pm
OWTTE
"Or words to that effect"

I don't know what the original words were, nor who spoke them, but I doubt anyone said or meant "let them fight it out" in any literal sense.

Far more specifically, what we've done is to allow a "marketplace of ideas" where all perspectives are allowed to have a voice, without partisan moderation stifling or shutting down views for lack of conformity to any particular worldview. The rules of that section were created to facilitate that marketplace of ideas, without it devolving into ad-hominem attacks - hence the basic principle, "Play the ball - not the man" (not, "let them fight it out").

At which point, I'll reveal my hand and say that I voted for the option that says News discussion "Is fine in theory, but has become too difficult to manage in 2018, given people's attachment to views and widespread political polarization."

I appreciate Kim acknowledging that the staff's approach to overseeing such discussion has been "tolerant", but unfortunately in the current political climate, certain members have been unable or unwilling to reciprocate that tolerance, in the sense of allowing opposing views that they disagree with to "just be". The recent trend of people to become increasingly intolerant of views other than their own, and the need to control what others think, do, or say is an authoritarian urge that I find quite disturbing, and I'm quite disappointed to see it have any degree of prominence on a Buddhist forum. Unfortunately, from my vantage point, the majority of this intolerance comes from an area in the political spectrum accustomed to priding themselves on their "tolerance", "compassion" and willingness and ability to "coexist". I humbly suggest that some reflection may be in order, if such individuals wish to reconcile their self-image with their words and deeds in the future, so as to steer away from "aversion".

:candle:

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: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by retrofuturist » Sat May 26, 2018 1:33 am

Greetings Kim,

Just out of interest, were you to be managing a News & Current Events section of a Buddhist forum, what measures would you implement to improve the calibre of discussion, whilst respecting the spiritual and intellectual autonomy of the membership?

(I guess that question also goes out to anyone who cares to answer, especially if you've been on Buddhist forums for some time...)

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: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by SarathW » Sat May 26, 2018 1:54 am

DW becomes a far less inviting place to sincere newbies, because they see it filled with all the hate and anger which they expect Buddhism should teach a solution to.
I have to agree with this.
I showed a Royal wedding thread to a non-Buddhist and S/he asked me how Buddhist could be so aversion towards the royal family.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Sat May 26, 2018 2:14 am

binocular wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 3:29 pm

If:
"Dhamma Wheel is an environment for the discussion of Theravada Buddhism"
then there's no room for a politics forum. Or the Lounge. (Or "Connections to other paths", for that matter.)


The Forum is either going to get serious about Buddhism, or not.
:goodpost:

what's wrong with the ten topics of conversation prescribed here: www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/anguttara/10/an10-069.html
sure, politics is popular and a lot of people are going to vote to keep it. but the dhamma runs counter to what the world finds endearing
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe10/sbe1035.htm
the suttas would seem to support a monarchic socialism, just from looking at the dīghanikāya
https://suttacentral.net/dn26/en/sujato
anyway, the dhamma is not about making saṁsāra more agreeable, it's about escaping it. in that same sutta DN 26, you'll see that virtue yields longer life and a better society. we dont have to deliberate on political issues when texts speak for themselves. the solution to problems is purifying your own mind;

"In dependence on the intellect & ideas there arises intellect-consciousness. The intellect is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Ideas are inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Thus this pair is both wavering & fluctuating — inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise.

"Intellect-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Whatever is the cause, the requisite condition, for the arising of intellect-consciousness, that is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Having arisen in dependence on an inconstant factor, how could intellect-consciousness be constant?

"The coming together, the meeting, the convergence of these three phenomena is intellect-contact. Whatever is the cause, the requisite condition, for the arising of intellect-contact, that is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Having arisen in dependence on an inconstant factor, how could intellect-contact be constant?

"Contacted, one feels. Contacted, one intends. Contacted, one perceives. These phenomena are both wavering & fluctuating — inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. This is how it's in dependence on a pair that intellect-consciousness comes into play."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
it's at least great that this site is available, i'd like to see it improve and i really don't think we would lose anything of value getting rid of irrelevant and even quarrelsome sub-forums.
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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by DNS » Sat May 26, 2018 2:21 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 1:54 am
I showed a Royal wedding thread to a non-Buddhist and S/he asked me how Buddhist could be so aversion towards the royal family.
1 or 2 Buddhists expressing an opinion (I believe one of them identifies as Hindu) doesn't extrapolate to all Buddhists. I'm a Yank, but have no aversion or dislike of the royal family; maybe it's their kamma-vipaka to be royals.

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by retrofuturist » Sat May 26, 2018 2:23 am

Greetings Dhammarakkhito,
Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 2:14 am
what's wrong with the ten topics of conversation prescribed here: www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/anguttara/10/an10-069.html
sure, politics is popular and a lot of people are going to vote to keep it. but the dhamma runs counter to what the world finds endearing
I don't disagree with you, but there a good many people who identify as Theravada Buddhists, who see some form of "engagement" with the outside word as an integral part of their Dhamma practice - a manifestation of their compassion, if you will. This trend has even been embraced by certain Theravada bhikkhus such as Bhikkhu Bodhi, whose mode of Engaged Buddhism was spoken about previously here.

What do we do then about and for the so-called "Engaged Buddhist"?

And if we allow the "Engaged Buddhists" (who are typically left-wing in terms of their politics) to speak of the application of compassion and wisdom to worldly scenarios, do we exclude others from that discussion, just because their political world-view means that their wisdom and compassion manifest in different ways, and result in different, but equally genuine recommendations for appropriate worldly action?

Then, before you know it, you have a "News, Current Events & Politics" forum...

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: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Sat May 26, 2018 2:27 am

what 'we''d do is ignore the engaged buddhism and cast it out of our community
or rightly criticize it but also ignore it and not let it creep in and fester
bhikkhu bodhi does valuable work outside of that so it's not like he'd be written off
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sat May 26, 2018 2:30 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 5:14 am
Greetings everyone,

I am keen to survey the Dhamma Wheel membership to get your thoughts on "News, Current Events & Politics" and their relationship to this forum.

We have always allowed discussion on such topics at Dhamma Wheel - initially in the Lounge, but we then later separated such topics out into their own section and provided an "opt out" mechanism for people who don't want to be exposed to such conversation here.

A couple of years on from the creation of the News section, I'm keen to get the membership's thoughts on the discussion of "News, Current Events & Politics" at Dhamma Wheel. Please vote and comment as you see fit.

Metta,
Paul.
Hello.

It sounds good in theory, but it's 2018. I'm not as regular as I used to be, and I opted out of the news section a long time ago. So my opinion has limitated value.

There are pros and cons to having it like it is now, and not having it at all. With the news section the forum has more traffic. But I suspect that without the news forum the lower traffic would have higher quality and people would get along better. After going through many flame wars in the news section (where quoting directly a canonical text of a certain religion is not a convincing argument that the text says what it actually says, and is in fact denounced as prejudice), I see very limited value in arguing politics here. So my personal preference would be for lower traffic with higher quality.

What really surprised me was that the most voted option so far is the one I consider the worst case scenario. The News section, with an opt out option, was devised to contain the political flame wars to a single place. If it goes back to the Lounge we would go back to where we started.

But, again, my opinion has limited value.

Añjali.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by robertk » Sat May 26, 2018 2:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 2:23 am
. This trend has even been embraced by certain Theravada bhikkhus such as Bhikkhu Bodhi, whose mode of Engaged Buddhism was spoken about previously here.

What do we do then about and for the so-called "Engaged Buddhist"?

And if we allow the "Engaged Buddhists" (who are typically left-wing in terms of their politics) speak of the application of compassion and wisdom to worldly scenarios, do we exclude others from that discussion, just because their political world-view means that their wisdom and compassion manifest in different ways, and result in different, but equally genuine recommendations for appropriate worldly action?

Then, before you know it, you have a "News, Current Events & Politics" forum...

Metta,
Paul. :)
one impetus for me to "engage" in politics on a Buddhist forum was when living in thailand where I arrived a few months after a military coup and then lived through deadly protests ( deadly in the sense that the military set up snipers behind sandbags- some within a short walk from my apartment- who killed with precise headshots) and then later another coup. All supported by the " good people" as they literally call themselves.

the other reason was reading tracts such as those signed by Bhikkhu Bodhi purporting to represent Buddhists which are on practically every point the opposite of my views..It rubs that this is how Buddhists are supposed to think.

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Re: Member Poll on "News, Current Events & Politics" at DW

Post by Saengnapha » Sat May 26, 2018 6:20 am

Is a Buddhist some carbon copy clone of a doctrine where everyone thinks the same thoughts and does the same thing? Is there really such a thing as a Buddhist, at all? I wonder this more and more and feel the illusion dancing before my very eyes.

I live in a country purported to be Buddhist. I've never met one yet.

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