What everyone participating in forums should understand

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Stiphan
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What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by Stiphan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:56 pm

harmony.jpg
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retrofuturist
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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:05 pm

Greetings Stiphan,

... except that the precursor of the whole Noble Eightfold Path is Right View, not Harmony View.

8-)

Now, obviously I'm being a little cheeky there, but when non-comforming views are suppressed, any harmony that arrives from that pressure to conform, is truly superficial, restrictive and unstable. (Unless someone goes to the effort of establishing a community as a cult... the manipulation and authoritarianism used in such communities is designed to offset that instability)

There's something to be said for the ability to tolerate diverse viewpoints, because if we can't cope with other people's views, then a fragile peace can only be obtained, when isolated from the world. (One of the Western Thai Forest monks used to recount stories of the ilk, from his early days... from memory I think it may have been Ajahn Sumedho).

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: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by SarathW » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:26 pm

except that the precursor of the whole Noble Eightfold Path is Right View, not Harmony View.
Agree.
We should be able to discuss what is right and wrong without compromising the harmony.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:40 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:05 pm
Greetings Stiphan,

... except that the precursor of the whole Noble Eightfold Path is Right View, not Harmony View.

That is not entirely right :tongue: . The idea of samma being translated as harmonious pops up here and there as an alternative translation, with some support from the dictionary:

viewtopic.php?t=25686

In any event, I don't see why being right and being harmonious are mutually exclusive.

:stirthepot:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:44 pm

Greetings Polarbear101,
polarbear101 wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:40 pm
In any event, I don't see why being right and being harmonious are mutually exclusive.
Like you, and Sarath above... I agree entirely.

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: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by JohnK » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:36 am

polarbear101 wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:40 pm
...I don't see why being right and being harmonious are mutually exclusive.
:stirthepot:
Yeah, being wrong and harmonious is the tough one. ;)
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:55 am

JohnK wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:36 am

Yeah, being wrong and harmonious is the tough one. ;)
:rofl: Here in the UK we're used to seeing it, John: we had Tony Blair as Prime Minister.

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by m0rl0ck » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:31 am

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).

~Mark Twain

The real trick is being right without letting every idiot in the thread run it into the ground. Say your piece and quit.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by SarathW » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:36 am

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by chownah » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:20 am

This is how forums should be?:

?
chownah

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Stiphan
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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by Stiphan » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:37 am

Recently, I asked a Buddhist friend (who's also looking to ordain) whether he knew of Dhamma Wheel. When he asked what's that and I explained it's a forum, he said he doesn't participate in forums because there's just too much arguing going around there and he already gets a lot of that at home.

I guess what Ajahn Brahm is trying to say is that harmony between people, peace and love are much more important than trying to prove that your opinion alone is true by means of arguing. It's true that people are very argumentative on forums in general and not loving enough, which can cause even pain to some. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't state your opinion, or disagree with others, but just do it in a kind and courteous manner without hurting others' feelings through the way you are saying it.

DN 1:

“‘Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to disputation such as: ‘You don’t understand this doctrine and discipline - I do!’ ‘How could you understand this doctrine and discipline?’ ‘Your way is all wrong — mine is right!’ ‘I am consistent - you aren’t!’ ‘You said last what you should have said first, and you said first what you should have said last!’ ‘What you took so long to think up has been refuted!’ ‘Your argument has been overthrown, you’re defeated!’ ‘Go on, save your doctrine — get out of that if you can!’ the ascetic Gotama refrains from such disputation."

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:16 am

JohnK wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:36 am
Yeah, being wrong and harmonious is the tough one. ;)
:thumbsup:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:15 am

Stiphan wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:37 am
Recently, I asked a Buddhist friend (who's also looking to ordain) whether he knew of Dhamma Wheel. When he asked what's that and I explained it's a forum, he said he doesn't participate in forums because there's just too much arguing going around there and he already gets a lot of that at home.

I guess what Ajahn Brahm is trying to say is that harmony between people, peace and love are much more important than trying to prove that your opinion alone is true by means of arguing. It's true that people are very argumentative on forums in general and not loving enough, which can cause even pain to some. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't state your opinion, or disagree with others, but just do it in a kind and courteous manner without hurting others' feelings through the way you are saying it.

DN 1:

“‘Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to disputation such as: ‘You don’t understand this doctrine and discipline - I do!’ ‘How could you understand this doctrine and discipline?’ ‘Your way is all wrong — mine is right!’ ‘I am consistent - you aren’t!’ ‘You said last what you should have said first, and you said first what you should have said last!’ ‘What you took so long to think up has been refuted!’ ‘Your argument has been overthrown, you’re defeated!’ ‘Go on, save your doctrine — get out of that if you can!’ the ascetic Gotama refrains from such disputation."
Agreed. I think there should be a limit on how many times someone can post in the News forum per day/week/month etc :tongue:
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by chownah » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:46 am

chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:20 am
This is how forums should be?:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3XNmHe4AQw
?
chownah
I guess a forum could have harmony like that....but....is it the only way that a forum could have harmony?.....maybe there is another way....


chownah

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by binocular » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:09 pm

Stiphan wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:37 am
I guess what Ajahn Brahm is trying to say is that harmony between people, peace and love are much more important than trying to prove that your opinion alone is true by means of arguing.

Was he talking about online forums?

What you're quoting from him applies well to ordinary day-to-day situations. But online discussion forums which are devoted to discussion are a quite different environment, and different principles apply.
It's true that people are very argumentative on forums in general and not loving enough, which can cause even pain to some.

But it doesn't mean you shouldn't state your opinion, or disagree with others, but just do it in a kind and courteous manner without hurting others' feelings through the way you are saying it.
That's missing the purpose of online discussion forums. Generally, online discussion forums are _not_ meant to be like families, or like communities, but are highly specific environments dedicated to discussion, not to living together. As far as online discussion forums go, the living together is incidental, secondary, not essential.

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by ieee23 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:14 pm

Stiphan,

I am a fan of Ajahn Brahm. I couldn't agree with the text in the picture more.

Being a fan of Ajahn Brahm, I've heard him express that sentiment a number of times before. The context is in regards to people in relationships who choose to destroy those relationships by bickering over things that do not matter. In that context I agree with him.

In the context of Dhammawheel, online Buddhist forums, and some real time Buddhist communities people hide behind the veneer of "right speech" in order to avoid talking about awkward problems. If you can't communicate about a problem, you can't solve it, and shit tends to get worse.

In the context of Dhammawheel if someone is wrong about a matter of fact, I would want that person to be corrected so that misinformation does not spread to myself and others.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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Stiphan
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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by Stiphan » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:46 pm

All I'm saying is that I think that some forum debates tend to get heated and some posters' aim is to criticize others without caring about other peoples' feelings. We should have more loving-kindness in our words as that is more important than proving the other person wrong. The Buddha said:

"If a word has five marks it is well-spoken, not ill-spoken, not blameworthy or condemned by the wise. It is spoken at the right time, it is spoken in truth, it is spoken gently, it is spoken about the goal and it is spoken with love." - Vācā Sutta; AN 5.198

Sure, you can correct someone when they're actually wrong, and you can also criticize someone for unwholesome behaviour, but do so gently and with thoughts of loving-kindness. Some of the speech is plain cold and disrespectful and such speech can hurt. So which is more important?

There's something else though, and that is that it is a writing medium and you can't properly figure out intonation and the like, so even though the writer means well and doesn't mean any disrespect, it is put in a tone that may actually appear coldhearted when it is actually not. In such a case it's good to just be more careful in how one expresses one's words in writing. It's good to be kind and friendly, much better than to win an argument. That's how I interpret Ajahn Brahm's words. :smile:

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:57 pm

Greetings Stiphan,

Well said, and I doubt you'll find any objection to that.

If someone is looking to make their own actions harmonious at a micro-level then that is a good thing.

More broadly though, in groups (online & offline) some people seem determined to "socially engineer" harmony at a macro-level, over and above letting individuals manage their own micro-level interactions.

This social engineering can come in multiple forms, but will often come in the form of:

- Forced consensus
- Exclusion of non-conforming ideas & individuals
- Moral shaming & virtue signalling
- In-group / Out-group dynamics (incl. "Othering")

I think you'll find it's this macro-level "harmony" that people are wary of, particularly because "spiritual" communities tend to be particularly prone to these unsavoury behaviours.

After all, what is community harmony over-and-above the sum of all individual interactions in a community? If you have faith in people, and grant them the autonomy to manage their own interactions with one another in the effective micro-manner you describe, then there's no need for macro-level interventions, which are inherently based on power and status, and as such, are subject to injustice and abuse.

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: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by Stiphan » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:27 pm

Thanks for making me aware of this micro- and macro-levels which I wasn't aware of. Since most people are intensely ruled by their greed, hatred, and delusion, and their craving for power and control, as well as for praise, honour, pleasure and gain, it is understandable - although unfortunate - that dynamics between people - whether in small or large groups, or as you say micro- and macro-levels - tend to include harsh speech and mild, moderate and severe cases of abuse and many other forms of behaviour - verbal and physical - that are simply unwholesome and cause people at large immense harm and pain, particularly psychological. It's just the way things are, and certain places around the world suffer different intensities of these harmful behaviours amongst their citizens. I am talking about offline behaviours, and in general, just to outline how human beings are just generally prone to these actions, spurred by their defilements.

On a Buddhist forum, though, one would expect greater restraint, friendliness and compassion. I have just begun to browse this forum again after an absence of 10-11 months, and I would say it is okay. It's just as a reminder that I posted the quote by Ajahn Brahm, since also we are attached to our own views, and the Buddha said that we should be ones who are easy to let go of our views and easy to admonish as well - not holding tenaciously to our views (Anumāna Sutta, MN 15). Aiming for communal harmony - both at the micro- and macro-levels - will lead to peace and well-being and a smooth functioning of any group of people. But since this is a discussion forum where each of us have our own opinions and views and we - even though we are Buddhists - still have our defilements and are only making our own different-paced progress towards love and compassion - it is only normal that things are as they are, even though my idealism craves for greater mutual understanding and respect.

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Re: What everyone participating in forums should understand

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:39 pm

Greetings Stiphan,
Stiphan wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:27 pm
But since this is a discussion forum where each of us have our own opinions and views and we - even though we are Buddhists - still have our defilements and are only making our own different-paced progress towards love and compassion - it is only normal that things are as they are, even though my idealism craves for greater mutual understanding and respect.
I appreciate this topic, and I particularly appreciate the honesty quoted here.

Whilst I'm sure we all agree that "harmony" is a good quality, it is worthwhile for us to reflect with honesty about the extent to which a craving for harmony, may just be a mirror image reflection of personal fear or aversion towards conflict, contention, unsettledness and non-conformity.

To wit, it's both about speaking well, and hearing well... and I'm impressed throughout this topic how you've addressed both the speaker and the receiver, as they both have equally important roles to play in the activity of communication. All too often blame is singularly attributed to the speaker, with no regard for the potential projection, insecurities, miscomprehension, intolerance, prejudice, ill-will, bigotry, obsessions, niggardliness and aversion of the listener.

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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