Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

If you had to kill in self defense or to save others would you?

Yes
19
54%
No
16
46%
 
Total votes: 35

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DooDoot
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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 am

perkele wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:43 am
MN 9 wrote: /.../

4. "And what, friends, is the unwholesome, what is the root of the unwholesome, what is the wholesome, what is the root of the wholesome? Killing living beings is unwholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome; false speech is unwholesome; malicious speech is unwholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome; gossip is unwholesome; covetousness is unwholesome; ill will is unwholesome; wrong view is unwholesome. This is called the unwholesome.

/.../
DooDoot wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:01 am
Where is this found in the suttas?
See sutta quoted above.
DooDoot wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:01 am
The suttas often describe how a King executes a murderer, thief or adulterer for their crimes. These suttas say the murderer, thief or adulterer commits bad karma but they do not comment on the King.
That is probably because the person (or people) being taught at that point is supposed to identify with the murderer, the thief or adulterer, and put himself into his position, while reflecting on the potential outcomes of his own potential actions. The king's morality is not questioned here, because he is not the one being spoken to (metaphorically). At least that seems to be the case for the sutta (SN 12.70) you (@DooDoot) gave as an example.
Obviously, these assumptions are not conclusive; unless we can find a definitive sutta where the Buddha tells Kings punishing evil-doers is unwholesome. In MN 130, if all the wardens of hell were punished for punishing the evil doers in hell, there would be no wardens of hell left to punish the evil-doers. Then the whole system of kamma-vipaka would fall apart. This metaphor exactly applies to police forces in societies. If killing evil-doers was a crime, there would be no policemen & society would be in anarchy. Contrary to your assumptions, the Buddha appeared to keep silent on certain subtle matters. In short, what appeared to be neglected in the quoting MN 9 was:
And what is the root of the unwholesome? Greed is a root of the unwholesome; hate is a root of the unwholesome; delusion is a root of the unwholesome. This is called the root of the unwholesome.

MN 9
In other words, killing rooted in greed, hatred & delusion is obviously unwholesome but killing not rooted in greed, hatred & delusion appears to not be mentioned. I think we need to provide more compelling reasoning so to avoid sīlabbata-parāmāsa & avoid a type of morality that does not lead to concentration & liberation but, instead, leads to the hindrance of paranoia, worry & flurry.

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by binocular » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:28 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 am
Obviously, these assumptions are not conclusive; unless we can find a definitive sutta where the Buddha tells Kings punishing evil-doers is unwholesome.

As far as I know, there is also no sutta that advises physical self-defense. Or do you know one?
In MN 130, if all the wardens of hell were punished for punishing the evil doers in hell, there would be no wardens of hell left to punish the evil-doers. Then the whole system of kamma-vipaka would fall apart.

Not necessarily. Without the formal wardens of hell, there are the options of being reborn blind, maimed, severly ill, torn apart by animals, and such.
If killing evil-doers was a crime, there would be no policemen & society would be in anarchy.
This is impossible to prove empirically. But theoretically, if Game Theory is anything to go by, then the most likely scenario seems to be that if the usual system of justice would be abolished, there would follow a period of violent anarchy, after which people would settle for some type of cooperation.
In other words, killing rooted in greed, hatred & delusion is obviously unwholesome but killing not rooted in greed, hatred & delusion appears to not be mentioned.
And why should this be taken as some kind of invitation to the Secondary Bodhisattva Vows?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Nicolas
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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by Nicolas » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:25 pm

Intentionally killing is always unwholesome, or at best mixed kamma, and is always rooted in worldliness (to achieve a worldly result).
An arahant cannot, does not intentionally kill. Why? Because they have eradicated greed, hatred and delusion.
If there at all existed intentional killing not rooted in greed, hatred & delusion, then an arahant would be able to be such a killer. This doesn't conform.

Ekaṁsena Sutta (AN 2.18) wrote: I say categorically, Ananda, that bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct should not be done.

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:58 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:25 pm
Intentionally killing is always unwholesome, or at best mixed kamma, and is always rooted in worldliness (to achieve a worldly result).
An arahant cannot, does not intentionally kill. Why? Because they have eradicated greed, hatred and delusion.
If there at all existed intentional killing not rooted in greed, hatred & delusion, then an arahant would be able to be such a killer. This doesn't conform.

Ekaṁsena Sutta (AN 2.18) wrote: I say categorically, Ananda, that bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct should not be done.
It is refreshing change to read categorical answers like this. I am glad you replied.

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by perkele » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:00 pm

perkele wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:43 am
DooDoot wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:01 am
The suttas often describe how a King executes a murderer, thief or adulterer for their crimes. These suttas say the murderer, thief or adulterer commits bad karma but they do not comment on the King.
That is probably because the person (or people) being taught at that point is supposed to identify with the murderer, the thief or adulterer, and put himself into his position, while reflecting on the potential outcomes of his own potential actions. The king's morality is not questioned here, because he is not the one being spoken to (metaphorically). At least that seems to be the case for the sutta (SN 12.70) you (@DooDoot) gave as an example.
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 am
Obviously, these assumptions are not conclusive; unless we can find a definitive sutta where the Buddha tells Kings punishing evil-doers is unwholesome.
It is obvious that in the context of the sutta you gave as an example the person being taught is supposed to identify with the position of the one about to be punished by the king.

The Buddha taught people according to their situation and capabilities. Kings are not in a position where they are easily taught what to do. And the fact that the Buddha often spoke about kings punishing and executing criminals to illustrate teachings on kamma and vipaka does not mean that he condoned such actions. Just that these were quite normal, and lent themselves to illustrate the points he had to teach.
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 am
And what is the root of the unwholesome? Greed is a root of the unwholesome; hate is a root of the unwholesome; delusion is a root of the unwholesome. This is called the root of the unwholesome.

MN 9
In other words, killing rooted in greed, hatred & delusion is obviously unwholesome but killing not rooted in greed, hatred & delusion appears to not be mentioned.
Probably that is because (intentional!) killing not rooted in greed, hatred & delusion does not exist.
It seems to me that there is no intentional killing which is not rooted in greed, hatred and delusion. To intentionally deprive another being of life without greed, hatred or delusion present seems impossible to me. Even when it is to save another, as in this example this kind of favouritism (who deserves to live and who doesn't) seems to be bound up with greed, hatred and delusion.
(In that example thread linked to you have made a number of unreasonable statements, jumped to conclusions, which I would like to refute, but not having time to address everything in detail at the moment.)
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 am
Contrary to your assumptions, the Buddha appeared to keep silent on certain subtle matters.
Contrary to your assumptions, the Buddha was very clear in his statement of certain moral absolutes:
MN 9 wrote:Killing living beings is unwholesome
This is a categorical statement. I don't understand how you can ignore that or try to argue around it.
MN 9 wrote:6. "And what is the wholesome? Abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; abstention from false speech is wholesome; abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; abstention from gossip is wholesome; non-covetousness is wholesome; non-ill will is wholesome; right view is wholesome. This is called the wholesome."
Sounds all very absolute to me.
That doesn't mean that it's easy. Being caught up in moral dilemmas where every choice is bad is not uncommon, but more likely the norm. One has to work towards moral purity and towards freedom where one can actually abstain from unwholesome actions. That is why there is a monastic path of renunciation, requiring one to leave behind all worldly involvements, possessions, belongings, and affiliations, so one can strive towards purity.
DooDoot wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:21 am
I think we need to provide more compelling reasoning so to avoid sīlabbata-parāmāsa & avoid a type of morality that does not lead to concentration & liberation but, instead, leads to the hindrance of paranoia, worry & flurry.
I do not see why regarding any killing categorically as unwholesome should lead to paranoia. But it might lead to samvega, when realizing how hard it is to actually abstain from killing, and how tightly one is entangled in this recycling process of killing to survive, dying to be reborn... and on and on.
Accepting the reality of certain moral absolutes does not amount to sīlabbata-parāmāsa. It just means accepting that the path to moral purity (and enlightenment) is difficult.

I recommend reading this essay: Getting the message

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:28 pm

What if you are innocent and everybody but your mother is trying to kill you, you mother want to kill them all with a single push of a button to save you. Do you kill her if only option to stop her is to kill?
categorical answer kill mother or no, whats best strategy NM?
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"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:21 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:58 pm
It is refreshing change to read categorical answers like this. I am glad you replied.
I doubt a Hindu-Buddhist, still not with 100% conviction in Buddhism, is able to make an accurate assessment of what Buddhism teaches.
Nicolas wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:25 pm
Intentionally killing is always unwholesome, or at best mixed kamma, and is always rooted in worldliness (to achieve a worldly result).
An arahant cannot, does not intentionally kill. Why? Because they have eradicated greed, hatred and delusion.
If there at all existed intentional killing not rooted in greed, hatred & delusion, then an arahant would be able to be such a killer. This doesn't conform.

Ekaṁsena Sutta (AN 2.18) wrote: I say categorically, Ananda, that bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct should not be done.
Hi Nicholas

Thank you for attempting to participate in an educated Dhamma discussion with me however I personally think relying on fundamentalist assertions does not help very much. The quote from AN 2.18 still does not answer what exactly is bodily misconduct. Now, back to the matter of greed, hatred & delusion, for an arahant or noble one, delusion is related to self-views. But for a Buddhist lay person, delusion is not related to self-views. For a Buddhist lay person, delusion is defined as follows & includes the assumptions of having the view of self or "beings" ("satta"):
And how is one made pure in three ways by mental action? There is the case where a certain person is not covetous. He does not covet the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears no ill will and is not corrupt in the resolves of his heart. [He thinks,] 'May these beings be free from animosity, free from oppression, free from trouble, and may they look after themselves with ease!' He has right view and is not warped in the way he sees things: 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the other world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously born beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the other after having directly known & realized it for themselves.'

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
The above non-delusion or right view for a Buddhist layperson is again made explicitly clearly in MN 117 as including the view of self, as follows:
And what is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the other world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously born beings; there are contemplatives & brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the other after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Therefore, for a Buddhist layperson, non-deluson is a matter of good kamma rather than transcendent kamma.

A Buddhist lay person has the following duties according to the Buddha-Dhamma:
In five ways, young householder, the parents thus ministered to as the East by their children, show their compassion:

(i) they restrain them from evil,
(ii) they encourage them to do good,
(iii) they train them for a profession,
(iv) they arrange a suitable marriage,
(v) at the proper time they hand over their inheritance to them.

DN 31
I assume, the above includes to protect their children from evil, as also said in the teaching of sexual misconduct:
...those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives...

AN 10.176
In conclusion, in my opinion, you have not posted anything that categorically supports your assertions because in Buddhism there are teachings for those who live a life of "worldliness"; such as those people who must engage in the "worldliness" of sexual intercourse. It appears your attempting to rely on the behaviour of an Arahant to support a fundamentalist view would deem celibacy as the only sexual orientation of a Buddhist. I think this shows how wrong the attempted argument is & that you need to do better in representing Buddhism accurately.

With metta :smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:54 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:32 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:25 pm
Intentionally killing is always unwholesome, or at best mixed kamma, and is always rooted in worldliness (to achieve a worldly result).
An arahant cannot, does not intentionally kill. Why? Because they have eradicated greed, hatred and delusion.
If there at all existed intentional killing not rooted in greed, hatred & delusion, then an arahant would be able to be such a killer. This doesn't conform.

Ekaṁsena Sutta (AN 2.18) wrote: I say categorically, Ananda, that bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, & mental misconduct should not be done.
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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:37 pm

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:32 pm
:goodpost:
Its not a good post. Please allowing me to finish refuting it. Thanks

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by Nicolas » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:51 pm

Bodily misconduct is performing unwholesome bodily action, which as described in MN 9 and AN 10.176 (which you just quoted), includes killing.

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:55 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:51 pm
Bodily misconduct is performing unwholesome bodily action, which as described in MN 9 and AN 10.176 (which you just quoted), includes killing.
This is arguing around in circles because it is making implicit assumptions about the meaning of words. If I am a parent & must protect my child from a murderer, surely this is not unwholesome. At least to me, it sounds insane to a reasonable person that a parent or person acting in self defense is acting in an unwholesome manner. Sorry, but all you seem to be offering to the thread is unreflective fundamentalism.
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by Nicolas » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:57 pm

It's mixed:
Ariyamagga Sutta wrote: And what is kamma that is dark & bright with dark & bright result? There is the case where a certain person fabricates a bodily fabrication that is injurious & non-injurious… a verbal fabrication that is injurious & non-injurious… a mental fabrication that is injurious & non-injurious.… He rearises in an injurious & non-injurious world.… There he is touched by injurious & non-injurious contacts.… He experiences injurious & non-injurious feelings, pleasure mingled with pain, like those of human beings, some devas, and some beings in the lower realms. This is called kamma that is dark & bright with dark & bright result.

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:59 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:57 pm
It's mixed:
I must start work now but it appears you have now changed your view. :roll:

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by Nicolas » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:00 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:25 pm
Intentionally killing is always unwholesome, or at best mixed kamma.

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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:07 am

Nicolas wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:00 pm
...at best mixed kamma.
So are all worldly pursuits according to Buddhism that are imbued with attachment, such as having a family. You have not really posted anything from the Pali suttas that condemns killing in self-defense. The posts have been mere generalisations & fundamentalist rhetoric. I stand by my opinion that the Buddha did not seek to 'micro-manage' the lives of ordinary people; particularly in a manner to impair their common sense.

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