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

Post by DNS » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:46 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:18 pm
Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:07 am
If a monk was physically attacked, the Buddha allowed him to strike back in self-defense, but never with the intention to kill.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ssage.html
What is the reference for this?
In the Vinaya, Suttavibhanga, the 92 pacittiya (rules entailing confession), number 74 states:

74. Should any bhikkhu, angered and displeased, give a blow to (another) bhikkhu, it is to be confessed.
The factors for the full offense here are three.
1) Object: another bhikkhu.
2) Effort: One gives him a blow
3) Intention: out of anger.
Non-offenses: According to the Vibhaṅga, there is no offense for a bhikkhu who, trapped in a difficult situation, gives a blow "desiring freedom." The Commentary's discussion of this point shows that it includes what we at present would call self-defense; and the Commentary's analysis of the factors of the offense here shows that even if anger or displeasure arises in one's mind in cases like this, there is no penalty.

Summary: Giving a blow to another bhikkhu when impelled by anger, except in self-defense, is a pācittiya offense.

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

Post by binocular » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:47 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:41 pm
binocular wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:40 pm
I wouldn't call keeping the five precepts an act of "emulating an arahant" and it makes no sense to me to conceive of things this way.
It doesn't matter what one calls it, as long as the intentional action (or inaction) is the same.
It does matter, because it indicates a person's motivation for doing a particular action.

For example, an adult man can do things because his parents and teachers taught him to be a "good boy", and so he might seem like he's emulating an arahant, when in actuality, he's just a man-child still acting out of fear of his parents and teachers. I'm quite sure arahants aren't like that.

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

Post by Nicolas » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:53 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:47 pm
It does matter, because it indicates a person's motivation for doing a particular action.

For example, an adult man can do things because his parents and teachers taught him to be a "good boy", and so he might seem like he's emulating an arahant, when in actuality, he's just a man-child still acting out of fear of his parents and teachers. I'm quite sure arahants aren't like that.
Point taken. Let me rephrase:
binocular wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:08 pm
It's strange that so many Buddhists expect lays to emulate arahants when it comes to killing, but not in other ways. If lay people follow those expectations about not killing, while being lays in all the other aspects, that makes them very vulnerable, far more vulnerable than their lay practice can handle.
At the very least, one can expect lay people to keep the five precepts. I have no trouble not killing, and it does not make me vulnerable. I am lucky enough to live in a safe area, so am privileged in that respect, but even in more dangerous areas, what might be the percentage of people who have killed in self-defense? I would expect it to be low, unless one were in a warzone.

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

Post by binocular » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:07 pm

DNS wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:46 pm
In the Vinaya, Suttavibhanga, the 92 pacittiya (rules entailing confession), number 74 states:

74. Should any bhikkhu, angered and displeased, give a blow to (another) bhikkhu, it is to be confessed.
The factors for the full offense here are three.
1) Object: another bhikkhu.
2) Effort: One gives him a blow
3) Intention: out of anger.
Non-offenses: According to the Vibhaṅga, there is no offense for a bhikkhu who, trapped in a difficult situation, gives a blow "desiring freedom." The Commentary's discussion of this point shows that it includes what we at present would call self-defense; and the Commentary's analysis of the factors of the offense here shows that even if anger or displeasure arises in one's mind in cases like this, there is no penalty.

Summary: Giving a blow to another bhikkhu when impelled by anger, except in self-defense, is a pācittiya offense.
Thank you for the reference.

It would appear then that being "trapped in a difficult situation" creates the special circumstance that abolishes or trumps other considerations.

In contrast, as far as I know, in the Wild West, they had no concept of self-defense. So if someone shot at you, and you shot back in self-defense, and the other person died, you would be hanged as a murderer. Given the lack of proper courts and forensic procedures, that sort of makes sense, as there's just no way to prove who started the fight, and the threat of a severe punishment should discourage fighting.
But it's not clear why the same kind of reasoning should be used by Buddhists.


That said, it's still not clear how it is possible to hit effectively but without the desire to do harm (provided we are ordinary people who don't have training in the special art of how to hit to incapacitate your attacker but without causing them harm).
Even when one intends to use force merely because one desires freedom, one still has to think about how to use physical force effectively; and that means using it in a way that will cause harm.

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

Post by binocular » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:14 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:53 pm
At the very least, one can expect lay people to keep the five precepts. I have no trouble not killing, and it does not make me vulnerable. I am lucky enough to live in a safe area, so am privileged in that respect, but even in more dangerous areas, what might be the percentage of people who have killed in self-defense? I would expect it to be low, unless one were in a warzone.
We're not talking just about killing people, or at least so far this hasn't been specified.
There's also the issue of killing animals in self-defense.

Case in point: Our cats are terrorized by the neighbor's tomcat, who is bigger and stronger than they are. What am I supposed to do? Let him terrorize them? He won't let himself be merely shooed away. Talking to the neighbor or involving animal services is ineffective. See where this is going?

but even in more dangerous areas, what might be the percentage of people who have killed in self-defense?
What does such percentage matter?

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

Post by Nicolas » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:24 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:14 pm
We're not talking just about killing people, or at least so far this hasn't been specified.
There's also the issue of killing animals in self-defense.

Case in point: Our cats are terrorized by the neighbor's tomcat, who is bigger and stronger than they are. What am I supposed to do? Let him terrorize them? He won't let himself be merely shooed away. Talking to the neighbor or involving animal services is ineffective. See where this is going?
Indeed. Difficult choices! But does the tomcat deserve to die because of their terrorizing actions? What if you kill the tomcat, won't the neighbor be upset, and perhaps even retaliate by killing one of your cats?
binocular wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:14 pm
What does such percentage matter?
I referred to percentage because you referred to vulnerability. If one's life or physical well-being is not endangered, or there is a low chance of it being endangered, then one is not made particularly vulnerable by refraining from killing.

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

Post by binocular » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:30 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:24 pm
I referred to percentage because you referred to vulnerability. If one's life or physical well-being is not endangered, or there is a low chance of it being endangered, then one is not made particularly vulnerable by refraining from killing.
Think about people who live from agriculture, and who need to kill a lot of animals if they wish to grow some crops.

For example: Here in Europe (and elsewhere in the world too), there is an invasion of the red/brown slug. These slugs eat young plants, to the ground. If you don't kill the slugs, you will have an empty garden or field.
Not killing the slugs makes you vulnerable.

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

Post by Nicolas » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:59 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:30 pm
Think about people who live from agriculture, and who need to kill a lot of animals if they wish to grow some crops.

For example: Here in Europe (and elsewhere in the world too), there is an invasion of the red/brown slug. These slugs eat young plants, to the ground. If you don't kill the slugs, you will have an empty garden or field.
Not killing the slugs makes you vulnerable.
Indeed... it is difficult to live in the world and be pure. Lucky are those who don't have to take lives to sustain their own.

These come to mind:
Dhaniya Sutta (Snp 1.2) wrote: Those with children
grieve
precisely because of their children.
Those with cattle
grieve
precisely because of their cows.
A person’s grief
comes from acquisitions,
for a person with no acquisitions
doesn’t grieve.
Mahādukkhakkhandha Sutta (MN 13) wrote: And what, bhikkhus, is the danger in the case of sensual pleasures? Here, bhikkhus, on account of the craft by which a clansman makes a living—whether checking or accounting or calculating or farming or trading or husbandry or archery or the royal service, or whatever craft it may be—he has to face cold, he has to face heat, he is injured by contact with gadflies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and creeping things; he risks death by hunger and thirst. Now this is a danger in the case of sensual pleasures, a mass of suffering visible here and now, having sensual pleasures as its cause, sensual pleasures as its source, sensual pleasures as its basis, the cause being simply sensual pleasures.

If no property comes to the clansman while he works and strives and makes an effort thus, he sorrows, grieves, and laments, he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught, crying: ‘My work is in vain, my effort is fruitless!’ Now this too is a danger in the case of sensual pleasures, a mass of suffering visible here and now…the cause being simply sensual pleasures.

If property comes to the clansman while he works and strives and makes an effort thus, he experiences pain and grief in protecting it: ‘How shall neither kings nor thieves make off with my property, nor fire burn it, nor water sweep it away, nor hateful heirs make off with it?’ And as he guards and protects his property, kings or thieves make off with it, or fire burns it, or water sweeps it away, or hateful heirs make off with it. And he sorrows, grieves, and laments, he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught, crying: ‘What I had I have no longer!’ Now this too is a danger in the case of sensual pleasures, a mass of suffering visible here and now…the cause being simply sensual pleasures.

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

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:31 pm

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:07 am
When asked if there was anything whose killing he approved of, the Buddha answered that there was only one thing: anger.
The above seems to say to Buddha disapproved of anger. Regardless, it is just someone's opinion. I think cutting & pasting poorly written text does not lend to clear discussion.
In no recorded instance did he approve of killing any living being at all.
This is obviously false because I already posted from the suttas where the Buddha said, with equanimity, that the King executes criminals.
When one of his monks went to an executioner and told the man to kill his victims compassionately, with one blow, rather than torturing them, the Buddha expelled the monk from the Sangha, on the grounds that even the recommendation to kill compassionately is still a recommendation to kill — something he would never condone.
Yes, the above is a transgression of the Vinaya.
If a monk was physically attacked, the Buddha allowed him to strike back in self-defense, but never with the intention to kill.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ssage.html
Yes, but this is for monks. Please post better quotes. Thanks
Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:17 pm
Dhammika Sutta (Snp 2.14) wrote:Let the intelligent person live a celibate life,
as one would avoid a pit of glowing coals;
but being unable to live the celibate life,
go not beyond the bounds with others’ partners.
Yes but this is not for all laypeople but for the rare layperson. This quote is ridiculous in the context of the discussion.

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

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:36 pm

i think you are already committed to your wrong opinion, doodoot, even if rhetorically. im not really trying to prove to you anything
yea, the difference between taking life and being compassionate is night and day
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Re: Poll - If you had to kill in self-defense would you?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:36 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:34 pm
At the very least, one can expect lay people to emulate arahants when it comes to killing, stealing, adultery or rape, lying, and drinking, i.e. the five precepts.
Yep, now we get to some pithy discussion & some eel-wriggling. It is obvious sexual misconduct is much more than adultery or rape. I doubt rape is even mentioned in the suttas, given it is a civil crime in most places. The above post appears to say any sex that is not rape or not adultery is wholesome & skilful.
Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:53 pm
I have no trouble not killing, and it does not make me vulnerable.
Indeed. Most people don't have problems with killing other people.
Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:53 pm
I am lucky enough to live in a safe area, so am privileged in that respect, but even in more dangerous areas, what might be the percentage of people who have killed in self-defense? I would expect it to be low, unless one were in a warzone.
Indeed. Which is why a pointed out the ridiculousness of Buddhists being sanctimonious about non-killing; similar to the Tibetan Lama who offered refuge with the precept of non-killing and spent his time both sexually & financially abusing a number of his female disciples.
Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:53 pm
At the very least, one can expect lay people to keep the five precepts.
What, non-rape & non-adultery?
Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:24 pm
Indeed. Difficult choices! But does the tomcat deserve to die because of their terrorizing actions? What if you kill the tomcat, won't the neighbor be upset, and perhaps even retaliate by killing one of your cats?
I already provided the example of dogs that kill children.
Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:59 pm
Indeed... it is difficult to live in the world and be pure.
This sounds quite voyeuristic to me: "I am lucky enough to live in a safe area, so am privileged in that respect". When one lives in a Buddhist country, when one lives with monks in a monastery dependent upon the donations of laypeople and when one actually discerns what the Buddha taught (rather than picking & choosing to copy & paste lofty quotes that are totally divorced from one's own life) - one might discover it is not particularly proper & virtuous to disparage laypeople as appear to be done above. There are many teachings in the suttas that appear to disparage the lives of laypeople but these teachings were never meant to be read by or spoken to laypeople. This is part of training in virtue. Your posts appear to be going further & further into extremes of non-Dhamma because, like a fundamentalist person that worships a God & disparages non-believers, you seem to be involved in the fundamentalist worship of Arahants in a way that disparages laypeople. For example, in MN 87, when a man is grieving for his lost son, the Buddha does not disparage the life of a householder (as found in Snp 2.14). The Buddha merely says:
That's the way it is, householder. That's the way it is — for sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear.
:alien:
Nicolas wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:59 pm
Lucky are those who don't have to take lives to sustain their own.
In the suttas, are there any explicit teachings about not killing animals for food? Why didn't the Buddha insist his monks only take vegetarian food?

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

Post by manas » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:58 pm

Yes, but with a big 'DEPENDS ON THE SITUATION' added, which these polls don't allow for.

If there is no less harmful way to stop an aggressor from harming my kids, yep I'm willing to kill that aggressor. I believe MOST fathers, even Buddhist ones, will understand how I feel.

I hope the situation never arises though, because I try to avoid killing any living being at all, and the thought of killing even a very badly-behaving human being, is an awful one.

Let's all hope we never need to make such a dreadful choice.
:anjali:
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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

Post by Nwad » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:48 am

And if these ypung childrens on the beach was a bloody murderers in their past life abs the truck driver terrorist was a little girl beeing violated by them ? :jawdrop:

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

Post by No_Mind » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:05 am

manas wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:58 pm
Yes, but with a big 'DEPENDS ON THE SITUATION' added, which these polls don't allow for.

If there is no less harmful way to stop an aggressor from harming my kids, yep I'm willing to kill that aggressor. I believe MOST fathers, even Buddhist ones, will understand how I feel.

I hope the situation never arises though, because I try to avoid killing any living being at all, and the thought of killing even a very badly-behaving human being, is an awful one.

Let's all hope we never need to make such a dreadful choice.
:anjali:
I have added to OP - as last resort after all other options have been exhausted. I meant it to be as last resort but had not written it.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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

Post by binocular » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:14 am

Nwad wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:48 am
And if these ypung childrens on the beach was a bloody murderers in their past life abs the truck driver terrorist was a little girl beeing violated by them ?
Which is why it is so difficult to be the arbiter of justice, when one doesn't know other people's kamma, past, present, or future.

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