David N. Snyder wrote:
I don't think the Buddha would ever make a distinction between the value of a killer's life and the value of a "good" person's life. All life is precious and all people desire to not die.
In this hypothetical, throwing yourself on the track will not work, nor will attempting to untie the one person as the train is moving too fast; so yes the only choice is to flip the switch or not flip the switch.
Thanks for sharing your opinion. I agree, all life is of value and of course there was Angulimala, a murderer who became an arahant. But in this case there is an opportunity to protect the innocent, who are larger in number. I wonder if not flipping the switch is in some way an act of selfishness? I'm not sure; just throwing that idea / question out there. For example, we worry about our kamma and what might happen to us rather than take the 'kammic hit' and as a result five innocent people die to save one bad person.
What is an innocent? One you are attached to? Do you really like to safe those innocent or your reflections of self as an objects of it?
A gun shoots its children — its bullets — outward. We shoot ours inward, into our heart. When they're good, we're shot in the heart. When they're bad, we're shot in the heart. They're an affair of kamma, our children. There are good ones, there are bad ones, but both the good and bad are our children all the same.
When they're born, look at us: The worse off they are, the more we love them. If one of them comes down with polio and gets crippled, that's the one we love the most. When we leave the house we tell the older ones, "Look after your little sister. Look after this one" — because we love her. When we're about to die we tell them, "Look after her. Look after my child." She's not strong, so you love her even more.
Are we killing and taking for the innocent or for our attachments to them. Are we killing and taking for them alone, or because we look up for a reason to continue our ways, to give our imperfect acting an reason? "Let us kill and take together so both of us have a share, and we do it for each other, nit for our self... We are so poor, but let us help."
If there's no wound on the hand,
that hand can hold poison.
Poison won't penetrate
where there's no wound.
There's no evil
for those who don't do it.
— Dhp 124
And it is not so important to judge others situation with this natural effect, but to look why it hurts, why it still penetrates, look and care about the own wounds. Care of getting no additional, abstain from what is bad. Care for poisoning don't enter them and just do what is good. While we clean the wounds till the heal.
There is just one way to heal our wounds: The Healing Power of the Precepts
When we do not put simple virtue higher as our wired judgements we do not only harm others but also ourselves. And we really do not need to worry that all our objects of attachments will sooner or later die, so it quite better to unsnarl them for our attachments give our self and them freedom and simply live without entering another trap.
Friends, please work on you conviction in regard of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. We can not benefit form the teachings if we have no real conviction into it. If we are not honest to the Dhamma the Dhamma will not be honest to us. We do not find answers in words, but by honestly digging in our self. Start to establish right view and do not proclaim disabilities and make them to a matter Dhamma should transport. It's good to see the own borderline and learn form those who already have crossed it. Its not so wise to pull those looking forward back and keep them away form the stream. It might cut of the flow not only for one self.
Dhp. 84 He is indeed virtuous, wise, and righteous who neither for his own sake nor for the sake of another (does any wrong), who does not crave for sons, wealth, or kingdom, and does not desire success by unjust means.
I should stop doing wrong, but it's really not easy. *smile* Maybe still attached?