In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

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Trindolex
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In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

Post by Trindolex » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:07 am

Hello,

I quite like this ancient Roman saying 'In matters of taste, there can be no disputes' (De gustibus non est disputandum). From Wikipedia:
The implication is that everyone's personal preferences are merely subjective opinions that cannot be "right" or "wrong," so they should never be argued about as if they were.
I use it quite often to shut down unnecessary conversations that lead nowhere, and it seems pretty effective too, people seem to immediately understand what it means and are satisfied to change the subject.

Does anyone know of anything similar that can be found in the suttas? I expect the Buddha's take on this topic to be more profound and it would carry more weight for me than an anonymous Roman saying.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:44 am

There's probably something similar in the Suttas.Mahāgandhayon Sayādaw expresses it like this:

Measuring Things

99. Everybody measures things with the yardstick of his own views.
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Unrul3r
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Re: In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

Post by Unrul3r » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:14 am

The gist of the following verse reflects the idea that is present in that saying:
[u]AN 6.63 (Thanissaro)[/u] wrote:The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality,
not the beautiful sensual pleasures found in the world.
The passion for his resolves is a man's sensuality.
The beauties remain as they are in the world,
while the wise, in this regard, subdue their desire.
[u]AN 6.63 (Bodhi)[/u] wrote:They are not sensual pleasures, the pretty things in
the world:
a person’s sensual pleasure is lustful intention;
the pretty things remain just as they are in the world,
but the wise remove the desire for them.
The wording is a bit different depending on the translation but it's meaning resembles that saying. Taste (or distaste) depends on each person's perceptions & desire for the beautiful (or ugly) things in the world. Disputing about them is futile since those desires are different from person to person and depend on the value each person attributes to those things.

:namaste:

Trindolex
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Re: In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

Post by Trindolex » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:42 am

I vaguely recall there being a sutta where 5 kings each claim that one of the senses is chief, and then the Buddha comes along and sets them straight but I forget how. If anyone knows the reference and any other relevant references, it would be appreciated.

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Unrul3r
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Re: In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

Post by Unrul3r » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:01 pm

Trindolex wrote:I vaguely recall there being a sutta where 5 kings each claim that one of the senses is chief, and then the Buddha comes along and sets them straight but I forget how. If anyone knows the reference and any other relevant references, it would be appreciated.
The discourse you mention is SN 3.12 (Five Kings).

:anjali:

alan
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Re: In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

Post by alan » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:37 am

Tastes are subjective, but views can be wrong.

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Mkoll
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Re: In matters of taste, there can be no disputes

Post by Mkoll » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:21 am

alan wrote:Tastes are subjective, but views can be wrong.
Yes, I think that's true from a Buddhist standpoint.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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