Preciousness of human life

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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No_Mind
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Preciousness of human life

Post by No_Mind » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:26 am

Preciousness of human life, the core foundation of Buddhism, does it hold up?
"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
I have no problem in being a part of samsara if I am not human. If I am a rat, crocodile, dog, lion, hyena .. where is the suffering? I have been closely observing living beings for past two months .. save stray dogs which fight with each other and sometimes get run over by a car .. almost all animals lead lives I envy. Yes a wildebeest may die in crocodile or lion attack but so do humans.

I have never heard of a sparrow with supra ventricular tachycardia (always fearing heart rate might shoot up to 150 beats) or wild boar with trigeminal neuralgia (with terrible accompanying pain) and knowing there is no viable reasonably low cost solution. Except for the last 10 minutes of my life as a wildebeest or sparrow or lizard .. what is wrong with being one?

I would rather be

Image

than

Image

any day.

The latter will be bullied at school, spend years trying to buy a house, take care of aging parents though he cannot afford it, be shouted at by boss, have doctors shove medicines down his throat so as to keep him alive till 90 and for last 30 years of his life he will be scared to death every time he has a persistent cough that it might be cancer .. then die a miserable death in an old age home .. daily lying in his own excreta till the attendant has time to clean him and urinating through a catheter.

Have you ever seen a hippo or wolf or ant lying in its own excreta for five years .. or a porcupine looking for a job .. or a grasshopper worrying about mortgage payments?

Image

Where is the animal equivalent of above?

I know there will be several knee jerk sutta throwing reactions asking for my heretical views to be done away with forever .. but leave the suttas for a minute and think with your own mind (provided you have not lost it to cultish fervour) .. Will you have lot of problem being a hippo or crocodile .. or shark .. or amoeba .. or anteater?

Are not all your problems because you are human .. and not because you were a part of samsara?

And .. if I do believe that human life is precious why should I not kill living beings .. if a rat had 10145697 lives left to be born as a human then by killing it I have hastened its path to Nirvana since it now has 10145696 lives left (note - Hindu idea of not killing has different basis .. Hinduism believes there is God in everyone of us .. all living beings .. that is sort of a good reason to not kill .. I being a part of God should not kill another being which is also a part of God)

Is this not a contradiction in Buddhism?

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

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cappuccino
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:03 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:26 am
Will you have lot of problem being a hippo or crocodile … or shark … or amoeba … or anteater?

see their suffering

see how we don't experience their suffering

see how angels don't experience our suffering

James Tan
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by James Tan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:09 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:26 am
Preciousness of human life, the core foundation of Buddhism, does it hold up?
"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
I have no problem in being a part of samsara if I am not human. If I am a rat, crocodile, dog, lion, hyena .. where is the suffering? I have been closely observing living beings for past two months .. save stray dogs which fight with each other and sometimes get run over by a car .. almost all animals lead lives I envy. Yes a wildebeest may die in crocodile or lion attack but so do humans.

I have never heard of a sparrow with supra ventricular tachycardia (always fearing heart rate might shoot up to 150 beats) or wild boar with trigeminal neuralgia (with terrible accompanying pain) and knowing there is no viable reasonably low cost solution. Except for the last 10 minutes of my life as a wildebeest or sparrow or lizard .. what is wrong with being one?

I would rather be

Image

than

Image

any day.

The latter will be bullied at school, spend years trying to buy a house, take care of aging parents though he cannot afford it, be shouted at by boss, have doctors shove medicines down his throat so as to keep him alive till 90 and for last 30 years of his life he will be scared to death every time he has a persistent cough that it might be cancer .. then die a miserable death in an old age home .. daily lying in his own excreta till the attendant has time to clean him and urinating through a catheter.

Have you ever seen a hippo or wolf or ant lying in its own excreta for five years .. or a porcupine looking for a job .. or a grasshopper worrying about mortgage payments?

Image

Where is the animal equivalent of above?

I know there will be several knee jerk sutta throwing reactions asking for my heretical views to be done away with forever .. but leave the suttas for a minute and think with your own mind (provided you have not lost it to cultish fervour) .. Will you have lot of problem being a hippo or crocodile .. or shark .. or amoeba .. or anteater?

Are not all your problems because you are human .. and not because you were a part of samsara?

And .. if I do believe that human life is precious why should I not kill living beings .. if a rat had 10145697 lives left to be born as a human then by killing it I have hastened its path to Nirvana since it now has 10145696 lives left (note - Hindu idea of not killing has different basis .. Hinduism believes there is God in everyone of us .. all living beings .. that is sort of a good reason to not kill .. I being a part of God should not kill another being which is also a part of God)

Is this not a contradiction in Buddhism?

:namaste:
Hi ,

We as a human being can be certain what sufferings we are going through , but , we can't be certain how and what kind of suffering the animals is going through .
I heard someone with psychic said sometimes if the animals being ran over by cars , they will repeatedly having the experience ie continuously being run over is due to their kamma until the force exhausted and then take their following course accordingly .

By comparison , living as a deva is far more superior than human being , therefore , I supposed human being realm is less suffering compare to animal planes .
:reading:

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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by DooDoot » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:18 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:26 am
"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state"

SN 56.48: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
I prefer the previous sutta SN 56.47: https://suttacentral.net/sn56.47/en/bodhi
Sooner, I say, would that blind turtle, coming to the surface once every hundred years, insert its neck into that yoke with a single hole than the fool who has gone once to the nether world would regain the human state. For what reason? Because here, bhikkhus, there is no conduct guided by the Dhamma, no righteous conduct, no wholesome activity, no meritorious activity. Here there prevails mutual devouring, the devouring of the weak. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, they have not seen the Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:20 am

during this time of a Buddha's teaching available in the world

people are doing trivial things

caught in another religion

animals of course cannot benefit

(amazing)

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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by No_Mind » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:27 am

James Tan wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:09 am
Hi ,

We as a human being can be certain what sufferings we are going through , but , we can't be certain how and what kind of suffering the animals is going through .

I heard someone with psychic said sometimes if the animals being ran over by cars , they will repeatedly having the experience ie continuously being run over is due to their kamma until the force exhausted and then take their following course accordingly .

By comparison , living as a deva is far more superior than human being , therefore , I supposed human being realm is less suffering compare to animal planes .
We cannot be certain if they are suffering but prima facie examination of an ant's life shows no suffering. Do ant's have a sales target to meet .. maybe .. but the word maybe cuts both ways .. maybe ants are immensely happy

I would place very little value in what psychics said. We are having a rational discussion.

Existence of devas is unproven and therefore invalid.

Please understand I am not trashing the Buddha's teachings .. just clearing up few points.

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

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No_Mind
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by No_Mind » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:28 am

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:20 am
during this time of a Buddha's teaching available in the world

people are doing trivial things

caught in another religion

animals of course cannot benefit

(amazing)
Can you use more than four words in a sentence?

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

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No_Mind
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by No_Mind » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:31 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:18 am
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:26 am
"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state"

SN 56.48: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html
I prefer the previous sutta SN 56.47: https://suttacentral.net/sn56.47/en/bodhi
Sooner, I say, would that blind turtle, coming to the surface once every hundred years, insert its neck into that yoke with a single hole than the fool who has gone once to the nether world would regain the human state. For what reason? Because here, bhikkhus, there is no conduct guided by the Dhamma, no righteous conduct, no wholesome activity, no meritorious activity. Here there prevails mutual devouring, the devouring of the weak. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, they have not seen the Four Noble Truths. What four? The noble truth of suffering … the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.
Doot .. what I am trying to ask is ..

What would you be if I gave you a choice before your birth -

a human with one in a trillion chance of achieving Nibbana but 99.999999999% chance of suffering in ways listed above in OP

Or

an ant

I would unhesitatingly be the ant (or cockroach or rat or sparrow or even a factory farmed animal .. I will be well fed and looked after through my life and the hammer which kills me would take just a few seconds)

:namaste:
Last edited by No_Mind on Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:32 am

you like worms for breakfast? every day

you prefer crawling on the ground? where things may eat you

sigh

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No_Mind
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by No_Mind » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:34 am

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:32 am
you like worms for breakfast? every day

you prefer crawling on the ground? where things may eat you

when is the last time someone ate your baby?
Do you know how many are trying to eat me? The worm cannot even begin to compare its suffering with mine.

I would rather that something ate me and it was all over in few seconds instead of this "death by thousand cuts" called the human life.

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

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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:38 am

animal realm is where no problems of hell are

human realm is where no problems of animals are

angelic rebirth is where no problems of humanity are

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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by No_Mind » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:48 am

I was thinking interpreting Buddha's teachings in terms of one life would be beneficial.

I cannot choose if I am an ant or human or deva. But since I am a human .. try to be virtuous and hope .. next life is as an ant or deva but not human.

That is the best possible course?

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

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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:51 am

very few are born as human a second time

you have a rare, one chance
Last edited by cappuccino on Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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No_Mind
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by No_Mind » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:52 am

cappuccino wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:51 am
very few are born as human a second time

you have a rare, one chance
Thank God. Oh Lord Jesus I pray may it never happens again.

:namaste:
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cappuccino
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:56 am

first is seeing the evil of existence

listening to Buddha is undoing the evil of existence

then existence loses power over you

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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:13 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:52 am
may it never happen again.
the chance of it happening at all is very rare

I meant, it rarely happens twice in a row

human life is lightning

James Tan
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by James Tan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:18 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:27 am
James Tan wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:09 am
Hi ,

We as a human being can be certain what sufferings we are going through , but , we can't be certain how and what kind of suffering the animals is going through .

I heard someone with psychic said sometimes if the animals being ran over by cars , they will repeatedly having the experience ie continuously being run over is due to their kamma until the force exhausted and then take their following course accordingly .

By comparison , living as a deva is far more superior than human being , therefore , I supposed human being realm is less suffering compare to animal planes .
We cannot be certain if they are suffering but prima facie examination of an ant's life shows no suffering. Do ant's have a sales target to meet .. maybe .. but the word maybe cuts both ways .. maybe ants are immensely happy

I would place very little value in what psychics said. We are having a rational discussion.

Existence of devas is unproven and therefore invalid.

Please understand I am not trashing the Buddha's teachings .. just clearing up few points.

:namaste:
Understanding occurs with accumulation of knowledges , but acquiring knowledge has it limits ! Sometimes , we could be wrong even though we feel certain about it .
Rationalization has its limitations . Therefore , I am afraid it may be not a Valid Tool to explore something not in its capability .
A rational mind is a limited mind . Well , I don't understand many things in this world but am learning . Unfortunately , the limited mind can't understand something outside it scope . You are not in animal realms therefore you can't be certain . However , I respect your decision of your choice to become an ant or whatsoever .
:reading:

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cappuccino
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by cappuccino » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:24 am

being human is the five precepts

if a human is really an angel, angelic rebirth will occur

binocular
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by binocular » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:40 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:26 am
I have no problem in being a part of samsara if I am not human. If I am a rat, crocodile, dog, lion, hyena .. where is the suffering?
/.../
Where is the animal equivalent of above?
/.../
Will you have lot of problem being a hippo or crocodile .. or shark .. or amoeba .. or anteater?
In the spirit of your request not to provide suttas, I suggest you read Thomas Nagel's seminal essay What is it like to be a bat?

Meezer77
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Re: Preciousness of human life

Post by Meezer77 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:26 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:48 am
I was thinking interpreting Buddha's teachings in terms of one life would be beneficial.

I cannot choose if I am an ant or human or deva. But since I am a human .. try to be virtuous and hope .. next life is as an ant or deva but not human.

That is the best possible course?

:namaste:
Ants don't have it that great. They have to carry huge loads all the time and are really overworked. Don't think they have a union neither 😓😓😓

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