Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20126
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:45 am

Greetings,

Just a little reminder to all to maintain the touchpoint to Buddhism in this topic.

Thanks!

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by binocular » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:50 am

lostitude wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:33 pm
That's a really short-sighted view of women's rights. You seem to be forgetting that less than 100 years ago, women in several so-called advanced nations had no right to vote. They were not even allowed to open a bank account without permission from their legal guardian. How do you think this all changed?
Today, at long last, Saudi women are allowed to drive. How do you think that came about?
Those are just crumbs and sand in the eyes. Superficial changes that don't really mean much to making an end to suffering.
I know people who are tolerant and compassionate like that, seeming so nice and accepting on the surface. Yet underneath that sweet-seeming surface, is a hard, cold, cruel person.
And how does that prove anything? Don't you think their cultural/religious backghound has a lot to do with that?
Probably -- in the sense that it gives them a defective foundation for tolerance, compassion, etc.
No child was naturally born a racist or intolerant person. They are taught to become so.
This issue is moot, and is similar to the problem of the original language.
The concept of human nature is highly problematic.
I really don't see how you can so adamantly deny this obvious fact.
Talk about intolerance!

You are at a Buddhist forum, a Theravada Buddhist forum at that. The findings of secular sociology and psychology are not the norm or obligatory here, and their explanations are not supposed to be automatically preferred over Buddhist ones, esp. not over Theravadan ones.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

lostitude
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:02 am

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by lostitude » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:05 am

binocular wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:37 am
In short, he doesn't think that being a socially engaged Buddhist is conducive to making progress on the Buddhist path. And I agree. I think that trying to resolve issues of social injustice, feminism, rights of workers, racism, ecology, and such is not conducive to making progress on the Buddhist path; and that it is also not necessary.
Why do you equate Western Buddhism to engaged buddhism? I certainly don't.
Are you sure that the OP posted the thread with the idea that "Personal labels inevitably lead to quarrels" in mind?

Talk about intolerance!
I happen to have carefully read his first few posts on this thread. Have you really? Judging from your usual contributions on this forum I doubt you agree with his statements. Is it intolerance to argue against shocking ideas?
You are at a Buddhist forum, a Theravada Buddhist forum at that. The findings of secular sociology and psychology are not the norm or obligatory here, and their explanations are not supposed to be automatically preferred over Buddhist ones, esp. not over Theravadan ones.
No one said they were superior, in fact I'm not the one who invoked psychology here. But it's funny you're calling me intolerant while banning any psychological perspectives from this discussion. :roll:

User avatar
Pseudobabble
Posts: 718
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:11 am
Location: London

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:29 am

lostitude wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:38 am
Pseudobabble wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:13 pm


1: Doubt it. Cruelty and nastiness are built into people (based on how people have behaved in all places and times, and continue to behave all around us, in all cultures), and require training in order not to be expressed. Hence sila.

2: Definitely not the case. Simple googling will show you much more.
1/Racism and intolerance are not any type of nastiness. They are based on beliefs and concepts that justify the attitude. So no, they are not built into people.

2/The two studies mentioned in your article suggest that toddlers can inherently tell who is white from who is black, which is'nt that surprising really. In no way do they suggest that those children inherently harbor disgust or resentment, i.e. racism, towards other colors. Even the article you provided mentions the influence of environmental factors on the development of racial treatment.

Here is another, larger study, that disproves such analysis. https://psmag.com/social-justice/small- ... tly-racist
Personal labels inevitably lead to quarrels.
I fully agree, but then, the OP had it coming and was obviously looking for it.
1: Racism and intolerance are expressions, behavioural constructions on the basis of innate human qualities and features, such as in-group psychology and fear of the unfamiliar, As such I don't see any need to distinguish them specifically from any other expression of nastiness, as they all spring from the same, in-built sources.

2: There are multiple studies you can find which show that small children show communicational preference on the basis of race. This does not mean that they are 'racist', after all, small children know nothing of social and political issues, but it does show what I point out in [1].

The article you put forward talks about children's beliefs:
the results suggest "beliefs about race that contribute to prejudice take a long time to develop—when they do—and that their development depends to some extent on the neighborhoods in which the children grow up,"
There is no doubt that environmental factors contribute to beliefs, and that safe experience with difference encourages the development of unprejudiced views. But none of that is to say that factors required for the development of prejudiced behaviours aren't built into people.

It is precisely because of these factors that the 3-fold training includes Sila. Note that I am agreeing with you regarding the influence of environmental factors, though I think the target of training in morality is the expression of behaviours based on built-in human capabilities, rather than learned beliefs.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by binocular » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:32 pm

lostitude wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:05 am
Why do you equate Western Buddhism to engaged buddhism? I certainly on't.
Copy-paste where I "equate Western Buddhism to engaged buddhism."
Are you sure that the OP posted the thread with the idea that "Personal labels inevitably lead to quarrels" in mind?
Talk about intolerance!
I happen to have carefully read his first few posts on this thread. Have you really? Judging from your usual contributions on this forum I doubt you agree with his statements.
I've read the OP. I generally agree with it.
Is it intolerance to argue against shocking ideas?
You confuse lack of interest with opposition.
Lack of interest in, for example, feminism, does not make one an anti-feminist, nor does lack of interest in issues of racism make one a racist.
Just like there's that characteristic difference between someone who lacks belief and someone who disbelieves. We'd discussed that earlier.
You are at a Buddhist forum, a Theravada Buddhist forum at that. The findings of secular sociology and psychology are not the norm or obligatory here, and their explanations are not supposed to be automatically preferred over Buddhist ones, esp. not over Theravadan ones.
No one said they were superior, in fact I'm not the one who invoked psychology here.
You did, by claiming that I am denying the obvious fact that children are taught to be racist or intolerant, but aren't born with it. That's an idea that can be found in secular psychology (among others).
But it's funny you're calling me intolerant while banning any psychological perspectives from this discussion.
Your promotion of tolerance would be much more persuasive if you'd lead by example.

Image
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

lostitude
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:02 am

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by lostitude » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:36 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:29 am
1: Racism and intolerance are expressions, behavioural constructions on the basis of innate human qualities and features, such as in-group psychology and fear of the unfamiliar, As such I don't see any need to distinguish them specifically from any other expression of nastiness, as they all spring from the same, in-built source.
I disagree. Intolerance may spring from the same in-built source, but unlike rawer forms of nastiness, it requires an external influence in order to spring to existence. Hence the need to distinguish.
There is no doubt that environmental factors contribute to beliefs, and that safe experience with difference encourages the development of unprejudiced views. But none of that is to say that factors required for the development of prejudiced behaviours aren't built into people.
Similarly you need a mouth to insult and a hand to slap. Saying that insults and slapping are innate simply because we are equipped with a mouth and hands, I'm sure you'll agree, doesn't make much sense. The factors you are talking about may certainly be required but they are not sufficient. An adult influence is necessary. And making sure that such inluence is reduced to its minimum certainly goes a long way toward limiting intolerance and seeing all human beings as equally worthy of compassion, as per Buddshist precepts.
Last edited by lostitude on Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

lostitude
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:02 am

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by lostitude » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:48 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:32 pm
lostitude wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:05 am
Why do you equate Western Buddhism to engaged buddhism? I certainly on't.
Copy-paste where I "equate Western Buddhism to engaged buddhism."
No need to, just re-read the title of this thread. Why then do you suddenly criticize engaged buddhism as if it had anything to do with the topic of this thread?

Is it intolerance to argue against shocking ideas?
You confuse lack of interest with opposition.
Lack of interest in, for example, feminism, does not make one an anti-feminist, nor does lack of interest in issues of racism make one a racist.
Just like there's that characteristic difference between someone who lacks belief and someone who disbelieves. We'd discussed that earlier.
I was not referring to you. I was referring to the OP's statements, since you couldn't seem to tolerate my response to his statements.
You are at a Buddhist forum, a Theravada Buddhist forum at that. The findings of secular sociology and psychology are not the norm or obligatory here, and their explanations are not supposed to be automatically preferred over Buddhist ones, esp. not over Theravadan ones.
No one said they were superior, in fact I'm not the one who invoked psychology here.
You did, by claiming that I am denying the obvious fact that children are taught to be racist or intolerant, but aren't born with it. That's an idea that can be found in secular psychology (among other
Not true, I did not. You've just quoted me, where in this sentence do I invoke secular sociology and psychology. You came up with those labels, not I.
But it's funny you're calling me intolerant while banning any psychological perspectives from this discussion.
Your promotion of tolerance would be much more persuasive if you'd lead by example.
You keep losing the focus of this discussion because you prefer having a personal argument with me. The issue has never been about me « promoting tolerance ». It's about why the Western cockroaches criticized by the OP are actually useful from a Buddhist perspective.

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by binocular » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:10 am

lostitude wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:48 am
binocular wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:32 pm
lostitude wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:05 am
Why do you equate Western Buddhism to engaged buddhism? I certainly on't.
Copy-paste where I "equate Western Buddhism to engaged buddhism."
No need to, just re-read the title of this thread. Why then do you suddenly criticize engaged buddhism as if it had anything to do with the topic of this thread?
IOW, you can't copy-paste it. Because it isn't there. I'm not going to defend things you merely imagine I said.
Is it intolerance to argue against shocking ideas?
You confuse lack of interest with opposition.
Lack of interest in, for example, feminism, does not make one an anti-feminist, nor does lack of interest in issues of racism make one a racist.
Just like there's that characteristic difference between someone who lacks belief and someone who disbelieves. We'd discussed that earlier.
I was not referring to you. I was referring to the OP's statements, since you couldn't seem to tolerate my response to his statements.
I think you are operating out of a fallacious limitation of options: either one is for racism, or against it; either one is for feminism or against it; etc.
It's when a person is operating out of such a fallacious limitation of options that they read the OP as being somehow in favor of intolerance, misogyny, etc. or thinking that what it says is shocking.
No one said they were superior, in fact I'm not the one who invoked psychology here.
You did, by claiming that I am denying the obvious fact that children are taught to be racist or intolerant, but aren't born with it. That's an idea that can be found in secular psychology (among other
Not true, I did not. You've just quoted me, where in this sentence do I invoke secular sociology and psychology. You came up with those labels, not I.
You quite blatantly went against notions of karma and rebirth, on a Theravada Buddhist forum, preferring a secular explanation (saying that people are taught racism and intolerance, but aren't born with it).
The idea that people are born blank slates, or innocent is not part of Theravada Buddhist doctrine.
But it's funny you're calling me intolerant while banning any psychological perspectives from this discussion.
Your promotion of tolerance would be much more persuasive if you'd lead by example.
You keep losing the focus of this discussion because you prefer having a personal argument with me.
Gee, thank you!
:rolleye:
The issue has never been about me « promoting tolerance ». It's about why the Western cockroaches criticized by the OP are actually useful from a Buddhist perspective.
1. I think you're misunderstanding the OP.
2. I think the Buddhism that you're advocating for or whose perspective you're coming from is Mahayana, Vajrayana, or Engaged Buddhism, but not just Buddhism in general or Theravada.
khemindas wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:57 pm
It seems to me that Slavic Buddhism and Western Buddhism is quite different things, because Slavic mentality is quite different from Western Mentality, in Slavic countries we don't have this white guilt, and we don't have all this hypertolerance, multiculturalism, feminism and equality ideas, for us these things are alien and most of us thinking they are not need.
Because Slavic people seem to think of things in more general terms, for example:
The focus isn't specifically on problems of misogyny, but on the problem of people exploiting people.
The focus isn't specifically on problems of racism against blacks, but on the problem of people exploiting people.
The focus isn't specifically on problems of social inequality, but on the problem of people exploiting people.
And so on.

The idea is that unless the fundamental problem of people exploiting people is resolved, its individual manifestations (misogyny, racism, etc.) cannot be resolved either, and it is in fact futile to try to resolve them when the more fundamental problem of people exploiting people is not resolved.
This is why people who think like that aren't particularly interested in problems of misogyny, racism, intolerance, etc. -- because they are focused on the fundamental problem behind all those.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by binocular » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:16 am

lostitude wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:36 am
seeing all human beings as equally worthy of compassion, as per Buddshist precepts.
Such an idea of compassion is more typical for Engaged Buddhism, or Mahayana and Vajrayana.

That doesn't mean that Theravadans believe that not all human beings are equally worthy of compassion. I just don't think that any Theravadan would utter a sentence like "All human beings are equally worthy of compassion". That's Mahayana speak.

lostitude wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:36 am
/.../ The factors you are talking about may certainly be required but they are not sufficient. An adult influence is necessary. And making sure that such inluence is reduced to its minimum certainly goes a long way toward limiting intolerance and seeing all human beings as equally worthy of compassion, as per Buddshist precepts.
Seeing things that way makes one an Engaged Buddhist, or a Mahayani or Vajrayani, but I don't think this is consistent with Theravada.

The different schools of Buddhism have different understandings of the motivation for the practice of the brahmaviharas.

As far as I understood Theravada, a consideration of the other person's characteristics (whether they are black, white, male, female, poor, rich etc.) or a person's worthiness is not part of one's motivation for the practice of the brahmaviharas. In short, one has goodwill or compassion or sympathetic joy or equanimity for others because of oneself, not because of others. Basically, one's goodwill, compassion, sympathetic joy, or equanimity for others have nothing to do with others. That's why it doesn't matter what race, age, status etc. they are.

Notions like
"Black people, too, are worthy of compassion"
"Poor people, too, are worthy of compassion"
"Women, too, are worthy of compassion"
are actually inherently intolerant and implicitly promote intolerance, as they link personal characteristics with the worthiness for compassion.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

User avatar
Pseudobabble
Posts: 718
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:11 am
Location: London

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:03 am

binocular wrote:...
:goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost:
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

User avatar
Pseudobabble
Posts: 718
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:11 am
Location: London

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:18 am

lostitude wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:36 am
Pseudobabble wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:29 am
Racism and intolerance are expressions, behavioural constructions on the basis of innate human qualities and features, such as in-group psychology and fear of the unfamiliar, As such I don't see any need to distinguish them specifically from any other expression of nastiness, as they all spring from the same, in-built source.
[1]I disagree. Intolerance may spring from the same in-built source, but unlike rawer forms of nastiness, it requires an external influence in order to spring to existence. Hence the need to distinguish.
There is no doubt that environmental factors contribute to beliefs, and that safe experience with difference encourages the development of unprejudiced views. But none of that is to say that factors required for the development of prejudiced behaviours aren't built into people.
[2]Similarly you need a mouth to insult and a hand to slap. Saying that insults and slapping are innate simply because we are equipped with a mouth and hands, I'm sure you'll agree, doesn't make much sense. The factors you are talking about may certainly be required but they are not sufficient. An adult influence is necessary. And making sure that such inluence is reduced to its minimum certainly goes a long way toward limiting intolerance and seeing all human beings as equally worthy of compassion, as per Buddshist precepts.
I think what we have here is a definition problem.

1: I think of 'innate' as representing the full range of possibilities given initial conditions, which makes all possible human behaviour innate. You may disagree with this definition. I don't think there is any human behaviour which is 'raw' in the sense you seem to be saying. I think all behaviour requires some external influence to shape its expression. Hence I see no need to differentiate.

2: Follows from 1. I think it makes perfect sense to say that slapping and insulting are innate to humans, in a way that, for example, mechanically un-assisted breathing underwater is not.

I agree that reducing unwholesome external influence is imperative. But I don't agree that the best way to do this is to introduce further doubt and confusion (papanca, 'cockroaches') about people by claiming that actions which don't conform to our own individual and subjective moral evaluations are 'racist', 'misogynistic', etc.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by binocular » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:22 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:18 am
I agree that reducing unwholesome external influence is imperative. But I don't agree that the best way to do this is to introduce further doubt and confusion (papanca, 'cockroaches') about people by claiming that actions which don't conform to our own individual and subjective moral evaluations are 'racist', 'misogynistic', etc.
The problem with the humanist approach is that it is dogmatic and authoritarian, and not based on empirical evidence.
The statement "All people are worthy of compassion" is a dogmatic statement that has to be taken on faith; it's not a statement based on empirical evidence.
If all people truly are worthy of compassion, then there's no need to teach people compassion, or undo hindrances to it, they'd already have compassion and overcome the hindrances naturally. If it would truly be an indisputable fact that all people are worthy of compassion, then all people would have and receive compassion. Clearly, this is not happening, so the matter requires further scrutiny.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

User avatar
Grigoris
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:43 am

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:39 am

So much for not discussing politics.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

User avatar
Pseudobabble
Posts: 718
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:11 am
Location: London

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:06 am

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:39 am
So much for not discussing politics.
Indeed. But this all has a bearing on Sila. Specifically, 'nature vs nurture', and the expression thereof has a bearing on what exactly it is that Sila is correcting.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

User avatar
Grigoris
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:43 am

Re: Slavic Buddhism vs Western Buddhism

Post by Grigoris » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:51 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:06 am
Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:39 am
So much for not discussing politics.
Indeed. But this all has a bearing on Sila. Specifically, 'nature vs nurture', and the expression thereof has a bearing on what exactly it is that Sila is correcting.
You don't have to justify political discussion to me, I love political discussion. I believe that the feminist adage: "The personal is political" is 100% correct. I believe it is impossible to (or delusional to believe that one can) seperate the personal from the political. Habits may be personal, but they are also conditioned by social/political interaction.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: DarrenM and 61 guests