mettafuture wrote: ↑Thu May 09, 2019 3:58 pm
Do you see yourself (or the Buddha's teachings) as morally relativistic, morally absolutist, or something else? Do you try to avoid criticizing particular ideas or actions even if you don't personally condone them? Or do you feel that it’s necessary to criticize particular ideas or actions to mitigate social degeneration?
The Buddha's morality is absolutist
vis-a-vis the cetana
(intention) underlying actions, because they are either kusala
(wholesome/skillful) or akusala
(unwholesome/unskillful). No amount of evaluation or critique changes that natural law, described in the commentaries as kamma-niyama
The outward manifestation of actions are relative
to intention. For example, intentionally stepping on a snail is different to accidentally stepping on a snail from a moral perspective, even if the physical action and consequences for the snail are literally the same.
That's the thrust of morality in the Buddha's teaching. When you deviate from that into discussion of politics more broadly, you are getting into a space of discussing the operations of various social, governmental and economic structures and their respective pros and cons. In the context of the Dhamma, these thought structures are mental constructions. The underlying intention behind the arising of the thought, and how that mind-object is regarded will determine whether it is kusala
, for the individual. Many people handle social, economic and political constructs with great attachment and aversion, and that is an akusala
manner in which to grasp them. If they cannot be handled without attachment or aversion, it would be preferable not to conceive of them at all.
As the moral component always originates from individual intention, searching for it externally in the realm of non-sentient objectified concepts and systems is a misguided and potentially vexing exercise in conceptual proliferation.