Peaceful protest

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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NDat
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Peaceful protest

Post by NDat »

Should a Buddhist join a peaceful protest?
David2
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by David2 »

Yes, why not, if it is for a good purpose and with a good intention.
NDat
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by NDat »

David2 wrote:Yes, why not, if it is for a good purpose and with a good intention.
We protest because we disagree or want to change what is going on or to support a cause. However, the Buddha teaches us to be "free from desire and discontent to the world", and the first noble truth clearly states that "life is dukkha". If "life is dukkha" is the truth in this world, why do we want to change or fix it? If we can change or fix dukkha in this world, then 1NT will not be the truth! If the Buddha teaches us to be free from discontent to the world then why do we protest?
daverupa
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by daverupa »

NDat wrote:We protest because we disagree or want to change what is going on or to support a cause.
So far, so good.
NDat wrote:However, the Buddha teaches us to be "free from desire and discontent to the world", and the first noble truth clearly states that "life is dukkha".
Well, and here is a misstep. The Buddha teaches dukkha and the cessation of dukkha, and the First Noble Truth clearly states only that there is dukkha, that in short the five sustaining-aggregates are dukkha, not that life is dukkha.
NDat wrote:If "life is dukkha"...
But it isn't, so the rest does not follow.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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mikenz66
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by mikenz66 »

Hmm,

We already have a thread entitled:
"Is everything Suffering?"
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9361" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
NDat wrote: If the Buddha teaches us to be free from discontent to the world then why do we protest?
Good question. It would be good to examine the motivation. There can be compassionate reasons for actions. The Buddha was not discontented with the world, but he didn't just sit around doing nothing. He spent decades teaching...

:anjali:
Mike
NDat
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by NDat »

We protest because we are getting what we do not want or getting what we don't want (dukkha). So we want to end this dukkha by protest. Is this the teaching of the Buddha? I am getting more confuse.
NDat
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by NDat »

Why the five sustaining-aggregates are dukkha? Is this because of the impermanence of conditional phenomena/nature? If conditional phenomena are impermanent, then are they dukkha? Is life a conditional phenomenon? If so, then is life is dukkha?
If we can change the world to support for a good cause (End dukkha is a good cause), then why the Buddha did not try to do so? Why does he teaches us to change ourselves instead? Why did he say that it is not worth to stay in this world even in a snap of a finger! (Sorry, I forget the source of this - I just remember that I have read this somewhere). Sorry to have too many questions!
David2
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by David2 »

NDat wrote:We protest because we are getting what we do not want or getting what we don't want (dukkha). So we want to end this dukkha by protest. Is this the teaching of the Buddha? I am getting more confuse.
If you got a terrible disease, and would die without going to the doctor, you should go to the doctor, right?

So you do something against the disease.

There is nothing wrong with it, it is worse to do nothing against the disease than doing something against it.

What is important is the state of your mind. If it is equanimous and full of good intention, you can protest as much as you want.
NDat
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by NDat »

David2 wrote:
NDat wrote:We protest because we are getting what we do not want or getting what we don't want (dukkha). So we want to end this dukkha by protest. Is this the teaching of the Buddha? I am getting more confuse.
If you got a terrible disease, and would die without going to the doctor, you should go to the doctor, right?

So you do something against the disease.

There is nothing wrong with it, it is worse to do nothing against the disease than doing something against it.

What is important is the state of your mind. If it is equanimous and full of good intention, you can protest as much as you want.
In this case, the disease is the cause of your pain. So, you go after the cause to your body. Your body can be in pain but your mind may not be suffer. What is the cause of the protest? Because somebody did something wrong to you or to others? So we need to go after that "somebody"? We want to change that "somebody" to the way we think it should be? Why the Buddha teaches us to see things as they are?
nameless
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by nameless »

I find that questions of 'should' are often loaded. For example, if one says you should go to a doctor if you are sick, it makes sense, and sounds right. But what is actually being said is 'if you value your health, you should see a doctor'. Saying that you 'should' is meaningless, because you might not value health (or for other reasons, it might be better for you not to see a doctor). So if I ask 'should I go to a doctor if I am sick', you can't give me an answer that can help me unless we share the underlying assumptions. Which for the example is not complicated because most people would rather be healthy than not.

So when you ask 'Should a Buddhist join a peaceful protest?', I guess, the parameters are not clear. Should we follow what is often taught in meditation practice and sit with the discomfort till it passes? Then we are measuring the 'shouldness' by one standard. Should we follow conventional ideas of what is good and protest for what is right? Then we are measuring 'shouldness' by another standard, and neither is wrong, but they each follow different assumptions and values.

Maybe doing it one way is good for yourself, and one way is good for society, then which should you do? It depends on your values and how you weigh them. Is putting society before oneself always good? It is not always clear-cut. If you take care of others and not take care of yourself, you might find yourself in a position (sickness, unemployment) that eventually creates a greater burden.

And if one decides to go for a protest, does one really have the ability to know what is best? Large scale decisions tend to have a way of having unexpected results. For example, where I live, it is necessary for the company to pay insurance for the employee if you exceed a certain number of hours of work per month. Which sounds good at first, but it also results in some companies hiring part-timers and not allowing them to exceed the number of hours so they don't need to pay insurance. The policy then comes back to bite employees who would rather work more hours (and hence have more pay) without the insurance.

So I think, to have a satisfactory answer for your question, it might be worthwhile thinking about what you mean by 'should', even if just for yourself.
Cilla
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Re: Peaceful protest

Post by Cilla »

NDat I feel you have things very mixed up.

First of all i am not going to try to explain it all to you but rather i am going to try to answer the OP's questions and then suggest that NDAT starts to read some better books/material and get his ideas sorted out before he hurts himself.

OP, the first thing that came into my head was well if it was ok for the monks in burma to protest then its got to be ok for you. And we can remember to o that the monks weren't protesting on behalf of themselves (I presume) but on behalf of the whole population. And it is the duty of monks to be concerned about the suffering/dukkha of everyone.

NDAT. Whatever you have been reading its simply not clear enough for you. YOu are getting yourself in knots with false logic and general misunderstanding. The whole point of what the buddha was on about was to reduce suffering in the world. The point of learning to see the way things is are is to help reduce suffering. One of the causes of suffering is delusion. Learning to seeing the way things are helps you rid yourself of your own deluded thinking. There's a good saying that i think the buddha would approve of.
Accept the things you cannot change but change the things you can.
The Buddha's teachings helps you accept the things you cannot change and also helps make you strong enough to change the things you can. I don't think any religion or philosophy on earth would contradict the wisdom of this axiom.
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