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Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:17 am
by DNS
Palenglish (Pali-English hybridized words) terms

The current discussion regarding Buddhist faith and other recent topics on jhanas and sotapannas has inspired me to make a list of some potentially new Palenglish logical fallacies:

Arahantification of sotapannas fallacy (courtesy of retrofuturist) – The tendency to insist that sotapannas must have most or all the characteristics of arahants. The sotapanna has eradicated only the first 3 hindrances to enlightenment; not all 10.

Bhikkhuification of upasakas, upasikas fallacy – The tendency to expect lay people to behave like monks, that they cannot enjoy music, cannot have sexual relations, etc., i.e., that they must follow the Patimokkha.

The Maha-Moggallanification of jhanas fallacy – The expectation that the jhanas are almost impossible to attain and that one must virtually fly through the air or any talk of jhanas is delusion and not real.

The Bahiyafication of practice fallacy – On the other extreme, believing that one can attain enlightenment in the first 5 minutes of becoming a Buddhist, disregarding the eons of preparation Bahiya is said to have accumulated.

The Kalmanizing effect fallacy – The belief that the Kalama Sutta makes Buddhism the most rational religion and that there are no mythological elements of any kind within Buddhist teachings.

Nivarana=Nirvana fallacy – The tendency to confuse nivarana (hindrances) with nirvana; thinking that one must embrace sense desires and extreme skepticism to reach the goal. (They are only spelled similarly; they are not the same.)

Paramatthizing language fallacy – The use of writing in riddles and non-dualistic terms in attempt to appear wise or enlightened, while really not knowing what the hell they are even saying; usually followed by the wise Taoist smilie at the end.

:sage:

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:30 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings,
Arahantification of sotapannas fallacy (courtesy of retrofuturist)
Actually, I can't take credit for it. That was Nanavira Thera's observation....

Source: http://nanavira.org/letters/post-sotapa ... 9-may-1963
Nanavira Thera wrote:A sekha (bhikkhu or layman), as you rightly say, is a sotāpanna, a sakadāgāmī, or an anāgāmī, and the word 'sekha' means 'one who is training (scil. to become arahat)'. If he is sotāpanna he has at most seven more human existences—he cannot take an eighth human birth.[1] But if (as a bhikkhu in good health) he exerts himself now in the practice of meditation he may become sakadāgāmī, anāgāmī, or even arahat, in this very life. In this case he either reduces or completely cancels the number of fresh existences (as man or deva) he will have to undergo. If, however, he spends his time doing jobs of work, talking, or sleeping, he may die still as a sotāpanna and have to endure up to seven more human existences (not to speak of heavenly existences). In this sense, therefore, these things are obstacles for the sekha: they prevent him from hastening his arrival at arahattā, but they cannot prevent his ultimate arrival (see 'The Mirror of the Dhamma', BPS Wheel 54, p. 39, verse 9).[2]

I am delighted to hear that you are shocked to learn from the Buddha that a sekha bhikkhu can be fond of work, talk, or sleep. (I make no apology for speaking bluntly since (i) if I do not do it nobody else will, and (ii) as I have already told you, time may be short.)

Quite in general, I find that the Buddhists of Ceylon are remarkably complacent at being the preservers and inheritors of the Buddha's Teaching, and remarkably ignorant of what the Buddha actually taught. Except by a few learned theras (who are dying out), the contents of the Suttas are practically unknown. This fact, combined with the great traditional reverence for the Dhamma as the National Heritage, has turned the Buddha's Teaching into an immensely valuable antique Object of Veneration, with a large placard in front, 'DO NOT TOUCH'. In other words, the Dhamma in Ceylon is now totally divorced from reality (if you want statistical evidence, tell me how many English-educated graduates of the University of Ceylon have thought it worthwhile to become bhikkhus[3]). It is simply taken for granted (by bhikkhus and laymen alike) that there are not, and cannot possibly be, any sekha bhikkhus (or laymen) actually walking about in Ceylon today. People can no longer imagine what kind of a creature a sotapānna might conceivably be, and in consequence superstitiously credit him with every kind of perfection—but deny him the possibility of existence.

I venture to think that if you actually read through the whole of the Vinaya and the Suttas you would be aghast at some of the things a real live sotāpanna is capable of. As a bhikkhu he is capable of suicide (but so also is an arahat—I have already quoted examples); he is capable of breaking all the lesser Vinaya rules (M. 48: i,323-5; A. III,85: i,231-2); he is capable of disrobing on account of sensual desires (e.g. the Ven. Citta Hatthisāriputta—A. VI,60: iii,392-9); he is capable (to some degree) of anger, ill-will, jealousy, stinginess, deceit, craftiness, shamelessness, and brazenness (A. II,16: i,96). As a layman he is capable (contrary to popular belief) of breaking any or all of the five precepts (though as soon as he has done so he recognizes his fault and repairs the breach, unlike the puthujjana who is content to leave the precepts broken).

There are some things in the Suttas that have so much shocked the Commentator that he has been obliged to provide patently false explanations (I am thinking in particular of the arahat's suicide in M. 144: iii,266 and in the Salāyatana Samy. 87: iv,55-60 and of a drunken sotāpanna in the Sotāpatti Samy. 24: v,375-7). What the sotāpannais absolutely incapable of doing is the following (M. 115: iii,64-5):—

To take any determination (sankhāra) as permanent,
To take any determination as pleasant,
To take any thing (dhamma) as self,
To kill his mother,
To kill his father,
To kill an arahat,
Maliciously to shed a Buddha's blood,
To split the Sangha,
To follow any teacher other than the Buddha.
All these things a puthujjana can do.

Why am I glad that you are shocked to learn that a sekha bhikkhu can be fond of talk (and worse)? Because it gives me the opportunity of insisting that unless you bring the sekha down to earth the Buddha's Teaching can never be a reality for you. So long as you are content to put the sotāpanna on a pedestal well out of reach, it can never possibly occur to you that it is your duty to become sotāpanna yourself (or at least to make the attempt) here and now in this very life; for you will simply take it as axiomatic that you cannot succeed. As Kierkegaard puts it,

Whatever is great in the sphere of the universally human must...not be communicated as a subject for admiration, but as an ethical requirement. (CUP, p. 320)
This means that you are not required to admire a sotāpanna, but to become one.
Let me illustrate the matter in a different way. It is possible that you were living as a young man in India in the Buddha's day, and that at the same time there was a young girl of a neighbouring family who had been with her parents to hear the Buddha teach. And she may have understood the Buddha's Teaching and become sotāpanna. And perhaps she might have been given to you in marriage. And you, being a puthujjana, would not know that she was a sekha (for remember, a puthujjana cannot recognize an ariya—an ariya can only be recognized by another ariya). But even though she was sotāpanna she might have loved you, and loved being loved by you, and loved bearing your children, and enjoyed dressing beautifully and entertaining guests and going to entertainments, and even been pleased at the admiration of other men. And she might have taken a pride in working to keep your house in order, and enjoyed talking to you and to your friends and relations. But every now and again, when she was alone, she would have called to mind her sotāpanna's understanding of the true nature of things and been secretly ashamed and disgusted at still finding delight in all these satisfactions (which she would see as essentially dukkha). But, being busy with her duties and pleasures as your wife, she would not have had the time to do much practice, and would have had to be content with the thought that she had only seven more human births to endure at the most.

Now suppose that one day you had gone to see the Buddha, and he had told you that your wife was not a puthujjana like yourself, but an ariya, one of the Elect—would you have been content to put her out of reach on a pedestal (where she would, no doubt, have been very unhappy), saying to yourself 'Ah, that is too difficult an attainment for a humble person like me'? Or would not rather your masculine pride have been stung to the quick and be smarting at the thought that your devoted and submissive wife should be 'one advanced in the Dhamma', while you, the lord and master of the household, remained an ordinary person? I think, perhaps, that you would have made an effort at least to become the equal of your wife.
Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:53 am
by Mkoll
:rofl:

Great list, lot of truth to it. I especially liked the last one - I see that more on the other Wheel but we get it here too. Bhikkhufication seems to be common among newcomers. I'm sure there are more we can add.

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:49 am
by Modus.Ponens
I love every point. :D

Let me add

The Buddhification of Dhamma Wheel members fallacy - Perpetrated by those who are new to Dhamma Wheel, or any other buddhist forum, and get disapointed that other members don't behave like the Buddha.

I wish I knew enough pali to express the fallacy of saying "everything is empty" as a response to anything that comes in a discussions. The perpetrators are known as emptiness "junkies".

:mrgreen:

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:49 am
by pilgrim
The Jedification of Questions Fallacy. Perpetrated by those who are annoyed with a query and respond with a seemingly profound and wise counter question as in "And how does your question lead to the eradication of suffering?" :stirthepot:

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:25 am
by acinteyyo
:twothumbsup: hehe nice topic... :clap:

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:27 am
by Cittasanto
David N. Snyder wrote: Bhikkhuification of upasakas, upasikas fallacy – The tendency to expect lay people to behave like monks, that they cannot enjoy music, cannot have sexual relations, etc., i.e., that they must follow the Patimokkha.
what about the close cousin of this one the non-vinayafication fallacy where it is claimed that the vinaya is solely for Bhikkhus & Bhikkhunis thus no use whatsoever for laity/believing anyone who believes the vinaya is useful to a certain extent for laity automatically fall into the Bhikkhinification of... fallacy.

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:29 pm
by Kare
Great list! :clap: :clap:

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:47 pm
by Mr Man
Thanks David.

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:30 pm
by SDC
Modus.Ponens wrote:The Buddhification of Dhamma Wheel members fallacy - Perpetrated by those who are new to Dhamma Wheel, or any other buddhist forum, and get disapointed that other members don't behave like the Buddha.
:jumping:

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:58 pm
by DNS
Thanks for the comments!

And yes, feel free to add additional ones.

Good additions, MP, Cittasanto, and Pilgrim. :thumbsup:

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:01 pm
by Mkoll
When one forum member tells another forum member that they should be practicing instead of fraternizing on an online forum.

I can't think of a name but I think the idea of "hypocrisy" should be in it. :lol:

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:08 pm
by DNS
Modus.Ponens wrote: I wish I knew enough pali to express the fallacy of saying "everything is empty" as a response to anything that comes in a discussions. The perpetrators are known as emptiness "junkies".
Perhaps something like: Sunnatorance (hybrid of suññatā & ignorance).

Another variation to that idea is:

Anattorance (anatta & ignorance)

for those who use the concept of anatta to justify indifference or non-compassion, justifying killing; by saying something like, "there is no being getting killed, since all is empty and anatta." The Buddha clearly had compassion for all living beings and never used the anatta concept to justify the killing or cruel treatment of any sentient being.

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:21 pm
by daverupa
David N. Snyder wrote:saying something like, "there is no being getting killed, since all is empty and anatta."
This is the sort of thing Pakudha Kaccāyana would have said.

Re: Palenglish fallacies

Posted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:21 pm
by Modus.Ponens
Annattaddictification ? :mrgreen: Maybe too complicated.

There's also the

Papanccification of the dhamma fallacy: this may actualy refer to two related fallacies. (1) The overcomplication of a simple dhamma teaching with extensive sutta, abidhamma and pali analysis. (2) The dismissive oversimplification of a valid and delicated point of the dhamma by calling it papanca and exorting the person to go meditate instead.

:sage: