Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
binocular
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:38 pm
They self-identify as Buddhists.
Does that make them Buddhists?

perkele
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:07 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:42 pm
I don't think the posts are viewed as a violation of TOS, so reporting them will not prevent some Buddhists here from disparaging other faiths.
/.../
Maybe if enough members start reporting posts which disparage other faiths, it will make a difference?
L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:50 pm
I encourage Members to speak out.
I am sure the moderators are already as alert and aware of this sensitive topic as possible.

While I do not agree with a wholesale disparagement of the islamic faith as evil and characterization of its adherents as condoning rape and enslavement and murder and torture of infidels and wishing for them to suffer for all eternity etc. etc. (although the numerous islamic terror organizations and apparently relatively widespread sympathy for them among muslims here and there throughout the world certainly don't help...) and believe that probably some of the comments in the pertinent threads are misinformed and slanderous to various degrees, I do think there is some merit to the debate and the expression of opinions, facts and disagreements.

There seems to be enough balance between the factions of Islam bashers and Islam apoligists for my tastes, which is also an opportunity to learn a lot.

And although I think that disparaging other faiths in the most cases is unseemly and not usually in line with what the Buddha would have recommended (although the Buddha himself disparaged the Jain doctrine, among others, on several occasions [but... quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi]), or so I assume, I don't think it should be forbidden at all.

I am reminded of this jataka: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/j3/j3057.htm

binocular
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:12 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:35 pm
No, it is not. This has no place in mainstream Islam and is routinely denounced as heretical.
Mainstream schmainstream.
If we want to be really precise, there is no Islam (and no Christianity, no Buddhism, no etc., no religion altogether), except in encyclopedias and dictionaries that operate on the assumption that the world is conveniently, neatly organized in clearcut categories.
Are there Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. who rationalize greed, bigotry, hatred, etc. by claiming a religious justification that just is not there? We can see it in DW for sure.
Why should mainstream Islam be seen as more authoritative than the Islam of the Talibans? Because some scholars that one likes say so? Because a statistical majority says so?

As long as there is no centralized authority in Islam that would once and for all, for everyone, whether Muslim or not, define Islamic doctrine, this long the quest for what is and isn't Islamic doctrine is moot. And the same goes for most other religions.

The OP would do better to call people to please stop acting on greed, anger, and delusion.
:guns:

perkele
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:18 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm
L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:38 pm
They self-identify as Buddhists.
Does that make them Buddhists?
In my private language: "being a buddhist" = "self-identifying as buddhist and believing in the Buddha as a spiritual authority showing an actual path to salvation (although not necessarily understanding his teachings and following that path perfectly)".

Not sure, how many Burmese are actually buddhist in this "faithful but imperfect" sense, but I believe probably at least half of them. And certainly almost all of those in robes.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:31 pm

perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:07 pm
There seems to be enough balance between the factions of Islam bashers and Islam apoligists for my tastes, which is also an opportunity to learn a lot.
Yes, there also is a balance between people who look at facts and people who denounce accurate reporting as "fake news." Balance is not the point when one side is disproportionately unreasonable and unjust. An important issue here is the perception of Buddhism created when we choose to disparage other faiths, call Muhammed a rapist, suggest that Muhammed be urinated upon, etc.
perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:07 pm
And although I think that disparaging other faiths in the most cases is unseemly and not usually in line with what the Buddha would have recommended (although the Buddha himself disparaged the Jain doctrine, among others, on several occasions [but... quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi]), or so I assume, I don't think it should be forbidden at all.
We do not have the perceptive capacity of the Buddha to know when to speak in such a way. This is not a black-and-white issue between forbidding all discussion of other faiths versus allowing wholesale disparagement of any kind. A reasonable line could be drawn such that comments which show open contempt for other traditions are a violation of TOS. This is within the authority of the operators of the Forum, and would be in keeping with the goals of discussing the Dhamma. If people want to bash other faiths, there are other avenues available.

Of course I defer to those who provide this forum and manage it. Members don't get to decide how things are run, but we can have our say to the extent permitted.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:01 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:12 pm
If we want to be really precise, there is no Islam (and no Christianity, no Buddhism, no etc., no religion altogether), except in encyclopedias and dictionaries that operate on the assumption that the world is conveniently, neatly organized in clearcut categories.
Correct, the best definition we have are those generally agreed upon by scholars who write the encyclopedia and text book articles on World Religions. And then the reality is there are hundreds, almost thousands of different versions within each; some who take the teachings literally, some as allegories and varying forms of degrees in between. The vast majority of Buddhists and Muslims are not violent.

What makes a real Buddhist? What makes a real Muslim? There are numerous degrees of religiosity along the spectrum and various definitions; which is ultimately up to the members of each religion to hash it out.

perkele
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:09 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:31 pm
This is not a black-and-white issue between forbidding all discussion of other faiths versus allowing wholesale disparagement of any kind. A reasonable line could be drawn such that comments which show open contempt for other traditions are a violation of TOS.
While in theory this sounds plausible, I think in practice it would be far too difficult for moderators to draw that line again and again on what is allowable and what not, and do a good and fair job at it. Predictable unfairness in the midst of heated and contentious disagreements as these topics tend to stir up would lead to predictable grievances among disputants (as has quite [...far more than now I think] often been the case here a bit further in the past; I think moderators like Ben and tiltbillings might already have shut down threads like the recent one about Mohammed long ago, and quite rightly so perhaps, but many would have expressed their anger at being silenced in new topics and continued their feuds there and so on and on...).
So in my estimation it would actually have to be a black-or-white issue: Forbid discussing such topics at all, or be rather lenient and let people have heated debates that can be ugly at times.
L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:31 pm
This is within the authority of the operators of the Forum, and would be in keeping with the goals of discussing the Dhamma. If people want to bash other faiths, there are other avenues available.
You have a point here with keeping the forum focussed on discussing the Dhamma. Actually I would not have strong objections against excluding the "Connections to other paths" (and maybe also the "Politics and current events") subforums completely. I also think that a Dhamma forum is not or should not be the place to discuss in depth (and factual or not, critical or not) the doctrines of other religions. Topics like this contentious one seem really a bit out of place here in my estimation.
L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:31 pm
Of course I defer to those who provide this forum and manage it. Members don't get to decide how things are run, but we can have our say to the extent permitted.
That seems quite right. :smile:

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DNS
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:46 pm

I think discussion of other religions is okay and even some comparative analysis, but it should be done civilly. Some posts have crossed the line, with use of rhetoric over logic. Certainly name calling and advocating urinating on a religious figure is inappropriate.

All philosophies and religions should be allowed to examined and critiqued, but it should be done with a focus on the issues, the doctrines and with an understanding of the history and the societal-cultural factors.

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Mr Man
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Mr Man » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:03 pm

DNS wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:46 pm
I think discussion of other religions is okay and even some comparative analysis, but it should be done civilly. Some posts have crossed the line, with use of rhetoric over logic. Certainly name calling and advocating urinating on a religious figure is inappropriate.
Hi David

Read the first paragraph in the first post of this thread

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=30263


Why you choose to allow this on a "Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda" is beyond me. I guess it is about priorities.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:07 pm

Hi Mr Man,

I don't read all the threads and posts here and I tend to ignore those type of threads, but as I said certainly some posts have crossed the line. I have only skimmed that thread and just in the past day, so the team and I will need to figure out what to do with the posts that crossed the line of appropriate speech.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:21 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:03 pm
Read the first paragraph in the first post of this thread
.....
I removed that thread (Muhammad - worthy of respect) from view for now, maybe permanently. Most of the team is away right now, so I went ahead and removed it and later it might get cleaned up and return or it just might stay away permanently.

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Mr Man
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Mr Man » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:27 pm

Thank you David. You might want to have a look at this thread as well (even though it is very old).

viewtopic.php?t=4713

perkele
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:33 pm

I don't think it is generally a good idea to delete threads or make them invisible for eternity in most cases.
Mr Man wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:27 pm
Thank you David. You might want to have a look at this thread as well (even though it is very old).

viewtopic.php?t=4713
There was discussion, disparagement, disagreement and so on in that thread... And it was locked in the end.
Do you believe this dark chapter from the past should be hidden away? If so, why?
I think reading such old discussions, no matter what the outcome, can be informative and possibly helpful at times.

Of course, I am not the boss here. That's just my opinion.

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Mr Man
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Mr Man » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:46 pm

perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:33 pm
I don't think it is generally a good idea to delete threads or make them invisible for eternity in most cases.
Mr Man wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:27 pm
Thank you David. You might want to have a look at this thread as well (even though it is very old).

viewtopic.php?t=4713
There was discussion, disparagement, disagreement and so on in that thread... And it was locked in the end.
Do you believe this dark chapter from the past should be hidden away? If so, why?
I think reading such old discussions, no matter what the outcome, can be informative and possibly helpful at times.

Of course, I am not the boss here. That's just my opinion.
Hi perkele
I think specifically the first post from Modus.Ponens (& conected posts) are not appropriate, offensive and disrespectful and should have been removed at the time and should be removed now.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:12 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:46 pm
Hi perkele
I think specifically the first post from Modus.Ponens (& conected posts) are not appropriate, offensive and disrespectful and should have been removed at the time and should be removed now.
I don't see what sense that would make. That the mentioned post was inappropriate, offensive and disrespectful has been well pointed out in the thread.
People can say offensive and inappropriate things, and they can be called out for it, and discussions evolve in ways good, bad or ugly, and when moderators find it too hard to deal with them anymore they may shut them down. That's how it seems to work. I don't think it's a bad thing to be able to see still in hindsight what has happened. Why should this or that particular post from the past be cut out of history, especially when it has been answered to, and in this case, duly rebuked?
I don't see the advantage of cleaning up the traces of what others have said far back in the past.

But anyway, that is not my job, and I'm glad about it.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Modus.Ponens » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:27 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:50 pm
Following is a suggested template for reporting anti-Islam posts and other posts which disparage other faiths:

Provision 2.d. of the TOS on this forum prohibits, among other things: "Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions." This post and other similar posts by this Member violate TOS by making unsubstantiated allegations against the tradition of Islam.

I encourage Members to speak out.
I have no problem with this rule. The claims about Muhammad are very well substantiated, because they are backed up by the canonical scriptures of islam. There is no need to be inflamatory because this is a buddhist forum and because incendiary style is counterproductive. But how do you tell the truth about Muhammad without upseting some people, even by just quoting canonical sources? That is not possible, unfortunately.

This should not be confused with endorsement of religious persecution. This should not be confused with characterizing muslims as if they are all the same as Muhammad, or saying that they're all evil, because clearly they are not. In fact, there should be a clear distinction between fundamentalists and non fundamentalist muslims, so that we can empower the reform movement against the fundamentalists. That way, we can hope muslim women will be able to have independent lives some day, and not be forced to marry, not have their genitals mutilated as children, not be stoned to death for the crime of being raped. We can hope muslim homossexuals will not be killed for who they like, exmuslims not to be murdered, moderate muslims not be killed by fundamentalist muslims, etc.

The only way this can happen is if the islamic doctrines that encourage these crimes are criticized. And it includes a severe criticism of Muhammad as a (bad) moral example for today's world. If you want to prevent others from reading unpleasant truths, then you are leaving the minorities within the muslim minority to rot under the islamofascist regimes and/or laws. Thus, you cannot claim that your position is moral and mine isn't, because it is the opposite. I could make an unfortunately long list of the things that ofend me about islam and the apologists for islamic fundamentalism. So, even then, your ofense would not surpass mine.

Substantiate your defense of Muhammad, or accept the criticism of Muhammad as statement of fact, and not disparagement.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by perkele » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:38 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:27 pm
so that we can empower the reform movement against the fundamentalists
Seriously? A Buddhist forum to empower the reform movement against fundamentalist Islamism? We should reform Islam?

I really don't think many muslims would listen to buddhists' ideas on how to reform their religion on some internet forum.

And as much justified criticism of Islam or of Mohammed or whatever aspect of muslim faith there may be, I fail to see how it is relevant for buddhists for the most part. To me it is mostly just noise.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:42 pm

Greetings,

Just a few comments...

I'm not particularly interested in other religions, but when (as has been pointed out above) it is written into the scriptures of certain religions that infidels (i.e. most people on Earth) are to be killed, is it somehow "lacking in compassion" or "intolerant" to state that such a view is unacceptable? Did the Buddha not speak out against Wrong View, especially when it was so diabolical and genocidal?

Personally, what I would ask people to do is to clearly differentiate between:

Islam - the doctrine, the scripture, the ideas
Muslims - followers of Islam
Islamists - those who wish to force Islam on the world

-------------------------
If you're inclined to criticize...

Criticize Islam dispassionately as you would criticize any other ideology or view. Try to use logic, reason, sources etc. in order to make a cohesive argument.

Similarly, call out Islamists for their extremism, violence, intolerance of infidels and efforts to enforce the brutality of Sharia Law on others.

Recognize that most Muslims are not Islamists, and just want to live a peaceful and happy life, like you.

Please, do not criticize Muslims in toto. Each person should be judged by their own actions, not those of others who share the same label.


If you're inclined to complain about the criticism...

Recognize the distinctions between Islam, Muslims and Islamists. Do not wilfully conflate them in order to smear your opponent as Islamophobic.

Do not prove your opponents views about censorship of criticism of Islam right, by using ad-hominem labels in an attempt to shut down uncomfortable discussion.

Acknowledge that the majority of victims of Islam are actually Muslims. If you weren't aware of that, let it sink in for a few moments before you lash out at someone for being critical of Islam.
-------------------------

Just as it is throughout the forum "play the ball, not the man".

To the critics, criticise Islam, not Muslims.
To the critics of the critics, refute the arguments, and don't play identity politics by smearing the individual for expressing a view that you don't like.
To all, please report actual TOS violations. Please don't weaponize the function in an attempt to silence perspectives that you personally disagree with.

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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Mr Man
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Mr Man » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:51 pm

perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:12 pm

I don't see what sense that would make. That the mentioned post was inappropriate, offensive and disrespectful has been well pointed out in the thread.
People can say offensive and inappropriate things, and they can be called out for it, and discussions evolve in ways good, bad or ugly, and when moderators find it too hard to deal with them anymore they may shut them down. That's how it seems to work. I don't think it's a bad thing to be able to see still in hindsight what has happened. Why should this or that particular post from the past be cut out of history, especially when it has been answered to, and in this case, duly rebuked?
I don't see the advantage of cleaning up the traces of what others have said far back in the past.

But anyway, that is not my job, and I'm glad about it.
In principle I kind of agree with you but in practice no. Sometimes things should be cleaned up, in my opinion, and not everything that is said needs to stay around forever for everyone.

But likewise it's not my call.

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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by pilgrim » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:37 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm
L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:38 pm
They self-identify as Buddhists.
Does that make them Buddhists?
Of course. A person may behave badly, he may break the precepts, he may not practise well. But that does not forfeit his refuge. The path is open to all.

"Venerable sir, in what way is one a lay follower?"

"Mahanama, inasmuch as one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, has gone to the Sangha for refuge; in that way, Mahanama, one is a lay follower."

"Then, venerable sir, in what way is a lay follower virtuous?"

"Mahanama, inasmuch as a lay follower abstains from destroying living beings; abstains from taking what is not given; abstains from sexual misconduct; abstains from lying; and abstains from wine, liquor and intoxicants that are causes for heedlessness; in that way, Mahanama, a lay follower is virtuous."
~ Mahanama sutta, AN 8.25

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