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 4:19 pm

perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:52 pm
I'm not well-versed in their doctrine. Maybe their doctrine states that this is what will happen to unbelievers but this wouldn't imply that they hope for this to be the case.
If they believe that God (who instated their religious doctrine) is just, then, by implication, they think it is just and look forward to everything God did, does, or will do, including burning "infidels" in hell forever. If they hope that God's justice be done, and God's justice includes burning "infidels" in hell forever, then they hope that those "infidels" will burn in hell forever.
The only muslim person I have known who was very serious about following his religion acted in ways towards me which appeared to me mostly genuinely friendly, helpful and so on. He was a colleague in my previous job. I can't imagine him wishing eternal suffering upon me.
Maybe he wasn't a particularly good or consistent member of his religion. It seems common.
So, then, for example, by some less superficial criteria you would probably disagree that most Burmese are buddhists?
I don't know about "most."
What if they say they are buddhists?
Then they say so.
Is this a superficial criterion - self-identification as adherent to a certain religion?
It can be.

My point is that if we casually and superficially, like journalists and sociologists, assign religious identity to ourselves and others, then the concept of religious identity becomes stretched to the point where it can include anything and everything and ceases to be a meaningful concept because it's just a word that doesn't denote anything specific.

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

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:38 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:19 pm
You really should not assign religious identity so easily.
These are individuals who self-identify as Buddhists. Many of them wear the monk's robes. I am not assigning religious identity to the people who persecute the Rohingya Muslims. They self-identify as Buddhists.

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

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:42 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:38 am
I agree, but the best way of stopping such posts is by reporting them to the mods, not by starting threads about the issue.
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.

However, I agree that starting threads about the issue may not be effective, as this very Topic has now been hijacked for the purpose of further disparaging Islam, which is the opposite of what I had hoped would result. But I guess it was predictable.

My intention was to speak out rather than remain silent about this unfortunate conduct on a Forum devoted to Dhamma. Collectively, we add to the misperception of Buddhism through these unskillful Topics.

Maybe if enough members start reporting posts which disparage other faiths, it will make a difference?
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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L.N.
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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by L.N. » 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.
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。

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

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:35 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:27 pm
perkele wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:17 pm
binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:22 pm
There's a bigger problem: How does one show goodwill to someone who wishes one suffering forever and ever?
Do you believe that all or most or many muslims think that way towards you (as well as towards other "infidels)?
Yes. It's part of their doctrine.
No, it is not. This has no place in mainstream Islam and is routinely denounced as heretical.

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.

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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L.N.
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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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DNS
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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.

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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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