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

Post by chownah » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:14 am

L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:25 pm
There have been a lot of ugly posts about Islam and other faiths.
I really agree with this. I don't mind people discussing what they think are bad things about other religions but the tone of the discussion seem to me to be bashing and uncaring about the people who are muslims and who do not ascribe to those negative things which people see. The tone of the discussion often does not reflect the attitudes of a Person of Integrity:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Also seems like a lack of compassion and equanimity.
Can it be said that for a lot of buddhist when the going gets tough they forget......
chownah

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

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:40 am

Greetings Chownah,
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:14 am
I don't mind people discussing what they think are bad things about other religions but the tone of the discussion seem to me to be bashing and uncaring about the people who are muslims and who do not ascribe to those negative things which people see. The tone of the discussion often does not reflect the attitudes of a Person of Integrity:
I note that you address "tone" (in contrast to "content"?) in your comment.

Speaking from an administrative perspective, I was wondering whether there's anything you can think of which could and/or should be done from a moderation policy perspective to uplift the "tone" of such critiques, which have the potential to be interpreted by some as "bashing and uncaring"? Or is it solely the responsibility of the individual who is speaking to speak in a manner which they decide is Right? I gave some possible recommendations earlier for both "critics" and "critics of the critics" here which I felt could be effective when discussing Islam, but they were just general recommendations which people are free to adopt or ignore, as they see fit. Or is it that Islam is such an emotive "hot button" topic for some people in the 21st century that no level of critique, no matter what the tone, can possibly be tolerated by them?

(Others are welcome to respond too...)

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

Post by binocular » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:08 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:40 am
Or is it that Islam is such an emotive "hot button" topic for some people in the 21st century that no level of critique, no matter what the tone, can possibly be tolerated by them?
Yes. And even intellectuals can be among such people.

Some years back, I witnessed a discussion at a Buddhist forum where someone posted some passages from the Kuran that instruct killing non-believers. The moderator reprimanded the poster and said that posting such things was against the TOS on the grounds that it amounts to speaking badly of other religions.

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

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:16 am

Greetings Binocular,

Yes, I know the kind of mentality you mean. It does seem as if some elements of society (and thus, some elements of online forums) have granted Islam some kind of unparalleled "special privilege" afforded to no other ideology or worldview (including Buddhism itself), whereby it is held to be strictly beyond critique, such that any person who would dare to critique it, must be responded to with moral condemnation and associated epithets. To me it seems like a socially-curated Blasphemy Law for the 21st century, and I confess that I don't really understand it, nor why so many people acquiesce to such an arbitrary policing of thought and speech.

Personally, I'm not inclined to prohibit any subject of conversation of interest to Theravada Buddhists, so long as the behaviour of those involved in the conversation adheres to the parameters of the Terms of Service. But nonetheless, as this topic demonstrates, some people will complain when others dare to mention Islam in anything less than a flattering light, so in my official capacity I do feel somewhat obliged to poke around and see if there's something that could be done to alleviate the angst. Certain people make out that it's some kind of egregious calamity whenever the subject comes up and I'd like to know why, because I tire of people's moral and emotional panic.

Hence the questions... and hopefully some answers.

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

Post by binocular » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:16 am

chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:14 am
I really agree with this. I don't mind people discussing what they think are bad things about other religions but the tone of the discussion seem to me to be bashing and uncaring about the people who are muslims and who do not ascribe to those negative things which people see. The tone of the discussion often does not reflect the attitudes of a Person of Integrity:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Also seems like a lack of compassion and equanimity.

Can it be said that for a lot of buddhist when the going gets tough they forget.....
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:49 am
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.
:guns:

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

Post by binocular » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:46 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:16 am
Personally, I'm not inclined to prohibit any subject of conversation, so long as behaviour of those involved in the conversation adheres to the parameters of the Terms of Service. But nonetheless, as this topic demonstrates, people complain when others dare to mention Islam in anything less than a flattering light, so in my official capacity I do feel somewhat obliged to poke around and see if there's something that could be done to alleviate the angst. Hence the questions...
I doubt anything can alleviate that angst [edit: or moral and emotional panic], because that angst seems to be linked to people's most fundamental questions and fears about life, the meaning of life, justice, and other such fundamental issues.

For a person who hasn't resolved those questions and fears, anything that triggers them will be problematic. Whether it's a discussion of religion, or crime rates, or climate change, etc.

And Abrahamic religions (with their religious elitism and threat of eternal damnation) in general address or provoke many people's worst fears and questions. Currently, it's Islam, Muslims, and the discussion about them that is so provoking for many such people (while if such a person were to live in central Europe in the 15th, 16th, 17th century, that would be Catholicism, for example).

So I think this whole thing about disparaging other religions isn't really about those other religions or about disparaging them, but about having unresolved existential questions and fears, and feeling incapable of doing something about them, or resenting to do something about them.


Once in a discussion of a socio-political topic in a general secular forum, a Hare Krishna devotee made an interesting comment. Namely, some posters were very much upset over some issue, and after some discussion of it, the devotee said something like, "Apparently, you haven't come to terms with living in a dangerous world." The reaction of the other posters was telling -- mostly amounting to "Who are you to say such things?!" and getting outraged. I think he made a vital point, though.

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

Post by DooDoot » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:52 am

DNS wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:22 pm
The Sword Verse in the Qur'an:
فَإِذَا انْسَلَخَ الْأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ
فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدْتُمُوهُمْ
وَخُذُوهُمْ وَاحْصُرُوهُمْ وَاقْعُدُوا لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْصَدٍ
فَإِنْ تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ
فَخَلُّوا سَبِيلَهُمْ
إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
Qur'an 9.5 wrote:"Then, when the sacred months have passed,
slay the idolaters wherever ye find them,
and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.
But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free.
Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful"
This passage appears to advocate killing non-believers unless they convert to Islam. From a Buddhist (and humanitarian) perspective this is in opposition to the First Precept and basic freedom of religion.
I think if the above is studied, it might be found "the idolaters" refer to a Meccan group at the Kaaba who were against the Muslims. The verse should be examined it is context: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_Verse
Qur’anic exegetes al-Baydawi and al-Alusi explain that it refers to those pagan Arabs who violated their peace treaties by waging war against the Muslims.
The above said, the verse is certainly contrary to any Buddhists principles of non-killing however the verse appears to fall within the ordinary sphere of social politics, as found in many religious & social texts, such as the Old Testament, Bhagavada Gita, Tao Te Ching, US Constitution, United Nations, Geneva Convention, etc, which provide grounds for war. The verses does not appear to be about forced conversions but about making peace with the Muslims.
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:26 pm
The koran is the most respected scripture in islam, followed by the sahih al bukhari and the sahih muslim. I have quoted them to substantiate what I have said.
Many quote from the Koran to criticize Islam however I personally have never read any of the usual quotes quoted within the historical context. Its similar to Buddhists who imagine things when reading a single word translated in a sutta but do not examine the context of that word.

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

Post by DooDoot » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:12 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:16 am
Yes, I know the kind of mentality you mean. It does seem as if some elements of society (and thus, some elements of online forums) have granted Islam some kind of unparalleled "special privilege" afforded to no other ideology or worldview...
I disagree. There is one other ideology that is so sacred I can't even mention it.... :pig:
binocular wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:46 am
And Abrahamic religions (with their religious elitism and threat of eternal damnation) in general address or provoke many people's worst fears and questions. Currently, it's Islam, Muslims, and the discussion about them that is so provoking for many such people (while if such a person were to live in central Europe in the 15th, 16th, 17th century, that would be Catholicism, for example).

So I think this whole thing about disparaging other religions isn't really about those other religions or about disparaging them, but about having unresolved existential questions and fears, and feeling incapable of doing something about them, or resenting to do something about them
It is difficult for me to disagree with this however I suppose as I have already posted and it might sound strange but Islam is probably the most tolerant of each of the three Abrahamic religions.

Also, I think many Americans & Westerners are in total denial of their own foreign policy & are unable to even consider it is the US govt that has basically nurtured every branch of modern terrorism under the banner of Islam.

Look what the Americans did in Iraq; the same as Vietnam.




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

Post by L.N. » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:29 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:31 pm
Patriarchal theism is imo the greatest evil ever to befall human kind. In all its forms its ridiculous evil and dangerous and historically has been a major motivator and rationalization mechanism for every possible crime and perversion that humans perpetrate on each other.
This is false.
However, if one form of its practice is being held up for especial ridicule, i agree thats unfair. For the good of the human race, patriarchal theism in all its forms should be eradicated. So i think we need to disparage all forms of patriarchal theism as the selfish, brutal, judgmental, relics of prehistory they are and not just pick on one flavor to crap on.
This is false.
If you are looking for a place that is approving and welcoming to theist views and your particular sect especially, maybe you should be looking for sympathy somewhere other than a buddhst forum.
No, I am looking for an approach to other faiths which demonstrates the confidence in truth and respect for others embodied by Dhamma.
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 DooDoot » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:51 am

L.N. wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:29 am
No, I am looking for an approach to other faiths which demonstrates the confidence in truth and respect for others embodied by Dhamma.
Dhamma is the practise of non-violence & mental cleansing of hatred. The mind of Dhamma is vast. Yet it does to necessarily agree with the tenets of other religions. For example, the Buddha made it clear he was not the enemy of the Brahmans however the Buddha did disagree with some Brahmanistic teachings, which he refuted.

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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. » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:56 am

DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:51 am
Dhamma is the practise of non-violence & mental cleansing of hatred. The mind of Dhamma is vast. Yet it does to necessarily agree with the tenets of other religions. For example, the Buddha made it clear he was not the enemy of the Brahmans however the Buddha did disagree with some Brahmanistic teachings, which he refuted.
That's a far cry from suggesting Muhammad should be urinated upon and other such horrible things which have been said here by some Buddhists about other faiths.

By the way, it has come to my attention that the OP of this topic has been altered without notice to me by someone here at DW. I have not done a word-for-word comparison, so I don't know the extent of the changes to the OP. I may have the original on file somewhere for comparison.
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 Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:39 am

L.N. wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:56 am
DooDoot wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:51 am
Dhamma is the practise of non-violence & mental cleansing of hatred. The mind of Dhamma is vast. Yet it does to necessarily agree with the tenets of other religions. For example, the Buddha made it clear he was not the enemy of the Brahmans however the Buddha did disagree with some Brahmanistic teachings, which he refuted.
That's a far cry from suggesting Muhammad should be urinated upon and other such horrible things which have been said here by some Buddhists about other faiths.

By the way, it has come to my attention that the OP of this topic has been altered without notice to me by someone here at DW. I have not done a word-for-word comparison, so I don't know the extent of the changes to the OP. I may have the original on file somewhere for comparison.
That is horrible, if indeed that is true, that your OP has been altered without your consent and/or notification.

That being said, this seems to be, the above message, an instance of decrying someone for not being perceived as enthusiastic enough for a cause. DooDoot has spoken favourably in your cause... was it not extremely enough?
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:50 am

Greetings Binocular,
binocular wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:46 am
retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:16 am
Personally, I'm not inclined to prohibit any subject of conversation, so long as behaviour of those involved in the conversation adheres to the parameters of the Terms of Service. But nonetheless, as this topic demonstrates, people complain when others dare to mention Islam in anything less than a flattering light, so in my official capacity I do feel somewhat obliged to poke around and see if there's something that could be done to alleviate the angst. Hence the questions...
I doubt anything can alleviate that angst [edit: or moral and emotional panic], because that angst seems to be linked to people's most fundamental questions and fears about life, the meaning of life, justice, and other such fundamental issues.

For a person who hasn't resolved those questions and fears, anything that triggers them will be problematic. Whether it's a discussion of religion, or crime rates, or climate change, etc.

And Abrahamic religions (with their religious elitism and threat of eternal damnation) in general address or provoke many people's worst fears and questions. Currently, it's Islam, Muslims, and the discussion about them that is so provoking for many such people (while if such a person were to live in central Europe in the 15th, 16th, 17th century, that would be Catholicism, for example).

So I think this whole thing about disparaging other religions isn't really about those other religions or about disparaging them, but about having unresolved existential questions and fears, and feeling incapable of doing something about them, or resenting to do something about them.


Once in a discussion of a socio-political topic in a general secular forum, a Hare Krishna devotee made an interesting comment. Namely, some posters were very much upset over some issue, and after some discussion of it, the devotee said something like, "Apparently, you haven't come to terms with living in a dangerous world." The reaction of the other posters was telling -- mostly amounting to "Who are you to say such things?!" and getting outraged. I think he made a vital point, though.
Excellent post. Much appreciated. Great little story at the end too...

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

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:51 am

Greetings L.N.,
L.N. wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:56 am
By the way, it has come to my attention that the OP of this topic has been altered without notice to me by someone here at DW. I have not done a word-for-word comparison, so I don't know the extent of the changes to the OP. I may have the original on file somewhere for comparison.
I have looked at the log and I can see an edit has been undertaken. I will get the moderator in question to PM you, explaining what was done and why.

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

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

Post by chownah » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:29 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:16 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:14 am
I really agree with this. I don't mind people discussing what they think are bad things about other religions but the tone of the discussion seem to me to be bashing and uncaring about the people who are muslims and who do not ascribe to those negative things which people see. The tone of the discussion often does not reflect the attitudes of a Person of Integrity:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Also seems like a lack of compassion and equanimity.

Can it be said that for a lot of buddhist when the going gets tough they forget.....
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:49 am
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.
:guns:
I don't understand how what you brought is a response to what I posted.
chownah

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

Post by Mr Man » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:57 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:46 am

I doubt anything can alleviate that angst [edit: or moral and emotional panic], because that angst seems to be linked to people's most fundamental questions and fears about life, the meaning of life, justice, and other such fundamental issues.
Hi binocular
Which angst are you talking about here?

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

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:08 am

Greetings Mr.Man,
Mr Man wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:57 am
Which angst are you talking about here?
I took it to be manifestations of phenomena akin to the hindrances of doubt, restlessness & remorse, but I too look forward to hearing more from binocular about precisely what was meant.
SN 46.55 wrote:If there is a pot of water which is turbid, stirred up and muddy, and this pot is put into a dark place, then a man with a normal faculty of sight could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by doubt, overpowered by doubt, then one cannot properly see the escape from doubt which has arisen; then one does not properly understand one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized.

...

If there is water in a pot, stirred by the wind, agitated, swaying and producing waves, a man with a normal faculty of sight could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by restlessness and remorse, overpowered by restlessness and remorse, one cannot properly see the escape from restlessness and remorse that have arisen; then one does not properly understand one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized.
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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Re: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths

Post by Mr Man » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:38 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:08 am
Greetings Mr.Man,
Mr Man wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:57 am
Which angst are you talking about here?
I took it to be manifestations of phenomena akin to the hindrances of doubt, restlessness & remorse
Binocular was quoting from you.
retrofuturist wrote:
but I too look forward to hearing more from binocular about precisely what was meant.

Yes

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

Post by alfa » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:01 pm

Honest question.

Let's say your criticism of Islam is fair and objective.

Still, what exactly do people hope to accomplish by 'criticizing' Islam or any other religion? :shrug:

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

Post by binocular » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:31 pm

alfa wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:01 pm
Still, what exactly do people hope to accomplish by 'criticizing' Islam or any other religion?
One of the goals of criticism: To maintain at least a psychological distance from that which is being criticized.

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