I thought that's what I was doing.Ben wrote:Anyway, lets get back to Peter's questions...
I don't think so, Peter. I think the answers I provided were based on an appropriate understanding of your premise when you created this thread.Peter wrote:You seem to be having trouble understanding the premise of the thread.
That's an oversimplification.Peter wrote:I will try to explain it in more detail.
The Buddha taught that one should not only abstain from killing but also abstain from urging another to kill. Some people maintain the act of buying meat always constitutes urging another to kill, the typical argument referring to the pressures of supply and demand. I am seeking to explore in closer detail the interactions of buyer to seller and buyer to killer and see if this interaction does indeed always include the element of urging. If we find that it does then we can conclude that buying meat is precluded by the Buddha's teachings. More likely we will find it some times is so and it sometimes is not so, that the situation is more complicated as you say.
I do not agree. These factors may contribute to whether the urging is successful but they do not contribute to whether there is any urging at all.Jechbi wrote:How well do you know this man? How many other customers does this man have? If you stopped buying meat there, would the man be inclined to slaughter fewer animals? These and a host of other factors all could contribute to whatever it is that might be regarded as "urging,"
I would not advise throwing our hands up in the air and saying "we can't know." I would contend that actions are made up of multiple factors, so we have to be careful not to oversimplify and thus run the risk of rationalizing our actions, for example saying that we're not "urging" someone to do something when tacitly we are doing just that.Peter wrote:I think since this is a Dhamma discussion we need to use the definition given by the Buddha. Perhaps instead of throwing our hands up in the air and saying "we can't know" we should instead ask what the Buddha means by "urging".Jechbi wrote:depending on the definition of "urging" that everyone is accepting for the sake of discussion
Yes, and intent can be obscured or unknown to us or mixed with other intents. It's not black-and-white.Peter wrote:I understand it to mean "an action taken with the intent of persuading another to do something."
I didn't say otherwise. But that's not what I was saying at the moment when you asked if that's what I was saying. It appears you were reading too much into my comments.Peter wrote:I know you said otherwise, Jechbi, but it really looks like you're saying "sometimes buying constitutes urging and sometimes is doesn't."
I expect people to disagree with my answer, particularly if they layer the answer with extra nuances that were not part of the answer to begin with, which it appears you were doing.Peter wrote:This is a fine answer that in no way invalidates the discussion in this thread. I think some people would disagree with your answer. That's why it's a discussion.
Sure, but then you can build the hypothetical any way you want. There are countless hypotheticals. I agree it can be interesting and even informative, but at a certain point you have to realize all that hypothesizing will only go so far in helping you decide what is wholesome to do when the situation is at hand in the present moment.Peter wrote:I think it depends on the question. I think asking "What should I do in this hypothetical situation" is very difficult to answer in a meaningful way. But I think asking "What does Buddhism teach regarding this hypothetical situation" is not as difficult to answer.Jechbi wrote:I do think the specific hypothetical questions are difficult to answer in a practical way, though.
Peter, I believe I'm answering your questions in a manner that does not fit with your expectations, but I believe I understand perfectly well what you're driving at. If you regard these comments as discourteous or off-topic or lacking in understanding, please have patience with me. You also may wish to avoid assuming that I'm saying something I'm not.