Goodness

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tlxxxviii
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Goodness

Post by tlxxxviii » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:13 pm

I was listening to a talk by Bikkhu Bodhi, and he said "goodness is objectively built into the fabric of the universe."

I was hoping to find scriptural evidence for such a claim. Anyone?

Thanks in advance.

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Nicolas
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Re: Goodness

Post by Nicolas » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:13 pm

Perhaps he was referring to the law of kamma? Good actions invariably bring good results.

dharmacorps
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Re: Goodness

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:26 pm

Can you give us the greater context of the quote? Taken in a vacuum, it is hard to know what is mean by this.

SarathW
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Re: Goodness

Post by SarathW » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:24 pm

Could you give the link to BB's talk?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

binocular
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Re: Goodness

Post by binocular » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:07 pm

SarathW wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:24 pm
Could you give the link to BB's talk?
Here's one:
/.../
If morality is to function as an efficient guide to conduct, it cannot be propounded as a self-justifying scheme but must be embedded in a more comprehensive spiritual system which grounds morality in a transpersonal order. Religion must affirm, in the clearest terms, that morality and ethical values are not mere decorative frills of personal opinion, not subjective superstructure, but intrinsic laws of the cosmos built into the heart of reality.
/.../
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ponse.html
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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SDC
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Re: Goodness

Post by SDC » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:51 pm

Yeah, a full quote would help with context.

Aside from Nicolas' suggestion about kamma, I doubt you'll find any support for that idea in the suttas.
tlxxxviii wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:13 pm
"goodness is objectively built into the fabric of the universe."
Yeah, so is badness. The first verse of the Dhammapada describes it. Think bad, bad will follow. Think good, good will follow. That simple. Both are equally available as options, and in that sense, one is not more or less than the other. Depends on what you do. Sure, "good" will produce superior results all around, but that has nothing to do with any "objective" superiority in some hierarchical structure inherent to the "fabric of reality".

In binocular's quote, it should be noted that he is speaking in terms of religion, not explicitly in terms of Dhamma practice. Throughout his years of translating, Ven. BB has proven that he knows the difference --- I doubt he would ignore it.

samsarictravelling
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Re: Goodness

Post by samsarictravelling » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:39 am

tlxxxviii wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:13 pm
I was listening to a talk by Bikkhu Bodhi, and he said "goodness is objectively built into the fabric of the universe."

I was hoping to find scriptural evidence for such a claim. Anyone?

Thanks in advance.
Just my opinion:

Yes, goodness is built into the fabric of the universe. Doesn't every sentient being want freedom from pain, and want happiness/pleasure/sukha?

You could be Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Taoist, materialist (one-life believer), and we all want happiness. Animals also want happiness/freedom from suffering/pleasure. Petas ('hungry ghosts' as taught in Theravada Buddhism) want freedom from suffering in the form of accepting food. Hell dwellers want freedom from suffering. Devas want happiness.

We want happiness, so we learn we have to act rightly. Animals have to learn to become more wiser in their hunting skills. Humans see what brings happiness and suffering. For example, humans have the code of shame and fear of blame (hiri and ottappa). When a person does something and suffers, it could have been because they were without shame and fear of blame??? I don't know.

Here is shame and fear of blame taught by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

The Buddha points to two mental qualities as the underlying safeguards of morality, thus as the protectors of both the individual and society as a whole. These two qualities are called in Pali hiri and ottappa. Hiri is an innate sense of shame over moral transgression; ottappa is moral dread, fear of the results of wrongdoing. The Buddha calls these two states the bright guardians of the world (sukka lokapala). He gives them this designation because as long as these two states prevail in people's hearts the moral standards of the world remain intact, while when their influence wanes the human world falls into unabashed promiscuity and violence, becoming almost indistinguishable from the animal realm (Itiv. 42).

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_23.html

And here is that sutta in question, I think:

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these two bright qualities that safeguard the world. Which two? Conscience & concern (for the results of unskillful actions). If these two bright qualities did not guard the world, there would be no recognition of 'mother' here, no recognition of 'mother's sister,' 'uncle's wife,' 'teacher's wife,' or 'wife of those who deserve respect.' The world would be immersed in promiscuity, like rams with goats, roosters with pigs, or dogs with jackals. But because these two bright qualities guard the world, there is recognition of 'mother,' 'mother's sister,' 'uncle's wife,' 'teacher's wife,' & 'wife of those who deserve respect.'"

Those in whom
concern & conscience
are not always found
have strayed
from the bright root,
are headed
to birth & death.
But those in whom
concern & conscience
are rightly established always,
who are mature in the holy life:
they are calm,
their further becoming
ended.

https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn ... ml#iti-042

samsarictravelling

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