if you witness a crime

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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frank k
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if you witness a crime

Post by frank k » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:41 pm

https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... t-do.html

If you witness a crime and you don't do something about it, you're a criminal
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Sam Vara
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:09 pm

frank k wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:41 pm
https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... t-do.html

If you witness a crime and you don't do something about it, you're a criminal
The analogy doesn't really work, in that in my country, the legal statement is not true. You're a criminal only if you have been convicted of a crime, and there is usually no legal requirement to intervene if a crime is witnessed. Nor is one necessarily morally culpable.

From article linked:
Preserving the sanctity of the EBT, is a duty that falls on all of us. If you witness the Dhamma being molested, are cognizant of it, and you don't do something about it, you are complicit in the crime.
I'm not sure what it means for the Dhamma to be "molested". Do you mean a conspiratorial attempt to destroy or alter the meaning of the Buddha's words in every conceivable language and setting? Or do you mean when someone takes a different interpretation to the one we favour?

Normally, on DW we see the latter. The Buddha's words remain as they were recorded, but people get upset because someone else thinks they mean something different. It normally seems to be young men who want to feel like Batman.

sunnat
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by sunnat » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:55 am

"... monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to a catskin bag — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves.

"Monks, if you attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw, do you see any aspects of speech, slight or gross, that you could not endure?"

"No, lord."

"Then attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw. That will be for your long-term welfare & happiness."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words."

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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by frank k » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:14 am

The preservation of genuine Dhamma is not a legal matter, so we're not interested in conventions and laws of gov't here. The purpose of the article is to challenge people to really think about what their roles and culpability are, in being good stewards of the Dhamma. The Buddha's words remain as they were recorded, but deliberate wrong translations that change the meaning of the words corrupts the Dhamma.
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:09 pm
frank k wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:41 pm
https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... t-do.html

If you witness a crime and you don't do something about it, you're a criminal
The analogy doesn't really work, in that in my country, the legal statement is not true. You're a criminal only if you have been convicted of a crime, and there is usually no legal requirement to intervene if a crime is witnessed. Nor is one necessarily morally culpable.

From article linked:
Preserving the sanctity of the EBT, is a duty that falls on all of us. If you witness the Dhamma being molested, are cognizant of it, and you don't do something about it, you are complicit in the crime.
I'm not sure what it means for the Dhamma to be "molested". Do you mean a conspiratorial attempt to destroy or alter the meaning of the Buddha's words in every conceivable language and setting? Or do you mean when someone takes a different interpretation to the one we favour?

Normally, on DW we see the latter. The Buddha's words remain as they were recorded, but people get upset because someone else thinks they mean something different. It normally seems to be young men who want to feel like Batman.
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Sam Vara
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:40 am

frank k wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:14 am
The preservation of genuine Dhamma is not a legal matter, so we're not interested in conventions and laws of gov't here. The purpose of the article is to challenge people to really think about what their roles and culpability are, in being good stewards of the Dhamma. The Buddha's words remain as they were recorded, but deliberate wrong translations that change the meaning of the words corrupts the Dhamma.
Correct. The preservation of the Dhamma is not a legal matter, so it might be that your comparison with law is misplaced.

If you think that you ought to be a "good steward of the Dhamma" then my advice would be to find a translation and interpretation which you are happy with, and act on it.

I don't think there is such a thing as a "deliberate wrong translation". Why would anyone go to the considerable trouble of learning a dead language and then mistranslating it? Could you give an example of a deliberate wrong translation?

frank k
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by frank k » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:34 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:40 am
frank k wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:14 am
The preservation of genuine Dhamma is not a legal matter, so we're not interested in conventions and laws of gov't here. The purpose of the article is to challenge people to really think about what their roles and culpability are, in being good stewards of the Dhamma. The Buddha's words remain as they were recorded, but deliberate wrong translations that change the meaning of the words corrupts the Dhamma.
Correct. The preservation of the Dhamma is not a legal matter, so it might be that your comparison with law is misplaced.

If you think that you ought to be a "good steward of the Dhamma" then my advice would be to find a translation and interpretation which you are happy with, and act on it.

I don't think there is such a thing as a "deliberate wrong translation". Why would anyone go to the considerable trouble of learning a dead language and then mistranslating it? Could you give an example of a deliberate wrong translation?
I'm not comparing to law, or to samma kammanto (right action). It's more of a good samaritan golden rule situation. If you know for a fact a cardinal is a child molester, you're not under any legal obligation to warn anyone else, but if you were the other people, wouldn't you wish you had been informed by people who knew?

Similarly, if you know for a fact a Tibetan Lama is a sexual predator, you think its right speech and right action to keep that information to yourself?


Here is one prominent example for deliberate fraudulent mistranslation.
B. Analayo mistranslation of vitakka & vicara
http://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/v ... ndex.html

B. Sujato also does the same for V&V, and I'm going through my notes organizing it. I've been blowing the whistle on these Dhamma crimes for years, the problem is people have a cognitive dissonance problem. Because the perpetrators are otherwise very admirable well loved authority figures, people turn a blind eye to their misdeeds, even when a detailed pali+ english audit proving fraudulence is laid out on a silver platter.
Last edited by frank k on Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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frank k
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by frank k » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:38 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:40 am

I don't think there is such a thing as a "deliberate wrong translation". Why would anyone go to the considerable trouble of learning a dead language and then mistranslating it?
I can't believe you're asking that that question. Not just in early buddhism, not just in Buddhism with all its various sects, not just in any organized religion, but in all of life and every occupation you see the same pattern of people doing whatever it takes to gain in power, wealth, sex, status, etc. by any means necessary, even if it takes some effort to learn a skill.
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Sam Vara
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:34 pm

frank k wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:34 pm
I'm not comparing to law, or to samma kammanto (right action).
Why then is the word "crime" in the title of the thread, and references to crimes scattered throughout your contributions to it, including two in this post?
If you know for a fact a cardinal is a child molester, you're not under any legal obligation to warn anyone else, but if you were the other people, wouldn't you wish you had been informed by people who knew?

Similarly, if you know for a fact a Tibetan Lama is a sexual predator, you think its right speech and right action to keep that information to yourself?
If I could prevent reoffending and further harm in these cases of criminal and grossly immoral behaviour then yes, I would certainly speak out about them.
Here is one prominent example for deliberate fraudulent mistranslation.
It's quite hard to follow, as the article in the link could do with an early clear exposition of what you think the terms vitakka and vicara mean, but that doesn't look like an example of something that has deliberately been fraudulently mistranslated. That looks like a difference between different people as to the correct translation.

That's very far short of proof that the translation is fraudulent or deliberately wrong.

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Sam Vara
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:40 pm

frank k wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:38 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:40 am

I don't think there is such a thing as a "deliberate wrong translation". Why would anyone go to the considerable trouble of learning a dead language and then mistranslating it?
I can't believe you're asking that that question. Not just in early buddhism, not just in Buddhism with all its various sects, not just in any organized religion, but in all of life and every occupation you see the same pattern of people doing whatever it takes to gain in power, wealth, sex, status, etc. by any means necessary, even if it takes some effort to learn a skill.
I don't see any of the translators concerned enjoying much in the way of power, wealth, sex, or status as a result of their linguistic efforts. If people want those things, I would imagine acquiring the skills to hack bank accounts, or to befriend very elderly heiresses, would be a safer bet. I've never heard elsewhere about the mastery of dead languages being the royal road to corrupt hedonism. As I said in the last post, this just seems to be a disagreement over the accuracy of different translations.

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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by santa100 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:08 pm

Sam Vara wrote:I don't see any of the translators concerned enjoying much in the way of power, wealth, sex, or status as a result of their linguistic efforts. If people want those things, I would imagine acquiring the skills to hack bank accounts, or to befriend very elderly heiresses, would be a safer bet. I've never heard elsewhere about the mastery of dead languages being the royal road to corrupt hedonism. As I said in the last post, this just seems to be a disagreement over the accuracy of different translations.
Unfortunately the fact of life is that very man who is not yet an arahant still face a real possibility of regression on the Path; and yes, Pali translators included. One shouldn't be surprised to see how quickly power, wealth, or fame can corrupt a man, even a very decent man, especially when there're zero checks and balances in place. So without jumping into conlusion about whether those venerables are corrupt or not, it's certainly a legit. point that lay folks should be whistleblowers and to speak up when seeing corruptions/misconducts. And don't worry about overdoing it, for right now, there're far more rules and regulations being done to corporate employees than those for monastics. An employee showing inappropriate behavior to his female co-worker? He could say good-bye to his job the next day. A monk/priest has sex with bunch of young followers? It could takes decades to get him convicted!

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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by dharmacorps » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:23 pm

If somebody misrepresents the dhamma, that is on them. There are those who do that, and there is counterfeit dhamma out there, all over the place.

All you can do is mind your own practice and explain, where appropriate the correct dhamma. You're not going to convince anybody about anything by invective.

Here's an idea--Start your own comprehensive pali canon translation site. I think you would do a good job explaining your translations, and hopefully be more open to criticism where others have not been. :anjali:

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Volo
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by Volo » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:46 pm

When I see a person who is constantly in "righteous wrath" of criticizing heretics, I know that the last thing I want to learn from him is Dhamma.

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Sam Vara
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:16 pm

santa100 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:08 pm
Sam Vara wrote:I don't see any of the translators concerned enjoying much in the way of power, wealth, sex, or status as a result of their linguistic efforts. If people want those things, I would imagine acquiring the skills to hack bank accounts, or to befriend very elderly heiresses, would be a safer bet. I've never heard elsewhere about the mastery of dead languages being the royal road to corrupt hedonism. As I said in the last post, this just seems to be a disagreement over the accuracy of different translations.
Unfortunately the fact of life is that very man who is not yet an arahant still face a real possibility of regression on the Path; and yes, Pali translators included. One shouldn't be surprised to see how quickly power, wealth, or fame can corrupt a man, even a very decent man, especially when there're zero checks and balances in place. So without jumping into conlusion about whether those venerables are corrupt or not, it's certainly a legit. point that lay folks should be whistleblowers and to speak up when seeing corruptions/misconducts.
If I see anything like that, I will probably do so. But this looks like a case of people disagreeing over the accuracy of translations, which are apparently made in good faith. The standards of proof for "corruption" and "misconduct" would appear to be higher. The best approach when one finds a translation with which one disagrees is to quietly revert to a translation one is happier with.

santa100
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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by santa100 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:21 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:16 pm
If I see anything like that, I will probably do so. But this looks like a case of people disagreeing over the accuracy of translations, which are apparently made in good faith. The standards of proof for "corruption" and "misconduct" would appear to be higher. The best approach when one finds a translation with which one disagrees is to quietly revert to a translation one is happier with.
There was actually a real case last year that was definitely more serious than just "accuracy of translations". I notified SC about the error and it did take them quite a while to finally fixed it, which was kinda a surprise. They never replied back to me to explain why the phrase was left out in the first place! which makes me wonder what'd happen if I simply "minded my own business" and not making some noise and spreaded the info. out on a public record.

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Re: if you witness a crime

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:38 pm

santa100 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:21 pm
There was actually a real case last year that was definitely more serious than just "accuracy of translations". I notified SC about the error and it did take them quite a while to finally fixed it, which was kinda a surprise. They never replied back to me to explain why the phrase was left out in the first place! which makes me wonder what'd happen if I simply "minded my own business" and not making some noise and spreaded the info. out on a public record.
Yes, I remember the thread and was involved in it. You did the right thing, in my opinion, to notify SC, but there's nothing there to justify my belief that the translation involved "corruption" or "misconduct" or could rightly be described in terms which invoke the criminal law.

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