False admonishment?

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retrofuturist
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False admonishment?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:34 am

Greetings,

In the Vinaya and the Suttas, there is the concept of admonishment.

Underpinning the concept of admonishment seems to be the premise that the "admonisher" is actually right and wise, and the "admonished" has done wrong, for which they should atone or correct themselves.

However, what if these premises do not hold?

Is the "admonished" expected to accept any and all admonishment, regards of whether or not it is factually accurate or wise? Is there any recourse, or opportunity to contest "false admonishment"?

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: False admonishment?

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:05 am

Is there a specific accusation which prompts the topic?
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: False admonishment?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:08 am

Greetings,
L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:05 am
Is there a specific accusation which prompts the topic?
No... moreso I was reflecting on the presumptuousness of it.

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: False admonishment?

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:18 am

The discussion in this topic may be on point to some extent.
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: False admonishment?

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:34 am
However, what if these premises do not hold?
Then one may refuse to give the would-be admonisher one's leave to deliver an admonition. Ven. Thanissaro's account of the eighth saṅghādisesa and fifty-fourth pācittiya rules goes into the matter in some detail.

http://www.elibrary.ibc.ac.th/files/acc ... .ch05.html

http://www.elibrary.ibc.ac.th/files/acc ... h08-6.html
Ajahn Thanissaro wrote:As for the other party, he may give leave, or not, depending on his assessment of the individual asking for leave, for it is possible that someone might ask for leave without any real grounds, simply to be abusive.

[...]

Having been asked to give leave, one is allowed to assess the person making the request before giving him leave to speak.

[...]

A bhikkhu who asks for leave with no grounds — i.e., he has not seen the other party commit the offense, has heard no reliable report to that effect, and has no reason to suspect anything to that effect — incurs a dukkaṭa (Mv.II.16.3).

Pv.XV.4.7 gives further support to the Burmese reading here by suggesting that one should not give leave to a bhikkhu who:

1) is unconscientious,
2) is ignorant,
3) is not in regular standing (e.g., he is undergoing penance for a saṅghādisesa offense or has been placed under a disciplinary transaction),
4) speaks intent on creating a disturbance, or
5) is not intent on rehabilitating the bhikkhu he is accusing.

Pv.XV.5.4 suggests further that one should not give leave to a bhikkhu who:

1) is not pure in bodily conduct,
2) is not pure in verbal conduct,
3) is not pure in his livelihood,
4) is incompetent and inexperienced, or
5) is unable to give a consistent line of reasoning when questioned.

If the bhikkhu is not unqualified in any of these ways, though, one should willingly give him leave to speak. Cv.IX.5.7 says that, when being admonished or accused, one should keep two qualities in mind: truth and staying unprovoked. The Pāṭimokkha also contains a number of rules imposing penalties on behaving improperly when one is being admonished formally or informally: Sg 12 for being difficult to admonish in general, Pc 12 for being evasive or refusing to answer when being formally questioned (see below), Pc 54 for being disrespectful to one's accuser or to the rule one is being accused of breaking, and Pc 71 for finding excuses for not following a particular training rule.

If both sides act in good faith and without prejudice, accusations of this sort are easy to settle on an informal basis. If an accusation can't be settled informally, it should be taken to a meeting of the Community so that the group as a whole may pass judgment. The procedures for this sort of formal meeting will be discussed under the aniyata and adhikaraṇa-samatha rules. If the issue is to be brought up at a Community meeting for the uposatha, there are extra procedures to be followed, which are discussed in BMC2, Chapter 15. If the issue is to be brought up at the Invitation at the end of the Rains, the procedures to be followed are discussed in BMC2, Chapter 16.

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Re: False admonishment?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:02 am

Greetings bhante,

Thanks for the details... very interesting!

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: False admonishment?

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:31 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:34 am
In the Vinaya and the Suttas, there is the concept of admonishment.

Underpinning the concept of admonishment seems to be the premise that the "admonisher" is actually right and wise, and the "admonished" has done wrong, for which they should atone or correct themselves.

However, what if these premises do not hold?

Is the "admonished" expected to accept any and all admonishment, regards of whether or not it is factually accurate or wise? Is there any recourse, or opportunity to contest "false admonishment"?
Indeed -- when and how does AN 8.14 apply?
"Monks, I will teach you the eight unruly horses and eight faults in horses, the eight unruly men and eight faults in men. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said: "Now, which are the eight unruly horses and eight faults in horses?

"There is the case where some unruly horses — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — back up and push the chariot back with their hindquarters. Some unruly horses are like this. This is the first fault in a horse.

"Then again, some unruly horses — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — jump back and hit the carriage railing, breaking the triple bar. Some unruly horses are like this. This is the second fault in a horse.

"Then again, some unruly horses — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — kick the chariot pole and stomp on it. Some unruly horses are like this. This is the third fault in a horse.

"Then again, some unruly horses — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — go off the road and make the chariot turn over. Some unruly horses are like this. This is the fourth fault in a horse.

"Then again, some unruly horses — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — rear up and paw the air. Some unruly horses are like this. This is the fifth fault in a horse.

"Then again, some unruly horses — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — not heeding the goad, bite through the bit with their teeth and go where they will. Some unruly horses are like this. This is the sixth fault in a horse.

"Then again, some unruly horses — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — go neither forward nor back, but stand right there like a post. Some unruly horses are like this. This is the seventh fault in a horse.

"Then again, some unruly horses — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — draw in their forefeet, draw in their hindfeet, and sit down right there on their four feet. Some unruly horses are like this. This is the eighth fault in a horse.

"These, monks, are the eight unruly horses and eight faults in horses."

"And which are the eight unruly men and eight faults in men?

"There is the case where the monks accuse a monk of an offense. He, being accused of an offense by the monks, denies the offense, [saying,] 'I don't remember. I don't remember.' He, I tell you, is just like the unruly horse who — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — backs up and pushes the chariot back with its hindquarters. Some unruly men are like this. This is the first fault in a man.

"Then again, the monks accuse a monk of an offense. He, being accused of an offense by the monks, attacks the accuser: 'What use is there in your speaking, you inexperienced fool. Think of yourself as worthy to be spoken to.' He, I tell you, is just like the unruly horse who — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — jumps back and hits the carriage railing, breaking the triple bar. Some unruly men are like this. This is the second fault in a man.

"Then again, the monks accuse a monk of an offense. He, being accused of an offense by the monks, accuses the accuser in return: 'You, too, have committed an offense of this name. You make amends for it first.' He, I tell you, is just like the unruly horse who — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — kicks the chariot pole and stomps on it. Some unruly men are like this. This is the third fault in a man.

"Then again, the monks accuse a monk of an offense. He, being accused of an offense by the monks, wanders from one thing to another, straying outside the topic, displaying anger, irritation, & sulkiness. He, I tell you, is just like the unruly horse who — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — goes off the road and makes the chariot turn over. Some unruly men are like this. This is the fourth fault in a man.

"Then again, the monks accuse a monk of an offense. He, being accused of an offense by the monks, speaks waving his arms around in the midst of the Sangha. He, I tell you, is just like the unruly horse who — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — rears up and paws the air. Some unruly men are like this. This is the fifth fault in a man.

"Then again, the monks accuse a monk of an offense. He, being accused of an offense by the monks, not heeding the Sangha, not heeding his accuser, goes off where he will, still an offender. He, I tell you, is just like the unruly horse who — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — not heeding the goad, bites through the bit with its teeth and goes where it will. Some unruly men are like this. This is the sixth fault in a man.

"Then again, the monks accuse a monk of an offense. He, being accused of an offense by the monks, [after saying,] 'I've neither committed an offense, nor have I committed an offense,' vexes the Sangha by falling silent. He, I tell you, is just like the unruly horse who — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — goes neither forward nor back, but stands right there like a post. Some unruly men are like this. This is the seventh fault in a man.

"Then again, the monks accuse a monk of an offense. He, being accused of an offense by the monks, says this: 'Why do you venerable ones persecute me so much? I'll disavow the training and return to the lower life.' On having disavowed the training and returned to the lower life he says, 'I hope you venerable ones are gratified now!' He, I tell you, is just like the unruly horse who — when goaded, ordered, and told 'Go!' by the charioteer — draws in its forefeet, draws in its hind feet, and sits down right there on its four feet. Some unruly men are like this. This is the eighth fault in a man.

"These, monks, are the eight unruly men and eight faults in men."
If one doesn't comply with just anyone who demands one's compliance, does this make one a faulty person?

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Re: False admonishment?

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:36 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:16 am
Ajahn Thanissaro wrote:Having been asked to give leave, one is allowed to assess the person making the request before giving him leave to speak.
How does the Patimokkha account for the Dunning–Kruger effect?

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Re: False admonishment?

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:03 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:36 am
Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:16 am
Ajahn Thanissaro wrote:Having been asked to give leave, one is allowed to assess the person making the request before giving him leave to speak.
How does the Patimokkha account for the Dunning–Kruger effect?
One could deny the admonisher leave to speak on account of, say, his ineptness or ignorance. If he doesn't accept that he's inept or ignorant and believes that his case is sound, then he would be obliged to pursue it by calling a meeting of the sangha, where hopefully wiser heads would prevail.

In the unlikely event that an entire monastery consisted of Dhammic anosognosiacs, the Vinaya wouldn't be of much help, but nor would anything else. In practice, however, I should imagine such a monastery would quickly acquire a certain notoriety and prudent bhikkhus would simply stay away from it.

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Re: False admonishment?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:10 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:08 am
Greetings,
L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:05 am
Is there a specific accusation which prompts the topic?
No... moreso I was reflecting on the presumptuousness of it.

Metta,
Paul. :)
I noted while having a look at the SC kerfuffle regarding Santa100 that a claim was made along the lines that a willingness to accept admonishment is held to be a good thing for those engaging in discussion about the Dhamma. Leaving the Sangha and vinaya aside, this does indeed seem to be a presumptuous thing to claim among lay practitioners. I have occasionally seen the word here, but can't think of anywhere else where it would be used unironically or without attempting to reproduce a jokey archaic tone. In that context, it looks to me to be an attempt to weaponise a term that one finds in the Dhamma. The claim that you are "admonishing" someone you disagree with trumps their claim to be right, and puts you on the moral high ground.

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Re: False admonishment?

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:22 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:16 am
... when being admonished or accused, one should keep two qualities in mind: truth and staying unprovoked.
This should apply to all of us, even non-monastics. When being accused, we can acknowledge what is true in the accusation and learn from it. This takes a certain level of security which most people seem to lack. In addition, we can use it as a training opportunity to check whether we feel provoked. Responding out of a sense of provocation can be harmful.

I see people frequently accusing one another on this forum of being "pig-headed," "confused" and the like. I suppose the people who make these accusations genuinely feel that they are speaking the truth, but may fail to recognize the effect on the intended target of such accusations, and may feel provoked when called out for it. I can imagine the same difficulties occur within the monastic community.
L.N. wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:37 pm
This topic should be pinned. Many excellent reminders in the above. Such as the following, which I find helpful:
I will talk at the right time not out of time. I will tell the truth not the untruth. I will talk politely, not roughly. I will tell the essential not the useless. I will talk with loving kindness not with anger. Friends, a bhikkhu desiring to accuse another should internally establish himself in these five things and then accuse another.
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: False admonishment?

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:44 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:34 am
Greetings,

In the Vinaya and the Suttas, there is the concept of admonishment.

Underpinning the concept of admonishment seems to be the premise that the "admonisher" is actually right and wise, and the "admonished" has done wrong, for which they should atone or correct themselves.

However, what if these premises do not hold?

Is the "admonished" expected to accept any and all admonishment, regards of whether or not it is factually accurate or wise? Is there any recourse, or opportunity to contest "false admonishment"?

Metta,
Paul. :)
To my knowledge, no. An admonishment can be warranted due to perception yet out of tune to the facts, thus not true. Also there are five things an admonished needs to be clear about before they admonish another (ideally), these are not requirements for admonishment.

Kind regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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