The ethics of being indifferent about whether one harms others

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
binocular
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Re: The ethics of being indifferent about whether one harms others

Post by binocular » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:16 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:41 pm
Social scientific or philosophical accounts of how the world is meant to be are not particularly relevant here in talking about kamma.
I was offering a sketch of an explanation as to why one's moral obligation (?) might cease when one is surrounded by others who can potentially do equal harm to one.

At least in popular Buddhism, there is a defense of self-defense; but also in the Vinaya (monks are allowed to defend themselves). And as long as Buddhism permits self-defense, cessation of moral obligation toward others is on the table to be discussed.
That's why your frequent strategy of "Buddhism doesn't really work for me, because of this theory that I can link to..." might be gratifying, but doesn't help.
My only reason for not being a Buddhist and "why Buddhism doesn't work for me" is that it appears to be nothing but a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Whatever social, philosophical etc. theories I mention is just to understand Buddhist philosophy through contradistinction with other philosophies. I am knowledgeable enough to take that route. I stand in the middle of the road ... and get hit by traffic from both sides ...
You are describing a situation in which kamma has already arisen. If Dick or Harry has got themselves into a situation where they perceive people around them as threats, then that's their kamma right there.
Conceiving of life as a life-or-death competition is kamma?

(How many Buddhists do you know who tacitly operate with this concept of life? It seems to me that many do. I hadn't given much thought to Social Darwinism, for example, until I came in contact with Buddhists.)
If Dick or Harry are cognisant of the situation but adhere to a view in which they don't want to protect their interests first, they create different kamma.
Of course, if they do believe in kamma, then this changes what they consider to be "self-interest", and can differ from what is ordinarily considered "self-interest".
That's why I'm personally wary of stuff like "Mutually Assured Destruction" and its application. And all other social "scientific" or personal convictions as to why "Buddhism can't work". Views.
In order to notice those views to begin with, what better way than to put views in contradistinctive relationships?

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Sam Vara
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Re: The ethics of being indifferent about whether one harms others

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:19 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:16 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:41 pm
Social scientific or philosophical accounts of how the world is meant to be are not particularly relevant here in talking about kamma.
I was offering a sketch of an explanation as to why one's moral obligation (?) might cease when one is surrounded by others who can potentially do equal harm to one.

At least in popular Buddhism, there is a defense of self-defense; but also in the Vinaya (monks are allowed to defend themselves). And as long as Buddhism permits self-defense, cessation of moral obligation toward others is on the table to be discussed.
Of course. That's been dealt with, in the sense that what differentiates the approach based on kamma from the one based on moral obligations is intention. There is the intention to save oneself, and the intention to help others.
My only reason for not being a Buddhist and "why Buddhism doesn't work for me" is that it appears to be nothing but a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sure. Buddhism appears to be like this; and Buddhists appear to be like that; and people appear to be thus; etc. Binoculoka.
I stand in the middle of the road ... and get hit by traffic from both sides ...
You mean there is a chatroom where people discuss how awful everything is in vaguely social scientific terms, and you cheerily remind them of the path to peace? :D
Conceiving of life as a life-or-death competition is kamma?
Sure. Conceiving is intention. The point is not so much that it is a view which is unsupportable or wrong, but that by clinging to it you seem to frustrate your own understanding. If you take Social Darwinism (whatever you conceive that rather odd term to mean) to be axiomatic, then you have to reject any aspect of the Dhamma which does not accord with it. That's a choice you make.
How many Buddhists do you know who tacitly operate with this concept of life? It seems to me that many do. I hadn't given much thought to Social Darwinism, for example, until I came in contact with Buddhists
I've no idea; I've never been interested in "Social Darwinism" in that context. It's about as interesting to me as the colour of the underwear favoured by Buddhists. Samvaraloka. (If you think it is of sufficient interest, you might want to start a new thread. Summarise why the Buddha and a representative handful of Theravadan commentators are Social Darwinists. It's probably too broad a topic to deal with here...)
In order to notice those views to begin with, what better way than to put views in contradistinctive relationships?
I don't know of any better way - for the sophomore. Make sure there is a scene-setting opening paragraph, and a well-structured etc., etc.

sentinel
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Re: The ethics of being indifferent about whether one harms others

Post by sentinel » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:40 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:41 am

... so if there is no intention, then it falls outside the realm of kamma.
Hmm , i guess that does not means there isnt any consequences in reality .
Mr no.2

binocular
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Re: The ethics of being indifferent about whether one harms others

Post by binocular » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:29 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:19 pm
Sure. Buddhism appears to be like this; and Buddhists appear to be like that; and people appear to be thus; etc. Binoculoka.
*sigh*
(Things must be really easy for naive realists, for they have no perceptions, they only see The Truth ...)

I just hope Nanavira was right and that (paraphrasing) success in spiritual practice doesn't depend on being able to explain it to someone else and making them understand.
Sure. Conceiving is intention. The point is not so much that it is a view which is unsupportable or wrong, but that by clinging to it you seem to frustrate your own understanding. If you take Social Darwinism (whatever you conceive that rather odd term to mean) to be axiomatic, then you have to reject any aspect of the Dhamma which does not accord with it. That's a choice you make.

No, this is not an accurate account of my situation.
Summarise why the Buddha and a representative handful of Theravadan commentators are Social Darwinists.
No, I don't think those are the Social Darwinists. I do believe that the way actual Buddhists purport as Buddhism or Dhamma something quite different as is taught in the suttas is relevant. Unlike you, I can't simply write it all off as them being "flawed humans".

I grew up in a culture where the whole point was to keep up appearances; to make a point of pretending one believes something while not believing it; to preach one thing and do another, and never admit to the dichotomy.
This was not about people being flawed or hypocritical, no, this was something entirely different, this was deliberate, a strategy for survival. And if people in one religion/culture can do it, why not in others? And when people in some other religion of one's interest show the same pattern, it is in place to investigate this, until one comes to the bottom of it and one's mind comes to peace about it.

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Sam Vara
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Re: The ethics of being indifferent about whether one harms others

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:53 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:29 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:19 pm
Sure. Buddhism appears to be like this; and Buddhists appear to be like that; and people appear to be thus; etc. Binoculoka.
*sigh*
(Things must be really easy for naive realists, for they have no perceptions, they only see The Truth ...)

"Naive realist" has become a bit of a generic term of disparagement, but I see no signs of it in this thread. I'm not sure how it relates to ethics.
I just hope Nanavira was right and that (paraphrasing) success in spiritual practice doesn't depend on being able to explain it to someone else and making them understand.
Well there is of course the notion of the paccekabuddha so he is on firm ground there, but again, I don't see how this relates to anything. Whose spiritual practice are you referring to?
No, this is not an accurate account of my situation.
You may not agree with it, but I'm not trying to convince you of anything.
No, I don't think those are the Social Darwinists. I do believe that the way actual Buddhists purport as Buddhism or Dhamma something quite different as is taught in the suttas is relevant.
Ah, that's what you might want to start a new thread on, then.
I grew up in a culture where the whole point was to keep up appearances; to make a point of pretending one believes something while not believing it; to preach one thing and do another, and never admit to the dichotomy.
Didn't we all! It's what we make of it, though, isn't it?
...until one comes to the bottom of it and one's mind comes to peace about it.
Good luck, and let us know how you get on! :anjali:

binocular
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Re: The ethics of being indifferent about whether one harms others

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:49 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:53 pm
"Naive realist" has become a bit of a generic term of disparagement, but I see no signs of it in this thread. I'm not sure how it relates to ethics.
A naive realist has no sense of perception (what to speak of seeing perception as an active process), no point of view; he believes that things are as he sees them (apart from a few optical and other illusions). It's self-confidence par excellence. This extends to their ethical reasoning; in effect, they believe that their ethical reasoning is objective, impersonal, unbiased. That just like they are sure that that thing they sit on is a chair, so they are sure that Harry is a bad person.
(It's hard to describe from the outside, because a naive realist wouldn't say "Things are the way I see them", but "This is how things are.")
I kind of envy naive realists; seeing things in such clear-cut, black-and-white terms sure makes life a lot easier.
I just hope Nanavira was right and that (paraphrasing) success in spiritual practice doesn't depend on being able to explain it to someone else and making them understand.
Well there is of course the notion of the paccekabuddha so he is on firm ground there, but again, I don't see how this relates to anything. Whose spiritual practice are you referring to?
You keep talking about "Binoculoka", in a disparaging manner, and I am constantly frustrated by trying to explain my perspective to you. It's in relation to this that I recalled that passage from Nanavira. Besides, the Buddha wasn't able (or willing?) to explain himself or his teaching to just anyone either, and that didn't diminish his buddhahood.
Good luck, and let us know how you get on!
Thanks, but luck shouldn't play a major role in it. It should be down to kamma. (Because if it's not dependent on kamma, then one might as well play the lottery or visit a magician.)

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Sam Vara
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Re: The ethics of being indifferent about whether one harms others

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:03 pm

binocular wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:49 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:53 pm
"Naive realist" has become a bit of a generic term of disparagement, but I see no signs of it in this thread. I'm not sure how it relates to ethics.
A naive realist has no sense of perception (what to speak of seeing perception as an active process), no point of view; he believes that things are as he sees them (apart from a few optical and other illusions). It's self-confidence par excellence. This extends to their ethical reasoning; in effect, they believe that their ethical reasoning is objective, impersonal, unbiased. That just like they are sure that that thing they sit on is a chair, so they are sure that Harry is a bad person.
(It's hard to describe from the outside, because a naive realist wouldn't say "Things are the way I see them", but "This is how things are.")
I kind of envy naive realists; seeing things in such clear-cut, black-and-white terms sure makes life a lot easier.
I know what naïve realism is, thanks; I said I saw no sign of it in this thread, which is about ethics. Where is evidence of naïve realism?
You keep talking about "Binoculoka", in a disparaging manner, and I am constantly frustrated by trying to explain my perspective to you.
There's no need to feel frustrated. "Binoculoka" is not disparaging; it merely serves to point out that much of what you post is indeed a perspective, and that other more skilful and auspicious perspectives are available.

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