Right Speech: Getting Personal

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

I can see how the following comment(s) might reasonably be taken personally by someone else.

(1) "I disagree with you."
2
3%
(2) "You are incorrect."
6
8%
(3) "How could a person with the qualities you advocate ever take the position you hold to be true?"
6
8%
(4) "Here is the source of your confusion." (When you do not believe you are confused.)
7
9%
(5) "... backing away slowly ..." (followed by eye-roll emoji)
13
17%
(6) "You are too pig-headed to listen."
14
18%
(7) A post pointing out "your increasingly hysterical comments."
10
13%
(8) "You are a solipsist."
7
9%
(9) "That is your own idiosyncratic view, but the Buddha teaches ..."
7
9%
(10) "I can see how my comment may have offended you."
4
5%
 
Total votes: 76

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Dhammanando
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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:52 am

L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:59 am
I can see how the following comment(s) might reasonably be taken personally by someone else.

"Here is the source of your confusion."
(When you do not believe you are confused.)

The word “confusion” is prone to ambiguity on account of its having to serve as the nominal form of both the active and passive voices of the verb “to confuse” and therefore doing double duty as both a noun of action and a noun of state: “the act of confusing/confounding [one thing with another]” and “the state of being confused”. Thus:

Active nominal
Smith: Watch out, there’s a snake!
Jones: It’s not a snake; it’s a rope. The dim light is the source of your confusion [of a rope for a snake].

Passive nominal
Smith: I’m agitated, perturbed and scarcely know what to think.
Jones: Studying modern physics is the source of your confusion.

And so when we consider the phrase “Here is the source of your confusion...” shorn of any particular context, two quite different construals should offer themselves for consideration:

1. This is the cause of the [objective and publicly demonstrable] fact that you have mistaken one thing for another.

2. This is the cause of [what I suppose to be] your confused state of mind.

When used in the first sense the phrase is an assertion about an observable state of affairs. It makes no claim about the other person’s state of mind.

I think, L.N., that if you go back and re-read the earlier thread that prompted this thread, you will find that Sam Vara was in fact using “confusion” in its first sense, corresponding to definition 9.9 in the Oxford Dictionary:
Confusion 9.9 wrote:The confounding or mistaking of one for another; failure to distinguish. Const. of (things), of one with another, between (things).
Then the cause of the ensuing contretemps was your assumption that Sam Vara meant “confusion” in the sense of definition 3.3 ...
Confusion 3.3 wrote:Mental perturbation or agitation such as prevents the full command of the faculties; embarrassment, perplexity, fluttered condition.
... coupled with an obstinate persistence in this error even after multiple clarifications and corrections had been patiently presented to you.

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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
Oh, sweet irony L.N. The lack of self-awareness in your statement is astonishing.
Please stop psychoanalyzing me in violation of your TOS. Unless you are psychic, you have no insight into my level of self-awareness.
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
The personal accusations you've made in this topic alone about people's intentions and true meaning are beyond the pale.
As stated, there is a difference between (1) discussing a person's comments, and (2) discussing a person.
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
The main problem with your position, as you state it, is that it renders the individual and their behaviour off-limits as aspects of discussion.
No, it does not render the behavior off-limits. Nor does it render the individual off-limits. Rather, it suggests we can differentiate between personalized comments and comments which are not personalized, and realize that personalized comments may be particularly prone to unintended consequences.
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
(Something that your own contributions to this topic demonstrate that, for all your bluster, you are incapable of adhering to the standard you demand of others).
Your comment is a violation of your TOS because it is an ad-hominem attack, including the vilification of me based on attributes you assign to my person. Please do not comment on my capabilities. You do not know me, nor do you know my capabilities. These are exactly the type of personalized comments which are the subject of this Topic. Further, your characterization of my comments as "bluster" is unnecessarily dismissive. The Topic is not about me. Why you and Sam Vara and others insist on making it about me is a demonstration of what can go wrong with personalized comments.
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
Sometimes, particularly for staff, it is necessary to address individuals and their behaviours, particularly if the individual in question and their behaviours are in violation of the Terms of Service, or are otherwise having a detrimental impact on the forum at large.

Personally, I prefer we when can discuss ideas, rather than the individuals in question.
Then why do you persist in discussing me personally and making personalized comments about me?
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
Talking about individuals is boring. Unfortunately, some individuals behave so badly and are so belligerent (and yes, on occasion "pig-headed"), that this cannot always be done.
When you call Members "pig-headed" in public, it is a violation of your TOS. But I understand you can and will get away with it, as you are the administrator and may apply TOS at your whim, without consistency.
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
These poorly behaving individuals do not have some kind of special immunity, just because any rebuke or correction of their atrocious behaviour could be construed by your criteria as "personal".
The criteria is straightforward, as follows: "[C]omments are "personalized" when they invoke the personal attributes or characteristics of the individual being addressed in such a way that the individual may feel a desire to defend or clarify his or her state of mind or other personal characteristics. Excluded from my understanding of "personalized" comments are comments which address another person's expressed opinion or factual assertion. In other words, there is a difference between (1) commenting about what someone said, and (2) commenting about the person." Whether I do it or you do it or anyone else does it is immaterial. Personalized comments carry great potential for misunderstanding, and when we make them, we should take personal responsibility for the effect our words have on others. I understand you completely disagree with this.
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
Hyper-sensitivity over the "personal" is not a panacea for effective communications.
I am not advocating hyper-sensitivity. I am advocating a moderate and responsible amount of sensitivity and personal responsibility.
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
Rather, that seems like a rather stilted and constipated mode of discussion.
Unfortunate choice of words. Like "bluster."
retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:36 am
I'd suggest a far better solution would be to engage with others in good faith, assume the best rather than insist the worst, and "be the change you want to see in the world" rather than weaponizing drama and manufactured outrage as a means to socially engineering desired outcomes.
As you presumably have demonstrated by example? Nobody is weaponizing drama or manufacturing outrage. I am not outraged, nor have I been. Again, you are engaged in personalized comments, addressed to my state of mind. It may be that I have made personalized comments. The whole point here is that when we make such comments, it is better to realize what has happened, and then to address it in a manner which includes taking personal responsibility. I do not know why you are so opposed to this and have hijacked the Topic for the purpose of making repeated personal comments.
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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:52 am
Then the cause of the ensuing contretemps was your assumption that Sam Vara meant “confusion” in the sense of definition 3.3 ...
Confusion 3.3 wrote:Mental perturbation or agitation such as prevents the full command of the faculties; embarrassment, perplexity, fluttered condition.
... coupled with an obstinate persistence in this error even after multiple clarifications and corrections had been patiently presented to you.
If you read the thread carefully, Bhante, you will see that Sam Vara did not so explain. Rather, he repeated his claim that I appeared confused. Sam Vara's specific comment was as follows: "I wasn't intending to personalise it. You certainly seemed to be confused, and I have every right to point that out. If you don't take that well, then that's a pity, but your response is up to you." His comment regarding my state of mind was a point of potential misunderstanding. Rather than tidy things up, Sam Vara went on the offensive and tried to make things worse, adding additional personalized comments such as commenting on my alleged increasingly "hysterical" comments when in fact I was measured and polite throughout the discussion.

Regardless, under any of your definitions, Sam Vara's comment was a discussion of my purported state of mind. As such, and as noted by DNS above, it crossed the line.

But that particular tit-for-tat is really beside the point. Even assuming Sam Vara was entirely in the right in that locked Topic and I was entirely in the wrong (which is not the case), the point is that making personalized comments creates a situation where the person spoken to may feel compelled to defend or explain his or her state of mind. This is to be avoided. We can comment about statements, opinions, and facts presented without speculating about a person's state of mind or other characteristics.

Bhante, your reference to "an obstinate persistence in this error" is a misplaced commentary about my state of mind, unless you possess some psychic ability of which I am not aware. I was not and have not been "obstinate" (i.e. unreasonably determined, in spite of reason, etc.). Rather, I have reached across the aisle and attempted to speak in a responsible manner about this issue which has cropped up in many Topics, not just in the locked Topic. My efforts have been met with further personalized comments, many with appear intended to mock and provoke. I think the discussion in this Topic makes the point for me. Just take a look at what is happening here. You and others are making this very personalized, all about me and my perceived personal characteristics, meanwhile not acknowledging the underlying point or addressing the issues of personal responsibility for one's own words, etc.

You, Bhante, I trust will at least agree with the premise that one should take personal responsibility for the effect one's words might have on another. Or perhaps you believe otherwise?

With respect.
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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:52 am

Greetings,
L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am
You, Bhante, I trust will at least agree with the premise that one should take personal responsibility for the effect one's words might have on another. Or perhaps you believe otherwise?
:popcorn:

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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:58 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:52 am
:popcorn:
We already know how you feel. You may wish to review the poll results above as to what Members think regarding which comments might reasonably be taken personally. You also may wish to review DNS's comments above.

What kind of example are you trying to set here, Paul? Do you really think hijacking the thread like this is the most skillful approach? These are rhetorical questions which I hope you will think about quietly to yourself. I can predict that your written answers will, again, be dismissive and unkind.

I sense that the responses in this Topic are very much related to and partially in retaliation for the following Topic: Will certain Buddhists on DW please stop disparaging other faiths. It seems there is a great desire here for Members to have unfettered ability to disparage other Members and other faiths, and anybody who speaks up about this apparently is unwelcome.
Last edited by L.N. on Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:00 am

Greetings L.N.,

I'm not trying to "set an example" because I'm not so puffed up on my own self-importance as to think I have any sense by which I must shepherd or lead others to a higher plane. I have too much respect for the autonomy of others to even undertake such grandiosity.

In the meantime, I look forward to venerable Dhammanando's reply.

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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:03 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:00 am
I'm not trying to "set an example" because I'm not so puffed up on my own self-importance as to think I have any sense by which I must shepherd or lead others to a higher plane. I have too much respect for the autonomy of others to even undertake such grandiosity.
If that is how you choose to frame it, you have completely missed the point.
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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:08 am

"These two are fools. Which two? The one who doesn't see his/her transgression as a transgression, and the one who doesn't rightfully pardon another who has confessed his/her transgression. These two are fools.

"These two are wise. Which two? The one who sees his/her transgression as a transgression, and the one who rightfully pardons another who has confessed his/her transgression. These two are wise."

— AN 2.21

"It's a cause of growth in the Dhamma and Vinaya of the noble ones when, seeing a transgression as such, one makes amends in accordance with the Dhamma and exercises restraint in the future."

— DN 2
Reconciliation — patisaraniya-kamma — means a return to amicability, and that requires more than forgiveness. It requires the reestablishing of trust. If I deny responsibility for my actions, or maintain that I did no wrong, there's no way we can be reconciled. Similarly, if I insist that your feelings don't matter, or that you have no right to hold me to your standards of right and wrong, you won't trust me not to hurt you again. To regain your trust, I have to show my respect for you and for our mutual standards of what is and is not acceptable behavior; to admit that I hurt you and that I was wrong to do so; and to promise to exercise restraint in the future. At the same time, you have to inspire my trust, too, in the respectful way you conduct the process of reconciliation. Only then can our friendship regain a solid footing.
"Reconciliation, Right & Wrong", by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 18 July 2011, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ation.html.

I do not understand what is so controversial about a Topic on Right Speech which points toward the value of taking personal responsibility. I also look forward to Bhante's response, and I trust it will not include personalized comments.
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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:22 am

retrofuturist/Paul, I take it that you disagree with your co-administrator on the following:
DNS wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:43 pm
Here is the source of your confusion. (When you do not believe you are confused.)
This is okay, as long as it is explained rationally why one believes the other person may have made a mistake, but the poster should then also realize he opens himself up to a rebuttal by the person he is addressing. There are some instances where a poster gets shocked that the other poster rebuts him. And then the poster gets annoyed that the person he addressed is making a rebuttal and so he continues to post his views again, over and over (argumentum ad nauseum).

. . .
You are too pig-headed to listen.
This is just name calling and not appropriate.
You have no business calling people "pig-headed" or engaging in the other name-calling or negative personalized commentary which I have seen you do. I understand TOS do not apply to administrators, but they should.
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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:36 am

Greetings L.N.,
L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:22 am
You have no business calling people "pig-headed" or engaging in the other name-calling or negative personalized commentary which I have seen you do. I understand TOS do not apply to administrators, but they should.
Devoid of context, it's not something that would normally need to be said. That said, do you have any idea of the context behind the conversation, or are you so focused on moralizing that you've got no time left to consider that there might be more to the matter than is made apparent to you? There is a lot you don't have visibility of, including what "business" I was attending to at the time. Nonetheless, you are ever so presumptuous in your cavalier clamouring to judgement, aren't you?!

So... have you finished complaining and moralizing to me and others, or is this your new hobby? And do we have to just endure your new hobby, because anything said that isn't in favour of your moralizing will be twisted by your perception as "personalized", about (you), and thus rejected solely on that basis? That leaves us in quite a pickle then, doesn't it? I don't really see how meaningful conversation can be had when you impose such precious restrictions on what people can and cannot say to you... even imposing such (self)-preserving constraints upon a bhikkhu, from whom you seek guidance!

:shock:

To be frank, I find drama somewhat boring, especially when it's so (self)-absorbed and (self)-righteous, so if you've got nothing new to say other than to drown us in wave upon wave of judgmentalism, then I might just leave you to it. I wish you joy with 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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by Mkoll » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:43 am

When I am blinded in a spat, I'd be happy if someone reminded me of this.
When you know that the other is angry,
You act for the good of both
Yourself and the other,
If you are mindful, and stay calm.

-Thag 6.12
May w'all get along and let the toxicity be.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by Akalika » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:01 am

Focus,
not on the rudenesses of others,
not on what they've done
or left undone,
but on what you
have & haven't done
yourself.

- Dhammapada, verse 50
Though it can be helpful to discern when others are at fault for the sake of our own clarity, and it can be helpful to admonish others when appropriate, I find that the spirit of this verse from the Dhammapada to be very helpful for avoiding precisely these kinds of situation.

:anjali:

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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:51 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:16 pm
This is where you and I part ways.
Blimey, this thread has developed somewhat since I went to bed! In case anyone thinks that I have absented myself from a row which I helped to cause, I'll briefly summarise my position.

This appeared to begin when I said that you were confused over a post I had made; your response seemed to have so little to do with my point, that I thought and still think that you were confused as to my meaning when you responded. You objected to this, and despite my clarifications, you seemed to take enormous relish in taking offence where none was intended. The Ven. Dhammanando outlines my original meaning better than I could, at this point above:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=30610&start=40#p444966

What followed was an appeal on another thread, and your starting this thread about Right Speech. I set out my views on Right Speech and its relationship to the TOS and people's feelings above. Those views may not be to everyone's taste, but they are what I sincerely believe, and they seem to work here on DW. They are of course a work in progress, and if you or anyone else can suggest improvements that make sense to me, then I'll happily modify them. They are based on the principle that providing I keep within the TOS and am careful about my own intentions, then I won't bother too much about policing the thoughts and responses of others. I'll respond to them, of course, but that's all part of Right Intention. If people want to police my thoughts and language, then I'm perfectly OK with that but (subject to the above) they may get a robust response.

I can't really take your position seriously, L.N., because of its self-contradictory nature. Were you merely delicate, thin-skinned, or paranoid, I would back off from someone who can't take normal debate. Similarly, if you were a bruising zealot who insisted that the world lives up to standards that you yourself embody, I would respect that. But the combination of the two merely results in a de haut en bas prissy self-aggrandisement, and hair-trigger offence-taking which leads to personal outbursts in ways that breach your own impossibly high standards. I don't think it's possible that any ingenuous contributor who deserves to be taken seriously would post like that. The TOS would probably prevent me from saying what I think is really going on here, so, as the man said, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent".

So to keep on topic and not to wander too far into meta-discussion, I apply to your posts my personal standards which I have set out in this post and up-thread; how I negotiate Right Speech, your feelings, and the TOS here. I respect your right to say whatever you like about me, my posts, and your inferences regarding my personality or state of mind. I won't acquiesce in them, though, and will point out their ridiculous aspects as I see fit. You might not like me not taking you seriously, but I'm just not capable of taking you seriously given what you post. You can try to bludgeon me into taking you seriously, of course, but it's unlikely to happen when your weapon looks like a giant inflatable sense of personal resentment. I'm sure this is likely to lead to another bout of incantatory denunciation, but I won't take that seriously, either...

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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by Modus.Ponens » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:38 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:47 pm
Greetings,
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:38 pm
...depends on whether there is a poignant truth to it
Agreed - sometimes "the truth" and "the personal" overlap. What gets precedence then?

Metta,
Paul. :)
Hello.

I would say that, in most situations, it is more productive and polite to criticize the actions, rather than the person. If, after repeated and justified calls for reasonableness, the person continues to be unreasonable, then maybe it's time to point that out.

Añjali
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:13 pm

L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am
[...]
I delayed replying as I wanted to see if Sam Vara would confirm or repudiate my understanding of his words. As he’s confirmed them I don’t there’s anything further for me to add, except perhaps the observation that in polite circles when someone tells you that his words have been misunderstood and that you've taken offence where none was intended, the proper course for a gentleman is to accept this.
L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am
Bhante, your reference to "an obstinate persistence in this error" is a misplaced commentary about my state of mind, unless you possess some psychic ability of which I am not aware.
“Obstinate” is qualifying “persistence”, by which I meant a course of behaviour, not a state of mind.

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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:32 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:13 pm
L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am
[...]
I delayed replying as I wanted to see if Sam Vara would confirm or repudiate my understanding of his words. As he’s confirmed them I don’t there’s anything further for me to add, except perhaps the observation that in polite circles when someone tells you that his words have been misunderstood and that you've taken offence where none was intended, the proper course for a gentleman is to accept this.
Nevertheless, the reference to "your confusion" whether intended or not intended to be offensive was a discussion of my personal characteristics/state of mind. If you now wish to discuss whether or not I or Sam Vara is a "gentleman," (yet another personalized comment), then perhaps you wish to address what a "gentleman" does when he speaks words which result in misunderstanding.
L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am
Bhante, your reference to "an obstinate persistence in this error" is a misplaced commentary about my state of mind, unless you possess some psychic ability of which I am not aware.
“Obstinate” is qualifying “persistence”, by which I meant a course of behaviour, not a state of mind.
Yes, and my comments about Sam Vara similarly have been about his behavior, not his state of mind. His comments (and Paul's comments and some of your comments), in contrast, have been about my personal characteristics and/or state of mind.

Since you have remained silent regarding the question of whether one should take personal responsibility for the words one speaks, I take this to mean you also disagree with this point, and that when one speaks words which cause misunderstanding or offense (intended or otherwise), your view (like Sam's) is that it is entirely the responsibility of the person spoken to, and the person who made the initial statement bears no personal responsibility. Such an understanding, whoever holds it, is contrary to Dhamma.
Modern sociologists have identified five basic strategies that people use to avoid accepting blame when they've caused harm, and it's noteworthy that the Pali teaching on moral responsibility serves to undercut all five. The strategies are: to deny responsibility, to deny that harm was actually done, to deny the worth of the victim, to attack the accuser, and to claim that they were acting in the service of a higher cause. The Pali responses to these strategies are: (1) We are always responsible for our conscious choices. (2) We should always put ourselves in the other person's place. (3) All beings are worthy of respect. (4) We should regard those who point out our faults as if they were pointing out treasure. (Monks, in fact, are required not to show disrespect to people who criticize them, even if they don't plan to abide by the criticism.) (5) There are no — repeat, no — higher purposes that excuse breaking the basic precepts of ethical behavior.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ation.html
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。

binocular
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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:53 pm

L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:08 am
Reconciliation — patisaraniya-kamma — means a return to amicability, and that requires more than forgiveness. It requires the reestablishing of trust. If I deny responsibility for my actions, or maintain that I did no wrong, there's no way we can be reconciled. Similarly, if I insist that your feelings don't matter, or that you have no right to hold me to your standards of right and wrong, you won't trust me not to hurt you again. To regain your trust, I have to show my respect for you and for our mutual standards of what is and is not acceptable behavior; to admit that I hurt you and that I was wrong to do so; and to promise to exercise restraint in the future. At the same time, you have to inspire my trust, too, in the respectful way you conduct the process of reconciliation. Only then can our friendship regain a solid footing.
"Reconciliation, Right & Wrong", by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 18 July 2011, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ation.html.

I do not understand what is so controversial about a Topic on Right Speech which points toward the value of taking personal responsibility. I also look forward to Bhante's response, and I trust it will not include personalized comments.
The essay you're quoting talks about a return to amicability, about reestablishing a relationship of trust. What is said there doesn't apply to situations where there was no friendship and no trust to begin with. It also doesn't apply to situations where at least one of the parties involved isn't interested in beginning (or continuing) a friendship.
L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am
You, Bhante, I trust will at least agree with the premise that one should take personal responsibility for the effect one's words might have on another. Or perhaps you believe otherwise?
It is not possible to mandate niceness, much less that all the people in some kind of group be friends.


The people here are not friends here simply because they are posting at this forum. This forum is not a one big happy family.
This is not to say that some people here are not friends with eachother, or that it is impossible or unwise to try to make friends here. Just that the default here is not that of all-encompassing friendship of everyone with everyone. So different rules of engagement apply.

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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:55 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:36 am
L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:22 am
You have no business calling people "pig-headed" or engaging in the other name-calling or negative personalized commentary which I have seen you do. I understand TOS do not apply to administrators, but they should.
Devoid of context, it's not something that would normally need to be said. That said, do you have any idea of the context behind the conversation, or are you so focused on moralizing that you've got no time left to consider that there might be more to the matter than is made apparent to you? There is a lot you don't have visibility of, including what "business" I was attending to at the time. Nonetheless, you are ever so presumptuous in your cavalier clamouring to judgement, aren't you?!
More personalized comments from you.
So... have you finished complaining and moralizing to me and others, or is this your new hobby? And do we have to just endure your new hobby, because anything said that isn't in favour of your moralizing will be twisted by your perception as "personalized", about (you), and thus rejected solely on that basis?
More personalized comments from you. I have not rejected anything. You are superimposing your personal opinions of me onto this.
That leaves us in quite a pickle then, doesn't it? I don't really see how meaningful conversation can be had when you impose such precious restrictions on what people can and cannot say to you... even imposing such (self)-preserving constraints upon a bhikkhu, from whom you seek guidance!
If you are trying to discuss anatta, then please be explicit.
To be frank, I find drama somewhat boring, especially when it's so (self)-absorbed and (self)-righteous, so if you've got nothing new to say other than to drown us in wave upon wave of judgmentalism, then I might just leave you to it. I wish you joy with it.
More personalized comments from you.

Ironic that this entire Topic is supposed to be about the nature of personalized comments, how they can be prone to misunderstanding, and how one should take personal responsibility if one makes a personalized comment about another which comes across in an unintended manner (or if the personal comment is intended negatively). I don't see what is so controversial about this.

I response, you and others have make increasingly personalized comments about me. Your comments in particular have violated your own TOS on numerous occasions. Note I am speaking of you actions, not your personal characteristics. This is a very big difference between your comments and Sam Vara's comments compared with my comments. You have gone out of your way to criticize my perceived personal characteristics and state of mind. Every time you make another personalized statement, you are making my point for me.

This topic is about Right Speech. Somehow you have twisted it into what you term "judgmentalism." You refuse to acknowledge anything legitimate in what I have written and instead seek out only to amplify what you perceive as negative, and to personalize it and make it about me.
In setting out these standards, the Buddha created a context of values that encourages both parties entering into a reconciliation to employ right speech and to engage in the honest, responsible self-reflection basic to all Dhamma practice. In this way, standards of right and wrong behavior, instead of being oppressive or petty, engender deep and long-lasting trust. In addition to creating the external harmony conducive to Dhamma practice, the process of reconciliation thus also becomes an opportunity for inner growth.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ation.html

I understand you entirely reject the above.
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: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:02 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:53 pm
The essay you're quoting talks about a return to amicability, about reestablishing a relationship of trust. What is said there doesn't apply to situations where there was no friendship and no trust to begin with. It also doesn't apply to situations where at least one of the parties involved isn't interested in beginning (or continuing) a friendship.
I see your point but I think there are very applicable lessons in the essay. From my perspective, there always has been friendship and trust, which is perhaps why I am so surprised by the responses above from retrofuturist/Paul and some others.
L.N. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:45 am
You, Bhante, I trust will at least agree with the premise that one should take personal responsibility for the effect one's words might have on another. Or perhaps you believe otherwise?
It is not possible to mandate niceness, much less that all the people in some kind of group be friends.

The people here are not friends here simply because they are posting at this forum. This forum is not a one big happy family.
This is not to say that some people here are not friends with eachother, or that it is impossible or unwise to try to make friends here. Just that the default here is not that of all-encompassing friendship of everyone with everyone. So different rules of engagement apply.
Of course we cannot mandate niceness. One would hope that all involved in a Buddhist discussion forum devoted to Dhamma would engage with one another in friendship and trust. You are correct that this does not always occur, as this Topic illustrates.

We do damage to the perception Buddhism when we engage in bickering and disparaging others on a Buddhist discussion forum devoted to discussing the Dhamma. That is my viewpoint, and I understand it is controversial to express it here, as there is a great desire among some Members to be able to disparage others freely and without constraints, as illustrated above elsewhere in this 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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L.N.
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Re: Right Speech: Getting Personal

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:20 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:51 am
L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:16 pm
This is where you and I part ways.
Blimey, this thread has developed somewhat since I went to bed! In case anyone thinks that I have absented myself from a row which I helped to cause, I'll briefly summarise my position.

This appeared to begin when I said that you were confused over a post I had made; your response seemed to have so little to do with my point, that I thought and still think that you were confused as to my meaning when you responded. You objected to this, and despite my clarifications, you seemed to take enormous relish in taking offence where none was intended.
I took no relish whatever. I was surprised when you continued with your personalized commentary about me after I politely asked you to stop.
The Ven. Dhammanando outlines my original meaning better than I could, at this point above:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=30610&start=40#p444966

What followed was an appeal on another thread, and your starting this thread about Right Speech. I set out my views on Right Speech and its relationship to the TOS and people's feelings above. Those views may not be to everyone's taste, but they are what I sincerely believe, and they seem to work here on DW. They are of course a work in progress, and if you or anyone else can suggest improvements that make sense to me, then I'll happily modify them.
Well that is what this Topic was intended for, a kind suggestion not directed personally at you, but to all of us (myself included) that we can be more mindful of personalized comments, what they are, how they can be prone to misunderstanding, and why we should try to take personal responsibility when we speak such words which may have an unintended effect on another.
They are based on the principle that providing I keep within the TOS and am careful about my own intentions, then I won't bother too much about policing the thoughts and responses of others. I'll respond to them, of course, but that's all part of Right Intention. If people want to police my thoughts and language, then I'm perfectly OK with that but (subject to the above) they may get a robust response.
I am somewhat reluctant to say positive things, but I enjoy 99 percent of your posts and I was very surprised by your reaction when I asked you to please stop making personalized comments about me. I need to adjust my expectations. Honestly, I was not particularly outraged, just surprised, and it seemed to me that the broader issue would be worth fleshing out in a separate Topic. I had no idea the Topic would be so controversial.
I can't really take your position seriously, L.N., because of its self-contradictory nature. Were you merely delicate, thin-skinned, or paranoid, I would back off from someone who can't take normal debate. Similarly, if you were a bruising zealot who insisted that the world lives up to standards that you yourself embody, I would respect that. But the combination of the two merely results in a de haut en bas prissy self-aggrandisement, and hair-trigger offence-taking which leads to personal outbursts in ways that breach your own impossibly high standards.
I am sure you recognize that these are personalized comments. What you term "outbursts" have been, in each instance, measured responses. I understand you can't take my position seriously, but I think it may be because you have taken my position personally and not really examining it. My position has been that if I or anyone makes a personalized comment, we should be mindful that we have done so, and we should take personal responsibility for the effect our words might have on others. I apply this to myself. To the extent I have made personalized comments in an inappropriate manner, this also is something I should take personal responsibility for. The fact that I may be flawed does not obviate the general message. Turning the tables and making this about me (as has been done in this Topic) is a form of whataboutism.
I don't think it's possible that any ingenuous contributor who deserves to be taken seriously would post like that.
I don't know what you are referring to specifically.
The TOS would probably prevent me from saying what I think is really going on here, so, as the man said, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent".

So to keep on topic and not to wander too far into meta-discussion, I apply to your posts my personal standards which I have set out in this post and up-thread; how I negotiate Right Speech, your feelings, and the TOS here. I respect your right to say whatever you like about me, my posts, and your inferences regarding my personality or state of mind.
I have focused on your actions and words, not on your personality, state of mind, or other personal characteristics. There is a difference.
I won't acquiesce in them, though, and will point out their ridiculous aspects as I see fit. You might not like me not taking you seriously, but I'm just not capable of taking you seriously given what you post.
It doesn't matter to me whether you take me seriously. This Topic was supposed to be about Right Speech. It was never supposed to be about me, my judgments of others, or whether people take me seriously.
You can try to bludgeon me into taking you seriously, of course, but it's unlikely to happen when your weapon looks like a giant inflatable sense of personal resentment.
More personalized comments.
I'm sure this is likely to lead to another bout of incantatory denunciation, but I won't take that seriously, either...
Sam Vara, I respect you and each person who has posted here. I have not tried to judge you or make personalized comments about you. Rather, I have discussed your actions and words. In response, I have been subject to an ongoing slew of personalized comments directed at me.

If we could get back on topic at some point, that would be great. The point being that (1) we all might make comments which could reasonably be taken personally by someone else, and (2) when we do so, Dhamma teaches that we should take personal responsibility for the words we have spoken/written. That is all. I don't know why this is so controversial.
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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