The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by binocular » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:35 pm

Jojola wrote:I do see what could be considered admirable about your expectation but is expecting people to behave certain ways dhamma?

I certainly don't think it's something the Buddha did, the reason I think so is because that is a big dukkha red flag and can lead us to act on dukkha and create more for ourselves and others.
Is the Patimokkha in accordance with the Dhamma?

The rules for monks are a system of expectations about how monks are supposed to behave. If you want to argue that the Patimokkha is not in accordance with the Dhamma -- then I don't know what to say ...

Consider the BrahmaViharas, are they and ethics not mutually exclusive?
Do elaborate what you mean by that.

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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by Jojola » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:42 pm

binocular wrote:
Jojola wrote:I do see what could be considered admirable about your expectation but is expecting people to behave certain ways dhamma?

I certainly don't think it's something the Buddha did, the reason I think so is because that is a big dukkha red flag and can lead us to act on dukkha and create more for ourselves and others.
Is the Patimokkha in accordance with the Dhamma?

The rules for monks are a system of expectations about how monks are supposed to behave. If you want to argue that the Patimokkha is not in accordance with the Dhamma -- then I don't know what to say ...

Consider the BrahmaViharas, are they and ethics not mutually exclusive?
Do elaborate what you mean by that.
The patimokkha are voluntary undertakings that when practiced helps lead to results of wisdom, meditation, and virtue. The Buddhas, or any Arahants heart/mind has been fulfilled and satsified via release/unbinding, it can't rejoice in anything of the world or what goes in it any more than it can be disappointed by same, hence there's no expectation from anyone (that matters) other than your own self.

If you succeed in the undertakings, there is knowledge on why. If you don't, there is knowledge on why. But as for praise/blame, expectation/disapointments; he didn't start the sangha and lay out the rules with expectations, he did so because if followed it would work, simple cause and effect that's all. Sure if you broke them he'd kick you out but that's out of compassion for the rest of sangha and the offender himself, because it's obviously not his time to follow the path it wasn't doing him any good, it's all part of the brahma viharas not idealogies of right and wrong, which speaking of....

And i'd be glad to elaborate on what I mean about ethics vs. brahma viharas; an easy example to use would be Angulimala who was a serial killer, came from and trained by a clan of serial killing masters. He was a very prolific distributor of death and destruction in the world, in some accounts he was up to 999 people killed and crossed paths with Buddha and targeted him to be his thousandth murder. Pretty unethical no?

But what did the Buddha do? Out of loving-kindess, compassion, empathic joy, and equanimity he saw there was a man whos dukkha and suffering was so great it was spilling out in his actions than have ran amok and caushing endless dukkha for everyone around him in the form of killing. So the Buddha taught him. He became enlightened and was rewarded with the highest blessing, freedom, and happiness a human being can attain; he was rewarded by his effort more delight than we can ever imagine and he was a serial killer, but now no longer harming others and in fact set an example for us all!

I think it's also mentioned in the commentaries that a lot of people were upset by this cause he pretty much got away with murder.

So you see, The Buddha, the Dhamma, with the Brahma Viharas, it's a matter of "if there's suffering, put it out", that's very radical! there was absolutely no concern whatsoever whether or not his suffering was deserved by some flase-view-standard of "ethic morality".

At least according to my understanding there is no right or wrong relevant, simply what is conducive to dukkha and what is conducive to its cessation, which requires the brahma viharas as a foundation for that practice, which are attitudes we generate and radiate boundlessly towards all beings regardless of character. But if you start judging by an ethical standard you start becoming exclusive, whereas the viharas are to be all inclusive. That is what I mean by that.
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"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by DNS » Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:29 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:For the law to demand virtuous action in contrast to non-action, by threat of punishment... that appears to me as an over-reach of the legal system.
He was not just a passer-by who happened to see a drowning woman. He was involved, and probably to blame for her being in that situation.
The court heard when the pair went to the harbour, Bowditch was drunk and had taken cocaine and cannabis. Miss Morgan was not drunk, toxicology reports showed.

Bowditch told police they had been "mucking about" and he believed she ended up in the water sometime between 02:05 and 02:40 BST.
In this case, it does appear that Bowditch was involved with her and probably has some culpability. However, I wonder if we could turn this to a more general context. Would it be immoral, unwholesome, and/or illegal if someone totally not involved with the victim and seeing them drown and does nothing? And for the case of this scenario, the person walking by is a good swimmer and average to above average strength.

Should the law demand virtuous action? Does morality and the Dhamma demand virtuous action?

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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by befriend » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:10 pm

There is a Pali word akatata which means because one has not done I will look it up and see what it means in depth
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by befriend » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:29 pm

I can't find it not sure the spelling
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by santa100 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:09 pm

Akata definition

From a Dhamma angle, while there's no mandatory rule coercing one to do this or that but it wouldn't be asking too much to expect a person to at least putting in the effort, to use his human intelligence to come up with creative solutions that can bring safety and happiness to oneself and others. We live in the 21st century, not the Dark Age. Modern technologies make it much much easier to take action. A quick call to an emergency help line, the police highway patrol, snap a picture or live stream to provide the place and time, etc. So really, nowadays there should be no excuse of not being able to take action anymore. If the means are there within one's power to do something to help and yet one decides not to do it, then that'd mean one is ignorant or delusional at best, or evil and even sadistic at worst (15-year-old girl gang raped in public story).

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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by binocular » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:24 am

David N. Snyder wrote: In this case, it does appear that Bowditch was involved with her and probably has some culpability. However, I wonder if we could turn this to a more general context. Would it be immoral, unwholesome, and/or illegal if someone totally not involved with the victim and seeing them drown and does nothing? And for the case of this scenario, the person walking by is a good swimmer and average to above average strength.

Should the law demand virtuous action?
It already does, at least from those people who function in some important positions, such as police officers and lawyers.
Does morality and the Dhamma demand virtuous action?
Virtuous action is demanded of monks, if they are to remain monks. The principles for lay people are a bit looser, but still, there are demands, ie. there are requirements that even a lay person must meet in order to be a member of a Buddhist group.

At a forum like this, for example, you have the institutes of warning and banishment, which are clear evidence that some measure of virtuous action is required of those who wish to be members.

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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by binocular » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:28 pm

Jojola wrote: The patimokkha are voluntary undertakings that when practiced helps lead to results of wisdom, meditation, and virtue. The Buddhas, or any Arahants heart/mind has been fulfilled and satsified via release/unbinding, it can't rejoice in anything of the world or what goes in it any more than it can be disappointed by same, hence there's no expectation from anyone (that matters) other than your own self.

If you succeed in the undertakings, there is knowledge on why. If you don't, there is knowledge on why. But as for praise/blame, expectation/disapointments; he didn't start the sangha and lay out the rules with expectations, he did so because if followed it would work, simple cause and effect that's all. Sure if you broke them he'd kick you out but that's out of compassion for the rest of sangha and the offender himself, because it's obviously not his time to follow the path it wasn't doing him any good, it's all part of the brahma viharas not idealogies of right and wrong, which speaking of....

And i'd be glad to elaborate on what I mean about ethics vs. brahma viharas; an easy example to use would be Angulimala who was a serial killer, came from and trained by a clan of serial killing masters. He was a very prolific distributor of death and destruction in the world, in some accounts he was up to 999 people killed and crossed paths with Buddha and targeted him to be his thousandth murder. Pretty unethical no?

But what did the Buddha do? Out of loving-kindess, compassion, empathic joy, and equanimity he saw there was a man whos dukkha and suffering was so great it was spilling out in his actions than have ran amok and caushing endless dukkha for everyone around him in the form of killing. So the Buddha taught him. He became enlightened and was rewarded with the highest blessing, freedom, and happiness a human being can attain; he was rewarded by his effort more delight than we can ever imagine and he was a serial killer, but now no longer harming others and in fact set an example for us all!

I think it's also mentioned in the commentaries that a lot of people were upset by this cause he pretty much got away with murder.

So you see, The Buddha, the Dhamma, with the Brahma Viharas, it's a matter of "if there's suffering, put it out", that's very radical! there was absolutely no concern whatsoever whether or not his suffering was deserved by some flase-view-standard of "ethic morality".

At least according to my understanding there is no right or wrong relevant, simply what is conducive to dukkha and what is conducive to its cessation, which requires the brahma viharas as a foundation for that practice, which are attitudes we generate and radiate boundlessly towards all beings regardless of character. But if you start judging by an ethical standard you start becoming exclusive, whereas the viharas are to be all inclusive. That is what I mean by that.
The Buddha clearly had expectations. Having expectations is simply manifesting that one has standards. That, however, does not automatically mean that one will be grumpy or depressed when one's expectations are not met. The aversion to expectations seems to be a modern pop-culture things, and it would be remiss to superimpose that on other cultures, such as in this case, on Buddhism.

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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by binocular » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:00 pm

Jojola wrote:The patimokkha are voluntary undertakings that when practiced helps lead to results of wisdom, meditation, and virtue. The Buddhas, or any Arahants heart/mind has been fulfilled and satsified via release/unbinding, it can't rejoice in anything of the world or what goes in it any more than it can be disappointed by same, hence there's no expectation from anyone (that matters) other than your own self.

If you succeed in the undertakings, there is knowledge on why. If you don't, there is knowledge on why. But as for praise/blame, expectation/disapointments; he didn't start the sangha and lay out the rules with expectations, he did so because if followed it would work, simple cause and effect that's all. Sure if you broke them he'd kick you out but that's out of compassion for the rest of sangha and the offender himself, because it's obviously not his time to follow the path it wasn't doing him any good, it's all part of the brahma viharas not idealogies of right and wrong, which speaking of....
In that case, you use the term "expectation" in a different sense than I do. An expectation is a standard. (I addressed this in a post above thread.)
And i'd be glad to elaborate on what I mean about ethics vs. brahma viharas; an easy example to use would be Angulimala who was a serial killer, came from and trained by a clan of serial killing masters. He was a very prolific distributor of death and destruction in the world, in some accounts he was up to 999 people killed and crossed paths with Buddha and targeted him to be his thousandth murder. Pretty unethical no?

But what did the Buddha do? Out of loving-kindess, compassion, empathic joy, and equanimity he saw there was a man whos dukkha and suffering was so great it was spilling out in his actions than have ran amok and caushing endless dukkha for everyone around him in the form of killing. So the Buddha taught him. He became enlightened and was rewarded with the highest blessing, freedom, and happiness a human being can attain; he was rewarded by his effort more delight than we can ever imagine and he was a serial killer, but now no longer harming others and in fact set an example for us all!

At least according to my understanding there is no right or wrong relevant, simply what is conducive to dukkha and what is conducive to its cessation, which requires the brahma viharas as a foundation for that practice, which are attitudes we generate and radiate boundlessly towards all beings regardless of character. But if you start judging by an ethical standard you start becoming exclusive, whereas the viharas are to be all inclusive. That is what I mean by that.
In that case, you're juxtaposing some particular kind of mainstream ethics and the brahmaviharas; you're not juxtaposing ethics and the brahmaviharas.

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