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 befriend » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:20 pm

Jojola wrote:Shouldn't it be obvious when you understand volition is kamma? The action or consequences of doesn't matter, just intention.
Kamma and vipaka is not based Soley on volition Hindu ascetics bury themselves in sand and people sacrifice animals with good intention but it is mixed with confusion and will produce a bad result.
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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by Mkoll » Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:51 pm

befriend wrote:
Jojola wrote:Shouldn't it be obvious when you understand volition is kamma? The action or consequences of doesn't matter, just intention.
Kamma and vipaka is not based Soley on volition Hindu ascetics bury themselves in sand and people sacrifice animals with good intention but it is mixed with confusion and will produce a bad result.
There may be a justification for the sacrifice of animals that is a good intention, for example to give food or merit to deceased ancestors. However, in the act of carrying that out, the person must bring up the mind to take the steps to prepare for the killing, condone its being killed, actually kill the animal, etc. Those are the bad intentions there that outweigh any good intention used as justification for the killing.

Intentions must be looked at closely, at a moment-by-moment level.
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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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

Post by Jojola » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:42 pm

befriend wrote:
Jojola wrote:Shouldn't it be obvious when you understand volition is kamma? The action or consequences of doesn't matter, just intention.
Kamma and vipaka is not based Soley on volition Hindu ascetics bury themselves in sand and people sacrifice animals with good intention but it is mixed with confusion and will produce a bad result.
Sure I agree that example is mixed with confusion and produces harmfulness but if their intention behind is not to do so they aren't guilty of bad kamma just guilty of not being wise, like an animal.

Remember there was a blind monk doing walking meditation for a very very long time wearing sandals and he was crushing very many creatures beneath his feat so it was like a road of dead small creatures he was walking on, and his fellow monks brought it to The Buddhas attention so he can be reprimanded, however the Buddha said it wasn't necessary, he didn't know better, wasn't his intention. "I declare, volition is kamma! Having willed one acts by body speech and thought" It's not the action or the result, but the will behind it. The monks intention was to meditate and practice the path, and that's the kamma produced despite having destroyed the life of many living creatures, in fact that can be looked at as the fruition of bad kamma on the behalf of the bugs, just as in your hindu example it's probably fruition of bad kamma on the behalf of the animals.

Kamma is also something only a Buddha can analyze accurately, too much theory and elucidation about kamma is not only un-beneficial but can drive us insane trying to figure out, all we have to know as regards our practice ise to align our will and intentions skillfully for the benefit of ourselves and that of others, watch the results, investigate them, and use wisdom to adjust and improve accordingly in a steadily manner as we advance.

Anything harmful that happens unintentional of your actions will not befall back onto you. Some goes for anything beneficial that becomes of your actions, if it was unintentional it wont be good kamma, just neutral, again, like an animal.

A parent who isn't wise nor mindful leaves a baby in a car with closed windows on a hot day, if the baby dies it's not bad kamma on the parent cause the intention to kill their child was far from their hearts or mind, they're just guilty of being 'dumb', if anything I'd say it's fruition of bad kamma from the babys previous life.

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

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:42 pm

Greetings,

Given I've been asked why, I think it's a terrible verdict because I believe the minimum expectation of the law should merely be to not infringe upon the rights of others.

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.

(How this situation is viewed against the paradigm of kamma or general appeals to humanity may well be very different... but as a legal decision, in a court of law, I'm unimpressed.)

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

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:30 pm

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

Post by binocular » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:50 am

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.
Exactly. And the way he acted (calling the police hours after the fact and reporting he saw the woman hours before, as she was about to drown) is reason enough for the court to suspect foul play. He may well be innocent of the woman's death, but he incriminated himself by calling the police so much later and acknowledging that he did not act in a timely manner. An innicent person would call in a timely manner, or not at all.
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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by binocular » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:58 am

Jojola wrote:A parent who isn't wise nor mindful leaves a baby in a car with closed windows on a hot day, if the baby dies it's not bad kamma on the parent cause the intention to kill their child was far from their hearts or mind, they're just guilty of being 'dumb', if anything I'd say it's fruition of bad kamma from the babys previous life.

Make sense?
Some things can and should be reasonably expected that a person should do. In the case of parents, it is reasonable to expect, and demand of them, that they should not commit acts of gross negligence, such as leaving a child in a closed car on a hot day.
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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:05 am

Negligence is certainly something that people should be held respoinsible.

The 2010 Pike River Mine Mine explosion [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pike_River_Mine_disaster] revealed that New Zealand's laws were such that even though the company management were clearly aware of the dangers, none could be legally implicated in the deaths of the 29 miners. The law has since been changed.

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

Post by Jojola » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:28 am

binocular wrote:
Jojola wrote:A parent who isn't wise nor mindful leaves a baby in a car with closed windows on a hot day, if the baby dies it's not bad kamma on the parent cause the intention to kill their child was far from their hearts or mind, they're just guilty of being 'dumb', if anything I'd say it's fruition of bad kamma from the babys previous life.

Make sense?
Some things can and should be reasonably expected that a person should do. In the case of parents, it is reasonable to expect, and demand of them, that they should not commit acts of gross negligence, such as leaving a child in a closed car on a hot day.
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. Consider the BrahmaViharas, are they and ethics not mutually exclusive?

kamma (one of the five laws/niyamas) doesn't care about the standpoint of our ethical views and opinions anymore than gravity cares about your life if you fall off of a bridge but didn't mean to. It's a fine distinction to make cause consider that someone can convince themselves they are doing something out of one intention or ethical cause, but its the true intention that kamma is based on, which as human beings in our thick ignorance we actually have the capacity to hide that from ourselves, not everyone of course but I do think a considerable amount.

And in the event they are talking about here of the guy who let the girl drown in the water..

...If the guy developed the intention to let her drown, either out of ill-will or for entertainment while watching her, than that's definitely bad kamma without question IMO. However if he was frozen in shock, or couldn't think of what to do, then his kamma is blameless and it's probably the fruition of the girls bad kamma, in my opinion anyway.

Actually the more I think about it now that I am re-reading the main topic, maybe I'm out of my element here in this thread because kamma and ethics/sila are not exactly the same thing.

Sorry if i contributed anything off topic.
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Re: The Ethics of Non Action (General Theravada version)

Post by Jojola » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:...I believe the minimum expectation of the law should merely be to not infringe upon the rights of others...

...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....
As faulty as sankhara and sañña are, these particular of yours I can't help but find quite refined, beautiful, and in accordance with dhamma as close as legal matters can be.
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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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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
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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
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