Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Janalanda
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Janalanda » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:05 am

Buddha said "kamma is intention". Even normal humans realized this. For example: you don't go to jail for killing somebody by mistake. If it wasn't your intention, no need to feel too bad about it.
"'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in kamma should be known. The result of kamma should be known. The cessation of kamma should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... kamma.html

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samseva
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by samseva » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:22 am

spacenick wrote:So first of all, this comes from the commentaries. I take the 5 precepts from the Canon as being this:
1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
3. Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.
5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
As you can see, no intention is mentioned here.
We would have barely any understanding at all of many parts of the Canon if it weren't for the Commentaries. Furthermore, the absence of the word 'intention' in only the formulation of the precepts—not the explanations—is an incorrect argument regarding intention not being part of the precepts.
spacenick wrote:But anyway, I mentioned intention in the sense of: it is not the having the intention to harm that...

[...]

[^1]: And it's helpful to try to escape our Judeo-Christian conditioning as much as we can and to remember that these training rules...
Obviously, intention of each precept alone aren't the precepts themselves; it is one factor among others—and most or all the factors must be fulfilled for the breach of a precept. Also, the association with Judeo-Christian beliefs and behaviours is not something everyone shares and is very much dependent on one's personal conditioning.

Intention is part of the precepts. I am sure there are many Sutta passages describing this. If the above excerpts from Bhikkhu Bodhi's work aren't sufficient, then please feel free to search for Sutta passages that support either point of view that intention is or isn't part of the precepts (you will probably find some for the former and none for the latter).

Regards.

spacenick
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by spacenick » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:28 am

I guess we will agree to disagree.

:anjali:

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Chula
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Chula » Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:42 pm

I recently found a detailed response on this from Bhante Yuttadhammo that I think does a very good job:

http://buddhism.stackexchange.com/quest ... /2869#2869

I think I generally agree with that perspective.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:47 pm

A monk can be guilty of defeat without taking any physical object.
Buddhist Monastic Discipline wrote:d. Smuggling: A bhikkhu carrying items subject to an import duty hides them as he goes through customs. The taking is accomplished when the item leaves the customs area.
The law of the land decided that duty is payable on certain goods. Failing to pay that duty is theft.

The law of the land decides that payment is due on downloaded films, music, or software. What is the difference here if one fails to make the legally required payment?

Similarly, what about evasion of payment when travelling by train? One could argue that there is a negligible cost to the train company in carrying another 100 Kg when the fully loaded train weighs thousands of Kg. However, that's not the point. The law requires payment to be made.
Buddhist Monastic Discipline wrote:Special cases cited in the Commentary include the following:
a. False dealing: A bhikkhu makes counterfeit money or uses counterfeit weights. The taking is accomplished when the counterfeit is accepted.
b. Extortion: Using threats, a bhikkhu compels the owner of an object to give it to him. The taking is accomplished when the owner complies.
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Sovatthika
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Sovatthika » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:02 am

does there not have to be a physical object? you can't take information, only see it
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

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Sovatthika
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Sovatthika » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 am

see it, hear it, etc., i mean. i'm surprised to see a lot of people here describing kamma as a positive obligation (rather than a negative one); to me, it is something you don't do.
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

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cappuccino
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by cappuccino » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:58 am

Stealing — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from stealing is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to the loss of one's wealth.
Matthew 7

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cappuccino
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by cappuccino » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:00 am

when indulged in, developed, & pursued
Matthew 7

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Sovatthika
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Sovatthika » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:32 am

forcibly liberating a slave in the united states would have been considered theft, but it would have been a very kind thing to do
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

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Kim OHara
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:47 am

Sovatthika wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:32 am
forcibly liberating a slave in the united states would have been considered theft, but it would have been a very kind thing to do
(1) That's a very long way from copying a movie. :jawdrop:
(2) Most of the things we do carry some mixture of kamma and we need to assess the balance. In that case, the good of freeing the slave would (IMO) more than outweigh the bad of stealing.

:coffee:
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Kim OHara
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:50 am

Sovatthika wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 am
see it, hear it, etc., i mean. i'm surprised to see a lot of people here describing kamma as a positive obligation (rather than a negative one); to me, it is something you don't do.
It's not an action, it's a consequence.
There's no 'obligation', any more than there's an 'obligation' to abide by the Law of Gravity.

:coffee:
Kim

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Sovatthika
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Sovatthika » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:09 am

yeah those points i made might have been irrelevant

but yeah the owner hasn't been deprived of their content (movie, song, book, etc.); violating the law and stealing (taking what has not been given) is not the same thing.
they might not be getting as much money (some content is released free and indirectly the company gains thru free advertising) but they still have their work. you run into absurdity trying to hold up this ethic. is taking a picture of a piece of bread taking the bread? no. 'do you need to download...' irrelevant
when you start with a bad interpretation of a precept and hold up unnecessary standards you make it harder to follow the precepts
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

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Sovatthika
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Sovatthika » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:22 am

analyze what is being taken. can you take data?
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

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Kim OHara
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:55 am

Sovatthika wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:09 am
... when you start with a bad interpretation of a precept and hold up unnecessary standards you make it harder to follow the precepts
When you try to distort the plain intention of the precept to suit your own desires, you are demonstrating that you don't want to follow the precept.

:thinking:
Kim

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Sovatthika
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Sovatthika » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:42 am

from my perspective, what i contend is rather plain
nothing is being taken.
therefore not breaking the precept
it's an unfortunate convention for ip infringement to be called theft, but
worldly law is not dhammic law. this is very important
there doesn't have to be anything noble or good in file sharing for it not to be theft
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā sambuddhassa

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Kim OHara
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Kim OHara » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:21 am

Sovatthika wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:42 am
from my perspective, what i contend is rather plain
nothing is being taken.
therefore not breaking the precept
it's an unfortunate convention for ip infringement to be called theft, but
worldly law is not dhammic law. this is very important
there doesn't have to be anything noble or good in file sharing for it not to be theft
What you say is perfectly plain. It shows that you are determined not to see the harm done to creative people by depriving them of due payment for their work. If you don't want to see, nothing I say will change your mind.
I will leave you to enjoy the workings of kamma, if you are right, or suffer them, if I am.

:namaste:
Kim

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Dhammanando
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:48 am

Sovatthika wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:42 am
but worldly law is not dhammic law.
I think you're oversimplifying. There are some Buddhist moral precepts that are wholly independent of what any worldly law might decree (e.g., the first, fourth and fifth); there are others that are not. The second precept is of the latter sort. Although it cannot be equated with worldly law, nor can it be wholly separated from it, for the key term "what is not-given" (adinnaṃ) is (in part) to be understood with reference to what the laws of the land decree as counting as property.

binocular
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:44 pm

Sovatthika wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:22 am
analyze what is being taken. can you take data?
If you can have it, then it can be taken.

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mikenz66
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Re: Does illegal downloading violate the 2nd precept?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:37 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:44 pm
Sovatthika wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:22 am
analyze what is being taken. can you take data?
If you can have it, then it can be taken.
Brilliant!
:clap:
Mike

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