Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3048
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Mr Man » Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:37 pm

santa100 wrote:During the rainy retreats, there used to be a standard practice for a monk to periodically undergoes review and examination in front of his fellow monk sangha. He would stand in front of them and ask them to review and point out any problem or mistake he has been making so that he can correct those errors and improve his practice. I'm not a Vinaya expert but remember there's a Pali term for this procedure. I wonder if this tradition has been lost nowadays and that monks, especially those who are famous or holding high ranking position of abbot or temple president are exempted from having to do this anymore?
Do you mean "Pavarana". It still happens.

santa100
Posts: 2725
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by santa100 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:20 pm

Ah thanks. Just looked it up and it's supposed to take place at the end of every annual rains retreat. This is a very important practice. Even for us lay folks, every year we have to undergo careful annual review with our boss regarding our job performance and could be fired for not doing a good job. While us lay folks can have different opinions about the conduct of a monk, it's ultimately up to the monastics sangha to analyze, examine and decide what's best to do. Hence my inquiry on whether the practice equally applies to every monk regardless of rank or seniority. Maybe some input from full time monastics on DW would be helpful..
Def. wrote:Pavaara.na:
The annual formal assembly for bhikkhus that marks the end of the Rains Retreat; when each monk offers the others the opportunity to admonish him for any transgressions he may have committed.

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2489
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by robertk » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:14 am

Looking at the original article and comments ven. Bodhi is clear that human life begins near conception and that abortion is definitely killing a human life: in short he follows Theravada position.

His argument against govt. restrictions on abortion are based on freedom of choice and keeping govt. out of it...Fair enough.

Still there are over 800,000 abortions each year in the USA, and if Trump was able to reduce that number by even 10% then over the course of his presidency 320,000 lives would be spared, in that 4 year period alone.

Another issue is the race one: Black women have abortions at 5 times that rate of white in USA http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... ap/380251/
If this death rate was by other means than abortion the left would be screaming genocide...

Phena
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:40 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Phena » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:57 pm

robertk wrote:His argument against govt. restrictions on abortion are based on freedom of choice and keeping govt. out of it...Fair enough.
I think the Venerable's point was more keeping religion out of it.

A quote I heard and like, which I think sums this up, goes something like, "we should have freedom of religion and freedom from religion".

SarathW
Posts: 8253
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by SarathW » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:54 am

I think the Venerable's point was more keeping religion out of it.
Isn't this the democracy?
If majority religious group voted for a particular religious issue the president has to accept it.
isn't it?
:juggling:
I know minority can object to it.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 3767
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by SDC » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:07 am

SarathW wrote:
I think the Venerable's point was more keeping religion out of it.
Isn't this the democracy?
If majority religious group voted for a particular religious issue the president has to accept it.
isn't it?
:juggling:
I know minority can object to it.
The US in not a 'democracy'. It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy.

And the answer is "not exactly". Were the people to elect representatives to the House who supported a particular religious issue, and they were to present and pass such a law (and then the Senate does the same), then the president would have the option to sign that bill into law. Even at that point the president is not obligated to listen and could veto (cancel) the bill. (Religious issues that would violate the First Amendment to the Constitution would not fare so easily and only a new amendment abolishing those aspects of the first amendment would allow for such an issue to become law. That would likely never happen.)

There are however certain legal issues that can be voted upon at the state and local level where the "popular vote" directly decides the fate of the issue (marijuana legalization for instance). In these cases, the vote would be considered a directly democratic decision.

SarathW
Posts: 8253
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by SarathW » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:45 am

Thanks SDC
My knowledge in politics is very minimal.
:)

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Democracy_vs_Republic
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3687
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:01 am

Laws are guided by religious values. In a country like the USA, which is majority Christian you cannot expect laws based on core Buddhist teachings. In countries like Poland or Southern Ireland you can find laws based on Catholicism. If you want laws based on Buddhism, Tāvatiṃsa may be your best option.
AIM ForumsPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:54 am

America has a "seperation of Church and state" that is designed to protect both religious people from persecution and the state from religious takeover. It will be interesting to see what happens with Trump in charge, since the main challenge to religious hegemony in American is gay and trans rights.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2489
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by robertk » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:26 am

Phena wrote:
robertk wrote:His argument against govt. restrictions on abortion are based on freedom of choice and keeping govt. out of it...Fair enough.
I think the Venerable's point was more keeping religion out of it.

A quote I heard and like, which I think sums this up, goes something like, "we should have freedom of religion and freedom from religion".
I think all countries, no matter religious or not, have laws against killing humans.
So I don't follow the reasoning that restricting abortion is bringing religion in?

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:25 am

robertk wrote:
Phena wrote:
robertk wrote:His argument against govt. restrictions on abortion are based on freedom of choice and keeping govt. out of it...Fair enough.
I think the Venerable's point was more keeping religion out of it.

A quote I heard and like, which I think sums this up, goes something like, "we should have freedom of religion and freedom from religion".
I think all countries, no matter religious or not, have laws against killing humans.
So I don't follow the reasoning that restricting abortion is bringing religion in?
It is part of the Secular Humanist/New Atheist ideology that "experience=humanity". so it follows, from a secular-humanist and "new atheist" paradigm, that those who lack experience, lack humanity. we are defined by our memories and ability to remember them.

The labelling of foreign ideologies as "religious" is a strategy of secular humanism and radical atheism to discredit opposing viewpoints and metaphysics.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

User avatar
rowboat
Posts: 700
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:31 am
Location: Brentwood Bay

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by rowboat » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:51 am

robertk wrote:I think all countries, no matter religious or not, have laws against killing humans.
So I don't follow the reasoning that restricting abortion is bringing religion in?
Human 'persons'.

Gary Gutting: On Abortion and Defining a ‘Person’
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2489
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by robertk » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:40 am

Coëmgenu wrote: The labelling of foreign ideologies as "religious" is a strategy of secular humanism and radical atheism to discredit opposing viewpoints and metaphysics.
yes, and Bodhi himself makes clear (in his comments to the article) that " I believe that the life-process begins when a stream of consciousness coming from a deceased being “connects” with the newly fertilized ovum. Thus I consider the embryo to be a living being, a potential human being, and on these grounds I hold that a woman who adheres to the Buddha’s teaching and wants to live in accordance with its ethical code should not have an abortion "

so he is not in accord with the thinking that life magically begins only after the baby leaves the womb.

davidbrainerd
Posts: 993
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by davidbrainerd » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:52 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I think when a candidates platform, if put into effect, would cause so much suffering for so many people, like Trumps would, I would expect any socially aware Bhikkhu to speak out against that. I think Bhikkhu Bodhi clearly made a good choice to release his statement. This isn't just another Democrat vs Republican thing, this is much worse than that. I mean a lot of people's attitudes is like Jews in Nazi Germany telling each other," don't worry, he wouldn't really do that, how much worse can it get."
Trump's policy will only cause suffering to the fat cats exporting jobs to other countries, and illegal immigrants. If Mexico wants great companies, let them build them, rather than stealing US jobs with cheap labor. And if Mexicans want better jobs, let them make their country better. There is nothing wrong with making your country great again by ceasing to let fat cats export your jobs and import cheap labor..

edited by mod to remove offensive comment

User avatar
cjmacie
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:49 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by cjmacie » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:54 am

To a couple of themes here:

1) Some religious objections to abortion hinge on the existence of an immortal "soul" upon conception, explicit, if my memory serves, in Roman Catholic dogma. In the Buddhist worldview, it's different, though it's still (if one takes conception vs birth as the critical event) human life, that's considered precious, as well as life in general which is not to be taken away (harmed).

2) I'm reminded in this discussion that at times the purported views of the Buddha were seemingly more nuanced by circumstances, rather than stated as absolute maxims -- e.g. as if commanded by "God" to Moses, Jesus, Mohamed, etc.

Examples:

a) The euthanasia debate here recently (c.f. "Bhante Jag");

b) The story (somewhere in the Pali Canon) of a man, woman with their infant crossing a desert or such, running out of food, and feeding on the baby as the least of the presenting evils and the one allowing for the survival of the species, so to speak -- they could, if surviving, have further children. Again, if my memory serves, the Buddha did not condemn that. (Could be wrong on that, where assuredly it will be promptly corrected here.)

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3048
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Mr Man » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:08 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
The labelling of foreign ideologies as "religious" is a strategy of secular humanism and radical atheism to discredit opposing viewpoints and metaphysics.
Hmm. By foreign ideologies do you mean religions? No doubt different people and societies have different ideas of what religions are but I imagine (not sure though) that foreign ideologies were being defined as "religious" before the emergence secular humanism and radical atheism.

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2489
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by robertk » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:21 am

cjmacie wrote: b) The story (somewhere in the Pali Canon) of a man, woman with their infant crossing a desert or such, running out of food, and feeding on the baby as the least of the presenting evils and the one allowing for the survival of the species, so to speak -- they could, if surviving, have further children. Again, if my memory serves, the Buddha did not condemn that. (Could be wrong on that, where assuredly it will be promptly corrected here.)
the story was given as an example of how a bhikkhu should eat food- merely to stay alive, not for pleasure or for developing an attractive body. Nothing about additional children :

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed. The thought would occur to them, 'Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way — chewing on the flesh of our son — at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.' So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert. While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, [crying,] 'Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?' Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?"

"No, lord."

"Wouldn't they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3048
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Mr Man » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:25 am

robertk wrote: yes, and Bodhi himself makes clear (in his comments to the article) that " I believe that the life-process begins when a stream of consciousness coming from a deceased being “connects” with the newly fertilized ovum. Thus I consider the embryo to be a living being, a potential human being, and on these grounds I hold that a woman who adheres to the Buddha’s teaching and wants to live in accordance with its ethical code should not have an abortion "

so he is not in accord with the thinking that life magically begins only after the baby leaves the womb.
Life does have a fairly broad meaning. I don't think there are many that would argue that life magically begins after birth. That life as a human begins after birth would be a more common opinion though (isn't that what Christians believe?).

We use old ideas to address modern problems but the catch is we use modern minds to try and interpret old ideas.

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:54 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
The labelling of foreign ideologies as "religious" is a strategy of secular humanism and radical atheism to discredit opposing viewpoints and metaphysics.
Hmm. By foreign ideologies do you mean religions? No doubt different people and societies have different ideas of what religions are but I imagine (not sure though) that foreign ideologies were being defined as "religious" before the emergence secular humanism and radical atheism.
Yes, but these groups have an entirely new definition of what "religious" means.

If you look at what I was responding to, it was the new secularist worldview, where one is defined solely by one's ability to ascent to beliefs and make decisions, and where a fetus is not really a "human being" if it lacks experience, memory, etc. One of the strategies of the secularist worldview, in asserting itself, is to set up nonreligious foreign ideologies as being suddenly "religious". This means that they can be excluded from sphere of "things that are reasonable".

I digress though, we are massively off-topic. I probably shouldn't have even made my initial post that started this tangent.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3048
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Bhikkhu Bodhi responds to Trump victory

Post by Mr Man » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:07 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:

If you look at what I was responding to, it was the new secularist worldview, where one is defined solely by one's ability to ascent to beliefs and make decisions, and where a fetus is not really a "human being" if it lacks experience, memory, etc. One of the strategies of the secularist worldview, in asserting itself, is to set up nonreligious foreign ideologies as being suddenly "religious". This means that they can be excluded from sphere of "things that are reasonable".

I digress though, we are massively off-topic. I probably shouldn't have even made my initial post that started this tangent.
Thanks for the reply Coëmgenu & yes we have gone massively off-topic.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Pseudobabble and 15 guests