Critisise the action not the person.

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SarathW
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Critisise the action not the person.

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:48 pm

Do not criticise the person but criticise the action.
I can't recall where I heard the above phrase but it got some Buddhist tone in it.
Does this mean there no person other than the action?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:59 am

Greetings Sarath,
SarathW wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:48 pm
Does this mean there no person other than the action?
Whether this is so, it's not what the phrase means.

Rather, it usually means that people get triggered when they have to face up to the reality that they are the ones responsible for their actions. "Criticize the action, not the person" just introduces an extra buffer layer, to help preserve their ego from the frightful reality of what they do and have done.

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)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Polar Bear
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by Polar Bear » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:03 am

Since people can change, and since actions arise due to causes and conditions and not because deep down the unchanging core of a person is such that they inherently are disposed to do such and such actions, it makes sense. It helps remind people that they don’t have to be defined for all time by any actions taken under the influence of passion, aversion, and delusion as long as they realize the mistake, the causes for it, and work to make sure those causes and actions don’t occur again. It is a kinder and wiser, more analytically accurate way to criticize. But it would be bad if it’s just used as a way to deflect or deny or ignore personal responsibility.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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retrofuturist
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:16 am

Greetings Sarath,
SarathW wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:48 pm
Do not criticise the person but criticise the action.
I can't recall where I heard the above phrase but it got some Buddhist tone in it.
It is not in accord with the Dhamma. Rather...
AN 3.2 wrote:“Bhikkhus, the fool is characterized by his actions; the wise person is characterized by his actions. Wisdom shines in its manifestation.

“Bhikkhus, one who possesses three qualities should be known as a fool. What three? Bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct. One who possesses these three qualities should be known as a fool. One who possesses three qualities should be known as a wise person. What three? Bodily good conduct, verbal good conduct, and mental good conduct. One who possesses these three qualities should be known as a wise person.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will avoid the three qualities possessing which one is known as a fool, and we will undertake and observe the three qualities possessing which one is known as a wise person.’ It is in this way that you should train yourselves.”
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)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

Dinsdale
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:28 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:48 pm
Do not criticise the person but criticise the action.
Though we are "heirs to our kamma".....
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Kim OHara
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:59 am
Greetings Sarath,
SarathW wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:48 pm
Does this mean there no person other than the action?
Whether this is so, it's not what the phrase means.

Rather, it usually means that people get triggered when they have to face up to the reality that they are the ones responsible for their actions. "Criticize the action, not the person" just introduces an extra buffer layer, to help preserve their ego from the frightful reality of what they do and have done.

Metta,
Paul. :)
That's one aspect of it.
The other is that criticising the person (e.g. "you're stupid") rather than the action (e.g. "that was a stupid thing you did") suggests to the person that they have no hope of changing their behaviour because it is a part of their character. The idea that they are really okay but just made one mistake is much less negative.

A similar piece of advice is, "Praise in public, but criticise in private." Its intention is that public praise reinforces the good behaviour more strongly than private praise, while public criticism tends to add humiliation to the sting of any critical comments which might be necessary.

:namaste:
Kim

binocular
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by binocular » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:30 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:48 pm
Do not criticise the person but criticise the action.
Both the view "Criticize the person" and the view "Criticize the action" are there to detract from and obscure issues of power that are at work when one person criticizes another or their action. (Other than that, it's not clear how to clearly delineate between a person and their actions to begin with.)

As usual, in most cases, what matters is the power hierarchy and the persons' positions in it.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

SarathW
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:43 am

Did Buddha criticise the person or the action of the person?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

binocular
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by binocular » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:39 pm

SarathW wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:43 am
Did Buddha criticise the person or the action of the person?
Where exactly would be the line between the person and their action to begin with?

To criticize the person means to call them a generic list of bad names, such as fool, idiot, retard, etc. If, for example, you have a cook and he cooks you a meal you don't like, and all you say to him is "You're an idiot!" -- how exactly does that make sense or help you or him? Simply from being called an idiot, will he know how to cook you a better meal?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Bundokji
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Re: Critisise the action not the person.

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:50 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:03 am
Since people can change, and since actions arise due to causes and conditions and not because deep down the unchanging core of a person is such that they inherently are disposed to do such and such actions, it makes sense. It helps remind people that they don’t have to be defined for all time by any actions taken under the influence of passion, aversion, and delusion as long as they realize the mistake, the causes for it, and work to make sure those causes and actions don’t occur again. It is a kinder and wiser, more analytically accurate way to criticize. But it would be bad if it’s just used as a way to deflect or deny or ignore personal responsibility.

:anjali:
:goodpost:

I also remember Ajahn Brahm saying in a Dhamma talk that there are only stupid actions, but no stupid people. Criticizing the person would most likely involve a generalization as you rightly indicated, and unlikely to produce a desired change.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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