Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by thecap » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:11 am

Annabel wrote:Could it be that you feel that "headhunting" is bad,- that it is nasty to do that?
Hi Annabel.

Thanks for your reply.

No, it is not a feeling.

Do I understand you correctly that you perceive the only or main difference between bounty hunter and police officer is being self-employed and public official respectively?

If this were the case, I'd fully agree with all your above statements.

However, I don't see headhunting as a business only, since use of force and weapons against humans are involved.

Where do you think headhunting fits in the following:

Here we have a democratic system. And in a democracy we have the three pillars: Judiciary (constitutional law), Legislature (elected parties) and Executive (day to day management). These three pillars of democracy mutually control each other, to prevent abuse of the system which guarantees basic human rights. The Executive includes the police, and - now comes the important part - they alone have the state's monopoly on the use of force (I hope this translation is correct). They are controlled by the elected politicians and the constitutional law, and vice versa. But history has it that if in a demoracy someone else had the same use of force inside a country like the police has (for instance, elected parties used to have armed thug groups a century ago), the democracy could not function, and basic human rights would have to take stick, literally. This is a slightly drastic example but not speculation at all.

Now, where do you think bounty hunters fit in the above, considering they have to make use of force?

The bottom line being, you can't give superpowers to numerous 'heroes', and expect them to be docile. It tends to become abusive. There's a reason we (still) have a public health care system here where I live, and a public police most everywhere, not The Police Inc. What do you think?
Last edited by thecap on Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by kc2dpt » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:28 am

thecap,

It seems you understand the Buddha's teachings on wrong livelihood to include any profession wherein there is temptation to engage in unwholesome actions. Is that right?
- Peter

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by thecap » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:39 am

Peter wrote:thecap,

It seems you understand the Buddha's teachings on wrong livelihood to include any profession wherein there is temptation to engage in unwholesome actions. Is that right?
Hi Peter

Thanks for your question.

No. As I said, I don't think headhunting is just another self-employed business. It involves the use of force and weapons against human beings, not just some unwholesome money making strategy. The differences compared to the police using force and weapons against human beings have been explained above.

In short, a police officer has to keep track of every single bullet and is your friend, while a headhunter is pressured to transgress the law in order to work more efficiently.

By the way, if you perceive a misunderstanding, it might be due to the fact that headhunters here, unlike in the US of A, have no superpowers or special rights. So my arguments are not entirely far-fetched. ;)

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by Annapurna » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:16 am

thecap wrote:
Annabel wrote:Could it be that you feel that "headhunting" is bad,- that it is nasty to do that?
Hi Annabel.

Thanks for your reply.

No, it is not a feeling.

Do I understand you correctly that you perceive the only or main difference between bounty hunter and police officer is being self-employed and public official respectively?

If this were the case, I'd fully agree with all your above statements.

However, I don't see headhunting as a business only, since use of force and weapons against humans are involved.

Where do you think headhunting fits in the following:

Here we have a democratic system. And in a democracy we have the three pillars: Judiciary (constitutional law), Legislature (elected parties) and Executive (day to day management). These three pillars of democracy mutually control each other, to prevent abuse of the system which guarantees basic human rights. The Executive includes the police, and - now comes the important part - they alone have the state's monopoly on the use of force (I hope this translation is correct). They are controlled by the elected politicians and the constitutional law, and vice versa. But history has it that if in a demoracy someone else had the same use of force inside a country like the police has (for instance, elected parties used to have armed thug groups a century ago), the democracy could not function, and basic human rights would have to take stick, literally. This is a slightly drastic example but not speculation at all.

Now, where do you think bounty hunters fit in the above, considering they have to make use of force?

The bottom line being, you can't give superpowers to numerous 'heroes', and expect them to be docile. It tends to become abusive. There's a reason we (still) have a public health care system here where I live, and a public police most everywhere, not The Police Inc. What do you think?
Hi, thecap, thank you for your reply.
Do I understand you correctly that you perceive the only or main difference between bounty hunter and police officer is being self-employed and public official respectively?
Yes. More or less. The goal is to catch the criminal.

I agree with you that the bounty hunter will most probably have a greater motivation to get a hold of a criminal, because then he gets paid.

The police officer gets his money either way, whether he catches the criminal or not, and even when he is written sick.

Not so the bounty hunter. Hence, his working morale is higher.
If this were the case, I'd fully agree with all your above statements.
Thank you.
However, I don't see headhunting as a business only, since use of force and weapons against humans are involved.
The police also has to use force and weapons with violent criminals who offer resistance. Resistance against State officials is a criminal offence in itself.

You explained the democratic system in Germany. Thank you.

The problem with this comparison is, that Germany doesn't have the same laws as the USA.

The German civilians are not armed, in contrast to the American civilians and bounty hunters..

Hence, bounty -hunting in Germany is probably impossible. You wouldn't be allowed to wear the weapons you would have to use to intimidate a possibly armed criminal.

In Germany you would have to alert the police to arrest criminals....

more in the next post....

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by Annapurna » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:31 am

The bottom line being, you can't give superpowers to numerous 'heroes', and expect them to be docile. It tends to become abusive. There's a reason we (still) have a public health care system here where I live, and a public police most everywhere, not The Police Inc. What do you think?
I think that the USA could definitely benefit from the German healthcare system...

On the other hand,

I don't think that a lot of people want to be headhunter, even in the USA.

It takes tough, adventurous and fearless men to do this dangerous job, sort of like the first trappers conquering the Wild West, and a small mistake can cost you your life.

This is a species of men that you don't find too often in our pampered nations where we whine about the weather.... :lol:

what say you?

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by appicchato » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:17 am

thecap wrote: In short, a police officer has to keep track of every single bullet and is your friend...
While this may apply in Germany, by and large it is most definitely a different story in most of the world...

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by Annapurna » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm

Dear Venerable Appichato, there is actually a Police slogan in Germany which says:

"The Police, your friend and helper."

Of course you have cops tripping over their powerful feet everywhere in the world. . .

May I ask you what you think about bounty hunting- wrong or right livelyhood, or is this a borderline case?

I don't know if you have ever seen the series, but Dog Chapman seems to treat all the people he catches with respect and as much kindness as possible.

I think he is a good guy.

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by Dhammakid » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:48 am

Hello All,
I want to say a few things, coming from a different perspective on law enforcement.

The question begging to be asked is: why is law enforcement and bounty hunting necessary in the first place? Why is crime so rampant? Are human beings just so bad we have to commit crimes? Or could it be our societal structure (government and leaders) perpetuating the circumstances leading to criminality in order to justify its own existence?

Keep in mind that law enforcement and bounty hunting perpetuates all of the negative qualities of masculinity and manhood - violent chauvinism, state control, macho complexes, etc. 99% of rapes are committed by men. 90% of all violent crimes are committed by men. And yet men think they are fixing the problem by using violence to put us into prisons, which are sometimes more violent and dangerous than the streets? Please be real, people.

The problem isn't about human beings as evil or police officers as providing for some greater good (although I'd definitely argue against that bogus claim), but rather a crisis in masculinity and manhood that perpetuates violence in society, further fueled by the same tired old consistencies from the past - men taking control and exerting power over everyone else.

Without poverty, poorly funded education, lack of universal health care, a wishy-washy economy left to the whims of the wealthy elite, and a host of other intentionally set-up circumstances, crime would not be near as prevalent as it is. Ask any criminologist, psychologist or sociologist.

Human beings might be deluded and selfish, but we are not inherently evil. Society teaches evil to children, and then punishes them for it later. Society teaches boys to be violent.

Law enforcement perpetuates criminality. And because law enforcement is practiced by other deluded beings, this honorable picture you are painting is false to the fullest extent.

Ask a poor minority what they think of the police, I'm positive you will get a different answer. Case in point: my mother sued the city for racial and gender discrimination because they conspired to get her fired from the police force, all because she blew the whistle on nearly a century of racial discrimination of citizens and black officers. Furthermore, evidence suggests they were in cahoots with the IRS (who we are currently battling).

Ever heard of police brutality? If police officers can still do that even though they are subject to watchdog groups, what makes you think bounty hunters are exempt?

The nation's drug policy discriminates against the poor and minority. And let's not even get into how nearly impossible it is for a rape victim to find justice.

Bounty hunting is simply citizens who didn't want to go through police boot camp carrying around guns acting as superheroes. And they are almost always men. If the State really wanted to get drugs off the street, or put criminals to justice, they would do it because they have all the tools necessary on their side. But they don't, because they must justify their own existence. "We need laws because people are evil."

Oh, and Dog the Bounty Hunter was called out last year for spewing racial epithets towards the friend of one his children.

Like I said, we are all deluded. Please stop glossing over the evils of law enforcement.

(Typed in passion but kindness ;) )

Namaste,
Dhammakid

P.S. Yes yes, I know...spoken like a true anarchist ;) I guess I should answer the original question: according to my experiences and my analysis, both law enforcement and bounty hunting amounts to Wrong Livelihood. There are far more productive ways to deal with the unskillful actions of deluded human beings, such as rehabilitation and treatment (as opposed to incarceration), greater funding for public education, guaranteed health care for all, violence prevention education at an early age, greater emphasis on community development and self-sustaining communities, and a host of other great alternatives out there. If law enforcement/bounty hunting isn't decreasing the rate of criminality - in other words, not solving the problem at all - but rather perpetuating the problem (as all credible evidence suggests), then one must conclude the institution is Wrong Livelihood, because it is contributing to the suffering of beings (or at least intentionally ignoring it). That is my opinion. Feel free to disagree. Namaste.

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by Ben » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:38 am

Hi Dhammakid and all

The Buddha gave us criteria for determining what constitutes wrong livelihood, it has been mentioned earlier in this thread. In the post I wrote, I suggested that in assessing whether bounty hunting is indeed wrong livelihood, one would need to determine whether the profession was in anyway business or dealing in weapons or business or dealing with human beings,the latter usually interpreted as trade in prostitutes or slaves. One could argue that bounty hunting could breach business with weapons or business in human beings, directly or by proximity, but I would be unconvinced.
I would argue that bounty hunting is not inherently wrong livelihood. However, that is not to say that there is more than ample opportunity for bounty hunters to engage in morally reprehensible or dubious decisions and/or activities in the hunting of their bounty. While there can be no doubt that the end, making bail jumpers accountable for their actions, is a good thing, does the end justify the morally dubious means some bounty hunters of achieving that aim? Having witnessed the portrayal of one high-profile bounty hunter on TV, can we make a judgment that all bounty hunters are likewise engaged in morally reprehensible activities in order to apprehend the wanted?
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by Dhammakid » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:57 am

Ben wrote:Hi Dhammakid and all

The Buddha gave us criteria for determining what constitutes wrong livelihood, it has been mentioned earlier in this thread. In the post I wrote, I suggested that in assessing whether bounty hunting is indeed wrong livelihood, one would need to determine whether the profession was in anyway business or dealing in weapons or business or dealing with human beings,the latter usually interpreted as trade in prostitutes or slaves. One could argue that bounty hunting could breach business with weapons or business in human beings, directly or by proximity, but I would be unconvinced.
I would argue that bounty hunting is not inherently wrong livelihood. However, that is not to say that there is more than ample opportunity for bounty hunters to engage in morally reprehensible or dubious decisions and/or activities in the hunting of their bounty. While there can be no doubt that the end, making bail jumpers accountable for their actions, is a good thing, does the end justify the morally dubious means some bounty hunters of achieving that aim? Having witnessed the portrayal of one high-profile bounty hunter on TV, can we make a judgment that all bounty hunters are likewise engaged in morally reprehensible activities in order to apprehend the wanted?
Kind regards

Ben
Hello Ben, All,
If the Buddha set out the specific criteria, and if one has to stretch in order to accuse bounty hunters according to that criteria, then I must admit I cannot say bounty hunting is inherently Wrong Livelihood. I am sorry for misinterpreting the Buddha's criteria. I guess I can only say I am vehemently opposed, and bias against, this type of livelihood, as I am law enforcement in general. I just don't see the reason why we should glorifying or giving praise to bounty hunters when they are clearly no more righteous or morally strong than the rest of us. After this thread, can we start praising the work of social workers?

As far as weapons go, does the Buddha make any statement about the use of weapons against other living beings?

Namaste,
Dhammakid

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by Ben » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:17 am

Hi Dhammakid

Yes, anyone can start a thread in appreciation of the work of social workers, no problem!
I don't recall the Buddha advising against the use of weapons, per se. In SN42.3 the Buddha did detail what happened to those warriors killed in battle who were 'striving & exerting themselves in battle believing that in doing so would land them a place amongst the devas'. The sutta links the action of killing and view with the destination of a warrior killed in battle:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sometimes in life we have to make some pretty hard decisions, and if we have to use force to neutralise someone's intention to harm himself or others, and if that force is used wisely and compassionately, then I see no problem. In life we are often confronted with choices that are morally murky. We can be guided by the precepts and the Dhamma, but sometimes we will have to rely on our own wisdom. Fortunately, by studying the texts, through bhavana (mental cultivation/meditation), and no small measure of common sense, we can navigate some of life's morally difficult decisions.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by appicchato » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:32 am

Annabel wrote:May I ask you what you think about bounty hunting- wrong or right livelyhood, or is this a borderline case?
Hi Annabel,

Haven't seen the Dog...except in the news a couple of times...

And to answer your question, I don't really have a view on this one...it is what it is, and I haven't seen any benefit (yet) in pondering the pros and cons of it...

Be well... ;)

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by stuka » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:08 am

All of the silly monkey-chatter aside, let's take a look at just who and what this "Dog" fellow is:

Duane Chapman
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Duane Lee "Dog" Chapman
Born February 2, 1953 (1953-02-02) (age 55)
Denver, Colorado
Occupation Bounty hunter, television personality
Spouse(s) La Fonda Sue Honeycutt (1972-1977)
Anne M. Tegnell (1979-?)
Lyssa Rae Brittian (1982-1991)
Tawny Marie ?-1994
Beth Smith 2006-present
Children 11, including Duane Lee Chapman, II and Leland Chapman
Website
Official Website

Duane Lee "Dog" Chapman (born February 2, 1953 in Denver, Colorado [1]) is an American bounty hunter and bail bondsman who lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. He stars in Dog the Bounty Hunter, a weekly reality television program which is broadcast on the A&E Network (USA), Virgin 1 (both UK), Bravo, and FOX8/Nine Network (Australia) .

Chapman, a former gang member with 18 prior convictions for armed robbery,[2] was sentenced in Pampa, Texas to a five year prison term in 1977 after being convicted of the first degree murder of Jerry Oliver. Chapman maintains his innocence of murder but suggests he was a legal accessory for not reporting the shooting to the police. He was released on probation after 1 and a half years.[3]

Dog's career in bounty hunting began when he was in court disputing child support. When he told the judge he did not have the money to pay, the judge offered him a deal to bring in a fugitive in exchange for the judge to pay part of Chapman's child support [4] for Duane Lee and Leland Chapman.
:roll:

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:16 am

Greetings stuka,

Well, for Dog it looks as if being a bounty hunter is "Improved" livelihood, whether or not it's classified as "Right" or "Wrong".

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Post by Will » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:43 am

Seems a futile exercise to try and judge the right livelihood of the job of bounty hunting with only one bounty hunter for a data point.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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