The danger of intolerance

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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clw_uk
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by clw_uk » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:44 am

tiltbillings wrote:
No doubt people here have felt that i have been intolerant but as i said with the Osiris similie that isnt the case at all.
Your intention may have been one thing, but via probale unskillfullness some may have felt otherwise, and that is their perception, in effect, their reality. There needs to be a bit more of a nuanced appreciation of what is being said, how it said, and the consequences of that.
I agree we all need to do this


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tiltbillings
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:45 am

Dazzlebling wrote:Regarding the thread with comments about Tibetan Buddhism, I posted what I thought was a very polite response expressing my sadness to see these remarks, as I am a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism myself. However the whole thread disappeared soon afterwards.

Dazzle
It was disappeared because it was seen to be becoming hurtful to some and it was going in a tail biting circle of negativity. If you wish, it can be brought back. We moderators are not (yet) perfect, so it may be that we do not always handle tough situations in the best manner. We try, however.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:46 am

...from all sides of the discussion.
Certainly.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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pink_trike
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by pink_trike » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dazzlebling wrote:Regarding the thread with comments about Tibetan Buddhism, I posted what I thought was a very polite response expressing my sadness to see these remarks, as I am a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism myself. However the whole thread disappeared soon afterwards.

Dazzle
It was disappeared because it was seen to be becoming hurtful to some and it was going in a tail biting circle of negativity. If you wish, it can be brought back. We moderators are not (yet) perfect, so it may be that we do not always handle tough situations in the best manner. We try, however.
And you guys do a darned good job.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Ben
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by Ben » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:17 am

Hi all

A couple of comments. I've said privately to some members that i doubted whether Dhamma Wheel was an appropriate forum for the kinds of discussions that have been happening of late. To date, I maintain what i said in that I haven't seen any valid criticism, or any real criticism in the true sense of the word. Instead, we have comments being made that are at times have been quite inflamatory and provocative. And given that this is a Buddhist forum devoted to the Theravada, such comments have the effect of 'playing to the crowd'. Most of us are Buddhist of some denomination and many of us probably have less than ideal experiences of living in Christian dominated cultures. So what invariably happens is that threads that purport to 'critique' Mahayana, Vajrayana, Christianity or Islam become a vehicle for the expression of personal prejudices and predelictons. As people get involved and contribute to such a discussion there is the triggering of kilesas and when the next person expresses their point of view (however well-informed it may appear to be), the process continues. Little real learning goes on as we're just all swimming in the collective mental cesspit. (apologies for the image). Until we become ariyan, we all suffer from conceit and our view is seriously polluted and distorted by our own negativities. I believe we should all be extremely vigilant, there is no limit to the variations of the manifestations of our own defilements.

Frankly comments that alude to DW being oppressive are downright unhelpful. My colleagues and I have expended no small effort in ensuring Dhamma Wheel doesn't become yet another group-think ghetto. Please consider for a minute how oppressive some comments may appear to others looking into Dhamma Wheel. People, who maybe christian, vajrayanist, mahayanist or muslim who may have a genuine interest in the Theravada. Can you put yourselves in their shoes? Dhamma Wheel should be a place where anyone irrespective of their religious (or non-religious) affiliation should feel comfortable and welcomed. And from reports that I have received, that hasn't been happening here.

As i said to another, there is so much that is beautiful and wonderful about the Dhamma and worthy of discussion. Why waste our time discussing the perceived faults of another? The real deal, the real game, is right here within our own one-fathom-long frame. We have a wonderful opportunity here at Dhamma Wheel, lets use it for our own liberation, and also for the benefit of the many, for the welfare of all.
Metta

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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zavk
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by zavk » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dazzlebling wrote:Regarding the thread with comments about Tibetan Buddhism, I posted what I thought was a very polite response expressing my sadness to see these remarks, as I am a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism myself. However the whole thread disappeared soon afterwards.

Dazzle
It was disappeared because it was seen to be becoming hurtful to some and it was going in a tail biting circle of negativity. If you wish, it can be brought back. We moderators are not (yet) perfect, so it may be that we do not always handle tough situations in the best manner. We try, however.
Hi Mods,

I didn't have anything to add to that post and I can understand why the discussion was stopped to prevent further negativity. However, if I may ask, why did it have to be totally removed? Was there any reason why it couldn't be locked but left visible? Thanks for considering my question.

-------------------------------------------------------

The tensions in these recent threads have pivoted around the question of what constitutes 'critique' or 'criticism'. Several people of made this point:
clw_uk wrote:...examination isnt bashing, criticism isnt bashing, asking questions isnt bashing
pink_trike wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Also, keep in mind that the point of this thread is the question of tolerance and intolerance towards religion, not the critique of religion.
How can they realistically be separated?
Ben wrote:To date, I maintain what i said in that I haven't seen any valid criticism, or any real criticism in the true sense of the word.
So if I may offer my two cents (in next post so this one doesn't become too long).....
Last edited by zavk on Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
With metta,
zavk

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zavk
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by zavk » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:28 am

I like to think of critique or criticism in these ways:

1.) There is the 'common-sense' understanding of criticism where we identify and correct shortcomings in people or whatever (e.g. 'Oh, you shouldn't have done this or that')

2.) There is a narrower understanding of criticism which we can identify in say, literary criticism, in film reviews, etc, where the critic evaluates or judge something according to certain technical, aesthetic or philosophical criteria.

3.) There is a social understanding and function of criticism such as when a political figure, a lobby group (e.g. Amnesty International), a policy expert, a social or cultural expert (e.g. Noam Chomsky) speaks out against certain issues.

4.) And finally, I think there is another mode of criticism which requires more effort. This involves cultivating a critical sensibility in oneself so as to always re-examine ones thoughts and actions. Criticism in this sense is aimed at clarifying the 'ground' of one's self-understanding and behaviour, so as to go beyond the the 'limits' set on ourselves out of habitual conditioning (or in Buddhist terms, avijja).

One prominent French thinker of the 60s/70s said that critique 'consists in seeing what kinds of self-evidences, liberties, acquired and non reflective-modes of thought, [and] the practices we accept rest on.' As I understand it, such a mode of criticism is always turning on itself, such that it always holds open the space for change and transformation. To me, this sits well with the Buddhist aim of 'seeing things clearly as they are'.

I think when we ‘criticize’ we move in and out of the above four, depending on the context. But for me, the one mode that is vital to Buddhist practice is (4.). This form of critical attitude, as the Noble Eightfold Path reminds us, must be cultivated alongside ethical conduct. This means that when, how and what we 'criticize' must be considered through the Buddhist teachings of care and compassion.

Respect to all. :anjali:
Last edited by zavk on Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
With metta,
zavk

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Aloka
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by Aloka » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:29 am

It was disappeared because it was seen to be becoming hurtful to some and it was going in a tail biting circle of negativity. If you wish, it can be brought back. We moderators are not (yet) perfect, so it may be that we do not always handle tough situations in the best manner. We try, however.

Hi Tilt,

I'm not asking for the thread to be brought back. However, as I have a genuine interest in Theravada and as my last post in the thread wasn't inflammatory and didn't name any names, it would have been quite nice if someone had PM'd me afterwards, because I was left wondering if I'd caused the end of the thread.

Just a though for future consideration.

Kind wishes,

Dazzle

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Ben
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by Ben » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:42 am

Hi Ed

I was one of the mods who felt that it would be better to have some of the threads completely removed from view. They are still within the DW system so they can be retrieved if the decision is reversed. Its my opinion that comments, whether intentionally or intentionally, provocative, comments which could be perceived as sectarian in nature, are death to a board like ours. And some of the other reasons I cited include a lack of right speech and many of the comments being off-topic. Dazzle, I'm not talking specifically about yours or anyone else's comments.
And look, as Tilt said earlier, the moderators here are not perfect. We do try to get it right and help make DW a great place but sometimes we may get it wrong. And to some extent we rely on the DW community to help us get it right.
Metta

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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mikenz66
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:44 am

Hi Ben,
Ben wrote: As i said to another, there is so much that is beautiful and wonderful about the Dhamma and worthy of discussion. Why waste our time discussing the perceived faults of another? The real deal, the real game, is right here within our own one-fathom-long frame. We have a wonderful opportunity here at Dhamma Wheel, lets use it for our own liberation, and also for the benefit of the many, for the welfare of all.
Thanks for that, and thank you to the moderators for their hard (and often thankless) work...

Liberation will, by definition, involve seriously extending our tolerance...

Metta
Mike

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Rhino
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by Rhino » Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:01 am

Ben wrote:Its my opinion that comments, whether intentionally or intentionally, provocative, comments which could be perceived as sectarian in nature, are death to a board like ours.
Agree. I've seen some boards who died for this reason. It is clear that Theravadins cannot agree with many other religions or some concepts of other buddhist schools. Even within the Theravada there are some contrarian ways of thinking. I think it would be better to discuss only the Theravadin view here on DW.

With best wishes
With best wishes

Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha's Teaching.
Nanavira Thera - Notes on Dhamma

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acinteyyo
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by acinteyyo » Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:43 am

IMHO neither religion nor religiosity can be separated from people. There is no religion or religiosity without people.
Maybe like software which doesn't exist without hardware. Things aren't independet. So if someone talks about religion or religiosity someone always talks about "particular software depending on particular hardware". It's inseperable.
All we can know about religion or religiosity could only be experienced by people who looked at other people who were "living or acting religious or according to any religion". According to that we only know about people with particular behaviour.
The danger of intolarance to religion or religiosity means danger of intolarance to other people behaviour.
A clever person watches others, but he watches with wisdom, not with ignorance. If one watches with wisdom, one can learn much. But if one watches with ignorance, one can only find faults. (Ajahn Chah)
I think we shouln't watch too much at other people but at ourselves :quote:
If somone agrees, it's ok - if not it's ok, too.

best wishes
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Rhino
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by Rhino » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:10 pm

acinteyya wrote:
A clever person watches others, but he watches with wisdom, not with ignorance. If one watches with wisdom, one can learn much. But if one watches with ignorance, one can only find faults. (Ajahn Chah)
I think we shouln't watch too much at other people but at ourselves :quote:
If someone agrees, it's ok - if not it's ok, too.
Agree. :twothumbsup:

With best wishes
With best wishes

Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha's Teaching.
Nanavira Thera - Notes on Dhamma

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DNS
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by DNS » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:16 pm

I like the approach this great website takes:

http://www.justbegood.net/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

see also at that site:

http://justbegood.net/AnyoneHeaven.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Notice how the whole theme is on tolerance and how anyone can get to heaven. There is not an outright all-inclusiveness, all-is-one new age to it either. It is focusing on the tolerance and positive aspects of Buddhism.

And it also mentions, "this current global age of clashing ideologies, fanatical strife and senseless violence " without bashing any particular, specific religion or religion in general.

I think this is a productive and wholesome approach. Of course there are differences between religions and of course both religion and non-religion have provided strife and violence, but this site (Just Be Good) focuses on the positive and how Buddhism differs from other philosophies, but without bashing those other philosophies. I'm not saying anyone has, just making general observations about the wholesome nature of the site I linked in this post.

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clw_uk
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Re: The danger of intolerance

Post by clw_uk » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:57 pm

religion and non-religion have provided strife and violence
Not to be picky but no violence has been done in the name on non-religion just as no violence has been done in the name of atheism since its a lack of belief, any violence that comes from the non-religious comes from another ideology they have taken up (communism, Nazism, racism etc)


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