Wrong vs disagree

Tell us how you think the forum can be improved. We will listen.
dharmacorps
Posts: 1193
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by dharmacorps »

binocular wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:50 pm
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:46 am
To call other people wrong is a natural part of human behavior, and has no connection to claims of enlightenment.
Why claim that someone else is wrong, unless one believes one is right?

And yes, in the context of Buddhism, that implies assuming oneself to be enlightened.

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:22 am
Respect linguistic diversity.
It's not "linguistic diversity". It's power games.
All this depends on the intention of the person speaking, which none of us can know, especially not on an anonymous internet forum where we can only discern based on member's speech alone and not anything else about the person.

The motives for speech (written or spoken) are widely variable. They could be wanting to learn. They could believe someone else is wrong but not know for sure what the truth is, so engage in open discussion. They could speak divisively out of ignorance or boredom with no real interest in gaining anything. They could speak in order to drive a wedge between people to cause dismay, strengthening their own cynicism about people. They could speak out of habit, not thinking much further and therefore not being receptive to much. None of those intentions necessarily have a common denominator. All are possible. The question is for each of us, what is our motive? What part of us is this speech coming from? A good place or a bad place? Does it lead to good results or bad results? Why are we here? Does this help us?

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 22906
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

Well said dharmacorps.

I would add to that and say that if we take what people say, and mentally insert the phrase "I believe that..." before what we read, then it nullifies a lot of the unnecessary conjecture about if and how they know it to be true. We can simply regard it as a genuine expression of belief, irrespective of the basis for the speaker's belief.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

char101
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:21 am

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by char101 »

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:52 am
I would add to that and say that if we take what people say, and mentally insert the phrase "I believe that..." before what we read, then it nullifies a lot of the unnecessary conjecture about if and how they know it to be true. We can simply regard it as a genuine expression of belief, irrespective of the basis for the speaker's belief.
This topic is not about the listener (reader) but the speaker (writer). My suggestion is if one is going to tell off that people are wrong, write it as disagree instead. It is more polite. It is not about how the other party should/could comprehend it.
Five keys to right speech
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."
— AN 5.198
Four ignoble expressions: speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical.

Four noble expressions: refraining from speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical.

https://suttacentral.net/dn33/en/sujato
It is not enough to be right, you also need to be kind [1].

[1] https://forge.medium.com/its-not-enough ... 8814111fe1

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 22906
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings char101,
char101 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:18 am
This topic is not about the listener (reader) but the speaker (writer). My suggestion is if one is going to tell off that people are wrong, write it as disagree instead. It is more polite. It is not about how the other party should/could comprehend it.
But what if they are actually wrong? Are people so emotionally fragile, proud and/or attached to their views that they must recoil at such a possibility?
char101 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:18 am
Five keys to right speech
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."
— AN 5.198

Four ignoble expressions: speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical.
Four noble expressions: refraining from speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical.
https://suttacentral.net/dn33/en/sujato
Yes, and one's Right Speech is for each person to apply and discern themselves. There is nothing there about judgmentally making these assessments on behalf of the speaker, in part because, as pointed out previously by dharmacorps, the listener does not know the motive, intention or mind-state of the speaker.
char101 wrote: It is not enough to be right, you also need to be kind [1]. https://forge.medium.com/its-not-enough ...
Well, yes, because that's what the suttas say - not because it was said by someone on the Internet.

Consider this incredibly plausible scenario, one that we often see in the suttas...

Person A possesses Wrong View.
Person B tells Person A that their view is wrong.
Person B directs Person A towards Right View.
Person A becomes established and accomplished in Right View.
Person A is now on the righteous path to nibbana.

If Person A was overly sensitive, attached their views, closed-minded and/or unwilling to listen to Person B because of their personal preferences and proclivities, then Person A would remain a puthujjana.

It is for this reason, that the Dhamma is "the greatest of all gifts"... even if that involves calling out wrongness as wrongness. Let us now rejoice in the Blessed One's words...
MN 38 wrote:So the Blessed One told a certain monk, "Come, monk. In my name, call the monk Sāti the Fisherman's Son, saying, 'The Teacher calls you, friend Sāti.'"

"As you say, lord," the monk answered and, having gone to the monk Sāti the Fisherman's Son, on arrival he said, "The Teacher calls you, friend Sāti."

"As you say, friend," the monk Sāti the Fisherman's Son replied. Then he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "Is it true, Sāti, that this pernicious view has arisen in you — 'As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another'?"

"Exactly so, lord. As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another."

"Which consciousness, Sāti, is that?"

"This speaker, this knower, lord, that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & evil actions."

"And to whom, worthless man, do you understand me to have taught the Dhamma like that? Haven't I, in many ways, said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness'? But you, through your own poor grasp, not only slander us but also dig yourself up [by the root] and produce much demerit for yourself. That will lead to your long-term harm & suffering."

Then the Blessed One said to the monks, "What do you think, monks? Is this monk Sāti, the Fisherman's Son, even warm in this Dhamma & Vinaya?"

"How could he be, lord? No, lord."

When this was said, the monk Sāti, the Fisherman's Son, sat silent, abashed, his shoulders drooping, his head down, brooding, at a loss for words.

Then the Blessed One, seeing that the monk Sāti, the Fisherman's Son, was sitting silent, abashed, his shoulders drooping, his head down, brooding, at a loss for words, said to him, "Worthless man, you will be recognized for your own pernicious viewpoint. I will cross-question the monks on this matter."...
Do you trust the kindness of one possessing boundless metta and karuna?

:buddha1:

Or instead, do you take refuge in politeness?

:shrug:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

binocular
Posts: 7756
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by binocular »

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:47 am
But what if they are actually wrong? Are people so emotionally fragile, proud and/or attached to their views that they must recoil at such a possibility?
It has nothing to do with personal emotional fragility or pride, or some such.

It has to do with maintaining a sense of community and social harmony and a focus on the common goals. And this cannot be maintained if people are treated as enemies or underlings.

It has to do with the fragility of the bonds between humans. It has to do with trust between people.

If trust is absent, betrayed, or taken for granted, you get this:

Image

Do note what is at the top.
“One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.”
- Robert Heinlein

binocular
Posts: 7756
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by binocular »

dharmacorps wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:44 am
All this depends on the intention of the person speaking, which none of us can know, especially not on an anonymous internet forum where we can only discern based on member's speech alone and not anything else about the person.
I am assuming a few things here:
1. A word has a meaning, and one cannot make a word mean whatever one wants it to mean.
2. People communicate deliberately, choosing their words deliberately, having a reason for why they choose one word and not another.
3. People are fluent enough in their native language to discern different communication styles and deliberately choose one or the other.

If the other person holds the same assumptions about communication as I, and we have a comparable degree of fluency in the language in which we communicate, then I can be reasonably sure about their intentions and they about mine.

If, for example, someone uses the aggressive communication style, then it is warranted to assume that this is precisely what they want to communicate: aggressiveness, dominance, a desire to get the upper hand.
Or else, we have to assume that they're just not very good with words nor know their mind well ...
“One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.”
- Robert Heinlein

binocular
Posts: 7756
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by binocular »

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:52 am
I would add to that and say that if we take what people say, and mentally insert the phrase "I believe that..." before what we read, then it nullifies a lot of the unnecessary conjecture about if and how they know it to be true. We can simply regard it as a genuine expression of belief, irrespective of the basis for the speaker's belief.
Many times, people wouldn't want you to relativize their statements that way, though. No, they want you to know that what they say isn't merely their opinion, but The Truth. They want you to see them as The Arbiter of The Truth. And not just some regular Joes and Janes with mere opinions and beliefs.
“One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.”
- Robert Heinlein

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 17740
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by mikenz66 »

binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:34 pm
It has nothing to do with personal emotional fragility or pride, or some such.
The "oh you should have a thicker skin" argument is (in my opinion :tongue:) an extremely weak justification for tolerating obnoxious behaviour, particularly in the context of a forum such as this one.

Many participants here clearly have to deal with difficult situations in their lives. And many seem to have been quite successful overcoming difficult situations. They are particularly bothered by obnoxious behaviour in an Internet discussion. They don't need for extra "challenges" in order to "develop". They will simply use such behaviour as input to inform the judgement they make about the usefulness of the opinions expressed.
binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:34 pm
It has to do with maintaining a sense of community and social harmony and a focus on the common goals. ...
Exactly.

:heart:
Mike

dharmacorps
Posts: 1193
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by dharmacorps »

binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:51 pm

If the other person holds the same assumptions about communication as I, and we have a comparable degree of fluency in the language in which we communicate, then I can be reasonably sure about their intentions and they about mine.
You are then imbued with abilities to know other's minds via the written word only. Impressive! :shrug:

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 22906
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings binocular,
binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:34 pm
It has to do with maintaining a sense of community and social harmony and a focus on the common goals.
In actuality, a "community" is simply an aggregate of individuals and their interactions with other individuals. Beyond that it's imagined abstracts, but this is not a bad thing... it's actually good, because it means we, as individuals, influence, maintain and manage our personal interactions with others according to our own priorities and goals.

We decide what is important to us when we interact... "society" doesn't. Therefore if someone priorities style over substance, substance over style, truth over conformity, or conformity over truth... that's for them to decide, not for a "collective" of others to decide. Diversity in thought and goals is natural, and that's arguably what makes interactions interesting - as they say, it takes all sorts.

At Dhamma Wheel, staff respect the intellectual and spiritual autonomy of members... As such, we do not embark on authoritarian social engineering campaigns. If people want to be socially engineered, I understand there are forums and communities in both meatspace and cyberspace that will be happy to oblige.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

Dan74
Posts: 3340
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by Dan74 »

mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:33 pm
binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:34 pm
It has nothing to do with personal emotional fragility or pride, or some such.
The "oh you should have a thicker skin" argument is (in my opinion :tongue:) an extremely weak justification for tolerating obnoxious behaviour, particularly in the context of a forum such as this one.

Many participants here clearly have to deal with difficult situations in their lives. And many seem to have been quite successful overcoming difficult situations. They are particularly bothered by obnoxious behaviour in an Internet discussion. They don't need for extra "challenges" in order to "develop". They will simply use such behaviour as input to inform the judgement they make about the usefulness of the opinions expressed.
binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:34 pm
It has to do with maintaining a sense of community and social harmony and a focus on the common goals. ...
Exactly.

:heart:
Mike
:goodpost:

Essentially I agree for the reasons already stated - it's not only good practice to cultivate kindness and respect and at the very minimum some decorum, but importantly it fosters a pleasant environment conducive to Dhamma practice and learning.

That said, of course we are also responsible for our own reactions and that's wonderful practice too - to bring awareness to what arises as we read an 'unpleasant' or challenging post.

So it sort of cuts both ways. To do our best in responding with genuine kindness and respect. And to take responsibility and be mindful of how we react.

It also should go without saying that our interpretations of the tone and the intention of the posters are extremely prone to error. At the very least, we hardly ever scratch the surface, i.e. understand what's really behind the words, the unique individual history. That's also something I try to keep in mind.
_/|\_

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 6820
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by Sam Vara »

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:49 pm
mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:33 pm
binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:34 pm
It has nothing to do with personal emotional fragility or pride, or some such.
The "oh you should have a thicker skin" argument is (in my opinion :tongue:) an extremely weak justification for tolerating obnoxious behaviour, particularly in the context of a forum such as this one.

Many participants here clearly have to deal with difficult situations in their lives. And many seem to have been quite successful overcoming difficult situations. They are particularly bothered by obnoxious behaviour in an Internet discussion. They don't need for extra "challenges" in order to "develop". They will simply use such behaviour as input to inform the judgement they make about the usefulness of the opinions expressed.
binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:34 pm
It has to do with maintaining a sense of community and social harmony and a focus on the common goals. ...
Exactly.

:heart:
Mike
:goodpost:

Essentially I agree for the reasons already stated - it's not only good practice to cultivate kindness and respect and at the very minimum some decorum, but importantly it fosters a pleasant environment conducive to Dhamma practice and learning.

That said, of course we are also responsible for our own reactions and that's wonderful practice too - to bring awareness to what arises as we read an 'unpleasant' or challenging post.

So it sort of cuts both ways. To do our best in responding with genuine kindness and respect. And to take responsibility and be mindful of how we react.

It also should go without saying that our interpretations of the tone and the intention of the posters are extremely prone to error. At the very least, we hardly ever scratch the surface, i.e. understand what's really behind the words, the unique individual history. That's also something I try to keep in mind.
:goodpost: The best of both, the middle way.

Dan74
Posts: 3340
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by Dan74 »

Thanks, Sam.

After a brief reflection I realised I didn't do binocular's posts justice. She was aiming for community and I just mentioned 'a pleasant environment'. Community is really something wonderful and precious for Dhamma practice but I guess I've lowered my sights over the years.
_/|\_

binocular
Posts: 7756
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by binocular »

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:46 am
You are reading too much meaning into it.
Millennia of communication studies down the drain! :tongue:


I mean, seriously. Buddhists are so concerned with Right Speech. But the analysis of communication that one tends to encounter in discussions of this topic tends to be ... kind of superficial, at least in comparison to what communication studies have to offer.
“One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.”
- Robert Heinlein

binocular
Posts: 7756
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Wrong vs disagree

Post by binocular »

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:11 pm
In actuality, a "community" is simply an aggregate of individuals and their interactions with other individuals.
You gravely underestimate social bonds and the things that can be accomplished in terms of spiritual practice only when particular social bonds are in place.

Admirable friendship, insofar as it pertains to friendship with particular people can facilitate an understanding and practice of the Dhamma the way isolated, solitary attempts don't.
We decide what is important to us when we interact... "society" doesn't.
That's an argument I wasn't making.
Therefore if someone priorities style over substance, substance over style, truth over conformity, or conformity over truth... that's for them to decide, not for a "collective" of others to decide.
/.../
At Dhamma Wheel, staff respect the intellectual and spiritual autonomy of members... As such, we do not embark on authoritarian social engineering campaigns. If people want to be socially engineered, I understand there are forums and communities in both meatspace and cyberspace that will be happy to oblige.
You're presenting a false dichotomy. As if it would be either rugged individualism (even if of the Dhamma variety), or total social conformity. And no other option, nothing else. That's an impoverished way of thinking.
“One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.”
- Robert Heinlein

Post Reply