Ethics

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by Snoopy, May 16, 2010.

  1. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    I’ve just discovered this online Journal of Buddhist Ethics which I think my be of interest to some folk here. Ethics is interpreted in
    “a broad sense as including subject matter in the ten areas listed below.


    Thought I’d put it up in this forum as I’ve not seen the journal referred to previously…


    Journal of Buddhist Ethics

    s.
     
  2. Bertrand_Russell

    Bertrand_Russell New Member

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    Looks interesting, here is one of the articles I will read:


    Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism. By Adrian Kuzminski. Reviewed by Kristian Urstad [abstract] [pdf]
     
  3. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Those links don't work anymore. I think the site has moved to: Journal of Buddhist Ethics
     
  4. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Thanks, Dream. Digging are we?!
     
  5. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Yes. So many people on the site are always using Buddhist terms. I thought if I started looking at ethics it might help me learn some of the terminology. Looking at the Cliff's notes on how Buddhists learn morality individually and socially and how they interact with morality.

    On the aforementioned site there is a short paper I'm reading that's about religion in Japan and takes the assumption that there is a flaw in it which led to widespread participation in the Pacific war! The paper argues that it should be possible to support the concept of Rights based upon 4 basic Buddhist principles plus Compassion but that the current systems have done this poorly in Japan. After discussing various authors' theories on morality it goes into some discussion about a 12th century Zen master named Dogen who solves(d) the problem of uniting the soteriological and the ontological aspects of Buddhism. It says another author, Abe, building on Dogen wrote Oneness of practice and attainment. Essentially this paper is concerned with providing a complete system of morality that is both practical and metaphysically beautiful based upon the realization that attainment of Buddha-awareness is not separate from Practice. I've not finished the paper yet.
     
  6. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    The koan of daily life!
    Might I be so bold as to add a comment?
    Briefly: Eihei Dogen wished to establish authentic Buddhism in Japan and so spent  time in China. On his return he set about his task and he is the founder of what is called Soto Zen Buddhism, although it should be understood that he was not interested in sectarianism, he wished only to establish uncorrupted Buddhism in his homeland.

    I have not heard of Abe, but what you have succinctly expressed here (encapsulated in the title of Abe's paper) is indeed a central tenet of the work of Dogen, i.e. the oneness of practice-realisation.

    Would you care to direct me to the paper, please?
     
  7. Dream

    Dream New Member

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  8. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Many thanks!
     
  9. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    What is the need for explicit ethics? No sane person will stab their own leg, they understand this will harm themselves. All is connected though, apply this to every act and it is not possible to be immoral. When you are not separate from that, how can you do it damage? Only after being struck by insanity can this occur, otherwise all your actions naturally are for the improvement of your well being, of your condition.

    Explicit rules of ethics merely repress, they can do nothing else for you do not know directly the purpose of this law. Come to a place where ethics arise naturally from compassion, this is much more natural. Repression can only lead to obsession, where as right morals always bring a great joy. By saying "don't do that, it is bad", it is impossible to keep that out of your mind, you have brought it in merely by denying it. Buddha's whole path is the middle way, but these rules create duality, they cannot really be of Buddha - they must have come much later as a way to control the monks. If you uphold the middle way, it is not possible for right and wrong to be true. Buddha doesn't discuss these concepts, he discusses skillful and unskillful - here, it is clear that only you are either closer to enlightened action or further, they are not intended as extremes but instead as a ladder.

    Enlightenment means to be one with nature, not to be at odds with it.
     
  10. Sam Albion

    Sam Albion akaFrancisKing:ViveLeRoi!

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    thanks, snoopy, for the link
     
  11. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    my pleasure :)
     
  12. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    It's only part of the raft my friend
     
  13. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    If it is part of the raft, then the raft cannot float. It is as if a whole section has been created from wool, it is inevitable that it will cause the raft to sink... this is why there are Buddhists that remain at monasteries their whole life - from early teens to old age - and never achieve anything. Their whole practice is about rules, they are defining what is enlightened behavior and what is not. When you differentiate in this way, you cannot get to the other side. Only practices which remove differentiation, remove perceptions of opposites, can ever be successful - you must accept the whole as it is, not accept one half and deny the other... this creates a war within you, a schizophrenia in every practitioner.
     
  14. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    It is strange, though, the Buddhists seem to be aware of this problem. They say that these rules must become natural, why do you think this is? The Buddhist way is a path, but you can awaken this very moment, there is no need to postpone. If they are teaching you rules, though, it will certainly take time for them to become natural and to a point where you are not differentiating between right and wrong. To come to a point where rules are just how you are, it takes a long time. It is strange though, if they went direct, these rules wouldn't be necessary at all. If they understood that it was the stopping of practice and discipline that caused Buddha to awaken then they would never engage in these things. For six years he struggled unceasingly, but in one night of living naturally he has managed it.

    It cannot be that he created the rules, his very realization dictates that rules are not valid. You can do harm to the whole through any of his rules, but it is not necessary to make define them - whenever you create a rule, there is a valid exception which you are ignoring. This world does not consist of a series of blacks and whites, it is entirely grey and these perceptions of black and white are merely shades of that grey.
     
  15. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Here is a challenge to Buddhism:

    Maybe enlightenment is all a show to attract the curious. Would you be attracted to ethical behavior if it seemed nonsensical or un-useful? Assuming your claim that we are all impermanent, we nevertheless appear. Our impermanence would not remove our appearance. So this is just a show to make me think that enlightenment is real when in fact its a farce placed upon me to get me to be ethical. You want me to be ethical and advance the farce of enlightenment as an enticement, because you haven't got anything real to bribe me with. This is in accordance with the Lotus Sūtra . This sutra asserts that deception is acceptable in order to teach. You are trying to deceive me into behaving ethically by pretending that ethics is built up from something called 'Enlightenment' which you cannot prove exists. That monks spend their lifetimes seeking it is further proof that it is a ruse.
     
  16. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    I have pondered this concept but with a positive spin. If everyone on the planet believed in rebirth/enlightenment, would the world be a better place? I believe the concept of heaven in many traditional religions is ultimately damaging to the environment. If many people think they will someday arrive at a better place (where they will spend the rest of eternity), through only a belief and not their actions on this earth, what's the incentive to conserve what we have here today or to better themselves and their fellow man? On the other hand, if people believed that this earth will be their home for a few billion years (or until they reach enlightenment), there might be more long-term thinking about caring for our fellow man and the environment.

    I believe one facet of organized religion is to motivate/scare people into certain behavior (the carrot of heaven/enlightenment and the stick of hell/rebirth). The question then is, what religion motivates the best behavior in its followers?
     
  17. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    The world would already be good. In terms of enlightenment it would only need to awaken to that truth. If everyone believed in rebirth and in enlightenment with daily practice the world would understand itself better but improvement would not be necessary any more than an apple seed needs extra genes to make apples. Therefore your question about a better place might have no meaning after the fact.

    The best religion is the one that will last the longest. The question then is, what religion will last the longest? :)
     
  18. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    You should go and tell them they're doing it all wrong! :D
     
  19. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    How will you make Buddhism aware of your challenge? How will you know it is aware? How can it respond? How will you be aware if it does?
     
  20. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Really? Why?

    The longest lasting might be the most evangelical with a backup of the greatest level of violence.

    Is that the best then?
     

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