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The Shocking Ethics of Zen Philosophy

GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2011 5:02:27 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
"Zen does not make the mistake of using the experience 'all things are of one Suchness' as the premise for an ethic of universal brotherhood. On the contrary, Yuan-wu says:

If you are a real man, you may by all means drive off with the farmer's ox, or grab the food from a starving man.

This is only to say that Zen lies beyond the ethical standpoint, whose sanctions must be found, not in reality itself, but in the mutual agreement of human beings. When we attempt to universalize or absolutize it, the ethical standpoint makes it impossible to exist, for we cannot live for a day without destroying the life of some other creature."

-- The Way of Zen by Alan Watts
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
tvellalott
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4/13/2011 5:47:34 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yuan-wu was obviously rock star awesome.
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CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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4/13/2011 10:15:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yuan-wu commented on Koans. It's possible that this quote comes from an interpretation of a Koan, and I'd be interested in seeing this quote in context.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
mattrodstrom
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4/13/2011 10:26:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/13/2011 5:02:27 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"Zen does not make the mistake of using the experience 'all things are of one Suchness' as the premise for an ethic of universal brotherhood.

Buddhism generally does.

But As I explained.. the manner in which "all things are one" is not relevant to ethics.

On the contrary, Yuan-wu says:

If you are a real man, you may by all means drive off with the farmer's ox, or grab the food from a starving man.

This is only to say that Zen lies beyond the ethical standpoint, whose sanctions must be found, not in reality itself, but in the mutual agreement of human beings. When we attempt to universalize or absolutize it, the ethical standpoint makes it impossible to exist, for we cannot live for a day without destroying the life of some other creature."

-- The Way of Zen by Alan Watts

Yeah, I guess he's more a daoist then a buddhist :P

Buddha says Buddha's wouldn't do such things.

This guy realizes that the buddha was full of it. For there's "buddhas" like Robber Zhi too!

And, everyone would steal from some dude to feed their children.. Unless they're all wrapped up in clinging to some "Standard" and don't let their actions flow freely as they would.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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4/13/2011 10:31:25 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/13/2011 5:02:27 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This is only to say that Zen lies beyond the ethical standpoint, whose sanctions must be found, not in reality itself, but in the mutual agreement of human beings. When we attempt to universalize or absolutize it, the ethical standpoint makes it impossible to exist, for we cannot live for a day without destroying the life of some other creature."

-- The Way of Zen by Alan Watts

Also.. I don't know so much about Alan watts' quote there.. I don't know if he really gets it..

For AT BOTTOM "ethics" is rooted not in mutual agreement, but in spontaneous cares.

Granted, the quote from the original guy was only very short as presented to in your excerpt .. and I'm sure Watts had much more context to analyze it in.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2011 12:55:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/13/2011 10:26:04 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2011 5:02:27 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"Zen does not make the mistake of using the experience 'all things are of one Suchness' as the premise for an ethic of universal brotherhood.

Buddhism generally does.

Zen is a form of Buddhism started by a descendent of Buddha himself, Bodhidharma.

But As I explained.. the manner in which "all things are one" is not relevant to ethics.

He never claimed that. Read it again. He said Zen does NOT use "all things are one" as a premise for a universal ethic. But you should still be able to see how it is related to ethics. If we are all one, that certainly has ethical implications because it relates to the self and the relation between other human beings. Of course it doesn't necessarily lead to one ethical conclusion, hence why Zen takes it a different route than most would.

On the contrary, Yuan-wu says:

If you are a real man, you may by all means drive off with the farmer's ox, or grab the food from a starving man.

This is only to say that Zen lies beyond the ethical standpoint, whose sanctions must be found, not in reality itself, but in the mutual agreement of human beings. When we attempt to universalize or absolutize it, the ethical standpoint makes it impossible to exist, for we cannot live for a day without destroying the life of some other creature."

-- The Way of Zen by Alan Watts

Yeah, I guess he's more a daoist then a buddhist :P

Zen is extracted from both Taoism and Buddhism.

Buddha says Buddha's wouldn't do such things.

He says they wouldn't, not that they couldn't.

This guy realizes that the buddha was full of it. For there's "buddhas" like Robber Zhi too!

Again, Zen is derived from Buddhist philosophy.

And, everyone would steal from some dude to feed their children.. Unless they're all wrapped up in clinging to some "Standard" and don't let their actions flow freely as they would.

?? Ok?
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/13/2011 1:12:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/13/2011 10:31:25 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2011 5:02:27 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
This is only to say that Zen lies beyond the ethical standpoint, whose sanctions must be found, not in reality itself, but in the mutual agreement of human beings. When we attempt to universalize or absolutize it, the ethical standpoint makes it impossible to exist, for we cannot live for a day without destroying the life of some other creature."

-- The Way of Zen by Alan Watts

Also.. I don't know so much about Alan watts' quote there.. I don't know if he really gets it..

For AT BOTTOM "ethics" is rooted not in mutual agreement, but in spontaneous cares.

Strawman. He never claimed that ethics are rooted in mutual agreement. He said Zen lies BEYOND the ethical standpoint whose sanctions come from mutual agreement.

And it is true that the ethics that are most generally practiced are from mutual agreement. No one is claiming that the ontological source of morality comes from mutual agreement or that we can only know ethical statements from mutual agreement.

Also, ethics rooted in cares isn't necessarily contrary to mutual agreement ethics. Why would you think that? Isn't mutual agreement rooted in cares? An agreement not to infringe on the things people care about.

Regardless, Watts and Zen do not claim that position.

Granted, the quote from the original guy was only very short as presented to in your excerpt .. and I'm sure Watts had much more context to analyze it in.

Yes. And Watts provided the source as well, but I don't have the book with me at the moment to cite the source.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
mattrodstrom
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4/13/2011 1:53:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/13/2011 12:55:40 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 4/13/2011 10:26:04 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/13/2011 5:02:27 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"Zen does not make the mistake of using the experience 'all things are of one Suchness' as the premise for an ethic of universal brotherhood.

Buddhism generally does.

Zen is a form of Buddhism started by a descendent of Buddha himself, Bodhidharma.

But As I explained.. the manner in which "all things are one" is not relevant to ethics.

He never claimed that.
I never said he did. Buddha does.

Read it again. He said Zen does NOT use "all things are one" as a premise for a universal ethic. But you should still be able to see how it is related to ethics.

It's not.

If we are all one, that certainly has ethical implications because it relates to the self and the relation between other human beings.
Ethics is based in and Regarding the self.
it's only applicable from the perspective of the self.

Of course it doesn't necessarily lead to one ethical conclusion, hence why Zen takes it a different route than most would.

Yes, apparently it's embracing the self as it comes.

On the contrary, Yuan-wu says:

If you are a real man, you may by all means drive off with the farmer's ox, or grab the food from a starving man.

This is only to say that Zen lies beyond the ethical standpoint, whose sanctions must be found, not in reality itself, but in the mutual agreement of human beings. When we attempt to universalize or absolutize it, the ethical standpoint makes it impossible to exist, for we cannot live for a day without destroying the life of some other creature."

-- The Way of Zen by Alan Watts

Yeah, I guess he's more a daoist then a buddhist :P

Zen is extracted from both Taoism and Buddhism.

Buddha says Buddha's wouldn't do such things.

He says they wouldn't, not that they couldn't.

That's what I said dummy.

This guy realizes that the buddha was full of it. For there's "buddhas" like Robber Zhi too!

Again, Zen is derived from Buddhist philosophy.

I'm saying what this guy says is in line with Zhuangzi's conceptions like Embracing your cares, as with Robber Zhi.. and Contrary to Buddha's notion of Compassion being a transcendent good.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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5/17/2011 1:56:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Bump to give insight to all the current discussions on morality.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Ragnar_Rahl
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5/17/2011 2:44:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/17/2011 1:56:29 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Bump to give insight
That sounds like some serious douche points.
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CosmicAlfonzo
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5/17/2011 5:11:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
This was probably a joke meant to make disciples look like dipsh!ts.. As was typical of Zen Buddhism.

I'd still be interested in seeing this quotation in textual context. I can't seem to find it.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp