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Buddha's Ethical Theory: Absolutism or Not?

GeoLaureate8
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3/20/2011 12:50:27 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
mattrodstrom keeps claiming that the Buddha's ethical theory is moral absolutism, but I have yet to see scriptural evidence of this.

Please present your case. (Feel free to copy and paste from your post in the other thread.)
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
popculturepooka
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3/20/2011 12:51:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
What was Buddha's ethical theory?
Debate: Theism offers a more likely context than atheism for affirming moral realism:

http://www.debate.org...

At 6/17/2013 4:23:54 PM, Danielle wrote:
popculturepooka is cool because he's attractive but walks around with a virginity pledge bracelet on, and his saving himself makes all the girls hot because he's a challenge. And he wears snapbacks and loves Jesus
mattrodstrom
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3/20/2011 1:00:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Buddha suggesting Compassion characterizes Nirvana/the absolute

The charitable man has found the path of liberation. He is like the man who plants a sapling securing thereby the shade, the flowers and the fruits in future years. Even so is the result of charity, even so the joy of him who helps those that are in need of assistance; even so is the great nirvana.

The immortal can be reached only by continuous acts of kindness; and perfection is accomplished by compassion and charity.

then these instructions on how people Ought to act are not presented as subjective.. but as Absolute/Universal.. and Not even Universal AMONGST people/ due to Human Nature (which itself would be fallacious, though less so).. but rather presented as that they Ought to be done to accord with an Underlying universal good which goes beyond what we happen to want.
Ten acts of Merit:
Give charily to the deserving.
Observe the precepts of morality.
Cultivate and develop good thoughts,
Render service and attend on others.
Honor and nurse parents and elders,
Give a share of your merits to others.
Accept the merits that others give you.
Hear the doctrine of righteousness.
Preach the doctrine of righteousness.
Rectify your faults.
"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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3/20/2011 1:05:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 12:51:49 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
What was Buddha's ethical theory?

He suggested people ought to act to reduce suffering.

This is quite straightforward in the case of Reducing/ending Personal suffering.. but if he's going to claim that people "ought" to reduce it generally then he'd need some actual reasoning..

He'd either have to tie Other's suffering to Personal suffering.. Absolutely

Or he'd have to suggest that there's some Absolute/Universal.. Non-personal standard of "good" and that Reducing suffering is Simply that standard.

This is simply without reason.
"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: 12,104
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3/20/2011 1:05:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 12:51:49 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
What was Buddha's ethical theory?

"There are no moral absolutes in Buddhism and it is recognized that ethical decision-making involves a complex nexus of causes and conditions. 'Buddhism' encompasses a wide spectrum of beliefs and practices, and the canonical scriptures leave room for a range of interpretations. All of these are grounded in a theory of intentionality, and individuals are encouraged to analyze issues carefully for themselves. ... When making moral choices, individuals are advised to examine their motivation--whether aversion, attachment, ignorance, wisdom, or compassion--and to weigh the consequences of their actions in light of the Buddha's teachings." -- http://buddhism.about.com...

"Brentano coined the expression "intentional inexistence" to indicate the peculiar ontological status of the contents of mental phenomena. ...German philosopher Martin Heidegger (Being and Time), defined intentionality as "care" (Sorge), a sentient condition where an individual's existentiality, facticity, and forfeiture to the world identifies their ontological significance, in contrast to that which is the mere ontic (thinghood)." -- http://en.wikipedia.org...
^^^^
I think the Buddha's notion of "sentient beings" is indicative of this distinguished ontological significance.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
mattrodstrom
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3/20/2011 1:18:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
here's a good little spat of our argument from months ago in which you quoted from the Dalai lama.. this post I don't hink you ever adressed:

At 11/12/2010 8:44:13 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 11/11/2010 1:39:45 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 11/9/2010 7:14:02 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
also.. avoiding/ceasing My suffering makes sense... b/c I don't like to suffer.
but why would Ending.. /avoiding causing.. other's suffering be "good"...

The Dalai Lama: "Everything is heavily interdependent.
sure... but "my" cares are specific...

and only "my cares" act upon 'me'... other peoples cares don't... except if I happen to care about them.

Not only to nation to nation, but also continent to continent. So therefore, if you think from wider perspective, every part of the world is part of ourself.

my existence is dependent upon everything else... and everythings interdependent... and in a sense all is ultimately one...

But, the only reason for "me" to act is based upon my cares...

other's cares may arise as they do b/c of the nature of things... and my existence and their existence.. The nature of My cares.. and the nature of theirs... are All interdependent... and arise due to the particular nature of things/the universe... and might be Completely inseparable from the Same "reality"... but, as long as they are named and discussed... they are discussed as separate things... and in talking of "things" like myself... talking in the Terms of Samsara... Of those things whose operations are understood through Karma (cause and effect)... the operations of "myself" are caused by "my cares" and not by "joe's cares".. (though IFF "I" have the characteristic of being compassionate I might plausibly Care about joe's cares being fulfilled..)

Taking care of others interests is actually taking care of oneself.
I take this to mean: Fulfilling other's cares is fulfilling your own.

And I disagree.

The way in which Me and Joe are "one" is in that both of our existences are due to the nature of the universe... and "we" are wholly a product of the the nature of the universe and are completely Inseparable from it.

However.. when you're talking of "my interests"/cares you're Assuming that separation... you're talking from a certain, objectively indefensible, but completely natural, and nearly Unavoidable, perspective.

cares and interests Don't Exist But from a given perspective.

and unless I naturally/unavoidably assume the perspective of "myself" and "joe"... only the cares of "myself" will influence "my" decisions.

if I take the Broad Perspective that is suggested... there are no cares on which I should operate/fulfill.


My own interest, if there is some exist independently, then it can be justified, forget whether others exist. But in reality, not that. Your neighbor getting more prosperity, more peace, you'd get prosperity and you'd get benefit. If your neighbor suffer, ultimately you will suffer."

Now it seems he's talking with more defined.... "separate".. entities again... My neighbor... and Me.

and saying Ultimately I will suffer... It would seem for "karmic"/cause and effect Worldly results that might end up affecting things that I care about.

and, sure... this might be the case, but it might Not too.

like with Robber Zhi... since he's insanely powerful.. when he raids villages, and Eats people.. he fulfills his cares.. and the Suffering of others Doesn't end up causing suffering for Him.

other's suffering =/= His suffering

other's fulfillment =/= His fulfillment

now, again, sure.. from the Broadest perspective they are BOTH existent ONLY through the particular Nature of The Universe... "Their" existences Are Both part of ONE whole.

but from such a perspective... there's NOTHING that Ought be done... there's No reason to fulfill Any cares.

Only from a particular perspective... with immediately emotive cares... is there reason to act... And ONLY on those particular emotive cares.
"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: 12,104
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3/20/2011 1:20:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 1:00:50 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Buddha suggesting Compassion characterizes Nirvana/the absolute

Why are you scared to post the source? These are all unsourced quotes. That doesn't fly here.

The charitable man has found the path of liberation. He is like the man who plants a sapling securing thereby the shade, the flowers and the fruits in future years. Even so is the result of charity, even so the joy of him who helps those that are in need of assistance; even so is the great nirvana.

Ok, all he's saying here is that deeds have results. Cause and effect, not a big claim there.

Then he says that the man who does good deeds leads to liberation and liberation is the same as Nirvana (hence, "even so is the great Nirvana").

The immortal can be reached only by continuous acts of kindness; and perfection is accomplished by compassion and charity.

then these instructions on how people Ought to act are not presented as subjective.. but as Absolute/Universal.. and Not even Universal AMONGST people/ due to Human Nature (which itself would be fallacious, though less so).. but rather presented as that they Ought to be done to accord with an Underlying universal good which goes beyond what we happen to want.

Ok, and where does he claim that? I don't see the words "absolute," "universal," or "ought," anywhere there. Once again, he asserts that liberation can be attained through acts of kindness. Then he asserts perfection is reached when one is compassionate. Ok? What's the deal. The reason for these teachings is that such acts help one to realize the true egolessness of all things.

Ten acts of Merit:
Give charily to the deserving.
Observe the precepts of morality.
Cultivate and develop good thoughts,
Render service and attend on others.
Honor and nurse parents and elders,
Give a share of your merits to others.
Accept the merits that others give you.
Hear the doctrine of righteousness.
Preach the doctrine of righteousness.
Rectify your faults.

Ok. No one can grant one merit without being accused of absolutism? How come Olympic gold medalists receive merit for their actions, yet you don't call the judges absolutists?
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
mattrodstrom
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3/20/2011 1:32:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 1:20:18 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/20/2011 1:00:50 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Buddha suggesting Compassion characterizes Nirvana/the absolute

Why are you scared to post the source? These are all unsourced quotes. That doesn't fly here.

I meant to post this website: http://www.arcadelamor.org...

anyways.. we've discussed this many times... and it seems you have acknowledged that the buddha says that buddhas are compassionate..

The charitable man has found the path of liberation. He is like the man who plants a sapling securing thereby the shade, the flowers and the fruits in future years. Even so is the result of charity, even so the joy of him who helps those that are in need of assistance; even so is the great nirvana.

Ok, all he's saying here is that deeds have results. Cause and effect, not a big claim there.

he says Charity is the path of Liberation... how's this?

also it would seem that he says "the great Nirvana" is characterized in some way by charity.


Then he says that the man who does good deeds leads to liberation and liberation is the same as Nirvana (hence, "even so is the great Nirvana").

how's charity/ acting Compassionately relate to Nirvana??

The immortal can be reached only by continuous acts of kindness; and perfection is accomplished by compassion and charity.

Yeah... The same Here bub.


then these instructions on how people Ought to act are not presented as subjective.. but as Absolute/Universal.. and Not even Universal AMONGST people/ due to Human Nature (which itself would be fallacious, though less so).. but rather presented as that they Ought to be done to accord with an Underlying universal good which goes beyond what we happen to want.

Ok, and where does he claim that? I don't see the words "absolute," "universal," or "ought," anywhere there. Once again, he asserts that liberation can be attained through acts of kindness. Then he asserts perfection is reached when one is compassionate. Ok? What's the deal. The reason for these teachings is that such acts help one to realize the true egolessness of all things.

Without any perspective.. why Act at all???

how does acting to try to fulfill ALL ego's make you better realize that such things are without Actual existence?

And what about those egos that would have fresh Human liver for dinner?.. does buddha find a way to embrace those too in his universal embrace??

OR is it only those which are similar to his own?


Ten acts of Merit:
Give charily to the deserving.
Observe the precepts of morality.
Cultivate and develop good thoughts,
Render service and attend on others.
Honor and nurse parents and elders,
Give a share of your merits to others.
Accept the merits that others give you.
Hear the doctrine of righteousness.
Preach the doctrine of righteousness.
Rectify your faults.

Ok. No one can grant one merit without being accused of absolutism? How come Olympic gold medalists receive merit for their actions, yet you don't call the judges absolutists?

umm... they're ranked in how they achieve Goals...
Goals are rooted in cares...

it's assumed that the athletes care to accomplish something.

They're ranked in their ability to achieve the goal...

The Ranking is of ability to accomplish what you care to accomplish... not of some floaty "goodness" or "Merit".
"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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3/20/2011 1:40:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 1:32:08 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
The Ranking is of ability to accomplish what you care to accomplish... not of some floaty "goodness" or "Merit".

and the notion of there being athletes in the first place.. and their being discriminated as being of a Certain "ability".. is not regarding Ethics (how things Ought to be)... but is rather regarding the nature of the world (how things Are)...

now.. you can say how things are in a couple different ways.. You can say This is how things Apparently are.. Due to My nature of seeing the world.. OR you can claim to some Objective reality... I don't think Judges in sports competitions usually bother relating whether their Judgments should be considered Metaphysical or Not...

Buddha is quite a bit more apt to discuss things in those kinds of terms than are such judges...
"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: 12,104
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3/20/2011 1:42:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 1:05:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/20/2011 12:51:49 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
What was Buddha's ethical theory?

He suggested people ought to act to reduce suffering.

This is quite straightforward in the case of Reducing/ending Personal suffering.. but if he's going to claim that people "ought" to reduce it generally then he'd need some actual reasoning..

He'd either have to tie Other's suffering to Personal suffering.. Absolutely

Or he'd have to suggest that there's some Absolute/Universal.. Non-personal standard of "good" and that Reducing suffering is Simply that standard.

This is simply without reason.

False.

"Moral absolutism is the ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them." -- http://en.wikipedia.org...

"There are no moral absolutes in Buddhism and it is recognized that ethical decision-making involves a complex nexus of causes and conditions. ... [It's] grounded in a theory of intentionality, and individuals are encouraged to analyze issues carefully for themselves. ... When making moral choices, individuals are advised to examine their motivation." -- http://buddhism.about.com...

As you can see, Buddhist ethics is the opposite of what you claim.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
mattrodstrom
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3/20/2011 1:49:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 1:42:11 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
As you can see, Buddhist ethics is the opposite of what you claim.

lol..

I've said before that Buddha's putting Compassion on a pedestal is a Glaring inconsistency with the rest of his understanding of things...

and it seems that he talked out of both sides of his mouth on this one...

If he made it more clear that his support of Compassion amongst people was due to His Compassion... Then it would be AOK..

but instead he makes it seem as though Compassion characterizes buddha's.. characterizes those who properly understand the world...

I don't see how having Compassion relates to understanding the world.. or understanding that there's an underlying Ultimate reality lying behind all things..

It would seem one can be compassionate.. or Not compassionate.. or just a little bit sometimes.. and STILL understand the nature of things just as well as anyone else..

It would seem Compassion characterizes spontaneous feeling at seeing others suffer... Not Understanding.
"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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3/20/2011 1:52:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 1:42:11 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"Moral absolutism is the ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them." -- http://en.wikipedia.org...

also.. that's a shitty definition...

the idea that certain intentions are objectively "good" or "Bad" should also fall under making Absolute ethical claims...
"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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3/20/2011 1:55:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 1:52:19 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/20/2011 1:42:11 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"Moral absolutism is the ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them." -- http://en.wikipedia.org...

also.. that's a shitty definition...

the idea that certain intentions are objectively "good" or "Bad" should also fall under making Absolute ethical claims...

Consequentialism can also make "absolute" claims...

Your Wikipedia definition of "moral absolutes" is really a definition of Deontological Ethics.
"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: 12,104
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3/20/2011 2:07:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 1:55:20 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/20/2011 1:52:19 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 3/20/2011 1:42:11 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
"Moral absolutism is the ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them." -- http://en.wikipedia.org...

also.. that's a shitty definition...

the idea that certain intentions are objectively "good" or "Bad" should also fall under making Absolute ethical claims...

Consequentialism can also make "absolute" claims...

Your Wikipedia definition of "moral absolutes" is really a definition of Deontological Ethics.

False.

Deontological Ethics has to do with the intent behind the action. Moral absolutism says an action is absolutely right or wrong despite the intention or consequence. So a Deontologist could do the same action and would consider it both right and wrong depending on the circumstance and intention behind it. The Moral absolutist would not be that flexible and would say the action is always wrong no matter what.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
mattrodstrom
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3/20/2011 2:15:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
you can make "Absolute" ethical claims based in Consequentialism... OR regarding Intentions..

The restriction of "moral absolutes" to Just Actions is silly...
and Not what I ever implied when I suggested that Buddha makes absolute ethical claims.

Buddha thinks killing a person and eating his liver is wrong b/c it would cause suffering...
the intentions behind the act (whatever they may be) are not what they Should be...

one Should be compassionate.

That is the "absolute" that the buddha espouses.
"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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3/20/2011 2:16:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 2:15:29 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
you can make "Absolute" ethical claims based in Consequentialism... OR regarding Intentions..

The restriction of "moral absolutes" to Just Actions is silly...
and Not what I ever implied when I suggested that Buddha makes absolute ethical claims.

Buddha thinks killing a person and eating his liver is wrong b/c it would cause suffering...
the intentions behind the act (whatever they may be) are not what they Should be...

one Should be compassionate.

One should act with the intention of reducing suffering (in others included).

That is the "absolute" that the buddha espouses.
"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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3/20/2011 2:23:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
that someone should act to reduce their own suffering is basically derived from the idea of having a particular perspective.. and (one of it's results) Suffering.

it stands with the notion of Self... and Falls with the notion of self.

One should Act to avoid suffering..
but if the "one" isn't there... there's no "should" either..

Also.. if I suffer through other's suffering.. IF i happen to be compassionate.. I should act to reduce other's suffering b/c that will prevent me from suffering myself... but If I'm not at all compassionate.. there's not necessarily any particular reason to reduce others..
"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."
TheSkeptic
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3/20/2011 10:39:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Geo, I think you should step out of the box of definitions and hear out what matt is arguing lol - he's offering an analysis of Buddha as being inconsistent with his teaching for his overt approval of compassion. However, matt, I think Buddhist ethics might be a tad more layered than simply a theory of intentionality iirc - idk, it's been awhile since I've read up on the literature.
GeoLaureate8
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3/21/2011 12:29:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/20/2011 10:39:51 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
Geo, I think you should step out of the box of definitions and hear out what matt is arguing lol - he's offering an analysis of Buddha as being inconsistent with his teaching for his overt approval of compassion.

Well, he doesn't really make his points very clear so it's hard for me to understand what he's saying. So what is it about approval of compassion that contradicts a non-absolutist morality? Even a moral nihilist can approve compassion.
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
annhasle
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3/21/2011 12:31:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/21/2011 12:29:44 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/20/2011 10:39:51 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
Geo, I think you should step out of the box of definitions and hear out what matt is arguing lol - he's offering an analysis of Buddha as being inconsistent with his teaching for his overt approval of compassion.

Well, he doesn't really make his points very clear so it's hard for me to understand what he's saying. So what is it about approval of compassion that contradicts a non-absolutist morality? Even a moral nihilist can approve compassion.


But they never assert that you ought to be compassionate, which matt is claiming Buddha has said.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
mattrodstrom
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3/21/2011 12:50:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/21/2011 12:29:44 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 3/20/2011 10:39:51 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
Geo, I think you should step out of the box of definitions and hear out what matt is arguing lol - he's offering an analysis of Buddha as being inconsistent with his teaching for his overt approval of compassion.

Well, he doesn't really make his points very clear so it's hard for me to understand what he's saying. So what is it about approval of compassion that contradicts a non-absolutist morality? Even a moral nihilist can approve compassion.

Since I myself am compassionate.. I approve of others acting compassionately too.

However Buddha doesn't just say that HE approves of others being compassionate.. he doesn't only suggest that He'd like to see people be compassionate..

he says that ALL buddha's (all who see clearly) are compassionate.

In fact, as I quoted on this page, he suggest that Before one can even Come to see clearly.. one must Practice compassion.

He has the notion that one Ought to act to reduce suffering NOT ONLY in yourself... but in Others too.

From what I can tell This is completely unsupported.. Compassion is caring about empathizing with other people.. and is either something you have or you don't.. and it's got nothing to do with your ability to understand the nature of the world...

and, there's no reason (beyond trying to hoodwink the masses into carrying out Your Own empathetic will) to say that one who's not so Compassionate "Should Be"...

If I'm empathetic.. I would have others act as I would have them act... And I would rather they be empathetic, so as to ensure they act as I would have them.. But there's no Objective reason that others should act with compassion.

Rather That, as Are All "shoulds" is dependent upon my perspective...

and does not lay claim to being Objective... and cannot stand alone... but rather needs to draw support from what I happen to care about.
"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
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3/21/2011 12:59:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Compassion is instrumental:

"In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves. Tonglen reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure and, in the process, we become liberated from a very ancient prison of selfishness. We begin to feel love both for ourselves and others and also we being to take care of ourselves and others. It awakens our compassion and it also introduces us to a far larger view of reality. It introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness that Buddhists call shunyata. By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of our being." -- http://buddhism.about.com...
"Human civilization is not something achieved against nature; it is rather the outcome of the working of the innate qualities of man."
-- Ludwig von Mises
mattrodstrom
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3/21/2011 1:00:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Perhaps you can respond to the post from months ago:

At 11/12/2010 8:44:13 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 11/11/2010 1:39:45 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 11/9/2010 7:14:02 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
also.. avoiding/ceasing My suffering makes sense... b/c I don't like to suffer.
but why would Ending.. /avoiding causing.. other's suffering be "good"...

The Dalai Lama: "Everything is heavily interdependent.
sure... but "my" cares are specific...

and only "my cares" act upon 'me'... other peoples cares don't... except if I happen to care about them.

Lama said
Not only to nation to nation, but also continent to continent. So therefore, if you think from wider perspective, every part of the world is part of ourself.

Matt said:
my existence is dependent upon everything else... and everythings interdependent... and in a sense all is ultimately one...

But, the only reason for "me" to act is based upon my cares...

other's cares may arise as they do b/c of the nature of things... and my existence and their existence.. The nature of My cares.. and the nature of theirs... are All interdependent... and arise due to the particular nature of things/the universe... and might be Completely inseparable from the Same "reality"... but, as long as they are named and discussed... they are discussed as separate things... and in talking of "things" like myself... talking in the Terms of Samsara... Of those things whose operations are understood through Karma (cause and effect)... the operations of "myself" are caused by "my cares" and not by "joe's cares".. (though IFF "I" have the characteristic of being compassionate I might plausibly Care about joe's cares being fulfilled..)

Lama said:
Taking care of others interests is actually taking care of oneself.
Matt said:
I take this to mean: Fulfilling other's cares is fulfilling your own.
And I disagree.

The way in which Me and Joe are "one" is in that both of our existences are due to the nature of the universe... and "we" are wholly a product of the the nature of the universe and are completely Inseparable from it.

However.. when you're talking of "my interests"/cares you're Assuming that separation... you're talking from a certain, objectively indefensible, but completely natural, and nearly Unavoidable, perspective.

cares and interests Don't Exist But from a given perspective.

and unless I naturally/unavoidably assume the perspective of "myself" and "joe"... only the cares of "myself" will influence "my" decisions.

if I take the Broad Perspective that is suggested... there are no cares on which I should operate/fulfill.

Lama:
My own interest, if there is some exist independently, then it can be justified, forget whether others exist. But in reality, not that. Your neighbor getting more prosperity, more peace, you'd get prosperity and you'd get benefit. If your neighbor suffer, ultimately you will suffer."

Matt:
Now it seems he's talking with more defined.... "separate".. entities again... My neighbor... and Me.

and saying Ultimately I will suffer... It would seem for "karmic"/cause and effect Worldly results that might end up affecting things that I care about.

and, sure... this might be the case, but it might Not too.

like with Robber Zhi... since he's insanely powerful.. when he raids villages, and Eats people.. he fulfills his cares.. and the Suffering of others Doesn't end up causing suffering for Him.

other's suffering =/= His suffering

other's fulfillment =/= His fulfillment

now, again, sure.. from the Broadest perspective they are BOTH existent ONLY through the particular Nature of The Universe... "Their" existences Are Both part of ONE whole.

but from such a perspective... there's NOTHING that Ought be done... there's No reason to fulfill Any cares.

Only from a particular perspective... with immediately emotive cares... is there reason to act... And ONLY on those particular emotive cares.
"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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3/21/2011 1:09:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/21/2011 12:59:55 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Compassion is instrumental:

"In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves. Tonglen reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure and, in the process, we become liberated from a very ancient prison of selfishness. We begin to feel love both for ourselves and others and also we being to take care of ourselves and others. It awakens our compassion and it also introduces us to a far larger view of reality. It introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness that Buddhists call shunyata. By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of our being." -- http://buddhism.about.com...

I've responded to this in the past too!

one need not be compassionate to understand the ultimate "oneness" of all things.

and Last Time you claimed that Compassion was "instrumental" in Ending suffering.. And I made it clear that one would only care to End Suffering in Others if one was ALREADY compassionate...

so.. the "Instrumentality" of Compassion is only of use from a certain kind of subjective perspective... that is for one who's Compassionate!
It's like how I said that it might make sense to try to fool other people into behaving as though they have compassion.. if you yourself are compassionate.. for That could be an instrument to achieving what you would have..

but there's no Instrumentality beyond That.. it's NOT a necessary tool to get you to understand that there's an Underlying Reality.. and All who understand that, All who "see clearly", need not be compassionate.. they can enjoy raiding villages and cannabalizing the inhabitants.. As with the example of Robber Zhi.
"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
Posts: 12,028
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3/21/2011 1:12:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/21/2011 1:09:20 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
one need not be compassionate to understand the ultimate "oneness" of all things.

And, as I've shown in the Dalai Lama response, the manner in which All things are One is NOT one which adds any new dimension to ethics.
"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."