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Thread: The darker side of Buddhism

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    The darker side of Buddhism

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32929855


    The principle of non-violence is central to Buddhist teachings, but in Sri Lanka some Buddhist monks are being accused of stirring up hostility towards other faiths and ethnic minorities. Their hard line is causing increasing concern.

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    for goodness' sake, people, buddhism is a *religion*. in the process of state formation, there comes a point in which the state needs to unify different ethnicities. to do so, it co-ops religion and/or political ideologies. the buddha knew this would happen and tried to stop it, but he also knew he couldn't. if buddhism were to exist and flourish, it would come to be distorted in this manner. that's the only real prophecy in buddhism - the decay of the dharma, and one of the factors discussed is 'excessive political control'. and, to be fair, whether or not women could be monks or merely nuns, though this debate occurred after the buddha's death.

    i just had someone tell me, in another forum, that i'm too confrontational and arrogant to be a buddhist (because i told him that the bonsai pots he buys off ebay are tacky and not at all zen - that a modern zen pot would be a terra cotta pot from home despot with some age, not a Zen(TM) pot from a factory in japan). i replied that his comment was offensive in a curious way - it was Orientalism. he was accusing me of diverging from the stereotypical asian/buddhist, which is a back handed compliment, as i'm euro-american. that also didn't go over well. go figure.

    then again, i was told i'm too arrogant for therapy (when i refused medication on the grounds that i could buy better on the street corner and that if i wanted prozac, i'd order it off the internet). should i listen to this? do i come off as arrogant?

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    It's like any other philosophy - it can be cherry-picked, reinterpreted and ignored in whatever manner suits the people who find some use for aspects of it desire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potoooooooo View Post
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32929855


    The principle of non-violence is central to Buddhist teachings, but in Sri Lanka some Buddhist monks are being accused of stirring up hostility towards other faiths and ethnic minorities. Their hard line is causing increasing concern.
    In the latter part of 1987, 27 Tibetan Buddhist monks were arrested in Lhasa for taking part in anti-Chinese demonstrations. And the involvement of Buddhism in the Vietnam war of the 1960’s caused Schecter to conclude: “The peaceful path of the Middle Way has been twisted into the new violence of street demonstrations. . . . Buddhism in Asia is a faith in flames.”

    In Thailand a novice Buddhist monk hooked on amphetamines confessed to the rape and murder of a 23 year old British tourist, according to the World Press Review. Buddhist clergymen were also guilty of a number of criminal offenses, resulting in materialistic greed and corruption. Riding in limos, monks were selling good luck charms. Drug abuse was such a problem that monasteries have opened detox centers.

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    Being a (an) *insert religion membership* doesn't automatically make one an adherent to anything in that religion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Higgins View Post
    Being a (an) *insert religion membership* doesn't automatically make one an adherent to anything in that religion.
    Except that religions are nothing more than the collective opinions of their adherents, so anyone who can say "I have a way to rationalize how this action is consistent with my faith" is actually correct, regardless of the particulars of the action or the faith.

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    And then there's all those Kung Fu movies...

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    Any time you have a group of people who tend to identify with each other at the exclusion of others, they will have a group us-vs-them mentality. It could be nationality, race, religion, sports, or just the color of one's shirt (minimal group paradigm). The instance of the violent Buddhists in Sri Lanka can be used as an argument for, "See? All religions are equally violent." Big mistake. All religions have the potential for violence, just as all human groups do, but a greater potential for violence is found in those religions that encourage violence on the face of their core doctrines.

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