Right Speech

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Sky Dancer, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Sky Dancer
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    Sky Dancer BANNED

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    In a discourse with one of his disciples, the Buddha says the following:
    "Potaliya, four kinds of people exist and can be found in the world. What four kinds?

    1) Some people blame those who should be blamed, according to the truth, at the proper time, but do not praise those who should be praised, according to the truth, at the proper time.
    2) Some people praise those who should be praised, according to the truth, at the proper time, but do not blame those who should be blamed, according to the truth, at the proper time.
    3) Some people do not blame those who should be blamed, [...], and do not praise those who should be praised, according to the truth, at the proper time.
    4) Some people blame others who should be blamed, [...], and praise those who should be praised, according to the truth, at the proper time.

    Potaliya, of those four kinds of people, whichever blames those who should be blamed, according to the truth, at the proper time, and praises those who should be praised, according to the truth, at the proper time, this kind of person is the most beautiful and refined of these four kinds of people."

    The Buddha, contrary to what some believe, does not teach pleasing, truthful speech to the exclusion of disagreeable speech. To the contrary, he makes it clear that "whistle-blowing" is important, if done truthfully and at the appropriate time. He indicates that silence in the face of wrong-doing is not an acceptable option. In this context, silence could be regarded as "wrong speech". If we knowingly withhold information about wrong-doing, we become complicit in those wrongful acts, we become enablers of those committing wrongful acts.
     
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  2. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWnmCu3U09w"]Also Sprach Zarathustra![/ame]
     
  3. Sky Dancer
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    If someone puts themselves in harm's way, are we not morally obligated to warn the innocent? In such cases, maintaining silence could lead to others' extreme suffering.

    One should be civil and polite, but never afraid to speak "truth to power" or say with sincerity what may need to be said. To do otherwise than speak truth is to "speak untruths." Sometimes a whistle needs to be blown, and with some energy behind it. Be sarcastic or make parody or satire when called for. These days, folks like their "Zen Masters" wimpy and soft spoken, more "Zen Mouses". Well, "mice" aside, in my view, a good teacher is usually a pussycat, but sometimes needs to growl like a tiger and show some claw.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  4. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    In American politics, ‘the truth’ is considered optional, subject to debate, and rarely though highly of.
     
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  5. Sky Dancer
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    Buddhism is a powerful spur to political activism. The faith has taken the lead in often noisy campaigns for change.

    The phenomenon extends from Tibet, where Buddhist monks have doggedly resisted Chinese rule, to Myanmar and several other countries of Southeast Asia, where monks have become a significant political force. Monastic activism has taken on a sinister tone in some places, particularly in Sri Lanka, where hard-line nationalist monks have formed a political party that wants all-out war against rebels of the mostly-Hindu Tamil minority.

    In China, meanwhile, a Buddhism-tinged group called Falun Gong has emerged a pro-democracy movement as the Communist Party's most determined foe.

    Buddhism should "not run away from society but reform society," Focusing on just meditation and the next life, is not Buddhism but escapism.
     
  6. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    They are wonderful people but it seems that Buddhism is a passive peaceful religion and hardly suited to "political activism" but rather the opposite of political activism.
     
  7. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Ya think?

    I'm not sure about that. This Buddhist's peaceful, passive political activism helped topple the Diem regime in Viet Nam, ya know?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    I've seen you take none of that advice on a consistent basis. Are you sure you are Buddhist?
     
  9. alexa
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    alexa VIP Member

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    Were buddhist monks actually supportive of burning people alive in Vietnam? I had not heard of it and would be surprised.

    However there is no question that in Sri Lanka Buddhism has been used in a similar way to religion has throughout the centuries. Sad and goes completely against Buddhist ethics.
     
  10. Si modo
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    Si modo Diamond Member

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    The monks burned themselves in protest.
     

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