I guess Buddhists aren't always peaceful and mild

One of the first hits googling "Buddhist Pacifism: Buddhist pacifism

About the guy who wrote that:

New age bunkum.


Yeah, no true Buddhist would ever be violent. :slight_smile:

“A buddhist must never be violent” does not mean the same thing as “buddhists are never violent.”

Look, the OP said “I thought buddhists were always peaceful,” then gave what was obviously supposed to be a counterexample to this claim–a particular instance of buddhist violence. One could interpret the claim as having the kind of “nuance” mentioned elsewhere, if the counterexample wasn’t a single instance. If the counterexample is a single instance, then the claim must have been meant universally and generally.

OP presumes someone has claimed buddhists are always peaceful and mild. He isn’t claiming something more “nuanced” than that–his words and his example show that’s what the OP really means. (If the OP doesn’t really mean this, then it is bizarre that he adduces the example he does.) And this thing the OP claims people have said is not, I maintain, something that anyone has ever said.

Actually I haven’t seen such an explanatory post in this thread. I’ll go back and look.

In the meantime, no this is not pedantic. It’s not just the words of the claim that I’m talking about. It’s the example he uses. It makes no sense as a counterexample to the claim if the claim isn’t meant to be exceptionless.

Oh you’re talking about post 11–which I replied to in post 15. In 11 the OP backs off the original claim (rendering his counterexample nonsensical) and now says he’s arguing against the idea that buddhists are the least likely to be violent. I replied by pointing out that now his counterexample makes even less sense. It doesn’t address the question of “likelihood” at all.

Whatever argument the OP is making, it appears to be a massive failure. If everyone here just “understands” what’s being said in some code language I’m not aware of, then please have fun at your we-agree-with-each-other party. But if you guys are actually trying to communicate and be rational, you’re failing.

Well, there’s a difference between violence as a human flaw and violence as a part of doctrine. Buddhist texts generally take a pacifist standpoint. That doesn’t mean the same fucked up shit that happens with other religions can’t happen. But equanimity is considered one of the three marks of existence - our interconnectedness to all beings is fundamental to the nature of reality, so from a pure perspective of Buddhist doctrine (if doctrine is the right word to use), an attack on someone else is an attack on the self.

Therefore, I suppose, Buddhists could disavow another Buddhist, saying, ‘‘That’s no true Buddhist.’’ And that’s probably what the Canadian dude meant.

I think one reason Buddhists are viewed as nonviolent is because in the Western world Buddhism isn’t exactly a very organized religion, so there are less opportunities for visible corruption.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this sentance. The word “must” in the first quote does indeed make it equivalent to the second quote. The first quote literally means “if one is violent, then that one is not a Buddhist”. It presents violence and Buddhism as mutually exclusive, as does the second. The only real difference is that the first quote is singular and the second is plural, but since the individual requirement is absolute, it would equally apply to a group of people with the same belief. I can’t parse the two phrases in a way that they don’t mean the same thing.

It’s the perfect crime. He’ll never catch up with you.

I guess it could be read that way in some contexts,* but in the context of the quote, “must” didn’t mean “you’re not an X if you Y” but rather “An X is not supposed to Y.”

A Baptist must not curse. But if someone curses, that doesn’t make them not a Baptist. It just means they did something their religion says they’re not supposed to do.

*Having said that I actually find it difficult to imagine a context where that sentence would mean what you says it means. “Must” just doesn’t work that way in any case I can think of off the top of my head.

He might if it was a chopstick.

As a buddhist i would say desire is the need to take the next breath. I would also say violence is the need to take the next breath.

You’re halfway to getting the reference.

Peaceful Buddhists my ass. I was living up North along the Burmese border during the massacres of August-September 1988 in that country. And I still remember one freelance battlefield photographer who had just returned from a hot area across the border showing me his photos of the beheaded that were proudly being displayed by the beheaders, among other striking images. There were many refugees at that time too, many with violent marks covering their bodies.

And even before the peaceful Thai Buddhists torched a good portion of Bangkok in 2010 – and this after publicly and loudly describing in excruciating detail the many ways they would butcher their enemies – I had learned that if you piss off a Thai, he will fuck you up nine ways to Sunday. The only reason it’s safer in Thailand than in many other places of the world is because despite 2010, the violence tends to be focused on a personal level and not as random as in some places.

If this was the case the stick would never be able to hit me.

No, I didn’t. Please go back and read the original post again.

Please stop claiming I am saying things that I am not saying. You are really, and apparently willfully, misunderstanding the purpose of this thread. Again, go back and read the OP. If that is too much trouble, here is a precis:

Many people usually think of Buddhists as being peaceful. Here is an incident that seems to contradict that. Anyone know if this is really a religious conflict, or ethnic, or something else?

And to remind you of something else, take a look at the forum we’re in. This is MPSIMS, not Great Debates (not even Great Peeps).

There have been several ethnic conflicts going on in Burma literally for decades. But those are generally farther on the fringes upcountry and involve rebel troops of varying levels of military order. These latest incidents seem to be largely religious in nature.

It depends on what the definition of “is” is… Really, I use and read “must” in the sense of it’s harsher definition - “mandatory” or “required”. If something must be this, then it cannot be that. The word does also have softer definitions as in your Baptist example, like “ought to” or “requested”, but that seems to muddy the word and is generally used as hyperbole - “You simply must see that movie!”. If I want to infer a choice or preference, I use another word - for example, Baptists should not curse. Certainly not a hill I’m ready to die on, though.

No, Buddhists aren’t always peaceful and serene. And they’re not hedonists, either. Indeed, genuine Asian Buddhists (unlike Western wannabes) tend to be ascetic and prudish.

Often that depends on school and sect.

Fair point.