Feel free to tell me what I think.

An online discussion in my World Religions class, on Buddhism this week:

Do you practice anything like the Five Precepts? Which one do you think would be the hardest to keep? Why do you think moral rules are helpful? Can they become a problem?

My response:

I don’t follow any sort of outside imposed moral code. Morality is relative to the situation.

1.) Do not kill. -I eat meat, I’ve fished, I kill any spider that even thinks about coming into my house.

2.) Do not steal. -I’ve never had the urge to steal, so this one is simply not applicable.

3.) Do not slander. -I call ’em like I see ’em.

4.) Do not misbehave sexually. -I’ll spare you the details, just believe that I fail this one. ;)

5.) Do not use mind-altering drugs. -All drugs are mind-altering. Drugs are meant to affect the brain. Sorry, I can’t go without my caffeine and arthritis pills.

The hardest to keep would have to be the mind-altering drugs bit. Like I said, I’m a java junkie…

I don’t think moral rules are particularly helpful.

I think blindly following such rules, especially in a changing world, can cause serious issues. Look at the way religions treat lgbt people.

Then a {male} classmate felt obligated to respond to my post:

[Alice], your always fun to talk to…..actually you DO live by a moral code, you just don’t realize it. I can’t see you ever maliciously killing a human being ( which I know Buddhist expand that to ANY living thing, but we’ll be reasonable here), thus there’s the first one you live by. You say you never had the urge to steal, that it’s not applicable, actually it is, you wouldn’t want anyone stealing from you, so thus I don’t believe you’d think it’s right to steal. So that’s number two. I don’t believe, you’d ever purposely verbally attack someone for no reason, (giving your opinion on something, even if it’s negative, is not slander) , so that’s number three. I’m not touching number four, I know no body’s perfect:) I honestly don’t believe the drug part pertains to caffeine and arthritis pills, more like marijuana and LSD. Which I’m sure, ( I would hope), you don’t do now ( or ever did for that matter, but i digress). So there’s number five.


2 Responses to “Opinions”

  1. 1: Buddhism states ‘any living thing’ not just people. He’s not being reasonable; he’s moving the goalpost.

    2: I can imagine scenarios when stealing would be okay. Even judges take it into account if a person is stealing through hunger or other dire necessity.

    3: Hmmm. Your classmate could be right here, I think. Slander/libel is by definition ungrounded.

    4: Why does he feel the need to imply that an active sexual history is “imperfect”? That’s just a mild form of (unconscious) slut-shaming. (Oh and please tell him the difference between “no body’s perfect” and “nobody’s perfect” :-/ )

    5: I worry about anyone’s competence to talk about the effects of drugs, if they casually lump marijuana together with LSD.

  2. Okay, you have a point about the slander. I was thinking only of calling people names (which I’m perfectly happy to do), and gossip (which I occasionally indulge in).

    I see your point about the stealing. Like the looting during Katrina, if your family’s starving and you have no other alternative…

    Or the difference between your and you’re.

    And the condescension! This guy has had maybe 2 online-only conversations with me, never met face to face.

    I’m just so much of a dumb girl that his idea of me is way more valid than my stated opinions.

    And yes, he gets to change the definition of something if it doesn’t fit his opinions.

    I wish I could respond, but that was yesterday’s discussion and it was closed this morning when I saw his post.

    If I didn’t believe that I would get penalized for ripping him a new one, I so would. But there’s this line on every discussion about “Respecting others opinions and beliefs” which translates to, “Don’t piss off the theists.”

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