Are these among right livelihood?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Are these among right livelihood?

Postby SamKR » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:39 pm

Hi, what do you think about the following jobs related to programming and mathematics? Do they fall under right livelihood or wrong?

1. Game designer/developer (gambling games/slot machines as seen in casinos)
2. Video game designer (console games for playstation, xbox, etc.)
3. Animator (animation movies, television/web animation)
4. Special effects director (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_effect)

To me the first one is not a right livelihood. Do you think the first one is okay if the developer neither plays nor encourages others to gamble?
I am not sure about the other three. Which among them is/are okay?

Reference: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html
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Re: Are these among right livelihood?

Postby daverupa » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:56 pm

MN 117: "And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, & pursuing gain with gain."

AN 5.177: "A lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison."

SN 42.2-3 suggest that soldiering and acting both lead to certain sorts of hell-states.

---

Taking all of this together, it really depends on whether there's right intention. The AN passage suggests that there are only five sorts of business which are impossible to engage in with right intention. The MN passage seems to be overall advice; it's possible to see entertainment as a form of intoxication, which might put the SN passages in a helpful perspective, but this would tend to support a criticism of all four of those occupational categories.

Remembering that for someone who has developed the Path there is no danger that a sudden death without mindfulness necessarily leads to horrible states, one would expect that an actor, say, who practiced the Dhamma would eventually begin to outweigh their "fate" per the SN passage, so we must remain focused on the fact that intention over time is at the crux of discerning right & wrong livelihood.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Are these among right livelihood?

Postby santa100 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:15 pm

I guess it depends on the content/intention of the video game. There are brain teasers and memory training video games that help prevent Alzheimer's disease for senior folks. There're also animations used for education purposes..
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Re: Are these among right livelihood?

Postby Hickersonia » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:04 pm

:arrow: "pursuing gain with gain"

Why do I think of the stock market when I read that?
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Re: Are these among right livelihood?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:11 pm

daverupa wrote:MN 117: "And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, & pursuing gain with gain."

AN 5.177: "A lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison."

SN 42.2-3 suggest that soldiering and acting both lead to certain sorts of hell-states.

---

Taking all of this together, it really depends on whether there's right intention. The AN passage suggests that there are only five sorts of business which are impossible to engage in with right intention. The MN passage seems to be overall advice; it's possible to see entertainment as a form of intoxication, which might put the SN passages in a helpful perspective, but this would tend to support a criticism of all four of those occupational categories.

Remembering that for someone who has developed the Path there is no danger that a sudden death without mindfulness necessarily leads to horrible states, one would expect that an actor, say, who practiced the Dhamma would eventually begin to outweigh their "fate" per the SN passage, so we must remain focused on the fact that intention over time is at the crux of discerning right & wrong livelihood.


Just to note that the MN passage (also found elsewhere in the suttapitaka & Vinaya) are wrong livelihood for monks specifically, but good general advice none the less.
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Re: Are these among right livelihood?

Postby mirco » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:13 pm

SamKR wrote:Hi, what do you think about the following jobs related to programming and mathematics? Do they fall under right livelihood or wrong?

1. Game designer/developer (gambling games/slot machines as seen in casinos)
2. Video game designer (console games for playstation, xbox, etc.)
3. Animator (animation movies, television/web animation)
4. Special effects director (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_effect)

To me the first one is not a right livelihood. Do you think the first one is okay if the developer neither plays nor encourages others to gamble?
I am not sure about the other three. Which among them is/are okay?


Reference: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html

Virtual realities to add a new reality to this mind chaos full of personal reality?

None of that media helps to meditate better nor creates a more calm and clear mind.

:-)
I get what I give
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Re: Are these among right livelihood?

Postby SamKR » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:27 pm

Thank you everyone for your replies.

daverupa wrote:MN 117: "And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, & pursuing gain with gain."

AN 5.177: "A lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison."

SN 42.2-3 suggest that soldiering and acting both lead to certain sorts of hell-states.

---

Taking all of this together, it really depends on whether there's right intention. The AN passage suggests that there are only five sorts of business which are impossible to engage in with right intention. The MN passage seems to be overall advice; it's possible to see entertainment as a form of intoxication, which might put the SN passages in a helpful perspective, but this would tend to support a criticism of all four of those occupational categories.

Remembering that for someone who has developed the Path there is no danger that a sudden death without mindfulness necessarily leads to horrible states, one would expect that an actor, say, who practiced the Dhamma would eventually begin to outweigh their "fate" per the SN passage, so we must remain focused on the fact that intention over time is at the crux of discerning right & wrong livelihood.

Thanks daverupa for the links.
Yes, I also think that the main thing is right intention.

santa100 wrote:I guess it depends on the content/intention of the video game. There are brain teasers and memory training video games that help prevent Alzheimer's disease for senior folks. There're also animations used for education purposes..

Good point. So, the second, third and the fourth jobs may not be wrong in themselves; it depends upon what you actually do.

mirco wrote:Virtual realities to add a new reality to this mind chaos full of personal reality?

:)
None of that media helps to meditate better nor creates a more calm and clear mind.

:-)

Yes, but that may be true for other jobs/professions too. Most of the jobs (that are normally considered right) may not contribute to calm and clear mind; for example, the job of a police officer. It does not mean that police officer's livelihood is wrong.
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Re: Are these among right livelihood?

Postby Hanzze » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:11 am

Maybe some quotes from the Sigalovada Sutta are useful:

(3) "What are the six channels for dissipating wealth which he does not pursue?
(a) "indulgence in intoxicants which cause infatuation and heedlessness;
(b) sauntering in streets at unseemly hours;
(c) frequenting theatrical shows;
(d) indulgence in gambling which causes heedlessness;
(e) association with evil companions;
(f) the habit of idleness.

(a) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in indulging in intoxicants which cause infatuation and heedlessness:
(i) loss of wealth, (ii) increase of quarrels, (iii) susceptibility to disease, (iv) earning an evil reputation, (v) shameless exposure of body, (vi) weakening of intellect.

(b) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in sauntering in streets at unseemly hours:
(i) he himself is unprotected and unguarded, (ii) his wife and children are unprotected and unguarded, (iii) his property is unprotected and unguarded, (iv) he is suspected of evil deeds,[3] (v) he is subject to false rumours, (vi) he meets with many troubles.

(c) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in frequenting theatrical shows. He is ever thinking:
(i) where is there dancing? (ii) where is there singing? (iii) where is there music? (iv) where is there recitation? (v) where is there playing with cymbals? (vi) where is there pot-blowing?[4]

(d) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in indulging in gambling:
(i) the winner begets hate, (ii) the loser grieves for lost wealth, (iii) loss of wealth, (iv) his word is not relied upon in a court of law, (v) he is despised by his friends and associates, (vi) he is not sought after for matrimony; for people would say he is a gambler and is not fit to look after a wife.

(e) "There are, young householder, these six evil consequences in associating with evil companions, namely: any gambler, any libertine, any drunkard, any swindler, any cheat, any rowdy is his friend and companion.


You would find more details in the sutta.

It does not mean that police officer's livelihood is wrong.

Its one attribute that such an officer is "vows" to act like ordered, I guess one could not honestly make such a vow when he observes precepts. Just form my experiences, I don't now many policeman who are not alcoholics sooner or later or fall into other big problems over the time. On the other hand, there are also some who could understand the way of live more clearly in having done such a job.
It's good that you follow your own realizations where ever you are, rather to try to paint a straight black white picture.

You could design games to let go of games as well. Kind of detoxification games, to bring people back into live. But therefore you need to study the mind and the Dhamma well and prove your medicine with much responsibility.

Maybe there will arise an idea:

Image

The teachings of the Buddha are nothing but to understand to let go of the games, why not making a game out of it. Without desire we do not come anywhere. Nirvana Quest is the only wholesome desire.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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