Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

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

Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby thecap » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:17 pm

Annabel wrote:Right livelihood ? Yes or No? :twisted:


I'm not sure, it depends on the answers to some questions, for instance...

1. Are the people that are hunted down proven to be guilty by the law, or are they just main suspects?

2. Do the bounty hunters abide by the law, or is their main advantage over common criminal investigation that they can circumvent the law?

etc.
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:34 pm

Hello, thecap,

I was inspired to start this topic after zapping into a late nite series of Dog- the bounty-hunter.

1. Are the people that are hunted down proven to be guilty by the law, or are they just main suspects?


From what I know, as I don't watch it that often, Dog hunts criminals who escape, or are not caught yet after an offense, with a "wanted" thing, or who don't show up by their probation officer.

2. Do the bounty hunters abide by the law, or is their main advantage over common criminal investigation that they can circumvent the law?


If they would use unlawful means, it would get documented by the cameras, and get them into trouble.

I don't think they would be allowed to further do it.

Also the Police has to abide by the laws.

Evidence obtained by illegal means is not admitted to courts, for istance.
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:42 pm

For those that maintain bounty-hunting is wrong livelihood, do you also believe police-officer is wrong livelihood? If no, then can you explain what you think the difference is? What makes bounty-hunting wrong livelihood and police-officer right livelihood?
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:45 pm

Peter wrote:For those that maintain bounty-hunting is wrong livelihood, do you also believe police-officer is wrong livelihood? If no, then can you explain what you think the difference is? What makes bounty-hunting wrong livelihood and police-officer right livelihood?


Yes, what?
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby thecap » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm

Peter wrote:For those that maintain bounty-hunting is wrong livelihood, do you also believe police-officer is wrong livelihood? If no, then can you explain what you think the difference is? What makes bounty-hunting wrong livelihood and police-officer right livelihood?


One might ask, why do bounty hunters exist in the first place?

Unlike police officers, they're motivated by earning more money after all. They're more efficient.

One might say, but the criminals have done bad things, so what are one or two minor transgressions?

Right, but I think there's a good reason police officers have to have every bullet and every movement recorded.

Suppose a butcher claims he doesn't really "kill", because the animals are bred for the very purpose of being killed and would not be born otherwise, or that if the butcher didn't do his job someone else would do it. But he still kills and is considered doing Wrong Livelihood.

Likewise, a bounty hunter might have some minor unlawful transgressions, motivated by earning more money and putting dangerous criminals behind bars. But as long as money is the main motivation, I think the odds are high that he won't refrain from unlawful transgressions, if there's a chance of not being held responsible for it. But those would still be transgressions, as well as killing animals that are bred for the very purpose of being killed and wouldn't live otherwise is still considered killing. Just my opinion.
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:37 pm

why do bounty hunters exist in the first place?


The Police offers rewards for criminals when they don't have a clue about their whereabouts and need support from the civilians.

The criminals have to go shopping, buy gas, so somebody has to see them, eventually.

A rewards is offered when there is a great interest in getting a hold of them due to the danger thy pose to the public. Like drugdealers...

I heard Dog got a medal for his fight against certain a drug. "Ice"?

Unlike police officers, they're motivated by earning more money after all.


Like police- officers, they are motivated to make money, at all. It's a full time professional job.

Investigation like a private detective- bureau, as nobody will call them and say; Hey, here i am!

This is hard work, I think, and honestly, when the police can't trace criminals down, and they can, they must be doing a helluva good job...
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:52 pm

But as long as money is the main motivation, I think the odds are high that he won't refrain from unlawful transgressions, if there's a chance of not being held responsible for it.


I think money is the driving force for almost everybody who has to go to work to make a living, do you agree?

So if money, as you say, is the driving force, then why would, of all jobs, those who help and support the police ad laws, be more susceptible to transgress than the rest?

It doesn't seem very likely, does it?
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby thecap » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:32 pm

Annabel wrote:
But as long as money is the main motivation, I think the odds are high that he won't refrain from unlawful transgressions, if there's a chance of not being held responsible for it.


I think money is the driving force for almost everybody who has to go to work to make a living, do you agree?

So if money, as you say, is the driving force, then why would, of all jobs, those who help and support the police ad laws, be more susceptible to transgress than the rest?

It doesn't seem very likely, does it?


Hi Annabel

I think it does.

Both police and bounty hunters catch criminals to make a living, as you say.

But a police officer has a steady income, while for the bounty hunter it's an all-or-nothing situation: Fear of not making a living at all and desire to make lots of money.

There's more pressure and less control involved in the bounty hunter's business.

This can and does make a human more susceptible to transgress the law than the rest.

I'm not saying that all bounty hunters are evil. I'm sure there are good ones too.

But assuming all bounty hunters respect the law would be a little bit starry-eyed. I think reality follows different rules than television.

Also, arguments like FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) of dangerous criminals and spooky terrorists are constantly used to let people act as if they were beyond the law. Bounty hunters, secret service agents, you name it.

I think someone who is pressured by the very nature of his business to act from time to time as if he is beyond the law isn't any better than those who do so willfully.

Let me give you an example.

Suppose a bounty hunter kills someone (oops!) while hunting down someone else who killed someone. Suppose this bounty hunter was not filmed by a surveillance camera.

Now, what do you think is more probable. Will the bounty hunter voluntarily surrender himself to the police, or will he rather try to hide it?

Thus I think bounty hunting is Wrong Livelihood, as much a being a secret service agent and butchering are Wrong Livelihood.

But I'd be happy if you could prove me wrong. :)

May I ask, are you personally involved with that business, do you know someone who is, or is it because of the popular tv show that you were asking?
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:54 pm

May I ask, are you personally involved with that business, do you know someone who is, or is it because of the popular tv show that you were asking?


hello, thecap, yes, of course you may ask.

This is how I started the topic:

Perhaps you have watched the US series "Dog" the bounty- hunter from Hawaii on TV.

I watched it yesterday, suddenly wondering what type of livelihood that is.


So no, I am not a bounty hunter, and don't personally know anybody who is. It is because of the show I happened to zap into.

But I know everything about working self employed and employing people.

But a police officer has a steady income, while for the bounty hunter it's an all-or-nothing situation: Fear of not making a living at all and desire to make lots of money.


Why do you think of being self -employed as a "all or nothing situation? " It is just not the same each month. Think of farmers and painters, -no work in the winter. Lots of work in the summer. A bounty hunter has work each month, for one, because criminality booms, and then, because criminals go underground each month.

Desire for lots of money is not what drives me, although I don't mind, and I think I can speak for many other self employed people here as well:

To do what you really want to do, to manifest your dream, is what makes many people put up with the risks of self employment.

I'm not saying that all bounty hunters are evil. I'm sure there are good ones too.


Oh, my dear! But that almost sounds like you think that the vast majority of bounty hunters is evil....when you say: "I'm sure there are good ones too..."

Could it be that you feel that "headhunting" is bad,- that it is nasty to do that?

Perhaps you've watched Wild West movies which didn't show them as nice human beings...?

I could understand that.

But Dog Chapman doesn't appear evil to me at all.

More later, it's a pleasure to speak with you.

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:05 pm

I have to split up the post, since the board doesn't accept more than 3 quotes per post,you see?
Suppose a bounty hunter kills someone (oops!) while hunting down someone else who killed someone. Suppose this bounty hunter was not filmed by a surveillance camera.

Now, what do you think is more probable. Will the bounty hunter voluntarily surrender himself to the police, or will he rather try to hide it?

Thus I think bounty hunting is Wrong Livelihood, as much a being a secret service agent and butchering are Wrong Livelihood.



Dear the cap,

I usually try to avoid to engage in speculations...hypothetical situations.

What one bounty hunter does may not be what another does, as in other professions too. . So a judgement cannot be passed, not from me. Likewise, we can't speculate or foresee what a cop would do in the same situation.

But I'd be happy if you could prove me wrong.


I don't want to prove you wrong. But I thank you for your kindness and respect. :)

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby thecap » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:11 am

Annabel wrote:Could it be that you feel that "headhunting" is bad,- that it is nasty to do that?


Hi Annabel.

Thanks for your reply.

No, it is not a feeling.

Do I understand you correctly that you perceive the only or main difference between bounty hunter and police officer is being self-employed and public official respectively?

If this were the case, I'd fully agree with all your above statements.

However, I don't see headhunting as a business only, since use of force and weapons against humans are involved.

Where do you think headhunting fits in the following:

Here we have a democratic system. And in a democracy we have the three pillars: Judiciary (constitutional law), Legislature (elected parties) and Executive (day to day management). These three pillars of democracy mutually control each other, to prevent abuse of the system which guarantees basic human rights. The Executive includes the police, and - now comes the important part - they alone have the state's monopoly on the use of force (I hope this translation is correct). They are controlled by the elected politicians and the constitutional law, and vice versa. But history has it that if in a demoracy someone else had the same use of force inside a country like the police has (for instance, elected parties used to have armed thug groups a century ago), the democracy could not function, and basic human rights would have to take stick, literally. This is a slightly drastic example but not speculation at all.

Now, where do you think bounty hunters fit in the above, considering they have to make use of force?

The bottom line being, you can't give superpowers to numerous 'heroes', and expect them to be docile. It tends to become abusive. There's a reason we (still) have a public health care system here where I live, and a public police most everywhere, not The Police Inc. What do you think?
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:28 am

thecap,

It seems you understand the Buddha's teachings on wrong livelihood to include any profession wherein there is temptation to engage in unwholesome actions. Is that right?
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby thecap » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:39 am

Peter wrote:thecap,

It seems you understand the Buddha's teachings on wrong livelihood to include any profession wherein there is temptation to engage in unwholesome actions. Is that right?

Hi Peter

Thanks for your question.

No. As I said, I don't think headhunting is just another self-employed business. It involves the use of force and weapons against human beings, not just some unwholesome money making strategy. The differences compared to the police using force and weapons against human beings have been explained above.

In short, a police officer has to keep track of every single bullet and is your friend, while a headhunter is pressured to transgress the law in order to work more efficiently.

By the way, if you perceive a misunderstanding, it might be due to the fact that headhunters here, unlike in the US of A, have no superpowers or special rights. So my arguments are not entirely far-fetched. ;)
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:16 am

thecap wrote:
Annabel wrote:Could it be that you feel that "headhunting" is bad,- that it is nasty to do that?


Hi Annabel.

Thanks for your reply.

No, it is not a feeling.

Do I understand you correctly that you perceive the only or main difference between bounty hunter and police officer is being self-employed and public official respectively?

If this were the case, I'd fully agree with all your above statements.

However, I don't see headhunting as a business only, since use of force and weapons against humans are involved.

Where do you think headhunting fits in the following:

Here we have a democratic system. And in a democracy we have the three pillars: Judiciary (constitutional law), Legislature (elected parties) and Executive (day to day management). These three pillars of democracy mutually control each other, to prevent abuse of the system which guarantees basic human rights. The Executive includes the police, and - now comes the important part - they alone have the state's monopoly on the use of force (I hope this translation is correct). They are controlled by the elected politicians and the constitutional law, and vice versa. But history has it that if in a demoracy someone else had the same use of force inside a country like the police has (for instance, elected parties used to have armed thug groups a century ago), the democracy could not function, and basic human rights would have to take stick, literally. This is a slightly drastic example but not speculation at all.

Now, where do you think bounty hunters fit in the above, considering they have to make use of force?

The bottom line being, you can't give superpowers to numerous 'heroes', and expect them to be docile. It tends to become abusive. There's a reason we (still) have a public health care system here where I live, and a public police most everywhere, not The Police Inc. What do you think?


Hi, thecap, thank you for your reply.

Do I understand you correctly that you perceive the only or main difference between bounty hunter and police officer is being self-employed and public official respectively?


Yes. More or less. The goal is to catch the criminal.

I agree with you that the bounty hunter will most probably have a greater motivation to get a hold of a criminal, because then he gets paid.

The police officer gets his money either way, whether he catches the criminal or not, and even when he is written sick.

Not so the bounty hunter. Hence, his working morale is higher.

If this were the case, I'd fully agree with all your above statements.


Thank you.
However, I don't see headhunting as a business only, since use of force and weapons against humans are involved.


The police also has to use force and weapons with violent criminals who offer resistance. Resistance against State officials is a criminal offence in itself.

You explained the democratic system in Germany. Thank you.

The problem with this comparison is, that Germany doesn't have the same laws as the USA.

The German civilians are not armed, in contrast to the American civilians and bounty hunters..

Hence, bounty -hunting in Germany is probably impossible. You wouldn't be allowed to wear the weapons you would have to use to intimidate a possibly armed criminal.

In Germany you would have to alert the police to arrest criminals....

more in the next post....
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:31 am

The bottom line being, you can't give superpowers to numerous 'heroes', and expect them to be docile. It tends to become abusive. There's a reason we (still) have a public health care system here where I live, and a public police most everywhere, not The Police Inc. What do you think?


I think that the USA could definitely benefit from the German healthcare system...

On the other hand,

I don't think that a lot of people want to be headhunter, even in the USA.

It takes tough, adventurous and fearless men to do this dangerous job, sort of like the first trappers conquering the Wild West, and a small mistake can cost you your life.

This is a species of men that you don't find too often in our pampered nations where we whine about the weather.... :lol:

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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby appicchato » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:17 am

thecap wrote:In short, a police officer has to keep track of every single bullet and is your friend...

While this may apply in Germany, by and large it is most definitely a different story in most of the world...
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:15 pm

Dear Venerable Appichato, there is actually a Police slogan in Germany which says:

"The Police, your friend and helper."

Of course you have cops tripping over their powerful feet everywhere in the world. . .

May I ask you what you think about bounty hunting- wrong or right livelyhood, or is this a borderline case?

I don't know if you have ever seen the series, but Dog Chapman seems to treat all the people he catches with respect and as much kindness as possible.

I think he is a good guy.
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:48 am

Hello All,
I want to say a few things, coming from a different perspective on law enforcement.

The question begging to be asked is: why is law enforcement and bounty hunting necessary in the first place? Why is crime so rampant? Are human beings just so bad we have to commit crimes? Or could it be our societal structure (government and leaders) perpetuating the circumstances leading to criminality in order to justify its own existence?

Keep in mind that law enforcement and bounty hunting perpetuates all of the negative qualities of masculinity and manhood - violent chauvinism, state control, macho complexes, etc. 99% of rapes are committed by men. 90% of all violent crimes are committed by men. And yet men think they are fixing the problem by using violence to put us into prisons, which are sometimes more violent and dangerous than the streets? Please be real, people.

The problem isn't about human beings as evil or police officers as providing for some greater good (although I'd definitely argue against that bogus claim), but rather a crisis in masculinity and manhood that perpetuates violence in society, further fueled by the same tired old consistencies from the past - men taking control and exerting power over everyone else.

Without poverty, poorly funded education, lack of universal health care, a wishy-washy economy left to the whims of the wealthy elite, and a host of other intentionally set-up circumstances, crime would not be near as prevalent as it is. Ask any criminologist, psychologist or sociologist.

Human beings might be deluded and selfish, but we are not inherently evil. Society teaches evil to children, and then punishes them for it later. Society teaches boys to be violent.

Law enforcement perpetuates criminality. And because law enforcement is practiced by other deluded beings, this honorable picture you are painting is false to the fullest extent.

Ask a poor minority what they think of the police, I'm positive you will get a different answer. Case in point: my mother sued the city for racial and gender discrimination because they conspired to get her fired from the police force, all because she blew the whistle on nearly a century of racial discrimination of citizens and black officers. Furthermore, evidence suggests they were in cahoots with the IRS (who we are currently battling).

Ever heard of police brutality? If police officers can still do that even though they are subject to watchdog groups, what makes you think bounty hunters are exempt?

The nation's drug policy discriminates against the poor and minority. And let's not even get into how nearly impossible it is for a rape victim to find justice.

Bounty hunting is simply citizens who didn't want to go through police boot camp carrying around guns acting as superheroes. And they are almost always men. If the State really wanted to get drugs off the street, or put criminals to justice, they would do it because they have all the tools necessary on their side. But they don't, because they must justify their own existence. "We need laws because people are evil."

Oh, and Dog the Bounty Hunter was called out last year for spewing racial epithets towards the friend of one his children.

Like I said, we are all deluded. Please stop glossing over the evils of law enforcement.

(Typed in passion but kindness ;) )

Namaste,
Dhammakid

P.S. Yes yes, I know...spoken like a true anarchist ;) I guess I should answer the original question: according to my experiences and my analysis, both law enforcement and bounty hunting amounts to Wrong Livelihood. There are far more productive ways to deal with the unskillful actions of deluded human beings, such as rehabilitation and treatment (as opposed to incarceration), greater funding for public education, guaranteed health care for all, violence prevention education at an early age, greater emphasis on community development and self-sustaining communities, and a host of other great alternatives out there. If law enforcement/bounty hunting isn't decreasing the rate of criminality - in other words, not solving the problem at all - but rather perpetuating the problem (as all credible evidence suggests), then one must conclude the institution is Wrong Livelihood, because it is contributing to the suffering of beings (or at least intentionally ignoring it). That is my opinion. Feel free to disagree. Namaste.
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:38 am

Hi Dhammakid and all

The Buddha gave us criteria for determining what constitutes wrong livelihood, it has been mentioned earlier in this thread. In the post I wrote, I suggested that in assessing whether bounty hunting is indeed wrong livelihood, one would need to determine whether the profession was in anyway business or dealing in weapons or business or dealing with human beings,the latter usually interpreted as trade in prostitutes or slaves. One could argue that bounty hunting could breach business with weapons or business in human beings, directly or by proximity, but I would be unconvinced.
I would argue that bounty hunting is not inherently wrong livelihood. However, that is not to say that there is more than ample opportunity for bounty hunters to engage in morally reprehensible or dubious decisions and/or activities in the hunting of their bounty. While there can be no doubt that the end, making bail jumpers accountable for their actions, is a good thing, does the end justify the morally dubious means some bounty hunters of achieving that aim? Having witnessed the portrayal of one high-profile bounty hunter on TV, can we make a judgment that all bounty hunters are likewise engaged in morally reprehensible activities in order to apprehend the wanted?
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Re: Bounty-hunters-wrong livelihood? Or a good job?

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:57 am

Ben wrote:Hi Dhammakid and all

The Buddha gave us criteria for determining what constitutes wrong livelihood, it has been mentioned earlier in this thread. In the post I wrote, I suggested that in assessing whether bounty hunting is indeed wrong livelihood, one would need to determine whether the profession was in anyway business or dealing in weapons or business or dealing with human beings,the latter usually interpreted as trade in prostitutes or slaves. One could argue that bounty hunting could breach business with weapons or business in human beings, directly or by proximity, but I would be unconvinced.
I would argue that bounty hunting is not inherently wrong livelihood. However, that is not to say that there is more than ample opportunity for bounty hunters to engage in morally reprehensible or dubious decisions and/or activities in the hunting of their bounty. While there can be no doubt that the end, making bail jumpers accountable for their actions, is a good thing, does the end justify the morally dubious means some bounty hunters of achieving that aim? Having witnessed the portrayal of one high-profile bounty hunter on TV, can we make a judgment that all bounty hunters are likewise engaged in morally reprehensible activities in order to apprehend the wanted?
Kind regards

Ben


Hello Ben, All,
If the Buddha set out the specific criteria, and if one has to stretch in order to accuse bounty hunters according to that criteria, then I must admit I cannot say bounty hunting is inherently Wrong Livelihood. I am sorry for misinterpreting the Buddha's criteria. I guess I can only say I am vehemently opposed, and bias against, this type of livelihood, as I am law enforcement in general. I just don't see the reason why we should glorifying or giving praise to bounty hunters when they are clearly no more righteous or morally strong than the rest of us. After this thread, can we start praising the work of social workers?

As far as weapons go, does the Buddha make any statement about the use of weapons against other living beings?

Namaste,
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