Jechbi wrote:Hmmm ... there seem to be some conflicting and potentially confusing messages being delivered in this thread.
On the one hand, we have clear statements that the precept involves abstention:Ben wrote:Dan it wasn't just avoiding intoxication. It was abstaining.Ben wrote:If you are right, then the wording of the sila would be different. More like 'Don't become heedless and careless from taking intoxicants', instead, we see the word abstain
But then on the other hand, someone asks how the precept applies if the tasting of certain alcoholic beverages is approached as an exercise in mindfulness, and in that case we get this:tiltbillings wrote:catmoon wrote:Hmm. I am something of a Scotch whisky nut. I have special glassware for nosing, and examining a new scotch brings every sense faculty I have to a humming vibrating peak of intensity. Since drinking scotch in this way is an extreme exercise in mindfulness, how does the precept apply?
Just don't get intoxicated, inebriated, inebrious, drunk, tipsy, besotted, or crapulous.
So in some cases, according to this view, the precept applies as moderation, not abstention.
Those two views of the precept are incompatible.
I don't think Tiltbillings and Ben have different views, only different ways of expressing the same view. I'm sure both agree, as I do, that it's best to abstain from alcohol. Tiltbillings said what he did because it was helpful. Telling all people, "Alcohol is bad. Alcohol leads to rebirth in hell or mental disorder," etc., is not always helpful. I think that's the issue here: not so much what we believe, but what we ought to say in a discussion like this.