When Buddhists get a tick....

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

Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:19 am

Goedert wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Goedert wrote: Responding your question.

Yes anyone can kill, Lay Buddhist kill. Ariyans do not kill.

Reffering to your ad hominem.
I'm nothing.
No ad hom here. You simply seem to imply that you are an ariya. And I am asking you directly, are you a sotapanna (or more)? A simple yes or no will do.


Ad hominem circumstantial
Nice try, You have repeatedly tried to deflect the convesation and the now you are indulging in an ad hom by accusing me of indulging in an ad hom. Goodness.

Rather than directly answering the questions directly put to you, you go on about how an ariya would act. So, let us see if we can unpack this: you are claiming - it seems - then that you are trying to act in accordance to the prescriptive descriptions in the suttas rather than implying that you are an ariya as a basis for your claims of how you would act. That would have been very simple to say so, but as we have seen, you would have killed indirectly by allowing the serial killer to kill. And likely the parasitical worm would have died given that you were unwilling to become its host. Sorry if I misunderstood you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:21 am

PeterB wrote:Tilts question was not an ad hom. It was a simple question.
Seconded (although my opinion here is not necessary)
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby PaulD » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:32 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Oleksandr wrote:First, I think Buddhists shouldn't go to forest when ticks are there to avoid such situations :)

Second, may be it is possible to ask a doctor to remove a tick with pincers without killing him?

Third, there is an option to remove him by cutting out a part of your skin, where he is. Painful, but the tick will remain alive.
And so the tick remains alive, you put out side somewhere and it infects another human being who is not as smart as we Buddhists are about not going into the forest, and as happens with deer ticks he does not notice that he has been bitten and get Lyme's disease from the tick you saved and released and now he is faced with what can be a crippling and life threatening disease thanks to your compassion and fear of bad kamma.


:rofl:
I love this thread.
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:35 am

tiltbillings wrote:Nice try, You have repeatedly tried to deflect the convesation and the now you are indulging in an ad hom by accusing me of indulging in an ad hom. Goodness.

Rather than directly answering the questions directly put to you, you go on about how an ariya would act. So, let us see if we can unpack this: you are claiming - it seems - then that you are trying to act in accordance to the prescriptive descriptions in the suttas rather than implying that you are an ariya as a basis for your claims of how you would act. That would have been very simple to say so, but as we have seen, you would have killed indirectly by allowing the serial killer to kill. And likely the parasitical worm would have died given that you were unwilling to become its host. Sorry if I misunderstood you.


I'm not self-proclaming sotapanna.

Just think we should act as in the suttas. As the monks teach, holding the precepts.

The case of the serial killer, we can grab him, hit him in the head, do anything, but we do not need to kill right. Killing is not always necessary.

In the case of the tick, if one don't like or don't want to be with it, remove it and put it in nature so he can seek other host, possibily an animal or something.

Don't assume that "I said I would act that way" "I will put the worms in nature".

If you really want know what I do. I don't know, didn't live that situation. But I wouldn't break the precept intentionally.
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:36 am

PaulD wrote:I love this thread.
There has to be some entertainment value to a thread such as this otherwise it just gets deadly seriously boring.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby PeterB » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:37 am

It certainly would be a candidate for an award for " threads most likely to convince the rest of the world that Buddhists are loony ".. :lol:
.Its like a friggin' parody of Buddhism. The kind of stuff that Born Again Christians say that Buddhists believe. " They think its more important to let your child get a crippling disease than to kill a bug ".
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:43 am

Think we have to make a distinction here.

A monk or an ariyan never has the intention to kill. A layman is layman.
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:46 am

Goedert wrote:
I'm not self-proclaming sotapanna.
Thank you for saying so.

Just think we should act as in the suttas. As the monks teach, holding the precepts.
The suttas are a wise guide, but obviously cannot cover every contingency with a black and white answer for everything we face in a very messy, difficult and complicated world.

The case of the serial killer, we can grab him, hit him in the head, do anything, but we do not need to kill right. Killing is not always necessary.
One would certainly hope that it is not always necessary, but there may be a circumstance were it is - as your answer implies - necessary or innocent people might die.

In the case of the tick, if one don't like or don't want to be with it, remove it and put it in nature so he can seek other host, possibily an animal or something.
Or some human being. In other words, let it go so it will inflict itself upon some other hapless being that gets in its way.

Well, some good points have been made by PeterB directly above and below.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby PeterB » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:48 am

Goedert wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Nice try, You have repeatedly tried to deflect the convesation and the now you are indulging in an ad hom by accusing me of indulging in an ad hom. Goodness.

Rather than directly answering the questions directly put to you, you go on about how an ariya would act. So, let us see if we can unpack this: you are claiming - it seems - then that you are trying to act in accordance to the prescriptive descriptions in the suttas rather than implying that you are an ariya as a basis for your claims of how you would act. That would have been very simple to say so, but as we have seen, you would have killed indirectly by allowing the serial killer to kill. And likely the parasitical worm would have died given that you were unwilling to become its host. Sorry if I misunderstood you.


I'm not self-proclaming sotapanna.

Just think we should act as in the suttas. As the monks teach, holding the precepts.

The case of the serial killer, we can grab him, hit him in the head, do anything, but we do not need to kill right. Killing is not always necessary.

In the case of the tick, if one don't like or don't want to be with it, remove it and put it in nature so he can seek other host, possibily an animal or something.

Don't assume that "I said I would act that way" "I will put the worms in nature".

If you really want know what I do. I don't know, didn't live that situation. But I wouldn't break the precept intentionally.

You cant BREAK the precepts. They are not commandments or laws. They are guidelines for personal morality. Rules for training. They have to be interpreted by rational reflection not just a stampede to the nearest literalist interpretation in all circumstances. The idea of the first precept is to prevent suffering not to turn us into Jains afraid to step on ants so sweeping the ground before us. And killing ticks in some circumstances will prevent far more suffering than leaving them alone.
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:52 am

PeterB wrote:It certainly would be a candidate for an award for " threads most likely to convince the rest of the world that Buddhists are loony ".. :lol:
.Its like a friggin' parody of Buddhism. The kind of stuff that Born Again Christians say that Buddhists believe. " They think its more important to let your child get a crippling disease than to kill a bug ".
Pushing these things to an extreme for the sake of discussion can help us look at the complexity of the issues, but I have to admit that letting ticks feed on one "out of compassion" (and never mind the consequences) or arguing that we should try to extract a parasitic worm alive and intact from an infected person for the worm's benefit is a level I hope not to ever see again.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby MJH » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:30 am

PeterB wrote:You cant BREAK the precepts. They are not commandments or laws. They are guidelines for personal morality. Rules for training. They have to be interpreted by rational reflection not just a stampede to the nearest literalist interpretation in all circumstances. The idea of the first precept is to prevent suffering not to turn us into Jains afraid to step on ants so sweeping the ground before us. And killing ticks in some circumstances will prevent far more suffering than leaving them alone.

:goodpost:
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:21 am

Goedert wrote:"Even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves."

— MN 21



I can remove a tick without any anger and hate, I totally understand it only wants to live as well, but I didn't give my blood voluntarily, so it is not given freely.

I have a right to remove a parasite.

Dhammapada wrote:166
Don't sacrifice your own welfare
for that of another,
no matter how great.
Realizing your own true welfare,
be intent on just that.
Last edited by Annapurna on Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Annapurna » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:26 am

PeterB wrote:It certainly would be a candidate for an award for " threads most likely to convince the rest of the world that Buddhists are loony ".. :lol:
.Its like a friggin' parody of Buddhism. The kind of stuff that Born Again Christians say that Buddhists believe. " They think its more important to let your child get a crippling disease than to kill a bug ".


Yeah, or Jehovas, who'd rather let somebody die than accept a blood donation.

That is extreme, and Buddha recommeded a middle path.
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Hoo » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:12 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
PeterB wrote:It certainly would be a candidate for an award for " threads most likely to convince the rest of the world that Buddhists are loony ".. :lol:
.Its like a friggin' parody of Buddhism. The kind of stuff that Born Again Christians say that Buddhists believe. " They think its more important to let your child get a crippling disease than to kill a bug ".
Pushing these things to an extreme for the sake of discussion can help us look at the complexity of the issues, but I have to admit that letting ticks feed on one "out of compassion" (and never mind the consequences) or arguing that we should try to extract a parasitic worm alive and intact from an infected person for the worm's benefit is a level I hope not to ever see again.


Do you have Dhammic reasons to disagree with those views? :) Much as I'd like the tick-killers to adhere to "Hoo-ism," they're probably better served by the Buddha than by our views - what ya think? Lest anyone raise the dreaded meta-discussion threat, I'm asking whether personal opinions as expressed are sufficient answer.

FWIW, the extremes are of some use to me and I am benefitting from the discussion. Whether to kill ticks is almost a daily question for me. I see the extremes as extensions of how people understand the precept and it's application. To me, it's useful, and it's hard to predict just when the extremes might even come into play. I have no aspiration to ordination so my perspective and questions are all from the fledgling Buddhist, householder perspective.

As a kid, I grew up with weapons and hunting. I'm familiar with the concept of what level of evolution deserves to be killed and eaten, just killed, or allowed to live. That included ticks and killers, by the way. The discussion here adds light to my former (pre-Buddhist) understandings. I've tried to come to grips with this topic since becoming Buddhist a little over a year and a half ago.

As an adult I went into the military. No tick problems but it traised the bar on understanding what deserves to live or die and whether there are justifying conditions. Weapons for self defense have always been part of the equation. About 15 years ago I began carrying a weapon regularly. A couple of years ago I quit carrying, but there was a long period in which these "what-if killer questions" were quite relevant - they still are sometimes, like a couple of weeks ago (I won't bother to discuss whether and why on firearms - it's a useless discussion because one either studies the Dhamma about it or not, and it's decidedly off topic.)

So my thanks to all for this topic and the decision to leave it open for a variety of perspectives. I can see how it might fizzle out, as most topics do, or morph into a topic more closely related to defense, self defense, "evolutionary rights," etc. Might even be advantageous to move that kind of morph to a new topic.

Hoo :namaste:
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Anicca » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:17 pm

Howdy y'all!
tiltbillings wrote:Killing sometimes is a necessity of life, and sometimes it is far more compassionate than not.

Distinguishing between advice for laypersons / monks, i'd say laypeople should follow Tilt's excellent advice under certain circumstances - but this kind of reasoning can be abused / taken to far towards condoning the right to kill. I am a tick killer.

Now, regarding the monks - Buddha taught well, gave many examples and obviously "not killing" was very important. When to kill is the thrust of this thread - equally important. Buddha definitely allowed monks to eat - which cannot be done without the taking of life - but are there any other examples that allowed for monks to take sentient life?

I do not worry as much about appearing crazy to other religions or non-buddhists as much as i worry about misunderstanding exactly what the Buddha taught.

Regarding the obvious fact presented by Tilt: "Killing sometimes is a necessity of life, and sometimes it is far more compassionate than not": Other than for eating (and for life forms too small to be seen), is there a single sutta that supports the taking of sentient life - compassionate killing - for monks?

Is so - case closed - If not - hmmm???

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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby PeterB » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:33 pm

There probably is not Anicca. The compilers of the Suttas did not know that ticks carry Lyme Disease or that mosquitoes are responsible for Malaria and Yellow Fever. Or that rat fleas would cause plagues that would kill millions...But we do.
And so we need to give long and careful thought to that ( relatively ) new found knowledge.
With such knowledge comes responsibilities that the Sutta compilers could not have anticipated.
The Suttas are a source of knowledge of a very specific kind. They are not tablets of stone which prescribe solutions to all life problems.
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Mawkish1983 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:37 pm

PeterB wrote:They are not tablets of stone which prescribe solutions to all life problems.
Timeless (but use only as directed)?
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Virgo » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:11 pm

Here is a question:

The neighbors cat is really a stray, however the neighbor feeds it usually. It comes by my home sometimes and we give it milk. Now, that cat goes out and kills mice and birds. Is feeding it milk enabling it to go kill other sentient beings and cause them misery? (birds and mice have feelings too and don't want to die. They only want to be happy. If that wasn't the case, they wouldn't run from danger. They also have children that they must feed.)

Maybe I should not feed the cat milk according to the faulty logic being put forth here.

Maybe I should take that logic further and even though I don't feed it myself, I should convince my neighbor not to feed it too. By condoning my neighbors actions when I see her and she brings up the cat and tell me that she fed it, gave it milk, aren't I enabling the cat to kill too. How far should this be taken? Is nodding and praising her activity, condoning it, helping to enable the cat to kill too? According to the line of logic being put forth here, I should not condone my neighbors feeding this cat. When she brings it up I should avert my gaze, walk away, or just tell her she should not do it. Otherwise I am enabling this cat.

Maybe I should take this wretched logic one step further and just club the f*ing the thing, the g*damn killer cat. I do have a baseball bat in the house that would crack its little head and crush her skull, you know...

Do you see where this faulty logic leads?

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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby PeterB » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:20 pm

No. Thats a strawcat.
Its called The Slippery Slope Fallacy.
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Re: When Buddhists get a tick....

Postby Virgo » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:29 pm

PeterB wrote:No. Thats a strawcat.
Its called The Slippery Slope Fallacy.

No it isn't. Thinking that letting a tick live is wrong simply because it might infect others is the slippery slope. The tick may live or may not, you do not know and cannot control it. Ticks have a short lifespan. There is just as much chance it will die before infecting another. Besides, you don't even know if the tick has Lyme or not! How can you condemn it without even knowing?

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