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Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim? - Dhamma Wheel

Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

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Lazy_eye
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Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:11 am


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Ben
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Ben » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:32 am

Hi Lazy Eye

I can't comment on Venerable's explanation and I don't wish to comment on it.
Kamma is an impersonal law relating to the operation of volitional action. Its not superstition. Through our own thoughts, words and deeds we are actually creating the nature of our own future.

The kamma of children caught in child prostitution cannot be discerned, unless one is a Buddha. Should we step in and do what we can to rescue children caught in prostition or stop kids from being traded into the sex industry? Absolutely. And I don't think engaging in such a way with society is inconsistent with the Dhamma.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:39 am


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Ben
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Ben » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:49 am

A few years ago I was reading a history of public health in Victoria during the 19th Century where I encountered the attitude of the upper and middle classes which considered intervening on behalf of the sick and destitute as interfering in the work of god who was punishing the sinful. It was on par with not doing anything to help because those who had befallen bad times 'deserved' what they got. Thankfully, we've come a long way in our attitudes.
I think it would be a mistake to consider kamma in the same way.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:56 pm


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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby clw_uk » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:30 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby sukhamanveti » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:16 pm

Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby gavesako » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:12 pm

The view of kamma attributed to that Thai monk is rather typical and can be traced back to a popular text from the 14th century called Traibhumi Katha (Traiphum) which tends to interpret kamma in this way (see http://www.jstor.org/pss/1062347 ).

That the Buddha considered it important to look further than our own immediate environment and care for the wellbeing of others is borne out by this passage:

"He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world." --Dhammika Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Fede » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:24 pm

"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:02 pm

- Peter


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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:11 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:27 pm

Thanks for the responses. What I mainly wanted was to get some sense of the context, and the extent to which the monk's statement did or did not reflect Buddha's teachings. And I think my questions have been answered. Appreciate the references and links.

Personally, I don't have a problem with saying that kamma played a large part in getting us into whatever situation we're in, or that specific actions we do now will lead to identifiable results in the future. What I do have trouble with is when people take the liberty of looking at someone else's situation and assigning it a specific kammic cause. The Buddha, for instance, said that murderous people will have short lives. He didn't say that all short-lived people were necessarily murderous. There's a difference, no?

Metta,
LE

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:42 pm

Does that mean that by incarcerating them for life, maybe we prolong their lives unnecessarily....?

That's a question to ponder..... :thinking: :rolleye:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:33 pm

- Peter


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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby cooran » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:41 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby Fede » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:49 am

You're quite right as usual Chris, thanks.... I was limiting my thinking, which obviously also narrows the view. Thanks for pointing that out....
Oh my dreadful ignorance.... I thought all Kamma (save unintentional acts) came to fruition....?
Is this what you mean?

I conjoin my good wishes to Ben's for you, by the way.
I have nooooo idea what you're 'suffering' or going through, but I wish you well.
No need or request to share.
Just good wishes, full stop.

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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cooran
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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby cooran » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:52 pm

Hello Fede,

Thanks for the good wishes, things are improving rapidly. :smile:

Regarding 'not all kamma coming to fruition' ~ as we are creating good and bad kamma in every minute by our thoughts, emotions, actions ~ we'd be trapped in Sa.msara forever if we had to experience the fruits (results) of it all.

This excerpt from the teaching by Bhikkhu Bodhi explains:

"Kamma is like a seed
First of all, not all Kamma has to ripen as a matter of necessity. Although it has the tendency to ripen, it does not ripen inevitably. Kamma is like a seed. Seeds ripen only if they meet the right conditions. But if they do not meet the right conditions they remain as seeds; if they are destroyed they can never ripen at all. Similarly, it can be said of kamma that kamma pushes for an opportunity to mature. It has a tendency to mature. If kamma finds the opportunity then it will bring its results. If it does not meet the right conditions it won't ripen. One kamma can even be destroyed by another kamma. So it is important to understand that our present way of life, our attitudes and conduct, can influence the way our past kammas mature. Some past kammas are so powerful that they have to come to fruition. We cannot escape them no matter what we do. But the greatest number of our past kammas are conditioned by the way we live now. If we live heedlessly, unwisely, we will give our past bad kammas the opportunity to ripen and this will either hinder the good kammas from producing their effects or else cancel out their good effects.
On the other hand, if we live wisely now, we will give our good kammas the opportunity to mature and bar out our bad kammas or weaken them, destroy them or prevent them from coming to fruition.

[.............................]

We Are Not Hopeless Prisoners Of Our Past
The twin teachings on kamma and rebirth have several important implications for understanding our own lives.
First they enable us to understand that we are fully responsible for what we are. We can't blame our troubles on our environment, on our heredity, on fate or on our upbringing. All these factors have made us what we are, but the reason we have met these circumstances is because of our past kamma. This might seem to be at first a pessimistic doctrine. It seems to imply that we are the prisoners of our past kammas, that we have to submit to their effects. This is a distortion.
It is true that very often we have to reap the results of our past kamma. But the important point to understand is that kamma is volitional action, and volitional action always takes place in the present, only in the present. This means at present it is possible for us to change the entire direction of our life.
If we closely examine our lives we'll see that our experience is of two types: first, experience that comes to us passively, which we receive independently of our choice; and second, experience which we create for ourselves through our choices and attitudes. The passive side of experience is largely the effect of past kamma.We generally have to face this and learn to accept it. But within those limitations there is a space, the tremendous space of the present moment, in which we can reconstruct our world with our own minds.
If we let ourselves be dominated by selfishness, hatred, ambition and dullness, then, even if we are wealthy and powerful, we'll still be living in misery and suffering and keep planting seeds for rebirth in the world of suffering. On the other hand, even if we are poor and in sad circumstances, with much pain and misfortune, if we observe pure conduct, develop a mind of generosity, kindness and understanding, then we can transform our world, we can build a world of love and peace."
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha057.htm

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby DarkDream » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:18 pm


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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby DarkDream » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:00 am

This view of kamma is not at all surprising. The idea of kamma does by necessity lead to a view like this even though there is evidence in the suttas that is against this.

The point is that kamma and rebirth from a purely conceptual point of view is by necessity deterministic. The classical view of kamma and rebirth to work this "reward" or "punishment" must necessarily happen in the next world (heaven and hell) or on earth (bad form for a being or good form). If the reward or punishment were to happen in this world then there would no longer need to be reward or punishment in heaven or hell or a next life and thus karmic determined rebirth falls apart. Karama is always taught that it is inescapable -- no one can avoid its effects.

The point is that it must be deterministic to work. But there are difficulties in this, for example, is getting old due to our past kamma or is just the law of the universe? If everything is deterministic, would one work towards enlightenment? Due to these difficulties, the suttas do provide exceptions to these problems.

Yet how does one pick and choose which things are caused by kamma and what is not? For example, if one believes they are born rich, or has a long life due to past kamma, how can one deny a child being raped is *not* due to past kamma? Where does one draw the line?

For the Tibetan Buddhists for example, everything is caused by kamma. Some Tibetan lama's say that the situation in Tibet is due due the past actions of the Tibetan people. See this blog on this:

As I pointed out in my blog the cosmological view of kamma can lead to the following:

(1) Blame the attitude victim. It is the victim's fault and not the actual perpetrator.
(2) The perpetrator is not to be blamed as that person is just carrying out the cosmic kammic retribution.
(3) There is no need to stop any attrocities as the ultimate cosmic karmic balance will work itself out.

To me this is an absolutely horrific belief system. To blame a child for being enslaved is atrocious. I do not believe any civilized society or institution can have such beliefs, yet karma and rebirth, as this example shows, can lead to it.

What maybe many of the people on the board want to omit is that these type of beliefs or more prevelant than would like to be admitted. This is the dark side or underbelly of Buddhism that, in my opinion, must be eradicated. The best way I can think is to simply jetision the whole archaic, naive belief system or post-mortem rebirth.

--DarkDream

This to me is the greatest reason to get rid of the post-mortem view of karma and rebirth. Any such

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Re: Kamma and child prostitution -- blaming the victim?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:15 am



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