Hi Blackbird, it isn't clear from your quoting who you are referring to. I'll assume you are referring to me. I don't understand how believing that sila was not handed down by a deity and believing that it is a means to an end equates to minimizing its role in the dhamma.
The origin of sila or its "non-holy" ( a term which may not make sense in Buddhist philosophy since gods have much less importance ) doesn't change the (high) level of importance of it in Buddhism. Sila is all over the canon.
I think that unconscious westernization of sila is also why some people get upset when it is discussed. In western religions something that is not of holy origins is of less value. Having that attitude I can see why a person running on unconscious western religious assumptions would get offended when someone would point out the non-divine origins of sila. Saying it is not holy would be the same as saying it is not important......on an emotional level, though that would be far from the case on a rational level.
Personally, as someone who is not a "secular humanist", but who comes from a similar background, sila, on an emotional level, has more importance to me as something with "wordly" reasons for its extreme importance. Those reasons translate into visible, understandable value.........much more than a set arbitrary laws with mythical origins that may never have existed.
Last edited by Jhana4
on Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.