Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Tell us how you think the forum can be improved. We will listen.

Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Jaidyn » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:25 pm

Summary: Discuss this very argumentative way to approach Buddhism; the benefits, shortcomings, and traps in regard to developing true understanding of the Dhamma.

This part of the forum offers an unique atmosphere where you are encouraged, if it is your wish, to rely on your arguments rather then on common opinion or on texts otherwise regarded as authoritative. You are also encouraged to pick up controversial and challenging topics.

Are these kinds of discussions important or not for spiritual development? Why, and when?

From time to time people seem to be eager in participating, but does participation in such an atmosphere help your spiritual progress, or on the contrary: is it a hindrance whereby you rather stay away? What have you learned by participating or by not participating? How do you reach your conclusion regarding these questions?

Why this question? That which starts with good intentions can lead to discussions, which the individual takes as fuel for own bad intentions and delusion. Still I think there is a value in this way of discussing when good intentions and wisdom is predominant. In my belief this can both help or hinder development, and deeper understanding about the details of this process is therefore interesting. Better understanding would also help in deciding when and how to chose this approach. So I ask for your personal reflections :) My post need not to be replied to in a strict sense, if I gave that impression.

Because of the very nature of this thread I want to remind about the rules; particularly:

* Do not let this be a meta-discussion by discussing other discussions.
* Attack ideas and arguments but do not attack personally.

Appropriate conduct within the Dhammic free-for-all forum
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=175

Terms of Service (please read first)
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2
User avatar
Jaidyn
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:47 am

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:50 pm

Jaidyn wrote:* Do not let this be a meta-discussion by discussing other discussions.


This thread sounds like a meta-discussion but if the other moderators (who have more experience than me on these matters) deem it acceptable, we can keep this thread.

I think forums in general tend to attract debate. It is okay, since people can learn from the debates and get clarification on certain issues. It can be an education process for all. As retro noted in the rules for this sub-forum:

3. The "Free-for-all" forum may not be suitable for everyone

Something to keep in mind, especially for those who might be more prone to being "thin-skinned" and / or don't handle debate well or resort to personal attacks when their position is threatened by possibly stronger evidence on the other side.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7968
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Jaidyn » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:07 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:This thread sounds like a meta-discussion but if the other moderators (who have more experience than me on these matters) deem it acceptable, we can keep this thread.

I took great care in stating my motive and the topic of discussion. I can only be sorry if it wasn't clear enough.

I guess it is up to those discussing to not read hasty and misinterpret my initial message or the rules.
User avatar
Jaidyn
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:47 am

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby PeterB » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:10 pm

I think that this a meta- meta discussion. Its the very essence of a meta discussion.
I think it behoves you Jaidyn to settle in a while before launching a reform movement :smile: .
PeterB
 
Posts: 3904
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Jaidyn » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:18 pm

PeterB wrote:I think that this a meta- meta discussion. Its the very essence of a meta discussion.
I think it behoves you Jaidyn to settle in a while before launching a reform movement :smile: .

;)
I am honestly interested in this discussion as I am prone to spend time in the kind of discussions discussed here. My intention and the actual topic of discussion should be evident in my first post.

You do not need to discuss other discussions in order to participate here. Discussion can be about kalama sutta and its way of application, although I do not want to limit the discussion to that sutta. Why do you spend time here? Others write "drop the argument and practice more", well, how do I know when (from buddhist perspective) to drop an argument. That's another possible question to answer without discussing other discussions. I do not want to limit my post to that particular question either. I want many different reflections.

I plan not to write intensly in this thread right now. But your replies demands exemplification (especially as it is in the start).
User avatar
Jaidyn
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:47 am

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby PeterB » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:27 pm

Clarification would have been nice. As it is I have even less idea what you are on about.... :smile:

:anjali:
PeterB
 
Posts: 3904
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Jaidyn » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:34 pm

PeterB wrote:Clarification would have been nice. As it is I have even less idea what you are on about.... :smile:

:anjali:


(you responded to the text where I wrote clarification, I later changed to exemplification. I'm telling to not be rude).

I write no more. The best clarification is to read my post again. I can only be sorry if I wrote that badly. I really did my best in making things clear. If it wasn't enough I will just accept, with two tears, the fate of this thread.
User avatar
Jaidyn
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:47 am

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby appicchato » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:21 pm

Funny (to me) how every time I see (or hear) the word 'individual' these days (and many in the past) I think of Alex...
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1562
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:36 pm

appicchato wrote:Funny (to me) how every time I see (or hear) the word 'individual' these days (and many in the past) I think of Alex...

Indeed, Bhante.
:candle: :anjali:
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15974
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:37 pm

Hi David,
David N. Snyder wrote:
Jaidyn wrote:* Do not let this be a meta-discussion by discussing other discussions.


This thread sounds like a meta-discussion but if the other moderators (who have more experience than me on these matters) deem it acceptable, we can keep this thread.


I might just move it over to the suggestion box. If my mod/admin colleagues disagree they can move back or elsewhere.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15974
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:46 pm

Hi Jaidyn

Jaidyn wrote:Summary: Discuss this very argumentative way to approach Buddhism; the benefits, shortcomings, and traps in regard to developing true understanding of the Dhamma.

This part of the forum offers an unique atmosphere where you are encouraged, if it is your wish, to rely on your arguments rather then on common opinion or on texts otherwise regarded as authoritative. You are also encouraged to pick up controversial and challenging topics.

Are these kinds of discussions important or not for spiritual development? Why, and when?

From time to time people seem to be eager in participating, but does participation in such an atmosphere help your spiritual progress, or on the contrary: is it a hindrance whereby you rather stay away? What have you learned by participating or by not participating? How do you reach your conclusion regarding these questions?

Why this question? That which starts with good intentions can lead to discussions, which the individual takes as fuel for own bad intentions and delusion. Still I think there is a value in this way of discussing when good intentions and wisdom is predominant. In my belief this can both help or hinder development, and deeper understanding about the details of this process is therefore interesting. Better understanding would also help in deciding when and how to chose this approach. So I ask for your personal reflections :) My post need not to be replied to in a strict sense, if I gave that impression.

Because of the very nature of this thread I want to remind about the rules; particularly:

* Do not let this be a meta-discussion by discussing other discussions.
* Attack ideas and arguments but do not attack personally.

Appropriate conduct within the Dhammic free-for-all forum
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=175

Terms of Service (please read first)
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2


A couple of historical points to consider....

Firstly, there is a tradition within different Buddhist schools to engage in debate as a means of challenging and testing one's own knowledge.

Secondly, the DFFA forum came into being as the result of the experience and observations of a number of everyone on the mod/admin team who were either mods or members of the now defunct e-Sangha. At e-Sangha, certain ideas when challenged were grounds for banning as a means of managing long and ongoing discussions such as the validity of rebirth. When we established DW we wanted an environment where members could engage in robust discussion and debate and not feel that they would be punished or excluded as a result of challenging orthodoxy.

Personally, I don't get a lot out of debate and so I rarely participate. But that is me. And what is right for me isn't necessarily going to be right for someone else. If you don't get anything out of engaging in the DFFA forum, then please participate in the other fora.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15974
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:48 pm

Hi Jaidyn,
Jaidyn wrote:Are these kinds of discussions important or not for spiritual development? Why, and when?

Interesting question.

Personally, I've not found heated argumentation to be particularly useful to me. In some cases it has helped me hone little details of my understanding, but in my experience the nature of forums such as this is that they tend to focus me on improving my intellectual sparring technique rather than development of my actual understanding of the Dhamma, which tends to come much more from off-line practice and other activities with like-minded practitioners and teachers, and from reading books and listening to talks from various teachers.

So, to me, these heated discussions tend to be interesting diversions, rather than real aids to development. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Nothing wrong with some intellectual exercise, and it might as well be about Dhamma...

Others might have other experiences. It would be interesting to hear them.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10136
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Kare » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:27 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Jaidyn,
Jaidyn wrote:Are these kinds of discussions important or not for spiritual development? Why, and when?

Interesting question.

Personally, I've not found heated argumentation to be particularly useful to me. In some cases it has helped me hone little details of my understanding, but in my experience the nature of forums such as this is that they tend to focus me on improving my intellectual sparring technique rather than development of my actual understanding of the Dhamma, which tends to come much more from off-line practice and other activities with like-minded practitioners and teachers, and from reading books and listening to talks from various teachers.

So, to me, these heated discussions tend to be interesting diversions, rather than real aids to development. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Nothing wrong with some intellectual exercise, and it might as well be about Dhamma...

Others might have other experiences. It would be interesting to hear them.

:anjali:
Mike


I tend to agree with you. But I have to admit that I seldom read those marathon-threads where arguments tend to be repeated over and over. But it happens that I look into them, and then it also happens that I find some interesting fact or reference that I did not know. It also happens that some of those facts or references makes me think ... and I have found (to my surprise) that a new thought now and then does not hurt.

:anjali:
Mettāya,
Kåre
User avatar
Kare
 
Posts: 679
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:58 am
Location: Norway

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:36 pm

Greetings,

I don't think that the DFFA need necessarily be heated. It's better to be cool. 8-)

The underlying principle behind the sub-forum is much like Ben said above...

Ben wrote:the DFFA forum came into being as the result of the experience and observations of a number of everyone on the mod/admin team who were either mods or members of the now defunct e-Sangha. At e-Sangha, certain ideas when challenged were grounds for banning as a means of managing long and ongoing discussions such as the validity of rebirth. When we established DW we wanted an environment where members could engage in robust discussion and debate and not feel that they would be punished or excluded as a result of challenging orthodoxy.

I found it completely unacceptable that people could be banned simply for speaking heterodox views on a Buddhist forum.

I also found it completely unacceptable that people could be banned for honestly stating that they did believe x, or didn't believe y on a Buddhist forum.

The DFFA allows people to discuss ideas and interpretations on the Dhamma that may deviate from the mainstream of Theravada thought without fear of recrimination, and without being railroaded into accepting the party line (i.e. orthodox/classical interpretations).

There's a time and a place for everything.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14629
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:20 am

Moderator note:

Please note that ths thread is for the discussion of the role of the DFFA Forum.

Please also go to The role of debate and discussion in understanding to participate in the discussion there.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15974
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Jaidyn » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:08 am

I am happy with your way of handling my thread.

My intention has survived into the new thread you created in compensation, and it gladdens me that it turns into interesting discussion. :smile:
User avatar
Jaidyn
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:47 am

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Dan74 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:39 am

The Dhammic-free-for-all is also useful for those of us whose practice isn't strictly Theravadan but who would like to have some input or discuss matters with our Theravadin brothers and sisters.

To me it's been very valuable to learn a little of how some experienced folks here view things, both for my practice and general knowledge.

Besides strong debate and the feelings it evokes can be good practice in itself. Not necessarily "feel good" practice especially when we believe that we must always be calm, composed and detached but it's an opportunity to face things we would rather not face, which I think is vital for practice.
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2617
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby shjohnk » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:42 am

I stay away from that forum. I have enough self-produced pappanca.
shjohnk
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:19 am
Location: Shanghai, China

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:14 am

Dan74 wrote:The Dhammic-free-for-all is also useful for those of us whose practice isn't strictly Theravadan but who would like to have some input or discuss matters with our Theravadin brothers and sisters.

That's me.
Dan74 wrote:To me it's been very valuable to learn a little of how some experienced folks here view things, both for my practice and general knowledge.

Agreed.
Dan74 wrote:Besides strong debate and the feelings it evokes can be good practice in itself. Not necessarily "feel good" practice especially when we believe that we must always be calm, composed and detached but it's an opportunity to face things we would rather not face, which I think is vital for practice.

Not so sure about that ... my feelings about anything sectarian, which is where the DFFA often comes into its own, are not strong enough to drag me out of my 'calm, composed and detached' zone. Interested, yes; angry, no. My first approximation to 'the truths of Buddhism' is that doctrines that all major traditions agree on are probably correct and things they disagree on are a little less certain.

But, on balance, the DFFA works well and I think Retro's reasons for its existence are sound.

:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3007
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Is "The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism

Postby manas » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:35 pm

Hi jaidyn,
personally, I've not found engaging in argument in the 'dhammic free for all' conducive to either mental calm or wisdom. The reason I've involved myself there quite a bit in the past, is that it was fun and/or interesting. But although arguing or hammering out views does not seem to advance insight for me, it is a better option than reading the newspaper, with all it's nonsense about wars, politicians, etc. But as for spiritual development, pitting 'my view' against 'your view', if that's what you were getting at, is futile and a distraction from the real work that needs to be done, which involves observing thought, and not simply becoming better at using it to defeat an opponent (I'm not implying that anyone here does that, just musing).
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 2102
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia


Return to Suggestion box

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest