An interesting line of enquiry came up in the The Dhammic free-for-all" a worthy approach to Buddhism thread which we believe warrents further investigation.
While Jaidyn's thread has been moved to the suggestion box to discuss issues relating to the role of the Dhammic-free-for-all (DFFA) forum, I would like to explore your thoughts on the role of debate and discussion in assisting one's understanding (and practice of) the Dhamma.
A few extracts from posts made at the DFFA Forum thread:
Jaidyn wrote:Are these kinds of discussions important or not for spiritual development? Why, and when?
Ben wrote:there is a tradition within different Buddhist schools to engage in debate as a means of challenging and testing one's own knowledge.
Mike wrote:Hi Jaidyn,Jaidyn wrote:Are these kinds of discussions important or not for spiritual development? Why, and when?
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.
Kare wrote: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.
So what do you think?