Is it ever O.K. to lie?

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

Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby whynotme » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:20 pm

santa100 wrote:
Whynotme wrote:
Here is the info:
The murderer has very thick body armor covering all of his body, or he is standing after a wall, the only possible target is the head. Hey, assume you have a sniper rifle and the ability to use it, and the only way is aiming for the head and killing him instantly. Time is counting in seconds, you don't have time to change position to choose other part of body of him because he is going to press the button of the bomb. What will you do, kill him or not?


Well, the key stragetic goal would still be the same: to save many lives including the mass murderer "If Possible". Depends on the situation, we can come up with creative and flexible ways to achieve this goal. Obviously, there'll be a situation where one's really left with no other choice but to squeeze the trigger. By the way, just to spice things up a little bit, given all the premises that you already given, adding that many of your relatives and loved ones (grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, spouse, kids, etc...) are among the hostages. What will YOU do?

As I already said, I will not pull the trigger, I will not kill him.

Thing is, the stop of the life is not the stop of all things. There is still next life, if they, my loved ones have done good things, I am not worried about them, their next life may be better than this life, I always try to convince them to do good things.

In my view, the stopping of their life isn't different from they taking a hit from a punch, should I tell them to punch back? Should I revenge?

This life is just a flash in the infinity time. Don't worry about the death, let worry if you or other ones you love didn't do good karma to prepare for it (the death).

That is my thought, and what about you, what is your choice?

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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby santa100 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:30 pm

Whynotme wrote:

santa100 wrote:
Well, the key stragetic goal would still be the same: to save many lives including the mass murderer "If Possible". Depends on the situation, we can come up with creative and flexible ways to achieve this goal. Obviously, there'll be a situation where one's really left with no other choice but to squeeze the trigger. By the way, just to spice things up a little bit, given all the premises that you already given, adding that many of your relatives and loved ones (grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, spouse, kids, etc...) are among the hostages. What will YOU do?


As I already said, I will not pull the trigger, I will not kill him


What????????????????????????????????????? I don't know what else to say..
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby whynotme » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:33 pm

santa100 wrote:
Whynotme wrote:

santa100 wrote:
Well, the key stragetic goal would still be the same: to save many lives including the mass murderer "If Possible". Depends on the situation, we can come up with creative and flexible ways to achieve this goal. Obviously, there'll be a situation where one's really left with no other choice but to squeeze the trigger. By the way, just to spice things up a little bit, given all the premises that you already given, adding that many of your relatives and loved ones (grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, spouse, kids, etc...) are among the hostages. What will YOU do?


As I already said, I will not pull the trigger, I will not kill him


What????????????????????????????????????? I don't know what else to say..

Well, it is easier said than done,

But why are you so surprised, this is a Buddhism forum.
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby santa100 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:36 pm

I don't know Whynotme, even in this Buddhist forum, your view is very, what can I say, "unique"...
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby whynotme » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:42 pm

santa100 wrote:I don't know Whynotme, even in this Buddhist forum, your view is very, what can I say, "unique"...

So by unique you mean you will kill him?

And I am pretty sure there are people in this forum will not kill in that situation

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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby santa100 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:46 pm

Then the only way to find out is to make a poll. Again, I'd ask folks to carefully re-read all the premises made by you and the extra premises made by me for the scenario..
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:09 pm

This thread is about "Is it ever O.K. to lie?" not about hypothetical situations about killing. Better to take those issues to the following thread or make another one:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8528&start=0
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby whynotme » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:52 am

Dear David,

Thanks for your suggestion.

OK, a bit off topic but I think we're here almost all Buddhists and talk in peace, so no need to rule strictly. And in my opinion, the thing discussed may related to other things, if move it to another threads or start new one it somehow will be nonsense.

Do you expect this topic only talk about is it OK to lie, but don't talk about Buddha, suttas,.. because one could start new threads to talk about those things or easily found similar topics already here?

It is just my opinion,
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:14 am

whynotme wrote:The Buddha said what leads to bad actions should be considered bad.


I am not agree with this.

To me, what leads to bad intention should be considered bad.

Action is free and neutral. Lying, killing, and donation are free.

Look at donation. If we think donation is a good action, then donation with the intention to get fame is a good action.
Look at praying. If we think praying is a good action, the praying with the motivation to be looked holy is a good action.

I am not on that kind of understanding.

Let's look at lying. If I see only from the action point of view, lying is bad. But if I see lying with the intention to help others, to me it is a good action.
Same with killing. If I have NO OTHER CHOECES and kill him with the intention to prevent him from making very heavy bad karma, to me it is a good action.

Of course, if I have magic power that can make him doesn't make, I will not kill him. But in the situation, there is no other choices, killing with the good intention, to me is considered good.

We need to be careful here. We cannot lie to karmic law.

We cannot pretend, oh I kill him because I want to help him, but in fact I hate it. This one definitely doesn't work.

I can lie to you, but I cannot lie to myself and nature knows it.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby whynotme » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:46 am

DarwidHalim wrote:
whynotme wrote:The Buddha said what leads to bad actions should be considered bad.

I am not agree with this.

To me, what leads to bad intention should be considered bad.

Action is free and neutral. Lying, killing, and donation are free.

Look at donation. If we think donation is a good action, then donation with the intention to get fame is a good action.
Look at praying. If we think praying is a good action, the praying with the motivation to be looked holy is a good action.

I am not on that kind of understanding.

Let's look at lying. If I see only from the action point of view, lying is bad. But if I see lying with the intention to help others, to me it is a good action.
Same with killing. If I have NO OTHER CHOECES and kill him with the intention to prevent him from making very heavy bad karma, to me it is a good action.

Of course, if I have magic power that can make him doesn't make, I will not kill him. But in the situation, there is no other choices, killing with the good intention, to me is considered good.

We need to be careful here. We cannot lie to karmic law.

We cannot pretend, oh I kill him because I want to help him, but in fact I hate it. This one definitely doesn't work.

I can lie to you, but I cannot lie to myself and nature knows it.

I don't care you agree with or not, I just sayin

Have you read the sutta the Buddha did a description how bad action exist in this world? Yes, lying a little thing is sometimes nonsense, but at the social level, it is totally different. Remember that the Buddha has the full view, he knew what is right what is wrong, don't apply your view on his teaching. If he said don't lie, then don't lie, if he said don't kill, then don't kill. If you think you are smarter than him, you know more about this world than him, you better than him, care more about the other than him, then please feel free to do whatever you want

Regards.
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:53 am

whynotme wrote:
DarwidHalim wrote:
whynotme wrote:The Buddha said what leads to bad actions should be considered bad.

I am not agree with this.

To me, what leads to bad intention should be considered bad.

Action is free and neutral. Lying, killing, and donation are free.

Look at donation. If we think donation is a good action, then donation with the intention to get fame is a good action.
Look at praying. If we think praying is a good action, the praying with the motivation to be looked holy is a good action.

I am not on that kind of understanding.

Let's look at lying. If I see only from the action point of view, lying is bad. But if I see lying with the intention to help others, to me it is a good action.
Same with killing. If I have NO OTHER CHOECES and kill him with the intention to prevent him from making very heavy bad karma, to me it is a good action.

Of course, if I have magic power that can make him doesn't make, I will not kill him. But in the situation, there is no other choices, killing with the good intention, to me is considered good.

We need to be careful here. We cannot lie to karmic law.

We cannot pretend, oh I kill him because I want to help him, but in fact I hate it. This one definitely doesn't work.

I can lie to you, but I cannot lie to myself and nature knows it.

I don't care you agree with or not, I just sayin

Have you read the sutta the Buddha did a description how bad action exist in this world? Yes, lying a little thing is sometimes nonsense, but at the social level, it is totally different. Remember that the Buddha has the full view, he knew what is right what is wrong, don't apply your view on his teaching. If he said don't lie, then don't lie, if he said don't kill, then don't kill. If you think you are smarter than him, you know more about this world than him, you better than him, care more about the other than him, then please feel free to do whatever you want

Regards.


OK, then if you have reached arahant state or buddha state, what will you do? Lie or not? :jumping: :jumping: :jumping:
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:50 am

DarwidHalim wrote:To me, what leads to bad intention should be considered bad. Action is free and neutral. Lying, killing, and donation are free.

Nibbedhika Sutta
ANVI.63 wrote:"Intention, I tell you, is action (kamma). Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect."
"And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:04 am

acinteyyo wrote:
DarwidHalim wrote:To me, what leads to bad intention should be considered bad. Action is free and neutral. Lying, killing, and donation are free.

Nibbedhika Sutta
ANVI.63 wrote:"Intention, I tell you, is action (kamma). Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect."
"And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.

best wishes, acinteyyo


Uh yeah, I think I should use the word called motivation, instead of intention. Any quote from Pali if I choose motivation instead of intention? :jumping: :jumping:

"Intention, I tell you, is action (kamma)"

a) I intend to eat.
b) I am eating.

a = b ? :thinking:
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:22 am

DarwidHalim wrote:
acinteyyo wrote:
DarwidHalim wrote:To me, what leads to bad intention should be considered bad. Action is free and neutral. Lying, killing, and donation are free.

Nibbedhika Sutta
ANVI.63 wrote:"Intention, I tell you, is action (kamma). Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect."
"And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.

best wishes, acinteyyo


Uh yeah, I think I should use the word called motivation, instead of intention. Any quote from Pali if I choose motivation instead of intention? :jumping: :jumping:

I just wanted to show you the connection between contact, intention and action. You said "action is free and neutral". But according to this sutta, action is not free from intention.
DarwidHalim wrote:"Intention, I tell you, is action (kamma)"

a) I intend to eat.
b) I am eating.

a = b ? :thinking:

a is a and b is b, but for example intending (a) one does kamma by way of body, speech & intellect (b)

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:38 am

I see. May be there is a misunderstanding.

When I say action is free, What I mean free is free from label good, bad, or neutral. Not free from intention.

I should write Action is free from label good, bad, or neutral.

The sutta, which you quote: show the relationship between contact, intention and action. So they are 3 different things, which always present when we do something. It doesn't mean they are same. Only inseparable.

Quite interesting. :jumping:
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby acinteyyo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:57 am

DarwidHalim wrote:When I say action is free, What I mean free is free from label good, bad, or neutral. Not free from intention.
I should write Action is free from label good, bad, or neutral.

ah okay... I see. But still one thing:
Nidana Sutta
AN3.33 wrote:Where that action ripens, there one will experience its fruit, either in this very life that has arisen or further along in the sequence.

action (kamma) bears fruits (kamma-vipaka) and accordingly it can be labeled as wholesome action, unwholsome action and neutral action.
See Kamma and its Fruit for more info.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby Claudia » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:54 pm

I take my vows (Silas) very, very seriously and I really try to keep them strictly.

But if it ever would happen, that a Neo-Nazi would stand in front of my door and ask if my african adopted daughter or my african and disabled foster daughter is here, I definitly would lie and say "no" to protect my children (and then I would call the police instantly).

We had a situation like this just a few months ago and it was alarming. I was not in the situation to lie, but it could have happened. I just had not been in this situation to lie, because I called the police before the young and violent people were able to asked me (my daughter recognized them and alarmed me).

To me it would have been o.k. to lie in this situation - if I made bad khamma, so I have to pay for it.

I would lie if I'd say: I would never lie.
Many greetings from

Claudia
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:13 pm

whynotme wrote:In the suttas, a king said the most loved thing to one is oneself, so your life or other lives, which one do you choose? And in another sutta, Sukkha the king of Devas thought that, even costing his life, he won't lie. Hope that helps.


In the Gestapo scenario, other lives are at stake. It's not only about saving one's own life.

It's one thing to say "I will keep the precept even at the cost of my life." It's quite another to say "I will keep the precept, even at the cost of their lives."
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby santa100 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:30 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:
It's one thing to say "I will keep the precept even at the cost of my life." It's quite another to say "I will keep the precept, even at the cost of their lives."


Nicely put!
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Re: Is it ever O.K. to lie?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:33 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:In the Gestapo scenario, other lives are at stake. It's not only about saving one's own life.

It's one thing to say "I will keep the precept even at the cost of my life." It's quite another to say "I will keep the precept, even at the cost of their lives."


Exactly. In one way, it might even be considered 'selfish' to not lie. If the main motivation was so that you don't get any bad kamma by not breaking the precept and tell the truth and let the Gestapo know where the Jews or minorities are hiding, then your concern is for your kamma and not the welfare of others.

But by lying, you are preventing the death of innocents and possibly putting your own life in jeopardy, if you get caught. In such a case you are acting out of compassion and I think that is wholesome, not unwholesome. It is important to understand the Letter and Spirit of the teachings. By focusing too much on the letter, the spirit can be lost and one might do things which could cause death and murder, as in this example.
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