Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

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

Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby santa100 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:33 pm

Hi Cooran, if there's a Home Depot near your home, you could just stop by to ask the folks there and get lots of valuable free consultation about your problem. You still need to identify the exact kind of borers though (your pest control professional's gonna have to do this anyway in order to find the right chemicals to kill them). Can't hurt to try the electronic devices first, they're pretty cheap to get (~10 bucks in the States, don't know the price in Australia though), and if it works, the price tag will be just a fraction of the cost of professional chemicals. Also check out the natural pest repellents site here: http://www.ghorganics.com/page9.html . In the worst case scenario, have the experts do their stuff, you wasted 10 bucks on the electronic device and maybe a few bucks on lemon/onion skins for natural repellents, but with the peace of mind that at least you've tried. Good luck..
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:33 am

Chris,
cooran wrote:thanks Mike, all,

The problem lies with 'intentional' and 'unintentional' when it comes to Kamma-vipaka.

There are very many beings (borers) in the timber. To hire a Pestie to treat the house would be intentional action. But to not hire a Pestie would mean the house will become ruined, and I won't be able to sell it - which is my intention in the next year - and this is a financial need.

with metta
Chris

We can't go through life without making some hard decisions. In your situation I would call in the exterminator. Having said that, it would not be an easy thing to do and not a decision that would not carry with it a great deal of regret.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:36 am

daverupa wrote:That might be because electronic pest control is bogus.

here comes the science

The evidence for these devices comes solely in the form of testimonials, but alas, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

Yes, I purchased an electronic repellant for rodents last year for one of the buildings where I work. It had zero impact.
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby daverupa » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:50 am

Ben wrote:It had zero impact.


But it was a wholesome intention, was it not? That has impact...

;)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby chownah » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:54 am

Cooran,
What I do in a situation like yours is:
1. Inform them of the damage they are doing.....yes I actually will think or say "I know you are a rat from your shit and you're behavior is damaging my things and is a danger to my health."
2. Ask them to leave and inform them of the consequences....yes I actually will think or say "you must leave my house and find another home somewhere else....there are many other places you can make a home and raise your family....I wish you luck in finding a good home and peace in raising your family....if you don't go I will put poison here and in your igorance you will eat it and die."
3. Apologize to them when you find their dead body.....yes I actually will think or say "I'm sorry that you didn't understand my advise and follow it....I guess you were clinging to life just like me and so your death was filled with dukkha....I hope that I develop the wisdom to avoid such clinging."
4. Declare that it is understandable that you might meet the exact same fate and die from poisoning and if this happens it is just and appropriate and not a matter to cling to or be averse to.

Anyway this is a very wordy redition of some of the things I do often when I kill something....sometimes I don't do all of them...if I am plowing a field and see that I have severed a snake in two I often apologize for that and warn other animals to leave the field so as to avoid this.......for example....

Another way to cope with it is to withdraw momentarily and stop the arising of the delusional self....when this happens equanimity arises along with the knowledge of the way things really are.....I guess.....don't know for sure.....
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:57 am

daverupa wrote:
Ben wrote:It had zero impact.


But it was a wholesome intention, was it not? That has impact...

;)


Indeed, Dave, what I meant...zero impact on reducing the rodent population!
Or so it seems.
I've since purchased "catch and release" traps and even they don't seem to make much difference.
Perhaps its the plague!
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby ground » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:51 am

whynotme wrote:Hi,

What do you consider the limit of not killing? Do you kill small bugs, ants, or do you consider bacteria, virus are living things? What things determine a living thing, and should not be killed? Size, nervous system, biological structure?

Wish I could ask the Buddha himself but can not so I ask for your opinions. It is an important question I need the answer.

Regards.


In general:
The basis is another being who is alive. The affliction is any of the three (attachment, aversion, delusion), and the motivation is the desire to kill. As for the performance it makes no difference whether the performers do it themselves or cause somebody else to do it. The culmination is the death of another on account of the performance.

This is called "killing" and entails the corresponding effects.

Principally there is no "absolution" through opinions of others. It is just about cause and effect. It is not about morality of a kind of "you must not do this or that" or "it is forbidden because the Buddha said this or that". Often people are asking others "what do you think?" but that is of no avail. Why? Because in case of conflict the answer can only be found through "investigating into oneself".

But of course if one holds a nihilistic view (i.e. negating cause and effect) then that's another issue in the context of the dhamma.

Kind regards
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:13 am

chownah wrote:Cooran,
What I do in a situation like yours is:
1. Inform them of the damage they are doing.....yes I actually will think or say "I know you are a rat from your shit and you're behavior is damaging my things and is a danger to my health."
2. Ask them to leave and inform them of the consequences....yes I actually will think or say "you must leave my house and find another home somewhere else....there are many other places you can make a home and raise your family....I wish you luck in finding a good home and peace in raising your family....if you don't go I will put poison here and in your igorance you will eat it and die."
3. Apologize to them when you find their dead body.....yes I actually will think or say "I'm sorry that you didn't understand my advise and follow it....I guess you were clinging to life just like me and so your death was filled with dukkha....I hope that I develop the wisdom to avoid such clinging."
4. Declare that it is understandable that you might meet the exact same fate and die from poisoning and if this happens it is just and appropriate and not a matter to cling to or be averse to.

Anyway this is a very wordy redition of some of the things I do often when I kill something....sometimes I don't do all of them...if I am plowing a field and see that I have severed a snake in two I often apologize for that and warn other animals to leave the field so as to avoid this.......for example....

Another way to cope with it is to withdraw momentarily and stop the arising of the delusional self....when this happens equanimity arises along with the knowledge of the way things really are.....I guess.....don't know for sure.....
chownah

Hello chownah,

Thanks for this - but it is not mice or rats which I catch in a non-harming trap and release a couple of kilometres away in bushland near a creek - it is Termites/borers in the roof timbers.

with metta
Chris
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:15 am

We can't go through life without making some hard decisions. In your situation I would call in the exterminator. Having said that, it would not be an easy thing to do and not a decision that would not carry with it a great deal of regret.
kind regards,

Ben


Thanks Ben!

with metta
Chris
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby chownah » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:45 am

cooran wrote:Hello chownah,

Thanks for this - but it is not mice or rats which I catch in a non-harming trap and release a couple of kilometres away in bushland near a creek - it is Termites/borers in the roof timbers.

with metta
Chris

I know...I just used rats because that is the one I have dealt with the most....I would do this for insects too....I have done this with ants for instance.....I find it very helpful....

Also, the second approach can be used not only for these situations but also for any sort of negative intention that arises be it greed, envy, hate, lust,....it seems to work for all of them....I'll repeat it here:

Another way to cope with it is to withdraw momentarily and stop the arising of the delusional self....when this happens equanimity arises along with the knowledge of the way things really are.....I guess.....don't know for sure.....

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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby Fede » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:39 am

cooran wrote:......it is not mice or rats which I catch in a non-harming trap and release a couple of kilometres away in bushland near a creek - it is Termites/borers in the roof timbers.

with metta
Chris


Chris, if it's any consolation, A Buddhist Monastery in the USA had an infestation of cockroaches which they eventually had to eliminate by calling a company of exterminators to do it.
They ruminated, meditated, and sought counsel from their 'Mother Monastery' before they did so. But in the end, it was their only option.
I can't give more detail, but I know I read it in one of Lama Surya Das' Awakening trilogy books..... (not everyone's cup of tea, but he has his good points!)
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Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby chownah » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:53 am

We have alot of termites in Thailand and what they do here is to remove the infested wood and then maybe spray the remaining wood in the vicinity and replace what was removed sometimes with treated wood....treated wood doesn't kill termites...they know from the flavor to not eat it I think........using treated wood is prevention in that you will not get the infestation so no need to kill. Ground floors are all concrete and the soil is treated with poison before the concrete floor is poured...again this keeps the bugs out so it is prevention...at least I think this is how it works...
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby Moggalana » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:51 am

acinteyyo wrote:Did someone ever thought about that it's not so much about whether or not a "being" suffers from being killed but rather that it is about (the killer who's going to suffer because of) the state of mind which happens to be when the intentional act of killing is carried out? Maybe what should be considered killing does not depend on WHAT will be killed but whether or not there is the intention of killing whatsoever... know what I'm trying to say?

best wishes, acinteyyo


A very important point!

Bhante Dhammika wrote:The Buddha says: ‘I say that intention is kamma, because having first intended one acts with body, speech or mind’ (A.III,415). According to the Buddha, every intentional action modifies our consciousness, thus building our character and thereby influencing our behaviour, our experience and consequently our destiny. Positive intentional actions (motivated by generosity, love and wisdom) tend towards consequences that are experienced as positive while intentional negative actions (motivated by greed, hatred and delusion) tend towards consequences that are experienced as negative.

Kamma and Natural Disasters 3
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.
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Re: Killing, what should be considered killing? Bacteria, virus?

Postby whynotme » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:48 am

acinteyyo wrote:Did someone ever thought about that it's not so much about whether or not a "being" suffers from being killed but rather that it is about (the killer who's going to suffer because of) the state of mind which happens to be when the intentional act of killing is carried out? Maybe what should be considered killing does not depend on WHAT will be killed but whether or not there is the intention of killing whatsoever... know what I'm trying to say?

best wishes, acinteyyo

Thank you acinteyyo for pointing it out,
Yes I agree that intention is thing determines killing.
But it is not like that, it is about don't want to harm other. When I have doubts, by doing this action, do I harm anyone? And I cannot have doubt then ignore it, by doing this or that maybe I would kill someone then still do it.

Like one could closed his eyes then he will not have bad intention, but I think that isn't the way the Buddha taught us. The Buddha taught about facing it with knowledge, not trying to evade our problems. By evade problems, we could have temporary peace, but we lose wisdom, while wisdom (panna) is the most important attribute.

Here is an example, a monk built a small house by using clay then heat it to porcelain. The Buddha commanded other monks destroy it because that action could harm small beings. The monk made porcelain didn't have intention to kill, but that action isn't allowable. We could still keep our eyes closed and trying to not know that our actions could harm other or not.

TMingyur wrote:Principally there is no "absolution" through opinions of others. It is just about cause and effect. It is not about morality of a kind of "you must not do this or that" or "it is forbidden because the Buddha said this or that". Often people are asking others "what do you think?" but that is of no avail. Why? Because in case of conflict the answer can only be found through "investigating into oneself".

I don't agree with you.

Technically, what you said is right, but the problem is that most of us don't have the wisdom to investigating into oneslf so we must based on the Buddha's teachings or sometimes others' opinions. For me, "it is forbidden because the Buddha said this or that" is true. If the Buddha didn't allow, I am satisfy with it. I lay down my life on his teachings.

Did you read patimokkha? If you did then you would know that if the Buddha didn't allow one thing, it isn't just because "investigating into oneself" is enough, because sometimes arahants did things then the Buddha forbid it. Not because of oneself, but because of others' sake and believe,..

Regards
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