Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Dugu
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Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Dugu » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:41 pm

In the Noble Eightfold path, we are to abstain from taking of lives. In practice I have tried my best to follow this precept. I have avoided stepping on ants. I would catch spiders in my room and release them without harm. It's not hard to abstain from taking of lives in the comfort of our modern day living. But I was just thinking if I had been in a life and death scenario, would I still be able to keep my precept? So I would like to propose this scenario to my fellow Buddhist and ask what would you do? Let's say you crashed landed on a remote island with no edible vegetation except rats and crabs roaming about. And there is no way to survive except to kill these critters for food. Rescue won't come anytime soon. Would you do it or would you allow yourself to starve to death?

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torqz
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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby torqz » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:12 pm

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Last edited by torqz on Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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chownah
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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby chownah » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:26 pm

I kill crabs in my rice field every year....rats too occasionally....so I guess I would have no problem eating them.....actually I have eaten them and crabs are much tastier than rats although after eating nothing but crabs for awhile a rat might be refreshing......so do these rats and crabs exist by just eating each other?.....what a bizarre ecosystem :tongue:
chownah

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Dugu
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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Dugu » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:15 pm


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Dugu
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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Dugu » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:26 pm


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Fede
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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Fede » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:45 pm

"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby santa100 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:12 pm

Obviously it's tough to find a perfect solution in this Samsara. In some situation, one's gonna have to pick the lesser of the evils. On a practical standpoint, The first 2 options aren't good: Killing yourself or slowly starve to death: you still commit an act of killing, and you're trading one human life to save a few animal lives. Not only you'd cut off the chance of enlightenment but also what's equally important: the unique potential of a human being to help others. The third option maybe the better one if you do it properly: minimize the suffering of the poor animal by one single decisive blow to its central nervous system. Make a pledge to yourself now that you've owed your life to some creatures, that the moment you're back to the main land, you'll dedicate all your efforts to help many others: contribute your time, effort, and wealth to many charity works to help the sick, the disabled, and the poor..

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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Hickersonia » Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:13 pm

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"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:06 pm


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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:52 pm


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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:46 am

Fede, I disagree with your opinion that these scenarios are pointless. In these hypothetical scenarios discussions you can refine your moral beliefs and rules and that can serve as a guiding line for what you do in daily life.

It's easy to put this scenario in a close real world situation though: imagine you have a rat infestation in your house and you have kids. What would you do?
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:12 am

remove the source of food, clean the place up, make it less accessible, and less habitable for them so they go somewhere else.

This is similar to a situation I have experienced, the last thing I thought about was how best to kill them, it was how best to move them on and prevent them getting in.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Hickersonia » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:27 am

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http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:36 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:41 am


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Dugu
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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Dugu » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:39 am


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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Hickersonia » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:50 am

Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Dugu
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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Dugu » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:09 am


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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby Ferox » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:21 am

the OP brings up a very good situation that I struggle with as well being a woodsman and a survivalist. I often think about what if I was lost and had to survive off the land or die.

I also think about home break in self defense type of situations, saving your own life or someone elses life and in the process ending up killing an aggressor. A good discussion so far with some great points brought up.
-just one more being treading the ancient path of Dhamma-

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Re: Can killing be acceptable in Buddhism?

Postby sattva » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:28 am



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