Is a UK student loan considered debt

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mal » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:04 pm

Interesting that all the UK posters in this thread suggest that a senior monk might see the UK student loan as not really a loan! So it might be worth seeking out a senior monk of UK origin if you are from the UK, he is likely to understand your situation better.

Until the 1980s students (like me) got grants in the UK, so I think any fair minded person in the UK detests that today's students have to take out a massive "loan". To keep fair minded people from (peaceful) revolution on the streets the government have tweeked it just enough, making it, in effect, not a loan, but a tax for well paid graduates (which is just about supportable - but I still think everyone should get grants, and rich old parents/bankers should get taxed.)
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:07 pm

Banks and building societies don't consider a UK student loan as a debt. Having one of any size has no impact on one's ability to procure a loan or a mortgage from a bank. If even financial lenders don't consider it a debt, would the vinaya?
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:09 pm

(Not rhetorical)
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby daverupa » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:37 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:(Not rhetorical)


Hmm.

The text in the Vinaya runs something like this:

Should any monk steal what has not been given to him, whether from a village or from the jungle, in circumstances such that a king would have arrested, flogged, imprisoned, or banished him with the words, "You are a robber, you are a fool, you are benighted, you are a thief," that monk who took what has not been given to him is defeated and is no longer in communion.


This seems to hook the definition to secular law; so, in the UK case, there is no debt.
    "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: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby santa100 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:49 pm

The interesting thing is that one simply takes up another form of debt by joining the Order. And one can only become "debt-free" the day they attain arahantship. So if not heedful, it won't be your government running after you to settle some business, this time it'll be your own kamma. From Ven. Bodhi's note #305 of the SN:
"Spk: There are four modes of monks using their requisites:
(i) by theft (theyyaparibhoga): the use made by a morally depraved monk;
(ii) as a debtor (iṇaparibhoga): the unreflective use made by a virtuous monk;
(iii) as an heir (dāyajjaparibhoga): the use made by the seven sekha(trainees);
(iv) as an owner (sāmiparibhoga): the use made by an arahant.
Thus only an arahant uses the requisites as an owner, without debt."
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:01 pm

daverupa wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:(Not rhetorical)


Hmm.

The text in the Vinaya runs something like this:

Should any monk steal what has not been given to him, whether from a village or from the jungle, in circumstances such that a king would have arrested, flogged, imprisoned, or banished him with the words, "You are a robber, you are a fool, you are benighted, you are a thief," that monk who took what has not been given to him is defeated and is no longer in communion.


This seems to hook the definition to secular law; so, in the UK case, there is no debt.

different rule, and wouldnt apply to any other rule unless there was a precedent within that rule!
the actual rule goes

Translated from the Pâli by T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg [1881] wrote:At that time a certain person who was in debt, ran away and was ordained with the Bhikkhus. When his creditors saw him, they said: 'There is our debtor; come, let us lead him (to prison).' But some people replied: 'Do not say so, Sirs. A decree has been issued by the Magadha king Seniya Bimbisâra: 'No one is to do any harm to those who are ordained with the Sakyaputtiya Samanas; well taught is their doctrine; let them lead a holy life for the sake of the complete extinction of suffering.'

People were annoyed, murmured, and became angry: 'Indeed these Sakyaputtiya Samanas are secure from anything; it is not allowed to do anything to them. How can they ordain a debtor?'

They told this thing to the Blessed One.

'Let no debtor, O Bhikkhus, receive the pabbaggâ ordination. He who confers the pabbaggâ ordination (on a debtor), is guilty of a dukkata offence.'

the issue is if the government/law/the lender sees it as debt not other money lenders.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby daverupa » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:18 pm

Right; I was citing the other rule simply for its use of language with respect to defining theft according to secular understandings (e.g. the king). If this confused anyone, sorry about that.

So, it isn't the same rule, but the one which is directly related to debt is built on a foundation of lay complaint... that means the people might choose, later, to not care about this particular dukkata in reference to student loans... seems they've done something like that in the UK...
    "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: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:23 pm

Cittasanto wrote:the issue is if the government/law/the lender sees it as debt not other money lenders.

Okay, then consider this: the government does not expect the money back and does not chase people for it. If one dies having never paid back even a penny, no next of kin are expected to pay. I calculated, based on my repayment as dictated by the government which is proportional to income (not amount of money 'borrowed') that it would take 170 years to pay it back at my present income. The 'lender' here is fully aware of this because I'm following their instructions. Clearly they do not expect the money back, clearly this isn't a problem. The government would not EVER ask for the money back from those not earning enough if those who are won't even be able to pay it off in one lifetime. How could that be considered a debt that would keep one from ordaining? Because its been [mis]named a loan? No, realistically, I don't see how the vinaya can exclude people with UK student loans based on the quoted text.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby James the Giant » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:04 pm

All right, I changed my mind then. Going by what Cittasanto quoted, it seems ok.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mal » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:59 pm

Cittasanto wrote:the issue is if the government/law/the lender sees it as debt not other money lenders.


The lender and government, surely, have nothing to do with it. If the CEO of Lloyds TSB or the Prime Minister grumble about too many students "running away to be monks" then such grumbling should be ignored. The law determines the situation. And if the government retrospectively tries to change the law then it's not a government that monks or anyone else should respect, and it's time to break laws (like those Burmese monks who march in the streets against the bad laws of the Generals.)
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:32 pm

Mal wrote:And if the government retrospectively tries to change the law then it's not a government that monks or anyone else should respect, and it's time to break laws.


Well, the Vinaya rule was generated due to common people grumbling... ignoring these people wasn't the approach back then, so it seems surely out of place.

It is a government's right to make and change and eliminate various of its laws, which is why I cited the earlier language which shows that at least some of the Vinaya is designed to reflect secular understandings of legality, which reduces friction if nothing else.

Nuns & monks just want to be left alone to practice and teach the Dhamma, but that requires laypeople who don't resent the monastic Sangha; it is the people of the area who have had input here, not governments. Do modern Buddhist laity, on seeing a monk or nun who has no debt but has unpaid student loans (UK example), experience resentment or disappointment? Jealousy?

---

In general, but with respect to the US on this debt issue in particular, the fourfold Sangha's role in civil disobedience is broached; any change probably requires momentum on the part of the people, as in government, but is the Vinaya too ossified to flex in such a way? Is this desirable? (Is this off-topic?)
    "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: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:04 pm

daverupa wrote:Right; I was citing the other rule simply for its use of language with respect to defining theft according to secular understandings (e.g. the king). If this confused anyone, sorry about that.

So, it isn't the same rule, but the one which is directly related to debt is built on a foundation of lay complaint... that means the people might choose, later, to not care about this particular dukkata in reference to student loans... seems they've done something like that in the UK...

allot of rules are based upon lay-people complaining about an act, but... theft has little to do with debt an breaking a obligation to pay it, unless that is the initial intention in taking out the loan.
However, its foundation is there being a debt, the rule is laid down due to lay complaint as are many others, complaint is not really an issue after the rule is laid down. As an example it is still a rule not to be alone in a secluded place with a member of the opposite sex, it does not depend on a female stream enterer to complain about it happening now for it to be a breach in the conduct.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:18 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:the issue is if the government/law/the lender sees it as debt not other money lenders.

Okay, then consider this: the government does not expect the money back and does not chase people for it. If one dies having never paid back even a penny, no next of kin are expected to pay. I calculated, based on my repayment as dictated by the government which is proportional to income (not amount of money 'borrowed') that it would take 170 years to pay it back at my present income. The 'lender' here is fully aware of this because I'm following their instructions. Clearly they do not expect the money back, clearly this isn't a problem. The government would not EVER ask for the money back from those not earning enough if those who are won't even be able to pay it off in one lifetime. How could that be considered a debt that would keep one from ordaining? Because its been [mis]named a loan? No, realistically, I don't see how the vinaya can exclude people with UK student loans based on the quoted text.

wasn't there some new legislation going through about debts and death in the UK over the past few months?
If I borrowed £300 from someone then spoke to a bank and they said it wasn't classed as debt, it doesn't stop the person coming for the money or them being able to take legal action to recoup it. So what I said still stands, it is an issue of the one who is owed the money and the law, not another money lender.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:31 pm

Mal wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:the issue is if the government/law/the lender sees it as debt not other money lenders.


The lender and government, surely, have nothing to do with it. If the CEO of Lloyds TSB or the Prime Minister grumble about too many students "running away to be monks" then such grumbling should be ignored. The law determines the situation. And if the government retrospectively tries to change the law then it's not a government that monks or anyone else should respect, and it's time to break laws (like those Burmese monks who march in the streets against the bad laws of the Generals.)

well considering the punishment was legal (prison) in the origin story and the lender was the one putting them there (presumably through some legal action against the debtor), the lender and government have allot to do with it.
The rule on theft quoted earlier was formulated with the assistance of a minister of the king, FYI. there are other examples of the law of the land effecting the vinaya in different ways from formulation to making it an improper place to stay and inhabit.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:40 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:the issue is if the government/law/the lender sees it as debt not other money lenders.

Okay, then consider this: the government does not expect the money back and does not chase people for it. If one dies having never paid back even a penny, no next of kin are expected to pay. I calculated, based on my repayment as dictated by the government which is proportional to income (not amount of money 'borrowed') that it would take 170 years to pay it back at my present income. The 'lender' here is fully aware of this because I'm following their instructions. Clearly they do not expect the money back, clearly this isn't a problem. The government would not EVER ask for the money back from those not earning enough if those who are won't even be able to pay it off in one lifetime.
So what I said still stands, it is an issue of the one who is owed the money and the law, not another money lender.
The government issues the UK student 'loan' (via the SLC, a third party organisation acting on the government'
s behalf - privatisation is the norm now) and does not expect it back, not chase for the money, so by what you say, a UK student loan would not inhibit ordination.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:53 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:So what I said still stands, it is an issue of the one who is owed the money and the law, not another money lender.
The government issues the UK student 'loan' (via the SLC, a third party organisation acting on the government's behalf - privatisation is the norm now) and does not expect it back, not chase for the money, so by what you say, a UK student loan would not inhibit ordination.

All the better then!
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:42 am

(Just look at how attached to the view 'a UK student loan is not a debt' I am! Regardless of whether it'd inhibit ordination or not, I'm a long way off being ready anyway!)
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mal » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:35 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:(Just look at how attached to the view 'a UK student loan is not a debt' I am! Regardless of whether it'd inhibit ordination or not, I'm a long way off being ready anyway!)


You cannot be attached to Right View.
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:34 pm

Mal wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:(Just look at how attached to the view 'a UK student loan is not a debt' I am! Regardless of whether it'd inhibit ordination or not, I'm a long way off being ready anyway!)

You cannot be attached to Right View.

you can be attached to views, and that attachment makes it dissident and not upright. you can hold anything in the wrong way.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Is a UK student loan considered debt

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:54 pm

Plus, I don't think 'right view' as a doctrinal term includes opinions like those discussed here; I think it refers to the dhamma seals
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