Sinking boat moral dilemma

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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:14 pm

binocular wrote:
alan wrote:Everyone watches out for their own interests first.


But how come there is a taboo on actually saying this?
What is accomplished by this taboo? A semblance of community, solidarity, ...?


The Buddha had this to say:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
[The Blessed One was at Saavatthii]

At this time King Pasenadi of Kosala was on the upper terrace of the palace with Queen Mallikaa. And the king asked her: "Mallikaa, is there anyone dearer to you than yourself?"[1]

"Your Majesty, there is no one dearer to me than myself. And you, sire, is anyone dearer to you than yourself?"

"Nor is there anyone dearer to me, Mallikaa, than myself."

Then the king went down from the palace and visited the Blessed One [and told him the whole story.] And the Blessed One, understanding, thereupon uttered this verse:

Though in thought we range throughout the world,
We'll nowhere find a thing more dear than self.
So, since others hold the self so dear,
He who loves himself should injure none.


:anjali:
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby BlackBird » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:25 am

alan wrote:Everyone watches out for their own interests first. Everyone holds their life dear; even Queen Maalikaa admitted it to the King.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html


Perhaps, but then I think there are a number of people who's own interests are the interests of others. There are plenty of examples throughout history, even recently of people sacrificing their lives to try and save the lives of others.

So I completely disagree with anyone who puts forth the view that everyone will look after themselves and only themselves in these kind of situations.

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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:10 am

If I only had a couple seconds to decide, survival instincts would probably override any other concerns and I'd probably immediately jump off my boat and swim to the other one where I'd be safe and then I'd start to feel concerned for the people on the sinking boat once I was myself safe. If I had a few minutes to decide I'd be much more likely to stay but I still can't say for certain what I would do. Either way that situation would suck.
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby binocular » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:
binocular wrote:
alan wrote:Everyone watches out for their own interests first.


But how come there is a taboo on actually saying this?
What is accomplished by this taboo? A semblance of community, solidarity, ...?


The Buddha had this to say:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
[The Blessed One was at Saavatthii]

At this time King Pasenadi of Kosala was on the upper terrace of the palace with Queen Mallikaa. And the king asked her: "Mallikaa, is there anyone dearer to you than yourself?"[1]

"Your Majesty, there is no one dearer to me than myself. And you, sire, is anyone dearer to you than yourself?"

"Nor is there anyone dearer to me, Mallikaa, than myself."

Then the king went down from the palace and visited the Blessed One [and told him the whole story.] And the Blessed One, understanding, thereupon uttered this verse:

Though in thought we range throughout the world,
We'll nowhere find a thing more dear than self.
So, since others hold the self so dear,
He who loves himself should injure none.


Do you find that this sutta is suggesting that the reason there is a taboo on stating that "everyone watches out for their own interest first," is that others would feel injured if one were to state so?

I agree with this conclusion, although I don't see it in the sutta.
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:35 am

No I think that the Buddha is using the honest observation that we don't find anything more dear than our selves into a teaching of how we should therefore care for others.

:anjali:
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby binocular » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:47 pm

mikenz66 wrote:No I think that the Buddha is using the honest observation that we don't find anything more dear than our selves into a teaching of how we should therefore care for others.


Sure. But how does this address the scenario in the OP? Because sometimes, caring for oneself seems to come at the expense of caring for others.
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:07 pm

Hi binocular,

It was a reply to your comment about there being a taboo on explicitly admitting this fact.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=16852&view=unread#p241290

And it relates to other comments that one of the useful things about these scenarios is to investigate it (finding no-one else more dear).

:anjali:
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Re: Sinking boat moral dilemma

Postby alan » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:36 pm

Everyone holds themselves most dear; pretending otherwise is just pretentious or foolish.
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