christopher::: wrote:Should Buddhists be tolerant and respectful of other religions? I say yes, for myself, but also recognize that to tolerate intolerance may also be important.
Of course one should be tolerant, but there are also limitations, and there are contexts. Right now in Wisconsin there is a trial
going on were a man is being prosecuted for the death of his 11 yr old daughter who died from diabetes. Rather than seek medical help, he and his wife prayed for her. How far and in what way does tolerance extend?
Of theist Makkhali Gosala, the Buddha stated it would have better that he never been born because his religious beliefs were for the detriment of all humankind, in that Makkhali Gosala denied the efficacy of moral action (AN I.33). Is that intolerant of the Buddha, Christopher?
Is the Buddha intolerant when he says:"If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused the creative act of
a Supreme God [Issara-nimmana-hetu], then the Niganthas [Jains] surely
must have been created by an evil Supreme God."
MN II 222
How about here, is the Buddha intolerant:"Again, monks, I [the Buddha] approached those ascetic and brahmins and said to them: 'Is it true, as they say, that you venerable ones teach and hold the view that whatever a person experiences...all that is caused by God's creation?' When they affirmed it, I said to them: 'If that is so, venerable sirs, then it is due to God's creation that people kill, steal ...[and otherwise act badly]. But those who have recourse to God's creation as the decisive factor, will lack the impulse and the effort doing this or not doing that. Since for them, really and truly, no (motive) obtains that this or that ought to be done or not be done...."'
Are the suttas intolerant when we find them saying that God/Brahma state:"God truthfully answers [the questions of the Buddha] in succession: 'Good sir, those views I previously held are not mine; I see the radiance the world of God as passing; how could I say that I am permanent and eternal?'"
MN II 222? I am sure there are those theists who find this very offensive.
'As far as the suns and moons extend their courses and the regions of the sky shine in splendour, there is a thousandfold world system. In each single one of these there are a thousand suns, moons, Meru Mountains, four times a thousand continents and oceans, a thousand heavens of all stages of the realm of sense pleasure, a thousand Brahma worlds. As far as a thousandfold world system reaches in other words, the universe], the Great God is the highest being. But even the Great God is subject to coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be.'
AN X 29?
And then there is this:
In Digha Nikaya 24 where the Buddha states: "There are some ascetics and brahmins who declare as their doctrine that all things began with the creation by God, or Brahma."
And this singular god is characterized so:"That Worshipful God, the Great God, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the Organizer, the Protection, the Creator, the Most Perfect Ruler, the Designer and Orderer, the Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be, He by Whom we were created, He is permanent, Constant, Eternal, Unchanging, and He will remain so for ever and ever."
which is a nice characterization of the brahmanical notion of the creator God one finds in the early Brahmanical and Ishvara literature, and it seems to fit for most every other creator God notion that has come down the pike.
The Buddha goes on in this discourse, using mythic language, to give a biting satirical re-telling of the creation myth of the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad making it quite clear that God is not quite what the absolute entity it imagines itself to be. It is not the creator, and we can see in this discourse by the Buddha and in other related ones that the idea of a single, absolute cause for the multiplicity of things, an infallible source of revealed knowledge that was different in kind from ordinary human knowledge, an unconditioned being that participates in any way in (even only as a witness to) the changes of human experience, and any kind of being that can interfere with the natural consequences of karma is rejected by the Buddha.
So, what is tolerance and what is intolerance? You really need to define tolerance here.