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"In which four ways does one commit no evil action? Led by desire does one commit evil. Led by anger does one commit evil. Led by ignorance does one commit evil. Led by fear does one commit evil.
-- DN 31 Sigalovada Sutta
Righteous conduct is the observance of the ten good actions (kusalákammapatha) in thought, word and deed: freeing the mind of greed, ill-will and wrong views; avoiding speech that is untruthful, slanderous, abusive and frivolous; and the non- committal acts of killing, stealing and sexual misconduct.
-- Everyman's Ethics: Four Discourses of the Buddha adapted from the translations of Narada Thera: http://www.bps.lk/wheels_library/wheels_pdf/wh_014.pdf
Peter wrote:I suspect a good answer to the question is to be found in the Abhidhamma. Unfortunately I am not familiar with Abhidhamma.
gavesako wrote:According to the Pali Vinaya, a bhikkhu incurs no fault when he lets someone drown. As the rule is defined, one has to make some active effort to commit an offence. That is how the Vinaya structure is made, usually it works well but in some cases (such as this one) if does not quite make sense.
retrofuturist wrote:it's the volitional quality of the mindstate (wholesome/unwholesome) at the time that determines the kammic quality... not the physical action (or non-action) itself.
Peter wrote:Just as certain actions are understood to always be unwholesome...
retrofuturist wrote:Peter wrote:Just as certain actions are understood to always be unwholesome...
Are they? Or is it just that the mindstates that underpin such actions are nearly always unwholesome?
Peter wrote:The suttas teach certain actions to always be unwholesome, such as intentional killing.
The suttas also teach it is the underlying mind-state which makes an action unwholesome, such as greed, hate, or delusion.
Thus we can conclude that certain actions (such as intentional killing) will always be based in an unwholesome mind-state (such as hate).
retrofuturist wrote:The moral quality of the volitional kammic action is the mindstate underpinning it, which can be wholesome or unwholesome.
Peter wrote:The suttas ... teach it is the underlying mind-state which makes an action unwholesome, such as greed, hate, or delusion.