Some advice needed please

If you wish to partake in casual "off-topic" discussion amongst spiritual friends, please do so in the Lounge at Dhamma Wheel Engaged.
User avatar
dragonwarrior
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:03 pm
Location: somewhere

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by dragonwarrior »

Hello Greg.
I experienced the same situation few days ago, when my blind goldfish almost died. it was blind because the other fish bite it's eyes. After losing his eyes, it couldn't swim well like the other goldfish. It couldn't chase the food, and food was eaten by the others, nothing left for this goldfish. Day by day, it was getting weaker and weaker. Then I removed it to another fish tank, I gave a lot of food for it. But the next 2 days, it died. :weep: My opinion is just let it be. Don't kill the dog. If it has to suffer, let it be. Just do our best to help it when it is still alive.

May all beings be happy & be freed from sufferings. :anjali:
Mukunda
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Mukunda »

Ben wrote:
My response to him was "I understand the taking of life to ALWAYS be unwholesome kamma, nor do I believe we alleviate any beings suffering by ending it's life. However, you do what you need to do, I'll still be here for you."
This is good advice. I don't know how familiar you are with your neighbour but if it was someone I knew well, I would offer to attend the vet with him/her to give my support.
I did go to the vet with him, and then did a puja for both he and the animal afterward.
Laurens
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:56 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Laurens »

chiangmaigreg wrote:Hi everyone.
I need some advice.
Yesterday,a couple moved into the same house as I am living in.They have with them 2 cats and a dog.
The keeping of pets is not the issue here.
The dog is rather old and apparently has cancer.They are talking of having it put down,and are asking what we think about this.
I have avoided answering them as I really would like some advice first.
My personal feeling is that this is taking a life and that is the intention,although some will answer that the intention is to stop the dog from suffering.
I understand the compassion side of this but it is still a killing.
Any idea how to deal with this.I am the only Buddhist in the house and do not want to word my answer in such a way as to bring the Buddhas teaching into disrepute.
With metta,Greg :shrug:
I personally think that if the dog is in pain, and it has cancer then it is more compassionate to have it put to sleep, if it was in the wild and it was sick it would not survive for long as it would not be continually fed by us meddling humans, all you would be doing by keeping it alive is prolonging its suffering, but I understand that I am being extremely heretical :lol:

Perhaps if the dog is not in pain and is quite happy and peaceful, you could persuade them to allow it to live as it is not in any clear agony. but I actually think if it is suffering, and it is being unnaturally prolonged then they are doing the right thing.

I apologise if my views upset anyone's sensibilities.

Laurens
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by beeblebrox »

I know how this feels. I had to put down my dog last year... it wasn't easy at all.

I agree with Laurens.

Also, I don't think that Buddha ever advocated "burning through" the kamma, especially not via suffering. I think he even spoke against it in one of the suttas, I forgot which.

Another thing that I recall (I'm paraphrasing here) is that the kamma is neither one person's, nor the other person's, nor both of them together, and also not neither of them together. Hope this helps.
Mukunda
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Mukunda »

beeblebrox wrote:Also, I don't think that Buddha ever advocated "burning through" the kamma, especially not via suffering. I think he even spoke against it in one of the suttas, I forgot which.
Is there a sutta in which the Buddha spoke in favor of euthanasia, or spoke about the conditions under which the taking of life was wholesome or even neutral kamma? :shrug:
User avatar
Wind
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:10 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Wind »

Here is how I look at it. Sentient beings are all the same. Let's replace the dog with say their parent. Would they think about putting their parent to sleep so they don't suffer the long effect of cancer? Usually in cases like this, it's best to show compassion and love toward a dying being. And use modern medicine to help alleviate any physical pain but we should not take their life for it's their karma.
User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by beeblebrox »

Mukunda wrote:Is there a sutta in which the Buddha spoke in favor of euthanasia, or spoke about the conditions under which the taking of life was wholesome or even neutral kamma?
No, not that I know of. (I haven't read all the suttas.)

I think that what I brought up here are still relevant, though... not that I'm suggesting they should be treated as a loophole to commit something evil. Samsara is (vastly) more complicated than what some people would like to realize, unfortunately. It's a very messy place... I wish it was otherwise.

I think that to put oneself under the delusion that he is letting something "burn through" its "own" kamma (and that Buddha even advocated such, especially since he spoke against it), justifying it by thinking that the dog will go to a better place in the next life, and also to keep his "own" kamma "good" (hit two birds with one stone, why not?)... those are also bad things to do. Which was why I brought up these in here in the first place, for his own consideration.

I wish that it was easier than this, but let's face it... it's not. Why kid ourselves about this? I still think about my dog every now and then, and I knew the implications involved, but I still had to make the decision. There were no other choices. (Really.) The dog was literally drowning. The vessels in her lungs collapsed after some complication during surgery. She couldn't breathe. She had to be kept in an oxygen chamber. I faced it.
Last edited by beeblebrox on Thu May 27, 2010 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
adosa
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by adosa »

Mukunda wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:Also, I don't think that Buddha ever advocated "burning through" the kamma, especially not via suffering. I think he even spoke against it in one of the suttas, I forgot which.
Is there a sutta in which the Buddha spoke in favor of euthanasia, or spoke about the conditions under which the taking of life was wholesome or even neutral kamma? :shrug:
The problem with these ethical dilemmas is that often times there is nothing recorded about the specific situation. Do you know of a Sutta where the issue of having to consider putting down a beloved pet was brought up to the Buddha?

Right now my best friend of 15 years is suffering from kidney failure. I never wanted a cat but when an old roommate of mine was moving and was going to take her to the pound I said,"No, I'll take her." 15 years later she is dying. I give her I.V.'s every other day even though that is a monumental challenge......for both of us. She is doing okay right now. But I know within the year she is going to crash and crash hard. That's what happens with this prognosis. When the time comes that her suffering is insurmountable and she is terminal then I will do what is best for her, "my" kamma be damned. I love her too much to let her writhe in pain in a terminal situation over concerns for "my" outcome. If I have to burn in hell to alleviate her unnecessary suffering so be it. It wouldn't be the first time. I can't imagine having her crying out in pain, crapping all over the floor, puking, wasting away and then there I am.....worrying about my fate. This is Buddhism?

Besides I would hazard to bet everyone here washes their bed sheets, no? Or drives? Tell me we don't know we are killing innocent creatures who are not suffering when partake in those actions, right? And yet we just brush that off as.....? So some of this debate appears to me to be a bit hypocritical, overly philosophical, and sanctimonious to boot.


adosa
Attachments
P1020773bc.jpg
P1020773bc.jpg (195.23 KiB) Viewed 2151 times
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
User avatar
Phra Chuntawongso
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 11:05 am
Location: Wat SriBoenRuang,Fang,Chiang Mai
Contact:

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Phra Chuntawongso »

Sorry Adosa,but your argument about washing your sheets or driving is not correct.The intent in washing sheets is to have clean sheets,not to take life.
With metta
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning
Mukunda
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Mukunda »

adosa wrote:When the time comes that her suffering is insurmountable and she is terminal then I will do what is best for her, "my" kamma be damned. I love her too much to let her writhe in pain in a terminal situation over concerns for "my" outcome. If I have to burn in hell to alleviate her unnecessary suffering so be it. It wouldn't be the first time. I can't imagine having her crying out in pain, crapping all over the floor, puking, wasting away and then there I am.....worrying about my fate. This is Buddhism?
And that is your choice. If you are ok with accepting the consequences of your actions, so be it.

But consider these questions:

Will taking the cat's life really end it's suffering, or just move it somewhere else?

Who's suffering are you really trying to alleviate? The cat's physical discomfort, or your own emotional discomfort at having to watch the cat suffer?

Can you really read the cat's mind or look into it's heart and know with no uncertainty that it prefers dying over suffering?
:anjali:
Mukunda
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Mukunda »

beeblebrox wrote:I think that to put oneself under the delusion that he is letting something "burn through" its "own" kamma (and that Buddha even advocated such, especially since he spoke against it), justifying it by thinking that the dog will go to a better place in the next life, and also to keep his "own" kamma "good" (hit two birds with one stone, why not?)... those are also bad things to do. Which was why I brought up these in here in the first place, for his own consideration.
I try not to concern myself with other beings kamma or its fruition. The teachings are pretty clear. Taking the life of sentient beings is unwholesome kamma which will come to unpleasant fruition. In light of the fact that I don't really know that the being I kill will go "go to better place" (actually, for all I know, I could be hastening its arrival to a hell realm), I don't see where performing unwholesome kamma benefits either of us.
User avatar
Pannapetar
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 am
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact:

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Pannapetar »

chiangmaigreg wrote:Sorry Adosa,but your argument about washing your sheets or driving is not correct.The intent in washing sheets is to have clean sheets,not to take life.
But what about the other argument of Adosa? He doesn't want to kill his cat; he wants to prevent senseless physical suffering. May the kamma theoretician evaluate that kind of intention please... I think euthanasia is acceptable under certain circumstances and the conditions that Adosa has described certainly fall into that category.

Things are rarely as simple as people would like to have them. The precepts are simple, but the specifics are tricky, including the first precept.

For example, what about killing millions and billions of bacteria, when you take antibiotics? What about killing pests? What about killing plants and insects for the purpose of establishing our habitat and providing food for ourselves? What about operating a vehicle that kills insects and risks accidents with mammals? Like it or not, there is no zero killing mode of life available to us. All life forms compete with each other and to a certain degree our life depends on denying other life forms.

Cheers, Thomas
User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by beeblebrox »

Mukunda wrote:I try not to concern myself with other beings kamma or its fruition. The teachings are pretty clear. Taking the life of sentient beings is unwholesome kamma which will come to unpleasant fruition. In light of the fact that I don't really know that the being I kill will go "go to better place" (actually, for all I know, I could be hastening its arrival to a hell realm), I don't see where performing unwholesome kamma benefits either of us.
I can't argue with that, of course. Also keep in mind that prolonging the suffering than is necessary, this will also leave behind some traces of (serious) kamma. Not just for the owners to inherit, but for everyone involved. This is going to be unpleasant either way.

I also think that it's important they don't put themselves in some kind of denial about this. They should be careful about using some ideas about the kamma, or buddhism, (or anything else, for that matter) as a prop for what they do. They would only be deluding themselves. Also, keep in mind about the intention.
Shonin
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:11 am

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Shonin »

chiangmaigreg wrote:I need some advice.
Yesterday,a couple moved into the same house as I am living in.They have with them 2 cats and a dog.
The keeping of pets is not the issue here.
The dog is rather old and apparently has cancer.They are talking of having it put down,and are asking what we think about this.
I have avoided answering them as I really would like some advice first.
My personal feeling is that this is taking a life and that is the intention,although some will answer that the intention is to stop the dog from suffering.
I understand the compassion side of this but it is still a killing.
Any idea how to deal with this.I am the only Buddhist in the house and do not want to word my answer in such a way as to bring the Buddhas teaching into disrepute.
The suttas describe the operation of kamma, but do we really know what will happen in a case like this? If we put the dog out of it's misery and there it 'still has kamma to work through' then we have neither made the situation better nor worse. If it doesn't have kamma to work through or if this is merely pain due to the condition of the body then by euthanising the dog we have ended that suffering. Will this generate 'bad kamma' for you? I don't know. The intention is not killing in order to gain power or eat the dog's flesh, the intention is very compassionate. Do you know for certain what kind of kamma this produces ? It comes down to this: are you prepared to risk taking a hit for another suffering being?
PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by PeterB »

Also if a dog is in pain due to its kamma which in any case strikes me as a pretty primitive and childish conclusion, why should ending that pain not also be due to its kamma ?
I find the whole notion that there is a one to one cause and effect process involving conscious volition that causes sickness in a dog deeply flawed, but going along with that for the moment why is the pain due to the dogs kamma -vipaka, but the kind person with a syringe not ?
Last edited by PeterB on Thu May 27, 2010 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Locked