Bundokji wrote: ↑Thu Sep 22, 2022 3:58 pm
Impossibility cannot be established because testability depends on life faculty and the ability to break the precepts. From that perspective, maintaining lifelong moral conduct is no assurance of one being an ariya or saint, but simply strengthens the faith in the likelihood. Breaking them, however, would falsify any claims of attainments according to this criteria.
Yes, agree, testability accounts for the external measure, which in this case is adherence to precepts, but that only applies to an assessment of conduct, not to one of the view that was established on account of the significance of that right conduct. So, while I agree that we could come to a consensus regarding someone’s conduct, and how closely it emulates the precepts, that in no way guarantees any access to the view, i.e. adherence to precepts doesn’t imply ariya. (I think we agree here) There is, of course, the whole other matter of the set of actions an ariya is said to be incapable of performing, but ironically enough, those actions do not cover all five precepts, so it would be inconclusive
and unreliable to use behavior as the measure of development. (Let me know if you want to see that sutta and I will go dig it up)
As much as it would strengthen faith in others to see such impeccable conduct, at best that can be inspiring for those not capable of determining whether or not right view is present at all within the confines of that conduct. Just goes to show how absolutely detrimental it is for others when a monastic takes on the reputation of being an ariya. Not only does it present the premise that others are allowed to acknowledge it, it presents the ordinary person with the idea that such a report is acceptable. It presents the ordinary person - who has just about zero criteria for what the right view is in their own experience
- with the option of being capable to accept or reject that view in another. Right there on the spot, the wrong view is given priority. Priority over the reasonable doubt that every ordinary person must
possess if they ever hope to get close to picking up the right view for themselves. Report of an ariya is not dangerous in and of itself, but the premise for the ordinary person must always be, “I can’t know for sure, so this report is not a confirmation. It is not permission for me to assume outside of my own range.”
The only external criteria for ariya would be speech that describes the right view, which would require a listener who is receptive to the descriptions and designations: another ariya. So, it cannot be compared to sainthood imo. The premise of the Abrahamic view is that the source
of God’s power does not originate on account of one’s efforts. At best, one can access that eternal almighty as a result of their faith and conduct. Mere relinquishment. Full stop. The Dhamma does not account for development in the same way. Discernment of the right things is a requirement. The right view is developed on account of knowledge of relinquishment and its relationship to what the experience already was from the start. In a sense, sainthood is all about what you can show to the people around you, because what is around you is all a product of God. Or so the view implies. God comes from or through everything and is something all things partake in. Right view takes full account of “all things”, which puts it in a deeper place than God. So, when it comes to evaluation of development, these two views don’t point in the same direction and cannot even be setup for a proper comparison without misunderstanding at least of them.
Please let me know if I’m misunderstanding anything you have said. At points, it seems we are agreeing, but I’m not really sure.
“Old age falls like a curse; it's the same body, but it seems like someone else's. I remember myself as if I were someone else, but I'm still the same, I haven't been away.” Thag 1.118