Yes, but one has to understand why actions are defined as positive and negative. So far all you have done is discuss symptoms, by you have not actually understood the cause. Until you understand the cause, you cannot remove the disease.
Do you think for example, we practice avihimsa just for ourselves? Why is avihimsa, hri, and so on associated with positive minds?
The positive and negative nature of actions is clearly defined by virtue of their object. So for example, harming a Buddha or killing an Arhat is a much worse transgression than killing a normal human being. The weight of an action is defined by our intent, satisfaction and so on.
What you are not perceiving, or don't care about, is why these nonvirtues are considered nonvirtues to begin with. Certainly, they are nonvirtuous for all sentient beings — so why?
Actually, I mentioned how they begin, the root, or mula. This is greed. As quoted, "If it is driven by strong afflictions, it is a grave sin; if it is driven by weak afflictions, it is a minor sin."
theanarchist wrote:So what negative karma does masturbating create?
Negative karma is negative karma, or dark/black karma.
theanarchist wrote:At maximum it perpetuates the attachment to sexual pleasure that already exists in your mindstream, just like having consensual sex with a partner does.
Exactly so. I am not sure if you have done any intensive meditation, but perhaps it doesn't strike you as particularly important. But all of this stuff leaves rubbish in our minds. Meditation in the dhyanas require overcoming the 5 hindrances, the first of which is kāmacchanda, sensory desire. This kind of rubbish isn't really seen by worldlings, but people who meditate notice it and realise what its doing on a deeper level.
This is the same with drugs and alcohol. Meditators with drug and alcohol problems always have difficulties with sluggishness in meditation. Now, don't preach to me about how meditation is not the only part of the path, just like you did with precepts. That's not my point. My point is about the impact these have on the mind. What you consider "maximum" isn't bad to a worldling, but can be a big deal to someone who is really in the process of purifying the mind and cultivating intensively.
Also, have you ever done a monastic retreat? Spend some time in a monastery. You'll come to realise what value there is in removal of distractions. Once again, please don't preach to me about how, if you need to remove the distractions, you're not perfect. I know that one isn't perfect, the question is one of experience and what kind of world you live in and know. If you're not on the same level of understanding practicing and working through the hindrances and defilements, then we are not on common ground to talk about these issues seriously, and that is what I suspect is an issue in this discussion. I don't mean to assume, but I have known too many part time practitioners of Dharmalite, and they simply aren't worth getting any deeper than the bare surface with. Some people need skilful means, and others you need to get honest with.
theanarchist wrote:The advantage of masturbation to sex with a partner is that no attachment to another person is involved. For example it can not become the cause for being jealous and all the possible negative consequences this might develop (like insulting, harming or killing another person in a fit of jealous rage)
This is true, but you could become attached to the object of fantasy or who is in the porn image.
Jikan wrote:Some people can't handle a glass of wine with dinner; others can. Those who can't, shouldn't drink. Similarly, people who can't handle masturbation during meals (or before or after) should avoid engaging in that act.
Again, this is really similar to what I said to theanarchist. If you're on an intensive meditation retreat with 20 other folks, and you're the only one slipping out the back to take a swig from your flask, your mind simply isn't going to be as supple as the other participants. The precepts are more than handling or alcohol to body weight, it's a question of the mind. It is not just the deed and its results (which have their genuine effect) but also motivation and gratification or lack thereof afterwards. If the motivation is desire, one isn't going to make the same kind of progress. Again, this does not invalidate what I said before about tolerance of people and adjustment of teachings according to requirements, even if it includes heroin. Some people just aren't ready, and that is OKAY.