Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present form?

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:19 pm

Matt J wrote:From Wikipedia:
Aunt Sally is a traditional English throwing game in which players throw sticks or battens at a model of an old woman's head
.

What! Is that what happens across the pond?
Savages, the lot of 'em.
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:34 pm

In terms of general sentiment, I agree with Malcolm and Norwegian. It is tiresome and frustrating that a big chunk of DW users do not understand the difference between presentation of the Mahayana View and actual sectarian antagonism. It's also ridiculous that there is any debate as to whether or not people need to "defend" the Mahayana view here, that is not reasonable expectation on a Mahayana forum, no one should need to defend the traditional Mahayana view...at least not to the degree it goes on here.

I swear, we could post a list of statements from The Buddha from Mahayana sutra about the Arhats and Prateykabuddhas, and a large group of people would get offended. This does not make sense on a Mahayana forum.

That said, due to the demographics of the forum, there is no way that this will not happen, so the best thing is confine these kinds of discussions to Open Dharma. Among other reasons, this forum sees a large number of new people who will engage in these sorts of debates no matter what.

I really do find it exasperating though, that any time there is a thread such as the recent "Theravada" one, it is literally impossible to discuss the basic Mahayana view without people accusing you of being sectarian, closed-minded etc. I'll put it down to people's lack of Buddhist education..whatever the case, it is really getting old having to defend basic positions (such as this being the "Great Vehicle") because a chunk of users to default to some notion of western academics or historicity for their truth claims. It'd be tempting to call this "Pan Buddhism", but in fact it's not. Pan Buddhism would actually be comfortable with a spectrum of beliefs, whereas this approach simply sees one correct version of things, based on modern ideas of historicity and scholarship.

The amazing thing is, this issue is actually better than it was at one time (sad as that is), where people were regularly going around posting about "The Historical Buddha" and how all messages should conform to this notion. For now, the demographics of the forum being what they are, I believe the Open Dharma forum is a passable solution. I am really tired of being accused of being closed minded or sectarian (and seeing the same done to others) for bringing up the standard Mahayana view though..

On a related note, a while back I posted this thread:

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... ow#p310714

In it, for the most part, no one was able to clearly articulate why/how modern notions of historicity are important to spiritual practice in a meaningful way, and yet this is the default response used as a counter to standard Mahayana doctrine - that it's not "historical"...so so far, no one has ever in any of these conversations been able to define for me what exactly is spiritually valuable about their notions of academic impartiality etc. Mind, I don't dispute that historical research *may* actually be important to spirituality, you would think that it's proponents could define it's value a little better than they do though, especially when these are the notions that are set opposite of the supposed "sectarianism" of holding a more tradition Mahayana view.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Simon E. » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:42 pm

Matt J wrote:From Wikipedia:
Aunt Sally is a traditional English throwing game in which players throw sticks or battens at a model of an old woman's head
.

What! Is that what happens across the pond?

Why not just eliminate the first line of the forum description? I thought it was originally where people could resolve their doubts about things like rebirth.[/quote


They were simpler times... :lol: Aunt Sally now is a metaphor for a person or organisation that is a target for other peoples' negative projections.

Your proffered solution is worth a look.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:45 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:In terms of general sentiment, I agree with Malcolm and Norwegian...

That said, due to the demographics of the forum, there is no way that this will not happen, so the best thing is confine these kinds of discussions to Open Dharma. Among other reasons, this forum sees a large number of new people who will engage in these sorts of debates no matter what...

For now, the demographics of the forum being what they are, I believe the Open Dharma forum is a passable solution...
So, in terms of the specific issue at hand, you agree with dzogchungpa!

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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by maybay » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:48 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Why would we, as a Mahāyāna forum, wish to encourage a subforum where people can engage in the unmeritorious activity of criticizing Mahāyāna Dharma?
People have questions whether they can post it or not. They also have disagreements to various degrees. Since the sections for specific traditions are meant to accept and maintain the given school's tenets - that is, as I imagine it, in a discussion those are the sources that take primacy over other. Therefore, Open Dharma means that no source whatsoever have primacy. Although in a way that is a straight way to chaos and confusion, it could also mean a 'pure reason' arena, where only the very basics of perception and logic counts. Except that very few, if any, can uphold such argument rules. Still, we can try.
For a long time I would have agreed with you. But actually pure reason is an impossible ideal. Everyone comes with an intention, and with values, whether they recognized where they come from or not. Actually it's something I've been trying to make a point of in these forums, that the idea of secular society, constitutional democracy, all these open movements: they are all based on values which derive from charismatic religious antecedents. Allan Bloom described all this in the Closing of the American Mind.

An open forum is an attempt at detaching from tradition, but actually it is simply acceding to another tradition which styles itself as 'open', and whose value origins are specifically denied.
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:51 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:In terms of general sentiment, I agree with Malcolm and Norwegian...

That said, due to the demographics of the forum, there is no way that this will not happen, so the best thing is confine these kinds of discussions to Open Dharma. Among other reasons, this forum sees a large number of new people who will engage in these sorts of debates no matter what...

For now, the demographics of the forum being what they are, I believe the Open Dharma forum is a passable solution...
So, in terms of the specific issue at hand, you agree with dzogchungpa!

:woohoo:

Only because there is no other workable solution at the time, but in terms of pure exasperation and frustration I agree with the Old Grumpz (tm).

Also this quote from Maybay is worth repeating:
An open forum is an attempt at detaching from tradition, but actually it is simply acceding to another tradition which styles itself as 'open', and whose value origins are specifically denied.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:56 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:So, in terms of the specific issue at hand, you agree with dzogchungpa!

:woohoo:

Only because there is no other workable solution at the time, but in terms of pure exasperation and frustration I agree with the Old Grumpz (tm).
:woohoo:

Good luck with the OGz!

:woohoo:
Last edited by dzogchungpa on Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by conebeckham » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:59 pm

Jeff H wrote:Aunt Sal·ly (ant ˈsalē,ˌänt/), noun
a game played in some parts of Britain in which players throw sticks or balls at a wooden dummy.
1. a dummy used in the game of Aunt Sally.
plural noun: Aunt Sallies
2. a person or thing that is subjected to much criticism, especially one set up as an easy target for it.


Well! This American Anglophile learned something new today! Seriously, I had never heard of either the game, or the idiomatic expression, until now.
I suppose I should just go back to the rock I crawled out from.....


With regard to the idea of the Open Dharma forum....I will suggest that the idea has merit, but the behavior of some participants could be questioned.

What I've observed, at times, is that certain people have an argumentative nature, and adhere to "Theravadan/Traditional/Pali/"Hinayana"/Whatever-you-want-to-call-it" positions or views, come here and it seems their primary purpose is in "correcting" us poor misled Mahayanists. This is quite tiresome, annoying, and contrary to the very identify of Dharma Wheel's stated identity and goals. To say nothing of the possibility of "allowing others to accumulate nonvirtue," or providing a vehicle for them to do so, which appears to be a chief concern of Malcolm's.

Some participants, on the other hand, may have limited backgrounds or education on these issues, and my really have genuine questions or concerns, and be devoid of the agenda(s) that the former participants have. It's good to have a place for such people to ask questions, and kindness and compassion should be the hallmarks of a Mahayanist's response to such questions. It was not so long ago that "Vajrayana" was taught, in Academia, as a corruption of "Pure Buddhism" and such positions were naturally largely reflected in the world at large. Honest, genuine people who reflect these misapprehensions are still to be found.

I'd suggest that differentiating the two, and not allowing the former sort of person much leeway. "Open Dharma" shouldn't mean "MMA Dharma Argument Cage," which is what it has resembled in the past, at times.....
Last edited by conebeckham on Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:02 pm

Let's make Dzogchungpa the moderator and add the rule that you've got to have a sense of humor to post in Open Dharma. That should diffuse problematic posting.

:twothumbsup:
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Simon E. » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:09 pm

Yes. The way that putting the village idiot in charge of the coffers would solve the communities finance problems.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Simon E. » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:13 pm

It seems to me that the word ' challenge ' is a big part of the problem.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:35 pm

Ok, never mind...

:toilet:
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:38 pm

smcj wrote:Let's make Dzogchungpa the moderator and add the rule that you've got to have a sense of humor to post in Open Dharma. That should diffuse problematic posting.

:twothumbsup:
This.


Simon E. wrote:Yes. The way that putting the village idiot in charge of the coffers would solve the communities finance problems.
I'm beginning to feel like a bit of an Aunt Sally. :crying:


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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:40 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
smcj wrote:Let's make Dzogchungpa the moderator and add the rule that you've got to have a sense of humor to post in Open Dharma. That should diffuse problematic posting.

:twothumbsup:
This.


Simon E. wrote:Yes. The way that putting the village idiot in charge of the coffers would solve the communities finance problems.
I'm beginning to feel like a bit of an Aunt Sally. :crying:


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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Taco_Rice » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:45 pm

smcj wrote:Let's make Dzogchungpa the moderator and add the rule that you've got to have a sense of humor to post in Open Dharma. That should diffuse problematic posting.

:twothumbsup:
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:19 am

Taco_Rice wrote:
smcj wrote:Let's make Dzogchungpa the moderator and add the rule that you've got to have a sense of humor to post in Open Dharma. That should diffuse problematic posting.

:twothumbsup:
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This.
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Queen Elizabeth II » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:17 am

Norwegian wrote:What's the point of an Open Dharma forum where "all Mahayana teachings are open to challenge."?
It would serve as a training ground for Mahayana apologists to develop their intellectual muscles and learn to defend the Mahayana in a more compelling (and more dignified) way than by indignant spluttering and hand-waving. To offer a Christian comparison, it will make them into something akin to Thomists rather than televangelists.
Norwegian wrote:Why should they be challenged in the first place?
Because their truth is not self-evident and so will perforce give rise to doubts in some.
Norwegian wrote:What is the motivation in doing that, and allowing that to happen here?
Perhaps Bodhisattvic compassion for benighted Hinayanists who need setting straight about things?
:cheers:

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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Adamantine » Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:25 am

Simon E. wrote:It seems to me that the word ' challenge ' is a big part of the problem.
That's what I said pages ago and it went ignored.. Wouldn't be hard to fix either... Just a couple buttons pushed and...
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Boomerang » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:19 am

I never saw the Open Dharma forum as anything more iconoclastic than a place where subjects people are likely to disagree upon can be discussed. When I actually look at the fine print, I understand how using the word "challenge" could rub a Mahayana Buddhist the wrong way; it's not courteous. It comes across as a Theravada Buddhist's Freudian slip. I would change the text to something like:

A forum for discussing contestable and often misunderstood topics within the Mahayana.

How does that sound?
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Re: Should the Open Dharma forum continue in its present for

Post by Ayu » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:48 am

Adamantine wrote:
Simon E. wrote:It seems to me that the word ' challenge ' is a big part of the problem.
That's what I said pages ago and it went ignored.. Wouldn't be hard to fix either... Just a couple buttons pushed and...
You mean this:
Adamantine wrote:
Ayu wrote: Open Dharma is just a place where doubts are allowed to be expressed. .
Maybe the language in the description could be less conflict-promoting then, and follow this type of description.

Like, "the only forum on Dharma wheel where differences between Mahayana schools can be freely discussed, and doubts expressed."
And:
Adamantine wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I think it is incumbent for us if we take our vows seriously, to have a place where people are free to express their doubts about the Mahayana path, ...
_/|\_
I was merely adding that the language "open to challenge" may promote trolling tendencies as opposed to "expressing doubts". Do we really want born again Christians coming here just to challenge Mahayana Buddhism and tell us it will send us to hell?
No, we really don't want that.
Your comment was not ignored, just the discussion went so quickly and it is better to read and think for a while, than hastily answering.
I think, we could consider the exchange of he word "challenge". Any more ideas?
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