Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

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Grigoris
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Grigoris »

1. "Hindu" is not a single religion 2. Atheist/agnostic is also not a religion.
I don't see how that makes sense, given the karmic consequences.
Well, I guess Buddhists must be imperfect too. Weird that.
Taking an innocent life, perhaps for no better reason than not wishing to raise a child, must have karmic consequences far worse than the fate of being saddled with a child for one lifetime.
I don't know. You'll have to ask a Buddha that one, since I am incapable of seeing the exact consequences of every action, the causes and conditions that lead up to the action and the motivation of the actors.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Daizan wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:20 pm
Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:02 pm On which planet is that exactly? Buddhism is the third largest religion globally.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_r ... opulations
You will find that Buddhists engage in termination of pregnancy too.
I don't see how that makes sense, given the karmic consequences. Taking an innocent life, perhaps for no better reason than not wishing to raise a child, must have karmic consequences far worse than the fate of being saddled with a child for one lifetime.

Do you understand the results of of what it means for some people to have children when they don't have the resources or skills to take care of them?

Go do some social work. You may not come back pro choice, but you will sure come back with a lot more realistic picture of what it means to force someone to have a child when they are fundamentally unequipped and unable to even care for it, particularly in the US where being poor means that child (not to mention the mother) might suffer in a number of ways, throughout a large portion of their lifespan.

Ideally we would have a culture where resources were available, and people were educated enough in using birth control that the incidence of abortion was rarer. Under the present circumstances though, your ignorance of what it means to force someone to have a child is really a large blind spot to have in a discussion like this.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Daizan »

Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:13 pm What is your view on livestock slaughter? Do you think, as Buddhists, that we should be opposed to it, given how many sentient beings lose their lives? Keep in mind that the first precept is about killing sentient beings, not just about killing humans.
Similarly to what I've suggested about abortion, it doesn't make sense to me that a Buddhist would support or try to rationalize the systematic slaughter of countless sentient beings who, by the way, live short and miserable lives.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Daizan wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:31 pm
Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:13 pm What is your view on livestock slaughter? Do you think, as Buddhists, that we should be opposed to it, given how many sentient beings lose their lives? Keep in mind that the first precept is about killing sentient beings, not just about killing humans.
Similarly to what I've suggested about abortion, it doesn't make sense to me that a Buddhist would support or try to rationalize the systematic slaughter of countless sentient beings who, by the way, live short and miserable lives.
Cool, stop paying your taxes then, grow your own food, etc. Then you can come back here and moralize.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Daizan »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:28 pm your ignorance of what it means to force someone to have a child is really a large blind spot to have in a discussion like this.
I want to force people into having children? Next you'll be claiming that I want to force people into being vegan.

You are too emotional. I'm out.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Daizan wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:38 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:28 pm your ignorance of what it means to force someone to have a child is really a large blind spot to have in a discussion like this.
I want to force people into having children? Next you'll be claiming that I want to force people into being vegan.

You are too emotional. I'm out.
I tend to get that way when people refuse to engage in good faith, and simply assume that people who aren't politically "pro life" support killing.

I didn't say you forced anyone to do anything, I said that (by your statements) you seem ignorant of the results of forced parenthood.

Emotional, sure it's a tough discussion. Mostly just surprised with your refusal to acknowledge the complexity, and pretend it's some simple black and white issue.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Grigoris »

Daizan wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:31 pm
Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:13 pm What is your view on livestock slaughter? Do you think, as Buddhists, that we should be opposed to it, given how many sentient beings lose their lives? Keep in mind that the first precept is about killing sentient beings, not just about killing humans.
Similarly to what I've suggested about abortion, it doesn't make sense to me that a Buddhist would support or try to rationalize the systematic slaughter of countless sentient beings who, by the way, live short and miserable lives.
I take it that you are organic vegan then.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Nemo »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:40 pm
Daizan wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:38 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:28 pm your ignorance of what it means to force someone to have a child is really a large blind spot to have in a discussion like this.
I want to force people into having children? Next you'll be claiming that I want to force people into being vegan.

You are too emotional. I'm out.
I tend to get that way when people refuse to engage in good faith, and simply assume that people who aren't politically "pro life" support killing.

I didn't say you forced anyone to do anything, I said that (by your statements) you seem ignorant of the results of forced parenthood.

Emotional, sure it's a tough discussion. Mostly just surprised with your refusal to acknowledge the complexity, and pretend it's some simple black and white issue.
There are those who wish to impose their ideas on others and those who wish to advocate for positive change by dialogue. Vegans and prolifers cannot imagine a world in which they are wrong in any way. Over 70% of Americans want abortion legal. 77% of Canadians. Must be very hard to be right about everything and have everyone think you are full of crap. It could never be that the vast majority are correct in their understanding of not imposing ones will upon others freedom of personal choice.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by TharpaChodron »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:13 am
TharpaChodron wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:39 am
Queequeg wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:16 pm Kind of touched on above but not made explicit...

If civilization were reoriented to happiness of the sort embodied in love and kindness, abortion might become the unfortunate aberration I think everyone wishes it would be. So long as we enshrine self interest (regulated to keep it from leading to immediate existential destruction - just a gradual one) we will be making these decisions informed by scarcity induced fear.

How do we enshrine mudita as our organizing principle?

I think we

Just do it.
Just being dramatic, but really, if men could get pregnant, I bet on my life then abortion would totally be legal. And paid for by insurance. Like viagra.
You are being dramatic. I've heard it before, seen it on facebook, etc. etc. I don't think the line is that effective as a rhetorical device. To suggest that there is a moral equivalency between a pill to get it up and abortion is nothing more than an applause line at a NARAL convention. You won't win anyone over in a debate with that.

What I'm suggesting is that if we had a better world, the one that I think most of us wants, the calculation that goes into the decision of whether to abort or not would be entirely different.

Implicit in my remark is that abortion should be available. You can't consider abortion as an option if its not available or if it is surrounded by obstacles, like accessibility and cost. I'm pro-choice. I'm pro make your own decisions and live with the consequences.

We don't live there in a world where people make good well informed decisions all the time, we have this shit, where poor decision making is endemic for hosts of reasons, starting long before someone has to consider an abortion.

But taking up the logic of that line, riddle this... women outnumber men in the United States. If abortion were an issue that broke on sex lines, women should win that vote.

It doesn't break that way because its not just a women's issue, I suspect. Its bigger than that. Or maybe smaller than that. Maybe a small group feels very strongly about it and gets their vote out, while other people just don't care enough to bother voting.
Hey, I was just kidding with the viagra/abortion comment. Yet, I see the value of looking at how certain issues are handled. Definitely don't see it as a moral equivalency argument, more about institutionalized patriarchy. Regardless, the topic deserves serious attention and I am woefully incapable of providing such at the moment!
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Daizan »

Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:49 pm I take it that you are organic vegan then.
I'm not even strictly vegetarian, truth be told.

The whole truth is, I'm pro-choice. I was merely taking a position, a political position I suppose, that was opposed to my own. I am sorry if you cannot see the value of empathizing with a different view than the one we personally possess, and if I've caused emotional damage as a result.

I do not believe in rebirth or karma. I don't believe that a fetus is a sentient being.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Queequeg »

Well, daizan
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Daizan wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:44 am
Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:49 pm I take it that you are organic vegan then.
I'm not even strictly vegetarian, truth be told.

The whole truth is, I'm pro-choice. I was merely taking a position, a political position I suppose, that was opposed to my own. I am sorry if you cannot see the value of empathizing with a different view than the one we personally possess, and if I've caused emotional damage as a result.

I do not believe in rebirth or karma. I don't believe that a fetus is a sentient being.
I think almost everyone in this thread has presented a fairly nuanced view of things, and has been willing to entertain discussion...which is different than simply agreeing with ideological statements.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Grigoris »

Daizan wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:44 amI'm not even strictly vegetarian, truth be told.
So work on understanding your own hypocrisy before judging others for theirs.
The whole truth is, I'm pro-choice. I was merely taking a position, a political position I suppose, that was opposed to my own. I am sorry if you cannot see the value of empathizing with a different view than the one we personally possess, and if I've caused emotional damage as a result.
So you WERE trolling.

Since when is making empty and baseless statements "empathising"?
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Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Grigoris »

TharpaChodron wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:50 amHey, I was just kidding with the viagra/abortion comment. Yet, I see the value of looking at how certain issues are handled. Definitely don't see it as a moral equivalency argument, more about institutionalized patriarchy. Regardless, the topic deserves serious attention and I am woefully incapable of providing such at the moment!
I believe that your viagra/abortion comparison is relevant. Some people deflected it into an analysis of how the two are not comparable, whereas it was quite clear that you were saying that if unwanted pregnancy was a man's issue (liking getting an erection clearly is), then there would have been solutions forthcoming a LONG time ago.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

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Grigoris wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:38 am
TharpaChodron wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:50 amHey, I was just kidding with the viagra/abortion comment. Yet, I see the value of looking at how certain issues are handled. Definitely don't see it as a moral equivalency argument, more about institutionalized patriarchy. Regardless, the topic deserves serious attention and I am woefully incapable of providing such at the moment!
I believe that your viagra/abortion comparison is relevant. Some people deflected it into an analysis of how the two are not comparable, whereas it was quite clear that you were saying that if unwanted pregnancy was a man's issue (liking getting an erection clearly is), then there would have been solutions forthcoming a LONG time ago.
Relevant, substantive - it doesn't matter. My point was its not a good rhetorical device. Its something you can say to the "choir" and get an "amen" - its not going to work in a discussion with someone who doesn't already agree. It doesn't overcome the primary objection of most people who oppose abortion - ie. its taking a life. And even for a lot of people who (with reservations) agree that women should have a choice in whether to abort or continue a pregnancy, making that comparison is going to fall flat. That applause line comes from the perspective that an embryo, even a fetus, is comparable to a tumor that can be removed without moral implication, or, alternatively, one is raising the significance of viagra. To a lot of people, viagra is pretty frivolous - and that's what that line is playing on. "Something as frivolous as viagra, connected with men's pleasure is funded while abortion, an occasional consequence of men's pleasure that has an incongruous impact on women, is not!" There's just so much wrong with that line.

I'm not saying that there is not a real problem here, but I don't see how that comparison advances the discussion.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Dechen Norbu »

The problem with Pro-life (beyond the political agenda) is what happens really when abortion is criminalized.

The abortions rate don't tend to drop. So, actually, no life is being protected.

The deaths due to abortions skyrocket. So, actually, more lives are lost.

A blacket market of death arises, filled with greedy and unscrupulous people.

So, do I think abortion is a good thing? No. I think it only should be considered if the mother's life was in danger.
Wouldn’t it be great if a woman, out if compassion, would always carry a pregnancy to its term and raise a child in Dharma? However, this is a pipe dream in our world.

We're to choose between the lesser of two evils. Legalizing abortion seems to spare more lives, paradoxically as it may seem. Plus, when there's the chance of talking with a woman who wants to abort and real help is presented, often they change their minds. Making abortion illegal shuts that door.

Regarding what was said about owning our Buddhist convictions, this shouldn't be confused with unskilfully applying rules blindly. If compassion is our drive, what better way is there to lessen suffering overall? In the end, what causes less suffering? Criminalizing abortions doesn't stop them, doesn't even seem to reduce their rate. The biggest problem is that more deaths occur when abortion is criminalized. So the pro-life measures end up being pro-death in the real world.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Dechen Norbu »

Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:26 pm
Human birth and the chance it offers to escape the wheel of life and death is precious.
Not all human life is precious, according to the teachings. A precious human birth is a specific type of human birth. Actually I think you will find that most humans use their lives to generate demerit and the causes of suffering.
In my previous post I refuted Daizan's ideas.
Still, Greg, never use this argument. We don't, or we should never, get to decide before birth which lives will or will not be precious. Never. That's monstrous. Sure, a lot of human beings just use this life to worsen their situation but, potentially, all are precious. Even if human beings waste their lives, we don't get to kill them, unless we are clairvoyant bodhisattvas who know their karma. If I completely oppose the death penalty, because it doesn't save more lives than, let's say life sentences, I don't oppose abortion being legal only because it saves more lives in the long run.
Knowing you for some years now, I firmly believe you would never stand for something that allowed us to be the judges of whose lives are precious and whose aren't before they played out. Right? But that argument you used amounts to that.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Daizan »

Dechen Norbu wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:43 pm
Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:26 pm
Human birth and the chance it offers to escape the wheel of life and death is precious.
Not all human life is precious, according to the teachings. A precious human birth is a specific type of human birth. Actually I think you will find that most humans use their lives to generate demerit and the causes of suffering.
In my previous post I refuted Daizan's ideas.
Still, Greg, never use this argument. We don't, or we should never, get to decide before birth which lives will or will not be precious. Never. That's monstrous. Sure, a lot of human beings just use this life to worsen their situation but, potentially, all are precious. Even if human beings waste their lives, we don't get to kill them, unless we are clairvoyant bodhisattvas who know their karma. If I completely oppose the death penalty, because it doesn't save more lives than, let's say life sentences, I don't oppose abortion being legal only because it saves more lives in the long run.
Knowing you for some years now, I firmly believe you would never stand for something that allowed us to be the judges of whose lives are precious and whose aren't before they played out. Right? But that argument you used amounts to that.
For some period of Indian culture – don't know what the laws are now – abortion was only illegal for the upper castes. Similarly, in other cultures it was only illegal if a woman had an abortion without the fathers' agreement or knowledge.
The deaths due to [criminalized] abortions skyrocket. So, actually, more lives are lost.
Evidence?
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Dechen Norbu »

Daizan wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:43 pm
Dechen Norbu wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:43 pm
Grigoris wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:26 pm Not all human life is precious, according to the teachings. A precious human birth is a specific type of human birth. Actually I think you will find that most humans use their lives to generate demerit and the causes of suffering.
In my previous post I refuted Daizan's ideas.
Still, Greg, never use this argument. We don't, or we should never, get to decide before birth which lives will or will not be precious. Never. That's monstrous. Sure, a lot of human beings just use this life to worsen their situation but, potentially, all are precious. Even if human beings waste their lives, we don't get to kill them, unless we are clairvoyant bodhisattvas who know their karma. If I completely oppose the death penalty, because it doesn't save more lives than, let's say life sentences, I don't oppose abortion being legal only because it saves more lives in the long run.
Knowing you for some years now, I firmly believe you would never stand for something that allowed us to be the judges of whose lives are precious and whose aren't before they played out. Right? But that argument you used amounts to that.
For some period of Indian culture – don't know what the laws are now – abortion was only illegal for the upper castes. Similarly, in other cultures it was only illegal if a woman had an abortion without the fathers' agreement or knowledge.
The deaths due to [criminalized] abortions skyrocket. So, actually, more lives are lost.
Evidence?
The stats from my own country, Portugal.
It was legalized 11 years ago. Dropped by 14,3%. Deaths of the woman due to it are practically null.

It had a spike in the first years, which is believed to be due to the clandestine abortions no longer being performed secretly. Most likely, the numbers were bigger than we estimated.
Untill 2007 it was a crime punished with 2 years of imprisonment. Now, until the 10th week, no reason needs be provided.
We have the lower rate of abortions in Europe and still dropping.
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Re: Abortion (as an example of problems caused by the common mindset in our society)

Post by Grigoris »

Dechen Norbu wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:43 pmStill, Greg, never use this argument. We don't, or we should never, get to decide before birth which lives will or will not be precious.
I think you will find that in most cases the women that decide to terminate a pregnancy are not really concerned with the theoretical preciousness of human life, but with other more practical concerns. Neither are the men that impregnate the women without asking if they wish to be impregnated.

That said: I do not think that there are many woman out there that make the decision to terminate a pregnancy flippantly, but we cannot expect them to use Buddhist criteria when they make that decision (hell, I am theoretically a Buddhist and I make decisions that are not based on Buddhist criteria all the time). Plus I am not willing to deny women a right to control their own bodies, just because their action may tweak my moral outrage, or step on my theoretical toes.

Anyway, how do we know that a termination of pregnancy will bring more suffering than an unwanted child?

We don't.

So, in closing: In Mahayana Buddhism we consider that the karmic outcome of an action is based on motivation. We do not enter into "Thou shalt not..." pronouncements as Abrahamists do. We do not judge an action just on the basis of the action itself and none of us here has developed the divine eye in order to know what the exact consequences of a specific action will be.

Like I said in my initial post in this thread: if we want to end abortion we need to end the causes and conditions that lead to abortion. Until then I will support women's right to choose a safe, legal, medical procedure..

Anything else is empty rhetoric, or just plain misogynist.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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