your question nailed it...hopefully my mindstream does not produce that moment.
this whole concept of killing when it is righteous and when it is not ...so far i've avoided having to make those choices...
Fair enough, but having come to Buddhism rather late in life, I have to say that I find some of the ideas and even doctrines hard to square with my own experience, which is why I really appreciate my teacher's constant admonition to "work with circumstances".
The fact is, a lot of us have to make those choices, and on a regular basis. For example, I'm a beekeeper. I love my little friends, and have a lot of joy working with them and experiencing their wisdom.
As a Buddhist, I'm obviously practicing wrong livelihood - I do my best, but there is no way to avoid squashing bees constantly on the scale we work. Also, when you see a bee trapped, or 1/2 squashed and trying to get away etc. etc. - all of the situations that can arise, my feeling is that it would be a miserable compassion indeed to let them suffer like that when I can end that suffering quickly.
This is to say nothing of the very concept of beekeeping, a situation where you take what you didn't earn (or at least in theory although in practice to be a decent beekeeper you have to work at least as hard as they do, and the rewards are shared) like collecting interest on money - something else forbidden.
In practice, honey bees would no longer exist at all where I live without husbandry and active human involvement. Without bees, forget our entire local agricultural system.
So I'm happy that you've never had to make those choices, but I'll bet you eat honey, or have eaten it at some point. So now that you've been in the back room and seen the way the sausages are made, will you swear off eating honey?
Should I stop keeping bees, even though I know I'm as careful as I can be, and I know for a fact much gentler and careful than at least some of the beekeepers we've met and observed first hand?
For example, we don't do mass pollination contracts which I think is the root cause of the bee issues and focus on honey production, but even this is only due to favorable circumstances. There are other beekeepers, good and well meaning people who MUST provide this service or we'd all be eating very differently in N. America.
So this thread deals with some sticky issues where the rubber meets the road. Maybe you think I'm evil incarnate b/c I keep bees, but obviously I don't feel this way. Reality in samsara is nuanced and the older get to be the more I understand that 'there but for the grace of god...'
I spoke up when I saw you speaking in absolutes because I'm very familiar with this type of thinking and I understand it, I'm not condemning, just providing my own experience and view. I grew up a fundamentalist Christian sect and left precisely because the endless rules I had no problem keeping (they always say you're an apostate because you couldn't live it) always have exceptions, and the best I feel we can do as humans living in Samsara, is to have a good heart, guard our motivation like our eyes, and do our best - at least people like me without exceptional qualities like the teachers who guide us - obviously they have different karma. As do the noble ordained Sangha who give their existence to ensure the teaching survives.
If we're fortunate to not have to be involved in things we find unpleasant or that we feel are at odds with our understanding of Dharma, then that's awesome - but are you really ready to consign everyone else to the hell realms? I've had a gut full of that in my life, and while I understand it, I think it's a bit unrealistic - samsara is suffering and struggle all the way down. It's easy to say that someone else is simply rationalizing their bad behavior, but it's really a bit more complicated than that.
On this subject of Daesh and what can or should be done about this kind of evil - I can understand the sentiment that by fighting something like that, you only become part of the problem etc. - but in reality, where the rubber meets the road, if everyone acted like this and abdicated responsibility, then evil would totally conquer in a single generation and it would all be much, much worse. Things are NEVER so bad they can't get worse, unfortunately.