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Unfortunately today's shooter was Theravadan Buddhist

vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
It's been learned that today's shooter at the Washington Navy Yard was a practicing Buddhist who was also learning Thai.
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Comments

  • these labels of "buddhist" make no sense when someone goes and does an act like that still just a man.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    blu3ree said:

    these labels of "buddhist" make no sense when someone goes and does an act like that still just a man.

    No, that's to easy and just making an excuse.

    If he was doing great compassionate things, we'd be happy to call him a Buddhist. We have to face the truth that Buddhists are not always good people who do kind things.



    JoyfulGirl
  • vinlyn said:

    blu3ree said:

    these labels of "buddhist" make no sense when someone goes and does an act like that still just a man.

    No, that's to easy and just making an excuse.

    If he was doing great compassionate things, we'd be happy to call him a Buddhist. We have to face the truth that Buddhists are not always good people who do kind things.



    nobody is good, thats why we are in samsar.
    Jeffrey42bodhi
  • blu3ree said:

    these labels of "buddhist" make no sense when someone goes and does an act like that still just a man.

    And that is all they really are, just 'labels'. Anyone can commit an evil action, no matter what training or study they have pursued.

    Some take these 'labels' and use them to their own end when things like this happen. I know I will hear this incident used where I work to denounce Buddhists, yet I have known Christians, Muslims, and Jews guilty of terrible things, even some criminal.

    While I agree it is saddening and makes no sense, you never really know what one is capable of regardless of how they appear before something occurs.
  • I missed this, there has been another shooting? What was the apparent motive behind it? It's sad as these people are often mentally ill and I believe that a lot of people who commit murder are mentally ill to some extent or other, so it is a loss on both sides IMO. That is not to say it is justified.

    I assume the media is going to pick up on the whole Buddhist thing and run with it like they tend to do with such things, like blu3ree said, it is just a label and these labels gets used too often in a way that puts people into stereotypical boxes.
    riverflowcvalue
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    At this point unknown motive. Former sailor who was discharged after a misdemeanor of setting off a gun in a public place. Went to work for a subcontractor of Hewlitt Packard. Was working on updating computer systems. 12 dead, I think.
  • From what little I have read, the shooter apparently had a history of "anger management" issues...
  • I missed this, there has been another shooting? What was the apparent motive behind it? It's sad as these people are often mentally ill and I believe that a lot of people who commit murder are mentally ill to some extent or other, so it is a loss on both sides IMO. That is not to say it is justified.

    I assume the media is going to pick up on the whole Buddhist thing and run with it like they tend to do with such things, like blu3ree said, it is just a label and these labels gets used too often in a way that puts people into stereotypical boxes.

    I will point out that there are axis 1 and axis 2 mental disorders. So called 'psychotic' does not increase chances for violence. More violence is found from non-psychotic people than psychotic with the exception of self-violence. A psychotic person does not feel no remorse for others, rather they have delusions and hallucinations often self-persecutory. What we have in these violent cases is sociopathy. Sociopathy means you have no remorse for hurting others (sometimes).

    It's understandable to get this wrong Tom. I am just trying to point out the reality of mental illness.
    Schizophrenia and Violence
    By National Institute of Mental Health

    News and entertainment media tend to link mental illness and criminal violence; however, studies indicate that except for those persons with a record of criminal violence before becoming ill, and those with substance abuse or alcohol problems, people with schizophrenia are not especially prone to violence.

    Most individuals with schizophrenia are not violent; more typically, they are withdrawn and prefer to be left alone. Most violent crimes are not committed by persons with schizophrenia, and most persons with schizophrenia do not commit violent crimes.

    Substance abuse significantly raises the rate of violence in people with schizophrenia but also in people who do not have any mental illness. People with paranoid and psychotic symptoms, which can become worse if medications are discontinued, may also be at higher risk for violent behavior. When violence does occur, it is most frequently targeted at family members and friends, and more often takes place at home.
    http://psychcentral.com/lib/schizophrenia-and-violence/000711
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Punta Gorda, Florida, USA Veteran
    edited September 2013
    CBS kept saying "motive unknown" and that the FBI wanted to hear from anyone who knew or had contact with or had seen Aaron Alexis. They showed an FBI agent asking people who were aware of any of Aaron's movements(in essence) to call the FBI. The agent said no information was too small. The FBI has his pictures on their website. They are in the dark as to motive, right now, so far as what they are telling the news folks.
  • vinlyn said:

    Tom, I actually doubt the media will "run with this". They are simply trying to piece together a biography of the perpetrator. Apparently he worked for quite a while as a waiter in a Thai restaurant, which may explain his contact with Buddhism...or of course, it could be the other way around.

    But part of my reason for starting this thread is to remind some of our friends who always want to come down on Muslims for violence...it can happen to any religious group.

    Yea the hating on Muslims never ceases to amaze me, it shouldn't surprise me but at times it does. I just made an assumption that the media would pick up on that and start to use it to point fingers in some way, maybe not yet or as you stated maybe not at all.

    I just saw this story on the Thai news, they are saying 13 people have been killed now. My girlfriend did not understand it all, she was asking things like 'why did he do that'? 'Who was he fighting' and these sorts of questions. It is pretty uncommon here for this kind of things to happen I guess. I remember it happening once in England and in China there have been several incidents of people going into schools with knives or machetes.

    @jeffrey I myself have done a lot of studying and research into mental illness and psychotics. Around 1 in 100 people are though to be psychotic, they do not feel stress or anxiety as much if at all but that does make them murderers of course. There needs to be other combining factors that could include

    >Childhood and abuse
    >Other metal illnesses
    >Intoxicants
    >Brain damage and trauma following an accident
    >Brain tumors

    It is like a fire, a fire needs 3 things to get going. It needs oxygen, a spark and fuel. A serial killer or mass murderer needs to have more than one problem going on upstairs.
    Straight_Man
  • vinlyn said:

    We have to face the truth that Buddhists are not always good people who do kind things.

    We also have to face the truth that someone who posts such a remark on a Buddhist forum is trolling.
    KrustyCrabs
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    poptart said:

    vinlyn said:

    We have to face the truth that Buddhists are not always good people who do kind things.

    We also have to face the truth that someone who posts such a remark on a Buddhist forum is trolling.
    Not at all, and you know better.

    Chaz
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    I know you're not going to like me saying this but I can't help it:

    This guy was not a Buddhist, Buddhists don't shoot people, if you selected a huge group of people and asked them what religion they think a murderer was none of them would say they were sure he must be a buddhist.

    He may of involved in some Buddhist practices but none of that matters if you behave like that.
  • Of course, we don't know yet, but I'd like to think that Buddhism and meditation was his last ditch effort to get his anger isuues under control. Unfortunately it seems to be a battle he lost.
    riverflowcvalueChaz
  • chariramacharirama Veteran
    edited September 2013
    When does one become "a Buddhist?"

    Perhaps he was just a person who had issues and was trying to better himself through a Buddhist practice.

    Isn't that what we are all doing?
    Toshblu3reeriverflow
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    charirama said:

    When does one become "a Buddhist?"

    Perhaps he was just a person who had issues and was trying to better himself through a Buddhist practice.

    Isn't that what we are all doing?

    Exactly.

    And since when did Victorious or TheEccentric get to be the decider of who is Buddhist?

  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran
    edited September 2013
    vinlyn said:

    charirama said:

    When does one become "a Buddhist?"

    Perhaps he was just a person who had issues and was trying to better himself through a Buddhist practice.

    Isn't that what we are all doing?

    Exactly.

    And since when did Victorious or TheEccentric get to be the decider of who is Buddhist?


    I respect anybodys right to call themselves "Buddhist". As long as they respect my right to call them "No you bl**dy h/well aint!!!".

    Sounds fair to me.

    /Victor

    PS
    But I was not actually challenging anybodys right to call themselves buddhist.
    That was not at all the meaning of what I said.

    I said that the label of Buddhism is in everybodies heads and an illusion like everything else.

    It is best to see reality as it really is. Otherwise you start believing things like "Islam kills people" or a "Buddhist Shooter killed 13 people"

    This is dhamma view, Ne?

    DS

    Jeffrey
  • vinlyn said:

    charirama said:

    When does one become "a Buddhist?"

    Perhaps he was just a person who had issues and was trying to better himself through a Buddhist practice.

    Isn't that what we are all doing?

    Exactly.

    And since when did Victorious or TheEccentric get to be the decider of who is Buddhist?

    I'd be happy with lobster as the official 'decider'. If he decided I wasn't a buddhist, it wouldn't change the way behave much... but it might make me give the lobsters at the asian markets dirty looks for a while. After all, my other labels aren't so glamorous; 'single', 'thirysomething', 'uninsured'... Actually it would be great if lob could decide that I'm not those things too! Hint hint
    Victorious
  • vinlyn said:



    Not at all, and you know better.


    How do you know what I know?

    Anyone can claim to be a Buddhist. Just like anyone can claim to be a school principal. It doesn't make it true.

    Buddhism is something you do, not something you are. Actions speak louder than words.
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited September 2013
    So he called himself a Buddhist. It's something that should make people stop to challenge their assumptions about people. When faced with a glaring example of behavior that contradicts how we expect someone (ie a Buddhist) to behave, we instinctively try to use what's known as the "No True Scotsman" defense. In this case, "He may have called himself a Buddhist, but no true Buddhist would go on a killing rampage, so he wasn't a true Buddhist."

    Christians, Muslims, and people of just about any group often do this when faced with the glaring fact that there are good and bad people in any group and no teaching or practice or belief has the power to insure nobody performs an evil deed or misuses the traditions of the group. My mother is a fine woman and a Christian who, when she sees church groups holding signs like "God hates fags" only says, "They're not true Christians" and this response serves her well.

    In the case of this latest tragedy, a picture has already emerged of a man who had trouble forming relationships (he was the typical loner) with lots of anger issues and who usually owned a gun and used one in the past against at least one person he was angry at (he admitted to shooting out the tires of a man he was angry at). That is not something a balanced mind does. That is a recipe for trouble.

    But, many thousands of men who are loners and own guns and have some anger issues don't go on a killing rampage. Most of them are satisfied with fantasies and role playing by watching violent movies or playing video games where animated zombies are blown away. Apparently so did this guy. It's called "sublimation" and one of our most basic defense mechanisms in the mind to control our antisocial behavior, especially when it comes to violence. What do you think football is all about?

    But one day it wasn't enough for this man. So what makes this guy different? Nobody really knows, in spite of what TV pundits try to make you believe. That unpredictable human mind is at work.

    Now, was the man a real Buddhist? All I can say is, "He's not my kind of Buddhist." My kind of Buddhist would have known anger was a huge problem and gotten rid of the guns or not bought them to begin with, since all they do is focus the anger and give the mind something to make the fantasies a reality. My kind of Buddhist would have looked for a Teacher somewhere, anywhere, and been honest about the demons inside.
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    He meditated at a Buddhist temple, where he met his employer. That does not make him a Buddhist any more than sitting in a church watching a baptism makes one a Christian.
    WonderingSeekerblu3reecvalueJainarayan
  • blu3reeblu3ree Veteran
    edited September 2013
    to be a buddhist one must follow the 8 fold path clearly while he was out and about he was not following the 8 fold path making him not a buddhist. one can be a "buddhist" without knowing even about buddhism.
  • Calling this guy a buddhist is like calling westboro baptist guys Christian.
    riverflowWonderingSeekerKundoJeffrey
  • I can only imagine the torture that must have been going through his head. I wish America would use these tragedies to recognize the need for a better understanding and recognition of mental illness. Its almost taboo to say you are so stressed that you are thinking of killing yourself. Most people won't even be honest with themselves about their issues. While my heart goes out to those who lost someone I think we need to start having some compassion towards the people who are doing these acts. If for no other reason than to change our national perception of mental illness. Maybe more people would get help if they weren't villianized for being sub-normal. Just a thought based on my own dealings with mental issues.
    riverflowWonderingSeeker
  • I feel sorry for this guy! What bad karma that he did in his past life that led him to such a tragic ending to him and to his victims? Deep down inside he seems to know that the devil holds his soul and has been trying to escape it in vain. When converted to Buddhism, he hopes to be able to change his life and saves his soul, but unfortunately for him, his bad karma was too strong so he didn't have a chance to meet with a good master. Now after this violent act his soul will suffer for a very long time in whatever form of hell that he will meet!

    I also feel very sorry for his victims! It's not easy to be born human and their lives are cut short! I hope they will be able to be reincarnated again soon!

    I think of them and I pray for all of them.
    Jeffrey
  • betaboy said:

    Calling this guy a buddhist is like calling westboro baptist guys Christian.

    Omg those people suck so bad. (Where's the crazy 90's Mike Tyson when you need him. :))
    Honestly it's a testament to the tolerance of humanity that none of those people have been seriously hurt.
    riverflow
  • I would go as far as to say that nobody when you think about it is a Buddhist, sure you can throw the label at me, you or anybody, but when the Buddha was around there was no such thing, he merely taught a way to live your life. Where is the line between being a Buddhist and not a Buddhist? Am I not a Buddhist because I like to drink from time to time and have a poor meditative practice? In my opinion we are all either Buddhists or we are all not Buddhists, and by 'we' I mean the human race.
    I_AM_THATriverflowblu3reekarasti
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    poptart said:

    vinlyn said:



    Not at all, and you know better.


    How do you know what I know?

    Anyone can claim to be a Buddhist. Just like anyone can claim to be a school principal. It doesn't make it true.

    Buddhism is something you do, not something you are. Actions speak louder than words.
    Yes, and you should take that to heart.

  • so what?

    what difference does it make whether the shooter
    is mahayana, vajrayana or hollywood-banana???
    vinlyn said:

    It's been learned that today's shooter at the Washington Navy Yard was a practicing Buddhist who was also learning Thai.

    hermitwin
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    charirama said:

    When does one become "a Buddhist?"

    Perhaps he was just a person who had issues and was trying to better himself through a Buddhist practice.

    Isn't that what we are all doing?

    If he was trying to better himself then why would he be shooting people?
  • If he was trying to better himself then why would he be shooting people?

    Because people slip and fall. We all have our weaknesses. Self-examination is the key, but we don't always succeed, especially when battling inner demons. If we were already perfect, why would we bother seeking to find some kind of inner peace?
    vinlynChazcvaluekarasti
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    charirama said:

    When does one become "a Buddhist?"

    Perhaps he was just a person who had issues and was trying to better himself through a Buddhist practice.

    Isn't that what we are all doing?

    If he was trying to better himself then why would he be shooting people?
    That's like saying that someone is not worthy to be in AA if they slip and take a drink.

    riverflowChaz
  • what is hollywood-banana??? lol.

    jll said:

    so what?

    what difference does it make whether the shooter
    is mahayana, vajrayana or hollywood-banana???


    vinlyn said:

    It's been learned that today's shooter at the Washington Navy Yard was a practicing Buddhist who was also learning Thai.

  • blu3reeblu3ree Veteran
    edited September 2013

    I would go as far as to say that nobody when you think about it is a Buddhist, sure you can throw the label at me, you or anybody, but when the Buddha was around there was no such thing, he merely taught a way to live your life. Where is the line between being a Buddhist and not a Buddhist? Am I not a Buddhist because I like to drink from time to time and have a poor meditative practice? In my opinion we are all either Buddhists or we are all not Buddhists, and by 'we' I mean the human race.

    agreed. it is a teaching for everyone teaching the human condition.
  • riverflowriverflow Veteran
    edited September 2013
    @hermitwin

    That's the Banana Vehicle of Master Andy Warhol.
    jllhermitwin
  • Are you trying to tell me there are 2 hollywood banana schools?
    The one I was referring to is very similar to Vajrayana,
    except their hats are made of bananas and they dont
    believe in reincarnation.

    riverflow said:

    @hermitwin

    That's the Banana Vehicle of Master Andy Warhol.

    riverflowKundohermitwin
  • errrr.......,

    S Korea and Taiwan are wealthy countries.
    S Korea ranks 27th in the world
    while Taiwan ranks 19th.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita
    vinlyn said:

    Some here have not yet come to the realization that the Buddhist environment they are in is somewhat unique in the world and not typical of the life that the average world Buddhist lives in. They are in a rarefied niche where mostly White American suburbanites read books, listen to podcasts, and chat with other White Americans about a religion (or philosophy) which they have come to -- to a great extent -- due to dissatisfaction with the religion they were raised in. They're typically middle class (or higher), with a decent job, well-educated, and (at least by American/Western standards) sophisticated. Meanwhile, much of the Buddhist world lives in an almost totally non-White environment, were born into their religion and are content with the way they learned to practice it, they and their family scrape by with only adequate (or less) nutrition and housing, have a lousy (or no) full time job that pays poorly, aren't well-educated, and aren't particularly sophisticated. I'm talking about the people who live in the countries in the world where Buddhism is most common -- China (102,000,000), Japan (89,650,000), Thailand (55,480,000), Vietnam (49,690,000), Burma (41,610,000), Sri Lanka (12,540,000), South Korea (10,920,000), Taiwan (9,150,000), Cambodia (9,130,000), India (7,000,000).

    And somehow I think that Buddha himself would have been a little less likely to go around telling people they weren't fit to listen to his teachings and try their best to emulate them.

    Frankly, some of the attitudes expressed here about whether or not someone can call themselves a Buddhist sound very much like certain Americans before (and after) the Civil War who thought they had the right to decide who was human. For some of you it's the old concept that we have our own little club, and you're not worthy to be a member.


  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited September 2013
    I am very aware of the relative wealth of those countries. The list I provided is the top ten countries in terms of numbers of Buddhists. I included all the countries in those top 10 so that some Bonzai (to put it in a more Buddhist frame of thought) wouldn't say I intentionally left some out in order to detract from the point I was making.
  • vinlyn said:

    I am very aware of the relative wealth of those countries. The list I provided is the top ten countries in terms of numbers of Buddhists. I included all the countries in those top 10 so that some Bonzai (to put it in a more Buddhist frame of thought) wouldn't say I intentionally left some out in order to detract from the point I was making.

    I used this list to decide where to live without ever having a holiday in Asia lol. In fact i flipped a coin on Thailand or Sri Lanka, pretty impulsive eh
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited September 2013
    But you made the best choice, Tom!!! There is (or at least was) something very special about Thailand.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited September 2013
    jll said:

    so what?

    what difference does it make whether the shooter
    is mahayana, vajrayana or hollywood-banana???


    @jll, It makes about as a difference as this does.....
    I just found out about this recently.
    It came as a shock to me.
    He was 1 of the foreign disciples of ajahn chah.
    In my mind, he must have attained high levels of
    meditation.
    To think that he gave it all up is , i am lost for words.


    http://nationmultimedia.com/national/Popular-monk-returns-to-Japan-30208021.html
  • Now Buddhism will be added to the militia, sovereign citizen, and bible thumper list of evil religions that need to be banned.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    To me, a Buddhist is someone who has taken the steps to be a Buddhist. Just like a Catholic is someone who took the steps to become a Catholic. They don't cease to be those people because they commit a bad act. The man who a few days ago was a good friend, a good son, possibly a good brother, uncle, and so on. Did not cease to be those things because of the act he committed. What if he had been part of your Sangha, had taken Refuge Vows, had meditated and studied with you, and then you found out he did this. Would you still claim that despite your time with him in a Buddhist environment, he was suddenly not a Buddhist? One second he is, the next second he is not? That doesn't make much sense to me. You can only be a Buddhist if you *exemplify* all things that Buddhism stands for? No one here does that.

    Everyone has a line. Thankfully most of us do not get pushed to ours. But we all have them, and whether you want to believe it of yourself or not, we can all be pushed beyond our line. We are all as capable of committing bad acts, but some people have conditions where they are pushed over their line to a greater extent. We are all also capable of committing incredibly good acts, but most of us don't do that, either. We mostly ride the average line, doing some good, doing some bad (but not really bad) and don't fall on the outlier of the bell curve of behavior on either end.

    FWIW, 13 died, *including* the shooter. He killed 12, then was killed by police.
    Vastmindriverflowkarmatib
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