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Why do Buddhists get defensive

when some people say Buddhism is pessimistic?

Buddhists are offended if someone calls their religion (or Buddha) pessimistic.

Suppose they call your religion/founder optimistic, would you still be offended (or perhaps flattered)?

Something to think about.

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Comments

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 26

    Why do Buddhists get defensive

    Perhaps @techie it has a lot to do with the self & attachment :)

    However I would say "Why do "SOME" Buddhists get defensive?" because not all Buddhist get defensive, some don't really give a toss what's said about Buddhism...It's no skin off their self so to speak ;)

    lobsterdhammachickNirvanaCory
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited February 26

    Why do people get defensive? Because religion is usually held to be something that should be uplifting and good for you, so a religion which doesn't view everything as sweetness and light and wisdom might be seen as being out-of-touch.

    I think it comes from the Four Noble Truths, I remember I had this reaction too when I first read them. Life is suffering? How can that be, when I am perfectly happy with my life? It's obvious that almost everyone's lives are part happiness, part unhappiness, so isn't it terribly negative to say "life is suffering"?

    But I feel most normal people hide their suffering, sweep it under the carpet. The first Noble Truth rubs your nose in it, and once you've overcome your aversion to looking, it will point your way to your hidden unhappiness. From there it is easy to become obsessed, to say "everything is unhappiness", but I don't think that's an accurate perception.

    Thich Nhat Hanh has a good handle on these things, when he says that when you uncover the causes of your unhappiness and resolve them, what you are left with is greater happiness, even nirvana and enlightenment. Certainly I wouldn't care whether my teacher was called optimistic or pessimistic, I would care about his teaching qualities.

    That said, Buddhism is a religion which encapsulates a lot of struggle. Everyone is trying to get to enlightenment, yet almost no-one is getting there... it seems darkness abounds on the earth, many people in thrall to samsara. So perhaps some might see it as pessimistic. But I think that is a correct way of viewing the world, many people are captives of the desires and ignorance and delusion that society programs into you.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I guess you're asking these questions in a 'what if...' kind of way and not asking them based on some pretty big assumptions as it appears, @techie.

    I say IF a Buddhist is offended, then they're not a very well-trained monk or well-studied layperson. I belong to one spiritual type forum where I see people ask questions along that same line fairly often. I think it's great that they're curious enough about the subject - maybe they'll become curious enough to actually do some of their own research about it.

    Buddhism is a near-perfect 'religion' for me. Even though my life's been hella-crazy sometimes, I've always admired people who see things from a balanced viewpoint.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @techie, It depends what you mean by 'offended'.
    I am never offended if someone makes that error. I don't know any Buddhist who is, actually....

    I'm amused.
    It is amusing because it's based on ignorance (the 'not-knowing' kind) and I can either explain, if they're open to it, or simply giggle, if they're not.
    The way to discover their level of openness is to (a) assess the situation and (b) - ask.

    I'm actually quite offended by your question. in implying ALL Buddhists get offended, you immediately discriminate and judge.
    Now really, is that any way to behave? ignorantly?

    shanyin
  • @techie I feel it is to do with identity and through having a self to protect.

    In a way I feel it is quite correct to not identify as a Buddhist as long as one practices Buddhism. In other words I am quite capable of protecting my ignorance, opinions, affiliations but practice allows me to gain insight into such petty resonances. I would be quite happy to be thought of as pessimistic or positive as neither is the whole picture. Far better to be in the Middle Way ...

    Dukka/suffering/positivity are eventually all identities to accept as useful or to let go of ...

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited February 26

    @lobster said:
    @techie I feel it is to do with identity and through having a self to protect.

    Yes, if somebody criticizes your religion/politics/lifestyle/morality it can feel like an attack on you, to the extent that you identify with these things, to the extent that they define who you are.

    As for pessimism, well, that is just realism. I mean if the ice-cream is running out there is no point pretending it will last for ever...unless it's a magic ice-cream tub which perpetually refills itself. :p

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It's not a Buddhist thing it's a human thing. People want to defend what they hold dear. That said, it's really easy to read defensiveness where it doesn't exist. Often times the person who suggests such is going down the wrong path as far as how they understand Buddhism and people want to correct them before they right off a beautiful path as something it is not. Often people are simply discussing or sharing opinions, it doesn't mean they re always emotionally attached to what they are saying, but that's hard to determine when all you have is text to consider.

    I don't agree pessimism is always realism. Sometimes it is, but I'd say it's rare. Some people just prefer to go down a path of "everything is the worst!" when most often it is not. Most people haven't experience the worst of something. They just think everything they view as negative is "the worst." Just because an optimist sees it as something else doesn't make them un-real, either. They just look at it from a different perspective. Neither of them is expressing reality. They are observing it and putting their own spin on it based on their experiences and other factors. It's what we do. And what we are trying to work out of. Suggesting pessimism might somehow be more acceptable than optimism really isn't true. They are flip sides of the same coin and neither is "reality" more than the other.

  • techietechie India Veteran
    edited February 26

    I think people here are missing the point.

    It is NOT about whether Buddhism really is pessimistic or not. That's a subject matter for another day.

    If someone says Buddhism is a violent religion, I can understand Buddhists being offended.

    But if someone says buddhism is pessimistic, what is so offensive about that? Why do Buddhists get so worked up that they provide 'evidence' that their religion is not pessimistic, it is only realistic etc. etc.?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I DID answer your specific question, above... Don't think I missed the point....

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 26

    @techie said:
    I think people here are missing the point.

    Why so defensive?
    (sorry could not resist) :3

    ShoshindhammachickTiggerVastmind
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    This was already explained a few times though @techie? Because of attachment, because people defend that which they are attached to and hold dear. And to stop spreading misinformation if someone seems to misunderstand the intention behind various parts of Buddhism.

    Why does anyone defend anything? Why do you stand up for your parents or your friend if someone says something incorrect about them? Any time you take a stance on virtually anything you are defending an idea or position, no?

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @techie said:
    I think people here are missing the point.

    But if someone says buddhism is pessimistic, what is so offensive about that? Why do Buddhists get so worked up that they provide 'evidence' that their religion is not pessimistic, it is only realistic etc. etc.?

    I think it's really the other way around. I've never experienced a Buddhist or someone who likes Buddhism and is studying up on it to be bothered.

    If anything, it's the one doing the challenging by accusing Buddhism to be a pessimistic religion because as others have said here, the reason they challenge is due to ignorance, in that they have only studied Buddhism on the surface. There's absolutely nothing for a person to get their Buddhist feathers ruffled.
    :grin:

    lobsterShoshin
  • seeing Buddhists working on accepting suffering, illness, death, pain, constant change etc. can be disturbing :)

    karastidhammachick
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited February 26

    @techie said:
    when some people say Buddhism is pessimistic?

    Buddhists are offended if someone calls their religion (or Buddha) pessimistic.

    Suppose they call your religion/founder optimistic, would you still be offended (or perhaps flattered)?

    Something to think about.

    Could you clarify this, OP? "Defensive" What do you mean by "defensive"? On this forum, we try to correct erroneous impressions of Buddhism, and inform people of what it's really all about. Is that what you mean by "defensive"? I don't know what you're referring to--what type of behavior or statements.

    Were you under the impression that Buddhism is pessimistic?

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited February 27

    @techie said:> But if someone says buddhism is pessimistic, what is so offensive about that? Why do Buddhists get so worked up that they provide 'evidence' that their religion is not pessimistic, it is only realistic etc. etc.?

    I don't find the suggestion offensive, just inaccurate. If it was just the first two Noble Truths, "pessimistic" would be an accurate assessment, but of course there are also the third and fourth Truths which provide a positive "solution", freedom and liberation.

    People have all sorts of misapprehensions about Buddhism ( even Buddhists! ) and it seems reasonable to address these when appropriate. This is a useful function of Buddhist forums of course.

    dhammachickpommesetoranges
  • GuiGui Veteran

    The irony of a Buddhist defending Buddhism does not escape me.

    VastminddhammachickShoshin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Gui I don't think it escapes anyone. But I think at least in some of the cases the OP is mistaking correcting misunderstanding for defending. They haven't given examples of what they are seeing that they suspect are defenses. but it is common here for people to have a slightly off-kilter interpretation of things in Buddhism due to attempting to understand it entirely while still being a beginner and having no guidance from people who are more experienced. I do think it's important to help people correct those misunderstandings, like I said, because too often people discard Buddhism over them. I did the same myself for many years. It wasn't until I got interpretations from teachers and advanced students that I understood where my view went wrong. It's an evolution for everyone. But the nihilistic and fatalistic understanding that some people come to the forum with is unfortunate for THEM not for Buddhism.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
    edited February 27

    Buddhists are human too so they may tend to get defensive if someone calls Buddhism pessimistic. I think someone that's disciplined in the Dharma should not get defensive about these perceptions because they usually come from someone who is ignorant, meaning they lack the information to know that Buddhism is anything but pessimistic and what the Dharma is actually saying. Of course, if you read some of the teachings without that knowledge then you may have the wrong idea about its meanings and may look at it incorrectly.

    I have found nothing but pure happiness and peace with Buddhism. A gift for us all =)

    silver
  • Correction imo is the province of the wise. All else is mere opinion. Differing opinions should not cause upset.

    silverlobster
  • @grackle said:
    Correction imo is the province of the wise.

    Yes. Correcting a mistaken impression isn't being defensive. It's part of the education process.

    silver
  • After 50+ yrs I fail to find a competence that leads to a conviction I could correct others.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @grackle said:
    After 50+ yrs I fail to find a competence that leads to a conviction I could correct others.

    That's generally true, but I think it's not so much correction as it is informing so that hopefully they can correct themselves, in time.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @grackle said:
    After 50+ yrs I fail to find a competence that leads to a conviction I could correct others.

    ...a comment which in itself seeks to correct, if not clarify, @silver's reply...
    I'm absolutely certain you did not intend to sound so pompous...

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @federica said:

    @grackle said:
    After 50+ yrs I fail to find a competence that leads to a conviction I could correct others.

    ...a comment which in itself seeks to correct, if not clarify, @silver's reply...
    I'm absolutely certain you did not intend to sound so pompous...

    Fwiw, I didn't think he sounded pompous - it was more like an apologetic stance that didn't seem fitting to the op's line of questions. (if I'm even on the right track) :confused:

    lobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Wisdom is within all of us. Being humble is a good thing. Sharing wisdom isn't a bad thing. What good is it if we know we have wisdom within it but are all too 'humble' to think we should share it? The point isn't to tell someone "You're wrong." The point is to share your experience so you and they can compare notes and learn from each other. Even our "incorrect" views of something are a learning process. But I hate to see people discard Buddhism because their western understanding of suffering leads them to believe Buddhism is nothing but suffering. Sometimes, they aren't ready to consider other meanings. But sometimes they just need someone to point out something they can chew on.

    lobstersilver
  • @karasti said:
    Even our "incorrect" views of something are a learning process.

    This really is where the wisdom and experience that @grackle mentions comes in. How can dharma be utilised and shared effectively? Our understanding hopefully matures, if we are able to share and digest. In this context, we perhaps present our development, revealing the positive effects from practice.

    As far as I am aware our understanding and expression of dharma and life is indicative of our reflection. We are [lobster puts on favourite hat] a continual revealing of our nature for us and others to learn from, ignore or [insert behavoural choice] ...

    silverkarasti
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    My take is that correcting fact is something that can and should be done by anyone who has acquired the necessary knowledge.

    Correcting opinion is a question of applying wisdom and insight, and is often best left to the professional educator or the wise.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    My take is that correcting fact is something that can and should be done by anyone who has acquired the necessary knowledge.

    Correcting opinion is a question of applying wisdom and insight, and is often best left to the professional educator or the wise.

    And who is going to make the referral to such professional educators or the wise?
    That's why we make our own best guru. The Buddha told everyone not to follow anybody else blindly. If we study well, it means that we take in the information given by whomever or whatever (book, youtube video, etc.) and do our own research. If it sounds good, we make it our own facts for the moment, knowing something new could come down the pike at any time and change our pov.

    Edumacation is an ongoing thing. Ain't that right, Homer?

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited February 28

    Very few people take referrals to anyone on matters of opinion, and most don't educate themselves sufficiently. Even when we do, most mature people view new information with scepticism. That is why we need professional persuaders - educators and the wise - to tell us things.

    Facts however are facts. They are not subject to debate, the phrase "to make your own facts" is nonsense. If your doctor tells you you have a broken leg, you are not going to dispute that. If on the other hand someone says that Rembrandt's painting of Hendrickje Stoffels Bathing is beautiful, you might hold a different opinion on that. But you might be persuaded if a knowledgeable person points out how Rembrandt "paints with light" and how fantastic his technique on fabrics and skin is.

    Tiggerkarasti
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    It's true that most don't educate themselves properly. I'm not exactly comfortable with the phrase 'professional persuaders' tbh. These educators and the wise can tell us stuff, but we still have to sort it all out for ourselves before jumping on anybody's bandwagon. I think I understand where you're coming from, though. This forum and many others are proof positive that so many people fade in and out of Buddhism, having only scratched the surface.

    karasti
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Gui said:
    The irony of a Buddhist defending Buddhism does not escape me.

    True....When it comes to practising the Dharma, at times one might say what one means, but not always mean what one says... Ie, put into practice :)

    Tis a human thing ;)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited February 28

    I think people often have a lot of trouble determining anymore what is fact, and what is opinion. I see that quite a lot. They think if a fact is followed up with something else, it is all fact.
    Doctor says: You have a broken leg. You will never run again.
    People can't distinguish that the broken leg may be fact, but the "you'll never run again" is opinion. They put it all together as one big fact because learning how to discern and pick apart the whole mess is just too much work.

    We are fairly bombarded by information all day, every day. It can get exhausting to pick out what is fact and what isn't, and when you start to delve into it, sometimes even the lines of facts start to blur (trying having vaccination discussions online, you'll find people presenting what appears to be decent information for both sides, so the facts are pretty fuzzy enough though both sides presents their information as such). I have always been really curious and I remember being so frustrated as a young person to be unable to find answers to all my questions. Well, with Google, now I mostly can, lol. But I ask myself frequently if it is really worth it. What if having to let go of those random thoughts we had was a good thing? I think in a lot of cases having so much information at the drop of a hat makes us work a lot less harder at finding it, and determining what is worth attempting to find. I think our brains are having to work much less in that particular way, and I don't think it's a good thing.

    dhammachickperson
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @karasti said:
    I think people often have a lot of trouble determining anymore what is fact, and what is opinion. I see that quite a lot. They think if a fact is followed up with something else, it is all fact.
    Doctor says: You have a broken leg. You will never run again.
    People can't distinguish that the broken leg may be fact, but the "you'll never run again" is opinion. They put it all together as one big fact because learning how to discern and pick apart the whole mess is just too much work.

    We are fairly bombarded by information all day, every day. It can get exhausting to pick out what is fact and what isn't, and when you start to delve into it, sometimes even the lines of facts start to blur (trying having vaccination discussions online, you'll find people presenting what appears to be decent information for both sides, so the facts are pretty fuzzy enough though both sides presents their information as such). I have always been really curious and I remember being so frustrated as a young person to be unable to find answers to all my questions. Well, with Google, now I mostly can, lol. But I ask myself frequently if it is really worth it. What if having to let go of those random thoughts we had was a good thing? I think in a lot of cases having so much information at the drop of a hat makes us work a lot less harder at finding it, and determining what is worth attempting to find. I think our brains are having to work much less in that particular way, and I don't think it's a good thing.

    This ^^^ 100%

  • DhammikaDhammika Explorer

    Thanissaro Bhikkhu took on this very point in a touchstone Dhamma talk that helped clear up my own thinking about this. Not that "life is suffering" but that "there is suffering" -- a rather large semantic difference -- but more importantly a path that leads to suffering's final end:

    THANISSARO BHIKKHU

    "Only when I began to look directly at the early texts did I realize that what I thought was a paradox was actually an irony — the irony of how Buddhism, which gives such a positive view of a human being's potential for finding true happiness, could be branded in the West as negative and pessimistic.

    You've probably heard the rumor that "Life is suffering" is Buddhism's first principle, the Buddha's first noble truth. It's a rumor with good credentials, spread by well-respected academics and Dharma teachers alike, but a rumor nonetheless. The truth about the noble truths is far more interesting. The Buddha taught four truths — not one — about life: There is suffering, there is a cause for suffering, there is an end of suffering, and there is a path of practice that puts an end to suffering. These truths, taken as a whole, are far from pessimistic. They're a practical, problem-solving approach — the way a doctor approaches an illness, or a mechanic a faulty engine. You identify a problem and look for its cause. You then put an end to the problem by eliminating the cause...."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/lifeisnt.html

    silverkarastiperson
  • MingleMingle Veteran

    I've never thought it pessimistic. It probably is compared to that warm fuzzy feeling of false hope abrahamic religions give people.

    silverSpinyNorman
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited March 1

    @techie said:
    But if someone says buddhism is pessimistic, what is so offensive about that? Why do Buddhists get so worked up that they provide 'evidence' that their religion is not pessimistic, it is only realistic etc. etc.?

    Most folk I know, know very little about Buddhism, but it generally seems to be considered a bit hippy-ish at best and inoffensive at worst.

    I don't consider myself a Buddhist though (for some very Buddhist reasons I think (compassion for alkies)).

    But I'm currently arguing in another post over the possibilities of butter-intoxication.

    It's funny what we can get attached too! :p

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    I'd still like to hear from the OP about what it is he's identifying as "defensive" behavior. He says "Buddhists get so worked up that they provide 'evidence' that their religion is not pessimistic". I wonder how many Buddhists he's raised the question with; and how long they'd been practicing, and how old they were. Were they all members of the same sangha?

    Apparently the people he's asked have become emotional in response? It would be mistaken to generalize from a few individuals to all the hundreds of thousands of practitioners. I don't know anyone who would "get worked up" in addressing someone's misperception of Buddhism.

    Is the OP still around? Hasn't posted since opening the thread.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    He's still around AFAIK. Just sporadic. He may fall loosely under the category of a 'blue touch-paper lighter'...

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited March 2

    @Mingle said:
    I've never thought it pessimistic. It probably is compared to that warm fuzzy feeling of false hope abrahamic religions give people.

    Indeed. I think some people are more concerned with finding comfort than truth.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @federica said:
    He's still around AFAIK. Just sporadic. He may fall loosely under the category of a 'blue touch-paper lighter'...

    Bless him, he appeared this morning, added a comment to this thread, and promptly disappeared again. I rest my case.... :tongue: :lol: Oy....!

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I had a discussion on my FB wall yesterday about comfort versus discovery. I asked some questions about Lent of my Christian friends. About why it wouldn't be more valuable to their self-discovery and their religious practice to actually give up something they are attached to instead of replacing meat with fish because of a tradition that started hundreds of years ago and the foundation doesn't really apply in our world anymore. Boy, did people get upset, lol. They don't want to. I was told several times that questioning what God or the Church tells one to do is a path to hell. That you submit, you don't question. That you give up understanding for trust in God. That is is about obeying the rules that give people comfort and asking questions, even of yourself, just leads to confusion and discomfort.

    I do have some friends who are non-Catholic Christians, and they do try to do something else. They weren't raised with the "no meat on Friday" thing. Several of them are doing a 40 day purge where they donate excess items to charity. Some of them give up smoking, or alcohol and journal about the experience.

    My husband was/is a Catholic and he and his friends always celebrated meatless Friday by ordering a extra meat pizza. They refused to follow what their parents did. Their parents used to actually text them all the time reminding them not to eat meat, lol. Such rebels.

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
    edited March 2

    @karasti said:
    I had a discussion on my FB wall yesterday about comfort versus discovery. I asked some questions about Lent of my Christian friends. About why it wouldn't be more valuable to their self-discovery and their religious practice to actually give up something they are attached to instead of replacing meat with fish because of a tradition that started hundreds of years ago and the foundation doesn't really apply in our world anymore. Boy, did people get upset, lol. They don't want to. I was told several times that questioning what God or the Church tells one to do is a path to hell.

    This isn't the same thread about spiritual books but this is my issue with these religions and why I'm not interested in reading about them. I got a bit of a lashing for having ill feelings toward Catholicism and Christianity (I still think you're awesome @dhammachick and @federica <3) but this is why. These are the types of answers I get from people and I don't like it......a path to hell? where is the door!

    look at me!....A defensive Buddhist :p

    karasti
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Tigger I am in the same boat. I struggle with some of it because my mom switched to Catholicism when I was an adult, and all of a sudden she adopted all these judgements she didn't have before, including about my lesbian sister. It was a struggle, still is. She found a better balance, thankfully, so it's better. She was one who responded that most people just want comfort and that is what religion gives us. For me, the more "comfortable" I get, the more restless I get. I have to explore things, especially my own mind, a lot. So I find it hard to relate to people who actively seek to not do so.

    It wouldn't be so bad if it was just something they kept to themselves, but Lent is a major news item here at this time of year, so it's all over. Plus, many of the people in my life who talk about it the most are the ones that use their religion to control others via politics and that's where I really run into a problem. I don't petition for everyone to live their lives by Buddhism. Sure, I might think it'd be great if everyone did. But there's no point. We all arrive to our path and walk it of our own accord. I often vote for or support things that I personally would not support in my life, but it's not up to me to prevent others from living their lives on their paths. Overall, it's none of my business what works for you. But they (IMO) make it my business when they start using those things to control the lives of others. I draw the line there.

    Tiggerlobster
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
    edited March 2

    I agree @karasti. I have no issue with some of these other religions per say. My mom always says "no religion/bible teaches bad things, it is the people that are bad". In my life, however, the people that were Catholics or Christians were not the best people. They were jealous, two-faced, liars and cheaters....oh, but they went to church every Sunday...for what, I'm not sure.

    I know for sure there are good Catholics and Christians that follow the teachings and are kind and compassionate...I know that 100%...there must be. I just have not met them and I can only go off of my own experience.

    P.S. My partners father (Catholic) disowned him for religious reasons because he's gay. This was in Dominica. He moved to Toronto and lived with his aunt and uncle. When they found out he was gay, they threw him out on the street because it was against God. He had nowhere to go....compassion and kindness in these religions, not in my view....not interested, thank you.

    Everyone, please understand that this is my opinion <3

    ooo, Im getting worked up lol

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    "When you have an aversion to something in particular, and it gets you in a lather, what you are doing is holding it tight within your heart and mind, just as much as if you loved it to the same intensity."

    Not my words, but paraphrasing those of someone who may have walked in your shoes, at one point....

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 3

    Why do Buddhists get defensive?

    As we know and many of us experience, we as people, attack and sabotage our previous sources of ignorance. How can we have compassion for judgemental Catholics or interfering self righteous Christians or non-bodhisattvas?

    Mind training maybe? Compassion perhaps? In the words of Jesus Christ, 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone'. I will be in the naughty corner guarding a pile of used pebbles ... and feeling prepared for action, engaged, enraged and ready to let go ... o:) Hopefully someone will set me a better example ... B)

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Tigger said:

    @karasti said:
    I had a discussion on my FB wall yesterday about comfort versus discovery. I asked some questions about Lent of my Christian friends. About why it wouldn't be more valuable to their self-discovery and their religious practice to actually give up something they are attached to instead of replacing meat with fish because of a tradition that started hundreds of years ago and the foundation doesn't really apply in our world anymore. Boy, did people get upset, lol. They don't want to. I was told several times that questioning what God or the Church tells one to do is a path to hell.

    This isn't the same thread about spiritual books but this is my issue with these religions and why I'm not interested in reading about them. I got a bit of a lashing for having ill feelings toward Catholicism and Christianity (I still think you're awesome @dhammachick and @federica <3) but this is why. These are the types of answers I get from people and I don't like it......a path to hell? where is the door!

    look at me!....A defensive Buddhist :p

    I'm sorry @Tigger if you thought I was "lashing" you. I was just suggesting to avoid it till you felt calmer about it. I just wanted to let you know what TNH had written about. I'll be more reserved next time :+1:

    _ /\ _

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    no, no, I was kidding @dhammachick...lol

    It wasn't a lashing at all. I like to over exaggerate sometimes for the comedy =)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Grammar nerd alert:

    You can't 'over exaggerate' anything. 'Exaggerate' already means 'over-do'. It's like saying 'Repeat it again', or a 'rubber eraser'. This is why Yellow jaundice is no longer referred to as such. 'Jaundice' already means 'yellow'.....

    Ok, I've finished.
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    (For now.....)

    karastiVastmind
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    what if someone exaggerates even more than normal...lol

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