[Buddha-l] Ethical Dilemmas

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 13 04:59:36 MDT 2010

> I can appreciate Dan's opposition against cultural relativism, but this
> doesn't mean that one culture is inherently better than another. All
> cultures have good and bad elements. It's very unwise to just reject all
> of one culture and take over all elements of another one, Buddhist or
> not.

No one suggested anything of the sort. What I identified as "wrong" was the 
daily sacrificial system of the Aztecs, not Aztec culture as a whole, 
whatever that was or might mean. If eliminating the sacrifice would 
irreparably destroy the culture, then the culture is built on a sick 
foundation and its loss a victory for decency and the saving of countless 
lives, as was the defeat of the Nazi regime.

As for the Wilders speech, i realize it is also very popular and much easier 
to demonize Wilders than to admit that there might be some grains (or more) 
of legitimacy in his diagnosis.
> http://www.krapuul.nl/nieuws/8801/wilders-oproep-tot-genocide-op-mensen-met-wortels-in-de-islam/

(Demonize him by accusing him of demonization... very neat)

For instance what he says about Israel starting around minute 9 is 
absolutely true, though anti-zionism has become so ingrained in many 
quarters that it will be easier for some to dismiss what he says than 
admitting that he is pointing to a fundamental flaw in the common polemics. 
The conflict *is* about ideology and hegemony (who gets to control how you 
live), not land. Appeasement didn't prevent WW II, and trying to appease 
Arabs with land, etc., will be just as unsuccessful since that is not what 
they want (Hamas says so blatantly, the PA will accept land as a temporary 
measure toward a final solution). No one is listening, no one wants to admit 
that they are saying that, and that they mean what they say.

That children are brainwashed to think Jews are apes and pigs, that honor 
killings are now taking place in Europe, etc., that plane hijacking, murder 
at the Olympics, suicide bombers, etc. have been gifts from the Islamic 
world to the rest of the globe --- all that is true -- they're not Wilders' 

So, yes, Erik, painting with broad brushes obscures important details, and 
one can sometimes find legitimacy even in one-note fearmongers like Wilders, 
esp. when those opposing him feel superior but use the same kind of cartoon 
thinking that dismisses with caricature, obscuring the issues rather than 
clarifying solutions. WIlders is not the cause of the problem, he's a 
symptom. Buddhism requires going deeper than symptoms (first noble truth) to 
their cause (second noble truth).


More information about the buddha-l mailing list