[Buddha-l] Accuracy

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Tue Jun 15 08:01:55 MDT 2010

On Jun 14, 2010, at 11:11 PM, Dan Lusthaus wrote:

> Gee, how inaccurate of me!

No one said or implied that you remembered inaccurately. The point is that you remember partially. You remember what you can use to denigrate another and forget the rest.

> "Ahmadinejad's critique of the USA and Israel was right on target."
> Which part?

Iran's claim is that it is hypocritical of the United States to have the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world and then to deny those weapons to countries that its leaders have declared to be evil. Israel, of course, has no nuclear arsenal. How do we know that? Because they don't admit to having one. Iran's critique of the policies of the USA as an empire are valid, although most of their rhetoric is objectionable. 

> About the holocaust that never happened being the cause of the 
> State (so they should all go back to where they came from)?

Well, no. If you'll go back and reread my quotations, I did say that view was as ridiculous and George Bush's denial of global warming and evolution.

> On another list, Dan Lusthaus speaks of how many Westerners are drawn to
> Buddhism because of a "carefully crafted" image of Buddhism as non-violent. 
> I
> think that's an example of bovine feces.
> As I mentioned, a book review of the Jerryson and Juergensmeyer book 
> _Buddhist Warfare_ is in the H-Net queue, and as soon as it passes through 
> the editorial gauntlet I will forward a copy of that here (it wouldn't be 
> cricket to post it here before it's been through its final revision). Then 
> we can revisit who is covered in cow pies.

That is one recent book. My point was that many of us became interested in Buddhism during the Vietnam era and continued being interested in Buddhism because it seemed to us to have the promise of offering an alternative to the almost constant warfare we have witnessed for our entire lives. We were not attracted to Buddhism because of any carefully crafted images, unless your claim is that Buddhist canonical literature consists of nothing but carefully crafted images. There is a sense in which that is true, of course, so you can be forgiven for heaping scorn on those of us who find those images inspiring enough to build our lives upon them.

> I also have some admiration for a quality in Ahmadinejad, viz. his 
> rhetorical skill at finding supporters for his hate-speech

I see no evidence that anyone on buddha-l admires anyone's hate speech---not even yours. Indeed, there is ample evidence that we all disdain the hate speech of those who indulge in it. But one can disdain hate speech and still recognize that even those who indulge in it occasionally make valuable contributions to human discourse.

> Please don't associate that delusional attitude with Buddhism, thank you.

No one has associated delusional attitudes with Buddhism. As for judgements as to exactly what is delusional, there is room for disagreement. One hopes that when such disagreements arise, they will be voiced in a courteous, respectful and civil way. That way of using language is an attitude I treasure in Buddhism.
> That's exactly the sort of mara-ish delusion one is supposed to learn to see 
> through.

Delusion is simply delusion. No need to invoke Mara's name. As the Buddha said often enough, delusion is not easy to eradicate. It takes lifetimes to identify and eliminate. Because it is not easy for anyone, the Buddha recommends showing kindness toward those afflicted by it.


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