Author Topic: Self defense  (Read 13830 times)

Big Uncle

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Re: Self defense
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2012, 11:58:10 PM »
I think when one is in the heat of such a dire situation, one wouldn't have the time to think so thoroughly of how not to harm the perpetrator and avoid being killed at the same time. Such situations would usually involve the other party because in heat of anger and one is unable to listen to any explanations or reasoning.

Therefore, I would be fighting for my life and sometimes in the heat of things, accidents do happen. No one wants to kill but when we are left with no choice, we just have to kill and live with the fact that we killed to survive. When the killer is so adamant at getting us and we have no choice, we just have to kill him or get killed. What choice do we have? I doubt any of us will open our arms and allow ourselves to be sacrificed unless we are living Bodhisattva.

I think, once we had committed the unthinkable, it is living with it. There's a lot of things we could have done but once it is done, it is done. Murder is one of the most severe actions and it takes a lot to purify such negative karma. It is said that  Yamantaka practice is an extremely powerful purification method that  it is able to purify actions of the 5 heinous crimes - killing our father, mother, arhat, bodhisattva or drawing blood from a Buddha. 

Jessie Fong

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Re: Self defense
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2012, 06:21:50 AM »
Self-defense is a measure that you take to prevent yourself, your property or the well-being of another from being harmed; and the motivation here is not to be harmed.  In all due respects, you are not going to just stand there and let your attacker inflict harm upon you, right?

There are many cases of snatch-thefts where the victims in all their fright, try as they might to grapple with the attacker so as not to lose their bags/belongings.  In so doing, they were just trying to save their bags, not even thinking of their own safety.  So if in any event that the attacker is harmed, is the poor victim the cause of the attacker being harmed?  Does not the attacker then have the karma to be harmed/hurt?

VivianChin

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Re: Self defense
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2012, 07:00:06 AM »
I have a question after reading this. What will happen to the Karma of those soldiers serving their country when they are in the battlefield? They may be aware that their enemy soldiers are also doing the same as to serve their own country. Maybe some of them do not have the intention to kill. But given this situation, they most probably have to shoot every enemy that they encounter before the enemy react without the luxury of time to judge whether the enemy have the intention to kill or not. Otherwise if their country loses the war, their loved one and their countryman will suffer. What will happen to their Karma?

Dorje Pakmo

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Re: Self defense
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 12:25:03 PM »
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I would like to know your thoughts about self defense as from a Buddhist point of view. When we are at a situation where it's he dies first or you die, and you are the victim, would you hurt or kill him to prevent them from harming you or killing you?

In a situation where we are forced to choose to either kill or to be killed, as a victim of the situation I think I would kill rather than be killed. Personally I do not think anyone in their healthy state of mind (including me at this moment) has the intention to kill but it is just plain stupidity to not defend oneself, knowing very well that it will be the end of our precious life, this fortunate human rebirth wasted. The negative Karma from killing the assailant may probably be very severe if we are able to avoid the situation by just inflicting injury / injuries enough to stop them but chose to kill. But, killing someone in self-defense is not the same as premeditated murder cold dispassionate slaughtering.

HHDL has said it already.

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The Dalai Lama, himself, speaking at the "Educating Heart Summit" in Portland,
Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate
(May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times) replied:
"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to  shoot back with your own gun.  Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result.  But at some other body part, such as a leg."

The logic is that it would be what the lamas refer to as “idiot compassion” to refrain from defending yourself under the foolish pretence you may hurt another. Of course you will!
The rationale is:
(a) if you fail to defend yourself you will be hurt, possibly permanently incapacitated or killed – you owe it to your family and loved ones to prevent this;
(b) if you fail to defend yourself the attacker will be reinforced in their criminal behaviour and go on to attack and hurt others – if you don’t stop them and hopefully teach them a lesson;
(c) the attacker’s karma is such that he has been brought under your hand for a lesson – administer it in accordance with your karma; and
(d) how can you continue to do your Buddhist practices to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings if you are distracted by injury, disability or you are dead?

When we defend ourselves we have to act in an uncivilised, even savage, manner because attempts to avoid or evade the necessity will have failed and we must match the attack of our attacker and prevent them attacking us or our loved ones or someone we have a duty of care towards. We employ the minimum force required by the situation to stop the attack and the possibility of re-attack.
DORJE PAKMO

pgdharma

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Re: Self defense
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2012, 01:53:13 PM »
If my life is at risk, I will definitely defend myself.  I will not stand there and do nothing and let the attacker harm or kill me. I will try to distract the attacker and try to run away and hide. If that is not possible and if I have a gun, I will take the risk and shoot back in return and hopefully aim at his leg and not at some vital organs. But having said all that, if I were to face this situation and in the midst of defending myself, will I be able to think clearly and act rationally or will I panic and simply shoot without aiming rightly?


Positive Change

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Re: Self defense
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2012, 05:32:13 PM »
If my life is at risk, I will definitely defend myself.  I will not stand there and do nothing and let the attacker harm or kill me. I will try to distract the attacker and try to run away and hide. If that is not possible and if I have a gun, I will take the risk and shoot back in return and hopefully aim at his leg and not at some vital organs. But having said all that, if I were to face this situation and in the midst of defending myself, will I be able to think clearly and act rationally or will I panic and simply shoot without aiming rightly?

There are many posts stating just this... that we have to protect ourselves come what may, to the point of killing the person attacking us. I still find this hard to grasp. On one hand there is the fact that killing is certainly very negative karma regardless of the motivation. The motivation may determine how heavy or light the negative karma is... in the case of one of Buddha's previous lived whereby he killed to save other lives. The ensuing karma was that he still went to the lower realms but the time "served" was considerably shorter. However that scenario is a selfless act... isn't defending oneself a selfish act? It is like saying my life is better than yours and I will do anything to protect it!

Perhaps I am being devils advocate, but surely it can be seen as that. The very fact that it is said we should treasure our life to the point of defending it to the death because of the Buddha potential we have in us to benefit all sentient beings... what about the person I have to kill in self defense? Does that person not have Buddha potential too?

So which life is more precious? That is the toss up I cannot come to terms with. If it is to save a few lives compared to one, the choice may be easier but of course that is easier said than done as I certainly would not know how to react if I were put in such a life or death situation! Perhaps animalistic instincts would kick in? I hope and prayer I will not have to answer that question ever!