Abortion & Ahimsa

Applying the Dharma to social justice issues – race, religion, sexuality and identity
chownah
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by chownah »

Dharmasherab wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:59 pm
chownah wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:51 pm
Can you find a reference which gives the definition of killing a human as a parajika offence?
Go to point number 3 https://www.dhammatalks.org/vinaya/bmc/Section0010.html
Should any bhikkhu intentionally deprive a human being of life, or search for an assassin for him, or praise the advantages of death, or incite him to die (saying): “My good man, what use is this evil, miserable life to you? Death would be better for you than life,” or with such an idea in mind, such a purpose in mind, should in various ways praise the advantages of death or incite him to die, he also is defeated and no longer in affiliation.
This rule against intentionally causing the death of a human being is best understood in terms of five factors, all of which must be present for there to be the full offense.

1) Object: a human being, which according to the Vibhaṅga includes human fetuses as well, counting from the time consciousness first arises in the womb immediately after conception up to the time of death.

2) Intention: knowingly, consciously, deliberately, and purposefully wanting to cause that person’s death. “Knowingly” also includes the factor of—

3) Perception: perceiving the person as a living being.

4) Effort: whatever one does with the purpose of causing that person to die.

5) Result: The life-faculty of the person is cut as the result of one’s act.
From this it follows that a bhikkhu who intentionally causes an abortion—by arranging for the operation, supplying the medicines, or advising a woman to get an abortion and she follows through—incurs a pārājika. A bhikkhu who encourages a woman to use a means of contraception that works after the point of conception would be guilty of a pārājika if she were to follow his advice.
It seems then that intentionally killing a human being can soonest be done at "the time consciousness first arises in the womb immediately after conception" and not at conception.

It seems to some people that if a person does not perceive the fetus as a person who is a living being then one of the factors is missing....note that they say that it is not if a person "suspects" that there is a fetus that exists as a person who is a living being but it is if the person "perceives" that a fetus exists as a person who is a living being.....perception is defined as:
"And what is perception? These six classes of perception — perception of form, perception of sound, perception of smell, perception of taste, perception of tactile sensation, perception of ideas: this is called perception.
(https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html)
Some people take from this that it seems that a person must perceive the idea that there is a fetus which is a person who is a living being.....those people think that just having the idea that there might be a fetus which is a person who is a living being does not meet the requirement of the third factor.....of course other people have other views on this....
chownah
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Dharmasherab
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by Dharmasherab »

chownah wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:22 pm It seems then that intentionally killing a human being can soonest be done at "the time consciousness first arises in the womb immediately after conception" and not at conception.
Yes its almost instantaneous to the extent that the difference between 'at' and 'immediately after' is insignificant. The difference between 'at conception' and 'immediately after conception' - that time interval is far more shorter than it took me the time to type this sentence. ;)
chownah wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:22 pm It seems to some people that if a person does not perceive the fetus as a person who is a living being then one of the factors is missing....note that they say that it is not if a person "suspects" that there is a fetus that exists as a person who is a living being but it is if the person "perceives" that a fetus exists as a person who is a living being.....perception is defined as:
"And what is perception? These six classes of perception — perception of form, perception of sound, perception of smell, perception of taste, perception of tactile sensation, perception of ideas: this is called perception.
chownah wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:22 pm (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html)
Some people take from this that it seems that a person must perceive the idea that there is a fetus which is a person who is a living being.....those people think that just having the idea that there might be a fetus which is a person who is a living being does not meet the requirement of the third factor.....of course other people have other views on this....
chownah
You have mistaken the dictionary definition of perception with the context that it is used as applied as part of the 5 aggregates for human beings (Samja Skandha). They dont carry identical meanings. When English translators of Pali Buddhist texts came across Pali terms like 'Samja' they used English terms that they assumed carried the best possible approximation of the actual meaning of such pali terms, but they are no by no means to be taken for they mean according to how a typical dictionary definition defines it. Different translators may use different terms for the Samja aggregate and not necessarily 'Perception' - I am just giving an example here to show the underlying principle behind translators picking a word during a translation is not identical in meaning to what is represented by such term with respect to Buddhist teachings. This is why it always good to go back to the Pali term and understand the term instead of just assuming that the English dictionary definition is the same as the Pali term that is substituted by an English word.

In addition to this, ignorance is not an excuse for doing actions which are contrary to the precepts as well as ethical conduct in general. Being unaware is not the same as being ignorant.

For example in this case, rather than one making the convenient assumption that what results after conception is 'non-viable' and hence conveniently assuming that it is 'non-living' to justify taking action to make sure it doesn't reach the point of viability, its one's responsibility to look deeper and make oneself aware whether that entity is truly living or not. If not then at least to appreciate that the entity does have the potential to develop viability and later become a human being.

But most of all, if one perceives an entity as 'non-living' then there is no need to action to end its course. This itself shows that the lack of perception argument is based on spiritually hypocritical grounds to provide an easy loophole excuse to justify the killing of a sentient being.
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Dharmasherab
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by Dharmasherab »

Another addendum on abortion -

Some pro-choice individuals say things like "why would anyone want to bring babies into this world to experience suffering, with wars in the globe, environmental crisis? etc". (implying that it is better to have foetuses aborted).

This viewpoint is contrary to Buddhist teachings from two different aspects.

Firstly it assumes that suffering did not exist before today's current problems came into existence - which is incorrect. It makes the assumption that suffering is more relevant today as opposed to the past to the extent where it is seen as a rational choice to avoid having babies. But this is not true. The Buddhist teachings of Dukkha does not restrict its meaning to gross forms of suffering such as the environmental issues, hunger, poverty and wars. Dukkha as the First Noble Truth encompasses a broad spectrum of undesirable states of mind regardless of its magnitude. Also the Truth of Dukkha (usually translated as 'suffering') is a timeless truth for the Buddha's Dhamma is a timeless truth within our conditioned existence.

Just because there are some types of suffering that are more apparent nowadays which either did not exist in the past or were not that prominent does not mean that the solution to that suffering is to prevent births from happening. Those who are pro-choice as implying that it is better the have the embryo/foetus terminated/aborted so that it wont have to face the suffering of the world. Once again this is based on the wrong view that the suffering of a being ends with death. Buddhism never recommends death as the solution to the end of suffering. Instead it actually mentions that death is also a form of suffering. When the foetus is terminated then that sensory consciousness (Vinnana) will manifest in a different samsaric life form and continue to experience the sufferings of samsara in this cycle of rebirth and death. Abortion does not end the sufferings of samsara but it only gives the illusion of the end of samsaric suffering to unenlightened beings.
chownah
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by chownah »

Dharmasherab wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:57 pm
chownah wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:22 pm It seems then that intentionally killing a human being can soonest be done at "the time consciousness first arises in the womb immediately after conception" and not at conception.
Yes its almost instantaneous to the extent that the difference between 'at' and 'immediately after' is insignificant. The difference between 'at conception' and 'immediately after conception' - that time interval is far more shorter than it took me the time to type this sentence. ;)
You must be a very slow typist....it takes a few days for the fertilized egg (egg fertilization is often taken as the moment of conception) to traverse the fallopian tube, enter the womb, and then implant into the uterine wall (implantation into the uterine wall is often taken as being the indication of the completion of the descent into the womb).

NOTE: I'll consider replying to other parts of your posts as time and inclination allow.
chownah
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Dharmasherab
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by Dharmasherab »

chownah wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:20 am It takes a few days for the fertilized egg (egg fertilization is often taken as the moment of conception) to traverse the fallopian tube, enter the womb, and then implant into the uterine wall (implantation into the uterine wall is often taken as being the indication of the completion of the descent into the womb).
Implantation is irrelevant as far as the new 'entity' becoming a bundle of 5 aggregates. Therefore it is not a marker of when life begins. Dont confuse biology with Buddhism. If you did take time to look at the link I posted here about Parajika offenses, for a Bhikkhu to recommend or give a contraception drug which inhibit implantation is a Parajika offense. This implies that the new entity has become a separate bundle of 5 aggregates before implantation within the mother (regardless of whether it is in the uterus or the ovarian tubes).
chownah
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by chownah »

Dharmasherab wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:00 am
chownah wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:20 am It takes a few days for the fertilized egg (egg fertilization is often taken as the moment of conception) to traverse the fallopian tube, enter the womb, and then implant into the uterine wall (implantation into the uterine wall is often taken as being the indication of the completion of the descent into the womb).
Implantation is irrelevant as far as the new 'entity' becoming a bundle of 5 aggregates. Therefore it is not a marker of when life begins. Dont confuse biology with Buddhism. If you did take time to look at the link I posted here about Parajika offenses, for a Bhikkhu to recommend or give a contraception drug which inhibit implantation is a Parajika offense. This implies that the new entity has become a separate bundle of 5 aggregates before implantation within the mother (regardless of whether it is in the uterus or the ovarian tubes).
You say a lot of stuff here. I did read what I thought were the relevant parts of the link you gave.....I did not find anything which supports what you are saying here. It seems like you want me to go find the references which support your views....I have looked and can't find the evidence you suggest would be there.

PLEASE go get the references, provide links to them, and present all of the relevant parts which support what you have said.....otherwise since I have found nothing to substantiate what you assert I can only view your posts as being your view only without substantiation.
chownah
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Dharmasherab
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by Dharmasherab »

Chownah - that is called 'Argument form Authority' logical fallacy.

I have already provided the links, whichever way you want to understand them is up to you. I cant show them, you need to look at them and use your whatever intelligence you have to get the most out of it.

The statement that implantation as descent into the womb and hence trying to imply that that is the beginning of life is strawman fallacy in one of your earlier statements and I dont take the bait. Therefore that burden of proof rests upon you.

As far as Buddhist teachings are concerned nowhere it mentions that implantation is the start of sentient life. The completion of the 5 aggregates does not correlate to moment of implantation. That is your statement and not mine. So it is for you to show the evidence from texts - not me.

Before making the decision to ordain I was a doctor, so I have very thorough knowledge on the biological aspect of fertilization and implantation.

Be careful when trying to make meaning out of Buddhist teachings. Too often there is a tendency to twist and turn them according to our delusions for delusion is a very attractive thing. The statement that life begins at the moment of implantation is based on the deluded view of those who are reluctant to accept that obstructing the process of implantation is a form of killing.

To make things easier for you let me take this step by step. I hate to repeat myself but I will post that link I pasted earlier one more time. I can only show you the evidence but wont be able to make it sink in to those who wont be receptive to it. I encourage that it is important to let go of our preconceived biases before allowing such information to enter our minds.

Monastic Code Volume 1, Chapter 4: Parajika (Disrobing Offences)
https://www.dhammatalks.org/vinaya/bmc/Section0010.html

1. Click this link.
2. Press 'Ctrl' + F
3. Now type 'contraception'
4. Then read this sentence which will appear in your screen

"A bhikkhu who encourages a woman to use a means of contraception that works after the point of conception would be guilty of a pārājika if she were to follow his advice." - Ajahn Thanissaro

5. Now take a look at the statement that appears above it from the Vibhanga.

"The Vibhaṅga defines a human being as a person “from the time consciousness first becomes manifest in a mother’s womb, up to its death-time.” As DN 15 (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html) makes clear, the presence of the new being’s consciousness is necessary for the embryo to survive in the womb. Thus the survival of the embryo in the womb is a clear sign that consciousness is present. This means that consciousness is manifest from the moment of conception."

So this disproves your statement that life begins from the moment of implantation. Because it already began at the moment of conception. Therefore with regard to the completion of the formation of the 5 aggregates, implantation is not a starting reference point. It is only a step in the process which helps the being that is already living to survive in the womb, but that itself does not mean the beginning of life.
chownah
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by chownah »

Friends,
The previous post is filled with misconceptions about what I posted....I have never mentioned anything about "the start of life" or "the beginning of life" and have not mentioned any aggregates at all. I have not appealed to any authority except for the suttas.

It is discouraging to have my posting so misrepresented....but all that I ask is that you look at my posts and see what I did say.

Also, friends, here is another view on this topic: http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books7/Ajahn ... _Begin.pdf
I won't give an excerpt because really the entire thing should be read.
chownah
Miorita
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by Miorita »

I hear you, chownah.

You, Dharmasherab, you have to prove that a fertilization of the egg in the ovaries is a good fertilization and a prospect baby to keep for the woman!

You are by your advice still bound by the oath you took as a doctor that you will not harm a woman.
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DNS
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by DNS »

Dharmasherab wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:08 pm Before making the decision to ordain I was a doctor, so I have very thorough knowledge on the biological aspect of fertilization and implantation.
I didn't know that you were a doctor. Which specialty?

You are ordained? Which tradition? Are you a monk, priest, or nun?
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lyndon taylor
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by lyndon taylor »

What kind of doctor believes consciousness begins at conception, that's just ridiculous.
Miorita
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by Miorita »

Wikipedia is not a source.
Therefore:
Kyenay bardo (skye gnas bar do) is the first bardo of birth and life. This bardo commences from conception until the last breath, when the mindstream withdraws from the body.
Imagine if this was not true, how it would be to have an interrupted reincarnation and generally discontinuities across all the bardos, not just one?

You're the designer, you handle this!
:anjali:
Miorita
Last edited by Miorita on Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Miorita
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Re: Abortion & Ahimsa

Post by Miorita »

Hear this!
I have researched the Parajika offences, one of which is mentioned either in this thread or the Pro-Life.
And I found that the offences are reasons for dis-robing a monk. One would be enough.

A killer is a killer and derives gratification from committing the killing. I learned this from a she retired police officer.
We leave this aside because it's ordinary and everyone knows that taking life is criminal.

The nuances come into play when one rises above this act, the direct killing, and observes that there is no bonus derived in convincing the woman to have an abortion.
So the better choice is to let her choose to give birth. There is love, yes, she is convinced to give birth, even plenty perspectives as the game heats up.
Therefore I am ready to disrobe of something I already don't have for clearing out this discontinuity. Buddhism never fit me anyways.
That's why I was here and not at the other place playing big, intelligent, smartest cards.
Thanks for your attention!
Last edited by DNS on Sat May 01, 2021 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: meta discussion removed
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