jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Apr, 2009 07:29 pm
@hammersklavier,
Quote:
Does Buddhism teach that you shouldn't be attached to anyone or anything in order to avoid suffering?


Buddhism is not especially moralistic in the way 'churchianity' is. It is a very pragmatic teaching which encourages you to learn by examining the nature of your own experience (within the ethical framework provided by the teachings.)

Buddhist monks and nuns formally vow to avoid all sexual relationships, but then, they're monastics. If a monk (or nun) confesses to sexual intercourse they are expelled from the Order.

As regards lay people, Buddhist teaching obviously recognises sexual relationships within marriage or according to the norms of the society within which it is associated. Western Buddhists tend to be far more liberal in this regard than the traditionalists.

My personal view is that, especiallly in this day and age, consumer society has an interest in encouraging reckless consumption and craving of all kinds - posssessions, intoxicants, money, you name it. This applies to sex too. The sex industry is, according to many sources, bigger than the entertainment and sports industry combined. You have to ask yourself if anyone involved is happier because of it. I think the Buddhist answer is 'no' - but it is your own decision of course.

Finally, a self-evident truism - if you are completely happy, by definition you are wanting nothing.

Quote:
Of course, we may suppose that things we have to deal in this life are predetermined by our past actions... But what ethical meaning does it have?


Well among other things it means you are responsible for your situation. 'Our thoughts of yesterday create our life of today, and our thoughts of today create our life of tomorrow' to quote the Dhammapada. Personally I find this much more satisfying and truthful than the idea of a deity rewarding or punishing you according to holy law. (That said, Buddhism does not deny holy law, but the idea of Dharma is different to 'religious commandments' as understood in the West.)
0 Replies
 
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 12:19 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
Does Buddhism teach that you shouldn't be attached to anyone or anything in order to avoid suffering? Does it teach that you should never follow your natural desires or appetites, such as sex?


I am not going to speak on behalf of Buddhism, but, man, who told thee that these things are thy natural desires?
Is desire for sexual intercourse natural? I doubt. Imagine one brought up in society where he could not know about this matter. Would he have such a desire?
Anyway, it seems to me that we should pay less attention to what they call instincts. If I don't eat, I shall just die, and that's all. Therefore as I choose to live, I eat.
But sex, what for do we need it? Does it give one peace of mind, tranquility, good will, benevolence, love? On contrary, it causes confusion within mind, violence, heartbeat. Is it not that thing that divided mankind into two parts, that causes people to do so many stupidities, that brings down 90% of reasonable beings to the level of mere beasts?

Satisfaction or not satisfaction of necessities does not give neither happiness, nor even joy.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 04:00 pm
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
I am not going to speak on behalf of Buddhism, but, man, who told thee that these things are thy natural desires?
Is desire for sexual intercourse natural? I doubt. Imagine one brought up in society where he could not know about this matter. Would he have such a desire?
Anyway, it seems to me that we should pay less attention to what they call instincts. If I don't eat, I shall just die, and that's all. Therefore as I choose to live, I eat.
But sex, what for do we need it? Does it give one peace of mind, tranquility, good will, benevolence, love? On contrary, it causes confusion within mind, violence, heartbeat. Is it not that thing that divided mankind into two parts, that causes people to do so many stupidities, that brings down 90% of reasonable beings to the level of mere beasts?

Satisfaction or not satisfaction of necessities does not give neither happiness, nor even joy.


As much as you may hate this fact, sex is the natural desire of an animal to reproduce. The intensity of the libido varies from person to person, but virtually everyone has it.

I'm not implying that we need sex in order to be happy, or that sex even leads to happiness. Sex leads to temporary pleasure and joy, but not to lasting happiness. I value things like knowledge and health way more than sex, but I do like to relieve myself every now and then. Very Happy Oh, and it doesn't make me violent either -- in fact, quite the contrary.

Sex, in and of itself, does not reduce man to the level of beast. Lust is the problem, not sex itself. If man's tendencies for savagery merely had to do with sex or lust, social philosophers would have it easier than they do.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 06:28 pm
@hue-man,
It is worth considering the link between the words "incarnation" and "carnal". Both words are based on the root "carnality' which has come to mean 'flesh' or 'matter' as opposed to "spirit". All of the traditional faiths see carnality as evil because it ensnares the soul in the realm of matter. Sex, in this understanding, is only appealing because of the soul's mis-identification with the 'fallen' realm of matter and suffering, having forgotten its original nature and destiny. Birth in this world is, in this understanding, a calamity. And of course, birth requires procreation.

Of course this is completely nonsensical to the secular person because there is no 'other' world, realm or dimension to refer to - this material world it the only reality. I am not arguing with that, but one should realise the immense difference between the 'traditional' world and the 'modern' world (and the people in it.) See this linkfor brief description of contrast between "modern-secular" and "traditional-religious" outlook.
0 Replies
 
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2009 01:50 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
As much as you may hate this fact, sex is the natural desire of an animal to reproduce. The intensity of the libido varies from person to person, but virtually everyone has it.

I'm not implying that we need sex in order to be happy, or that sex even leads to happiness. Sex leads to temporary pleasure and joy, but not to lasting happiness. I value things like knowledge and health way more than sex, but I do like to relieve myself every now and then. Very Happy Oh, and it doesn't make me violent either -- in fact, quite the contrary.

Sex, in and of itself, does not reduce man to the level of beast. Lust is the problem, not sex itself. If man's tendencies for savagery merely had to do with sex or lust, social philosophers would have it easier than they do.

I don't hate the fact, I just say that I am not an animal. Neither art thou. When we call ourselves animals or angels, or Americans, or Russians, or whatever, we pull on ourselves a certain idea of us and try to follow it. Therefore I can call that I am neither beast, nor a soul fallen into realm of matter but just that I am I, beyond any descriptions.
Sex leads to temporary pleasure and joy? Are pleasure and joy excitement, heartbeat, trembling and all what one feels during this act? See, it is even worse than to indulge in eating tasty: when we want to eat only choclate or doughnuts, there's only lust for them that chivvies us beacause when we eventually get them, there is only understanding that they are unsatisfactory, our mind is alright. In the case with sex both lust and its gratification are harmful because they becloud mind.
Real joy comes from spontaneous encounter with the beatiful. If one wants to cultivate it, to find special time for it, it disappears.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2009 04:59 am
@hammersklavier,
Quote:
If one wants to cultivate it, to find special time for it, it disappears

'Come unto me, all ye who labour, and I will give you rest.'

Don't really know why I added this, it is a beautiful a capella gospel song from a group called Take 6, and it just came to mind.
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Apr, 2009 10:39 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
I don't hate the fact, I just say that I am not an animal. Neither art thou. When we call ourselves animals or angels, or Americans, or Russians, or whatever, we pull on ourselves a certain idea of us and try to follow it. Therefore I can call that I am neither beast, nor a soul fallen into realm of matter but just that I am I, beyond any descriptions.
Sex leads to temporary pleasure and joy? Are pleasure and joy excitement, heartbeat, trembling and all what one feels during this act? See, it is even worse than to indulge in eating tasty: when we want to eat only choclate or doughnuts, there's only lust for them that chivvies us beacause when we eventually get them, there is only understanding that they are unsatisfactory, our mind is alright. In the case with sex both lust and its gratification are harmful because they becloud mind.
Real joy comes from spontaneous encounter with the beatiful. If one wants to cultivate it, to find special time for it, it disappears.


You can say that you're not an animal but that doesn't change the fact that you are an animal. Saying that you're an animal is a factual as saying that you are alive. It is a biological term used to describe a certain type of life form. Vanity is no excuse for denial. Accepting the fact that you are animal doesn't mean that you have to act on primal instincts alone. The human animal is like no other animal known to man, but the human is an animal nevertheless. What separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our uncanny ability for reason and abstract thought.

The craving for junk food that you describe is called gluttony, not lust. Gluttony is related to lust through the vice of intemperance. Sensual pleasure is not the problem itself. It's the intemperance of sensual pleasure that's the problem because they require ever increasing stimulation if one is not mindful. I believe in Aristotle's golden mean, which is basically temperance. I value intellectual pleasure much more than sensual pleasure.

Look, if you want to be celibate then that's fine, but you don't need to demonize or distort sexuality to justify your lifestyle choice.
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 09:16 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
You can say that you're not an animal but that doesn't change the fact that you are an animal. Saying that you're an animal is a factual as saying that you are alive. It is a biological term used to describe a certain type of life form. Vanity is no excuse for denial. Accepting the fact that you are animal doesn't mean that you have to act on primal instincts alone. The human animal is like no other animal known to man, but the human is an animal nevertheless. What separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our uncanny ability for reason and abstract thought.

The craving for junk food that you describe is called gluttony, not lust. Gluttony is related to lust through the vice of intemperance. Sensual pleasure is not the problem itself. It's the intemperance of sensual pleasure that's the problem because they require ever increasing stimulation if one is not mindful. I believe in Aristotle's golden mean, which is basically temperance. I value intellectual pleasure much more than sensual pleasure.

Animals as I see them do not have free will but I do. Thou mayest use thy psychology, psychoanalysis, theory of evolution etc., etc. And I should say that it sounds very smart, hehe. But freedom of will is for me not less real than that PC which I'm sitting before. And for thee this is likewise, whatever ideas of thyself thou mayst have.
I am amused to hear that "this is lust and that is mere gluttony". There are people who would rather not have sexual intercourse at all, than be deprived of their favourite dish. See, is it not thy idea of thyself that tells this? Thou hast learned from school, from similarity of bodies that thou art animal. Now thou takest one desire that men seem to have and proclaimst it to be natural just because animals have it also. Another desires which animals obviously do not have, thou callst gluttony.
I may only repeat that what I have just written once: if one were brought up in atmosphere where he could know nothing about sex, would he have that natural desire? This resembles that case with babies that can swim when put on water, we may say that this is an instinct that moves them. But an adult having not been taught will drown. Where reason is present, we cannot speak of instincts.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 09:32 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
Animals as I see them do not have free will but I do. Thou mayest use thy psychology, psychoanalysis, theory of evolution etc., etc. And I should say that it sounds very smart, hehe. But freedom of will is for me not less real than that PC which I'm sitting before. And for thee this is likewise, whatever ideas of thyself thou mayst have.
I am amused to hear that "this is lust and that is mere gluttony". There are people who would rather not have sexual intercourse at all, than be deprived of their favourite dish. See, is it not thy idea of thyself that tells this? Thou hast learned from school, from similarity of bodies that thou art animal. Now thou takest one desire that men seem to have and proclaimst it to be natural just because animals have it also. Another desires which animals obviously do not have, thou callst gluttony.
I may only repeat that what I have just written once: if one were brought up in atmosphere where he could know nothing about sex, would he have that natural desire? This resembles that case with babies that can swim when put on water, we may say that this is an instinct that moves them. But an adult having not been taught will drown. Where reason is present, we cannot speak of instincts.


OK, I don't know why you type like where back in old England but it doesn't make you seem anymore clever. I'm not trying to offend you, I just find it to be odd. That belittling of psychology and biology also doesn't make you seem clever. It makes you look like an anti-intellectual, and that doesn't make you look smart.

Some would rather eat their favorite dish than to have sex, but others would rather have sex than eat their favorite dish. That all comes down to individual appetites. Oh yeah, and it is fact that infants and toddlers also have sexual feelings my friend.

You seem to misunderstand what nature means. I'm not saying that sex is natural because other animals do it too. I'm saying that sex is a natural evolutionary function that animals use to reproduce. It is your pride and vanity that will not allow you to accept the fact that you are a biological animal. Accepting such a fact does not demand that you negate your capability for abstract reasoning. That is the nature of the human animal.
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 09:53 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
Oh yeah, and it is fact that infants and toddlers also have sexual feelings my friend.

You seem to misunderstand what nature means. I'm not saying that sex is natural because other animals do it too. I'm saying that sex is a natural evolutionary function that animals use to reproduce. It is your pride and vanity that will not allow you to accept the fact that you are a biological animal. Accepting such a fact does not demand that you negate your capability for abstract reasoning. That is the nature of the human animal.

No, that's not my pride - don't try to find all answers in psychology. When we start analysing nature we necessarily come to a thought we also are products of evolution of matter. But there is also another reality, that is if not of greater validity, then not less real - the reality of my freedom and of myself. And there is no theory that can make me believe that I am not free, that I do not exist. Of course, if thou supposest freedom in animals, we may say that we are animals. But why not plants or stones?
And again, I should rather agree that toddlers have sexual instinct than reasonable beings. (Read what I've written again)
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 10:22 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
No, that's not my pride - don't try to find all answers in psychology. When we start analysing nature we necessarily come to a thought we also are products of evolution of matter. But there is also another reality, that is if not of greater validity, then not less real - the reality of my freedom and of myself. And there is no theory that can make me believe that I am not free, that I do not exist. Of course, if thou supposest freedom in animals, we may say that we are animals. But why not plants or stones?
And again, I should rather agree that toddlers have sexual instinct than reasonable beings. (Read what I've written again)


Free will, no matter which way you conceive of it, does not exclude you from the biological kingdom of animalia. If you don't know the difference between an animal, a plant, and a stone, then I would suggest that you look into organic matter and non-organic matter.

If you grew up in an environment that knew nothing about sex, which seems impossible, then yes, you would still have sexual feelings. Infants have sexual feelings, and this is before the stage of socio-cultural development. If we don't have sex, how do you suggest we procreate, intracytoplasmic sperm injection?
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 09:56 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
Free will, no matter which way you conceive of it, does not exclude you from the biological kingdom of animalia. If you don't know the difference between an animal, a plant, and a stone, then I would suggest that you look into organic matter and non-organic matter.

If you grew up in an environment that knew nothing about sex, which seems impossible, then yes, you would still have sexual feelings. Infants have sexual feelings, and this is before the stage of socio-cultural development. If we don't have sex, how do you suggest we procreate, intracytoplasmic sperm injection?

Okay. It is interesting to read that I am "an animal with free will". I suppose that in this way we should not only extend understanding of the limits of kingdom animalia but attribute to biological life (which is according to such materialist as F. Engels nothing but "a way of existence of protein bodies") such metaphysical quality as freedom.
If one does not know how to swim, he will drown, but thou tellst if one does not know how to ... he will anyway have sexual instinct. Suggestive.
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 10:47 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
Okay. It is interesting to read that I am "an animal with free will". I suppose that in this way we should not only extend understanding of the limits of kingdom animalia but attribute to biological life (which is according to such materialist as F. Engels nothing but "a way of existence of protein bodies") such metaphysical quality as freedom.
If one does not know how to swim, he will drown, but thou tellst if one does not know how to ... he will anyway have sexual instinct. Suggestive.


The society or environment will only help shape your notions of sexuality, but the feeling will be there from the time you're an infant.
0 Replies
 
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 11:18 am
@hammersklavier,
The feeling of what?
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 11:29 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
The feeling of what?


The feeling of sexual curiosity and desire.


Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 10:23 am
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
The feeling of sexual curiosity and desire.

Listen, I think that's utterly idle thing to discuss whether sexual desire is natural or unnatural. It's all about how one wants to interpret facts. Here I may only mark and thou seemst to agree with that that ultimate role in forming of sexuality plays society.
But let us leave it as it is. I should like to remember the words of Leo Tolstoy:
[html]"Before speaking on good of satisfaction of necessities,
we should deside satisfaction of necessities substitutes good[/html]."
I suppose that I have just typed thee about that "pleasure" that gives sex. To that I may only add that beside all that, sex is such a big waste of time and energy! Ernest Hemingway decided sometime to calculate how much time it takes from him. And he discovered that sexual act deprives him of at least one page a day, which made him note that "children and novels are made of one thing"Smile
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 10:42 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon wrote:
Listen, I think that's utterly idle thing to discuss whether sexual desire is natural or unnatural. It's all about how one wants to interpret facts. Here I may only mark and thou seemst to agree with that that ultimate role in forming of sexuality plays society.
But let us leave it as it is. I should like to remember the words of Leo Tolstoy:
[html]"Before speaking on good of satisfaction of necessities,
we should deside satisfaction of necessities substitutes good[/html]."
I suppose that I have just typed thee about that "pleasure" that gives sex. To that I may only add that beside all that, sex is such a big waste of time and energy! Ernest Hemingway decided sometime to calculate how much time it takes from him. And he discovered that sexual act deprives him of at least one page a day, which made him note that "children and novels are made of one thing"Smile


Thou is not angry that society plays the major role in shaping a person's notions of sexual behavior. I am the one who said it in the first place so why would it make me angry? The fact that you have to argue against the natural underpinnings of sex only proves how fundamental it is to our nature. This debate is not about how we interpret facts. This debate is about denying facts. You know, you never answered my question about how we would reproduce without sex.

If you don't want to have sex then that's fine. You don't need to deny its natural underpinnings in order to feel justified in your celibacy.
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 11:58 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
Thou is not angry that society plays the major role in shaping a person's notions of sexual behavior. I am the one who said it in the first place so why would it make me angry? The fact that you have to argue against the natural underpinnings of sex only proves how fundamental it is to our nature. This debate is not about how we interpret facts. This debate is about denying facts. You know, you never answered my question about how we would reproduce without sex.

If you don't want to have sex then that's fine. You don't need to deny its natural underpinnings in order to feel justified in your celibacy.

First of all in that article thou hast recommended me I have not found any proofs. The fact that children play "sexual games" is caused by by society ill with lust, that cannot prevent children from pornography etc. - this was also stated there. Boys see that girls are in a certain way different from them and that's all. Society that made that distinction between genders causes that gap that increases gradually. Or is the fact that children like touching their genitails (I personally don't think I remember that, but anyway) proofs anything? These are their sexual feelings? Or we call every feeling in that part of body sexual? That's all too weak, thou seest.
Further, let us admit that babies have that, alright. To me babies are nothing but animals without consciousness, guided by their instincts (the fact with swimming proofs that), there fore I would not wonder if a man with intellect on the level of a baby acted just like an animal.
"Society only helps to shape notions... Without it human also has desire" Ah, you're telling me! Desire for what? Vague desire for something unknown? "I want to do something but I don't know what specifically":bigsmile: I think that environment is at least necessary condition. Visit the following site for additional information (I don't agree with everything there): Antisexual Stronghold
But we have that, what should we do? I am amused to hear that "since we have urge, we should necessary gratify that". First of all that's illogical. Then, it is like to say: "I am a maniac, I have desire to kill. In my childhood I also had that but in some latent forms. Therefore I should kill." Nice? But this is what thou sayest. And I suppose that I have just typed thee how false are those "pleasures of sex" which effect is just like that of drugs.
Now the last. Thou askest me: "How shall we reproduce?" I did not answer that question because I think that is a theme for absolutely another discussion. I personally have no concerns about mankind and its surviving: La deluge apres moi. And please, don't fool thyself - how many children dost thou have, having sex "every now and then"?
Sometime at leisure, instead of relieving thyself, read this narrative of Leo Tolstoy, some answers may be found there: The Kreutzer Sonata, by Leo Tolstoy
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