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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Thursday, September 27

Myanmar Monks

I have long been skeptical that Buddhism could be a practical moral system. While I could respect that a stance of nonviolence could be effective with people who have some sympathy for nonviolence, I have suspected that it would be useless against people who have no such sympathy (or maybe just not enough sympathy).

Well, here's a tragic example where these questions are being put to the test:

An interesting twist on this is that folks who are sympathetic to the monks and nonviolence, but perhaps not as purely Buddhist, may escalate the violence. If this succeeds in causing the government to ease off some in its oppression of the people, then it would be a combination of Buddhism, respect for Buddhism, and violence that actually brought about the result.

Perhaps Buddhism combined with a lot of Buddhist sympathizers is a practical moral system?

Or would it be even more effective if, despite the imprisonment of 200 monks, there was no violence on the part of the people?

Would the government continue to kill people and imprison them? (if the nonviolence had continued) I believe the imprisoning would continue. I'm not sure about the killing. Would the oppression cease? Unlikely.

On the other hand, an escalation in violence could end with a lot more deaths and a government all the more determined to continue its oppressive regime.

Whatever happens, I hope it involves as little death, violence, and oppression as possible.

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