This is basically a philosophical question, in the light of buddhist ethics.

Suppose a buddhist person were in a situation in which he could stop the jewish holocaust, but the ONLY way he or she could do that is by killing hitler?

Of course, i'm asking the abstract question here, namely: should a buddhist commit an act of violence if this act was the only way to prevent a much larger amount of suffering for many beings? How bad is it for this buddhist if he or she choses to commit such an act?

my naive point of view in this situation is: it probably creates "bad karma" for the buddhist, it might take the buddhist farther away from enlightenment, but I would commit such an act because it makes other beings' lives better, and therefore, probably takes them closer to enlightenment.

I'm asking this question because I'm trying to understand the yellow-jacket movement as well as some issues in my own country.

  • 1
    Buddhism does not show the "favouritism" in politics you appear to be looking for. Instead, Buddhism investigates "cause & effect"; such as the reasons for the yellow-jacket movement. It appears quite obvious by the superficiality of your question you have not investigated the causes for why these events occurred. – Dhammadhatu Dec 12 '18 at 0:27
  • Who knows if a second "Hitler" may arise as the result of killing the first "Hitler" and end up worse. Just saying... – Krizalid_Nest Dec 12 '18 at 3:41
  • I thank you for your various gifts. Your actions, words and thoughts have put me back on the stream. Thank you very much. – IpsumPanEst Dec 13 '18 at 15:48

Buddhism does not address ethical questions like this. This question is like asking who to save in the sinking boat. People come up with different reasons based on their biases. Generally Buddhist believe in Dependent origination even though they may act in self-defense. Buddhist also believe in Kamma Vipaka.



Who cares about kamma in this context? Personally, I wouldn't even care about 'bad karma' if it means to safe millions of lives. If life is threatened I believe loving-kindness is not healthy to experience, but the Buddha is of a different opinion (refer to the Simile of the Saw). There are different rules if one is a monk too, but since monks are also just fallible human beings I would also say that they should by all means stop him (and if necessary) kill him. Not to kill him wouldn't be morally superior imo. If Buddhism is about the reduction of suffering then consequently the source of suffering must be get rid off. This doesn't mean that you kill everyone who is of a different opinion, but it can certainly mean to avoid certain people. The Buddha infact repeatedly said that noble friendship and avoiding immorality and negative people (or people who think and act negatively) are to be avoided, lest one is emulating unwholesome habits

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