16 votes
Accepted

Does downvoting an answer qualify as divisive and harsh speech?

Divisive speech is speech that sets people up against each other. Divisive speech sows the seeds of conflict and suffering. A typical example of divisive speech is telling one person or group of ...
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  • 55.4k
10 votes

How irony and sarcasm are seen in Buddhism?

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote,, For many of us, the most difficult part of practicing right speech lies in how we express our sense of humor. Especially here in America, we're used to getting laughs ...
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  • 43.4k
10 votes

Buddhism and political correctness

This sounds like an issue best analyzed according to the Buddha's teachings on right speech. The Buddha famously expounded how he personally determined how to decide on what to say in the Abhaya Sutta,...
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  • 7,376
9 votes
Accepted

Does not keeping a promise violate the precept on lying? What if I promised myself?

In order to answer this sort of question, you have to be clear on what the precepts are and what they are not. They are a set of intentional statements of will to keep a finite set of basic moral ...
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  • 23.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Was the Buddha harsh?

This question is addressed in the Abhaya Sutta from the Buddha himself, on the topic of Right Speech. Your question should fall under "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, ...
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  • 34k
8 votes

How to deal with people and handle rude language?

It seems to be difficult at times dealing with people. People can Pull your strings and push all your buttons to make you react an contribute to their state of anger or gossip or ignorance. Through ...
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  • 549
8 votes

Enlightened Lies - Can lying be the correct action in certain situations?

There are no Enlightened lies. Fourth precept is the one precept that the Bodhisatta has never said to have broken since he started cultivating Paramita, many Kalpas ago. Four conditions must be met ...
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8 votes
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What is idle chatter?

In a short piece called Right Speech by Thanissaro Bhikkhu he defines idle chatter as that "spoken with no purposeful intent at all". and he stresses the important of intention in speaking. ...
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  • 9,482
8 votes

Why does the Buddha, in the Pali Canon, periodically engage in harsh speech?

The answer to this comes in the Kesi Sutta: As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him: "You, Kesi, are a trained man, a trainer of tamable horses. And how do you train a tamable ...
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  • 34k
7 votes
Accepted

What is Right Action for a Buddhist regarding talking about personal success?

I would suggest that it depends on how you relate to the success, your attitude to it. Relating an experience can be beneficial to the recipient in many cases, both in terms of use as a teaching and ...
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7 votes
Accepted

When seeking information is sarcasm seen as a deliberate lie?

Sarcasm isn't a deliberate lie, because the intention isn't to lie or mislead, but it is wrong speech, because it has the capacity to hurt people. Per Buddhism, unless a statement is true and ...
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  • 7,383
7 votes
Accepted

Right speech in social situations

There are a few tactics which I have employed in the workplace when dealing with people such as this. They don't ALWAYS work, but with some practice they can definitely help. 1) You can try to push ...
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  • 814
7 votes

How do you decide when to stick up for yourself and when to let things go?

you said: One shouldn't attach him/herself (to material matters). One should move toward truthfulness in all things and correct harm. but... the second one does not sound like a Buddhist ...
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  • 55.4k
6 votes

How to deal with people and handle rude language?

Make an effort to be mindful. Seeing things mindfully is seeing things as they are. What that means is when someone says something rude you just are hearing the sound of the rude words but not ...
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  • 6,744
6 votes
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If the literal truth causes confusion, but a lie portrays the truth via a careful misunderstanding, is it really a lie?

As a counter to the other answer, Wikipedia's article on upāya ('skillful means') describes the Parable of the burning house: The Lotus Sutra contains a famous upaya story about using the expedient ...
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  • 43.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Enlightened Lies - Can lying be the correct action in certain situations?

Of course lying is sometimes called for. Morality is not about mindlessly following rules, but in seeing beyond our egoic concerns and doing what the situation calls for (Skillful Means). Mindlessly ...
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  • 2,231
6 votes

Enlightened Lies - Can lying be the correct action in certain situations?

If lying is the most appropriate thing to do, then developing the heart of compassion for the tormentors, so that they may not add to their evils by killing the victims, and developing the heart of ...
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  • 7,383
6 votes

Right speech in social situations

Antagonising a boss may bring difficulties, but this is exactly why it is very hard to break away from samsara, it is often too easy to fold, and compromise just this one time. Dharma is not a magic ...
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  • 7,383
6 votes

Right speech in social situations

What if you replied, something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way"? If so then your talk with your boss would be about the boss' feelings, instead of gossip about the client. Or ask, "Is he really so ...
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  • 43.4k
6 votes

Can another being/thing be credited or blamed for causing your emotions?

There is a famous parable by a founder of Tibetan Buddhism guru Padmasabhava comparing Right Concentration / Attention with Lion's Gaze. Modern Tibetan Buddhism teacher ven. Khenchen Palden Sherab ...
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  • 55.4k
5 votes

Is it ok for a Buddhist to participate in a demonstration?

The Buddha himself protested silently on at least two occasions in the Dhp commentary; both relate to his family, though. He never seems to have protested against the cruelty of kings, etc. and his ...
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  • 23.9k
5 votes

Enlightened Lies - Can lying be the correct action in certain situations?

Is it all a matter of perspective and/or perception? Each of us sees a circumstance from a set of values embedded in our experience & personality. Our culture, spiritual aspirations and social ...
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  • 123
5 votes

What is idle chatter?

This book I quote sometimes for guidance on modern-day lay life, The Buddha's Teachings on Prosperity, says "avoid senseless talk" (the Pali word for which, whose meaning we should try to understand, ...
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  • 43.4k
5 votes
Accepted

Can another being/thing be credited or blamed for causing your emotions?

If something upsets you, it is because you are delusional. If something upsets someone else, it is because they are delusional. If you want to avoid upsetting someone out of compassion then avoid ...
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  • 335

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