The thread “We cannot afford to ignore Buddhist extremism” links to an article that asks:
If we don’t allow our practice to include the political, asks Brenna Artinger, then how can we stand up to those who do?
That thread has been closed twice (as of now) and has a number of comments hidden for violating community standards. Given that, I wonder if a precursor to the question in the article is whether Buddhists are any more capable of having a constructive political discussion than any other diverse group you find? And if we can’t talk constructively about politics, how do we bring it into our practice?
Of course, one way is to minimize the diversity of opinion in the conversation. For example, I find climate change denial or anti-vax positions a waste of time to argue with. I would have no problem with eliminating those voices from the conversation.
- What gives me the authority to eliminate voices?
- How many and which voices do you eliminate?
- If you eliminate too many dissenting voices are you still in any meaningful way speaking for the “community” of Buddhists?
On the hopeful side, we do have this wonderful idea of Right Speech in Buddhism. That seems like a great common ground to start from.
I invite anyone who responds to let go - just for this one thread - of discussing the substantive issues that cause disagreements, and brainstorm how we might have better, more constructive political discussions with each other. Thank you.