Continuing the discussion from Why Are 82% of American Buddhists Pro-Choice?:
I recently found an intriguing (censorious) monograph entitled “Beyond Enlightenment” by Richard Cohen:
Chapter 6 proposes that religious tropes and religious institutions are incapable of eradicating the structural conditions that produce conflict; they are unsuitable guides to managing conflict in a pluralistic world.
This strikes me as both correct and incorrect, to use a rarer corner of the Indian four-part logic.
While (explicitly) religious hegemonies are unsuitable for a pluralistic (cosmopolitan) society, it strikes me that any hegemony (ie political order) must rest upon axiomatic (“religious”) ideals: even if that ideology is, say, pluralism itself!
So while I agree that Buddhists shouldn’t coerce non-Buddhists to hold the same views on e.g. abortion (on both empirical and ideological grounds), it still strikes me that Buddhism holds some value (pun intended) in shaping realistic and humain foundations for political discourse (even in “non-Buddhist” societies).
My favorite example (highlighted previously on this forum) is “Putting Cruelty First” — Placing cruelty as the premier human evil has profound political implications and would (should?) shape the contours of political negotiation far from where they currently reside. Which proposals are considered reasonable and which fall outside the “Overton Window” would shift dramatically by “putting cruelty first,” and society and politics (even pluralistically) might be all the better for that movement away from cruelty.
So, to give some bounds to this discussion, my question is specifically:
Where is the line between Buddhist values which are worth advocating for universally, and which Buddhist views are best left unenforced?