Defence (43)

How can Buddho-Darwinism, the proposed belief system of this web-site, entertain the notion of defence when the very essence of Buddha’s teachings is non-violence?

First an alternative question: How can a Buddhist live a peaceful life if his life is threatened by misguided Muslims? There are stories that the Moghuls decapitated Buddhists when they reached India. It is also known that the Muslim government of Indonesia enforces a form of Buddhism which is altered from its original teaching so that adherents acknowledge a single God. My own opinion is that the beheading of Buddhists in India was probably more due to the blood thirsty traditions of the Muslim converts among the Mongols, (the name Khan is common in Pakistan and, of course, Genghis Khan was the original bloodthirsty Mongol). He converted and became perhaps a little more civilised in doing so, (to some scholars he became very civilised). However, St Paul, among the Christians, was a murdering brutal military man too until his conversion, but still wrote like an army officer imposing regulations on his troops in his letters to believers. I am therefore inclined to believe that when the worst convert they have not lost all their bad traits and it would be wrong to hold the execution of peaceful Buddhists against Islam.

(Note: Some academics hold with a concept of cultural inheritance called memes, (qv by internet search) but I am afraid I cannot endorse or deny it as I do not really understand the idea.)

My view on defence is to lean to the Darwinist side of Buddho-Darwinism. Everything in nature has a defence or it would not survive. From the speed and agility of the mongoose, the waxy surface on a privet leaf, the human skin which protects from infection and the white blood cells which defend against infections which penetrate this skin barrier to the alertness of birds which helps them escape cats. If there was a species of bird which was not fast enough to escape then it would have died out long ago as the Dodo did when sailors arrived. Tortoise species on the Galapagos, despite the shell which had been effective for so long, died too when sailors came.

The principle of Buddho-Darwinism is to observe nature and learn but to show compassion to all living things as an act of enlightenment. Therefore the principle is to live peacefully and if, as a last resort it is necessary, then defend but do not attack. If defence requires violence then the operating principle is as the degrees of compassion of the Shaolin Buddhists. It is better to negotiate than to injure, it is better to injure than to maim, it is better to maim than to kill.

I do not claim that this is a path to enlightenment, but it is maintenance of the path so that others may walk it. It is a discussion between Buddha and Darwin as described on the home page.




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