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Buddhists/Golden Rule

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Question
I will give a talk with regard to "Golden Rule" statements in religious scripture and tradition. Researching when and where these statements are realised and actualised, what are their potential impact in conflict prevention and resolution, provided the participants are religious.

The following are two specific questions requiring your opinion to be used as a source for analysis. Your feedback and assistance will be greatly appreciated.

For reference:
- The positive form of Golden Rule is to “treat others as you want them to treat you”.
- The negative form of Golden Rule is to "do not treat others as you do not want them to treat you".
- The following is widely quoted as the Buddhism Golden Rule: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful."  (Udana-Varga, 5:18)

Question 1: Do you consider Golden Rule statement to represent the core or starting point for Buddhism religious tenets?  (Please answer Yes or No)

Question 2: Do you consider the remit of Golden Rule statement to be applicable to:

2.1)  Buddhists only. If so to what extend does it contribute or has the potential to contribute to indifference, divisiveness, and hostility towards non-Buddhists. Can you please use ratings in heading 3.

Or

2.2) Buddhists and non-Buddhists. If so to what extent does it contribute or has the potential to contribute to affinity, unity and peace between Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Can you please use ratings in heading 3.

Or

2.3) Different interpretation. Can you please comment.

3) Please specify the following numeric rating range for categories 2.1, 2.2

5 for Very great
4 for Great
3 for Moderate
2 for Little
1 for Very little
0 for None

Many thanks

Answer
Question 1: Do you consider Golden Rule statement to represent the core or starting point for Buddhism religious tenets?  (Please answer Yes or No)

That is not the sort of question that can be answered with a plain Yes or No. We would have to look at what you mean by "tenets" and on why they would have a "core" or "starting point". But it sits well with Buddhism.

Question 2: Do you consider the remit of Golden Rule statement to be applicable to:

2.1)  Buddhists only. If so to what extend does it contribute or has the potential to contribute to indifference, divisiveness, and hostility towards non-Buddhists. Can you please use ratings in heading 3.


Of course not. That would be bizarre!

Or

2.2) Buddhists and non-Buddhists. If so to what extent does it contribute or has the potential to contribute to affinity, unity and peace between Buddhists and non-Buddhists. Can you please use ratings in heading 3.


Of course it does. It's a good rule for anybody - for any sentient being, even, inasmuch as they might be capable of acting on it. How much it actually helps in promoting harmony depends more on the people concerned than on the rule, however, so putting a number on it would be a trifle silly, since you ask.

Or

2.3) Different interpretation. Can you please comment.

3) Please specify the following numeric rating range for categories 2.1, 2.2

5 for Very great
4 for Great
3 for Moderate
2 for Little
1 for Very little
0 for None

Any answer along these lines would be a matter of sheer speculation and opinion.

I know these answers are not what you're looking for, but they are honest ones. I hope it helps a little.

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Alex Wilding

Expertise

I have practiced and studied Tibetan Buddhism in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions since the early 1970s, and have a good knowledge of theory, history and of the struggles of trying to practice the teachings, including meditation, while leading a normal, modern life. I am also available to provide background information for journalists.

Experience

I have been a practitioner since the early 1970s; have run a small Buddhist centre in the English Midlands and was vice-president of Kagyu Benchen Ling e.V. in Germany, for whom I managed three large Buddhist summer-camps. More importantly, I maintain a habit of personal practice. I am the "owner" of the Kagyu list at Yahoo.

Education/Credentials
My first degree was an M.A. from Oxford. I later obtained a Master of Philosophy degree for a research thesis in "Initiation in Tibetan Buddhism" from Leicester University. I also have engineering and educational qualifications.

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