Saturday, September 10, 2011

Buddhism and Terrorism

In deference to the ambiguity of the term “terrorist,” (Nelson Mandela, for example, was condemned as a terrorist), this post entry attempts to look at terrorism as a tactic with some moral basis. Though logic and common sense mitigated against any thought that the waves of gratuitous violence visited upon Europe and the Middle East was likely to pass us by, North Americans have only recently become terrorist conscious. Despite several examples of domestic violence, it is the 9/11 events that have forced a direct confrontation with militant Islamic fundamentalists.

What causes terrorism? President Bush (43) explained this very simply, “they hate us for our freedom”; it’s “good versus evil.” Although George W. is correct in identifying religion as having a causative relationship with the problem of terrorism, the limited, triumphal moral sensibility which he exemplifies is not up to the task of guiding us to a solution. What if President Bush were a fundamentalist Buddhist instead of a born-again Christian? How might he approach the problem of terrorism from the pratityasamutpada point of view? Pratityasamutpada is the Buddhist vocabulary of causation. It means “co-dependent arising” or “interdependent co-arising” and represents how Buddhist thinkers, not having recourse to a Creator God, discuss the limit or end-point of cause and effect....

Read the full column by Wayne Codling @ Times Colonist

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