Quote# 65876

Right, hypothetical situation, say you are walking minding your own business then you see a burning car wreck, and the people inside are ostensibly meat eaters- won't you, by saving the people inside, in return have caused the deaths of the hundreds/thousands of cows/chickens/fish that they would consume throughout their remaining lifetime? Or lets take this a step further and exaggerate the situation even more, say the people inside are serial killers/nazis/israili war criminals/ jihad extreemists/child molesters/etc - should one follow the general "value all life" rule or should one indeed look at the laws of causality and how rescuing them might bring some good karma to you in the short term but in the long term by rescuing them you might indeed recieve some very bad karma?

yuriythebest, newbuddhist.com 49 Comments [9/29/2009 10:27:30 PM]
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Submitted By: Antichrist

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But how would you know?

9/30/2009 6:05:06 AM


These are the type of questions that face anyone who is following a path that says not to harm any sentient being. The question itself is perfectly fine. I just hope the answer this person eventually arrives at is sensible (i.e. save the folks from the burning car, for cryin' out loud!) Buddhist teachings would say their karma will be the 'judge' (for want of a better term) for their actions. Saving them, on the other hand, would net you some good karma for your compassion and selfless action. Plus, as others have pointed out, how would you even know what they eat or what they are about to do in the future?

BTW - The Buddha did not die from 'stuffing his face with pork' implying that gluttony killed him. While different ideas of what actually killed him abound, the most accepted one is that there was something wrong with the pork he was served. It was not because he strapped on the ol' feedbag at the buffet table.

9/30/2009 6:53:21 AM

Churchy La Femme

"Hello in there. I know the car is on fire and I want to rescue you, but I'll have to ask you to complete this short questionaire about your personal beliefs and future plans first."

9/30/2009 7:42:06 AM

Well, personally, in case of serial killers / nazis (rather, people known to me with 100% certainty that they are serial killers / nazis) - I would lock the car to make sure they stay inside... Yet again, I don't care about karma, I just don't like serial killers and nazis.

9/30/2009 7:49:04 AM

Doubting Thomas

That's when you follow the rule of "kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" and walk up to them and blow their brains out with a .45.

9/30/2009 8:56:48 AM

Dr. Novakaine

How do you know they're serial killers? Do they have a bumper sticker saying "I kill people in gruesome ways?" Generally, I don't assume the very worst in people I've never seen.

9/30/2009 9:20:39 AM


And the likelihood of them being serial killers, pol pot, hitler, or Stalin versus them being ordinary humans with families is... what?

This is not about what kind of people they are, but what kind of person you are. Will you allow people to burn to death or do you rescue them without concern for your benefit?

Karma does not go to those who seek karma. Good must be done for its own sake, not for any thought of gain. Give of yourself and we all grow richer. Buddhism teaches this. Learn it.

9/30/2009 9:33:16 AM


The thing is, of course, that the people you save are in fact responsible for their own actions. Go ahead, save them.

In fact, if you're so concerned about them believing the way you do, you could use saving them as an excuse to introduce them to your religion.

9/30/2009 10:37:28 AM

By letting them die, you're depriving them of the chance to redeem themselves. Kinda makes you evil.

9/30/2009 10:48:27 AM


You see a burning car wreck, you cal 9-1-1. Then, you see what you can do about the situation until the emergency guys get there.

Hello, reality. You can't judge who or what the people trapped in a car wreck are until they've been rescued and can be interviewed.

Prejudging without any facts just makes you an dumb asshole. Even if you knew anything, allowing someone to DIAF without doing something to help makes you worse than an asshole.

9/30/2009 10:57:14 AM

Old Viking

What Churchy said.

9/30/2009 1:05:05 PM


Umm... what?

9/30/2009 1:43:07 PM

Fortunately, that's about as fundie as buddhists can get.

9/30/2009 2:04:23 PM


By the time you've finished considering all that, the people in the car will have burned to a crisp. In any case, if the people in the car were strangers, how would you know that they were meat eaters / terrorists / child molesters etc?

We can't possibly foresee and calculate every possible consequence of our every action. We just have to do what seems right at the time. Nobody can do more than that.

9/30/2009 2:18:33 PM


... by saving the people inside, in return have caused the deaths of the hundreds/thousands of cows/chickens/fish that they would consume throughout their remaining lifetime?

Has it ever occured to you that someone else might consume those animals?

Or lets take this a step further and exaggerate the situation even more, say the people inside are serial killers/nazis/israili war criminals/ jihad extreemists/child molesters/etc...

Most of those types of people can be rebilitated. Besides, by letting these people die, how does it make you any better?

9/30/2009 3:58:50 PM

mrs. antichrist

the second example about the war criminals is a legit moral dilemma, but the meat-eater stuff is ridiculous.

Personally, I think it's wrong to let people suffer or die based on what they might do in the future.

9/30/2009 5:35:32 PM


@ #1029633: you win an internet. I couldn't agree more.

And, what if that act of being trapped in the car is the pivotal thing that makes said person inside re-think their life? If you let them die, then they can't ever change.

Furthermore, what someone eats should in no way affect their rescue. Seriously, that is the most petty thing I've ever heard. Don't be stupid.

9/30/2009 5:38:19 PM


Not really fundie, this is just a run of the mill ethical dilemma hypothetical they ask students in a philosophy class.

9/30/2009 5:57:05 PM


And you could tell the people in the burning are meat eaters how? They good while they are cooking?

Do you fundies spend all your time coming up with bullshit like this, instead of actually doing anything? Get a frigging LIFE!

9/30/2009 6:34:30 PM


A fundamentalist Buddhist? Contradiction in terms?

*Brain splodes*

10/1/2009 1:02:16 AM


Unless they are wearing giant swatiskas, bombs around their body, KKK robes or shirts that read "I like raping little kids!" there's no way you can tell that.

10/1/2009 1:06:14 AM


Next time I see a burning car wreck, I'll have the occupants fill out some forms before I save them.

3/12/2010 4:15:05 PM


you really are an asshole?
aren't you?

1/7/2011 8:05:06 PM

Philbert McAdamia

Inside the burning car are Bush, Cheney, and Rush Limbaugh. You have a cell phone, a bucket of water and a loaded revolver.

Do you shoot them each or Bush 6 times?

And how many times should you reload?

1/8/2011 12:02:36 AM

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