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Featured What does your faith or worldview have to say about compassion?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, May 17, 2019.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Compassion appears to be a virtue or human quality extolled in most religions. It involves empathetic concern for the plight of others. It may extend to family and friends or extend across all boundaries to strangers of other cultures and beings we share the planet with.

    Does our faith or worldview make us more compassionate and if so how? What is it that distinguishes the compassion we express from those with differing world views? How can our faith be seen as special beyond others if we have little or no love and compassion for those around us?
     
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  2. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    As part of the sign of Jesus' presence and the conclusion of the present system of things, Jesus foretold....

    Matthew 24:10-14.....
    "Then, too, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and mislead many; 12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of the greater number will grow cold. 13 But the one who has endured to the end will be saved. 14 And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

    We are seeing a great shift away from love and compassion in this world, which seems to be diminishing with each passing decade.....because 'increasing lawlessness' makes people lose trust and withdraw into themselves. Where there is no trust, there can be no love.

    When I was young the people who lived in our neighborhood were all part of a close knit community. We knew each other, helped each other, supported each other through hard times....welcomed our neighbors and their children into our homes....but now we live in a neighborhood where nobody knows anyone. Everyone just keeps to themselves....orbiting in their own little world.

    According to Jesus it was going to happen, and it was going to require "endurance" on our part to live in such a loveless world. How can we show people love and compassion?...by sharing the "good news of God's Kingdom".....giving them hope of something better to come. The Bible says that humans cannot fix this mess...this world is broken beyond our capacity to repair it.

    I believe that only God can restore the love that we have lost, by giving us back what we lost in Eden.
    Revelation 21:2-4 is the end result....

    "2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.
     
  3. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    What does your faith or worldview have to say about compassion?: Most places, good. Some places, foolishness.
     
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  4. Samana Johann

    Samana Johann no member (former tolerated guest)

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    Householder Adrian, 'simple' out of compassion:

    - Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

    (KARUṆĀ — COMPASSION)
    Sabbe sattā sabba-dukkhā pamuccantu.
    May all living beings be freed from all stress & pain.​

    In the Dhamma-Vinaya tradition ("Buddhism") karuṇā (compassion) represents one of the four Brahmavihara, "Sublime Dwellings/Mind-states/Attitudes" equal the Host of the Brahmas, and would be developed even till the reach of the Deathless. Based on a practice and virtue which goes in accordance with the thought one "spreads" toward all Beings, what ever size, seen.. beloved, not so...



    Some literature and info:
    In traditional countries laypeople are familiar with the development of karuna, learning about the 4 Brahmaviharas beginning as small child and it is also a 'standard' meditation for householder.

    Possible the largest different to western, modern attitude is that it's not really "com-passion", suffering with someone else, but the wish that one may help ALL beings, a certain desire to fit to such a Noble attitude and of cause requires wisdom which is the base of lived compassion: min. the 5 precepts (Pañcasila — the Five Precepts (for lay men and women).

    The helpful monkey…

    One day a monkey had a profound experience which made him far more aware of the suffering of others, and much more compassionate.
    He resolved to put this compassion into action.
    Walking through the jungle path he saw a worm lying in the sun...he gently picked it up and placed in the shade on wet soil.
    Walking on again he saw a wasp in a puddle, so he fished it out with a leaf and left it to dry.
    He then came to a clear pool, where he saw a fish. Overwhelmed with compassion he scooped the fish from the water and lodged it in the branch of a tree..... to prevent it from drowning.
    Fired with compassion he then looked for more creatures to help…
    …and the danger of joy if it’s without wisdom!​

    Actually every practice in the Tradition of the Noble ones starts with compassion, starts with Virtue, Precepts aside of "just faith follower".

    Monks, because sticking to precepts and living a harmless live are usually addressed as "Br(e)ah Karuna", something like "Lord of Compassion" by householder and other monks.

    Since everybody has more or lesser feelings of compassion it's not so that it can not be actually very harmful (aside of foolish) if it is not developed toward all beings and most important especially toward "disliked" people or "enemies".

    The Danger of developing compassion, which is done in many, especially Arabic cultures or religion, is that it often is very hypocritical and biased and further more often practiced is a manner that leads to self-overestimation. So toward all, starting by one self, is very important and that actually acting carries more of this attitude honest as to make it a kind of lordly tendency which can increase pride very fast.

    Compassion is something that everybody can develop and best done if putting ones actions in daily live, by living a virtuous life, into practice.

    Think how many countless beings will never come even near your blessed situation, especially materially. Sharing thoughts is the beginning of putting things into deeds and most powerful.

    One may start:
    and continue

    Here also chanted by the Monks of Wat Metta, California.

     
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  5. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    My personal view is that compassion is the foundation of morality.

    Seeing another in pain and wanting to help or knowing that an action will hurt someone and thereby not doing it; Those are the basics for how we get along with other people.
     
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  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    It's a natural outcome of many lives well lived in dharma. Although situations vary, it's the 'right' thing to do.
     
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  7. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that compassion is fine but you must at the same time thwack the miscreants who behave in ways that does not stand to reason by virtue of the fact that they are deceitful and further their own agenda at the cost of someone else's welfare by hiding the truth. Have you come across how this evil is to be shown compassion?
     
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  8. Samana Johann

    Samana Johann no member (former tolerated guest)

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    Brahman Shantanu, compassion might not always be thought as being such and to receive real compassion often requires a lot of "giving up". It's also a matter of what one gives, lesser of what one demands, that is called ones virtue. Others deeds, their fruits and to struggle with such harmful seldom carries compassion.

    That's a compassionate message by Brahman Deeje, for example, very very compassionate, yet most will not like it at all.

    Sadhu and yes, compassion is foremost devoted toward (being) doing "Vinayaka".
     
    #8 Samana Johann, May 17, 2019
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  9. Samana Johann

    Samana Johann no member (former tolerated guest)

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    How can compassion ever be foolish? Given that compassion = act-ually wisdom and aiciversa... Where is not the right place for such? Maybe a proper action of compassion might be not seen. Even to withdraw from a place can be based of huge compassion, Brahman Aupmanyav. Actually such is the highest compassion, to leave all behind what is not ones own.
     
  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    To me, love ("agape") was Jesus' main theme, and that is to be expressed in compassion for all of God's creation. In Koine Greek, "agape" is an active noun, namely that one does not just have love but that they must persistently live out "the law of love".
     
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  11. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I remember well the very first time I felt compassion. I had just turned seven and a Catholic priest was telling me why I should be a Catholic. He explained Heaven and Hell and then added with some satisfaction that Protestants were going to Hell (This was before Vatican Two happened). I didn't know any Protestants but I immediately felt compassion for them.

    Later in life, when I was told that we were taught the difference between right and wrong as children, I knew it was baloney because no one had taught me compassion. I was born with the capacity for compassion.

    I'm sure we're born with compassion and with a conscience. But we humans obviously have a bad side to our nature capable of blocking off our better instincts. The Catholic priest I spoke of felt no compassion for the Protestants he thought were headed for Hell. Compassion seems to take a back seat to Group Pride.
     
    #11 joe1776, May 17, 2019
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  12. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Compassion is a feeling. Some possess more of this feeling than others and what exactly they feel compassion for varies from individual to individual.
    Compassion is a result of one's own struggle not religious belief. Religious folks can talk about compassion all they want but unless the compassion is already felt, it falls on deaf ears.

    If what a person feels compassion for can be identified, they can more easily be manipulated. Smart media folks often make use of this knowledge.
     
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  13. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    An excellent question. But I have another, how can justice and compassion exist at the same time ?
     
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  14. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    They can exist at the same time because they aren't opposites. Loving parents can feel compassion for the children they justly have to punish as instruction.
     
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  15. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    The foundation? I don't think so because we can feel compassion for someone injured in an car collision whether the event was the result of road rage (immoral) or purely an accident (not immoral).

    I think conscience (moral intuition) is the foundation of morality. Conscience guides us to consider intent. If the harm was intended (road rage), it's immoral. If not intended, (accidental) it isn't.
     
    #15 joe1776, May 17, 2019
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  16. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Interesting. I see the amount of compassion decreased because the danger they put others into (compassion for the others).

    And I think that the foundation of moral intuition is ultimately compassion for those potentially hurt.
     
  17. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't make it clear for you that the injured party is the innocent person in the collision and not the perpetrator of road rage. And, since we can be compassionate with people who are injured by both moral and immoral acts, compassion is unrelated to such moral judgments.

    Yes, we are less compassionate with the injured perpetrator of road rage should he be injured but his injury, and our lack of compassion for it, had nothing to do with the moral judgment of his act. He was guilty of a crime whether injured or not.
     
    #17 joe1776, May 17, 2019
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  18. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    From the very first moment we live all of us look for trust and compassion. Its as important as water is to life on earth.

    Every quality of life depends on trust and compassion.

    The total absence of those things and what do you have, anarchy.

    Can a person be trustworthy and lack compassion?

    Only so far will self interest alone will take you. Things you would do, things you would never do.

    Each path, where does it lead!

    Endless volumes of books could be written about the causes and effects of living with compassion vs. living without it.

    A lot of people ask, what do other people want, when they should ask what do other people need to live a quality life?

    Fulfilling wants, vs. Fulfilling needs.

    I ask does fulfilling wants leave one lacking? Isnt it compassion that actually fulfills the heart?

    And then there is the problem of ignorance, evil which throws a monkey wrench into everything goodness itself seeks to accomplish.

    Then there is human nature, and survival instincts, and the need for cleanliness and order amidst every imperfect situation nature and life can throw at you.

    Compassion literally causes civilization. How far do people want to stray from that? Its either compassion or end up in some tribal badland where fear, and might rules.
     
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  19. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I like your question. I would view love, compassion and justice as the foundation for any community and essential for the advancement of civilisations. A table does not stand on one leg alone but relies on four for stability. Well run institutions of law and order are just as essential as those for health, welfare and education. On a personal level compassion extended to one who is a liar, thief or tyrant can make that person worse.
     
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  20. AT-AT

    AT-AT Active Member

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    I like to think it says something. Upon evaluating myself though, I realize I need to loosen up. Let people see that I'm a shy person with an extroverted sense of humor. It takes a lot of brain power to think about the hard questions of life, but I suppose I will get to them eventually.
     
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