I think the difference between us is different than you describe. My focus has not been on the particular direction of the tilt but rather what we do next. In the same paragraph you quoted above I wrote "In context of our western mindfulness about diversity and the Buddha's evident appreciation of diversity it seems remarkable that engaged Buddhist's aren't more concerned about viewpoint diversity." These comments are relevant regardless of the ideological distribution of political ideologies. Furthermore, some tendencies toward bias, illusion and attachment become more acute in the face of a political monoculture.Kim O'Hara wrote: ↑Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:22 amI agree - there is.
The difference between us is that I see it as a feature (a natural outcome of engagement with the dharma), you see it as a bug, a fault, a mistake.
Ideological frameworks, including political orientation, powerfully inform the assumptions engaged Buddhists make, the questions they ask, the outcomes they value, and the way they interpret their data and their world. When dialogs and communities/sangha's don’t include ideologically diverse voices and don’t engage seriously with dissenting ideas, everyone misses the opportunity for their thinking to be challenged. They don’t get the chance to ﬁgure out which ideas hold up within the crucible of open inquiry. Biases go unchecked. Critical thinking tends to be lost.
Without intentional viewpoint diversity communities, organizational dialogs, learning spaces and reflection tend to be become self-afﬁrming echo chambers in which ideological validation displaces critical inquiry. These ideas are not new to citizens in the west but they rarely implement themselves without specific intention and awareness. I list some ideas below about how this perspective might manifest in a engaged Buddhist community.
The thread "Which political ideology is more aligned with practice of Dhamma?" raises a import, perhaps one the most important, questions in engaged Buddhism. I have proposed my views on what might be called "right engagement". In the spirit of the dharma I suggest some ideas (modern precepts for engaged Buddhism if you will) that should tend to lead practitioners away from illusion and toward liberation. I assert that no matter how one answers the question of which political ideology is more aligned with practice of Dhamma roughly the same set of values and practices are needed to support us on the path.
In particular I recommend:
- the precepts of a Buddhist view on diversity
- The value of a Transpartisan understanding
- Support of honest brokers of information and policy option within the community
- Appreciation of the differences between honest brokers and issue advocacy.
What's particularly odd is that most western Buddhists (and most of western culture) would recoil from the idea that a racist belief is a feature, a natural outcome of engagement with a religion teaching or science. Buddhism valorizes right view and right action so it seems that Buddhists from a western culture would naturally valorize a awareness and appreciation of how cultural influences might similarly taint our understanding of the political implications of the dharma.
"right engagement" - viewtopic.php?p=3345#p3254