Hiri and Ottappa

In primitive times, before the advent of religions, human beings were guided by two main qualities.

These two mental qualities are the underlying guardians of morality thus protect humanity.

Hiri is the shame that keeps us from doing evil that would hurt our self respect.

Ottapa is the fear of committing evil that might bring about harm to ourselves or others.

In short, moral shame and moral fear.

Looking at the world and all the mess, and the people in it,

Then looking at all the religions and their teachings, I don't think any religion has taught or emphasised on upholding these two principles.

I won't go in to details of religious teachings and how they deviate from these two main moral principles.

But may I ask,

Have religions failed humanity?

(Ps. Even though Buddhism have them in their teachings, it's mostly overlooked by practicing Buddhists.)

Comments (39)

Religions have failed humanity big time. All we want to do is kill each other.
SimonInMark
If religion has failed humanity, then humanity has failed itself for Religion is a human made thing. (smug)
nonsmoker
In the English language Failed is the past participial of Fail. !
In reality Failed is a past participial Learn dunno

Lets walk forward with heads held high shall we wave
nonsmoker
* of Learn. conversing

Now that's a mistake I will not make again professor
loulou77
Usha

Nurture and nature have alot to do with how we conduct ourselves...fear in god or gods...no need...law and order from the court system tends to work...another kind of control...but without it...chaos would prevail...morality is a diverse subject...and communities differ in that definition...

Be kind and have empathy...not everyone has food, clothing or a roof over their heads...brings a new perspective into the mix...some people have no choice...is it moral to jail a starving person because they stole?...philosophy love reading about it...

Tied to a cord of a circumstance...H.D.Lawrence...wine
goldengloss
Have religions failed humanity? yes. without a doubt.
In wars to this very day. So called men of God/Allah have put Allah at the butt of the rifle, at the sharpest point of the knife to behead, and have done terrible atrocities in the name of Allah most high.

Christians too, in earlier times, were killing non Christians. I could go on....

Nowadays because of so much s*xual abuse of children and the Vaticans cover up, people have turned away from the Church, and turned away from God.

Many holier than thou high echelons of the church are far from what Jesus taught, Humility, love, being non judgemental, Living a simple life ...

Organised religion has failed in many sects and Churches.

The real message of Christianity has been lost [for me] in the lifestyle and acts of many of these so called holy men and women who live lives of luxury and still are hiding to this day, the abuses they readily doled out to unwanted babies, unmarried mothers, and of course the s*xual abuse of children.sad flower
arpito
@usha - a great post

your way of thinking is interesting, because i would have thought that moral shame and moral fear are the foundations of most organized religions. I.e. what others think of us and the threat that bad things will happen to us if we do not obey the code.

Take Christianity for example. Deeply ingrained is the "fear of the Lord" and the the concept of sin, which is something to be ashamed of.

An enlightened human being does not need intermediaries (i.e. priests), moral code (i.e. scriptures) and fear to keep him in line. His connection to God and the Universe is direct, and he acts morally because that is who he is, not because he is afraid of punishment and being outcast.

In my opinion only....

There is a sequel to this, your second question. Have Religions Failed Humanity? But i should wait to see some of the responses first.
Johnny_Sparton
Hello Usha.

I do not know. But, I would say with the reduction in the following of religion, there might be an explanation there. It is now more socially acceptable to be against religion than for it.
mollybaby
Religions just took on, and trademarked, basic human traits and qualities.

Human beings have always had an innate understanding that they have to behave in a certain way to ensure the survival of society.

This includes all the various subtle facets of living within society. Not stealing; not killing, etc., as that means that there is less likelihood of it happening to you. It is basic self-survival.
Swami
"Hiri is the shame that keeps us from doing evil that would hurt our self respect.
Ottapa is the fear of committing evil that might bring about harm to ourselves or others."
......................................

Sorry I disagree. Morality is a product of human being cognitive faculty.
Shame is a reflection of the ego. Only children are taught morality by using fear and shame.
This practice is based on memory and mental conditioning.
Your story is a legend ....

Fear of commiting evil.... here is not about evil, it is about being wrong and about fear of results.
About positive and negative results. People learned to identify results very soon. This is the first step of cognition. Identification of the cause-efect relation. People get fear of having wrong results.

I consider that you have done a wrong translation. Please replace "evil" with "wrong" (in the sense of error)

................................

Next about shame.

" shame that keeps us from doing evil that would hurt our self respect"

Self respect. For me is hard to accept that people understood this term on the beginings....
It is about rising of the ego. Of consciousness. It is about the word "me". "Me" in relation with the world and with the other, with "you". It is about being the cause of the wrong results.
The shame may be too much ... may be replaced with guilt. It is about the fear of being guilty.


The two mental qualities you mentioned are refering at two aspect of the same reality.
The cognitive evolution let human being understand/discover the relation betwen cause and efect.
As a result people may discovered that they are the cause of some negative or positive results.

People from the comunity where bnished when they have benn the cause of negative results. Survival instinct.

This is my analysis on your storry. Thank you for the challange. It was a good reading.

Regarding religion.... People do not understand what religion is. Religion was already before science.
It was the science. And kept the humanity on track.
For your knowledge, religion has many layers of understanding. Depends on how deep you want and have time to go for understanding the religious message.
Swami
PS. Sorry. I appologize if I was much too direct.

For me each religion is an existential model. It can be understood.
Is not perfect but has a logic behind, has values, methodes, and has a scope.

I wanted to underline something about religion. When I mentioned that religion has many layers of understanding I refered the many levels of the human ego.
According to the strength of the ego eachone understands different the religious message.
Some are religious in their solitude. Other are building world wide cults.
Some find peace and ballance within the kind and friendly message. Other find the logic and rationality behind enligthening.
Some are like children and must be taught with exigence to respect rules (morality). Other are curious to understand and need minimal guidance. Religion has the tools for all of them. Everyone take advantage. Some more, other less.
No uniformity. But this is not an issue of religion. It is about human nature.

Psychology is a science. is neutral. Humans are using the science different. Some are using in therapeutical way. Other for reaching their own scope using collective manipulation.

Same is the religion. "Container" vs. "content".
usha123
Track, I hope you got some sleep. hug

Killing part there is no denying. Given what has happened and is happening in the world.
usha123
Good point Simon. Why are you mumbling
usha123
Non, will check my dictionary for fail, learn and failed.

Or I should stick to learning Pali.laugh

wave
usha123
I agree with you Lou.

I am trying to learn something.

I thought I would get some answers from religious folks. But glad they didn't jump on my neck.laugh
ashlander
I thought I would get some answers from religious folks.

Answers?


But glad they didn't jump on my neck.laugh

Has anyone ?

Your profile - Christian?
Your example-Pre Buddhism?
You're interfaith?
dunno
Too many questions?
laugh
ashlander
Then looking at all the religions and their teachings, I don't think any religion has taught or emphasised on upholding these two principles.

I won't go in to details of religious teachings and how they deviate from these two main moral principles. Even though Buddhism have them in their teachings, it's mostly overlooked by practicing Buddhists.

OK?

teddybear
usha123
GG, so it's not religion after all. Anything in the hands of man, be it God, religion or whatever, he is crafty enough to manipulate it for his own selfish aggrandizement.

God himself knew that. In the bible it says,
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

So I think Simon made a very good point.

Continually evil man has been.

I was arguing with my daughters the point why the universe, the world, the seasons, tides, oceans and everything seem perfect. Why us flawed?

Hope you are doing good GG. bouquet
usha123
Ash, I say I am a christian because I am neither a Muslim nor a Jew. Does it really matter after all, if we are talking about the same God and we are just killing each other to prove who is the most powerful God, and who got it right.dunno
ashlander
I asked my son,he said all internet sites have people talking shit,blaming someone else for their problems.
And those people dislike religion because it holds all humanity accountable: believers and non-believers.
ashlander
I have not practiced any faith in God,as an exclusive right to Him.Therefore,anyone else's relationship to their God,is their own business.The only accounting I have to my God,is to love Him,by loving others.
Is loving God through others,organized religion or just my moral conviction.Both.
I enjoy the affiliation and support,uplifting songs and community action.Intrinsic values.
Prayers are verbalisations of positivity-gratitude and conviction,to be accountable for my life.
usha123
Arpito,wave

I totally agree with this.

An enlightened human being does not need intermediaries (i.e. priests), moral code (i.e. scriptures) and fear to keep him in line. His connection to God and the Universe is direct, and he acts morally because that is who he is, not because he is afraid of punishment and being outcast.

You said it 100% accurately, even if I tried for weeks, I wouldn't have come out with that statement so precisely.

I don't think will get anymore responses to my question. Will wait and see.
usha123
Johnny, I am not against religion. Because through out history religious organizations have done so much good for the humanity.

Then we can not overlook the abuse too. So many children. Then the brain washed youngsters sent to kill others.

I brought up Hiri and Ottapa for these reasons. Religions bestowed absolute power upon humans. To preach, to lead.

Someone said, absolute power leads to absolute corruption.

I am multi tasking. Since my mother took my responding time in the morning, with yet another dying drama. I won't believe if she is really dying, if she continue to do this. doh
ashlander
As of today,there is no absolute power,or absolute religion.Corruption can be an individual,
or a Government.Usually if followers or children are abused,it is by a Cult,operating under
the guise of an organization.Day care centers,orphanages,foster services too, not just
religious venues.SRA in United States.

seaworthy
Ms usha, see my post to Ms goldengloss re: shame. Like I stated,the community and our parents took up the cause of moral shame and moral fear. Today we have being taught a book in kindergarten about the transgender child. Yes, it's real news.Satan is compromising many many souls here. It's like he's working against a time clock.

These religious blogs are just killing me, this is a dating site : laugh:. I just read your blog this morning, I Ferrari g the overlap.handshake
seaworthy
Ha! Ferrari should be find interesting
arpito
seaworthy

You say that these religious blogs are killing you, but it seems to me that you are one of the chief religious theorists here. laugh
usha123
Molly, I am beginning to think that primitive people were not primitive as we think they were.

And with the rise of population, I think religion was somewhat necessary.
dunno
mollybaby
Usha, a personal morality and spirituality would suffice no matter the size of the population
usha123
Swami, no need to say sorry. Fear, shame and evil, wrong, all can be somewhat the same for a person like me whose mother tongue is not English. Sorry about that. Kindly excuse me for that.

I agree with what you said in your second comment. I will try to read the first one few more times to understand it better.

Thank you for reading the containers and content.handshake
usha123
Ash,

I don't know if I am blaming anyone. And this is the only site I am a member of, If I write about something or another it's for my own learning purposes at times. To get different views about an already confusing and complex subject.

Okay, may be there is no absolute power, but we all know how long the child abuse have been going on and how it was kept a secret. If a solitary person sexually abused a child, it won't be that easy to keep it a secret, if the child made a claim. But with the money and power it was not only kept away from public but continued too.

I stated that power bestowed on politicians and religious leaders can leave room for corruption. Because they are still the corrupt human. Not everyone who joins these institutions have betterment of humanity in mind.



I will check the links later.
usha123
Seaworthy! You are tired of religious blogs. wow Okay I will switch to Sanskrit instead of Pali and blog about Kama sutra next time.laugh

Actually I don't know about transgender people. I don't know if they are born that way or they changed without a valid reason.

Anyway, what is it you suggest for people who fall under this label, LGBT. They are humans after all.

Are they condemned in God's eye? Or are they condemned by church. I honestly don't know.

If they are that bad and a menace to general normal human society, surely God can pull out another Sodom and Gomorrah act. Who are we to judge. I don't want my hands bloody. grin

You had to mention Ferrari?frustrated devil I am still trying to get over Ferrari.crying blues
mollybaby
Usha,

Transgender:

Basically Usha, if you close your eyes, you feel like a woman, act like a woman, know that you are a woman. Right?

Then if you opened your eyes and looked in a full length mirror, and there was a man's body covering you.
You know this body isn't who you are.
You are a woman in every cell of your being ,apart from that outer casing you were given by mistake

That is what it feels like to be a transgender.
usha123
Molly, we have to wait and see for the day that all religions will be banned on earth.uh oh
usha123
Wow! That is mind boggling Molly. I have to think and try to understand the war between mind and body. Thank you very much for that explanation.handshake
mollybaby
You are welcome Usha handshake

As for banning religions, I would not be in favour of that at all

I think that organised religion would disappear organically if everybody took control of their own morality and spirituality.
seaworthy
Ms usha, no time to address your post, but let me fix my original sentence that cut off the emoticon: These religious blogs are just killing me, this is a dating site laugh even non Mother language girls like you get it......you do right?laugh
ashlander
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