I always enjoy
The Scribe, and I should like to thank you for producing
it. The articles are invariably fascinating. However, I do
not think your comments on the destruction of the Buddhist
statues in Afghanistan are helpful (Scribe
74, p. 28). I do not think that simply because
the statues 'offend the followers of monotheism' they deserve
to be destroyed.
There are many
things we can choose to find offensive if we take certain
texts too literally, or are feeling intolerant - pig farms,
churches, different branches of the Jewish religion, for example
- but we do not destroy them. We recognise that peace and
tolerance are ends in themselves. Anyway, I question whether
the statues are offensive to us at all. The Buddhists do not
worship them, any more than we worship pictures of our family.
[Some of our sages consider any representations of the human
form to be offensive!]
You are correct to say that Buddhism is thriving: one reason
that it is enjoying popularity amongst many people is that
it is a philosophy of acceptance and tolerance.
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