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seeking the path

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p. 285/20-23

p. 286/18-26

p. 302/30-33

p. 305/15-18

p. 306/13-16

p. 306/24-26 p. 307/27-30


[There would be no incompatibility between an action’s being ‘self-determined’ and its being predictable or characteristic of the agent; for ‘self-determined’ would mean ‘determined by his motives and character’, as opposed to ‘forced on him by circumstances or other people’.]: This assumes that ‘character’ remains unchanged. Choice is certainly determined by character; but is character predictable? [We all know what it feels like to make an effort. These feelings are phenomena or occurrences that we experience in the same sort of way that we experience aches, pains, qualms and twinges.]: No. [‘Could he have tried harder than he did?’ But how can we answer the question? Ex hypothesi he did not try harder than he did; so that we must say either that his failure to try harder is inexplicable or that it was due to circumstances beyond his control—in which case he is blameless—or that it was due to his not having tried to try as hard as he could have tried to try. But this is absurd. In the first place, ‘try to try’ is meaningless.] ‘But … absurd’ u/l: Why? [… two lists, the one of moral traits, the other of non-moral. Cowardice, avarice, cruelty, selfishness, idleness would go into the first list; clumsiness, physical weakness, stupidity, and anaemia into the second.]: Råga and dosa go into the first list, but moha (stupidity) is put in the second. Why? [Even when it is known that a certain type of conduct, for example homosexuality, is not amenable to penal sanctions or moral disapproval, it is difficult to persuade people that it is not morally wrong.]: Is this simply a matter of language? The majority of people regard queers with emotional horror. [A wicked character can be improved by moral censure and punishment; and if we really thought that a man was so bad as to be irremediable we should, I think, cease to blame him.]: Therefore a bad man is more to be blamed than a very bad man. [But both he and the wicked man differ from the addict or compulsive in that the latter will respond neither to threats nor to encouragement.]: This is simply a matter of degree. [Now since a moral principle is a disposition to choose, a man cannot be said to have a certain moral principle if he regularly breaks it, and we discover what a man’s moral

Early Writings (Seeking the Path - Ñāṇavīra Thera)  

Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...

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