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A Balancing Mechanism for Dispute Resolution-Buddhist Reflections on Freedom of Speech and Religious Tolerance




欲諍 見諍 言論自由 公然侮辱 誹謗

Parallel abstracts

For all sentient beings, conflicts may occur, because of our two major mental attachments to, first, the craving or desire and, second, ideas, views, theories, and beliefs. Religious beliefs tend to generate disputes, not only between people of different religious traditions, but also among those who follow different ideals within a religion. A ruler who can exercise punitive authority, just like religious leaders who hold a certain degree of public power, may possibly become a judge and oppressor against dissidents. To balance and manage disputes over different views, the lever will be the freedom of speech. People who slander or humiliate a religion or its followers may not be necessarily protected under free speech laws. However, in Chinese society religious organizations and persons rarely seek judicial remedy for injustice committed against them. The reason can be found in the stereotype that most people hold to regard "avoiding argument" as a praised religious behavior. Being led to unfavorable evaluations, religious people tend to give up reluctantly their legal rights to protect their reputation. As a result, those people with speech that insults religions have no fear of being prosecuted. Taking advantage of the situation, they even abuse and misuse deliberately the right to freedom of speech. However, people with the seemly cost-free insulting and slanderous behavior often invite more trouble for themselves. Because a person who repeatedly acts against the innocent with evil speech and deviltry will be repaid by acquiring a deadly bad habit and character through the force of habitual tendencies, and finally ends up with a disaster or price that he/she can't afford. After all, which approach is more proper to deal with all kinds of insults and slander in front of us? Tolerance or fighting back? A person may choose to stay calm with "sampajanna" and then disconnect him/herself from all possible ties/factors that might lead him/her to response. Alternatively, one can choose to give an appropriate response with great compassion, in order not to nurse a viper in their bosoms and cause negative effects by allowing evil and suffering to occur. As for religious organizations, while facing disgrace and slander, they should actively ensure public understanding of the facts, and when necessary, go through judicial process for an equitable remedy which cannot be too much encouraged.


柯建銘,〈今日委員會質詢的心情筆記—慈濟篇〉,https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1613406392236417&id=10000701214 9156。2015.8.6 線上查索。
釋昭慧,〈歧視的名稱宛如烙印的牲畜─反對使用「尼姑」稱謂原委〉,刊於《自由時報》「自由廣場」,2003 年6 月1 日。