What's a good way -- is there a good way -- to criticise living teachers, translators, essayists, authors?
- Users -- it's policy that users shouldn't and needn't criticise the views of other users of this site -- or minimise any criticism, perhaps post only a polite and prescriptive comment or question (see Commenting with minimal argument)
- Schools -- Similarly it's site policy that users shouldn't criticise the views of other schools of Buddhism -- the site exists to let you ask questions, and to answer with your own views, not to criticise the schools of other users
Instead of criticising others ("they're wrong") it's enough to explain what you think is right.
What about teachers though?
I tend to be suspicious of posts which criticise teachers like Buddhaghosa or Nagarjuna -- or the Abhidhamma -- because I think that would be in effect criticising a whole school of Buddhism.
But what about criticising a modern author? I'm thinking of this answer for example:
Bhikkhu Thanissaro book on "not-self strategy" is wrong and has been debunked many times. It is best ignored. This will result in not troubling Buddhists by asking confused questions about it. Bhikkhu Thanissaro's heretical book on "not-self strategy" is a misunderstanding of the sutta SN 44.10
My questions are,
- No user flagged this as hostile, is it basically alright?
- Is criticism unavoidable and healthy? Or should a moderator edit (remove) it -- an "if you can't say something nice, don't say it" policy?
If criticism is allowed, does it matter how it's said?
For example if I were to criticise like that I might prefer to phrase it as, "I disagree with X because" -- instead of, "X is bunk and heretical and has been debunked many times" -- does that kind of tone matter? Should we insist that such criticism be delivered as an "I-message"?
Or would that be an example of tone policing, interfering with users' "right to self-expression", and a bit pointless -- more trouble than it's worth?
How much should I try to protect the view of modern authors from criticism, as I might if they too were users of this site?