Points of Controversy

10.10. Are Acts of Intimation Virtue?

Controverted Point: That acts of intimation are moral acts.

Theravādin: But the conduct called moral—abstaining from taking life, from stealing, from fornication, lying, and strong drink—do you affirm that these are so many modes of intimation? You do not… .

Acts intimating minor courtesies such as salutation, rising to welcome, presenting clasped hands, acts of propriety, offering a seat, a couch, water for the feet, a towel for the feet, rubbing the back in the bath—are these morality? Yes, you say. But you would not affirm they are the five abstinences just named. Those are moral—are these?

Mahāsaṅghikas and Sammitīyas: But if acts of intimation are not moral, are they immoral? If not, then they are moral.