Points of Controversy

16.7. Of Matter as Morally Good or Bad

Controverted Point: That material qualities are (i.) good or moral, (ii.) bad or immoral.

Theravādin: Do you mean to imply that material qualities have a mental object, and the properties of mental adverting, of adjustment, etc.? Surely you agree that the opposite is true? And that, whereas you can predicate those things of the three moral motives or conditions, and of the five moral controlling powers, they do not fit the case of material qualities… .

(ii.) The same argument holds good for material qualities as immoral.

the Mahīsāsakas and Sammitīyas: But is not karma (moral action) of body and of speech either good or bad? Surely then material qualities engaged therein are also either good or bad?