Thanks for the link and for reading. I’ll have a look at that article.
There are lots of types of Buddhism and I tried only to deal with some basic Buddhist principles in that dialogue.
You say certain Buddhists would submit that everyone has the right to defend their dignity. But dignity as what? As something that’s only superficially separated from everything else? In so far as a person identifies with the interdependent flux of events rather than with an isolated ego, what sense would it make to protect the self, narrowly speaking, that is the isolated body?
It’s hard for to grasp how the right to defend oneself could be understood in selfless terms. That’s the point of Sade’s criticism. We’re supposed to kill the Buddha if we seem him on the road, as opposed to idolizing him. But if we actually met an enlightened person, wouldn’t that person lapse into the biological routine of defending himself in the narrow sense when his life is threatened, protecting the biological vessel that carries his genes?
Of course, truly selfless people often sacrifice their life for a greater cause. But this would seem to be a test of whether a person has genuinely lost all emotional attachment to her narrow self: Does she fall back on defending her life because she clings to life like most animals do? I don’t see how enlightened Buddhists can have it both ways on this point.