Kenshou wrote:Continuing to insist upon framing it in this way ignores a number of real-world subtleties and isn't productive.
Actually, it highlights a couple of points pertaining to the contemporary culture of real-world Western pop Buddhism, especially the type of pop Buddhism with leanings towards an inaccurate reading of the Pāli suttas, such as what is being peddled by Stephen Batchelor. As already mentioned:
(i) The term "Buddhist Atheism" is a contradiction in terms. The Buddha affirmed the existence of gods and higher realms. He was the teacher of gods and men. The Pāli canon contains many assertions regarding the existence of gods, higher realms, past lives, and rebirth in the next world.
(ii) Contrary to the opinion of Stephen Batchelor, et al, the Buddha was neither an atheist, an apatheist, nor an agnostic.
Of course, the response on this forum was predictable.