sshai45 wrote:So if I get this right, it seems that Buddhism may not believe in "I'm right and all the rest are wrong" in its strict, literal sense -- meaning "Buddhism is TOTAL truth" and "all other religions are TOTAL falsehood", or in the sense that, say, fundie Christianity likes to use ("if you don't follow me, you're wicked/a child of Satan/whatever!"). But, on the other hand, it does appear to believe that it's "right" and the others are "wrong" in the sense that "right" means "this will lead to the final end of suffering (Nibbana)" and "wrong" meaning "this will not lead to that". Or "right" means "contains the WHOLE path to the end of suffering", "wrong" means "contains only part of it, mixed with things that actually hinder instead of helping". I.e. only through Buddhism (or something resembling it very greatly, at least, e.g. Noble Truths, Anatta, etc.) will you gain Nibbana. You may get reborn into the heaven realms if you live a saintly life true to the teachings of one of the other religions, but you're not going to get Nibbana, the final release, since the other religions promote views and things that are not conducive to Nibbana but hindrances to it (like the belief in soul, etc. -- a form of "eternalism").
It seems you have (at least) two assumptions. You assume that there is just one truth (you label it "being right"), and just *one* path to Nibbana.
What I see as truth (being right) is only true to me, I can not assume that is the truth to anyone else. I.e. you can not define just one truth, it is individual. To understand other, I need to realise that they hold there truth's, that is truly true to them.
Next, there is not just one path, we each have our own path's to walk. Why could that path not go through another belief-system (religion) ? The Dhamma is just a guide to finding a (personal) path, among many possible paths.
sshai45 wrote:And so perhaps maybe instead of saying "Buddhism is the one true religion and all others are wrong", as that carries the implication of "totally false", one should instead say "Buddhism believes it is the truest religion, the only one capable of achieving permanent freedom from death and suffering, and all the others are not equipped to do that, and are at least in part wrong".
I do not rule out other religions, of being the right path for other people; I just chose to investigate the Dhamma. I am sure that Christianity is the true/right religion to christian people, and it is the right path for them to walk (to name an example); I would be wrong in claiming that they follow a wrong path.
Why are you so eager to define right/wrong ? Or to rule someone to be right/wrong ?