Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:
Many people in the modern world come to Buddhism suffering from their conceptual framework. They're raised in a materialist worldview whose basic concepts — that life comes from nothing and returns to nothing, with a brief chance to pursue pleasure in the interim — are pretty dismal. They believe that if they could free their minds from these concepts and simply dwell in the present with no thought of what happens at the end, they'd be happy. They'd be able to squeeze as much pleasure out of the present as they could before the inevitable hits.
So they look for a way to be free of all concepts. When they come here, though, they run into concepts. They see the Buddha's teachings on kamma and rebirth, and they say, "This is invalid; you can't make presuppositions about these things. Nobody knows anything about what happens before we're born. Nobody knows anything about what happens after we die. Doesn't the Buddha say that you have to prove things before you can accept them? All we know is that you can blot these issues out of the mind and be in the present moment without any concepts, and that's happiness."
So that's what they want the Buddha's teachings to be. They don't realize that they're judging the Buddha's teachings by the very concepts that are making them miserable. The idea that we can't know beyond our immediate sensory experience, so therefore we just try to heighten our immediate sensory experience: That's a concept itself, and although it may aim at going beyond concepts, it doesn't really get you there. The Buddha's concepts, though, actually give results. They're very open about the fact that you have to use concepts to get beyond concepts, and their idea of what's there when the path has freed you from concepts is more than just a pleasant oblivion in the present. It's another dimension entirely.
From: The Raft of Concepts
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu