Tiltbillings raised a pertinent question on an old thread that can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4791&start=20
The question was:
Does being a streamwinner make one unquestionably inerrant in all of one's proclamations about the Dhamma? Does it make one a good scholar?
I thought this was actually a really important question, since I imagine that many of us here on dhammawheel would like to enter the stream sometime before death.
A few other questions can be drawn out from Tilt's initial ones. A few would be:
Could two streamwinners disagree with each other on aspects of the dhamma? For example, how to interpret paticca samuppada.
If streamwinners were unquestionably inerrant in all of their proclamations about the dhamma that would be extremely disconcerting in my opinion given how much dhamma is out there and how many controversies (large and small) there are about the teachings.
So let's look at what a streamwinner in the suttas has come to know and which fetters they've abandoned:
And while this explanation was being given, there arose to Ven. Kondañña the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And while this explanation was being spoken, there arose in the venerable Koṇḍañña the dust-free, stainless vision of the Basic Pattern: "whatever is patterned with an origination, all that is patterned with a cessation."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .harv.html
"He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: self-identity view, doubt, and grasping at habits & practices."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... ml#fetters
So one of the basic things that a streamwinner has done is that they have understood impermanence. But does it matter what metaphysic one interprets impermanence through? For example, if one person understands impermanence through the doctrine of momentariness, i.e. that cittas and whatnot arise in discrete units, and another person understands impermanence through some conception of flow, and another doesn't care whether things are impermanent through momentariness or flow and just recognizes that everything is impermanent, can these three different people all have the dhamma-eye?
The fetters eliminated seem more straightforwards if you ask me with the exception of perhaps doubt. Is this doubt just about what's skillful and unskillful or is it about rebirth or is it about the fact that the destruction of passion, aversion, and delusion is possible or about all of these or what?h
Anyway, what are your thoughts? Would a stream enterer be an infallible guide to understanding exactly what the Buddha taught the way the Buddha exactly intended it to be taught or could two stream enterers disagree on a few things?