Prasadachitta wrote:Since I practice with one of the groups which he brings up, I am looking for a distinction and truthfully I dont find one other than the one point I brought up. Every Tradition or school has many explanations and contexts for those explanations and it is always up to each individual to sort that out. This is not the domain of some special "secular Buddhist".
That one point is essentially the only difference, which is why I said it was a root issue, and as the great rebirth thread shows, it's hardly a minor point - therefore, here is a distinction which answers your looking for one, so why not count it? After all, Secular Buddhism also has its many explanations and contexts for those explanations, and I gave some examples of how that can play out. Also, as I suggested a couple pages ago, perhaps it can fruitfully be seen as simply another Buddhist tradition, amenable to certain demographics.
It might be that the tone and scale of various atheist voices and claims is thoroughly conflated with Secular Buddhism, a not unexpected event, and as we saw in a recent thread, this sort of thing is a huge problem for many such that they feel the Dhamma cannot be practiced correctly in the absence of accepting certain views current in the Suttas, views which the Secular Buddhist will tend to consider tangential or otherwise beside the point. This is the dichotomy of note, the distinction which you rightly mention as the sticking point; but if we're going to be ecumenical and accept that there is progress to be made on the Path in, say, Zen circles, Secular Buddhism warrants a similar mulligan.
The further claim that Secular Buddhism is the only reasonable approach to the Dhamma is a completely different claim, and one which is unsustainable. This goes to the idea that these issues are the "domain" of Secular Buddhism; I think this overstates the case by a hefty margin, so it's useful to slice this issue fairly thin to avoid unnecessary ideological bleed. Arguments which successfully go against Batchelor's claims do not thereby automatically apply to Secular Buddhists in toto.