zac wrote:ok guys a lot of intelligent points! thanx very much.
in the end though what you are saying is that as long as a religion has the core buddhist teachings it is buddhism, EVEN IF THE OTHER TEACHINGS OF THAT RELIGION CONTRADICT THEM. this means that if a religion taught that life was joy, people should be mindless and always multi-tasking, violence is ok, wrong speech is good, things arise independently, etc. that if they then adopted the opposite buddhist ideals but still taught these opposing views then it is ok to call this buddhism. think about it. buddha said get away from hindu multi-god ideas and other rituals. tibet has multi god ideas and similar rituals. opposite even though they also teach the other stuff. also non-violence to animals. tibetan buddhism has sacrificial rituals in which animals are killed as offerings to their gods. so even if you're a tibetan buddhist practicing the core values you are screwing up your karma by killing animals so these opposite teachings are bad for practitioners no matter how you look at it.
I don't think that anyone is saying this at all. Tibetan Buddhism agrees that there is dukkha, that violence is wrong (although it makes exceptions in extreme circumstances), that wrong speech is wrong, that everything is a dependent arising, etc. Tibetan Buddhists condemn animal sacrifice. (They vocally opposed the recent Hindu sacrifice in Nepal, which for some reason Westerners keep associating with Tibetan Buddhism. See http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=26034
) These are all "core" issues. I think that what we are saying is that, if we can agree on all
of the important issues, the fundamentals (not Self, impermanence, Three Jewels, sila, etc.), then we are probably all Buddhists. Peripheral issues, like whether buddhas remain active after death, are probably not sufficient to call something unBuddhist.