The Buddhadhamma is not to be taken literally in all respects.
Tilt, I don't see why you're saying that the Buddha was, "turning the Brahmanical stories into Buddhist stories that really are critiques of the basis of the Brahmanical claims." I can understand how you think that, and your points, but I think that it isn't necessarily true and so I don't think that "my argument" verses "your argument" has any basis. I don't think it can lead to anything. I'm not stuck on the security of the literal point-of-view, I enjoy the security of the Dhamma on practical experience, not because of the Agganna Sutta or Abhidhamma cosmology. If the Buddha explained the cosmos, fine. If he didn't, that's fine too. I'm not stuck on anything. But I am inclined to think that it is literal in the subtle sense of the Buddha.
clw_uk wrote:And you might say that his teaching of awakening doesn't concern these things, but you can't read the teaching of awakening without standing neck-deep in devas and brahmas and hell, and rebirth.
Depends on interpretation of those terms and what the Buddha meant by them
I agree. I interpret them one way on my practical experience, and other Buddhists interpret them in another. I don't think there is a basis for us to argue it on, to any real point.