jcsuperstar wrote:there is good reason to doubt some sutras, in fact any sutra that mention sit being wrten down and copied would be a fraud as the buddha lived in an oral culture so the process being talked about would come from a later time. also some of the mahayana sutras mention debates going on within the sangha that happened hindreds of years after the buddha, so again a good indicator that the sutra is a fraud. if i found a sutra that said "at tha time the buddha had just got back from 7-11 and have blue lips from the slushie he had just eaten" i should know it can't really have come from the time of the buddha right? same with these sutras that mention things that are also historically inacurate.
Pali suttas and Mahayana sutras which we now read were all written down, so I don't understand your first sentence I'm afraid.
The point I made was, simply put, that no scriptures were written down as a contemporary record, and it would be incredible if they were free from errors and distortions.
As we have no contemporary written record, historical accuracy is equally unproven. Nobody has any idea what debates took place when, but we do know that as nothing was written down for hundreds of years, the mention of events which took place after the death of Buddha does not invalidate them at all.
There will always be the ultimate sticking point which is entirely a matter of personal choice - did Buddha teach after his 'death' as Shakyamuni, and if so what means did he employ - for example, through action as a female Budda?