The Secular Buddhist

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby rowboat » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:06 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:By "monastics" I also have in mind Thai, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, and Tibetan monastics (rebirth is a pan-Buddhist doctrine).


I think it's no news that rebirth is just assumed as a given in SE Asian cultures. This view is probably closer to pre-Buddhist religion than it is to an understanding of Buddhavacana.


Except everywhere the Buddha teaches about rebirth.

I get the feeling in SE Asian cultures most people are pretty relaxed about just believing whatever their parents and elders teach them, without questioning. The western mind is not like this, and I don't think the Buddha encouraged it.

I can't say I've heard asian teachers teach specifically about it much either, other than mentioning it in passing assuming this is just the way it is the way you might mention the weather, I suspect they do so more when teaching to their own people though.


This is a racist line of argument.
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Nyana » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:56 am

daverupa wrote:They mostly seem to believe in a rebirth formulation....

They all teach rebirth. Why? Because it's a canonical doctrine that has never been questioned prior to the rise of materialist influences in the 20th century.
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:58 am

nowheat wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
nowheat wrote:So it is not that I (perhaps "we") go to refuge to someone who was speaking falsehoods -- that is a black&white oversimplification that misinterprets the complexity of what was actually going on. I go for refuge to someone who had terrific skill in speaking to others, skill I can only dream of matching.

Ok thanks for sharing your perspective. Perhaps you can give an example of how this interpretive structure is supposed to work. Please consider the phrase

"at the breakup of the body, after death..."

Which is something that appears in quite a few places in the suttas, and explain how the secular Buddhist might go about reading that, as in the following example:

"Because there actually is the next world,

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


I have already pointed out that this portion of MN 60 breaks the logic of the sutta -- there is no point in the sutta's explanation of how to approach the world non-dogmatically, if you then insert dogmatic belief in the middle of it. Even one of our foremost Theravadan translators has noticed it.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:It is noteworthy that the arguments in A2 and B2 are not safe-bet arguments, for they assume that A is wrong and B is right. Whether these arguments date from the Buddha or were added at a later date, no one knows.


If you'd care to give me a different sutta, I'd be glad to have a look at it.

:namaste:


This is interesting because Ajahn Thanissaro is an educated westerner and a firm supporter of rebirth.

I notice that the safe bet in this sutta is to believe that actions are real and have results. The whole point of this sutta seems to be that rebirth part does not matter as long as one is seriously concerned with finding happiness here and now. But its also addressed to Brahmins. Rebirth does seem critical to the path and every doubt I have ever had is born from the soil of doubting rebirth.

Right view with effluents... I understand it to be mundane not because it is less true but because it entails suffering. It lays the foundation so that one may proceed to the kind of right view that totally relinquishes suffering.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:47 am

rowboat wrote:
goofaholix wrote:I get the feeling in SE Asian cultures most people are pretty relaxed about just believing whatever their parents and elders teach them, without questioning. The western mind is not like this, and I don't think the Buddha encouraged it.

I can't say I've heard asian teachers teach specifically about it much either, other than mentioning it in passing assuming this is just the way it is the way you might mention the weather, I suspect they do so more when teaching to their own people though.


This is a racist line of argument.


Hardly a thought provoking rebuttal. Should I have said in SE Asia the cultures are exactly the same as in the west then?
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:59 am

Sanghamitta wrote:If the instruction is proper, liking or disliking this or that approach or teacher is as frivolous as liking or disliking a given fireman when the house is on fire....it really doesnt matter.
.


But I have seen a lot of people choosing teachers / approaches / traditions on the basis of their likes and dislikes. Some people like reason, some people like faith, my point is that such choices are often subjective. Secular Buddhism will appeal to people with certain views, that's all I'm saying.

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:05 am

Goofaholix wrote:Interesting how they rarely (in my experience) mention it in Dhamma talks, other than in passing. From this I suspect one or two things; it's not central to the teaching like the four noble truths and noble eightfold path etc but a background to them, many of monks are actually agnostic on the topic.


I think this very much depends on the tradition and school. And perhaps it's important to distinguish between our understanding of what the Buddha taught and our personal opinions about various aspects of the teaching?

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby nowheat » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:18 pm

Buckwheat wrote:Right view with effluents... I understand it to be mundane not because it is less true but because it entails suffering. It lays the foundation so that one may proceed to the kind of right view that totally relinquishes suffering.


I can see that. And it would do that -- for someone moving from Wrong View (the denial of moral views) to an improvement over Wrong View, that tainted right view would help one "proceed". But I wonder if that is the situation we are encountering with those we (in our time) encounter, those who are new to Buddhism. Are they following a-moral Wrong Views and do they need to be encouraged to take up a foreign belief system they will need to relinquish before they can reach liberation? In the Buddha's day, taking a step towards the views common in the day might have made sense -- but it seems to me that in our day and age it would make more sense to encourage Christian beliefs. Or, honestly, my take is this: We aren't a proselytizing bunch at all, trying to bring heathens along -- we just take those who come to us and talk to them -- so I think we start with good folks, already well ensconced in some Morally Right View and we should just be showing them the way to the Buddha's path and not teaching people to adopt a new view first. (And aside from all that, the evidence I have indicates that with his tirades against Wrong View the Buddha was probably working on overall social change, not necessarily trying to convert the heathens. He saw the group who held wrong view as teaching a dangerous doctrine that was antithetical to his own doctrine, and he spoke about it so often because he was trying to get popular opinion to turn against the deniers' pernicious view.)

"Entails suffering..." Yes, this is the way the traditions read the text, and here's my theory: Texts that make statements against rebirth as a belief did not get passed on (they would be interpreted as "corrupted texts" and therefore dropped, or get "corrected" like MN 60 did) UNLESS there is some way to give the text a spin that supports rebirth as part of the path. So in MN 117 the spin is to say "Well, this 'sammādiṭṭhi sāsavā', this 'right view with taints'" this means that it entails suffering. But the Pali doesn't just say it *entails* suffering, it says 'upadhivepakkā', it "ripens in acquisitions". The view (diṭṭhi) is the problem. The word choices for the view being described should also tell us this: sacrifice, oblations, gifts? (And look at the translator's choice of word for the oblations -- "offerings"? Our modern translators want us to interpret this as the Buddha's view, and not see it as a reference to Brahmins' practices. I don't say they are part of a conspiracy; I do say that the tendency of translators to translate in a way that supports their beliefs tends to perpetuate that belief in us, the readers.)

A close look at these sorts of paired texts -- speaking now of the pairings of wrong and right views, not of tainted right and factor-of-the-path right -- shows that what's being described with Right View isn't actually the Buddha's view, but popular views in the day -- ones that he can, granted, skew with some effort (Sacrifices are great! he says, As long as you don't kill anything!) but the arguments AGAINST those views definitely aren't arguing against the Buddha's take on things, they are arguments by group X about the positions of group Y. You'll find suttas in which people are talking about how people are arguing with each other about this and that, and these pairings get brought up, and if we pay attention we can see that these weren't conversations and debates about the Buddha's teachings, these were just people talking about the pop-philosophies of the day, arguing in the town hall -- prime entertainment in the days before TV. This is *why* the Buddha would give the Safe Bet sutta the way he did, to give general guidance about how to approach all these philosophies.

But the interpreters of the Pali canon did not imagine a larger culture that had nothing to do with the Buddha. They imagined that every single thing in the canon happened in direct reference to their fellow, and so all the mildly-right right views got blurred into being his view.

This reading of the suttas *is* subtle, but it has to be subtle to have survived the editorial process. It also says that the people who passed on the suttas were actually making every effort to pass on The Buddha's Words as they had them. I am deeply impressed -- and grateful -- to all those who faithfully passed this corpus on to us. (I am a little less grateful to those who made the emendations.)

That a person with access to *all* the surviving canon *and* historical perspective (including access to the Vedic texts) can see the sharp logical structure in the Buddha's talks -- and therefore find emendations when they break the logic -- and see patterns of language in the Pali canon that pairs up neatly with patterns in the Upanishads (for example the denial of Right View in MN 117 matches to denials in the Upanishads -- and the Upanishadic denials are not denying the Buddha's take on things) -- shows us that the original composition of the stories in all their complexity is still there. We just need to study it more -- particularly in partnership with Vedic scholars -- to better understand what was being said (because much of it is in the context of the times).

:namaste:
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:28 pm

Nowheat,
I respect the amount of thought you have put into this but it seems like you are way out on a logical limb. I will try to limit my response for now to my most important point.

Right view of karma does not need to be "reliquished" in order to have right view of the noble truths. Karma aligns our desires with harmlessness and goodwill and takes us very far on the path. 4NT does not negate this. It says to drop, not the framework of Karma, but the desire for good karma and its results (the "fleeting" pleasures of a beneficial rebirth.) There is no conflict between these forms of right view. Spermundane builds on mundane, and only 4NT is precise enough to actually eliminate suffering. This much seems clear even from an atheistic perspective where one sees karma clearly within this lifetime while rejecting rebirth. Where the Buddha "qualifies" his statements to accomodate those the reject rebirth he never ever allows for rejecting karma, the reality of intentional actions and their consequences/rewards.

Every other time the Buddha mentions right or wrong view he is mentioning something that is either skillful or not, within the framework of karma / 4NT.

As you seem quite learned even if quick to reject convention, I think this will give you enough to resond to for now even though I am tempted to respond to some of your other points.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:32 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:Interesting how they rarely (in my experience) mention it in Dhamma talks, other than in passing. From this I suspect one or two things; it's not central to the teaching like the four noble truths and noble eightfold path etc but a background to them, many of monks are actually agnostic on the topic.


I think this very much depends on the tradition and school. And perhaps it's important to distinguish between our understanding of what the Buddha taught and our personal opinions about various aspects of the teaching?

Spiny

Oh that it was possible.
Unfortunately after twenty five centuries, endless translations of texts some of which are dodgy as translations, and many of which are of dubious provenance, and which in any case emerged from a cultural and philosophical world pretty much alien to our own, and about which there is a surprising lack of consensus regarding core meanings, we are largely whistling in the dark.
We have to make our own meaning. We have no choice. We have the tools but no blueprint.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby nowheat » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:50 am

Buckwheat wrote:Right view of karma does not need to be "reliquished" in order to have right view of the noble truths.

Hi Buckwheat. I am not sure what I might have said that leads you to think I said that "right view of karma needs to be relinquished". I'm having a hard time even parsing what that would mean, but it doesn't sound close to anything I actually think about what the Buddha taught. I recall talking about ending karma, and letting go of views about rebirth, but not about letting go of views about karma.

Karma aligns our desires with harmlessness and goodwill and takes us very far on the path....Where the Buddha "qualifies" his statements to accomodate those the reject rebirth he never ever allows for rejecting karma, the reality of intentional actions and their consequences/rewards.

True, I agree with all that.

Every other time the Buddha mentions right or wrong view he is mentioning something that is either skillful or not, within the framework of karma / 4NT.

This may be true (I'd have to go back and look at every pairing to be sure), but whose view of karma is he discussing? The one that was popular in the day, or his modification of it, or both simultaneously? The biggest problem I see that we have in understanding what the Buddha is pointing to with his talks, is that we tend to think he is talking about *one thing* each time, and it is quite often not the case. (I commend, again, those two posts on nutriment on The Secular Buddhist blog, as examples.)

As you seem quite learned even if quick to reject convention, I think this will give you enough to resond to for now even though I am tempted to respond to some of your other points.


Please do; I'm enjoying the conversation, and hopefully it will help me get more skillful at communicating what I see. And I only seem "quick" to reject convention because you've only known me for about five minutes. :wink:

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby nowheat » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:07 pm

Buckwheat wrote:Right view of karma does not need to be "reliquished" in order to have right view of the noble truths.


To clarify what I'm saying, in agreeing with you that "right view of karma does not have to be relinquished", and in my question "Whose view of karma is being discussed in the wrong and right view pairings?"

There *are* views of karma that have to be relinquished. There is the Jain wrong view that karma can be set right by torturing oneself with ascetic practices. There is the Brahmin's wrong view that karma can be manipulated through sacrifices. And of course there is the wrong view that there is no such thing as karma.

And I suppose you could perceive that I am saying that one has to let go of the tainted right view about karma -- I can see how what I'm saying might be perceived that way -- since I am saying, aren't I, that the middle of the three views described in MN 117 isn't *actually* right, it's just preferable to wrong. But I think that calling that "relinquishing right view of karma" misses the point, which is that what is described in that tainted right view is showing us precisely what karma's origin is (and by extension, what needs to be done to stop producing karma): karma has its origins (as do all the problems we cause ourselves as described in the Buddha's teachings) in views about the self, and in the resulting self-serving thoughts and behaviors. It *is* "right view of karma" to perceive that karma "sides with merit" and "comes to fruition in acquisitions of the aggregates of self".

The Buddha's view of karma is that it is a particular subset of our actions that cause the problems -- "intentional actions" is how we translate the phrase. We need to do away with those intentional actions -- that kind of karma -- by understanding what it is, its origin, its cessation, and the way to end it. So you are right, Buckwheat, that right view of karma is integral to the four noble truths.

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:27 am

nowheat wrote:
Buckwheat wrote:Right view with effluents... I understand it to be mundane not because it is less true but because it entails suffering. It lays the foundation so that one may proceed to the kind of right view that totally relinquishes suffering.


I can see that. And it would do that -- for someone moving from Wrong View (the denial of moral views) to an improvement over Wrong View, that tainted right view would help one "proceed". But I wonder if that is the situation we are encountering with those we (in our time) encounter, those who are new to Buddhism. Are they following a-moral Wrong Views and do they need to be encouraged to take up a foreign belief system they will need to relinquish before they can reach liberation? In the Buddha's day, taking a step towards the views common in the day might have made sense -- but it seems to me that in our day and age it would make more sense to encourage Christian beliefs. Or, honestly, my take is this: We aren't a proselytizing bunch at all, trying to bring heathens along -- we just take those who come to us and talk to them -- so I think we start with good folks, already well ensconced in some Morally Right View and we should just be showing them the way to the Buddha's path and not teaching people to adopt a new view first.


The line in bold made me think you felt belief in kamma would need to be relinquished prior to enlightenment. Apparently I misunderstood it.

Another point in this paragraph is that you seem to assume all westerners are wonderful ethical people. I can assure you that I do not fit that description myself, so there is a necessity to emphasize the Buddhist ethical framework. To take that point further, many prisoners who can not accept Christianity at this point in their lives are turning to Buddhism. Certainly some of them are doing it to look good to the parole board, but many seem genuinely enthusiastsic to learn about the working of kamma. It allows them to see their previous heinous activities as a thing in the past, that they are not evil people but a person that made a mistake, and that they still have a chance to find inner peace.

This paragraph seems to start with the assumption that there was something fundamentally different from the Buddhas day to now. However, both societies had some loose sexual habits, both have a problem with crime and violence, greed, lying, cheating, etc. From the framework of Buddhist ethics, most of modern society is fairly hedonistic. I see my friends and family pursuing things that only further suffering every day. It is fairly painful to watch, but I don't feel like preaching as I have a lot to learn about life myself.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby danieLion » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:49 am

I thought Secular Buddhism was something Stephen Batchelor made up?
;)
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby danieLion » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:58 am

nowheat wrote:
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:It is noteworthy that the arguments in A2 and B2 are not safe-bet arguments, for they assume that A is wrong and B is right. Whether these arguments date from the Buddha or were added at a later date, no one knows.


If you'd care to give me a different sutta, I'd be glad to have a look at it.

:namaste:


nowheat wrote:This is interesting because Ajahn Thanissaro is an educated westerner and a firm supporter of rebirth.

As much as I owe a great debt of gratitude to Thanissaro, I part ways with him and others on rebirth. Does that make me a Secular Buddhist?

I was at a dhamma talk he gave a few months ago (I think I have the link if y'all request it) that gave me pause. He said Pascal's wager only makes sense if you replace the word "God" with the word "kamma".
Goodwill
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:00 am

danieLion wrote:I thought Secular Buddhism was something Stephen Batchelor made up?

Sure, the site mentions Stephen, among others:
http://secularbuddhistassociation.com/a ... rinciples/
This first version of Secular Buddhism’s Guiding Principles is not the work of one mind, but of many. Contributors to this include but are not limited to Stephen Batchelor, Stephen Schettini, Glenn Wallis, Rick Bateman, Stanford M.Forrester, Marc Wilson, and Ted Meissner. Any omissions are entirely my error.

:anjali:
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:24 am

Sanghamitta wrote:We have to make our own meaning. We have no choice. We have the tools but no blueprint.


I think we're presented with a number of different blueprints, some of which appear contradictory.

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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby nowheat » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:27 pm

Buckwheat wrote:
nowheat wrote:Are they following a-moral Wrong Views and do they need to be encouraged to take up a foreign belief system they will need to relinquish before they can reach liberation? In the Buddha's day, taking a step towards the views common in the day might have made sense -- but it seems to me that in our day and age it would make more sense to encourage Christian beliefs.


The line in bold made me think you felt belief in kamma would need to be relinquished prior to enlightenment. Apparently I misunderstood it.


Might the confusion come from karma and rebirth being so intertwined in your understanding that when I argue against using rebirth you hear me also arguing against karma? Whereas in my understanding, the Buddha redefined karma as something we can see for ourselves -- and free ourselves of by the methods he teaches -- right here and now in this life. For me this was his point, that his method liberated the ardent, energetic, and insightful follower before death, no waiting for things that would happen in the next life.

Another point in this paragraph is that you seem to assume all westerners are wonderful ethical people.


I don't believe that at all. But I haven't found any newcomers to Buddhism actively endorsing the view that they can walk up this side of the Ganges slicing and dicing people, and come back down the other doing the same, and it makes no difference. The prisoners you mention who might be "doing it to look good" aren't actually newcomers to Buddhism (they're gamers gaming the system). The people you mention who "seem genuinely enthusiastic to learn about the working of kamma" are, as you say, "not evil people". That was my point: That we are not teaching the Buddha's method to the slicers-and-dicers and gamers; we are teaching the Buddha's method to people who are seeking the path because they already have some access to some innate sense of morality that lets them even worry that they might be evil people.

I can assure you that I do not fit that description myself...

Which of us does? It's a fairy tale. We Buddhists come to this practice because we need help getting life straightened up, not because we're wonderful to begin with.

... so there is a necessity to emphasize the Buddhist ethical framework. To take that point further, many prisoners who can not accept Christianity at this point in their lives are turning to Buddhism.


But the whole of the dhamma is about ethics, and recognizing that we are not evil people, just people who make mistakes, and literal rebirth is not only not the only part that can teach that, it is not even integral to the dhamma's ethics or to recognizing that we are not evil. Karma, just by itself, teaches ethics just fine. The Safe Bet (shorn of its emendation) is saying precisely that -- good deeds reap good ends even if retributional rebirth is not part of the cosmic system; bad deeds reap bad ends, ditto.

It is really only when *we* are afraid that the way things work -- the way we can see for ourselves that things work -- isn't enough to motivate people (ourselves included) that we need to bring rebirth into it. If we believe, actually believe, what the Buddha is telling us about us not being evil people, about having a selfless nature if only we get the obscuring longing-for-self out of our way, then retributive, right-and-wrong balancing rebirth isn't at all necessary to believe in. Rebirth actually obscures the truth: that if we follow this path long enough and far enough we will see that we do have naturally generous and caring natures, and no carrot-and-stick is needed for us to behave that way. We need to clearly see that no belief in unknowable rebirth is needed to motivate anyone, and we can see that if we can just help each other notice where the greed and ill will and delusion comes from, see how it is those things (not a cosmic order) that bring about the effects of karma, and stop the process that generates them. Concentrating on an order *outside ourselves* that does the balancing for us obscures the point that the source generating the karma is the same source that delivers the results -- it is that human sense of self acting to preserve itself, not a cosmic order.

This paragraph seems to start with the assumption that there was something fundamentally different from the Buddhas day to now. However, both societies had some loose sexual habits, both have a problem with crime and violence, greed, lying, cheating, etc. From the framework of Buddhist ethics, most of modern society is fairly hedonistic. I see my friends and family pursuing things that only further suffering every day. It is fairly painful to watch, but I don't feel like preaching as I have a lot to learn about life myself.


Yes, there was something fundamentally different from the Buddha's (place and) day to now (in the West). In his day, the predominant belief was in rebirth, in our day and place, it is not. People are still the same.

My main point is that we do not need to tell people the Buddha teaches us to see clearly the distinction between what we know and what we only think we know -- we don't need to tell people this path is about sorting out delusion -- and then teach them to look for something they have no evidence for, and encourage them to bend experiences to shape them into supporting evidence. In the Buddha's day people believed in rebirth and he started by meeting people where they were -- assuring them that their belief system was more moral than many others out there -- and then he worked at moving them towards a less selfish way of looking at things, at redefining what's behind karma and what could be done with it.

We need to do the same thing, not introduce a whole new cosmology that is not in evidence for them to take up, believe in, and then need to give up in order to be liberated.

This is *why* it's Secular Buddhism: because it is focused on what we can see here and now, in this very life, and getting as far along the path as possible, in this very life.
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Philo » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:02 am

Quite a fast-paced thread! As a self-identifying secular Buddhist, I saw a couple of specific questions a few pages back that I am capable of addressing, so I thought I'd put my two cents in:

retrofuturist wrote:It's good to call out the hierarchial distinctions in the interests of clarity, and of anyone who identifies themselves as a "secular Buddhist", I'd be interested to know their systematic hierarchies too... it seems that some have a (secondary) interest in making the Dhamma fit their (primary) vision of the physical sciences, which is something that they're entirely welcome to do, but I cannot endorse.

My hierarchy depends primarily on having a reliable epistemology, whatever that may be. I'd like to know that the processes through which I come to believe things increase my chances of believing true things. So my primary interest isn't so much a set of propositions (e.g. "E=mc^2", "rebirth is false", etc.) as a set of processes (e.g. deductive logic, inductive logic, psychological heuristics & biases, etc.).

buckwheat wrote:I have a question for the secular Buddhists in the room. Do you believe that it is possible to attain Nirvana, the deathless state devoid of suffering, unshakable and pure in conduct?

I'm agnostic about it. It sounds plausible, but I don't know much more than that. I use it as a "working hypothesis", however. And, like other secular Buddhists have mentioned here, I've found the practice to be beneficial enough so that it's worth practicing. A "deathless state devoid of suffering, unshakable and pure in conduct" may or may not be possible to reach, but I know that it's useful as an ideal toward which to strive.
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:25 am

I think whatever label we apply to ourselves, secular, traditional, it is vital to support each others efforts.
Not to make anyone feel that they are excluded if they feel unable to sign a particular pledge of allegiance.
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Re: The Secular Buddhist

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:51 am

:goodpost:
Agreed - especially as each of us (as I said before) superimposes her/her own personal variation on whichever school or approach they may most closely identify with.
Think of us as leaves on a tree - we are all different and some of us are on different branches from others, but we are all still attached to the one tree and nourished by it.

:namaste:
Kim
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Kim OHara
 
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