I have edited the OP and removed any mention of rebirth retroactively making all rebirth posts in this thread, including my own,
. It was my mistake and this is my way of fixing it. If you don't like it, take it up with Ben.
Mike. I do not consider what I'm about to say "meta-discussion," but if you still want to challenge that, then I also request that Ben (or perhaps Retro) mediate our dispute, and that you do it via PMs. There's too much clutter in this thread all ready.
I ask that the moderators either remove or delete all the rebirth discussions in this thread. I prefer the former, as they are worthy of discussion in the appropriate context
. This thread is not
the appropriate context.
If for some strange reason in the future I decide I don't want to call myself a Buddhist anymore, I will cite the rebirth debacle of this thread as a principal reason. If this kind of bickering, soap-boxing, and myopic dogmatism are what being a Buddhist today devolves to, then I want nothing to do with it. I am ashamed of my own participation in and perpetuation of the rebirth elements of this thread. I have tried to think critically, honestly, and with integrity about the issue but have been stonewalled or otherwise obstructed by rabble-rousing, demagoguery, and dogmatic side-taking and drawing-of-lines-in-the-sand only to find my legitimate points (e.g., my question about how one would know if rebirth knowledge isn't just in inner, subjective vision produced by my own imagnination albeit primed by external cues) be almost entirely ignored. This turns me off immensely. Again, I am ashamed of my contributions--the bulk of which I have deleted---to such senseless and counterproductive discourse. To the extent that you contributed to the same, you, in my humble opinion, ought to be ashamed of yourselves too.