Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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SarathW
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Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by SarathW »

Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

There are many kind of Buddhist schools. Mahayana, Theravada, Ambdekar, Secular etc.
The question is what is the minimum standard to accept as Buddhist teaching?
- Is that the members take three refuges?
- Is it that the school follows Tipitaka?
- Can I pick and chose and make a new Buddhist school
- If I don't know or understand Kamma Vipaka, rebirth Nibbana, etc can I drop them and make a new school?
- Do secular Buddhist follow Tipitaka or some sort of reference point (book)?
- At what point it could be heretical?
:thinking:
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by Ceisiwr »

No. Secular humanists with an interest in Dhamma.
"Monks, all compounded things are as an illusion, a flame, ceasing in an instant; being not real they come (arise) and go (cease)"

All Empty Compounded Things - SA 273
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Kim OHara
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by Kim OHara »

The two people above me are playing identity politics. That doesn't seem very dhammic to me.

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DooDoot
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:52 am - If I don't know or understand Kamma Vipaka, rebirth Nibbana, etc can I drop them and make a new school?
"Rebirth Nibbana"? Oh dear. What is "Rebirth Nibbana"? :thinking:

Its quite interesting to observe a 15306 poster who is yet to understand Buddhism well criticise "secular" Buddhism when they themselves don't even understand the teachings themselves.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

SarathW wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:52 am ...
If I don't know or understand Kamma Vipaka, rebirth Nibbana, etc can I drop them and make a new school?
...
:goodpost:

That seems a common 'legit' way of how new schools have been forged into existence.


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Bundokji
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by Bundokji »

Secular Buddhism is probably an invention by western converts. The idea of secularism is rooted in theism, which is rooted in metaphysics and reactionaries to it.

Buddhism on the other hand is neither theistic nor has any interest in metaphysics. Buddhism's attitude towards metaphysics is similar to any other speculative view and there is no direct connection between the two. As such, secular Buddhism is nonsense.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
BrokenBones
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by BrokenBones »

Ceisiwr wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:22 am No. Secular humanists with an interest in Dhamma.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Bundokji wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:19 pm Secular Buddhism is probably an invention by western converts. The idea of secularism is rooted in theism, which is rooted in metaphysics and reactionaries to it.

Buddhism on the other hand is neither theistic nor has any interest in metaphysics. Buddhism's attitude towards metaphysics is similar to any other speculative view and there is no direct connection between the two. As such, secular Buddhism is nonsense.
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"Monks, all compounded things are as an illusion, a flame, ceasing in an instant; being not real they come (arise) and go (cease)"

All Empty Compounded Things - SA 273
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DooDoot
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by DooDoot »

"Secular Buddhists", the same as "Cultural Buddhists", don't understand Buddhism very well.

"Cultural Buddhists" are similar to "Eternalists" & "Materialists". They believe the Buddha taught something continues after physical death. They believe "birth" ("jati"), "death" ("marana"), "kaya" ("the body"), etc, are "physical" or "material".

"Secular Buddhists" are similar to "Annihilationists". They believe the Buddha taught about the "eternalistic rebirth reincarnation" the Cultural Buddhists believe in yet they choose to disbelieve it. Therefore, Secular Buddhists are self-declared heretics.

Where as "Noble Buddhists" understand the Buddha taught about Kammic Inheritance, which does not mean the unsubstantiated translation of "rebirth".

The Buddha obviously taught about something termed "upapajjati", which does not necessarily mean "post-mortem rebirth".

In summary, both "Secular Buddhists" & "Cultural Buddhists" don't understand the teachings very well & are unable to provide convincing rationales for their beliefs from the suttas.

"Secular Buddhists" follow gurus such as Stephen Batchelor and Doug Smith. "Cultural Buddhists" follow gurus such as Buddhaghosa and Nagarjuna.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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mikenz66
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by mikenz66 »

This discussion between Stephen Batchelor and Bhikkhu Sujato may be of interest.

Starting at 30:40 Batchelor explains how he rejected rebirth by going through some logical reasoning exercise that was part of his training in Tibetan Buddhism.
Starting at 39:20 Sujato explains how he became convinced of rebirth in the carpark of a leper colony...

It's an interesting contrast of rationality vs intuition...



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DooDoot
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by DooDoot »

mikenz66 wrote: Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:22 am This discussion between Stephen Batchelor and Bhikkhu Sujato may be of interest.
Probably just two extremists; similar to the previous charades of Batchelor vs Brahmali.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati
Bundokji
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by Bundokji »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:24 pm "Secular Buddhists", the same as "Cultural Buddhists", don't understand Buddhism very well.
Hi DD,

In your view, would it be accurate to say that unless right view is attained, the conditionality of kamma cannot be distinguished from the causality of materialism which would inevitably lead to the extremes of eternalism and nihilism?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
SteRo
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by SteRo »

I only accept secularism as secularims and having the choice between secularism and buddhism I opt for secularism.
Secularism the principle seeking to conduct human affairs based on secular, naturalistic considerations. It is most commonly defined as the separation of religion from civic affairs and the state, and may be broadened to a similar position concerning the need to suppress religion in any public sphere.[1] The term has a broad range of meanings, and in the most schematic, may encapsulate any stance that promotes the secular in any given context.[2][3] It may connote anticlericalism, atheism, naturalism, or removal of religious symbols from public institutions.[4]

As a philosophy, secularism seeks to interpret life based on principles derived solely from the material world, without recourse to religion. It shifts the focus from religion towards "temporal" and material concerns.[5]

There are distinct traditions of secularism in the West, like the French and Anglo-American models, and beyond, as in India,[4] where the emphasis is more on tolerance for all religions rather than separation. The purposes and arguments in support of secularism vary widely, ranging from assertions that it is a crucial element of modernization, or that religion and traditional values are backward and divisive, to the claim that it is the only guarantor of free religious exercise.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secularism

I accept secularity as well:
Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin saeculum, "worldly" or "of a generation") is the state of being unrelated or neutral in regards to religion and irreligion. Anything that does not have an explicit reference to religion, either negatively or positively, may be considered secular.[1] The process in which things become secular or more so is named secularization, and any concept or ideology promoting the secular may be termed secularism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secularity
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cappuccino
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by cappuccino »

mikenz66 wrote: Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:22 am Batchelor explains how he rejected rebirth
In Brahmajala Sutta, this school of Sceptics is described as thus:

Herein a certain recluse or brahmin is dull, stupid. And by reason of his dullness and stupidity, when questioned on this or that matter, he resorts to verbal jugglery or eel-wriggling …

Ajñana
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SteRo
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Re: Can we accept secular Buddhism as Buddhism?

Post by SteRo »

mikenz66 wrote: Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:22 am This discussion between Stephen Batchelor and Bhikkhu Sujato may be of interest.

Starting at 30:40 Batchelor explains how he rejected rebirth by going through some logical reasoning exercise that was part of his training in Tibetan Buddhism.
Starting at 39:20 Sujato explains how he became convinced of rebirth in the carpark of a leper colony...

It's an interesting contrast of rationality vs intuition...
My rationality and intuition are not in conflict. :shrug:
Cleared. αδόξαστος.
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