Right. While anicca is an observation, anatta is an inference.
You are certainly right about it, and I hope we have a relatively toned down discussion. I actually do serious anatta practice myself, so I’m not even arguing against it. Personally my major point it to read the texts closely.
Most EBT students and practitioners know the problem: We read books, heard teachers, and it turns out that a lot of what they told us was Abhidhamma, Visuddhimagga, commentaries, or simply their own interpretation.
So why do I read ‘anatta’, when it’s not in the text? Why do I deduce an apodictic “There is no atta” when the texts say “the khandhas are not atta”, “the salayatanas are not atta”?
The counter-argument is “well, what else is it supposed to mean? the khandhas are everything, right?” My response is "I have no idea, I’m not the Buddha. But I assume that he didn’t say “There is no atta”, not because he was a bit simple-minded, or shy, or over-complicating things, but because this is not what he wanted to say, for whatever reasons.
And if I think that differences and contexts don’t matter, that I know what ‘Buddhism stands for’ it must certainly mean that the Buddha was not quite the best teacher, he clearly needs my help to get the correct message out there.
It’s like when contemporary conductors ‘correct’ the sheets of Mozart, because well, they know better what he meant to say.
So I’d like to contribute to close readings, and yes, sutta-counts, distribution of ideas across the Nikayas etc, in short re-contextualizing the different aspects of ‘Buddhism’.