I read Venerable Sujato’s essay you linked and I’m in the process of reading his responses to questions. I am happy to see that he separates the “atheistic” from the “agnostic”. Thank you for the link.
I was involved with the Quakers for a while, and met some “non-theist” Christians - atheists basically. They followed the teachings of Jesus, but thought of him as just a man, rather than as the son of God.
Nice people, but unfortunately I left the Quakers as a born-again atheist.
[Re understanding Buddhist fora posts]
If the discussion mostly appeals to my cerebrum, I usually pass it by; if it appeals in my gut, I pay more attention. For example, I read suttas that deal with the five aggregates, or a teaching on them, and my body and mind say, “Yes!!!” But, an analysis that hinges on philosophy, a “taking sides” discussion that engages my intellect feels wrong and I try to pass over it.
Sure, sharing/learning type
discussions tend to be more fruitful and harmonious.
Though I’ve found that more philosophical discussions can also sometimes be helpful in clarifying my understanding of dhammic principles. Assuming they don’t get argumentative of course.
Generally it seems that the quality of a discussion is more to do with the participants than with the topic.
This site is worth a look.
I was wondering about this some time ago as I was watching secular Buddhists making presentation to the general audience. After learning more about secular Buddhism, I decided this is not for me. To me, If I do not believe in kamma doctrine and re-birth, there is no sense continuing to practice.
My meditation experience informs me that when all is left behind, at the least, a huge “sense” of well being takes over. Even belief in karma and rebirth go by the way. Out of this, I’m hardly concerned with whether or not this or that is true or not true. Forgive me, for I have quite a reputation for a lack of clarity.
The interesting question for me is: Which “elements of the teaching are pure teaching — how and what to — and which are scaffolding? We need scaffolding. Similes are scaffolding, but most of us don’t take them as “gospel truth; we take them as examples onto which the Dhamma hangs. Regarding gods, demons, heavens, hells, etc. various opinions and shades of opinions abound. (So now you know what I mean by lack of clarity. Ha!)
While immersed in samadhi it would seem normal to disengage from conceptual thinking as you describe, but to use that as a reason to further drop mundane-right-view(the acceptance of kamma-vipāka, rebirth, heaven-hell, obligation to parents) once outside of samadhi might be shortsighted.
Just my personal analysis, so take it with a grain of salt
Nice! You have taken me into a further and serious exploration of “right view”.