mikenz66 wrote:I presume we agree that sila is an absolutely essential part of the Path, but this rather trivailized version of sila wasn't my point at all.
The point is the the Buddha invites us to try out his teaching. Follow the instructions and see for ourselves. I don't (yet) know which of the instructions are absolutely essential, so I keep an open mind about them.
If I were to point to a "reason" why having some sort of "post-mortem continuation attitude" would be helpful, it would be to do with countering annihilationistic tendencies of the mind, not some kindergarten idea about "crime and punishment". And, of course, it needs to be taken with a dose of anatta, to counter eternalistic tendencies...
What if we simply drop any and all notions of annihilationism and eternalism? Does belief in rebirth then remain a necessary belief?