taintless wrote:Ok, well said.
Your issue here is that your faith in the Buddha's teachings, stems from their historical facticity, and not their validity.
In other words, if someone said to you: go here, make merit, do good, be virtuous and enjoy the fruits thereof. But you found out that the person was not "real".
Then you would not follow his advice, but say someone said: go here, make demerit, do evil, be immoral and suffer the consequences. And you found out this person was real.
Then you would follow his advice?
Which is wiser, to follow some teaching based on the idea that it is beneficial, or to follow some teaching based on the idea that it was historically "true".
No, you mistake me, it is a combination of the his historicity and the fact that his teachings have shown themselves to be applicable to my personal subjective situation - That of my existence, it's superfluousness and the dukkha of it all, among other factors that lead me to follow his teachings.
Your example is fallacious because it assumes that a person being real is the only factor involved in my decision making process. That couldn't be further from the truth.
As I said, I am a skeptic and the Buddha's historicity is the key to the lock, it is the factual basis that backs up the claim. If the Buddha were to lay forth the teaching but say: I have not realized this which I teach, then it would be the same problem as if he did not exists.
His existence is of critical importance because it is PROOF that his teachings culminate in what they say they do. In your example, I would not follow the advice of either, since neither in your example give any proof of what they say. I follow the Buddha in this example because he declares that he has known and seen the result of kamma with his own eye, he has seen beings arise according to their kamma.