nowheat wrote:Apparently my definition of "set aside" and yours are somewhat different. By "set aside" I don't mean "put away never to be examined". When reading suttas that I don't understand, I set them aside, too, and pick them up again for later consideration. I don't debate my understanding of them with others because I don't understand them so I can't debate the validity of my take on them, because I don't have a take on them -- but I will always listen to others' views about them, since they may give me the key I need to understand. I don't act on what's in a sutta that is as yet unclear to me, or make it part of my practice, because I can't, really. So I set it aside.
I am an agnostic in that sense.
I apologize for the lack of clarity.
I see what you mean now.
more like putting something on a todo list and leaving it undone untill other things are in place?
one doesn't start building the roof until the rest of the Building is finished, but the structures that make the roof may of already been built (such as the A-frames).
This I would agree with, and do myself.
Because one cannot prove a negative (if the metaphysical claims are actually untrue) one will spend a lot of energy continuing to test for something not in evidence. At a certain point it would seem wiser to "set aside" until further evidence turns up rather than actively seeking something that has not shown up for decades (when the rest of one's practice is still improving over that course of time). Where a person draws that line would be up to the individual I suppose.
But the reason I set aside the Buddhist metaphysical claims is not just because I don't have evidence in my life for them. It is because when I read the suttas, I find the Buddha gently suggesting that seeking after metaphysics when there is no evidence is not skillful.
This is more like proving "All is suffering" compared to "all is unsatisfactory," and a reason people are put off by the actual teaching in some cases/at certain stages. something, like an understanding of a text at a very gross level, can have no evidence so best left until later.
I think the Dhammapada verse 242 (? the one which says the taint of a woman is infidelity and there are other occurrences although rare, here I am only referring to the dhammapada verse) is a good example here, looking at it from the point of view of a general statement, shines a poor light from a modern perspective on the Buddha, and I believe an unfair one, but looking at the cultural ideas on women and sex at the time, as shown in the clarifications of the third precept on sexual misconduct, and the origin story in this case, it paints a different picture, it is a friend comforting a friend, who hasn't said "you know what women are like", or "you know what men are like" to a friend who has/is going through a hard patch in a relationship?
I was making a distinction between Ted's opinions and mine; we are two individuals who are not in 100% accord on everything. If you want to discuss Secular Buddhism with the understanding that it is a unified movement, I hope you'll let me know when you find that unified movement. We are many individuals.
yes, it is right here in my bag of wonder
I remember the use of traditional baggage referring to the cultural add ons, and even interpretations
If something is said to be useful, but I find it not only not useful, but counterproductive, does your definition of faith require that I use it because the people who tell me it is useful often give good advice? If the evidence of my own experience denies its usefulness at every point, I think it is blind faith to act as if it is true. When it is counterproductive, and dismissed by a source I trust even more, it becomes foolish.
I think this has been answered above in this post.
but yes I agree
It seems to me the sticking point in our conversation here is *only* that I say that I don't have faith in Buddhist metaphysical claims and you do.
I feel sure we actually agree about what saddha is -- it is not blind faith -- it is faith based on the sense that we have been told the truth by this source often enough to believe that the things we have been told, that have not yet been seen by us, will be proven accurate. I think we both practice that faith -- about awakening, for example.
I don't think it is quite that, Like I said earlier about confused definitions, your dictionary definition of agnostic, and experiential definition didn't match and seamed to merge faith into it, so I think it is more about how we define, rather than what we are talking about. but this may just be saying the same from a different angle.
take rebirth as an example, The Sutta and Abhidhamma have different models of rebirth a three life and one life model respectively (although the three life is also in the Abhidhamma to a lesser degree, I would agree that the abhidhamma is a later collection, historically, but believe that this model wouldn't of been added from thin air, and it has shown a use in practice that gives me faith that the Abhidhamma is reliable as what the Buddha taught, it was just collected together later, but I am quite open to it not being his words historically, in this regard it doesn't matter to me personally, as it has shown itself to be true.