I was looking around for an essay I read some years back that has some relevance to this thread. And here it is
. Two salient points:
Sassatavada is the Buddhist term for all religions other than Buddhism which were current at the time of the Buddha. The second is that ucchedavada is the Buddhist term for all forms of materialism which reject all religions, including Buddhism. Thus the Buddhist critique of sassatavada and ucchedavada identifies Buddhism's position in relation to other world-views which were contemporaneous with it.
It must also be mentioned here that, although Buddhism rejects both sassatavada and ucchedavada, it does so after making a critical assessment of them. According to this assessment, the Buddha was more sympathetic towards sassatavada and more critical of ucchedavada. This too is clear from the Buddha's first sermon, where he refers to the two extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification. Three of the terms used here in criticizing the former, which represents ucchedavada, are hina (inferior), gamma (rustic or vulgar) and pothujjanika (worldly). However, these three terms are conspicuously absent in the Buddha's assessment of self-mortification, which represents sassatavada. The implication seems to be that although sassatavada does not lead to the realization of the ideal of emancipation (anattha-samhita), nevertheless it does not lead to the collapse of the moral life. It is not subversive of the moral foundation of human society. As it recognizes a spiritual source in man, it also recognizes moral distinctions. In point of fact, according to Buddhism's assessment, all religions are different forms of kammavada, because they all advocate the supremacy of the moral life. On the other hand, ucchedavada, which represents the materialist theory, encourages a pattern of life which takes gratification in sensuality as the ultimate purpose in life.
As to when it becomes appropriate to abandon views, I'll defer to those with greater knowledge than me. But my sense is that it is part of the work needed to attain nibbana, not simply something that occurs when the raft reaches the other shore. It seems to me -- and this is just off the cuff -- that following the Dhamma involves a fundamental transformation of thought, in which we start to view things in terms of conditionality, rather than in terms of self-narratives. The more we are able to view phenomena this way, the closer we are to the mind of an arahant. But again, I'd rather hear what others have to say about this.
Mkoll wrote:What I see is some folks trying to force the abandonment of views when their minds aren't ready for it. They may think that just by intellectually knowing that views must be abandoned, they can abandon views right then and there. I went through something similar to this for many years, before I seriously took up Buddhism, by attempting to abandon every view that arose in my mind. But really, I was only replacing one view with another, more seemingly subtle one and I wasn't perceptive enough to see that. It only lead to more delusion and suffering in my mind and I'd call it a form of emptiness sickness.
It would be unwise to abandon the raft one is on when in the middle of a raging river.
Yes, I see what you mean here.