As for this disagreement, isn't it silly?
More than a little
Yes, it is.
...why should Buddhists get a little uptight with such an offhanded statement?
Fear? Insecurity? intolerance?
I wouldn't place the blame on any of those.
I am a religious Buddhist, and as such I do take the existence of Buddha for granted: on faith, if you like.
Because this is how I approach the material I must admit that I was a little dismayed at your reference
to this debate.
Mostly I am bothered by your egocentric thinking. You state that you don't feel the existence of Buddha matters, so
it shouldn't be such a matter for the rest of us.
...its not like the entire foundation of Buddhism rests on Gotama's actual, real and tangible enlightenment experience, right?
That's debatable, but the foundations of the Dharma surely don't depend on it. [the term "enlightenment" is a poorly understood translation that's created much confusion and delusion].
True, I suppose, in that enlightenment is a broad term. However, the term is understood in the Theravada
tradition, when used in conjunction with the Buddha, to mean unbinding from samsara. The unbinding
that he experienced is certainly at the foundation of the Buddha Dhamma. If you haven't read
any of the cannon, then I suppose you might be confused by the above terms broadness.
And why wouldn't a religious person just accept your statement and not call bullocks?
My statement that secular scholars are having trouble finding a Buddha that actually lived? Since that debate really does exist and it has for a long time, what's to call bullocks on?
Can't they see that you're too busy
I should drop everything and start looking through books. Saying "I'm busy" 3 times isn't acceptable to religious people? My, my...
Can't they just not care too?
Now that you mention it, it does seem like they're a bit touchy around certain subjects that maybe rub up against their comfort zone. I stated a fact (yes, there is a debate). I offered no opinion regarding that debate. Why all the reactivity and urgency?
Anyway, gotta go or I'll burn the pies. When I have time and it seems interesting enough I'll dig out some info. Please, don't anyone hold their breath.
I'm into retreat starting monday and won't be back until the 4th.
Again, egocentric. To you such matters don't matter. To many of us, they do. Since you made an reference
to a debate that might well cause dissension, then positioned yourself as a person both to busy and apathetic (in relation
to said debate) to further elaborate on your reference, I would say you are at fault in the strife here seen. In spite
the fact that you didn't state an opinion, you kind of stirred the pot.
Now to say that was your intention: it is well beyond my place to say. But I would certainly say you were
negligent of your words, at the least.