Ñāṇa wrote:Lazy_eye wrote:In any case, you are presenting a fallacious argumentum ad populum. Just because a large number of people share a particular bias does not mean the bias is justified.
Of course it isn't justified, that's not the point. The point is that perceptions matter when dealing with people of other religious and cultural traditions. Hence the need for skillfulness. There are a number of rules in the Vinaya which were created to placate public criticisms of monastics contravening local social and cultural standards.
Many Western countries, the United States for instance, are secular, multicultural democracies in which "local social and cultural standards" are not exclusively the province of religion. Why only cater to the Bible Belt? What about the concerns and perceptions of secular humanists, for example?
"Faith-based thinking" has also acquired negative connotations due to religious' groups campaigns against teaching evolution, the regressive political/social views and support for militarism among some religious organizations, child abuse cases in the Catholic and Southern Baptist churches, and so on. Buddhism, by contrast, often gets a good press because it is seen as being more aligned with science and reason.
So the "skillfulness" argument can go both ways.