Well, the Buddha taught rebecoming, not rebirth. There is a continuity of causality, not continuity of a thing - mental or physical or otherwise.
As for candles, best not to take metaphors too far, they are only for reference, and never match the actuality described.
I took the candle as a metaphor. Are you saying that "being" is also a metaphor -- not literal?
"Being" is a term which is posited upon the aggregates as "I" (or sometimes outside of them, but associated with them as "mine" or "my soul"). Those aggregates however, change all the time. They change because they are conditioned. As the conditions change, they change. Even this is just an expression. Rather than "aggregate changes", which implies that it is still essentially the same thing, albeit in a different form, one may also consider it in the sense of "not even the same aggregate". However, the "essentially the same" approach leads most to fall to the extreme of eternalism, whereas the "not the same same" approach makes most fall to the extreme of annihilism.
Metaphor is different. eg. "the mind is like the driver of a car". It's an even more colloquial parallel that may help one understand. But don't then examine the metaphor, find holes in it, and declare that the argument is thus invalid. It just means that the metaphor is not a 100% parallel, that is all.
However, craving, ignorance, have their continuity through causality. It is not that the same craving and ignorance go from even moment to moment (let alone life to life), but one moment of craving and ignorance is the primary cause for the next.
This sounds like you're not one who "accepts literal rebirth" but you are standing up for the more psychological moment-to-moment type of explanation.
This old one, huh?
Both. In effect, the process of continuity from one moment to the next, is the same as what happens when (in colloquial terms) a person "dies" (ie. snuffs it, croaks, pushes up the daisies, rolls off the mortal coil, passes away, is kapput, etc.).
However, for most people, they think that the body is the same pretty much, so think that "moment to moment" is psychological. Actually, the body is constantly changing too. The difficulties that annihilists attribute to explanations of post mortem rebecoming are equally applicable to their own explanation, but they often fail to see that. eg. When body and mind are both changing constantly, what is to stop the two becoming separated? Again, it is causality. Specific causality.
If this is the case I need to point out that in this particular thread I'm trying to work towards my own understanding of how the literalists interpret rebirth and its necessity to the Buddha's teaching, so while I am interested in other interpretations of rebirth this thread isn't the best place for that discussion. But maybe that's not what you're saying?
Causality. Causal process. Specific causality. Want to talk about anything much in Buddhism - get a really good understanding on dependent origination. Both what it is, and what it is not.
The whole notion of "being" is merely a thought, an idea, which the ignorant transpose upon this continuity of causality. Successive times which are similar, causality related, but not the same actual thing, are mistakening appropriated as a single entity or entities. Becomes even worse once a name is dropped on them.
Are you saying that there is literal rebirth but it is a "continuity of causality" that moves to the next life?
There is continuity of causality. That is not a "thing" which could "move" anywhere. But in the whole process, there is nothing outside of that causal process.