Tenzin1 wrote:The common interpretations of this sutra also fail to take into account the context of the teaching. The Buddha was answering the Kalamas' question about how to discern a true teacher from a false one, among the many wandering visionaries, ascetics and holy people of the time. He was not speaking of himself. He was simply providing criteria to the Kalamas to apply to the would-be teachers who came their way. It is in other teachings of the Buddha that he recommends to test his own teachings to see if they are helpful, not in the Kalama Sutra.
Agreed that the context is very important, but also the fact that when one reflects deeply on dharma one gets a clearer 'wisdom' which is what one eventually meditates on. This is another example of the Buddha's skillful means. Without this reflection and analysis it is difficult to integrate the Buddha's teachings into one's life, they simply remain on a superficial level of blind faith and are flimsy at best.
The current fad referred to in the OP goes to the other extreme of assuming that everything needs to be empirically proven before it can even be entertained as guideline - a kind of hopeless, time consuming, and possibly fruitless reinventing of the wheel.