David N. Snyder wrote:Ikkyu wrote:Here's a conjecture:
1. Buddhism and its associated practices work at making people free from suffering, which is ostensibly its purpose.
2. Buddhism asserts the existence of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, enlightenment, rebirth, etc.
2. Therefore Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, enlightenment, rebirth, etc. exist (simply because their invocations, etc. make people free from suffering)?
[As you probably know], the conclusion does not follow. But maybe the conclusion doesn't need to follow. If one follows the path and sees benefit in a reduction of suffering, then one should continue on the beneficial path and possibly see the fruits and validity of the other metaphysical items later.
You make a good point. But in this case, is it OK for me to take precepts and tread the Buddhist path even if I have some serious doubts about it? I mean, I know there's a Zen proverb that suggests a student in the Way should have "great doubt"... however it also says one must have "great faith", which I can't seem to muster up.
I would like to take precepts because, as I've said, I do feel the Dharma is in many ways one of the best philosophies. (This is coming someone who has compared and contrasted Sartrean existentialism, absurdism, Nietzschean philosophy, Plato, continental philosophy, comparative religion and much else.) I just don't know if its disrespectful for me to go into this half-assed and half-heartedly.