and then proceed to rework their Buddhism to suit their own reality-world views.
They think they're being objective, but really following one standard set of biases and assumptions.
I believe the notions of 'objectivity' versus 'subjectivity' are products of European thought.
I don't see how the first two statements don't lay behind the reasoning of the final chapter of the Samdhinirmocana Sutra
, for instance - and I am picking a Sutra of what is called "The Third Turning of the Wheel of Dharma" that I like. The Samdhinirmocana Sutra
's own explanation of what had happened three times actually accords with all three assertions
... if you understand interpret Subjectivity as "one's own Degree of not possessing Omniscience." and "Objectivity" as "The high self-estimate of one's own Conceptual Representation of the Absolute". All concepts are dualistic and thus exist on a line with one direction being "Less enlightened " and the other "less endarkened", More Subjective and More Objective. European Thought did not invent the notion of Objectivity (not self centered) and Subjectivity (self-foreshortened in concern).
What people refer to in "Spirituality verses Science" arguments as "European Thought" is really the Cultural Chauvinism and Cloying White Man's Burden Paternalism of Western Intellectuals who rationalized nauseating "reasons" Western Thought was distinct from or superior to Savage Pre-Rationalism.
But Oriental-ism and a willful ignorance of spiritual nuance so typical of the 19th and 20th Century in the West is rapidly becoming only a lazy man's conceptual Straw-Dog for people threatened by Historical Criticism. The last 30 years has seen a New Age of sympathetic and nuanced Scholarship. Buddhist scholarship by Buddhists as well! Wayman, for instance, composed his core works in the 60s and 70s. A New Continent of Buddhist Scholarship has arisen in the wake of the 1970s and the upheavals in Western History and Philosophy that have overthrown Orientalism and the obnoxious Notion of the Buddha as "A yellow man who made sense like a white man".
Even the His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that if science and history show tradition needs correcting, than Buddhism must be adaptable. And - it was a Buddhist who said "This isn't true because it is Buddhist, it is Buddhist because it is true".
I am an atheist.* And as a Mahayanist, I believe to leave bad karma to ripen for ANYONE is unacceptable. (cause and effect and the chain of 12 links remains intact). In fact, striving out of fear for one's own future elevated over the good of others is, in a way, counter to sound Buddhist ethics. My personal belief is that I am a Buddhist and my highest aspirations lay directly in the shadow of the Buddha's Intent. Not that I can look in the mirror and claim that I live up to it.
But in a thread dedicated to academic pursuits of Buddhist themes, I think I will put my own tiny-minded soap box back in the closet and go back to lurking to follow the amazing learned folks I come here to learn from…
* please pursuit either Baggini, Julian. Atheism. Sterling, 2009.
or Atheism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, USA, 2003.