tobes wrote:I'm sorry to stride in on my epistemological horse again.....
But this is tantamount to saying: my cosmologically grounded claim trumps your cosmologically grounded claim because......
Well, because why?
Because you accept the verbal testimony of those within your tradition (and the cosmology of that tradition), but not the verbal testimony (and the cosmology) of those outside of your tradition. For what reason and with what justification?
This is a valid question and in terms of Buddhist epistemology it is fair to say that śabda-pramana (knowing through the testimony of an authoritative source) is an acceptable means of knowledge.
One noteworthy example of this in action is how Dharmakīrti attempts to establish the Buddha as an authoritative source of knowledge to prove the existence of rebirth in the face of criticism from a materialist. It is by means of the Buddha's testimony on the subject that we know rebirth to really exist.
Be that as it may, I think most people in our present day would not accept this means of knowledge, even Buddhists despite the fact that traditionally śabda-pramana was acceptable. It is not enough to defer to scripture anymore.
Some might see this as a positive development, but on the other hand in a religious context denying scriptural authority or the testimony of those individuals held up as realized masters will inadvertently undermine the validity of much thought and practice.