This is a true point. The Four Noble Truths are conceptual statements that are no longer held onto in the case of a fully awakened being. However, it is important to note that this is true about all formulations of the Dharma whatsoever. The Four Noble Truths are no longer held onto not because they are somehow wrong, but because language is based on abstract concepts, and for a fully awakened being the truth is a matter of direct experience, not intellectual concepts. Specifically in the context of classifications of teachings the Four Noble Truths are a Hinayana teaching, but this is because they are not exclusive to the Mahayana path so by themselves they are inferior in result, not because they are somehow less true, even though in Mahayana they fit into a much larger framework of teachings.
It is correct that the First Noble Truth isn't true in the sense that there are these distinct things called dharmas and they have within them this thing called being fabricated and as a result they also have this other thing called Sankharadukkhata. Rather, they are true in the sense that reality simply behaves in a certain way and it can be described as being Sankharadukkhata, but this is true of all other statements of Dharma as well. Even saying all dharmas are empty works like this as well, as it isn't true that all dharmas have this certain thing in them called emptiness, but rather that they don't have an intrinsic essence and one can refer to this absence with a concept called emptiness.
Its difficult to talk about these matters because the 'balance' is very delicate. Making one comment about dharma, at least for an ignorant, inarticulate slob like me, very often has the tendency of going too far, and then further caveats and footnotes are added to regain the balance but all that happens is this 'imbalance' perpetuates, concatenating into the roaring wheel of samsara. When Vimalakirti is asked to elaborate on the ultimate, he's just silent. That might be best for me... just shut up.
Zhiyi evolved a teaching of Three-Fold Inclusive Truth as a way to emphasize the mutuality/coextensive identity of the conditioned and ultimate truth, to specifically address the problem of balance. Relinquishing the 4NT on awakening is not to abandon or deny them, but rather it seems more like their significance is ameliorated - the problem they solve has been solved - what remains? The chain of events leading to the release are not erased, it is what it is.
Call it Truth - yes, it has its value in a particular purpose. When its purpose is fulfilled, the value changes. Still truth, but different than it was before.
The Buddha and other advanced beings, as I understand see through this problem. However, they do not refrain from drawing distinctions, but do so skillfully to prompt us to see this problem for ourselves and the way to get out of it. These are true, not false, but not true like a scientific description of matter is received to be true. It is true as a healing truth meant to guide us to a bigger insight, which is True about our ultimate "existential" nature.
Could you explain this in more detail? I can't quite understand what you mean.
There's this notion among science-ists (It a word I think I'm making up to refer to people who take the yield of scientific inquiry as Ultimate Truth; some scientists are science-ists, but certainly not all) that Science holds the keys to life and everything else (42). It is a view limited to the material. In a way, for science-ists, scientists are something like the priest class of past eras who hold the keys to ultimate knowledge. In this sense, scientific laws are objective Truths, much as God was/is the Truth for some. They seem to believe that knowledge in itself will solve everything. Truth as the ultimate value. You often here theoretical scientists (and perhaps even more true for the highest guild of theorists - the mathematicians) say they pursue knowledge just for the sake of knowledge. I'm skeptical and I think they are addicted to the pleasure of solving puzzles, but that's a different story.
I'm not disputing the reality of scientifically established facts - what is there to dispute when a correlation is established between a defined experiment and a result? What is there to argue with when the correlation is applied to understand situations outside of the experiment? Dharma I see as more or less similar, in most respects. However, there is one major difference. for Dharma, the value of a truth or fact is measured by its therapeutic value to alleviate the dukkha experienced by beings. To me, this makes a world of difference between Buddhist Truth and Scientific Truth. It implies a completely different way to hold and use the truths/facts, as an existential matter.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead