JamyangTashi wrote: If the Pure Land tradition accepts the existence of a historical Buddha and has reason to believe the teachings originate with that historical Buddha, then it would seem to be more effective to explain that connection than to discuss the connection or lack thereof in other teachings and scriptures. In that case, what's wrong with discussing the historical Buddha in the Pure Land forum in order to explain how Pure Land practices are connected to his teachings?
I'm sorry, maybe there's a misunderstanding. That's what I did in the other thread. I've done it many, many times. I can't exactly use Pure Land sutras for this, because they dismiss Pure Land sutras outright. I had to use sutras that are more palatable to academics, hence the Pali Canon. I went through and showed the parallels in that other thread that was referenced. Apparently it's being/been summarily ignored or just plain dismissed.
So this time I tried the standpoint of a tradition outside sutras; which is a tactic Zen gets to use with minimal complaint, and it makes sense given doctrinal/commentarial standpoints of schools like Mahasangikas. But apparently, such an outlook doesn't fit Bhikkhu Sujato's view of what the Early Buddhist schools practiced; so it's invalid according to some here.
I do tend to take issue with the assumption that a school's teachings have nothing to do with the Historical Buddha just because the sutras are late and because the more generally accepted sutras are not known for such teachings (not that they don't say similar things). I feel like the argument's been done to death. I don't feel like it really belongs here. I think Sinweiy gave a decent accounting of himself and the standard East Asian Mahayana outlook on things. I think that the utter paranoia about whether or not certain teachings are "historical" or not according to the views of certain academics is not something that should be reinforced here.
JamyangTashi wrote:Why disparage anyone or their opinions at all?
My point exactly. Why the need for constant assertion that Pure Land sutras are unrelated to the words of the Historical Buddha? Why do they need to disparage a tradition like that? Why can't I refute a disparaging claim that Nighthawk was repeating without being accused of being anti-academic, anti-Pali, or emotional? Why can't I question the foundations on which they would base such a disparaging claim? Why do I need to take it seriously? Why do I need to say words that conform to such claims here on a Pure Land forum?
JamyangTashi wrote:If Pure Land teachings are consistent, compatible, and related to the words of the historical Buddha, why not simply explain how this is so? Such a positive explanation could provide much more benefit for Pure Land practitioners than any amount of disparaging the opinions of others.
I did this. I've done this multiple times. Seems like I do it monthly. It doesn't sink in. On a Pure Land forum I shouldn't even have to do this, let alone frequently. Falling back on a claim of doctrines outside of sutras shouldn't be so harshly disputed either, not here and not with so many early schools with similar in-house doctrines. If someone makes an unfair assertion about the Pure Land tradition, I am allowed to disagree, I am allowed to think very little of such an opinion, I do not have to buy into it, and I shouldn't be expected to on a Pure Land subforum. See, it'd be a different story if this was on an "Early Buddhism" subforum.
EDIT: To tail-end duckfiasco's awesome post. Doubt is the one thing that could derail & prevent Pure Land birth. According to Shinran, it's the main reason we've bounced around in the endless cycle of samsara. This might explain some of my reactions against those who would wish to instill doubt in others; especially in folks not so well established on the path that come here to this subforum for Pure Land info. Beyond proselytizing a certain view of Dharma, it's spiritual sabotage.