I enjoy The Zennist for his commentary on the Pali cannon. He certainly knows his stuff, and I’m starting to learn a bit from his blog as well. However, his latest post “On Being a real Buddhist” really kind of pissed me off. I appreciate opinion, and I expect it when reading a personal blog. But to say something like “Less than this is not real Buddhism nor are its practitioners, I dare say, real Buddhists.” and you’ve really crossed a line.
First, please dont’ try to tell others how authentic or ‘real’ their practice is. It’s insulting, and it is divisive (wrong speech). You’re sounding more and more like a Church-of Christ/christian apologetics “I’m holier than thou” types.
Second, you’ve commited a logical fallacy. It is commonly referred to the “not a true Scotsman” fallacy and it works like this:
If Adam, a Buddhist, does not believe in the “immortal-element”, is proposed as a counter-example to the claim “No Buddhist denies the immortal-element”, the ‘No true Scotsman’ fallacy would run as follows:
(1) Adam doesn’t believe in the immortal-element.
(2) No (true) Buddhist denies the existence of the immortal-element.
(3) Adam is not a (true) Buddhist.
(4) Adam is not a counter-example to the claim that no Buddhist denies the existence of the immortal-element.
This fallacy is a form of circular argument, with an existing belief being assumed to be true in order to dismiss any apparent counter-examples to it. The existing belief thus becomes unfalsifiable. Also, by what guidelines do you define a “true” or “authentic” Buddhist? And, who the hell are you to judge?
We don’t need anymore Dharma Police on the block Zennist. Your insight into the Pali Cannon could be put to better use than to belittle others, create divisions, and prattle on about how we in the West will never be Real Buddhists™. Keep the information coming, but keep the snarkyness in check will ya? There is very little metta in your posts.