From ‘Buddhism without Beliefs’, by Stephen Batchelor

“Religious  interpretations  invariably  reduce  complexity  to  uniformity  while  elevating  matter-of-factness  to  holiness […] And  the  crucial  distinction  that  each  truth  requires  being acted  upon  in  its  own  particular  way  (understanding  anguish, letting  go  of  its  origins,  realizing  its  cessation,  and  cultivating the  path)  has  been  relegated  to  the  margins  of  specialist doctrinal knowledge. Yet  in  failing  to  make  this  distinction,  four  ennobling truths  to  be  acted  upon  are  neatly  turned  into  four  propositions  of  fact  to  be  believed.  The  first  truth  becomes:  “Life  Is Suffering”;  the  second:  “The  Cause  of  Suffering  Is  Cravings—and  so  on.  At  precisely  this  juncture,  Buddhism  becomes  a  religion.”

From ‘Buddhism without Beliefs’, by Stephen Batchelor

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