DEBATE & DIALOGUE

Fostering debate and dialogue among practitioners


One of our objectives is to create a space where people can discuss, in a respectful and constructive way, the different perspectives found among secular Buddhist practitioners. Such a dialogue is essential to creating a secular dharma relevant to our contemporary age. 


On this page you will find articles and book reviews which reflect some of the varied perspectives among secular Buddhists.

RECOMENDED READING

Mike Slott, Winton Higgins, Stephen Batchelor, and Jonathan Golden discuss the relationship of truths and tasks in a secular approach to the dharma.

Robert M. Ellis and Winton Higgins engage in a discussion about Middle Way Philosophy and secular Buddhism, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective.

While we cannot definitively know that secular Buddhism is the most ‘appropriate’ approach to the dharma in some universal sense, Mike Slott asserts that each individual can determine whether secular Buddhism is an ‘appropriate’ view and path for their own life based on their experiences, interests, and goals.

Beginning with Seth Zuihō Segall’s article, ‘Why I am not a secular Buddhist,’ Seth and Winton Higgins have engaged in a dialogue on SBN about the meaning and value of secular Buddhism. They have discussed the notion of secularity, religion and religious experience, the role of community, and other key issues.

Akincano Weber raises several concerns about secular Buddhism. In his view, advocates of secular Buddhism tend to promote, a ‘flatland Buddhism’ which overlooks the difference between a numinous personal experience in which one may feel connected to something beyond their self-construct and which may be truly transforming—and a metaphysical statement or supernatural belief.

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