Despite the claims of some critics, secular Buddhists are not anti-religious and the goal of a secular dharma is not simply stress reduction but a radical transformation of individuals and society.
These two questions were posted to an online interactive session with Stephen Batchelor during a Bodhi College course in December 2016.
In this talk in 2013 Winton Higgins argues that religion is best understood from a pragmatic perspective. He says that “our ancestors developed our religious traditions as tools in aid of survival, well-being and self-improvement. Along with other significant inventions, they have served us well and utterly transformed us into self-aware moral agents.”
In this article the key issue is whether ‘awakening’ in Buddhism has anything supernatural or distinctly ‘religious’ about it, or whether it is a natural capacity that can be understood in the light of evolutionary biology and cognitive science.
In this 2012 talk Winton Higgins discusses various meanings of secularity in relation to the development of a secular dharma.