Been slammed at work. First time online in over a week.
I didn't want to debate those items. We both agree all religion is false; same with a creator.
While buddhism is what I take as being factual, I do not follow any rituals nor do I walk around in a robe, use prayer beads, meditate for hours each day or give offerings to a buddha statue. None of this interests me because it is all dogma.
What I was wanting to discuss is your, what appears to me, is a hardline stance on every thing else that you don't believe in. You are unforgiving to others for their beliefs. I view you as an extreme point of view in this world.
The reason for the closed forum was to prevent others from disrupting the discussion.
Buddhism is only factual in the historical sense that it is a historical whim that followers document. It is not factual in any scientific sense and is merely a club started long ago that has been passed down to generations, just like all religions. Things that are universal beyond labels don't need tradition or labels. Things that are universal are tested beyond personal bias.
This is getting off the subject I intended, but since you responded about it.
Remember this, Buddhism, the core of it, is 100% about ending the suffering of the mind. Every thing else that follows the 4 Noble Truths or the 8 Fold Path is dogma and politics. I don't care about any of that stuff and if you think it is a valid discussion point, it isn't.
Buddhism is no exception to corruption and many of the things which you are indirectly speaking of are due to years of ego fulfilling desires. There are monks who have gone off and started their own "Buddhist Training Facility" in SE Asia, California, NY and all over Europe. There are thousands of these centers which claim to teach meditation and enlightenment, but too many of them are bogus and misleading the public for the sole purpose of making a profit. These training facilities are no different than people who take five years of Kung Fu and then open up a school in a strip mall to train newbies.
Even Tibet has been filled with corruption for a thousand years as politics set off years of debate over which dogma should be followed for things like serving tea or what color to paint a building. Then as China invaded the country, these leaders escaped out in to the real world only to find that they needed to write books and speak at seminars in order to raise money for their sect.
But not all of the monks are corrupted; there are plenty of valid teachers who teach the core of Buddhism. This consists of meditation and control of the ego which is very important to stopping the suffering of the mind. There have been scientific studies done (see my post on Mindful Eating) as well as being able to control pain (which is currently being used in the US Military for helping disabled veterans who return from the wars: see US Military Pain Management Task Force).
So your comment that Buddhism is "only factual in the historical sense" & "it is not factual in any scientific sense" are incorrectly based assumptions made with out proper research on the subject.
While I disagree with others about their being a creator of this Universe, their religious freedoms are their own and I support them. Provided they don't come knocking at my door or try to change laws which benefit them and shun others, I really don't care if they believe in the FSM or Scientology.
Which brings me to a good question for you: What is beyond this Universe? and what is beyond that? and what is beyond that (if any thing)?
Buddhism does not teach "life after death". It teaches that the only constant in this Universe is change. Because nothing stays the same Buddhism teaches that all that we know is a falsehood based on the desires of the ego. These desires bring about suffering through many different emotions related to the ego. Once you control the ego and those emotions, suffering of the mind ceases.
Westerners have warped the idea that there is a "life" after death. It doesn't exist. I have no delusions that "I" will exist after my body dies. I will be dead.
There is a story about life and death which I think sums up my view on the subject. If you have a candle and it is burned down to the final portion of the wick and you take another candle and light it before the other candle goes out, is the flame on the new candle the same as the old candle? No. It is merely the transference of energy from one medium to another.
On the issue of labels, people label every thing, even when they label things "universal".
Universal things are not beyond the scope of being biased.
Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.