What might the Buddha have thought about secular approaches to Buddhism? We will take a look at arguments found in a couple of early texts, the Apaṇṇaka and Sandaka Suttas, as jumping-off points. Our trip will take us through perhaps the earliest known materialist philosopher, as well as Blaise Pascal’s wager for the existence of God. Then we will look at six possible responses to those arguments, taking inspiration from the Buddha’s famous discourse to the Kālāmas, his discourse to the Householders of the Bamboo Gate, plus much more. It’s a jam-packed episode!
For Bhikkhu Bodhi’s discussion of this see his book The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony, pp. 13-15.
Discourse to the Householders of the Bamboo Gate: SN 55.7 (Unfortunately appears not to exist in an online translation. It is translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi in his above book as well as his translation of the Saṃyutta Nikāya).
Some previous writings of mine on this topic:
Was the Buddha an Anti-Realist? (pp. 164-166).