Buddhism is a philosophy.   Buddhism can be practiced by anyone of any religion, Agnostic,  Atheist, etc.

The following are the words and teachings of the Buddha --- anything else should be considered suspect.

Essentials of Buddhism


Four Noble Truths

   1. Suffering exists
   2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
   3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
   4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path 

Noble Eightfold Path

 Three Qualities  Eightfold Path
 Wisdom (panna)  Right View
   Right Thought
 Morality (sila)  Right Speech
   Right Action
   Right Livelihood
 Meditation (samadhi)  Right Effort
   Right Mindfulness
   Right Contemplation

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Sounds good

Bhuddism is more than a philosophy. It's answers to questions include supernatural phenomena and some of its claims are vaguely defined and/or are not testable/falsifiable.

Buddhism is as you say  --- what the Buddha taught not.  Buddhism today is a religion.

what the Buddha is a philosophy ----- all the rest is add-on over the centuries.

No. Bhudda did...in his own words...make claims of a supernatural nature and some of his claims are vaguely defined, untestable and/or unfalsifiable. In his own words. Not the nonsense that came next, not in the commentary, not written on temple walls. The words Bhudda spoke.

Have you actually read a text by Bhudda longer than two pages?

20 years of studying Buddhist teaching was long enough for me.   I doubt that 20 years would suffice in your case ---- good that you are Atheist, it really is much simpler and our provable theories are done, at least in part, by those much more intelligent and with considerably more resources.   

Jack 20 years is hardly necesary...reading Bhuddists texts for one hour would be enough to find claims of supernatural transcendence, karma, dharma and reincarnation right out of Bhudda's mouth. I am flabbergasted that you studied Bhudda's words for 20 years and found it a secular and coherent philosophy. Reading just about any two versions of a text with glossaries reveals countless watery terms whose definition scholars cannot agree on. How can we test these claims and theories on reincarnation? How can you falsify an idea when the vocabulary is undefined? A rather unworthy attempt at philosophy that is...sort of like French a post a modern philosophy.

The Buddha taught enlightenment for this life. He never answered questions about heaven, hell, afterlife or reincarnation - his reason was simple and scientific.  "I never answer what I can not prove for myself to be true."
He did not say that these things did not exist, only that there is no proof for believing in those things that have no basis in fact and are unproveable. His philosophy was as simple as stated in my original post -- all else is add-on B.S.
after his death over 2500 years ago

So when bhudda discusses reincarnation in the Majjhima Nikaya and the Pali Sutta...as well as several other texts....he isn't really talking about reincarnation...even though he clearly talks about reincarnation as though it is fact...but instead...as must be the case based on what you've said here...would have been multiple examples of Bhudda blabbing randomly on speculative stuff...sort of like shooting the shit...repeatedly?/

What about Karma? He discusses it at great detail in the Nibedhika Sutra...thoroughly explaining what karma is...how it emerges, how it manifests...how it touches us on an emotional, intelectual even physical level...for many pages...he was really just wasting time...talking about some idea he had...discussing it on and on and on and on...but didn't really mean for us to take it seriously...even though the section on karma comes after and before sections we can take seriously according to your cirteria.

And Bhudda discusses Dharma in multiple sutras (the entire content of the Agganna sutra to cite just one) talking about the Dharmas of several people and how they accepted their dharma or not...should be taken seriously...but just as one of those many many cases where Bhudda talks and talks about crap that he doesnt really know about (even though he doesn't say that in these texts) since they cannot be proven.

Incredible. I guess Bhuddist scholars should jump for joy. They can discard most of Bhuddas discourses and master the little remaining. In fact...you just need to know what you stated at the beginning of this discussion...and ignore the majority of what Bhuddas said. Why? Because someone who hasn't readthe sutras on reincarnation, karma and dharma... tells us its not necessary to read them but instead just read his three paragraph summary of everything...the summary of everything Bhudda said.... including all the sutras he didn't read and knows nothing about.

As a very wise man once said...Sometimes we have to laugh and embrace the absurd.

@Davis Goodman You're absolutely wrong about Buddhism, my friend. The greatest definition of Buddhism as far as I can discern is a perfect reflection of reality. It is reality as it is. This is why Buddhism emphasizes altered states. The monk is attempting to use his consciousness as a mirror. In Buddhism, consciousness is likened to a pond of water. The ripples on the water represent your thoughts. In meditation, the water must become completely still... only then can the mind reflect reality as it truly is. Alan Watts once said, "A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts, so this person is detached from reality, and lives in a world of illusions."

Furthermore, I'd say in the perspective of Buddhism "God" is simply a word. The underlying source of all major religions is something that is truly nameless, but something over time has taken upon various names. In Hinduism, it is Brahman, in Buddhism, nirvana, satori, etc. Likewise, Christianity has its names for this "source." So, Buddhism for aheists? Was that typo intentional? What atheists? What is an atheist? An atheist is simply a person who has defined God in a specific way, then rejects his/her own definition of the divine, and then announces him/herself atheist. That's eisegesis, and it's ubiquitous in Christianity and other forms western religions. Hinduism, on the other hand, is defined as a panentheism (not to be confused with pantheism), and most people aren't aware of these semantic differences, but they make all the differences, and may very well be the culprit of all religious vs. atheist debate.

So, you see, desire isn't "desire." It's volition. The veil that hides the buddha-nature is one's own ego. Buddhism isn't about adhering to delusion, but the very opposite.

You must be very knowledgable of bhuddism to declare someone is dead wrong. Great...finally I can debate with someone who is educated in the long complex history of bhuddism and has read the discourses of bhudda. I look forward to our discussion

First...Your theory is quite minimalist. Which sutras would you say back up your argument the most (please be specific)? What is it about the content and arguments of those sutras that give you confidence enough to make a universal claim about bhuddism?

I don't have to point to any single sutra in particular. Unlike the many denominations of Christianity or Catholicism, the different sects throughout Buddhism all point to the same thing, they simply represent different paths to get to "the same place." As one Indian guru pointed out, "Paths are many, but truth is one." So, I could point to the very original statement of the Buddha (Gautama) who pointed out that all that is needed to understand this insight is nothing less than the extinction of ego. This "ego" he refers to could be equated to your volition, your cognition, your emotional judgement, ideas, concepts, the feeling that you will yourself to inhale and exhale. Now, this doesn't mean that the "ego" is forever non-existent ever afterwards or that you enter a kind of non-intellectual state of unconsciousness. If you could manage to do this, you will induce temporary, yet vast altered state of consciousness which Buddhists referred to as "nirvana," but neuroscientists these days have adopted this term "mystical experience" to refer to this very specific altered state of consciousness that is natural to human beings. It's simply that it doesn't happen unless you take up a discipline like meditation or have a near-death experience, etc. 

I apologize for the tardy reply, brother. I've been wanting to respond to this stuff for a while now. I'm willing to engage in discussion about this stuff. I've just been busy with life, and I haven't had an opportunity to view the forums in a bit, but let's have at it if you're still around!

Thank you, Davis. But may I request that you use fewer ellipses? They make it more difficult for the unlearned (me) to follow. Do I sense sarcasm? Substituting direct questions would communicate more clearly to dummies like me.

Sorry for the criticism.

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