I understand that the Buddha used different teachings styles, depending on the audience/people that were listening. Also, I understand that there seems to be a ,superficial', easier accessible Buddhism and a more advanced, transcendental one.
In the light of this, I am wondering if it is seen as ethically correct, that the Buddha taught some people differently than others, especially by using, I would say, manipulative techniques.
There are two examples I'd like to bring up.
One is the parable of the burning house, in which the Buddha promises playthings to get the children out of the burning house. ..."Then straightaway, intentionally devising a lie, he announced to the children, "I have various precious playthings, one for each of you, here outside the door. For one, a goat-drawn cart. For one, a deer-drawn cart. For one, an ox-drawn cart. Come out, all of you! For your sakes I have made these carts, following the desire of your own thoughts."
Thereafter, he is offering them even more valuable carts than promised (the Dhamma I assume). But he used the first promise to lure them out of the house. Of course, as it is a parable, it can be interpreted in varying ways. However, in this case he intentionally lied to the children in order to get them to the right path. Isn't that manipulative?
The second example is about Karma and re-birth. After reading about the topic from different sources and books, it seems to me that the mechanism of Karma and re-birth primarily serves as to bring the common people to act ethically (good karma, bad karma, different realm of re-birth). However, in my understanding there is actually no self that can be re-born, as the 5 aggregates dissolve at the moment of death (where there is actually no death also). When there is no self, nothing can die nor be reborn, nor can there be a ,bookkeeping' of good and bad karma. Therefore, it seems that the teachings here bring the karma and re-birth theory up only to attract the common people and have them behave in line with Buddhist ethics. However, in fact after realising that there is no self, this whole construct becomes redundant (Simpler vs. more advanced Buddhism?).
I would be very happy to read your view on this, as this issue has kept bugging me for a while. I am convinced that there is a justification in this method, which makes it ethically acceptable (does the end ever justify the means?). Also, please point out if my line of thought is flawed.
Thank you so much.