Stephen Batchelor, author of "Confession of a Buddhist Atheist" joins the hosts for the first installment of a three part series on Buddhism. Batchelor, a former monk in both the Tibetan and Zen traditions, was trained by monks in the Dali Lama's inner circle. Over time he began to doubt many core doctrines of Buddhism when he found they could not withstand the test of reason. This crisis of faith prompted him to closely examine the earliest Buddhist texts. In them he found a very different conception of the Buddha and his teachings—one that is surprisingly humanistic. Also in this episode: the doubtcasters give a thumbnail sketch of the religious and social context of early Buddhism and a summery of Buddhist doctrines such as "the three marks of existence" and "the four noble truths."