The Atheist Perspective

As I have no experience or expertise with the relevant source materials (such as ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts, languages, and archaeology), I have no answer to give. Until I have a good reason to believe otherwise, I assume the consensus of experts (that he existed) is correct. But how would we know? By testing different hypotheses against the surviving evidence and seeing which one best explains all the evidence we have. It is still possible that even after this we will have an inconclusive result and thus won't know the truth, because the evidence needed to decide the matter has been lost. But in general, does the non-existence of Buddha explain the evidence even as well as a historical Buddha does? You would have to ask an expert in the relevant historical period.

Gautama Buddha