Friday, December 28, 2007

Evolution: Another Nail in the Coffin



One of the foundations of evolution is the concept of vestigial organs – meaning organs that have no purpose and therefore represent vestiges of some earlier stage of development.

In “Origin of Species” chapter 13, Charles Darwin calls these “rudimentary organs” and defines them as being either entirely useless or “almost” useless. Ernst Mayr in “What Evolution Is” page 30 to 31 includes vestigial organs as part of the evidence for evolution.

The species about which we know the most is of course our own, so seemingly, according to Darwin, we should be able to find many vestigial organs in our bodies.

After 148 years of searching, however, the results have been a little disappointing.

In 1893, Dr. Robert Wiedersheim, professor at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany, published a list of 86 vestigial organs in man. This was eventually expanded to 180. That sounds very impressive, until one realizes that nearly all of these organs have since been found to have important, even vital, functions. For example, Professor Wiedersheim included the pituitary gland and pineal gland in his list.

One of the remaining holdouts was the appendix – until now. Recently a group of scientists discovered that the appendix probably aids people in recovering from an epidemic of sever diarrhea, something not uncommon in poorer communities.

The more we learn, the more evolution fails.

[This information was kindly brought to my attention by one of my readers, Mr. David Fried.]

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Good Hatred



[taking aim at God's enemies; metaphorically of course]

One accusation which is sometimes made about Orthodox Jews is that we are hateful and intolerant. I think there is some truth to this, however the question is: Is this a bad thing?

If someone loves one thing, he naturally hates the opposite. For example, if I love my father, I will hate anyone who attacks my father. If I love my country, I will hate anyone who attacks my country. If I love nature, I will hate corporate executives who are responsible for willfully destroying the environment for a quick profit. Seemingly, the only person truly without hatred is a person without love – someone completely indifferent.

Consider the example of the Netherlands. The Netherlands is certainly one of the most tolerant nations in the world. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Netherlands were more religiously tolerant than perhaps any other country at that time. Today, marijuana and prostitution are legal, as is euthanasia. This sounds idyllic in a way, however there may be a downside to it. During the German occupation of the Netherlands, about 75% of the Jews were killed, with the collaboration of the Dutch administrators and police. To some extent this was a result of Dutch freedom and pluralism.

Judaism demands an absolute love of God, as it states in Deut. 6:5 “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”. Similarly, Judaism teaches an absolute hatred of the enemies of God, as it states in Psalms 139:21-22 “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate Thee? And do not I strive with those that rise up against Thee? I hate them with utmost hatred; I count them mine enemies.”

Who are those who “hate God”? In Chofetz Chaim 8:5 they are defined as those people who deny the divine origin of the Pentateuch, the legal portion of the Talmud or any part of them. It must be noted however that Maimonides considered the Karaites to be legitimate Jews, in spite of their rejection of the Talmud, because they had lived since birth in this tradition and had been taught nothing else. Most secular Jews today therefore would not be considered enemies of God, if they were raised with no other beliefs.

In other words the enemies of God whom we must hate are those people who deliberately and willfully reject the validity of God's law or any part of it. They are traitors who are guilty of mutiny.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Intelligent Design Theory – What is the Alternative?



In my humble opinion, the strongest proof of God is the Watchmaker Analogy. The Watchmaker Analogy states that a machine must have an intelligent designer. A device, such as a watch, has many parts which all interact together to efficiently perform a certain function. Therefore obviously a watch must have a maker. There is no other way for it to have gotten here. By the same token, living things are incredibly complex machines and therefore there must exist an incredibly intelligent designer who created them. This is the essence of Intelligent Design Theory.

The only conceivable alternative to IDT is the Infinite Monkey Theorem. IMT basically says that true, under normal circumstances, a watch must have a maker. However IDT breaks down when vast expanses of time and space are involved. IMT suggests that while mixing some minerals into a glass of water and waiting a few days will not produce a watch, however mixing millions of tons of minerals and chemicals into millions of cubic miles of water and waiting millions of years might indeed produce a watch or a computer or a commercial jet plane or even a bacterium.

This is essentially the argument that Richard Dawkins makes in “The Blind Watchmaker” pages 158 to 166. He explains that while the spontaneous origin of life on earth is seemingly miraculous, however that is merely because we are used to thinking in terms of short periods of time and small spaces. But if we assume that billions of potentially habitable planets exist in the universe and each one has existed for billions of years, then life without a creator, or in other words a watch with no watchmaker, becomes very possible. Enough time and space will defeat Watchmaker.

The question is, is this actually true?

As a matter of fact, even if the observable universe were filled with monkeys typing for all time, their total probability to produce a single instance of Hamlet would still be less than one chance in 10^183800. In other words, there is virtually no chance.

What about producing a bacterium by blind chance? Scientists cannot begin to create a bacterium from simple chemicals and even creating a computer simulation of one E. coli has not yet been completed and will be extremely challenging.

I think this makes it clear why atheism is far from scientific. It is an outrageous lie.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Truly Enjoy Yourself


We would all like to feel satisfied and have a sense of well being. But how can we reach that goal?

Fortunately, a highly respected social psychologist, Dr. David G. Myers, has reviewed thousands of recent scientific studies regarding what makes people happy and he has published his findings in a book called “The Pursuit of Happiness” , Avon Books 1992.


First of all being rich does not make people happy (page 31), so scratch that. Having happy ancestors does have a big influence (page 122); however for most of us, it’s too late to choose our parents. So what can we actually do to become happier?

Well, in a nutshell, here it is:

- Develop a strong faith and trust in God. page 183
- Believe in an afterlife. page 200
- Focus on spiritual rather than material accomplishments. page 188
- Focus on the present moment more than on the past and the future. page 51
- Focus on what you have, not on what you are lacking. page 56
- Focus on what others are lacking, not on what they have. page 56
- Focus on helping others, not helping yourself. page 194
- Develop good relationships with family and friends; try to be part of a supportive community and family. pages 142 and 155
- Try to find employment which suits your talents. page 129
- Maintain a healthy diet. page 77
- Exercise. page 77
- In general, care for your health. page 76
- Get enough rest. Allow quiet time to relax. page 138

This is the true, common sense, scientifically proven path to achieve greater happiness, not the endless pursuit of wealth, fame, sex, drugs, fattening food and alcohol. All of those things bring a brief thrill, but at a high cost and they cannot provide long term satisfaction and well being. (For proof, read the biographies of the rich and famous.) Many people, especially young adults, are distracted by such things, sometimes wasting years and sometimes ruining or terminating their lives in the process. Instead, simply the quiet, sober, healthy, generous, religious life is what really works. Difficult and boring, perhaps. But in the long run, much happier.

When we meet an atheist, we should pity him. Not only has lost the next world, which he doesn’t believe exists; however he has lost this world as well. He finds pain difficult to cope with since he believes that disasters happen without reason. He believes that his existence will soon end. He believes that human accomplishments have no permanent or cosmic significance. In light of this, he may try to squeeze out whatever pleasure he can from his fleeting life, with little concern for how this affects other people or even how it affects his own long term future. He may very well become an addict – obsessed with alcohol, drugs or some other substance or behavior, which makes him feel good at first but not for long. Finally, as he grows older and his hopes of pleasure dim, he may prefer suicide. He has nothing to look forward to, so why bother any more?

Richard Dawkins attempts to put this in a positive light when he says, “if you're an atheist, you know, you believe this is the only life you're going to get. It's a precious life. It's a beautiful life. It's something that we should live to the full, to the end of our days, whereas, if you're religious, and you believe that there's another life, somehow, that means you don't live this life to the full, because you think you're going to get another one. That's an awfully negative way to live a life. Being an atheist frees you up to live this life properly, happily, and fully.”

Whatever “religion” he is referring to, it doesn’t seem to be Orthodox Judaism. The life of a Jew is filled each day with immense gratitude to God for all His blessings and with boundless joy for the opportunity to serve Him. The Jew is not on an endless pleasure treadmill, chasing rainbows that turn out to be illusions. He is accomplishing great things each day by studying Torah, praying and performing Jewish rituals. In addition to that, Jews believe in loving each other, which alleviates so much of the isolation and loneliness common in our self-centered world. Tragic stories such as people committing suicide in a park so that they would not “die alone” are unimaginable in the Orthodox community.

It’s also noteworthy that Judaism can help a person develop a tremendous amount of self-control. It’s probably no accident that virtually all addiction recovery programs consider belief in God to be an essential component.

What a gift atheists are throwing away. Someone wishing to “live to the full, to the end of his days” needs to accept God and His Torah.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Atheist of the Week


Professor Richard Dawkins

I once asked a question “Can anyone find an example of a single prominent atheistic leader who was kind, honest, and sober and had a stable family life?”

I think the answer is becoming fairly obvious.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Philosophy Basics


Atheism

Core Beliefs: The belief that no omniscient, omnipotent lawgiver exists, who has made rules and who will punish people if they disobey.

Primary Motives: Narcissism and hedonism.

Primary Proofs: The fossils and the suffering of children disprove the Bible.

Primary Defenses: Life was created by blind chance over a very long time and vast space. Judaism was fabricated by Ezra the Scribe based on earlier Canaanite myths and superstitions.

Primary basis for ethics: Whatever most people in society think is ethical.

Primary motivation for ethics: A desire to be accepted by society.

Primary purpose in life: To be comfortable and to do interesting and enjoyable things.

Founder: Baron d'Holbach 1770

Primary text: The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin



Judaism

Core Beliefs: The belief that God exists and wrote the Torah.

Primary motives: Honesty and integrity.

Primary proofs: Life proves God exists. Jewish history proves God wrote the Torah.

Primary defenses: The fossils are remnants of earlier worlds. Children suffer due to sins in earlier lives or the sins of their parents.

Primary basis for ethics: The Talmud.

Primary motivation for ethics: Fear of God.

Primary purpose in life: To serve God. To be rewarded in the afterlife.

Founder: Abraham 1739 BCE

Primary text: the Pentateuch

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Evolve This!


The American monarch butterfly is a migratory insect. In order to survive, the monarch butterfly requires certain types of vegetation, in particular milkweed. In northern climates, such as New England and Canada, milkweed is available only in the summer. Rather than hibernating during the remainder of the year, the monarch butterfly migrates south to Mexico and California. Interestingly, this migration from Mexico to Canada and back takes more than one generation to complete. In other words, the butterflies arriving in Mexico now have never been there before. The path of migration is therefore not remembered, but is somehow stored in the butterflies’ genetic code. This is besides the fact that the method used by the butterflies to navigate is still little understood. Bear in mind that the butterfly’s brain is about pinhead size.

The question arises, how could this conceivably have evolved?

Evolution means “gradual development”. According to evolution, life developed through a series of very small changes. Each change must be small enough to have occurred spontaneously, yet large enough to give it’s bearer a significant reproductive value. The question is, how could the genetic “computer program” which guides the butterfly have developed gradually? Each butterfly must have full instructions guiding it in exactly the correct direction at each time of year in order to survive. A half written, incomplete or defective “program” would lead to butterflies committing mass suicide. On the other hand, a perfected “program” originating in one generation seems incredible, especially considering that this phenomenon is so complex that it is still a mystery to modern science.

Let's spend a few moments marveling at the miracles of creation.

To insist that this all came about as a result of small, random genetic mutations, each one having occurred by chance and having a significant survival value, is simply an insult to reason.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Why is God Invisible?


The fact that God has no body is one of the fundamental principles of Orthodox Judaism. The antiquity of this belief is seen in Deut. 4:15 which notes “for you saw no manner of form on the day that the LORD spoke unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire”.

Sometimes my six-year-old twins ask me “What does God look like?” I have to explain that we cannot see Him. Then they ask “Why not?”

Atheists also like to ask, “Isn’t God simply an imaginary friend?” In other words, doesn’t God’s invisibility imply that He may not exist at all?

To me it seems obvious that God must be invisible and in fact this is one of the first things which attracted me to Judaism, rather than for example Christianity.

For us to see something, for something to be tangible to us, it must have borders and limits and it must exist in space. Therefore, logically, an infinite being who created space itself cannot be visible. God is everywhere and furthermore everywhere is within God, therefore it is impossible to see Him.

Additionally, God’s level of reality is different from ours. Let’s say someone is thinking about a person. That person exists only in his imagination. The imaginary person cannot see the person who is imagining him. Likewise, we are like thoughts in God’s mind. He is the only true reality. This is what Jeremiah (10:10) meant “The Lord God is truth”. He and He alone is real.

God is not our imaginary friend - just the opposite. We are God’s imaginary friends.

This makes clear the falsity of Richard Dawkin’s question, “Who created God?” This question assumes that God is a material being. God is essentially entirely unlike any physical being, therefore He requires no creator.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Making of an Atheist


[Karl Marx, Jewish atheist]

How does an Orthodox Jew become an atheist?

Actually, the Talmudic sages, in the Sifra (beChukosai 2:3, paraphrased by Rashi in Leviticus 26:16) answered that question 2,000 years ago. They list seven levels of spiritual descent, beginning with neglecting Torah study and inevitably ending in atheism.

This the first step toward atheism – a lack of intensive Torah study. If you want to remain a believing Jew then learn Torah. If you want your children to be believing Jews, teach them Torah, the more the better, the longer the better. There is no other solution. I have yet to meet an atheist who had previously studied Talmud for five years or more full time after the age of 20.

For women, I believe the process works somewhat differently. Women need to have close, loving relationships with Orthodox people. If, for some reason, they don’t, then they may leave. The neglected daughter, the older single woman, the convert to Judaism who tends to be a loner are all at high risk.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

The Jewish man whose mind is not on Torah starts thinking about other things. The woman who has no close circle of family and friends looks for happiness elsewhere. Pornography is a common substitute – whether it may be porn movies for males or romance novels for females. After that, casual sexual relationships are usually sought and found.

The Jew is now sliding into the grip of addiction. He or she is developing bad habits that are very difficult to break. To cope with this unpleasant reality, defense mechanisms are employed.

One of the most common defense mechanisms is denial. The lapsing Jew will deny that he is doing anything wrong and misbehave only in secret. He may deny to himself that he really has any problem. The more he sins, the more those sins seem acceptable to him.

As time goes by, and the Jew has greater and greater contact with non-observant people, directly or through the Internet, movies, etc. he feels more comfortable with their way of life and their opinions. A non-Jewish lifestyle and belief system seems “normal” while Judaism seems strange. Addicts often will immerse themselves in a new subculture of similar people.

The final step is rationalization. This is a decision to justify ones misbehavior by explaining that there is nothing wrong with it. Usually a few philosophies are “purchased off the shelf”, from atheistic websites and books. One thing I wish to make perfectly clear: These philosophies are ALWAYS AFTER THE FACT EXCUSES. The preponderance of evidence is clearly in favor of Orthodox Judaism and that is obvious to any fair-minded person, just as much as the evidence is in favor of sobriety to any fair-minded person. There is not an iota of evidence that atheism is a good thing any more than there is that alcoholism is a good thing. All of the questions like “What about fossils? ” and “What about suffering? ” can be answered easily in a few minutes. The new atheist, however, is totally biased against religion. Any evidence in favor of Judaism is brushed off as insignificant while any shred of evidence against Judaism is given tremendous weight.

Now the Jew has reached the point of no return. Once he has totally rationalized his misbehavior and denied the Torah and/or God, there is most probably no turning back. The atheist no longer wants to turn back and this is what Proverbs 2:19 means “None that go unto her return, neither do they attain unto the paths of life”. The most we can hope for is that the heretic will leave the Jewish community as quickly as possible, before he has too much negative effect on others. The ability to shed the weakest and most disloyal members of the community, while extremely painful, may be one of the secrets of Jewish survival and excellence. Similarly, we are highly selective in accepting converts. Judaism, like the Marines, is looking for a few good men and women.

Maimonides (Laws of Idolatry 2:9) writes that someone who denies the existence of God or the divine origin of the Torah and therefore casually transgresses Torah law is not considered to be a Jew and even if he does eventually repent he may not rejoin the Jewish community.

[Please do not bother to comment and suggest that your story disproves this post because you are an idealistic atheist, unless you will also give me some way to check out who you really are and verify your story. Thank you.]

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Ultimate Suicide Bomb


[test of a small, portable nuclear bomb May 25, 1953 in Nevada]

There is no question that the most dangerous weapons ever created by man are nuclear bombs. One bomb placed in the trunk of a car would be capable of destroying a city. The Medium Atomic Demolition Munitions produced by the United States during the Cold War weighed 400 pounds and were approximately as powerful as the weapon which destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. An MADM in Manhattan would kill an estimated 100,000 people.

Since 1945, thousands of nuclear weapons have been produced by many nations, however in fact none have ever been used other than the two which the United States dropped on Japan at the end of the Second World War. A liberal democracy would never use them in a first strike because of humanitarian concerns and even a dictator such as Stalin did not use them because of the fear of reprisal. Therefore about 26,000 nuclear weapons sit and gather dust. From a practical military point of view, they are nearly worthless.

The question arises, however, what if someone completely irrational were to possess nuclear weapons? What if someone would want to use them not for any practical benefit, but rather because of an imagined spiritual benefit?

What about a suicide bomber?

Suicide bombing is a method of killing commonly used by Islamic terrorists since 1981. There are today millions of Muslims who consider murdering non-Muslims to be more important than their own lives. They are certainly not held back by any humanitarian considerations. They also may not be concerned about any retaliation, however certain and devastating. They will gladly sacrifice themselves and other Muslims for the sake of killing non-Muslims whom they feel threaten Islam. Obsession: Radical Islam’s War against the West documents this in brutal and revolting detail.

Where would a suicide bomber obtain the nuclear weapon? This is not something you can order online or make in your garage.

There are a few possibilities:

- Bombs or bomb material may be purchased from corrupt Russian military officers .

- Pakistan now has dozens of nuclear weapons and many Pakistanis support a holy war against non-Muslims. The political instability in Pakistan as of this writing does not bode well for Western countries.

- Iran may produce nuclear weapons within the next decade and the Iranians at some point might share these with Hezbollah terrorists which it sponsors .

In a new book, The Day of Islam , journalist Paul L. Williams argues that Islamic terrorists in fact already have nuclear weapons positioned in Western countries. It may well be that no nuclear holocaust has yet occurred due to the intensive efforts of the intelligence services together with bad luck. After all, many planned conventional suicide bombings are unsuccessful. Alternatively, Islamic terrorists may be busy putting in place enough nuclear weapons to cause a single, massive blow to the United States at one time. They may realize that they will not have a second chance to use nuclear bombs, considering the reprisals and security crackdowns which would certainly follow it, and therefore they will wait for the opportunity to make one devastating attack on America.

So what are we to do?

In my humble opinion we must of course support any efforts governments are making to stop nuclear terrorism. This is not merely an issue of national security, but of national survival. International and American law, if necessary, must be set aside to deal with this threat.

However, the most important thing we must do is repent and hope for God’s mercy. We must take our example from the city of Nineveh in the book of Jonah . Nineveh was destined to be overturned in forty days; however through sincere repentance they were saved. We in New York, Tel Aviv, London and any other large city may be in the same situation at this moment. We no longer have prophets to warn us, however we can learn valuable lessons from the words of the prophets in previous times.

In particular I believe that we must be kind and considerate to other people, especially those closest to us. "He Who is merciful to others, mercy is shown to him by Heaven, while he who is not merciful to others, mercy is not shown to him by Heaven" (Talmud Tractate Shabbat 151b).

This is our best and surest defense.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Is Judaism Opposed to Feminism?


[Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique]

Yes, it is.

Within the Orthodox Jewish community, the primary decision makers should be men.

First of all, only men are permitted to attend Talmudic lectures. Since all important decisions in society are based on the Talmud, this effectively excludes women from community decision making.

Second of all, in Judaism, wealth generally is in the hands of men. If someone dies and leaves a son, the son inherits all regardless of the existence of daughters. If a woman marries and owns property, the property is controlled by her husband during their marriage. If a married woman works, her earnings belong to her husband unless she waives her right to spousal support.

The fact is, however, this is little different than in other societies.

In all human societies, even those which claim to endorse the principle of equality of the sexes, men are dominant. In politics, about 85% of all leaders are male. In the business world, there were 78 women from a total of 793 billionaires worldwide in 2006.

Going a step further, among most animals and nearly all mammals, the male is larger and more aggressive on the average than the female.

Gender equality is therefore seemingly not only against human nature, but against biology.

In my humble opinion, Judaism handles male dominance in a very humane and reasonable way. Men are given greater decision making privileges than women. On the other hand, men pay a price for this – they have much heavier religious obligations than women. Secondly, men are obligated to treat women with a level of love and respect equal to that with which they must treat other men. “Love your neighbor as yourself” applies equally to women and to ones wife. Insulting a woman is prohibited. Striking a woman is strictly prohibited. Forced sex is strictly prohibited. A man must financially support any children he has. I am aware of no recorded case of spousal homocide in the Orthodox community.

Other societies seem to have an ideal of sexual equality, while in reality are plagued by rape, wife beating and "dead beat dads".

I suspect that this philosophy, of a humane approach to male dominance, is one main reason why very few Orthodox women choose to leave Orthodoxy, in comparison to the number of male "dropouts". Women know that they are getting the best deal possible.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kefirah Clown #2


[kefirah – Hebrew for "denial", as in denial of Judaism]

As some will remember, on Sunday, April 9, 2006, an ultra-Orthodox young man, Israel Valis was indicted by the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office for abuse of a minor relating to the brain damage of his three-month-old son on April 2. [Passover began April 13 and ended April 20.]

Failed Messiah, a blog published by a former ultra-Orthodox Jew who is now an enemy of anything rabbinical, called Mr. Valis a “Haredi Baby Murderer” on April 23. The blogger, who calls himself "Shmarya Rosenberg", ends the post with the helpful advice “Haredim, wake up! Your rabbis are destroying you!”

I have not been able to find clear documentation, however apparently the charges were dropped about a year ago. The baby was a victim medical malpractice in the hospital, not child abuse and over zealous police investigators tricked the grief stricken father into making self-incriminating remarks.

It is interesting how some "Jewish" bloggers sound little different than bloggers like this one.

[For Clown #1, click here.]

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Where Was God During the Holocaust?


[British bomber over Hamburg]

That’s a fair question, and I can offer one answer. He was about 30,000 feet over Hamburg, Germany.

Between July 27 and August 3, 1943 the appropriately named Operation Gomorrah was launched against Hamburg, Germany. During those days and nights 9,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Hamburg, killing about 50,000 Germans and leaving one million homeless. It was the heaviest aerial assault in history and the most devastating ever non-nuclear bombing.

Most of the victims died during a three hour firestorm early in the morning of July 28. The huge concentration of incendiary bombs created a tornado of fire, a huge outdoor blast furnace, containing winds of up to 240 km/h (150 mph) and reaching temperatures of 800 °C (1,500 °F). It caused asphalt on the streets to burst into flame, cooked people to death in air-raid shelters, sucked pedestrians off the sidewalks like leaves into a vacuum cleaner and incinerated some eight square miles (21 km²) of the city.

While Hamburg became a hell on earth, 465 miles away there was another hell on earth: Auschwitz. The concentration camp was in full gear at that moment, working Jews to death, gassing them and burning them. The Warsaw ghetto had been completely liquidated just three months earlier. The Holocaust was at its height. While Germans were busy burning Jews in Poland, the British and Americans were busy burning Germans in Germany. This was a modern day version of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Perhaps in the Hamburg firestorm there was a little payback for the Warsaw ghetto.

As the great rabbi, Hillel, once said (Pirkei Avot 2:7) when he a saw a human skull floating on the water “Because you drowned someone, you were drowned. And whoever drowned you, will be drowned as well.”

Every small child should be taught about examples like this of divine judgment. Everything has a consequence.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why Do Children Suffer?


[African child]

One question frequently asked is: If God exists, why do children suffer?

Some atheists seem to consider the suffering of children to be the ultimate proof that there is no God. After all, if there exists an all powerful, all knowing Supreme Being who is just, good and kind, how can He allow such things to happen?

Being the father of a child who is quadriplegic, this thought has crossed my mind once or twice too.

There are several possible answers.

First of all, children may die because of a parent’s sins. If a parent is wicked, it would, in some cases be unfair for him to leave children behind since he would then retain some measure of immortality through this children. Children who die for this reason are surely rewarded endlessly in the afterlife for their sacrifice.

Second of all, what is the alternative? If children would never experience the slightest discomfort their entire lives until they reached maturity, suffering later in life would come as an overwhelming shock. By going through teething, diaper rash and numerous other discomforts great and small a person grows accustomed to discomfort. Then, when he reaches maturity, and he begins being punished by God for sin, this does not come as a sudden, unbearable change. Seemingly, some level of discomfort during childhood is actually an example of God’s mercy.

Thirdly, there is the issue of reincarnation. A person may have sinned in a previous life. In order to achieve atonement he may need to revisit this world. This is a common concept among Eastern religions and it has been adopted in recent centuries by most Orthodox Jews. Just as an example, let’s say a person sinned by hitting people. He may be returned to this world in a body, which has no hands so that he will relive his life here, but this time free from the sin he was in the habit of committing. This will be his atonement.

To me, the question “If God exists why do children suffer?” is something like the question “If the earth is round, why don’t people fall off the other side?”. It’s a childish question to begin with and there are perfectly reasonable answers.

For more details, this book should be very informative. The author himself died of cancer in middle age, leaving a large family.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A comment on comments

I enjoy blogging and enjoy hearing other, different points of view. But it is so tiresome to read the same rants again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Why can’t someone intelligent read my blog and actually try to disprove logically what I am saying? For example, in my most recent post, I am saying: Atheists and agnostics adopt whatever moral values are popular in the general society in which they live. Can anyone prove that false? Can anyone demonstrate that atheists consistently base their morality on some higher logic? If not, so why comment on this post?

Please allow me to explain here a few points for the record.

Judaism has never permitted child rape or any forced sex.

Child marriage is permitted by Judaism, as it is in every traditional culture.

Judaism does permit slavery, with certain limitations.

Judaism does mandate a death penalty for adultery, provided that the adulterer is properly convicted by a qualified Jewish court. This has not happened in about 1900 years and rarely before that.

Judaism does mandate a death penalty for apostates, provided that we know the individual is a willful apostate, not merely theologically mistaken or ignorant, and provided that killing him will advance the cause of Judaism, not hinder it. To the best of my knowledge, such an assassination has never taken place.

The Torah is not a “magic book”. It includes no magic lessons. Magic is prohibited by Judaism.

If atheists are naturally so benevolent, then could anyone please explain to me how atheists created and supervised the Stalinist concentration camps and the violence of the Chinese Cultural Revolution?

The strategy employed by many commentators on my blog seems to be: Emphasize to the hilt any injustices, real or imaginary, ever committed by Jews since the world began. Conveniently forget about any atrocities committed by atheists in recent decades. Throw in a few general insults. Declare moral victory for atheism. Isn’t this getting a little old?

How about we do this:

If you want to comment on my blog, fine. However stay focused on the topic. Bring logical arguments demonstrating why I am wrong, not just trying to prove that Jews are evil. And not just comments like “JP, this is garbage”. Let’s try to limit the abuse, please.

If you want to discuss the crimes of Jews, fine. However limit yourself to crimes committed by Orthodox Jews within living memory which have either been proven in a court of law or which are accepted as fact by the majority of historians. The Israelite invasion of Canaan has as much to do with modern day Jews as the Gallic Wars have to do with modern Italians.

Thank you.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Morality Evolves

There are basically two type of morality: Secular morality and religious morality.

Secular morality is based on whatever most people in society consider to be moral. Religious morality is based on what God considers to be moral.

As society changes, secular morality changes.

Fifty years ago, homosexuality was considered to be a crime and a mental illness in the United States. Today it is legal and more or less socially acceptable. (In fact, 50 years ago, any extramarital sex was strongly frowned upon and considered to be immoral.)

What’s next? What will be accepted 50 years from now? Does this video clip give us a hint?



(I am suggesting that secular people are usually cultural moral relativists, compared to Orthodox Jews who are religious moral absolutists.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Biblical Deluge


[Noah's Ark]

This week, Jews will read in the synagogue the story of the Deluge, Genesis 6 to 8. This story describes how God wished to destroy all of mankind except for one righteous family. To do this, He caused water to pour out of the sky and from within the earth and to cover the entire globe for a period of several months. In the meantime, Noah and his family took refuge within a boat Noah had built. A sample of every land animal and bird likewise took refuge in the ark. The water then disappeared and Noah, his family and the animals were able to disembark from the ark and repopulate the earth. According to Talmudic tradition, the Deluge occurred in 2106 BCE.

Questions often asked about the Deluge are: Where did all the water come from? Where did it all go? How did the animals find the ark? How did they, together with their food, all fit into the ark? How did they return to their original habitats afterwards? How did plants survive?

The answer is: God did it. In other words, these events cannot be explained according to the laws of physics, chemistry, biology etc. They can only be explained by miraculous divine intervention.

Atheists take it for granted that the Deluge did not happen, since to believe it did happen would mean believing in miracles, which would mean believing in God, which would mean believing in God’s commandments, which would disturb their selfish and self-indulgent lifestyle.

However, putting aside self-serving narrow-mindedness, is there any proof outside the Bible that the Deluge did in fact happen?

First of all, the Deluge is recorded in the oral histories of most ancient nations. Considering the fact that natural floods are never extensive enough to leave the survivors believing that they are the only humans remaining alive, apparently these Deluge legends are based on a miraculous global flood.

In addition to that, the only civilizations in existence in 2106 BCE were Egypt, Sumer and the Indus Valley Civilization. Egyptian civilization changed radically at the time of the Deluge. The Old Kingdom, along with its unique massive building programs, ended at this time. (I have previously written a post regarding Egypt.) Sumer fell at this time as well. The Indus Valley Civilization is believed to have ended approximately 1700 BCE, however I am uncertain how precise that date is. We have no written records from that civilization. Seemingly uncalibrated radiocarbon dating from that era could be inaccurate by several hundred years. Problems within that range are found in Egyptian archeology.

Therefore I would suggest that although our knowledge of that era is very limited, archeology does hint at the possibility of a global catastrophe about 4,000 years ago.

There is no geological evidence of the Biblical Deluge, however when one considers the miraculous nature of the Deluge, this is hardly surprising. Surely no one would argue that the lack of scorch marks on Mount Sinai proves that the Ten Commandments were never given there.

[Interestingly, Bruce Masse, an environmental archeologist at the Los Alamo National Laboratory, believes that a global flood did indeed happen in historic times. He believes, however that it occurred in 2807 BCE, killed 80% of mankind and was caused by a comet strike. See Discover magazine, 11/2007, page 66 for details.]

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Portrait of a Scientist


[video clip from To Catch a Predator]

The next time you read that an eminent scientist has declared that evolution is a fact, man is an ape and the Bible is a myth, bear in mind that quite possibly that scientist, in spite of his education, intelligence and position, is morally and ethically very similar to the gentleman portrayed in the above clip. Therefore, he may well have a personal agenda for saying what he does.

Question everything. Don’t just accept it on authority.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reward and Punishment – Now You See It Now You Don’t


[Hans Frank, governor of German occupied Poland from October 26, 1939 until January 1945. Photographed here after being hanged at Nuremberg, Germany on October 1, 1946]

One question many people have about God is “If there exists a universal judge, who rewards good people and punishes bad people, then why don’t we see more evidence of this in the world around us? Why do we not see immediate divine reward and punishment?”

I think that one answer is that God wishes the human race to continue to exist. If reward and punishment would be immediate, this would most likely be impossible. Considering the rebelliousness and lack of discipline of most people, very few people would survive long enough to produce and raise children if they were struck down dead the moment they first sinned.

Based on this principle, punishment and reward can be more immediate the higher a spiritual level people are on. During Biblical times, the Israelites were often quickly punished for sin, although as the Biblical era continued this seems to have been delayed further and further. Korah, for example, was destroyed on the spot. Centuries later, the punishment for the sins of Manasseh was delayed for about 60 years (see II Kings 21:12). The Talmud begins referring to reward and punishment after death, for example in Avos 5:29. In recent centuries, kabbalists have taken this a step further and taught that reward and punishment may be in future lives.

We now live in a time when reward and punishment may (or may not) be very remote from the act that caused them. They may occur in this life, the after life or a future life. The one fact, which has not changed, is that everything will be fairly settled eventually. And, as we see from the above photograph, even today reward and punishment may be fairly prompt.

Human Evolution


[Neanderthal man; a biological dead end]

According to today’s New York Times, there is no fossil evidence that humans evolved from apes. This is in spite of 150 years of intensive fossil hunting. Human fossils are found, ape fossils are found, but nothing in between. I wonder why?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rosh haShanah – The Day of Total Obedience



[the shofar – ram’s horn]

To be a Jew means to be a slave to God. This is very literal. Leviticus 25:55 states that a Jew cannot be purchased as a permanent slave in the way a gentile can be since we are already slaves to God. We literally belong to Him.

To a gentile, this is the most horrifying idea possible. An atheist like Richard Dawkins almost chokes when speaking about an assertive God. Christians seems to have a problem with this as well. They tend to contrast the “harsh” God of the Torah with the more forgiving Jesus. They also find comfort in spiritual loopholes such as penal substitution, for Protestants, and the sacrament of penance for Catholics. While Muslims do not accept those ideas, they nevertheless believe that if one totally struggles (literally “makes jihad”) for the sake of God, his sins are forgiven. (This has led to some unfortunate consequences.)

For the Jew, there are no easy ways out, no shortcuts. We are slaves. We must listen and obey.

The ultimate example of that obedience is the Binding of Isaac in Genesis 22. Here God asks Abraham to do something extremely cruel, destructive and senseless. He asks Abraham to murder Isaac his son. This is the ultimate test of obedience, and Abraham passes the test perfectly, prepared to obey without complaint, hesitation or question even though the command defies all logic.

The Binding of Isaac is closely connected to Rosh haShanah.

According to one opinion in Pesikta Rabbasi 40:6, the Binding took place on Rosh haShanah. This makes sense when one considers that according to the Talmud Rosh haShanah 16a the ram’s horn is blown in remembrance of the Binding of Isaac. (A ram, caught by its horns, was substituted for Isaac at the last moment.) The Binding therefore has a central place in the “remembrance” prayer of Rosh haShanah.

In this sense, Rosh haShanah is the most truly Jewish day of the year. Perhaps that explains why even so many secular Jews attend services on that day.

Let’s experience Rosh haShanah, the first day of the new year, as a renewal of our commitment to obey God with total discipline and commitment. We must redouble our efforts in Talmudic study, since obviously we cannot obey God if we have not bothered to study what He has commanded us. We must also inspire ourselves with ethical literature.

And let’s remember that God is not asking us to do anything as incomprehensible as murder our innocent children, as He asked Abraham. Rather, what does He ask of us; merely to be just, merciful and to humbly think about Him (Micah 6:8).

Wishing everyone a blessed new year!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

In Memoriam


[the butcher Osama bin Laden, may he rot in hell forever]

In memory of the thousands of victims of Islamic violence who died on September 11, 2001, I am posting a link to an earlier post.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Orange


I just bought one of these for a dollar in the deli across the street from my office. What a masterpiece of intelligent design! The fruit is sweet, delicious and nutritious. The peel is a beautiful wrapper, easily removed. The pits may be thrown on the ground and, in the right conditions, will each grow into a tree that will produce thousands of additional oranges. Imagine being able to break off part of a computer, throw it on the ground and see a computer factory grow from it.

Human breeding has improved upon the original wild citrus, however those are merely small finishing touches on a masterpiece.

To counter that this all appears to be designed, however in reality has been created by chance, is like saying I only imagine that I am a human, however I am in reality an earthworm dreaming that he is human. It is a denial of what our senses perceive bordering on madness.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Creating World Peace


One of the greatest problems that plagues mankind is violence.

People seem to be very inclined to attack other people. The world wars in the last century killed a total of about 112 million people. In a relatively peaceful year, an estimated 1.6 million people died from violence. Humans probably have about a 10% chance of dying a violent death, although among poor young men the chance is probably much higher. This is in addition to the huge number of people who are maimed, crippled or traumatized by violence. We are plagued by domestic violence, rape, robbery, terrorism, etc. The quality of our lives is greatly diminished by violence.

And then there is the economic cost. Global military spending is over one trillion dollars a year. That’s equal to about $200 per year for every human on the planet. What could be accomplished with that money if it were used to relieve disease and hunger? How many lives could be saved?

Why can’t we stop this madness? Why can’t we all just get along?

That question goes back to Cain and Abel. In fact, chimpanzees, which are similar to humans, sometimes engage in very similar violent behavior. Violence may be very deeply programmed into human neurology. This is all the more worrisome considering the fact that together with other scientific advances of the past few centuries, our weaponry has become hugely more powerful. A violent maniac with a hydrogen bomb is somewhat more dangerous than a maniac with a sword.

So what are we to do? Law enforcement does great work. The United Nations is doing great work. However clearly much more needs to be done to conquer our wild animal nature.

I think I have a solution: God.

We need to educate people from early childhood to realize that there exists a supreme being who is constantly watching them and who will punish them if they commit a violent act. Furthermore, this punishment is inescapable – it will occur after death, if it does not occur in this life.

These are the essentials:
God
A soul
An afterlife
Inescapable judgment
A prohibition of violence

(This is basically what the Noahide Laws amount to.)

Convince people of this you’ve solved the problem.

And I have proof that this works.

The Orthodox Jewish community includes about two million members and we do educate our children to believe this. The number of Orthodox Jews who are currently serving prison terms for violent crimes can probably be counted on ones fingers. (This is in contrast to Christianity, which seems to teach the paramount importance of belief, rather than behavior, and Islam, which seems to teach that God rewards violence - the precise opposite of the truth.)

So what is the rest of humanity waiting for? Let's at last beat our swords into plowshares (Micah 4:3).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Why Atheism Is Not A Religion


[Ayn Rand, atheist, preached the virtue of selfishness]

Not long ago I believed that atheism is a metaphysical philosophy, based on determinism and naturalism. I believed that it was basically a sort of religion in itself. I was even wondering if there might be some truth to it.

However, debating with atheists and doing research at the library and on the web has changed my mind.

First of all, atheists themselves emphatically assert that atheism is not a religion. Atheism just means not believing in any gods. The funny thing is, that when you ask for more details, atheists cannot define what they mean by “gods”. What is apparent is that atheists don’t seem to be bothered by the idea of an intelligent creator. They do seem to be bothered terribly specifically by the idea of a higher power who can monitor them, judge them and inevitably punish them, for example in an afterlife.

Secondly, atheists seem to be invariably highly selfish people. It is apparently impossible to find a well-documented case of an atheist who was kind, honest, sober and sexually responsible. It is impossible to find a case of a government that officially promoted atheism, which demonstrated any great concern for the welfare of its citizens.

Thirdly, the 19th century foundations of atheism have been abolished by 20th century science. Determinism has been contradicted by quantum mechanics. Naturalism has been contradicted by the Big Bang. We now have proof of what Jews always believed: we do not live in a cosmic perpetual motion machine, an eternally existing universe which keeps ticking away forever according to predetermined natural laws. Atheists seem to have barely noticed this scientific upheaval. They apparently don’t depend on any evidence.

Fourthly, there would appear to be a linkage between pornography and atheism. Communities having a high level of pornography seem to have a high level of atheism. The expansion of the Internet has made pornography more widely available and at the same time atheism seems to be becoming more popular.

I think what is happening is the following.

Many people, especially young males leading secure lives in developed countries, feel no need for the comfort of religion. Furthermore, they are attracted to a very selfish, self-indulgent way of life, an attraction perhaps encouraged by viewing pornography. Therefore, in order to remove any feelings of guilt, they simply deny the existence of any divine judgment or afterlife.

Atheism is not a philosophy; it is a symptom of narcissism and hedonism. Calling atheism a religion is like calling alcoholism a religion. It’s a bad choice, a moral failing, perhaps a disease. Until the 18th century “atheist” was usually simply an insult meaning “debauched libertine”. This may be close to the truth.

A disproportionate number of atheists pursue a career in science. Having decided that the supernatural does not exist, some bright, young atheists choose to devote their lives to intensively studying nature. This adds a great deal of prestige to atheism. Although atheists cannot even explain, let alone prove, their point of view, they can appeal to authority when challenged – claiming that many scientists are atheists so it must be true.

The criticisms, which atheists aim at religious people, seem to indicate their denial of reality. An atheist will claim that religion causes hatred and violence, however, has he ever bothered to compare the quiet streets and loving homes of an Orthodox Jewish community with the brutal violence going on in secular neighborhoods next door? An atheist will claim that religious people deny science, however is he aware that many religious people, this author included, are not young earth creationists and find continuous confirmation of religion in science? These are clearly just excuses atheists use to justify their own addictions.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Miracle of Food


[bread, the staff of life]

One of the most amazing and obvious miracles we experience every day is food.

The food that we eat is so complex and specialized, that no team of scientists and not even the world’s most advanced laboratories are capable of producing one loaf of bread from the basic ingredients of water, air and minerals. In fact, many people prefer food containing no artificial additives at all because of possible health risks. Synthetic food is completely a science fiction fantasy. There can hardly be a clearer proof of divine plan and purpose than food. Did food, this miraculous and mysterious substance, just happen to come into existence by chance, before humans, also by chance, came into existence? The idea is so ludicrous that only the most mentally perverted fool can believe it.

Next time we pick up a piece of delicious, nutritious food and are about to place it into our mouths, let’s give enthusiastic thanks to the One who created it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Has The New York Times Rediscovered God?


[Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University]

Today’s New York Times included an interesting article in the science section discussing the ideas of Nick Bostrom, a respected young philosopher at Oxford, who has proposed that our universe may in fact be a computer simulation created by an alien civilization. The Times science columnist John Tierney, who seems to be far from a fundamentalist, finds this theory to be highly plausible.

In other words, the Times seems to be officially endorsing as scientific the idea of a Supreme Being who created our universe. This is a variant of Intelligent Design theory. We would expect to see eminent scientists rushing to denounce this article and Richard Dawkins should be having a stroke.

Somehow, I doubt that there will be any major fireworks. But why not? Where are all the New Atheists?

I think a clue can be found in the Hebrew word for “God” – Elohim. Elohim means “ruler” or “judge”. (See Exodus 22:8 where the word used is Elohim but is often translated as “judge”.)

When an atheist says, “I don’t believe in God” he really means “I don’t believe that there is any Biblical style God – any higher power monitoring my life, judging me, rewarding and punishing me. To believe in that would subtract from my own power, choice, self-importance and self-indulgence. In spite of any evidence one way or the other I refuse to accept any hint of that.”

Since Intelligent Design theory is being promoted mainly by conservative Christians, the atheist smells the danger immediately and goes on the attack. Dr. Bostrom however is apparently a very nice secular guy who is merely suggesting that we are part of a computer game created by some cosmic couch potato. No judge, no judgment, no trace of hellfire whatsoever. So that’s kosher. However when we come to a traditional Biblical God, Professor Dawkins seems to be almost unable to find words in the English language which are negative enough to describe Him. A divine Judge is the true enemy of atheism. They absolutely detest the concept.

This confirms my belief that atheism is neither a religion nor a philosophy; it is a personality problem. Atheism is just a polite term for pleasure seeking and selfishness.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Philosopher’s Quick Summary


[The Thinker by Auguste Rodin]


Orthodox Judaism: The only rational way to live.

Christianity: Magical thinking; the idea that believing in Jesus will solve everything.

Islam: Macho men gone wild.

Atheism: Synonym for narcissism and hedonism.

Agnosticism: Mental laziness.

Gay: Promiscuous men with a filthy habit.

Mythology: The ancient version of science fiction.

Secular morality: Whatever most people think is good at the moment.

Evolution: The irrational belief that although everything appears to be designed, it really developed very gradually by chance.

Documentary Hypothesis: An academic fraud with a kernel of truth.

Pornography: Bad acting with no clothes; the primary gateway to atheism.

Fossils: Proof that life has originated through a series of special creations.

Cosmology: Indicates that the universe was created from nothing.

Quantum theory: Indicates that on a subatomic level, things do not always behave according to any predictable rules.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

From Diderot to Dawkins – a Tradition of Degeneracy


Denis Diderot, 1713 – 1784

In a previous post I asked a question: “Can anyone find an example of a single prominent atheistic leader who was kind, honest, and sober and had a stable family life?”

One commentator mentioned Denis Diderot as candidate and was even kind enough to refer me to a recent biography . I have finally gotten a hold of the book and I’ve begun reading it.

Basically, this has just confirmed my original opinion.

What about kindness? Monsieur Diderot married Anne-Toinette Champion in 1743 (page 22). From 1746 until 1751 he had a sexual affair with Madeleine de Puisieux, the wife of a friend (page 42). Wasn’t this cruel to both his wife and to his friend?

Regarding honesty, in 1749, Diderot was arrested for publishing heretical and obscene literature. At first, he lied and denied the charges. Then, after two weeks in jail, he admitted to everything and promised, falsely, never to repeat these offences (page 49).

In addition to this he believed humility to be a vice (page 101). “He loved praise, indeed bathed in it, and no writer has seen more deeply into the lengths people will go to obtain praise. Correspondingly one of his leading traits was self-admiration.” (page 102) He hardly needed God when he himself was a god.

Based on a great deal of research and discussions with many atheists, I am forced to conclude that atheism is indeed not a religion or a philosophy. Its followers cannot give us any clear definition of what atheism is. Determinism and materialism are both scientifically discredited. Rather, as is seen so clearly in the lives of well known atheists, atheism is a mental illness, based on narcissism and/or hedonism. It is no more a philosophy than alcoholism. A truly good, moral atheist is a contradiction in terms.

This by the way helps us to understand the fact that no officially atheistic government has had a decent human rights record.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Found Hella Winston!


I have long been interested in Hella Winston, since reading her book “The Unchosen” about a year and a half ago. For several months, I continued an active correspondence with her by email. She always seemed like a very nice person and she always claimed to be very open minded, however the weird thing was that she seemed to be incapable of seeing anything positive in the Orthodox Jewish community and she seemed to be obsessed with unsubstantiated stories of “abuse” within the community – child abuse, spousal abuse, etc.

I could never quite figure out – what exactly is bothering her? Also, I knew nothing about her personal life. Who is she?

Today, I came across this article on the web, which I think makes it all a lot clearer.

Apparently, Ms. Winston is a 38 year old, childless, never married woman. She doesn’t have any high-powered career. She is a student. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her dog. I can imagine her interviewing Satmar women a decade younger than she is who are in stable marriages and have a bunch of little kids. Understandably, that can be depressing. In order to protect herself from being overwhelmed by jealousy, she has had to console herself with imaginary stories of the terrible “abuse” these women are suffering.

I think “The Unchosen” should be renamed “The Sour Grapes”.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Divine Justice – the Jewish Difference


[scales of justice]

It occurred to me today, I think on the treadmill, that the really crucial difference between Jews and other people is one thing – our belief in divine justice; that there exists an Almighty God who ultimately will fairly punish and reward everyone for everything. There is be no bribery or favoritism (Deut. 10:17). There can be no escape from justice.

Obviously, a lot of people are uncomfortable with this idea and I believe this is perhaps the primary reason why Judaism is not more popular. People can swallow almost anything except inevitable justice.

Many nations in recent centuries have embraced some sort of atheism, agnosticism or deism. I am thinking primarily of Europe and also Japan. These nations first plunged into unimaginable barbarism and then, exhausted, have fallen into materialism and apathy. They no longer are reproducing themselves and are faced with a shrinking, aging population.

In traditional Christianity, there is a loophole that allows escape from divine justice. Jesus allegedly died for our sins and belief in him will atone for us. Divine justice is nullified for the faithful, which may help explain why some devout Christians have committed horrendous crimes without apparent guilt.

In Islam as well, there is a way to escape punishment for sin – death as a martyr fighting for Islam. (See Koran Surah 61). In general, Islam seems to emphasize human justice more than divine justice, an attitude which leads to constant wild vigilantism.

I believe that the Jewish philosophy, of belief in inevitable divine justice, is surely the only path to moral excellence, although it may not be quite what everyone wants to hear.

Friday, July 27, 2007

How Quickly Did Life Develop?


[E. coli, a common bacteria]

The earth formed 4.5 billion years ago. It was then bombarded with huge meteorites for 600 million years. Bacteria appeared about 4 billion years ago, or approximately just as the bombardment was ending. According to Discover magazine July, 2007 page 62, life appeared about 50 million years after the point when the earth stabilized. Discover magazine, absurdly, takes this as evidence that life could “easily develop anywhere, anytime that the conditions are right”.

In fact, bacteria, although the simplest form of life, are incredibly complex. Scientists cannot begin to create a bacterium from simple chemicals and even creating a computer simulation of one E. coli has not yet been completed and will be extremely challenging. Yet scientists believe that bacteria formed on earth spontaneously from simple chemicals in a matter of tens of millions of years at most. I cannot imagine any clearer proof that bacteria didn’t develop spontaneously at all; they were CREATED.

Something gradually developing is called “evolution”. Something appearing suddenly is called “creation”. What does the evidence actually show us?

Nick Bostrom, a respected young philosophy professor at Oxford, has proposed that our universe may in fact be a computer simulation created by an alien civilization.

Academics seemingly will do anything to avoid the concept of a Judge and a judgment. Does something make them uncomfortable?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is Darwinism Dying?


[satirical cartoon by Thomas Nast, from Harper's Weekly, August 19, 1871]

Interestingly, I don’t seem to be alone in regarding the current theory of evolution to be nonsense. After decades of claiming it's a "fact", not a "theory", there seem to be increasing grumblings within even the secular scientific community.

The old theory cannot be jettisoned however until something new, but equally Godless, is formulated. A new and improved idol must be created before the old one can be publicly discarded.

I think we can expect to hear more about this in the next few years.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Atheism: Intellectually Bankrupt


[statue of Zeus at the ancient town of Olympia, on the west coast of modern Greece, about 150 km west of Athens]

I have been told that atheism is "the philosophical position that God or gods do not exist".

Let’s think about this for a second. What exactly is meant by the expression “God or gods”?

Possible meaning #1: Something capable of creating something from nothing.

This is clearly nonsense, since cosmologists have proven that the universe was created from nothing about 13.7 billion years ago. So it would seem that something did create something from nothing.

Possible meaning #2: Something supernatural; something that does not behave according to natural laws.

This is clearly nonsense since scientists have proven that subatomic particles do in fact not behave in a completely predictable way; in other words they do not follow natural laws.

Possible meaning #3: Something superior to humans.

This is clearly nonsense, since there is no way of knowing if superior forms of intelligent life do not exist somewhere in the universe.

In other words, late 20th century science has completely pulled the rug out from under atheism. Perhaps this is one reason why atheism seems to have run out steam a bit in recent decades while the allure of religion is growing. Similar to Communism, atheism is a quaint 19th century ideology that has now been discredited.

Atheism continues as a sort of self-serving gut feeling that “there is no judge and no judgment”, but intellectually it’s bankrupt.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Which God Don’t You Believe In?


[the Flying Spaghetti Monster]

Atheists often tell me “Atheism is not a religion; atheism just means I don’t believe in gods.”

I would like to respectfully ask however: What exactly do you mean by the word “god”?

Let’s say, for example, there would exist alien beings who are a trillion times more intelligent than humans. Further more they are invisible and intangible since they are made from dark matter. They are powerful enough to be able to easily create new galaxies in moments. Would these Dark Matter Super Creatures [DMSCs] be gods? And if not, why not? Gods in non-Abrahamic religions basically resemble some sort of super heroes or space aliens. [This may explain the popularity of UFOs and comic books in many circles today. Deep down, we really miss those old gods.]

Are atheists saying that they know that DMSCs do not exist? How can they know that? And if not, what exactly are they saying?

Plan International


[Malawi, where the Middle Ages continue]

Last Friday afternoon I was walking down 34th street in Manhattan on my way to the gym when an attractive young lady accosted me. She asked me if I wanted to sponsor a child for something called Plan USA. Although I always try to be friendly, I am not friendly enough to give my credit card out to strangers on the street, no matter how pretty. However I told her I would check out their website.

I have, and I’m very impressed.

I would urge everyone who can afford to do so to sponsor a child through Plan International, in addition to your other charitable donations.

"He Who is merciful to others, mercy is shown to him by Heaven, while he who is not merciful to others, mercy is not shown to him by Heaven" (Talmud Tractate Shabbat 151b).