Friday, January 12, 2007
(kefirah – in Hebrew, denial, heresy, atheism)
In a few more days it will be a full year since I began writing this blog and this has been one of the most fascinating and enjoyable projects of my life.
One of the best parts of this activity has been my constant interaction with people who are bitterly and completely opposed to all that I believe in, many of whom are intelligent, educated and even (formerly) Orthodox Jews themselves. Corresponding with these people has reaffirmed my beliefs time and again, because never once has anyone produced a convincing atheistic explanation for the origin of the universe, the origin of life or the origin of Judaism; not even one decent explanation which would convince an intelligent, fair-minded person. The atheists have no answers.
How did the universe originate?
Atheist #1: We cannot understand that.
Me: Sure you can’t understand it, if you irrationally insist that nature is all there is, there is no way nature could have gotten started. However if we acknowledge the existence of an intelligent force outside nature, for example God, there is no problem. God did it.
Atheist #2: The universe has always existed. The Big Bang is not the beginning of the universe, but rather merely the beginning of one little bubble in an endless chain of multiverses.
Me: What about entropy? Is the universe a perpetual motion machine which will never stop? That’s impossible.
Why is the universe fine-tuned in a way which makes life possible?
Atheist: There are an immense number of universes and this one just happens to work this way by chance.
Me: There is no evidence of that. You are just trying to avoid the obvious fact that God designed the universe.
How did the first life originate?
Atheist: We don’t know.
Me: You don’t know because there is no natural way for simple chemicals to form living things. However if we acknowledge the existence of an intelligent force outside nature, for example God, there is no problem. God did it.
How did complex life develop?
Atheist: Darwinian evolution! That’s it! I’ve got one answer!!
Me: No one has every seen one new organ or limb develop as a result of Darwinian evolution, not in a laboratory or in a fossil bed. It’s a myth.
Why are we conscious of ourselves and how can we make free choices?
Atheist: I don’t know why we feel self conscious. We don’t make free choices, we just imagine we do.
Me: We have a God given soul.
How did Judaism originate?
Atheist: Just like any other religion. Somebody made up a story, then a bunch of foolish people believed it.
Me: Wrong. Judaism did not begin with someone making up a story. Judaism began with an entire nation, a community of tens of thousands of people, believing a story. A few people could make up a lie. An entire nation cannot unanimously conspire together to falsify history. If you think they can, then join the Holocaust deniers and the Moon landing hoax believers.
So the kefirah clowns have an answer for everything, but they are all bad answers. Anything pointing to God is a mystery, an illusion or a conspiracy. But I guess you can believe anything if you are angry enough, arrogant enough or addicted enough to an irresponsible lifestyle.
Some “tough” questions atheists have asked me:
Where did God come from?
He has always existed.
How did fossils originate?
They are remains of earlier, pre-Adam worlds.
Why does the Torah allow slavery?
Where the government permits slavery, the Torah allows us to purchase a slave and force him to work, but not to maim him, kill him or sexually abuse him. This is far more humane than any other nationality. However to ban Jews from owning slaves where gentiles routinely did would put them at an unfair disadvantage economically.
Why did Jews kill the Canaanites?
The only source for that is the Bible, and if you believe the Bible then you can believe that God told the Jews to do it.
Doesn’t Judaism consider women to inferior to men?
I think Judaism considers women to be on the average slightly more childish and emotional than men and therefore in most cases it is preferable for men to make important decisions. Orthodox Jewish women, however, are almost never raped, beaten, impregnated before marriage and are almost always married by age 30. I think many secular women would envy that situation.