Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I’ve been trying to take stock a little and sum up what I’ve learned from blogging so far, over the past 15 months.
What I have concluded is that there are two primary arguments in favor of Orthodox Judaism: The watchmaker principle and the Kuzari principle.
Atheists refute them with Darwinian evolution and the Graf-Wellhausen documentary hypothesis. [The two fundamental anti-Jewish texts are “Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin (published 1859 in England) and “Prolegomena” by Julius Wellhausen (published 1878 in German). Nothing very signifigant has been added since.]
I realize that there are virtually endless additional arguments on both sides; however the above arguments appear to be the most fundamental. If one accepts Watchmaker and Kuzari, then one is an Orthodox Jew. If one accepts Darwin and Wellhausen, then he is an atheist. Other issues are not crucial.
Whether a person will choose to believe the Jewish arguments or the atheistic counterarguments seems to depend primarily on:
- What his peers and teachers believed during his high school and college years.
- To what degree he feels a need for spirituality, as opposed to personal freedom, at this time in his life.
I am personally convinced that if an impartial judge (something which does not exist) would weigh the evidence, he would decided firmly in favor of Orthodox Judaism.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 11:08 AM