Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kefirah Clown #1


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

“Practically all advanced opinion in Europe believes that the world’s ills can only be cured by socialism.”

Bertrand Russell famous socialist and atheist; article in New Republic 3/22/1922

32 comments:

Hamid Parnian said...

I translated your ''Anti-Gay Pride'' (posted in November 13, 2006) to Persian and posted in my weblog, to aware Iranian Queer how can a philosopher be fool.

Hamid Parnian said...

my weblog's link is http://yryd.blogfa.com/

Baal Habos said...

My clown is much nicer than yours. That's because I'm a much nicer guy than you.

http://baalhabos.blogspot.com/2007/03/monsey-herald.html

jewish philosopher said...

Bos, but I have bigger muscles than you do, so there!

Baal Habos said...

>Bos, but I have bigger muscles than you do, so there

You do? I saw your real life picture.

Henry said...

Well that tells you more about Bertrand Russell and Socialism, but both were of their time.

And the world's ills remain uncured.

As you will know, I am strongly prejudiced against most things that come from the USA and all its deeds too, but funnily enough, perhaps the remedy most likely to cure the world's ills came from an American non-atheist, who was the first and possibly the only political economist to produce a coherent analysis of circumstances and identify the underlying problem.

Sadly, the world's religious leaders rubbished him at the time. Had they not done so but endorsed the ideas proposed, we might have avoided two world wars.

Later on, some of the principles were taken up and incorporated into the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, but most people, including most Catholics, are too lazy to study the teachings of their church.

jewish philosopher said...

In this post, my point was simply that if Russell could have been so wrong about politics, could he not also have been completely mistaken about theology.

beepbeepitsme said...

Politics is never right, so that solves that problem. Come to think of it, when has theology ever been right either?

avrum68 said...

"when has theology ever been right either?"

You sure spend a healthy dose of time on a site dedicated to a theology that's so off the mark. Perhaps you need a hobby, a relationship? I find it odd that atheists get so bent out of shape about delusions and child play.

jewish philosopher said...

But Beep Beep does believe in the Tower of Babel. How else could a fish be named after it.

Spike said...

All right, name a repeatable testable prediction based solely on theology.

jewish philosopher said...

That anything I say you'll ridicule it.

avrum68 said...

"That anything I say you'll ridicule it."

Ouch. Nice JP.

Spike said...

So, you have no testable repeatable predictions based on theology alone?

jewish philosopher said...

Seriously, Spike, I'm not sure what you mean; anything, which happens repeatable is labeled “natural”, isn't it, even if we don't know why it happens? For example, in most cases we don't know why a particular person develops cancer, but it is still considered to be natural not supernatural.

I, on the other hand, consider every event to be God’s will, whether repeatable or not.

badrabbi said...

Very interesting argument: A man says X and Y. X proves to be inaccurate. Therefore, it follows that Y is also inaccurate!

Russell, brilliant in many ways, proved to be wrong about socialism. Therefore, his ideas about God and atheism must also be wrong!

Where did you guys learn your logic?

I suppose, when we finally demonstrate that JP's thoughts on religion are erroneous, then necessarily he must be a bad computer programmer too!

Spike said...

The use of testable repeatable predictions allow us to find correct theories amongst possible hypotheses. I would like a repeatable testable prediction that distinguishes jewish theology from, say, norse mythology, or the Flying Spahetti Monster.

Even if you disagree as to the applicability of these tests to theology, I would like one statement made by theology that helps us to gain greater understanding of the world and its interactions. How can theology help to, say, create fusion power stations, or let us travel between stars?

jewish philosopher said...

My point about Russell is that although he was a great mathematician and philosopher in his younger years, in his later years he said many foolish things and he should not be taken seriously.

The revelation at Mt. Sinai was an historical event. It cannot be reproduced in a laboratory any more the Battle of Gettysburg can be.

And the Torah does include much remarkable wisdom.

avrum68 said...

"How can theology help to, say, create fusion power stations, or let us travel between stars?"

Spike, at least your honest. I find many atheists think like you do i.e. If God doesn't act like an actor from my favorite sci-fi movie, God doesn't exist. Perhaps that's why, and I'm sure JP will disagree with this, it's the "arts" oriented folks, poets, artists, musicians...who understand that God has nothing to do with test tubes and space shuttles. And to that I say...Amen!

Spike said...

No, my point is that the concept of god has no explanatory power. It cannot help us better understand the world. How does believing god created the world make us want in any way to try to understand it? Far better to knuckle down, do what the priests tell us, wait for the better life in the next world. If god created the world, why assume that physical "laws" are constant in time? Why shouldn't stuff just happen at random, as god's whim takes him? Why should the world around us be so consistant, if difficult to understand?

Suppose that I accept that god created the world. Now, how does that help me create a working tokamak fusion generator?

As regards the wisdom in the torah: From your previous post "If one needs any further proof of the wisdom of Torah ethics, one may note how they have tremendously influenced the religions of Europe and the Middle East for fifteen centuries and are clearly a major foundation of Western thought." That'll be why we are all living in peace and harmony, especially in the middle east.

I am also intrigued by the idea that the torah contains much "amazingly accurate" scientific knowledge. What "scientific" knowledge? Does it give error bounds? Records of repeated experiments? Quantified degrees of belief? Or are you just cherry-picking the verses that happen to agree with what you can discover by looking for vague patterns in the world?

avrum68 said...

Update:
In error, I stated "nothing to do", but rather should have stated that, not unlike neuroscientists who percieve dreams to be nothing more than random neurons firing, scientists wouldn't be the first folks I'd turn to answer the "meaning" questions we all seem to carry around.

jewish philosopher said...

Spike, will nuclear physics help me to be a better person, a happier person or give me any reason to get up in the morning?

avrum68 said...

"No, my point is that the concept of god has no explanatory power. It cannot help us better understand the world."

Spike, so why waste your time on this site? It's so, so odd. I mean, if you expressed some doubt in your convictions...ok, I'd understand. But you've got all the answers, so why debate a theist? The only conclusion I can draw is that you're not nearly as confident in your assertions as you say you are. Thou doth protest too much?

avrum68 said...

"nuclear physics help me to be a better person, a happier person or give me any reason to get up in the morning?"

JP, the fact that religious folks (I mean, folks who DO the stuff) make up a tiny % of the world's population, it would seem there's many other reasons besides God/religion that motivates folks to be a "better and happier person".

jewish philosopher said...

I don't know if you buy the paper, however there are a few bad/unhappy people walking around these days.

Spike said...

Yup. An ability to understand and solve the problems involved in nuclear physics will improve you, and your life. The knowledge of nuclear physics can help you to make the lives of your fellow man far better than they currently are.

The question of meaning is a curious one. Why, exactly, should our lives have meaning?

jewish philosopher said...

Have you spoken to anyone living in Hiroshima, August 6, 1945?

Listen if you believe that technology is great and anything else is nonsense, why exactly are you reading a blog about Jewish Philosophy?

avrum68 said...

"The question of meaning is a curious one. Why, exactly, should our lives have meaning?"

Wow. Wow. Wow.

avrum68 said...

"I don't know if you buy the paper, however there are a few bad/unhappy people walking around these days."

Good point JP. And though religious folks struggle with "malaise of the soul", I'll venture to say that belief in God, prayer, family purity laws, etc., etc., provide a nice buffer from the alienation and meaninglessness that so many of my clients struggle with.

Spike said...

Notice I said can, not will. I found the claim that atheism is a religion a curious one, so decided to ask some question. You don't have to answer them. Notably, you haven't answered some of them. But never mind, I have no ability to make you answer questions, nor do I want to. Occasionally, I feel like asking questions, that's all.

More importantly, my sentiments are best summed up by this cartoon: xkcd

avrum68 said...

"Occasionally, I feel like asking questions, that's all. "

You're being dishonest. Much of your questions are rhetorical, with your mind made up regardless what JP types. It's the arrogance and condescending tone that so irritating about militants...both religious and secular.

badrabbi said...

Spike;
I am not one to defend JP, but I must clarify something you are wondering about. You were asking about the explanatory power of religion. You were asking whether, say Judaism can harness nuclear power and split atoms. The answer to your question is a resounding 'NO'.

But this does not diminish the power of religion. I do not think that religion is competing with science in its scientific or technologic utility. Instead, religion attempts to satisfy the so-called 'spiritual' side of humans. Just as music, dance, paintings etc. satisfy the artistic side of humans, religion satisfies the spiritual side. You would not ask a sculptor to define the nature of black holes. Nor should you be demanding of theology and theologians to split atoms for you. You are in a wrong magisterial for what you are seeking.