Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Look at the World with Innocent Eyes




I was thinking this morning: What would a person logically think about this world if he would wake up one day completely innocent, with no prejudices or preconceptions, unbiased by previous commitments and external influences? What conclusions would he reach? I imagine the answer would be something like this.

He would look at himself in the mirror. He would be overwhelmed by the functioning of all parts of his body – the eyes which provide vision, the ears which provide hearing, the hands which grasp and the feet which walk. He would breath in the fresh air, filling his lungs with life-giving gases. He would see the sun rising and bringing light and warmth to the earth. He would be naturally curious: Who created all this?

The obvious step would be to go to the library and ask the librarian: “Has the creator of the universe ever publicly revealed himself to mankind and told us who he is?”

The librarian would think for a moment and answer: “Yes. There was in fact one such incident documented as having taken place over three thousand years ago.” Then she would open a Bible and show him Exodus 20.

The next question would be: “Are there any people alive today who are descended from those people who received the revelation at Mt. Sinai and who still observe those commandments?”

The librarian would answer, “Yes; there are.” And hand him a telephone book yellow pages open to the page of Orthodox rabbis.

I think it’s really that simple.

80 comments:

avrum68 said...

I think the librarian might answer the question: "Who created all this?" With a simple answer: "Your parents created you, some people think God created the world, some people think those people are deluded, and most folks couldn't give a hoot either way".

Books from evolution to desim to athesim would be presented.

jewish philosopher said...

The question was “Has the creator of the universe ever publicly revealed himself to mankind and told us who he is?”

Spike said...

That is a stupid question. Also, I am fairly sure that he (?) hasn't publicly told us who she is. After all, all we have is that someone told us that God spoke to them. Believable. Why doesn't he talk to us direct? Is he proud?

jewish philosopher said...

Spike, without your insightful and brilliant comments, where would we be?

Someone once said, for believers there are no questions, for non-believers there are no answers. I never understood that until now.

Spike said...

Apparently, you would be happier in your delusions. The idea of a creator is a prejudice on your part, and the most reasonable assumption is that everything had been there for ever. But then you wouldn't be one of the extra-special people, would you? And you must be special!


Or do you still believe that the Kuzari Principle applies?


Do Small changes in Populations evolve over short periods of time?

jewish philosopher said...

Atheists are not immune from being accused of ulterior motives.

Microevolution, which adds no additional information to the genetic code and involves minor changes such as size and color, often happens in nature and among domestic animals. Macroevolution, which involves the addition of a new limb or organ and adding information to the genetic code, never occurs anywhere. Darwin's mistake was to assume that both processes are basically the same; in fact,they are nearly opposites.

avrum68 said...

Spike,

Can you, in very plain English, explain why your repeating this question, over and over again:

"Do Small changes in Populations evolve over short periods of time?"

I'm assuming the answer will disprove God. Please explain.

avrum68 said...

"Apparently, you would be happier in your delusions. "

Spike...I work with delusions and hallucinations every day. Dawkins, as well as yourself, are misusing the term. My bipolar and schizophrenia patients want it back.

badrabbi said...

"The obvious step would be to go to the library and ask the librarian: “Has the creator of the universe ever publicly revealed himself to mankind and told us who he is?”

The librarian would think for a moment and answer...."

Well, JP, the librarian's answer, you must agree, depends on who the librarian is: If she is a Muslim, she will say something like, "why yes, God spoke to Mohammad". If she is a Christian, then she would talk of Jesus. If she were an agnostic, well, she would say "not sure, lad!". And if she were an atheist, she would most likely say that "to ask whether a creator revealed himself is to presume that the creator is male, is one, and that he exists. There is no evidence for any of above"

Your second answer intrigued me the most though, JP. You pointed to "orthodox" Jews as the legacy of the exodus. You are not meaning to exclude non-orthodox Jews are you?

badrabbi said...

One more thing:

"Look with innocent eyes" should be "Look with simple eyes"

avrum68 said...

badrabbi...as a once proud Conservative Jew...as an ex-Federation CJA employee for 5 yrs...I can attest for the dismal state of affairs that is commonly known as non-Orthodox Judaism. My friend, their shuls are bare, and besides a few rabbis, their lay folks don't take any of it - atheism or deism - too seriously. Huge generalization, I know, but true most of the time.

jewish philosopher said...

don't think "Jesus" or "Mohammad" answer the question “Has the creator of the universe ever publicly revealed himself to mankind and told us who he is?” Someone claiming he is God is not a public revelation and Mohammad never even claimed that.

About non-orthodox, non-orthodox do not observe the Sabbath, one of the Ten Commandments.

By "simple" I mean objective, unbiased, unprejudiced.

avrum68 said...

I think JP's example is a good one. Regardless of your belief in, or not, of God, a simple observation would suggest there's something incredibly complex, way beyond our comprehension going on.

We see the same thing in the Mental Health field. The neuroscience and big pharma folks create ads and journal articles that would suggest we understand why/how we do things. Ask a front line worker (psychiatrist, nurse, etc) and if they're honest, they'll say: "We know shit."

The mystery continues...

badrabbi said...

Avrum;
Actaully, "we know shit" is said by proctologists.

JP, I grant you, non-orthodox Jews don't keep shabbat. My question to you is: are you excluding non-orthodox Jews from the exodus?

jewish philosopher said...

If one just steps back and thinks for a moment, the existence of a creator is self evident. This is the reason that religion is almost universal. And the identity of that creator, I submit, is not much more difficult to guess.

badrabbi said...

Was that a yes?

jewish philosopher said...

Including the non-orthodox in the exodus could be a problem. The Haggadah does state:

What does the wicked son say? "What does this drudgery mean to you?" To you and not to him. Since he excludes himself from the community, he has denied a basic principle of Judaism. You should blunt his teeth by saying to him: "It is for the sake of this that Hashem did for me when I left Egypt. For me and not for him. If he was there he would not have been redeemed."

badrabbi said...

Ok, so you want to exclude the non-orthodox community! I will have more to say about that later.

To just respond to what you wrote: Please look at the Hagaddah again. You will see that before the wicked son speaks, the 'wise son' also speaks, and in his question, he asks "What is the meaning of the laws and traditions God has Commanded you?". The wise son, too invokes "to you". Look it up- it is there. My question to you, and to the so called "chachamim" is:
How come you get upset when the wicked son refers to Jews as "you", but you don't get upset at the wise son?

jewish philosopher said...

I'm sure a million commentaries on the Haggadah have an explanation to that one. I would advise buying a few.

I would guess the wicked son says it with a sarcastic, non-orthodox Spike style sneer.

zdub said...

Re the Rasha vs the Chacham, as JP noted this is one of the most frequently asked questions and you'll find a myriad of explanations that point out the significant difference in language between these two participants. You can't simply take the "to you" part out of context from each statement. Often noted is that the chacham uses the expression "Eloheynu", "our God", and wants to know about the various classes of mitzvot (chukim, eidot, mishpatim) that God has commanded. The Rasha says simply, "what is this service you are doing?"

People often forget, however, that the rasha is participating at the seder! A similar message is by the 4 species of Succot; the lowly hyssop is just as important as the etrog. Even the most estranged Jew is not excluded from Klal Yisroel.

Spike said...

I have to quote this:

"Microevolution, which adds no additional information to the genetic code and involves minor changes such as size and color, often happens in nature and among domestic animals."

That is one of the most ignorant statements I have ever read. But never mind, we can still work with it.

1) What do you mean by "Adds no additional information"? Surely any change adds information, or is this another example of "I get to change what my terms mean whenever it suits me".

2) If Changes in size occur often in nature, why can things not change sufficiently to become new species?

3) Why does "macroevolution" have to happen so very quickly? Why can't you get gradual development of new features?

4) Where is the cut-off point between "micro" and "macro" evolution? Why is there a cutoff point here?

Why is a creator self-evident?

Also, do you still think the Kuzari principle applies? Why? Why doesn't it apply to any other religions?

badrabbi said...

Zdub, you have said much, and I thank you for it. I will try to respond one by one:

First, regarding your statement: “People often forget, however, that the rasha is participating at the seder! A similar message is by the 4 species of Succot; the lowly hyssop is just as important as the etrog. Even the most estranged Jew is not excluded from Klal Yisroel”

I appreciate your saying this, and I agree with you 100%. Nevertheless, note that these are not the sentiments of JP, as he has admitted excluding non-orthodox JEWS from the exodus. Do you, Zdub, agree, based on your statement that JP’s statement that “Including the non-orthodox in the exodus could be a problem” is baseless?

badrabbi said...

Zdub,
To continue the response, regarding your statement that Haggadah’s Chacham vs Rasha is “one of the most frequently asked questions”, one can readily see why this may be a very common question people ask.

You see, the Haggadah singles out the use of the word “your” instead of “our” as Rasha’s problem. The sages are in effect saying that the use of the word ‘your’ excludes the Rasha from the Jewish nation. It is thus very natural to ask that if this is so, why then the Chacham who uses the same word is not chastised. That this question is frequently asked does not decrease its legitimacy.

JP’s solution to this problem is that it is the Rasha’s tone that the sages are objecting to. The problem with this read is twofold. First, the sages clearly say what is offending them. They are plainly saying that the Rasha’s use of the word ‘you’ is offensive. If they did not like the Rahsa’s tone, they would have said so. They do not need apologetics from the likes of JP.

Second, let us for the sake of argument grant that the sages object to the Rasha’s tone. Since when is a bad tone merit the cutting off of a person from his people? Did I miss the notice that a sarcastic tone merits a ‘karot’ or cutting off of a Jew from his people?

Finally, ‘Eloheynu’, does literally mean ‘our god’ but one can not read it this way. In common terms, even in old Hebrew, it has come to mean “god”. I have never heard - even from aprikores's - the word "Elohekha" meaning 'your god' used! Thus, to say that the use of the word "eloheynu" validates one's acceptance of Jewish custom is a reach.
The same can be said of the word “Eloheem”, literally being a plural term for God. But clearly one does not mean to call god in the plural by saying the word Eloheem. Right?

zdub said...

Do you, Zdub, agree, based on your statement that JP’s statement that “Including the non-orthodox in the exodus could be a problem” is baseless?

I agree. But please note that - while religiously observant in practice - I have many views that are decidedly not considered mainstream orthodox. So my disagreement with JP here is more of an off-the-cuff opinion and does not necessarily reflect an opinion that is acceptable within the more chareidi or right-wing "factions" of Orthodoxy.

jewish philosopher said...

About the question "are you excluding non-orthodox Jews from the exodus", the Haggadah does seem to explicitly say that wicked Jews would not have been redeemed from Egypt, which I think is what Badrabbi is asking.

As far as how did the authors of the Haggadah decide that Deut. 6:20 refers to a wise son and Exodus 12:26 refers to an evil son, this is in fact a quotation from Mekhilta (Bo, parasha 18) and dozens of commentaries on the Haggadah discuss this.

jewish philosopher said...

Spike, Spike my boy. I really feel sorry for you. You are like a poor little atheistic sheep being led to the philosophical slaughter.

Microevolution would be for example something like dog breeding. An original, generic dog can, over time, be bred into different types, such as cocker spaniels and great Danes. The breeder adds no new information to the dogs’ genome. He is actually limiting the genetic makeup of the resulting dogs in order to exaggerate certain specific traits. In fact, the further one goes from the original dog, the sicklier the resulting animals tend to be. Great Danes are not healthy or long lived dogs.

Macroevolution is the mythical, never seen happening anywhere, process of adding information to the genome. This would be for example breeding fish to become reptiles or monkeys to become people. For this to be accomplished huge amounts of new information would need to be included in the DNA and this cannot be done, not in nature, the barnyard or the laboratory.

The stupidity of Darwin is that he believed the two processes to be actually the same process. In fact, they are opposites and the second process, macroevolution, does not and cannot happen in nature.

Of course, then scientists will get all upset and say “Well, in that case, where do you think we came from?” Good question. I have a few ideas.

avrum68 said...

"That is one of the most ignorant statements I have ever read."

To you perhaps, but all the science/doctor oriented folks in my Shabbos book club agree with JP. They don't claim that the lack of macroevolution proves God exists, only that there's huge problems with Darwin.

littlefoxling said...

what's your point? If you were to wake up and find yourself on this planet with no prior knowledge you probably also wouldn't think that the force that causes stuff to fall to the ground is the same one that makes the sun rise and set. But, you'd be wrong. In fact, there are plenty of things you'd be wrong about.

Also, there are myrid stories explaining the way the world was created. Why would the librarian pick the Torah?

Also, there are myrid ways people observe the commandments in the Torah besides OJ. Why pick this one?

Spike said...

How do you define this mythical "information" that supposedly needs to be added to the genome? Just waving your hands and saying "IT'S IMPOSSIBLE" gets you exactly nowhere. Are you going to answer any of the questions I asked, or are you going to stick to providing pointless answers to non-existing questions? It is a fine straw-man you have created, but it bears very little relation to reality.

Oh no, the people at the Shabbos book club disagree with me. That certainly proves me wrong. How could I be so mean-spirited as to disagree with the book club!

avrum68 said...

"Oh no, the people at the Shabbos book club disagree with me. That certainly proves me wrong. How could I be so mean-spirited as to disagree with the book club!"

Spike, my point is really quite simple. So long as there are religious oriented scientists, you're gong to have atheists scratching their heads. It truly doesn't make sense. Both folks have access to the same education, information, career path, etc. Yet they interpret the data radically differently.

Of course, the fact that JP has you posting over, and over, and over again would prove my point. One would think you've got better things to do than debate a dellusional, anti-Darwin religious nut job. Yet you seem intent on trying to prove him wrong. Why? Perhaps you're not sharing something. Perhaps you're the one who's struggling with your myopic understanding of what's what.

jewish philosopher said...

Littlefox, I am sure that there are plenty of things which the greatest scientists today are wrong about. However my point is that certain facts are obvious to any objective, unprejudiced person.

About "myrid ways people observe the commandments in the Torah besides OJ", I am aware of only three communities today who are attempting to observe Mosaic law - Orthodox Jews population about 2 million, Karaites population about 30,000 [although I believe only a small minority are still observant] and the Samaritans population 700. I believe that OJ has always been the most popular form of Torah observance and today we are about 99%+.

Spike, information means addition instructions added to the DNA to create new proteins. I have discussed in another post why I don't believe in this happening spontaneously.

Spike said...

Well, that is certainly a novel way of defining information. May I bring the development of the Nylon-eating bacteria to your attention, again. Here, new proteins are generated by mutations in the DNA of these bacteria. You have said that this is impossible. Clearly, not the case. In your previous post, you argue from incredulity, claiming that you can't believe that it is possible, but give no good reasons. Thus solving the problem once and for all, obviously.



Avrum68, you seem remarkably fond of your concern trolling. It forms a major part of your arguments. Please don't.

jewish philosopher said...

SpikeThat claim has been questioned.

jewish philosopher said...

Spike, this post is also relevant to our discussion.

avrum68 said...

"Avrum68, you seem remarkably fond of your concern trolling. It forms a major part of your arguments. Please don't."

Spike, can you address my point? My background is in psychology, not physics. So my interest is why atheists, as well as deists, do what they do. You haven't answered my questions though.

Spike said...

Ah, Answers in Genesis, that oh so very trustworthy source. Aren't they the people who think that T. Rex needed those large and gnashing teeth to eat plants? It is so hard to keep these people in the right categories. If you can find me 1 paper published in a scientific journal by Don Batten on the topic of evolution and/or bacteria and their diet, I will be amazed. His paper misrepresents the work it quotes, exaggerates probabilities (by approx. 7 orders of magnitudes!) and ignores contrary evidence. More here.

As regards your other post, I thought we had delt with Spetner. He is not credible. Sorry. If you have other, better, arguments I would love to hear them.

Avrum68, I do this for a variety of reasons. Partly, I am disturbed by the level of hatred shown towards homosexuals on this blog, with religion used to justify this bigotry. Also irritating is the miscaracterisation of atheism/agnosticism as a religion. Partly, I would rather not see a theocracy in any country, and it is easier to try to nip it in the bud. Mostly, I like arguments. This forces me to go and learn stuff. Hooray for Knowledge! Why do you spend your time on this site? Surely you have better things to do than post over and over again questioning why I am doing things, in between describing me as "mean-spirited". Oh no, I described someones beliefs as stupid! How mean-spirited of me! It's not like I called for the killing of large groups of people or anything.

Baal Habos said...

>I think it’s really that simple.

Exactly. Simplistic reasoning results in simple, but false, conclusions.

badrabbi said...

Avrum;

I agree with Spike -Please stop analyzing motivations behind participating in this blog. I do this because it is fun. I like philosophical and scientific exchanges of opinion. OK?

Or do you rather that this post page be filled with people who do nothing but agree with each other?

badrabbi said...

JP,
I read your post regarding the wise son and the wicked son, and your introduction of the "mekhilta" and I scratch my head!

I follow your Link indicating where the wise and wicked sons are mentioned in the Torah according to the mekhilta. I expected to find the answers to my questions:

1. Why did the Chazal pick on the so-called ‘wicked son’ based on the use of the word ‘your’ when referring to the Jewish people? I do not understand how your post sheds any light on this question. Please enlighten me!
2. Even in your Link of the Torah, where in Exodus 12:26 the words of the wicked son are mentioned, there is NO TALK of abandoning the Jewish son. So, again, I ask you, how is it that you have abandoned the non-orthodox Jews? Is it not enough that you want all homosexuals killed?

badrabbi said...

I was reading the Link supplied by JP, and found in the same chapter the following verses:

Exodus 12:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning…

24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

It is clear that even the ‘orthodox’ like JP, do not follow this rule, even though God requires it to be done ‘forever’. I wonder what stops the likes of JP from doing these wonderful things that the Torah requires!

jewish philosopher said...

Spike, your constant appeals to authority and usage of ad hominem arguments demonstrates the weakness of your beliefs. I really feel sorry for you. You are grasping at straws to prove the absurd. The truth is that the example you are giving of alleged macroevolution is most probably merely the result of pseudogenes which may be reactivated when the organism is challenged by a stressful, new environment as explained in Scientific American 8/2006 in the article by Mark Gerstein and Deyou Zhen. If you want to be an atheist because it makes you feel good, fine. But please don't attempt to provide a rational basis for such fantasies.


Bad, the interpretation of one verse referring to the wise son and the other to the bad son and the fact that we no longer bring the paschal offering are all part of the Oral Law; the traditional rabbinical understanding of the Torah text. Samaritans indeed still do bring the paschal offering. Do you want to join them? I don’t believe they accept converts however; the conversion procedure is also in the Oral Law.


Also, I’m afraid you misunderstand me. I don’t want to kill all homosexuals. In fact, I personally doubt that there is such as thing as a "homosexual" as a special type of person. There are people who, for various reasons, choose to perform homosexual acts. What I am suggesting is lopping the heads off of a few men who are convicted of having anal intercourse with each other. This would probably save thousands of innocent lives, as we see from the example of Saudi Arabia, which does do this and has 1/60 the rate of HIV of the United States.


Bos, if I would produce complicated, barely understandable proofs of Torah, would that convince you? Or would you brush if off, saying there should be more obvious evidence if Torah were really true?

avrum68 said...

"Partly, I am disturbed by the level of hatred shown towards homosexuals on this blog"

I'd recommend volunteering for a pride organiation. But posting on a blog...a blog that attracts the same 5 people?

" Partly, I would rather not see a theocracy in any country, and it is easier to try to nip it in the bud. "

Well good luck then. Though I'm not sure how spending a part of your day posting on JP's blog is going to alter political forces and electoral process.

"This forces me to go and learn stuff"

But your cocky, "know it all" attitude, so common among Dawkin's Army, would suggest that you can't learn anything new, because the stuff you disagree with is all hooey gooey. This:

"Ah, Answers in Genesis, that oh so very trustworthy source."

does not sound like a man interested in learning more. It sounds like a close-minded dude with an axe to grind.

"Why do you spend your time on this site?"

1) My background isn't science. So I find JP's posts refreshing, concise, and clear with respect to issues such as evolution, theology and atheism.

2) Surely you have better things to do than post over and over again questioning why I am doing things

Yes, yes I do. But alas, many of us choose careers whereby the advantages aren't the work itself, but rather the time we're alloted to other things.

3) Oh no, I described someones beliefs as stupid!

Tip: If you want a deist to listen, try compassion, warmth, and humor.

avrum68 said...

"I agree with Spike -Please stop analyzing motivations behind participating in this blog. I do this because it is fun. I like philosophical and scientific exchanges of opinion. OK"

Bad, I enjoy your posts, and appreciate that you have a background in the thing that you're critical of. I respect that, and can appreciate your struggle. Again, my interest lies in the backgrounds and motivations of folks like JP, Collins, Dawkins..how science can help folks reach such different conclusions.

Ray said...

i think you are wrong to diss other religions like that.You have no right to judge people because of certain individuals.

badrabbi said...

JP,

It is very interesting:

The Torah says: "Do X forever"
1500 years later, rabbis come along and say: "Don't do X"

now, you come along and tell me that for me to "do X" would mean that I have to convert!

Ours is not a religion of Torah?

LOL! That's all I can say - LOL!!!

jewish philosopher said...

Like any legal document, the Torah requires interpretation. Why do we appoint US Supreme Court Justices to interpret the Constitution? You tell every citizen to just read it.

The question is which interpretation is valid - that accepted by 2 million Jews (the Talmud), or that accepted by a few hundred Jews (all the rest). Which do you vote for?

badrabbi said...

I agree that some things are open to interpretation. My question to you is as follow:

What part of "you shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever" is ambiguous to you?

At what point does something stop being a 'interpretation' and start becoming an 'invention'?

Also, you should not use this number business. Remember that there are 1000 million people who think Jesus was the Massiah. Do mere numbers mean that the Christians are right?

Or do you resort to logic. If the Torah says "DO THIS", and if rabbis come along and say "DO NOT DO THIS", then, necessarily, either we are changing the Torah, or the rabbis are frauds!

jewish philosopher said...

Besides the fact that the overwhelming majority of Jewish tradition supports the Talmud, there is other evidence.

avrum68 said...

"Also, you should not use this number business. Remember that there are 1000 million people who think Jesus was the Massiah. Do mere numbers mean that the Christians are right?"

Haven't we discussed this already visavis the #'s game and personal vs. public revelation. I believe JP was clear that the Torah's public revelation is unprecedented w/ respect to how many people were present at sinai.

"At what point does something stop being a 'interpretation' and start becoming an 'invention'?
!"

An excellent point, and one that Conservative Jews seems to be most honest about. Though their movement is in shambles, not unlike Communism, on paper, the movement appears to evolve the way Judaism has always evolved. In the end, Orthodox Jews take God, prayer, law, community, family, on and on much more seriously and hollistically than all the other movements.

badrabbi said...

JP, as usual, you have not all addressed my questions. I was not asking you about Talmud and its legitimacy. I asked you a direct question, sir:
If the torah says 'do X', and the talmud says 'don't do X', what happens?

This is the question.

Avrum,
Stop using the Kuzari for everything, including the kitchen sink! JP stated that because there are 2 million orthodox Jews that support the Talmud, and only a handful of Samaritans that do not, then, necessarily, the Talmud is legit! In reply, I wrote that using numbers this way is dangerous, as if this were a legit line of reasoning, then you can say Christians, being one billion in number, are right in saying Christ is Massiah.

avrum68 said...

An apology is in order. I assumed this:

"Also, you should not use this number business"

was refering to Kuzari.

TigerBoy said...

I was thinking this morning: What would a person logically think about this world if he would wake up one day completely innocent, with no prejudices or preconceptions, unbiased by previous commitments and external influences?
.
What conclusions would he reach? I imagine the answer would be something like this:
.
The obvious first step would be to go to the library and ask the librarian: “Has the creator of the universe ever publicly revealed himself to mankind and told us who he is?”
.
First, she would laugh at him for posing such an obviously biased and leading question. "I'm guessing that you already have an answer in mind, young man. I thought you just woke up this morning, and that you were completely innocent, with no prejudices or preconceptions."
.
"Actually, you sound like a made-up simpleton, from the very limited imagination of some backward, hateful, closed-minded, old zealot."
.
After she stopped laughing at him, the librarian would scratch her head, and think about it for a moment before she said: “But wait. There WAS, in fact, one such incident that was documented as having taken place.”
.
Then she would open "The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster", and explain that The Flying Spaghetti Monster put all the evidence for evolution around the world, with a wave of his noodly appendage!
.
Pirates are the true "chosen" people! Their leader is Captain Mosey. He is the greatest pirate of them all!
.
YAARRR!!!!
.
Captain Mosey gave us the Eight "I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts"
.
The next question would be: “Are there any people alive today who are descended from those pirates who received the revelation of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, and who still observe those Eight "I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts" ?”
.
The librarian would answer, “You know, you really aren't very bright, but yes, there are.” And she would hand him a telephone book yellow pages open to the page of a local costume shop, that specializes in pirate regalia!
.
Then, she would explain that there is a direct inverse correlation between the number of pirates in the world, and global warming. "'Cuz that just makes good sense."
.
Then, she would explain that if he is very, very good, and always wears his pirate outfit, he will go to Flying Spaghetti Monster Heaven, and get all the beer he wants from the Beer Volcano, and all the strippers he wants. Yea!!!
.
And, If he is bad, he will go to Flying Spaghetti Monster Hell, which is a lot like Flying Spaghetti Monster Heaven, but the beer in the Beer Volcano is stale, and all the strippers have VD. Boo!!!
.
I think it really is that simple.

jewish philosopher said...

Bad, "If the torah says 'do X', and the talmud says 'don't do X', what happens?" You don't do it.

Tiger, do I sense a little hostility toward Judaism?

badrabbi said...

Tiger,

I am laughing my ass off! Do you have other writings I can read?

JP,
"If Torah says 'DO X' and Talmud says 'Don't DO X' then you don't do it!"

Your statement nicely summarizes your Judaism..
To all those who read this, take note!
Just for the record, this is not my Judaism. I do not worship rabbis!

jewish philosopher said...

So Bad, which tradition do you follow? According to Samaritans, I believe you are not a Jew and they will not convert you. So are you the world's last Karaite? Or do you just do whatever you feel like doing?

avrum68 said...

"Or do you just do whatever you feel like doing?"

More Jews would be honest if they admit the above. Alas, and as Freud made famous, we're too absorbed in our delusions.

avrum68 said...

"am laughing my ass off! Do you have other writings I can read?"

Yeah, Tiger's a riot. Copying and pasting info that's been floating around on the 'net for the past 2-3 years. Welcome to the internet Bad.

badrabbi said...

JP,
I absolutely pick and choose. That which is morally and logically correct, I follow. That which is not, I do not follow. It really is that simple!

Consider the alternatives: Following, like lemmings, the thousand year old philosophies. No rabbi that has died 2 thousand years ago is my God. If he makes sense, and if his teachings are logical, then I will agree with the said rabbi. If his teachings are illogical or if I feel that he has fabricated information, I would not follow his teachings.

Can you tell me what is wrong with that?

TigerBoy said...

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Mr. Jewish Philosopher:
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"Tiger, do I sense a little hostility toward Judaism?"
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NOT EVEN CLOSE to the level of hostility you have shown towards atheism.
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Can I ask a question? How does Judy feel about all this? I bet she is not happy about the way women are viewed in this religion.
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Judy thinks women are great!
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Judy does NOT view women as baby-making machines!
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Judy thinks women are EQUAL to men.
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Judy does NOT view women, with perfectly NORMAL sex lives, as whores!
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Judy sounds like she might even BE a woman!
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So, why are you so mean to women in Judaism?

avrum68 said...

"Can you tell me what is wrong with that?"

Truth be told, all of my frum friends live this way.

avrum68 said...

"So, why are you so mean to women in Judaism?"

Uh...what? And who is Judy?

avrum68 said...

Wishing y'all an uplifting Shavout experience.

jewish philosopher said...

Bad, so without listening to the rabbis, how do you observe the Torah? On the Sabbath, do you sit in your home in the dark for 24 hours, as per Exodus 16:29 and 35:3? How do you eat meat? The Torah does not explain how to slaughter it. How do you get married? The Torah does not define "mamzer". How do you make phylacteries? And do you wear them 24/7? And if you face unanswered questions, are careful to avoid any possible error?

zdub said...

If the torah says 'do X', and the talmud says 'don't do X', what happens?

Often you simply can't determine bottom line halacha from either and must refer to the various codes (Tur, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, Aruch Hashulchan, Kaf Hachayim, etc etc). But yes, there are many times where Talmud directly contravenes Torah law. Here are some examples: freeing caretakers of orchards from dwelling in a Succah (a biblical law) because of how difficult it would be for them to move their household possession. Allowing a laborer who claims that he never got paid to swear and extract payment from the employer (normally an oath can free one from payment, not extract money from someone else.) Allowing a poor woman who neglected to bring korbanot upon giving birth to bring a single pigeon in order to reduce the demand for pigeons and thereby bring the price down. Notice a pattern? It shows the greatness of our leaders of long ago and the great lengths they would go to to ease the burden of their fellow Jews. Even regarding previous generation, stories abound where rabbis would find whatever loophole they could to allow a questionable chicken to be declared kosher for a poor person.

Now it seems that many rabbinic leaders couldn't care how onerous it is for people to adopt an unnecessarily stringent approach to Judaism. Who cares how poor you are - you have to throw away your El Al tickets or wigs from India (two very recent examples.) This has an unfortunate side-effect in that it contributes enormously to the negative attitudes that some people have towards Orthodoxy. Just be aware that historically our leaders were the epitome of ethical behavior, and had the welfare of each and every Jew as their top priority.

david said...

I do agree with you when you point to siani as one time when god has shown himself to humans. But I believe we would be better served if we were to look at a more recent example. I would start by pointing to the same texts that you are sighting, that being the bible and showing all the promises that were given through the prophets about the coming massiah, lets for exaple say Isaiah 53. We can then look for somebody who fills the descriptions and we find Jesus, our God incarnate. Certainly there can be no reasonable doubt that Jesus claimed to be this person, there is simply too much evidence to support at least this (including secular and jewish writers such as Josephus). The only question is was he the Lord or a liar? Well he did as all the old testament prophets cliamed he would. He was Killed and raised from the dead Paul even says that after he was raised he appeared too 500 people at one time(1 Corinthians 15), a claim that would have been imediately discredited if false. So you have no need to find the decendants of Jews to prove God as you say. You simply need to take the same approach that you do and forget you preconceptions, then explore all the options completely and with an open mind. Doing this will show God has shown himself in many ways at many times, but ultimately and most overwhelmingly in Jesus the messiah.

jewish philosopher said...

Unfortunately, Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophesies. And regarding the statement of Paul (I Corinthians 15:6), it would probably have been difficult to prove he was lying and that there were not somewhere a few hundred witnesses to the resurrection. Paul does not provide a list of names and addresses which could be checked.

Spike said...

Oh, so when it agrees with you, the conspiracy principle is king, but when it is talking about something you don't like, it is not really good enough?

jewish philosopher said...

One person lying is not called a conspiracy.

david said...

I think you will find he did fill the prophesies, even those he had no control over unless he were God. He could never have made sure that he was born to the line of David, and certanly not that he would be born at the exact time that is predicted by Daniel. Futher it would be easy to disprove Pauls statement if false, lets us remember that 1 Corinthians is dated by most biblical historians to have been writter adout 55 A.D. This is a mere 25 year after the crusifixion, well within living memory. Paul even urges them to go and ask these people, clearly implying that the identity of them is kown. Besides this is only one passage that is hard to explain away, if you look at the story of the resurection one claim is that the tomb is empty. This is not disputed by the Jewish leaders of the day, in fact they support it when they claim that the desiples stole the body. However the tomb had guards at the request of these leaders, so the idea the body was taken from a cave with a big stone over the entrance and guards at the front is ridiculous. If you have any examples of prophesies that were not fulfilled by Jesus I would love to see them but I would also like some reasoning as to why you think this was the case.

Ray said...

i read some of the past comments and some people are totally insulting other religions accusin them of things because there are some muslims in the world who think it is okay to do bad things. r u trying to say that because they are muslims, they r bad people. I DONT FINK SO!!!!!

jewish philosopher said...

David, how do you know that there was a resurrection? Perhaps the authors of the gospels made it up? And perhaps some of Paul’s listeners did check the facts and found him to be lying? We know that the vast majority of Jesus’ peers never accepted him as messiah.

david said...

first there is a 2nd letter to the corinthians and the fact that the church was still there suggests that Paul was honest. surley if Paul had lied and they had found this then at least the church would have rejected his claims as they were lies. We can know this doesn't happen as firstly the church is still there and accepting Jesus as their massiah. But we also have no documented evidence that anyone tried to seek witnesses and found that they rejected the resurection. If those Paul talks about do not varify his claim then surely this news would spread and somebody record it. But we also look at Pauls faith, a faith based on a claimed meeting with the risen Lord. Surley as a Jew well versed in the laws of Moses he knew what it ment if he was wrong about Jesus. He say he knows in 1 Corinthians 15 :12-23. Yet despite this he is jailed and killed for his faith. He would not have died for something he knew to be a lie, most men will not even die for the truth, yet he saw christ. If this was a lie on his part he would have denounced his faith or more likely not commit worshiped a man as God that he knew was not. What other then the encounter with Jesus could have convinced the diciples. These men rejected Jesus as he went to the cross, they hid and feared for their lives, Peter even said he didn't know Jesus. Why then do we see these same men building the church and many of they being killed standing up for christ and the resurrection if they had not seen the risn Lord.

jewish philosopher said...

David, a basic problem with the New Testament is that it is a document created by the early church to be used as propaganda. It was written in Greek for a Greek audience. We have no way of knowing how much of it is fictitious. Other, radically different, accounts of Jesus’ life were suppressed. The vast majority of Palestinian Jews, who witnessed Jesus’ ministry, rejected him and in fact supported his execution.

david said...

First I dont see how the use of greek has any impact on how trustworthy the writing is. Second we have more evidence that supports the new testament then any other writing in the ancient world. For example of documents that are original, or 1st or 2nd copies, there are only about 10 documents surviving that name Cesar, and over 10,000 from the New Testament. Add to this ancient historians such a Josephus and you find that not ony do the claims of the 4 gosples match, but non christian writers varify large parts themselves. But not all of the New Testament is for Greeks, Matthew wrote his gospel for Jews and certainly the letter to the Hebrews was for Jewish converts. You are correct in saying that some accounts were left out, this however was not that they contradict Jesus claims to be the messiah. Much of what was within these accounts were not accepted by the readers within the life of Jesus as they were not copatable with what people heard Jesus teach. Others came as much a 200 years later by which time legend had crept in, you then start seeing stories of a cross flying into the sky and talking. The 27 books of the New Testament were there because they were known to be accurate. I also understand that he was rejected by many who were alive at the time, but he also had a huge following. If anything this rejection only adds to his claim, Isiah 53 talks of the messiah as despised and rejected by men, and says he would be pierced for our transgressions. The fact that he was rejected and killed only works to fill prophesy. Had he been recognised as the messiah he could not have done so as he would he revered.

jewish philosopher said...

The problem with the divinity of Jesus is that, in my humble opinion, the claim is extraordinary and the evidence is not strong enough. How much evidence would you need to see to be convinced that I am God? Probably quite a lot. The fact that many people hate me or that I am sentenced to death would surely not convince you. Even if someone claimed that hundreds of people claim to have seen me alive after being executed, would that convince you?

david said...

sure it is a big claim, but God did promise a man such as this, a point that surely you can agree with even if you do not believe Jesus to be that man. Lets say you had claimed to be God, predicted your own death, I had seen you executed and then 3 days later were to appear to me alive. You then appear in a locked room to me and allow me to touch the holes in your hands and sides, I don't think I would have any choice but to believe you. This is what Jesus followrs claim and as I has pointed out they were mostly Jews that knew the result if they were lying. But I think your making a mistake in viewing these signs in issolation. When you combine the Resurrection with other signs such as his miricals, the line of his birth the time of his birth and the reaction of those around him to name some signs of the massiah that were foretold you start to get a very convincing argument. I suggest you read some of this mans work

www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/

jewish philosopher said...

I think that if the Old Testament prophets had given very specific precise information, and Jesus met all those requirements, that would definitely be very interesting. For example, if Moses and Isaiah would have predicted that God will be born in a human form, the birth will take place in Bethlehem on 12/25 year 1 AD and his mother’s name will be Mary and Jesus was the only person who fit that profile, that would be interesting. The fact is, however, that all the proof texts are very vague and may be interpreted in many different ways. Therefore, they actually prove nothing.

david said...

The link you have given provides a common argument against Jesus, certainly the Muslims have claimed that the scriptures have been tampered with as a way of relegating Jesus from lord to a prophet. Unfotunately for them along came the dead sea scrolls that show the old testament scripture has been translated accuratly. I really dont think the test are that vague. And for example to claim that looking at one test, that he was born in bethlahem does not prove he in the messiah but it does exclude those who were not born there. You can then move through the other proofs and say who fits each of these and narrow it down untill you end with only Jesus. Besides using the standard of proof that you have just set you cannot disprove his claims. You could well just be misinterperating the passages to show that he is not messiah.

jewish philosopher said...

Do we have any way of verifying where Jesus was born? Even if it proves something, his birth in Bethlehem may be a fiction. It is sometimes difficult to verify the birthplace of even modern day people. Yasser Arafat claimed to have been born in Jerusalem, making him a “true Palestinian”. Documents show that he was born in Egypt. I would assume that Jesus was born in Nazareth, where he grew up.

david said...

The only evidence we have of where he was born says Bethlehem. It gives us a perfectly sound reason as to why he was born there rather then his home town, and I really see no evidence that should make you doubt this account. I would ask you now how you could prove your claims for example that the prophets claims of the messiah are even true, or did Moses really exist, Was there really 40 years spent in the desert during which time the 10 commandments were handed down. The old testament reads to me mostly like God preparing the world for Gods final plan through the messiah he promises. With out the fulfillment of these promises it is very hard to show they are true. We do know that while Moses was with God on Siani the Jews that were there built a golden cow that thy could worship, maybe this shows that they were not very convinced even while God was showing himself to them or maybe it is just a good story that was made up. Certainly we take jesus out of the picture and Judaism becomes very hard to prove and looks more like a set of rules and empty promises.