Friday, February 29, 2008

When Einstein was Wrong

[Albert Einstein]

Occasionally, people wonder what exactly God is, why would He do this or that, why would He create earlier worlds, why would He create anything actually? And what exactly is God? What does He look like? How can any thing exist outside of time and space, matter and energy?

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."

That is amazing isn’t it? That the few pounds of protein stuffed in our skulls are capable of understanding everything that exists in creation is unbelievable.

In fact, it is so unbelievable because it’s wrong.

If we choose to believe that nature is all that there is and in other words focus on the little area we do comprehend, then we indeed comprehend everything. However, we actually know very, very little about all existence. We are limited by the small capacity of our senses and by the limits of our tiny minds. We are like insects scanning the horizon a few feet away and imagining that nothing else exists.

In fact there exists the human soul, angels, other spiritual entities and finally the Creator Himself.

What is most relevant to us is that we have a Lord and Master, He has commanded to live in a certain way and He will reward and punish us accordingly. In regards to many other questions, the answer is that we don’t know and for obvious reasons we cannot know. To imagine that we can attain omniscience is the height of absurdity.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Remarkable Debate

Kosher sex vs. a drunken goy.

I wish I could participate in this type of thing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My New Friends

Recently, an atheist who goes by the alias Kelly O’Connor wrote an article criticizing one of my articles.

My article denounces atheists as being irrational, selfish and self-indulgent.

Ms. O’Connor disagrees strongly with this. She apparently believes that atheists are highly rational, generous and live a healthy, moderate lifestyle as a general rule and she is incensed that I claim otherwise.

Ms. O’Connor is a stripper (see comment submitted by Sapient on February 19, 2008 - 3:24pm). She supports her live-in boyfriend Brian J. Cutler alias Brian Sapient (see this clip at 1 minute 25 second mark). Brian devotes all his time to fighting against belief in God. In other words, he is unemployed. In her one page article she uses obscenities three times. She smokes (see clip below).

Their website is full of appeals for funds.

As I understand it, the couple lives in Philadelphia and are former Catholics.

Here is a youtube video featuring Ms. O’Connor. Toward the very end you can see a little bit of Brian sitting on Kelly's right.

Here are two people, among the most extremely outspoken athiests in the United States, who are about thirty years old yet clearly have the maturity of seventeen year olds. Of course, that may just be a coincidence.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What Would Darwin Do?

Charles Darwin

Barack Obama

I was thinking about the United States presidential elections on the way to work this morning, and it occurred to me: if Charles Darwin were here today, he would probably advice us to shoot Senator Obama, not vote for him. According to Darwin, the extermination of “the savage races” (and apes) by the Nordic peoples will mark the next milestone in the advancement of life on earth. [Full disclosure – my ancestry is very Nordic. However, rather than believing myself to be a member of the “master race”, I believe that all men are brothers, descended from Adam and Eve who lived about 6,000 years ago.]

Do the people who encourage the teaching of evolution in public schools know about this?

This is not a politically oriented blog and I don’t want it to ever become one. However, just to clarify my own point of view, I intend to vote for Senator Obama if he wins the Democratic nomination. Although I am a registered Republican, I agree completely with his positions on Iraq and stem cell research.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Torah and Archaeology

[the Merneptah Stele]

Does archaeology support the Torah or contradict it?

The answer is: Yes, it may do both.

Archaeology is not similar to chemistry or physics. Archaeology does not involve the study of processes that reoccur today and which can be directly observed. Rather, by definition archaeology is “The systematic study of past human life and culture by the recovery and examination of remaining material evidence, such as graves, buildings, tools, and pottery.”

The number of artifacts retrieved limits archeology. Obviously the vast majority of tools, pottery and documents from the period of the Torah (4,000 BCE to 1,200 BCE) have been destroyed. Of those that still exist, very few have been excavated and fewer have been studied.

To gain some idea of the problem, consider something from my own area, New York State. According to Colonial New York by Michael Kammen page 8 “Archeologists have not been able to locate or identify any of the particular Mahican or Wappinger villages mentioned in written accounts.” Similarly, in Virginia, only after a century of searching were archeologists able to locate James Fort, Virginia, whose existence and almost exact location were know from 17th century written records.

Based upon this, it surely seems foolish to assume that because archaeologists have not found something mentioned in the Torah, this refutes the Torah. Generally this is the argument used from archeology against the Torah – because Egyptian records don’t mention the Exodus, for example, therefore it did not happen. Egyptian records from that period also do not mention the Thera eruption, however we know that it did happen.

Absence of evidence, particularly in archeology, is not evidence of absence.

In addition to that, evidence which does exist can be interpreted in different ways by different experts – as in clear in Israeli archeology today.

I think that archeology is comparable to finding a painting which has been shredded, recovering about 1% of the pieces and then, based on that, attempting to guess what the original picture was of. Different people may see different things and the bottom line is, based on archeology, we just don’t know very much with any certainty.

In general outlines, however, the Torah and archeology do agree.

The Torah states that man was created about 6,000 years ago. Archeology tells us that writing began about 6,000 years ago.

The Torah tells us that the Deluge destroyed all life on earth about 4,000 years ago. Archeology tells us that the Egyptian Old Kingdom and the Sumerian civilization ended about 4,000 years ago. (There are no other civilizations from that period whose writing has been deciphered.)

The Torah (Genesis 6:4) tells us that very powerful men lived before the Deluge. We find today the Egyptian pyramids, the Sphinx, Stonehenge and other remarkable monuments from that period.

The Book of Joshua tells of the invasion of Canaan by the Israelites about 3,300 years ago. Israel Finkelstein in “ The Bible Unearthed” page 119, reports that about that time villages began appearing in Palestine, which did not raise swine or possess idols. Also, the Palestinian cities of Hazor and Jericho were destroyed at about that time. From about this period an Egyptian inscription mentions the people of Israel in Palestine.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Superbad – Why is it really so bad?

[still from the film “Superbad” released 8/17/2007]

The movie “Superbad” is a movie about three average American 17 year old boys and their first attempts to have sex. The movie is a comedy and it fairly realistically portrays a stage which most American boys today go through, with some unlikely but very funny situations added in to make the movie more entertaining.

The truth is, this movie is not much different from what ultra-Orthodox boys go through as well and at about the same age. (Many Hassidic boys marry at 18.) There is a lot of nervousness, embarrassment, excitement and misunderstanding. The movie felt strangely familiar in some ways. People are people, whether in secular New City or neighboring Hassidic New Square.

There is however something bad about Superbad.

What about the children?

Sex produces children. Children are people. They are the next generation and represent the future of mankind. This should be a paramount issue.

In an Orthodox setting, before the couple meets, references are checked to try to make sure that the couple is compatible for a long-term relationship. After meeting, the couple doesn’t touch each other until after a public commitment has been made – the wedding ceremony. Divorce is permitted in Judaism, but strongly discouraged except in cases of wife beating or adultery. When they do have sex, any children conceived will have a father and mother to care for them until maturity.

Let’s compare that to Superbad.

Other than some fumbling around for a condom, the issue of children is never considered. The selfishness and cruelty implied is staggering.

What will happen to children conceived in these situations?

Let’s check the statistics. About six million women become pregnant every year in the US. About 1.2 million fetuses are aborted. Another 800,000 are miscarried or still born. Therefore about four million are born alive. Of those born alive, about 40% will be born to an unmarried woman. Interestingly, this percentage has been rising for decades in spite of the availability of birth control. Birth control may at best decrease the likelihood of pregnancy, however sexually active women still get pregnant.(For more details on the effectiveness of birth control, see Knocked Up, by the same producer as Superbad.)

In any case, out of about 6 million babies conceived every year in the US, about 2.4 million will be born alive to a married woman. What about the future of those lucky 2.4 million? Seemingly, each one has about a 50% chance of seeing those parents still married when he finishes high school. And divorce has catastrophic effects on the children involved. “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study” by Judith S. Wallerstein explains in great detail the emotional problems and mental anguish suffered by children who grow up in divorced homes. The father often disappears or provides the children with minimal emotional and financial support while he goes on to establish a new family. The mother is busy working and seeking a new mate. The children are basically abandoned; the unwanted products of a relationship which failed. The younger they are, the more they are affected. Their pain is translated into anger and sadness, which may lead to self-destructive behavior for decades afterwards and also poor choices in their own relationships.

Studies have shown that children living in single parent families are far more likely to suffer from many social and economic problems compared to children in intact families.

So perhaps one in five people conceived today in America will be raised to maturity by two married biological parents. Interestingly, this about equals the percentage of Americans who attend church services weekly.

The picture, which seems to emerge is that, if you are an American embryo, you should pray that your parents belong to one of the remaining, small religious communities. Otherwise, you’re goose is probably cooked. You will almost certainly be killed, abandoned, badly neglected or abused. And that’s superbad.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Another Gift from Gays

[a man infected with MRSA]

In addition to HIV and a new strain of gonorrhea, the New York Times recently reported another new disease being bestowed upon us by the male homosexual community.

Interestingly, in related news, the United Nations is promoting male circumcision as being one method of preventing HIV.

If God did not write the Torah, then apparently someone with a remarkable knowledge of personal hygiene wrote it.

And thanks again, gay rights activists everywhere. You're the best.