Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Jewish Skeptics - are you listening?



As Internet porn spreads, sexual addiction spreads and atheism spreads among Orthodox men who must rationalize what they are doing.

Get help.

53 comments:

jewemp said...

Reading your posts, I am shocked to see that you equate atheism with sexual addiction. I personally know many people who do not believe in God, but would like nothing more than to do so. It would remove a lot of difficulties in their lives to simply have faith in God. These people often tend to remain completely observant, so that one would never know that they were atheists. And I can assure you that they do not have sexual addiction.
Please do not jump to conclusions until you are sure that you have thoroughly analyzed aall arguments for the existence of God.

I have a favor to ask of you - I want you to read a short philosophical work by David Hume, called Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. It's a nice short read, not too difficult. He discusses the existence of God. If you think that there is absolutely no merit to the work, then you might be justified in your assertions, though not necessarily. But, if you think that Hume makes good points, even if you don't necessarily agree with them, then please stop these accusations.

Also, you should note that early prominent atheists like Spinoza and Hume were paradigms of morality. This is well attested.

jewemp said...

And I might add that an atheist could just as well say that you are an Olam-Haba addict who refuses to believe that death is the end, or is afraid of Gehenom.

jewish philosopher said...

I think that it’s clear that Judaism is more rational than atheism and it’s obvious what the motives of modern day skeptics are.

I would advise all skeptics – turn off the porn, open a gemora and the skepticism will end.

jewemp said...

This is exactly what I'm saying is NOT obvious. The atheist can say it is obvious that atheism is more rational, and that the motives of theists are clear - they want endless happiness (which they lack in their everyday lives) and are afraid of death. He could say (and they do say this, if you have looked around) exactly the same that you have, with the opposite conclusion.

Now I don't think either of these two positions are true. But you see that you get nowhere saying things like what you have.

And for your knowledge, I know many atheists who learn gemara several hours daily.

Additionally, if you have ever seen blogs from Evangelical Christians, you'll see that they also say things like "Jesus is God, read the Bible!" They also claim that all people who deny Christianity do so because they want to have sex. Now clearly you can't both be right, so you'll have to weigh arguments in favor of both. But this means rejecting one of the two (or more) religions, though not necessarily for wanting to have sex. If so, then is it not possible that atheists reject BOTH for reasons aside from sex?

Please read Hume's work. It is very relevant. It is also necessary that you keep up to date with mainstream philosophical works if you go by the title "Jewish Philosopher."

torahtrue said...

Your blog is really great. You really kill the sacred cows as they say. It is about time.

I agree that basically all of the obvious questions like men being evolved from bacteria, the Earth going around the sun (or going around at all), the Earth being billions, or was that jillions or whatever years old is based on the most speculative and spurious of scientist's mind flatulation. Just last week, I had to deal with the whole rabbit and hyrax matter, which you mention in a recent comment here. Why can't these people just declare the truth, that the neighbor's wife makes them a little aroused. It is only natural, but then you have to move on. Why build a whole mountain of "scientific" cards to justify it? Even scientists today can't believe what they are saying, and that rational people are believing it. The Chazal had it right. Koneh meah, rotzeh masayim.

Anonymous said...

"Also, you should note that early prominent atheists like Spinoza and Hume were paradigms of morality. This is well attested."

trhi smya very well be do to the fact that they grew up in religious environments and got into the habit of being moral before they became atheists.

Anonymous said...

According to the Wikipedia article, Spinoza was more of a pantheist. Moreover, he seems to have been a moral relativist. That philosophy has resulted in a grat deal of harm, and continues to do so.

jewemp said...

tt: you are absolutely wrong about what scientists believe. They feel that their theories are based on very hard evidence, and rightly so. Just because the theories are complicated for people who do not have a background in science, nor the breadth of knowledge that they have, does not mean that they are ill-founded. I suggest you read a serious book about evolution by someone who believes in it. Not Dawkins, he is a demagogue. But there are plenty of such books out there. Better yet, contact a scientist and ask him/her to explain evolution to you.

The age of the universe is based on geological strata, the distance of objects in the universe, expansion of the universe, cosmic background radiation, and other things. Please research this, and there are plenty of good books on this as well.

"trhi smya very well be do to the fact that they grew up in religious environments and got into the habit of being moral before they became atheists."

Possible. But that would just prove my point - they were atheists without wanting to go after the ladies.

Also, Spinoza's moral relativism, though it may have led to harm, did not mainfest itself as such in his own life, so your other point does not matter.

And neither of you have responded to my other points. The atheists make the same claims as you, but in the other direction. And I personally know that many atheists left Judaism, though they wanted to believe, still keep many mitzvot, and/or contemplated suicide once they lost faith because they felt that without God, life was meaningless. I don't know how you can deduce the reasoning for people's atheism the way you do without some preconceived notion. If you guys just stopped denouncing each other, and actually read the academic literature by the other side, perhaps we could discuss the issues in a sane manner without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

jewemp said...

Also, Spinoza, though offically a pantheist, is really more like an atheist, if you know anything about his philosophy. He calls "substance" God, which is completely arbitrary. This "God" of his has no mind, no powers, does not reveal itself to man, is in fact the essence of man, etc. This is not at all what we could consider to be God. So, though I am aware of Spinoza's pantheism, if you look more closely (as in, read some books on/by him, not just take a casual glance at wikipedia), you would conclude he was really an atheist.

jewemp said...

Also, Spinoza, though offically a pantheist, is really more like an atheist, if you know anything about his philosophy. He calls "substance" God, which is completely arbitrary. This "God" of his has no mind, no powers, does not reveal itself to man, is in fact the essence of man, etc. This is not at all what we could consider to be God. So, though I am aware of Spinoza's pantheism, if you look more closely (as in, read some books on/by him, not just take a casual glance at wikipedia), you would conclude he was really an atheist.

jewish philosopher said...

Jewemp, thanks for your input.

"The atheist can say it is obvious that atheism is more rational"

And the Holocaust denier can say that Holocaust denial is more rational. I've looked at the evidence and made my decision.

"But you see that you get nowhere saying things like what you have."

I am explaining why some people do not agree with me. I am also providing valuable ideas about how to decrease the number of Jewish converts to atheism, which is especially important to myself as the father of three small children.

"I know many atheists who learn gemara several hours daily."

Who? And did they swear off porn as well?

"They also claim that all people who deny Christianity do so because they want to have sex."

I'm not an expert on the Christian community or why people enter and leave it. I do think that sexual freedom is one of atheism's most attractive features.

“Please read Hume's work. It is very relevant.”

I assume that referring to Hume’s critique of the design argument and the occurrence of miracles. Frankly, I am not impressed. It’s just a lot of arrogant drivel. The fact that Hume is famous proves nothing; so were Marx and Hitler.

“Better yet, contact a scientist and ask him/her to explain evolution to you.”
Been there, done that. Nobody has answers to my questions.

“without resorting to ad hominem attacks.”

I am not claiming anyone is wrong just because he’s bad; I’m claiming that because he’s bad he went wrong. I have only found one atheist how seems to have been a decent guy.

jewemp said...

You may have made your decision. But you seem to also have claimed that ALL atheists are so because they want sex. I will admit that there are many who do for this reason, but to say that all do so is a gross mischaracterization. If I misinterpreted you in that regard, I am sorry.

Do you not see how anyone could possibly become an atheist because they objectively don't find the evidence convincing?

Also, in responding to my citation of David Hume, you posted a link to wikipedia. I am not citing Hume simply because he is famous; I think his critiques are very poignant and that they must be discussed in talking about atheism. Have you gone through Dialogues and thoroughly read his critiques? If so, you could help me respond to his claim that the Universe might just be like an animal, as well as some of his other claims.

Note that I do not say your decision in favor of Judaism is wrong; I just say that your claim that no one could reach that conclusion unless he really wanted to sin is flawed.

Anonymous said...

Possible. But that would just prove my point - they were atheists without wanting to go after the ladies.

Also, Spinoza's moral relativism, though it may have led to harm, did not mainfest itself as such in his own life, so your other point does not matter.

He might have wanted to go after the ladies, but he felt guilty because he internalized the ethics he was taught by religious parents. And if his moral relativism led to horrific things, then who cares if it didn't happen in his lifetime? He is still, at least in my opinion, accountable.

jewish philosopher said...

"But you seem to also have claimed that ALL atheists are so because they want sex."

What I exactly wrote is:

"I think therefore it is reasonable to suggest that the current wave of Orthodox Jews leaving Judaism is primarily motivated by a desire for greater sexual freedom – pornography, strip clubs, prostitution, casual sex, etc."

"Do you not see how anyone could possibly become an atheist because they objectively don't find the evidence convincing?"

Do you not see how anyone could possibly become a Holocaust denier because they objectively don't find the evidence convincing?

"the Universe might just be like an animal"

Who created the animal?

jewemp said...

The animal does not need a creator, it is eternal. You are basing the design argument on the cosmological argument, which Hume discusses as well. In fact, he rejects this very point, which Cleanthes raises. Have you actually read Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion?

I'll take your response to my question about convincing evidence to mean that you don't see how. I don't think there is nearly as much evidence in favor of Judaism as in favor of establishing the Holocaust. You are, I know, going to drop the Kuzari Principle on me. There is not enough room here to discuss it, but let me just say that it is not so simple.

And yes, these people do not look at porn, though they learn gemara. I won't say who to protect their privacy.

Finally, to anonymous, Spinoza could not find sexual gratification in any way based on his atheism. So, even though it might have led to others using it as a basis for immoral acts, that certainly was not his motivation.

jewish philosopher said...

"The animal does not need a creator, it is eternal."

The universe cannot be eternal because it would eventually reach entropy. This is why perpetual motion machines don't work.

jewemp said...

Interesting argument. This is much better than I usually hear to support the not-eternal nature of the universe.

I will try to reformulate your argument to make it more rigorous:
1) All finite things tend toward entropy.
2) The Universe is a finite thing.
3) Therefore it tends toward entropy (from 1, 2).
4) The laws of the Universe are eternal.
5) If the Universe is finite and eternal, then any process would have come to completion by now, as it would have occurred over an infinite amount of time and thus reached equilibrium (Cleanthes, from 4).
6) Therefore, if the Universe is finite and eternal, entropy would have come to completion (from 5).
7) Entropy has not come to completion.
8) Therefore, the Universe is not both finite and eternal (from 6, 7).

I can challenge premise (4) by saying essentially what Philo responds to Cleanthes - the universe may contain eternal cycles, in which things tend to and away from entropy. You are assuming eternal laws.

I can also challenge this by accepting eternal laws, but rejecting premise (5). Start with an infinitely ordered Universe, at infinite time back, and then it would asymptotically decay toward entropy. This might be visualized easier by working backward - start with the universe as it is now, and imagine back in time, so that for all points in time t before any time T, the Universe has less entropy. Standard definition of a limit as T goes to negative infinity.

You haven't answered me if you have read Dialogues.

jewish philosopher said...

"All finite things tend toward entropy."

Wrong. All things tend toward entropy. In an endless period of time, entropy would have to be reached.

"the universe may contain eternal cycles, in which things tend to and away from entropy"

The universe may contain eternal cycles, in which things tend to fall up instead of down so if you jump out the window you will fly like a bird. I would not suggest testing that philosophy.

"You haven't answered me if you have read Dialogues."

No, nor have I read all the Holocaust denial literature or every other piece of nonsense ever published.

Anonymous said...

We know emprircally that the universe had a beginning. Hence the Big Bang theory. The problem with the Big Bang theory is Scientists are still struggling to come up with a cause for the Big Bang. I firecracker doesn't explode unless you light it. What lit the fuse on the Big Bang? ANd Scientists are still trying to get around the problem of the singularity. Why dosen;t everything collapse into a black hole? Cyclical universes don't address these problems. Waht makes the univesrse expand after it contracts. And, according to scientists the univesre will not contract. The universe will not cycle. This is becase there is not enough energy and mass in the universe to cause it to cycle, and the universe is flat in a four dimensional, general relitivistic sense. Science has made a lot of progress since Hume's day.

jewemp said...

Your denial that all finite things tend to entropy would lead to saying that God would tend to entropy. I was trying to help your case with that premise.

I did not say that at any given time things would fall up, but prove that such a thing could never happen! Any argument you make would end up assuming that laws are immutable, which is explicitly what the animal premise denies. Thus you are begging the question. This also applies to anonymous's comments.

Please note that a) you will never convince an atheist to believe in God by simply comparing atheism to holocaust denial; you have to point out his error as well, and b) how can you call yourself a philosopher if you have never read standard works of philosophy?

I'll give you a list of classical works that you must read for some basic literacy on the topic of atheism:

Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, by Benedict de Spinoza
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, by David Hume
Natural History of Religion, by David Hume
Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, by David Hume
Critique of Pure Reason, by Immanuel Kant
On the Basis of Morality, by Arthur Schopenhauer

There are some others, but this should give you a good start.

Furthermore, anyone who wishes to combat holocaust denial must read their literature, so they can refute their claims. So too with you if you wish to combat atheists.

Finally, to anonymous, I was hoping someone would make a post like you, because Hume presents the same argument, which he throws right back:

"But what is this vegetation and generation of which you talk? said Demea. Can you explain their operations, and anatomize that fine internal structure on which they depend?
As much, at least, replied Philo, as Cleanthes can explain the operations of reason, or anatomize that internal structure on which it depends. But without any such elaborate disquisitions, when I see an animal, I infer, that it sprang from generation; and that with as great certainty as you conclude a house to have been reared by design. These words, generation, reason, mark only certain powers and energies in nature, whose effects are known, but whose essence is incomprehensible; and one of these principles, more than the other, has no privilege for being made a standard to the whole of nature. "

Thus, even if I can't explain the exact mechanism by which the animal works, neither can you for explaining how God can design the Universe despite being immaterial. For all we can tell, there are only material objects in the world! Thus the designer hypothesis is just as arbitrary as the animal hypothesis, which is what I set out to show.

jewemp said...

I also suggest researching the the theories of the Big Bounce, etc. Even if that doesn't convince you, it is an argument from ignorance to say it is absolutely impossible.

jewish philosopher said...

"I did not say that at any given time things would fall up, but prove that such a thing could never happen!"

Prove that thousands of people could never conspire together to fabricate the Holocaust story.

We must rely on common sense and the evidence when making decisions in life, not some nonsensical speculation.

Anonymous said...

Has the irony of this situation ever hit you?
You claim that many leave Jewish Orthodoxy because of sex. However, I have read a great many atheist blogs (including those of ex-Orthodox Jews), and not one of them has ever mentioned sex except possibly once or twice. Whereas you seem to bring it up in almost every post, making wild accusations that have seemingly no factual basis.

Has it ever occurred to you that YOU are the one with the problem?

jewemp said...

This is different, one is inductive - inferring a general rule from individual cases, the other is not.

And common sense says there are only material beings. Have you ever experienced an immaterial Being? No; you only infer its existence. So too, I only infer that the laws of the Universe cannot be immutable, because otherwise we would run into the paradoxes you mentioned. They are equally nonsensical, as they both rely on the induction fallacy.

Please disregard my repeat of the previous post, I hadn't seen that JP had put it up.

jewish philosopher said...

"I have read a great many atheist blogs (including those of ex-Orthodox Jews), and not one of them has ever mentioned sex except possibly once or twice"

There is a reason for that.

jewish philosopher said...

So we have a choice - either believe that the universe has a non-material creator, or believe that the laws of nature previously were different.

However if there is no intelligent designer, then how did life begin?

And if there is no God, how did Judaism begin?

jewemp said...

"However if there is no intelligent designer, then how did life begin?"

I've answered that already - the universe is an animal, and the species are the equivalent of body parts or cells.

"And if there is no God, how did Judaism begin?"

With this, you abandon all speculative claims to the existence of God. You then get only into the specific arguments about why Judaism is true. There isn't enough room here to expound on the Kuzari Principle, but I'll briefly state that it commits an inductive fallacy by assuming that Jewish tradition was always the same. It also assumes that if someone had falsely tried to start Judaism, they would have done so from scratch. However, there might already have been a religion in place, which started just as any other religion, and the exodus story just became embellished over time. People would have already been familiar with the story, and with no written texts yet, they would have listened to the leaders who told them that certain miracles must have happened for the Exodus to be true.

I find the Kuzari Principle to be similar to the Evangelical Christian argument, "Lord, liar, or lunatic," which they use to establish the truth of Christianity.

jewish philosopher said...

"I've answered that already - the universe is an animal, and the species are the equivalent of body parts or cells."

So life has existed eternally? I think we now know that isn't true.

"There isn't enough room here to expound on the Kuzari Principle"

I've gone into it a bit.

jewemp said...

Not life as in standard biological life, which we both agree has not always existed, but an analogy to life, just as God is analogous to a mind.

I will counter your other post, which I have read, point by point:

Reading Nehemiah, you would see that even though Nehemiah was personally strongly opposed to the Samaritans, there was much religious interaction between Jews and Samaritans. It could have been passed between them.

The Torah certainly mentions false prophets, and that they should be disregarded. Reading Yirmiyahu, I see plenty of people prophesying in the name of Hashem, though they were false. Finally, we do have alternative books of law - from Qumran, and, much earlier, from Elephantine in Egypt (ca. 500 BCE).

I'll fulfill your potential falsification: see wikipedia on "Miracle of the Sun," in which there was a mass claim of a miracle.

Additionally, one cannot justify assuming there would be some true religion even if one could prove God exists, which you have not, at least yet. Maybe God had some other purpose in the Universe? Maybe he hasn't revealed his will yet? Who knows?

Finally, you mention arguments about the Torah's claims conflicting with reality. While I will grant that it is possible to be made consistent, I ask you: all things being equal, which is more likely: that the Torah is true, and we have to resort to extreme apologetics? Or that it is not true? I am not taking any side, just asking the question. I can successfully explain the Torah's origins without the accepting the truth of Judaism, or I can accept it, but then resolve many major setirot, such as the hyrax issue which you brought up. It is possible that you are right, but which is more likely? Make sure you are not guilty of special pleading...

jewish philosopher said...

"Not life as in standard biological life, which we both agree has not always existed, but an analogy to life, just as God is analogous to a mind."

How did life originate without an intelligent designer?

"Reading Nehemiah, you would see that even though Nehemiah was personally strongly opposed to the Samaritans, there was much religious interaction between Jews and Samaritans."

We have no record of anything except hatred between Jews and Samaritans.

"in which there was a mass claim of a miracle."

I am not denying that other religions have miracles as well. Only we have a mass revelation.

"one cannot justify assuming there would be some true religion even if one could prove God exists"

But it's plausible that there would be.

"mention arguments about the Torah's claims conflicting with reality"

The Torah doesn't conflict with reality. And I think evolution and atheism in general require much, much more special pleading, such as arbitrarily assuming that the laws of nature were once entirely different.

jewemp said...

The Miracle of the Sun, if the reader has seen the wikipedia page, was witnessed by 30,000-100,000 people.

Again, you are assuming that the Universe is not eternal, which you haven't proved yet. Why, then, can't the Universe, which is an animal, exist without a designer?

And I'll quote from Nehemiah to prove my point (though the burden of proof is on you to show that there couldn't have been religious exchange, so therefore the Torah must be much older):

Shemaiah ben Delaiah, a Jewish prophet, and Noadiah, a Jewish prophetess (whom Nehemiah denounces as false, but who says he's right?) sides with the Samaritans.
The Sons of Yoiada ben Eliashiv, the KOHEN GADOL, married into the family Of Sanballat, the head of the Samaritans.

How is it plausible if you haven't established that a) God exists, or b) he cares about mankind, or c) he has revealed himself already?

I have already shown that belief in God is not so pashut without even getting into atheism. How can you say it involves special pleading?

jewish philosopher said...

"The Miracle of the Sun, if the reader has seen the wikipedia page, was witnessed by 30,000-100,000 people."

All of whom agree that no commandments were given there, as there were at Mount Sinai.

"Why, then, can't the Universe, which is an animal, exist without a designer?"

How did life on earth begin with no designer? We know that things which are complex and purposeful are designed.

"Shemaiah ben Delaiah, a Jewish prophet, and Noadiah, a Jewish prophetess (whom Nehemiah denounces as false, but who says he's right?) sides with the Samaritans.
The Sons of Yoiada ben Eliashiv, the KOHEN GADOL, married into the family Of Sanballat, the head of the Samaritans."

As in every generation there have been Jewish traitors who sided with the enemy.

Atheists cannot explain how the universe began, how life began or how Judaism began. Judaism explains all this. Therefore Judaism is convincing.

jewemp said...

Ah, I see. The kohen gadol was a traitor. Thanks for showing me I was wrong.

I don't see how giving the law is relevant to whether or not a miracle occurred.

We only know complex and purposeful things need a designer if a) we know they are purposeful (complex crystals can form through brownian motion), and more importantly, b) if they have not always existed.

I have given plausible explanations as to how all of these things began. You have not responded to my points, but just keep on saying the same thing again and again.

I also know plenty of people who have rejected on their own, without reading any argument form atheists, the Kuzari Principle as worthless, yet remain Yirei Shamayim, 100% frum Jews. How can you say that these people are being intellectually dishonest?

And I reiterate a point I made much earlier - an atheist can claim that you cannot deal with the idea that death is the end, and that's it. Nothing you can say will change their mind.

And you have to PROVE that these people were traitors, not assume it. If they disagreed with Nehemiah, it is likely that he would denounce them even if he was not Divinely inspired.

We have been at this for a long time, and you have not made progress. I have at least attempted to respond to every single point you have raised, while whenever I challenge you on one point, you switch to another, and repeat questions that I have answered without adding anything new. Isn't it clear that this is not so simple? If you want to continue this debate (which I am more than happy to do, please read the book list that I have provided to get at least a minimal background on this subject.

jewish philosopher said...

"And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite"
Nehemiah 13:28
The high priest's grandson intermarried.

"I don't see how giving the law is relevant to whether or not a miracle occurred."
I don't see how a non-Jew performing a miracle is relevant to anything.

"a) we know they are purposeful"
Your hand has no purpose? May I chop it off in that case?

"I have given plausible explanations as to how all of these things began."
You have given crazy explanations.

"an atheist can claim that you cannot deal with the idea that death is the end"
A Holocaust denier will claim it's all Zionist propaganda.

jewish philosopher said...

If, as some speculate, the universe is actually infinitely large and infinitely old, for example our universe is merely one bubble in an infinite “multiverse”, then logically anything which could conceivably happen would happen, and an infinite number of times.

Based on this, how do I know that the woman living in my home is actually my wife and not merely a clever imposter? True, this seems to be unlikely; however in an infinite universe, it could happen, and in fact must happen, not only once, but infinitely.

There are people who do really worry about these things, and they are insane.

Why then do otherwise sane people believe insane things regarding religion? Read this post.

jewemp said...

This argument is getting nowhere. You have not adequately responded to any of my claims, nor do I further expect you to. I am suspending this argument, which I would be willing to continue if JP does the necessary background reading.

Just for all of your knowledge, I do not believe the Universe is an animal. However, I think that it is as plausible a hypothesis as God designing it, for which I listed several reasons in the previous post (if JP puts it up).

A final remark: JP, you may be utterly convinced that you are right. You may even actually be right. But I am skeptical that your dogmatism will ever lead to an atheist changing his mind. He will more likely be reinforced in his (unjustified, I think) belief that all Orthodox Jews are so blinded that they refuse to even look at the other side's arguments before condemning them. So, JP, you may be doing your cause more harm than good.

torahtrue said...

Jewemp and his type will readily quote Egyptology, for instance, but they will not quote the fact that there are 15 years missing from the history of Egypt, according to the papyrii. And which 15 years are they? Why the very 15 years during which the Torah says that the Jews left Egypt. Then they build this tower of evidence that the Exodus could not have happened because the kingdom was like this or that. Why are the 15 years missing as Berel Wein has extensively proven? Could it be that there is something they did not want to write about?

Listen, I think the Republican VP candidate is really cute and all, but Torah is Torah, and even she would agree, so I may enjoy watching her more than I would speak about, but why try to justify it with fake science and fake Egyptian history? Humans are a bit weak, but isn't that why we need the Torah, to make us strong?

Listen, it took thousands of years of hubris and denial before scientists admitted that the universe began, as the Torah says, rather than being infinite. It was only resolved in the last 100 years. It will obviously take them longer to admit that their science does not support more than 6000 years of history, even if you do like how Paris Hilton's butt looks.

Sorry for the blunt crude facts, but truth is truth is torah.

jewish philosopher said...

I am not dogmatic; is it dogmatic to assume that my wife is really my wife for example? This is merely sanity.

And I am not trying to convince atheists. A doctor does not try to heal people who are already dead.

Anonymous said...

"Even if that doesn't convince you, it is an argument from ignorance to say it is absolutely impossible."

If it violates the laws of general relativity then it is absolutly inpossible.

Anonymous said...

"I've answered that already - the universe is an animal, and the species are the equivalent of body parts or cells."

TRhe universe is a collection of matter and energy in various forms. There is nothing remotely resembling cells outside of life. The problem is that it is really really hard to expalin how life could have formed spontaniously from inanimate matter. The simplest ceel consists of some 2000proteins, plus nucelic acids, lipids, carbohydrates, electrolytes,etc. Each component has to be there in the right proportions. Each prote4in consists of hundereds or thousands of amino acids in a complex but precise configuration. How did all this come about through a naturalistic process?

Anonymous said...

And by "big bounce" do you mean the "banging brane" theory? I just fininshed reading a book on that called "The Infinite Universe." According to the authjors, the theory depensds on so many ad hoc supposition, e.g. sting theory, brane theory, and the assumption of a new kind of spring like energy, and the existance of an infinite source of gravity, (a clear violation of first thermodynamics) it gets around the problem of the singularity by fudging the math, that it doesn't sound any better than "God did it."

Anonymous said...

And as far as Egyptian history is concerned, I did read recently about the El Arish Stone. The heirogylphics on the stone talk about bad slaves escaping through divided waters. And being chased by Pharoh.

Anonymous said...

A qucik couple of points I left out of my previous post on banging branes.

1) The title of the book is "Endless Universe." My bad.

2) Another problem I have with the idea of an infinite source of gravitational potential energy replacing the brane kinetic energy that dissipates after each collision is that the whole point of sting theory is to explain how gravity really consist of particles called gravitons. If gravity is really particles, then there can't be an infinite supply.

DrJ said...

As far as the point of your post (and several similar previous ones):

1. You have failed to show a link between atheism, skepticism and "sexual addiction". (Unless you are just reporting your own personal experience). Giving a few examples of atheists who are sexually permissive does not constitute proof.

2. Addiction of any sort, by definition, is the repeated and compulsive behavior that results in interference with social, occupational or medical well being. That is what the video is about. Sex all by itself doesn't do that, just like a shot of alcohol doesn't do it. Atheism by itself doesn't qualify as a detrimental effect, even if there is a link between sketicism and sex (which you havn't demonstrated).

3. I hope that you have the courage not to censor this comment.

jewish philosopher said...

"Giving a few examples of atheists who are sexually permissive does not constitute proof."

I think I have done a little more than that and I for one am convinced.

"Addiction of any sort, by definition, is the repeated and compulsive behavior that results in interference with social, occupational or medical well being."

I would define addiction as being the repeated, deliberate doing of something harmful to oneself in the long run because it feels good at the moment.

DrJ said...

I guess it depends on what you consider "harm", but my definition is consistent with what professionals who treat addictions use.
Sometimes I feel I am "addicted" to the internet because I waste hours on it, but as long as its not hurting my relationships or health or job it can't really be considered an addiction. (My wife probably spends more time on the internet than I do.)

jewish philosopher said...

Spiritual harm, harm done to ones soul, is the gravest type of damage.

onionsoupmix said...

Porn has nothing to do with atheism or with people being skeptical of orthodoxy.

Reading your blog and the comments you leave on other people's pages, it just looks like you have your own issues with pornography addiction and you feel like taking it out on everyone else. Stop projecting your issues on rational people who truly do not believe in Torah MiSinai.

jewish philosopher said...

"Stop projecting your issues on rational people who truly do not believe in Torah MiSinai."

This group of people has never yet been seen anywhere.

onionsoupmix said...

I don't believe in Torah MiSinai, I am not a sexual addict, I am happy to debate these issues with you as long as you minimize the ad hominem attacks.

There are many rational people who don't believe in Torah MiSinai, they are called The Vast Majority of the World.

jewish philosopher said...

"I am not a sexual addict"

Prove that.

"There are many rational people who don't believe in Torah MiSinai, they are called The Vast Majority of the World."

You mean all the rational people who believe in Buddah, Jesus, Mao, Mohammed? Those are the ones?

onionsoupmix said...

How do you want me to prove I am not a sexual addict?

This very demand is so sad. You publish your wife's name and her photo. It must be humiliating for her to know that so many people are aware that she is married to a man dealing with these issues. Consider the harm you are doing to her good name by continuing to post about porn in such a way that it is obvious to everyone who took a psych 101 course that you have an addiction and are trying to work on it by accusing everyone else who doesn't agree with your version of Judaism of failing to work on theirs.

Go ahead and blast atheists and skeptics as much as you'd like, but for your wife's and children's sake, leave the porn out of it. It is transparent.

jewish philosopher said...

"How do you want me to prove I am not a sexual addict?"

That's the point. You are trying to prove something using facts which have no basis in evidence.

"Consider the harm you are doing to her good name"

You are such a kind, sensitive person. I am going to cry.