Tuesday, August 26, 2008
[Inverted cross; sometimes used as a Satanic symbol.]
Some atheists lament the lack of any positive name for what they believe in; atheism after all just means “no gods” or “godless”. Many atheists have tried in recent years to use the word “bright”, however with limited success.
The fact is, there is a positive name for atheism: Satanism.
According to Peter H. Gilmore, the current high priest of LaVeyan Satanism, "Satanism begins with atheism. We begin with the universe and say, 'It’s indifferent. There’s no God, there’s no Devil. No one cares!'”
Satanism has priesthood, scripture, rituals, symbols and a name, things that many atheists to some extent would like to have as well.
LaVeyan Satanism combines the philosophies of Ayn Rand and Friedrich Nietzche, together with Satanic symbols which are added to demonstrate an opposition to traditional religions. LaVeyan Satanism means a worship of ones self and one’s own birthday is the most important holiday. Promiscuity is completely acceptable. I think that this fits in very well the beliefs of most atheists. Perhaps too well.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 12:11 PM
Thursday, August 21, 2008
[Ted Bundy, the first person called a "serial killer", in an interview with psychologist James Dobson just before he was executed on January 24, 1989. Watch beginning at 5:50 in the video clip.]
I don't think that Mr. Bundy was a very nice person to begin with, however I would imagine that pornography can only make a good person bad and a bad person even worse.
Considering the proliferation of pornography through the Internet today, making it infinitely more available than it was in the 1950’s when Bundy was growing up, we can only guess what the results may be.
It is interesting to note that apparently as pornography has become more popular, so has stranger-to-stranger homicide, which the police are seldom able to solve. However I guess "freedom of expression" takes precedence over everything.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 12:41 PM
Monday, August 18, 2008
“You shall observe my statutes and my commandments which a human being shall perform; and you shall live by them” (Leviticus 18:5)
I was thinking this morning, had I not discovered Judaism when I was fourteen years old, where I would be today?
The sad truth is, I would probably be in a grave.
I was adopted as an infant, however my biological family had a history of depression. My father’s father shot himself in his sixties after his wife died of cancer. My father was frequently hospitalized for depression. Depression is often hereditary.
In addition to that, many of my ancestors have been alcoholic – including my father, my mother’s father and my mother’s grandfather. Addiction often runs in families.
Also, I was adopted. Adopted children may be more likely to suffer abuse compared to other children. Adopted children, on the average, are treated more like pets than like family members.
In light of all this, it would seem very likely that had I not chosen Judaism, I would have fallen into depression and addiction and an early death. I doubt that I would have survived college.
Reading about and listening to the story of someone like Nic Sheff, reminds me so much of myself, however I would not have had the family support he had.
Through Judaism I first of all learned that suicide is not a solution. On the contrary, suicide is murder and someone who commits suicide will not escape his problems but rather will suffer in hell after death. Judaism has taught me how to build self-control and avoid addictions. Through Judaism I have also become part of a community and I have friends who help me get over hard times.
I wish to humbly thank all the amazing people who made my conversion possible and who in fact saved my life as well as my soul. When I converted I truly dodged a bullet.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 4:08 PM
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn , Nobel Prize winning Russian author, died two weeks ago aged 89
Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."
Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."
Edward E. Ericson, Jr., "Solzhenitsyn - Voice from the Gulag," Eternity, October 1985, pp. 23, 24.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 10:18 AM
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
[On her way up the ladder of life.]
One thing which surprises me is that evolutionary biologists constantly cite the beak of the Galapagos finch as being a prime example of evolution.
The truth is, we can see within our own species noticeable evolutionary change – the expansion of human waistline in more developed countries. This change is in response to environmental circumstances, such as the presence of fast food restaurants and soft drinks.
There seems to be an increasing trend for fat people to mate with fat people, having fatter children. This is clearly a step toward speciation.
The result of this will probably be an tendency toward quadrupedalism, as people will need four legs to support their massive weight. This will be the human elephant. Eventually, we may even see a return to the ocean and evolution of a truly aquatic human whale (see photo above). Just give the process another few million years.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 9:15 AM
Monday, August 11, 2008
Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, that, when they hear all these statutes, shall say: 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7 For what great nation is there, that hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is whensoever we call upon Him? 8 And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Deuteronomy 4:6-8
These few verses, which will be read in synagogues this coming Saturday morning, sum up beautifully the primary reason why I converted to Judaism.
Imagine a city about the size of Houston, Texas, but without murder, without drug addicts, without alcoholics or pedophiles, without abortions or HIV, with very little wife beating and very little child abuse or child neglect and without police. Can we imagine what a sensation it would cause if such a city actually existed in the United States? This basically describes the Orthodox Jewish community today. This is itself a miracle – a testimony to the divine authorship of the Torah.
How exactly do we accomplish this? We are not chopping off heads and hands like the Saudis or locking up a large percentage of young men like Americans. We educate our children from birth to respect themselves and others. Come and learn more.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 2:26 PM
Thursday, August 07, 2008
[What if this were America?]
Let’s do a little thought experiment.
Imagine for a moment that secular American society was extremely Puritanical. Imagine that secular Americans lived something like the way Saudi Arabians live – with the most extreme restrictions and anyone breaking the rules is imprisoned or killed. [This is not difficult to imagine. For example, the Soviet Communist Party actively encouraged chastity as well as atheism. The two may be compatible.]
On the other hand, imagine that the Orthodox Jewish community would practice the most permissive sexuality – nudism, group sex, wife swapping, pornography were all encouraged and would be legally permitted provided that one is a member in good standing of the Orthodox Jewish community. The Orthodox community would be something like Sweden in the 1960’s. [It is not difficult to imagine a religion teaching this. For example, the Satanic Bible page 37 states "Satanism encourages any form of sexual expression you may desire, so long as it hurts no one else." What if the Torah would say that?]
Everything else however would be exactly the same.
In this case would we still find so many young people deciding, “science disproves Judaism”? Would they all say, “It’s going to be hard; I’m going to miss all that hot, wild sex. But I’ll just have to give it up, become a gentile, live a life of strict chastity, because those stories in the Torah don’t make a lot of sense”? Or would all the “questions” regarding the Documentary Hypothesis and Evolution suddenly seem much less important to these people?
If it’s all about science and truth, then we should see no difference even if theoretically the sexual morality in the Orthodox world and the secular community were different or reversed. Truth is still truth; that’s all that counts.
I think the answer is fairly obvious. Jewish skepticism = sexual addiction.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 8:40 AM
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
[Members of the Bundist Self-Defense Group carry the Socialist flag on May Day, Warsaw 1930s YIVO Archives]
I recently wrote about the how the motivation of contemporary Orthodox Jews who leave Orthodoxy seems to be primarily sexual. One interesting question is, how does this differ from Jews who left Orthodoxy a century ago?
First of all, I don’t believe that anyone raised as an Orthodox Jew leaves the religion for sincere ideological reasons. The arguments in favor of Torah are so blatant; I don’t believe that is possible.
I do believe however that the selfish, materialistic motives can and do change with circumstances.
We learn in Pirkei Avos "Rabbi Elazar HaKappar said, jealousy, lust and the [pursuit of] honor remove a person from the world."
In the present day, I believe we are seeing the destruction of spirituality caused by lust. In earlier times, I believe it was more a problem of jealousy and honor - a desire for material wealth and the respect of the gentiles.
Most Jews 100 years ago were poor and discriminated against. There was rampant poverty in Poland, Belarus and the Ukraine, the main centers of Jewish population at that time. Jews in Russia suffered pogroms and Jews were oppressed within the Pale. Jews dreamt of a better, safer more comfortable life. Some came to find work in sweatshops in New York, where they would have to work on the Jewish Sabbath. Others remained in Europe, but joined political parties which they hoped would improve their conditions. Many became Marxists, who fought for a redistribution of wealth. Many joined the socialist Bund. Others, inspired by nationalism in the Balkans, formed the Zionist party.
The result of this massive exodus from Judaism was finally the terrible miracle of the Holocaust.
Let’s hope and pray that today’s defection from Judaism has a happier ending, with a wholehearted return to God and His Torah.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 9:26 AM