Wednesday, November 26, 2008
[a Sabbath table.]
Scientists have discovered a section of the brain which causes intense feelings of pleasure when stimulated, electrically or chemically. Wouldn’t it be great if, whenever we wanted to, we could stimulate that area of the brain and feel intense pleasure, beyond anything normally experienced?
We can. Methamphetamine is a chemical which very powerfully stimulates the pleasure center of the brain. If someone were right now to give you an intravenous injection of about 500 milligrams of methamphetamine dissolved in water you would probably be in a state of euphoria for about the next twelve hours.
So why don’t we all go out, buy a big box of meth and live happily ever after? All our problems would be solved!
The reason is because pleasure is very dangerous. People who actually do go out and buy a big box of meth or similar chemicals end up so absorbed by their euphoria (or “high”) that they forget about everything else – eating, hygiene, working, family responsibilities, everything. They quickly become homeless thieves, beggars and prostitutes before finally dying. (This is why, by the way, you cannot buy meth legally in the United States.)
The same is true of anything which gives us pleasure, whether it may be food, gambling, video games, sex, even exercise. We can become obsessed with anything giving us pleasure and neglect important spiritual, physical, emotional, social and financial needs. Pleasure can be very dangerous. Supposedly, a Puritan is someone who is deathly afraid that someone, somewhere, is having fun. They may have had a point.
So perhaps we need to nip all pleasure in the bud and become ascetics. We must go off to a monastery and avoid all pleasure.
Of course, this extreme could make life boring and depressing plus we would not have children. There must be a better middle path.
I think that the Torah shows us that path. We drink alcoholic beverages, but at home, with friends, in moderation. We have sex, but only with our spouses and only with mutual consent and there are certain periods of abstinence. We have a holiday each week – the Sabbath and many other holidays throughout the year, but we work hard too.
I think this is another example of the genius of Judaism – balance and moderation in life, so that we function to our greatest potential. Of course, what else would we expect from a self-help book written by our Creator Himself?
Posted by jewish philosopher at 2:45 PM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
Orthodox Jews who become atheists seem to follow a fairly consistent pattern:
- Trauma. They experience some very painful incident or incidents. This means that in this person’s perception, the event was traumatic. Some people are much more sensitive than others are to the same experience.
- Medication. They use sex to console themselves and to distract themselves from their pain. This may be anything from flirting to masturbation to actual intercourse. Pornography is usually important; for girls, this means romance novels.
- Rationalization. In order not to feel guilty about their sexual misconduct, they deny the validity of the Torah and/or the existence of God.
This clarifies why explaining proofs of Torah to an ex-Orthodox atheist is never effective. He may claim that he is convinced of atheism because of philosophical reasons; however this is never the case. He needs the atheistic philosophy merely to remove the guilt which he would otherwise have to face.
To prevent atheism, the first step is to try and shelter your child from trauma. Some suggestions are:
- If you are married with children, do not divorce.
- If you do divorce, live nearby your former spouse.
- Do not become angry with your child. Discipline in a calm, well thought out way.
- Frequently show your child love and affection.
- Deal with any academic or social problems your child is having as quickly as possible. Stay in close contact with his teachers.
In addition to this, encourage Torah study as much as possible. I have yet to find an atheist who had learned in yeshiva more than a few years past age 20. The most solid foundation in Torah is vital. And obviously, avoid exposing your child to pornography. If you have Internet, you MUST have filtering software.
If the child has already reached the point of medicating his pain with sex, this is a crisis situation however all is not yet lost. Counseling and therapy, perhaps for the entire family, may be helpful. Perhaps the child can still be convinced to find more positive coping mechanisms. Obviously, a parent must be aware of a problem. Internet monitoring software may be very helpful. If a boy remains in bed until late in the morning this may be a sign that he is masturbating until late at night. A hidden camera with night vision in his bedroom might be helpful.
Once the child has reached the stage of rationalization, and has denied the Torah, then all hope is presumably lost. The child should be expelled from the home in order to avoid a bad influence on others. If he is under 18, then the parents are legally obligated to support him however they should do so by placing him in a boarding school. He should not be allowed contact with siblings.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 7:45 PM
Sunday, November 09, 2008
[history of the universe]
In the most recent issue of Discover magazine, (12/2008) there is a remarkable article “A Universe Built for Us” (page 52 to 58). This article discusses the strong antropic principle. This is the discovery that physical laws have apparently been fine tuned to allow life to exist. One additional confirmation seems to be the discovery of dark energy during the past ten years. According to Leonard Susskind, if there would be more dark energy, stars would never have formed. Steven Weinberg states “This is the one fine tuning that seems to be extreme, far beyond what you could imagine just having to accept as a mere accident.”
So there you have it –science proves that God created the universe. And this not the first time in recent years science has confirmed religion. The discovery of the complexity of DNA makes an accidental origin of life even more absurd. (Some scientists have been forced to speculate that aliens planted life on earth, although there is no evidence of the existence of such aliens.) The discovery of the Big Bang proved that the universe is not infinitely old but had a creation – and therefore apparently a transcendent Creator.
Skeptics suggest that perhaps there are an enormous number of universes, not merely one, and therefore simply by blind chance one would be hospitable to life. According to Bernard Carr “If you don’t want God, you better have a multiverse”. There is however a problem. There is currently no evidence of other universes. There is however evidence of God.
People who are addicted to a selfish, debauched way of life will never be convinced of Torah. Their overwhelming denial will overcome any objection. As an example of this type of thinking, witness this young woman (view from 4:00) . She is 24 years old, addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol and supports herself as a stripper. Her family is desperate to save her life. She adamantly claims that she is happy and refuses to change. Nothing can be said to reason with certain people.
Those of us, however, who are rational and sober, can enjoy and be excited by the unfolding discoveries of science and the miracles which it continues to reveal.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 4:00 PM
Monday, November 03, 2008
This post is intended to expand a little bit on last week’s post. I would like to elaborate on some of the best tools available to catch secret atheists.
First and foremost, is monitoring software. I may be mistaken, however I have an impression that nearly all atheists are avid Internet users. The Internet provides easy access to all types of obscenity and therefore atheists swarm to it like flies swarming around a pool of sewage. If you are able to install monitoring software on the suspect’s computer without him being aware of it, then that will be incredibly useful. You will be able to read every email, instant message, see every webpage, everything. It’s basically as close as you can come to actually reading someone’s mind.
Additionally, installing special software on the suspect's smart phone can reveal an immense amount of information about the suspect's activities and movements.
My motto is: If you’re not sure, monitor!
If the suspect doesn't have a smart phone, you can still track the suspect’s movements using a GPS tracking device hidden in the car.
If you are wondering if your husband is really at that Talmud lecture, or is he somewhere more unsavory, now you’ll know.
If you suspect drug usage by a member of your family, then just obtain a small hair sample (a little snip of payos might be ideal) and send it in for analysis. You’ll know exactly what he’s been using for the past three months.
STD tests require a urine and/or blood sample. If you suspect, however, that your unmarried daughter is sexually active, you might want to test her underpants for semen.
After this, further questions can be answered by asking the suspected atheist to undergo a lie detector examination.
These methods are more or less standard for investigating marital infidelity, and can all be used to detect religious infidelity as well.
In addition to these practical efforts to track down and ostracize atheists, we must also fervently pray for the immediate destruction of Jewish heretics.
There is no reason for us to continue to be victimized by secret atheists. If we wish to, we can easily make secret atheism a thing of the past with a little serious effort.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 12:41 PM