Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ridiculous Atheism


[Religulous trailer. Release date October 1, 2008]

In the documentary, Religuluos, Bill Maher, a comedian and atheist of Catholic upbringing, attempts to demonstrate how ridiculous monotheism is.

Since he is ridiculing the majority of humanity, we would expect him to be a person who is living a very successful, exemplary life.

Mr Maher has never married or fathered children nor does he plan on ever doing so. He considers marriage to be a form of slavery. His recent girl friends have all been pornographic actresses, one of whom sued him for allegedly promising marriage and then dumping her.

This post may be dismissed by many as ad hominem. However consider this: Atheists are not only trying to teach us something theoretical, like for example that there are no little green men on other galaxies; they supposedly are teaching us how to enjoy life. What if everyone advocating a certain diet and fitness program was dying of cancer by age 30? Would that make you hesistant about it?


I think that atheists will admit that they have a problem when the last living human stumbles out of a gay bar and drops dead in the gutter from an overdose. Of course, then it may be a little late.

60 comments:

alex said...

At least Maher was balanced in his movie. The Jews he interviewed were:

Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, spokesman for the anti-Zionist organization Neturei Karta.

Rabbi Shmuel Strauss, of the Institute for Science and Halacha.

Yehuda Etzion, a "radical Jewish activist" (info from wiki)

jewish philosopher said...

Orthodox Jews are only presented for exactly six minutes (beginning at the 1:04 mark) to "prove" that we are anti-Zionist, pro-Iranian and that we have very complex Sabbath laws which are punishable by a death penality.

Maher charmingly describes the Sabbath as "completely nuts" and Orthodox Jews as "cuckoo".

Maher himself is of course a model of sanity and reason.

Maher's message, explicitly, from beginning to end is:

"It is obvious that religion is irrational. Religion causes nothing but hatred and violence. If you do not realize this then you are insane."

This is the Gospel According to Richard Dawkins.

He never presents any speaker who for even a second intelligently challenges this gospel. He does not even pretend to be balanced, any more than any missionary would be. Which might be fine, but what's his alternative? Run around with porn stars your whole life?

If this is rational, I think I'll take irrational.

Anonymous said...

"In the documentary, Religuluos..."

It's not supposed to be a documentary. It's more in the tradition of Borat.

"Bill Maher..attempts to demonstrate how ridiculous monotheism is."

Maybe, but the monotheists certainly show how ridiculous they are in their over-the-top allegiance to dogma.

"Since he [Mahar] is ridiculing the majority of humanity, we would expect him to be a person who is living a very successful, exemplary life."

What a silly assertion, JP! Why would we expect someone who goes against the majority to be more successful than them? Shouldn't we expect just the opposite?

Why would you think Mahar has to live an exemplary life for religion to be ridiculous. Religion can be ridiculous regardless of how saintly Bill Mahar might be.

"Mr. Maher has never married or fathered children nor does he plan on ever doing so. He considers marriage to be a form of slavery. His recent girl friends have all been pornographic actresses, one of whom sued him for allegedly promising marriage and then dumping her."

Big deal. Big deal. Big deal. None of this affects the ridiculousness of religion one bit.

"Atheists are not only trying to teach us something theoretical...they supposedly are teaching us how to enjoy life."

Says who? If I as an atheist am trying to teach anything it is that religion is riddled with lies, immoral behavior, fantasy, and contradiction. Religion is just the same as everything else. It's not a better way. It's not more moral. It's not eternal. It's not unchanging. It's not true. No religion is. You can include atheism in this, if you like.

Personally, I don't care how you enjoy life. I enjoy mine just fine. I have a lovely wife and three darling little ones who are, thankfully, happy and healthy and kind as can be.

"What if everyone advocating a certain diet and fitness program was dying of cancer by age 30? Would that make you hesitant about it?"

Yes. This is why so many avoid religion, particularly institutional religion.

"I think that atheists will admit that they have a problem when the last living human stumbles out of a gay bar and drops dead in the gutter from an overdose. Of course, then it may be a little late."

And yet it's always the religious who seem to have these "gay" and hooker fetishes. Really, JP, does every post of yours have to refer either to a homosexual or a prostitute?

Perhaps you have the problem? Do you have any statistics to cite that correlate atheism and drug abuse? Atheism and crime? From what I've seen, everyone in prison declares himself religious.

-Larry Tanner-

jewish philosopher said...

"It's not supposed to be a documentary."

Genre:Documentary | Comedy
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0815241/

"the monotheists certainly show how ridiculous they are in their over-the-top allegiance to dogma"

And that's all he shows. This is called propaganda.

"What a silly assertion, JP!"

Should a guy who weighs 300 pounds sell diet products? Should a crazy person tell everyone else how crazy they are?

"Says who?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atheist_Bus_Campaign_Citaro.jpg

"I have a lovely wife and three darling little ones who are, thankfully, happy and healthy and kind as can be."

Prove it.

"Religion is just the same as everything else. It's not a better way. It's not more moral. It's not eternal."

Wrong.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

"It's not true."

Wrong.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html

Anonymous said...

Did you just seriously ask me to prove I'm married with three wonderful kids? Who would lie about such a thing?

Seriously, I suppose the best way I can prove it is to refuse to disclose any information about my family to you.

Frankly, I think you're a nutbag and I wouldn't want you in the same county as my family. I have enough worry with you calling yourself a Jew. I may be an atheist, but I have a personal affection for Judaism. I hate to see folks like you dishonor it.

-Larry Tanner-

jewish philosopher said...

Larry, you may be living under a highway overpass and your wife is a bottle of vodka.

Why do you even bother writing things which cannot be verified? Are you that bored?

Shalmo said...

JP Bill Baher is an APATHEIST, NOT AN ATHEIST.

And he believes in God. When Deepak Chopra was on he said he agreed with his interpretation of the divine and has on numerous occassions said he believes in God.

It is interesting that all the most anti-theistic of celebrities are also the most miserable of the lot. Maher is promiscuous, an alcoholic, and advocates things like marijuana and free love, and we see its taken it toll on him. The recently deceased George Carlin, who was even more aggressive than Maher in his anti-theism was up and open about his nihilism and was convinced to his dieing breath that religion is nonsense. Despite being so miserable he still vigourously held on to his atheism. Maher seems to not want to follow in his footsteps hence he at least believes in a higher power. Most (not all) aged people do at minimum believe in something, where as outright atheism only lasts for a person's younger years but approaching death makes them think otherwise.

Finally, Maher's movie was ridiculous. EVERY religion whether Judaism, christianity or Islam that he criticizes has written responses to the way he misrepresents them. And each of their rebuttals show how Maher has no clue, and deceitfully only interviewed those people who did not have answers for these tough theological questions. He didn't have the guts to interview learned people in each of the religions he criticizes which exposes his agenda.

In the end this movie only gives anti-theists what they want to hear. It raises no interesting questions or points of discussion. All it does is make Maher look like a bigoted jackass who exposed thorough ignorance to an entire nation.

Anonymous said...

"Larry, you may be living under a highway overpass and your wife is a bottle of vodka."

Yeah, the wifi down here under the overpass is terrible. Thanks for your concern.

"Why do you even bother writing things which cannot be verified?"


Besides your fetish with my personal info., the homosexuals, and the prostitutes, what exactly would you like to have verified?

"Are you that bored?"

A little bored, yes. I admit I like to decompress during the workday by visiting a few religious nutbuggers. I have other interests, too.

-LT-

jewish philosopher said...

Libraries have Internet.

"A little bored, yes."

Try praying for a love of God.

jewish philosopher said...

George Carlin, atheist comedian. Three years before suddenly dying at age 71, he admitted to be a drug addict and alcoholic. Why am I not surprised?

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/books/12/27/george.carlin/index.html

Anonymous said...

Religious priests molesting and abusing children for years while it was covered up. Why am I not surprised?

jewish philosopher said...

This blog is promoting Orthodox Judaism, not Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, etc etc

Anonymous said...

"Religious priests molesting and abusing children for years while it was covered up. Why am I not surprised?"

A number of studies show that public school teachers are more likely to molest children than priests. (I happento be one. A teacher, not a molester.)

And Larry, I woudl expect a public advocate for atheism like Maher to realize that his behavior does infleunce the way people perceive atheism, yet he makes no attempt to clean up his act. Maybe it's because atheists tend to lack self control. He can't clean up his act.

onionsoupmix said...

Hey, JP. Orthodox Jews now have a website solely devoted to the swinging lifestyle and adultery for frum people. I'm sure you're well acquainted with it. This clearly means orthodox Judaism promotes an immoral lifestyle. Get out fast, JP. Unless it's a little too late for you.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion, if you're the only woman on that site, I'll pass.

jewish philosopher said...

As I understand it, Mr Maher has chosen never to have children. It's a shame his father didn't decide that.

Anonymous said...

Right. The Orthodox community right now is struggling with sex abuse allegations. See, for just one recent example, http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Story?id=7376057&page=1.

Yep, even the OJ's can tend to have no self control, just like every other group of people.

Instead of clenching yourself and wishing that we Jews are somehow different from everyone else - including the atheists you so despise and the homosexuals/prostitutes that inflame your passions - why not work to help solve these very real problems.

Or when you promote OJ, do you only want to portray it in idealized terms without any sense of the messy reality?

-LT-

onionsoupmix said...

JP, you seem to think I'm propositioning you, you flatter yourself too much. Way too much.

I'm actually making an argument that you're conveniently ignoring. If we are to judge atheism by the lives of these individual atheists that you depict on your blog, why shouldn't we judge orthodox judaism by its immoral adherents?

Anonymous said...

Onionsoupmix:

There are several hundred thousand OJ's. How many are invovled with that website? NOw inthe general population, studies show that anywere from 20% to 80% of the population is invovled in adultery.

Shalmo said...

'Anonymous' Bill Maher is an apatheist not an atheist, read my post above

And JP I believe onionsoupmix was referring to "Shaindy.com" and "Heimishsex.com"

She is correct that both websites are made for frum orthodox adulterers to have sexual liaisons.

Its hypocrisy like this from the frum world that chases all these Jews away to atheism. I believe rather than demonizing atheists you should correct the things in the frum world that are creating all these apostates.

Child אִישׁ Behavior said...

O come on, it was just supposed to be a hilarious movie poking fun at everyone. I found the film hysterical when it came to making fun of other religions besides for ours. And when it came to judaism, well that was just funny too. Each one of the people he got to represent Jews were not really representative, and they were not meant to be. The whole thing was one big joke.

Maher does your work for you when it comes to fighting all the other religions. And what you realize is that his claims about real jews, and not some hetter seeking shabbos machine factory jews, is that he never really looked into Yiddishkeit at all.

jewish philosopher said...

I've written about Orthodox Jewish crime.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

So only when Orthodox Jews are perfect we will have the right to critique other ideologies. Fine, when atheists adopt that principle, so will I.

"I believe rather than demonizing atheists you should correct the things in the frum world that are creating all these apostates."

Believe me, I'm trying.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/11/hunting-secret-atheists-beginners-guide.html

"it was just supposed to be a hilarious movie"

It was supposed to be anti-religious propaganda. I think you'll find that the Soviet government put out the same kind of crap, back in the day.

"The League was a "nominally independent organization established by the Communist Party to promote atheism." It published newspapers, journals, and other materials that lampooned religion; it sponsored lectures and films; it organized demonstrations and parades; it set up antireligious museums; and it led a concerted effort to persuade Soviet citizens that religious beliefs and practices were "wrong" and harmful, and that good citizens ought to embrace a scientific, atheistic worldview."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_the_Militant_Godless

Anonymous said...

"So only when Orthodox Jews are perfect we will have the right to critique other ideologies. Fine, when atheists adopt that principle, so will I."

Oh, boo-hoo. Now you start crying. Now suddenly OJ's aren't so perfect. Now you care about the principles of atheists. Waah, waah, waah.

-Your chum, Larry-

jewish philosopher said...

Larry, stop drinking. Write when you're sober.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Mr. Stein, Bill Maher didn't try to interview you for his documentary. If he had, millions of people would have become atheists after viewing the stupidity that you regularly spout.
Perhaps you might agree to appear on his show? You're the perfect poster boy for the logic of atheism.

Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...

This post may be dismissed by many as ad hominem. However consider this: Atheists are not only trying to teach us something theoretical, like for example that there are no little green men on other galaxies; they supposedly are teaching us how to enjoy life. How do Mr. Maher's personal choices demonstrate that he is not enjoying his life? Why assume that everyone's ideal life involves marriage, children, and shul?

I would assume that rather than suggest we all date porn stars, Maher would probably advocate we all do what makes us happy or provides fulfillment. I also don't see how whether Maher has a particularly meaningful or even enjoyable life impacts the question of atheism as valid or religion as not one way or the other.

jewish philosopher said...

I would be happy to appear in Maher's documentary, at which point I would mention that he himself is more moronic and self-righteous than anyone he's interviewing, and that's saying a lot. Of course, I would explain it very humorously. ("Mr Maher, you believe that mud turned into people all by itself? But you don't believe that a snake could talk? OK, I get that.")

I think Maher proves precisely what I wrote recently:

Atheists are emotionally immature. They are like children who want to rebel against authority. They lack self discipline. They imagine that their irresponsible and destructive behavior will have no consequences.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/05/atheism-in-nutshell.html

jewish philosopher said...

Incidentally, here is some current research about happiness.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200906/happiness

But I'm sure that atheists will not let mere science get in the way of porn stars.

Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...

Re-read what I said about Maher and porn stars, JP. I don't get the impression he considers himself a role model to humankind. In fact if you asked him, he'd probably turn it around and say that his opponents are the ones with ideas about what the perfect lifestyle for everyone should be and heaven help those who don't buy into it.

I read your link and couldn't find where they said religion made these men happier. Feel free to spell it out for all us poor saps who can't read invisible ink.

jewish philosopher said...

"I don't get the impression he considers himself a role model to humankind."

I do.

"I read your link and couldn't find where they said religion made these men happier."

I think that the psychologists who conducted the Harvard Study of Adult Development would not find much to criticize about the way that most Orthodox Jews live, however they would criticize a great deal about how most atheists live. Of course that doesn't prove that Judaism is true and atheism is false, however it does at least prove that Jews are wiser than atheists.

Anonymous said...

Please excuse my oging off topic, but this is interesting.



http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005738#pone.0005738-Babbage1

It seems that fraud and other misconduct is more widespread in science than was previously thought.

Shalmo said...

Anonymous could you please identify who you are? since its hard to differentiate you from all other people who are anonymous

and what does scientists and fraud have to do with anything anyway

they are not rabbis. They don't pretend to represent the one true religion the way rabbis do

scientists do not pretend to be role models or infallible authorities the way rabbis are, which is why when scientists commit sin nobody blames science

this is base rate fallacy on your part; what you are doing is ignoring the corruption pointed out amongst rabbis and just saying that well those other guys are corrupt as well; and again how does that solve the problem of rabbis. you are simply deflecting the blame

I'll tell you the same thing I told JP; its the hypocrisy we see in the frum world that is creating all these apostates. Rather than laying the blame on science, secularism, atheists or whatever how about you do something to hold rabbis accountable for what they do

Things like those two sites I just showed for jewish adulterers is what is turning people off frumkeit. Unless you deal with the real issue, rather than deflecting the blame, then jewish numbers will continue to diminish; which btw I am happy with since I don't think judaism is true at all, and in truth I don't think Jews are gonna last much longer (I give 300 years max)

jewish philosopher said...

Well, if you ask atheists how do they know they are right, they'll say "Scientists say so." If you point out them that scientists are often wrong or dishonest they'll say "Our beliefs aren't based on scientists."

And once we stamp out secret Jewish atheists there will be a lot less hypocrisy.

Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...

"I don't get the impression he considers himself a role model to humankind."

I do.
Based on what? I've watched his shows off and on for ten years. He's a comedian, he has a point of view, but I haven't noticed him aggressively trying to convert people to his lifestyle specifically. Please tell me what evidence you're using to draw your your conclusions that Maher wants us all to make Hugh Hefner our personal God. Just because he does it and likes it doesn't mean we all need to do it.

"I read your link and couldn't find where they said religion made these men happier."

I think that the psychologists who conducted the Harvard Study of Adult Development would not find much to criticize about the way that most Orthodox Jews live, however they would criticize a great deal about how most atheists live.
Based on WHAT? The study doesn't say anything about the relative benefits of religion over atheism. You're projecting again, shamelessly, no less.

Of course that doesn't prove that Judaism is true and atheism is false, however it does at least prove that Jews are wiser than atheists.Uh huh. How convenient that when you arbitrarily decide a group of scientists would agree with you, suddenly you're willing to pretend to consider scientific evidence. Never mind that the study you're mentioning doesn't say what you claim it says.

Truly, talking to a wall.

jewish philosopher said...

"Based on what?"

Religuluos. The premise of the movie is "What I believe is true and believing anything different is insane and dangerous." That attitude is not unique to militant atheism, by the way.

"Based on WHAT?"

The study seems to say that living a life based on helping others and sobriety leads to the greatest happiness. I see that a lot more in the Orthodox Jewish community than in the atheist community.

DrJ said...

Honestly, the argument about orthodox Jews and other traditional groups living a healthy lifestyle is getting kind of old, and really won't convince anybody to change their minds.

BTW, I know pulmonologists who smoke, and cardiologists and dietitians who are overweight. So they don't practice what they preach, so what? Does that discredit the science behind it?

How about coming up with something novel, JP?

Perhaps you could come up with a concise and logical explanation of why, say, you think James Kugel's concept of the bible is wrong.

jewish philosopher said...

"the argument about orthodox Jews and other traditional groups living a healthy lifestyle is getting kind of old"

But the clear wisdom of the Torah is still ignored by militant atheists.

"James Kugel's concept of the bible is wrong"

His concept is just what one would expect of a modern Orthodox Jews - it's midway between Judaism and atheism.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo:

I'm the anonymous who psoted about scientific fraud.

I didn't come to any conclusions in my post. I just pointdt to the facts.

But the material point is that if there is widespread faud and other misconduct among scientists, wy should I believe anything they say? They have been including
Haekle's faked embryo drawings in textbooks for a century. They commit fraud now.

DrJ said...

"James Kugel's concept of the bible is wrong"

His concept is just what one would expect of a modern Orthodox Jews - it's midway between Judaism and atheism."

OK, you labeled it. But why is he wrong? (BTW, James Kugel is an extremely nice and moral person)

"But the clear wisdom of the Torah is still ignored by militant atheists."

Just as the clear wisdom of evolutionary biologists is ignored by militant fundamentalist Jews...

Seriously, rather than focusing on the fundamentalists, which are easy straw men to knock down, why not address the claims of honest, moral and intelligent people who just don't believe in the biblical god?

jewish philosopher said...

"But why is he wrong?"

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/12/documentary-hypothesis-critique.html

"Just as the clear wisdom of evolutionary biologists is ignored by militant fundamentalist Jews..."

I think I'll pass on Fascism, thanks.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/04/trip-to-zoo.html

"why not address the claims of honest, moral and intelligent people who just don't believe in the biblical god?"

I think that atheists range from being obnoxious creeps (for example, Bill Maher) to being mass killers (for example, Reinhard Heydrich).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Maher

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhard_Heydrich

I'm not sure where the honest, moral ones are.

Anonymous said...

"I think that atheists will admit that they have a problem when the last living human stumbles out of a gay bar and drops dead in the gutter from an overdose. Of course, then it may be a little late."

OK, JP. Those atheists sure are immoral with all their gayness and drug abuse. Let's see how the faithful are doing. Oh, look. It's Rabbi Manis Friedman answering the question, "How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?" What does this fine, upstanding man have to say?

"I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral.

The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).

The first Israeli prime minister who declares that he will follow the Old Testament will finally bring peace to the Middle East. First, the Arabs will stop using children as shields. Second, they will stop taking hostages knowing that we will not be intimidated. Third, with their holy sites destroyed, they will stop believing that G-d is on their side. Result: no civilian casualties, no children in the line of fire, no false sense of righteousness, in fact, no war.

Zero tolerance for stone throwing, for rockets, for kidnapping will mean that the state has achieved sovereignty. Living by Torah values will make us a light unto the nations who suffer defeat because of a disastrous morality of human invention."

Oh, I see my error. In the grand scheme of things it's more moral to "kill men, women and children (and cattle)." Maybe the JP and the good rabbi will be picking up their guns soon and performing the moral deeds?

-Larry Tanner-

jewish philosopher said...

I never heard of Manis Friedman, however I do have a post about the war with the Midianites.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/02/massacre-of-midianites.html

and Orthodox Jewish crime.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

I hope this helps.

Shalmo said...

Larry Turner JP is against zionism and the state of Israel, so I don't know how citing a psychotic genocidal rabbi who is pro-Israel achieves anything

Anonymous said...

Larry:

The allies during WWII killed lots of women and children. The was Dresden, Hiroshima, etc. So there is historical prescedent for killing civilians in a defensive war. Unless, maybe, you expect more from Jews, you expect Jews to be better than everyone else. Just a thought.

BlackEyedP said...

oh JP, looks like you have some new folks all riled up. For all of you out there - JP likes to get a rise out of people and attempt to turn their comments around on them (let's see what he can pick out of mine this time) and yes, he IS obsessed with women, homosexuals, porn and drug use. He certainly loves to flirt with me.

So on to my point - I saw this movie finally last night and laughed my ass off. I thought Bill did a great job (and im not such a huge fan of his show myself) i though he was simply asking questions that *none* (neither jewish or non) could answer. They would always fall back on relying on their "faith" - I'd like to call it insanity. Virgin births and talking snakes, HAHAHAHA!

jewish philosopher said...

"He certainly loves to flirt with me."

In your dreams, P.

"talking snakes, HAHAHAHA!"

Monkeys turning into people. HAHAHAHA!

Shalmo said...

"allies during WWII killed lots of women and children. The was Dresden, Hiroshima, etc. So there is historical prescedent for killing civilians in a defensive war. Unless, maybe, you expect more from Jews, you expect Jews to be better than everyone else. Just a thought"

That doesn't make it right

Tell me what if a country at war with Jews kidnapped millions of Jewish children, took them out to the battlefield and killed them for "vengeance" (thrice it says so in Number 31)

Would you be ok with that?

I think what Larry is arguing is that Judaism can and is indeed used for violence when rabbis cite texts that state its ok to kill little boys, pregnant women and to enslave virgin girls as sex slaves. Such archaic morality should have no place in the 21st century

Anonymous said...

BlackEyedP:

When scientists have trouble answering questions like the origin of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, the origin of life, life's complexity, the function of the human mind, the origin of morality, etc. they say, "we have faith that science will answer those questions someday."

BlackEyedP said...

I may be the rarity in that I do not need to know the answers to these questions. I am content with simply living my life. Perhaps that's a bit Buddhist of me, but hey - whatever works right?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

"The allies during WWII killed lots of women and children. The was Dresden, Hiroshima, etc. So there is historical prescedent for killing civilians in a defensive war. Unless, maybe, you expect more from Jews, you expect Jews to be better than everyone else. Just a thought."

So you think Friedman is talking about a "defensive war," huh? I don't think he is. I also don't think you have much of a case to call something like Hiroshima a "defensive" action.

Look, if you are not opposed to killing people, including children, and destroying any land or property that may or may not belong to your enemy or your enemy's associate(s), then you are not opposed. You accept and embrace evil. But I don't see why I or anyone else should have to agree with your rationalization and justification.

You think it's OK to go into your enemy's home, kill his children, rape his wife and daughters, bash in the heads of his sons, take his money, and set fire to everything else. What's more, you think your religious beliefs sanction this behavior.

I think it's not OK. I think your religious beliefs are themselves erroneous and in some (too many) respects evil.

-Larry Tanner-

Anonymous said...

Larry:

Rabbi Friedman is talking about the war in the Middle East, which was started by the Arabs. It most certainly is a defensive war.

And it isn't only religion that sanctions a defensive war. Most people believe in the righ to self-defense. The only people I know of that don't are the Amish and the Quakers. They are both religious groups.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

So if you call something a defensive war - of if someone else "starts" it - you get to do whatever you want.

It look like we agree that you're OK with indiscriminate killing, raping, robbing, and destruction.

Way to rationalize.

-Larry-

Anonymous said...

Larry:

You only get to do what is necessary to end the war, and stop the aggression. This is the view held by the majority of people in the word, religious, secular, and atheist.

By the way, what exactly is the source of your morality, anyway? And what is your basis for saying it is better than mine, or anyone else's, for that matter?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous -

"You only get to do what is necessary to end the war, and stop the aggression. This is the view held by the majority of people in the word, religious, secular, and atheist."

Pretty weak. You just can't seem to accept that you want it to be OK for you to tolerate indiscriminate killing, raping, robbing, and destruction.

"By the way, what exactly is the source of your morality, anyway? And what is your basis for saying it is better than mine, or anyone else's, for that matter?"

Oh, is this the old "if-you-don't-believe-in-god-everything-is-permissible" schtick?

Let me give you several responses. First, like everyone else I have a moral sense within me. It's partly the reason we have to rationalize away things like the "eye for an eye" instruction.

Where does that moral sense come from? It evolved. We are genuinely altruistic because our genes are "selfish." A gene for genuinely altruistic behavior will have a reproductive advantage if its carriers live in groups of largely related individuals. By risking its life for the group because of the genuine altruism given to it by the gene, one carrier of that gene will increase the reproductive chances of other carriers of the same gene. That is to say, evolution has given us a lust to be good much in the way it has given us a lust to have sex. Does this mean that altruism only makes sense if its for relatives? Only in the sense that sex doesn't "make sense" if its not done for procreation and love doesn't make sense if its not being used to solidify a pair-bond for twenty or so years to best ensure the survival of offspring. The evolutionary explanation for an urge is not the same as a justification for why we should, as rational creatures, promote or fight that urge.

We don't need a threat of heaven or hell to be good. We already have social/socialized notions of virtue and self-respect. We judge the moral acts of others and think well or ill of them as a result. But we also do the same of ourselves. Self-hatred is actually one of the worst psychological tortures one can suffer. An important part of mental health is having a good reputation with oneself. With our reputations with others, we can gain a good one be either actually being good, or by tricking our audience into believing we are good. But with our reputations with ourselves, the latter course involves a level of self-deception that is itself mentally unhealthy. Good deeds really are, as it turns out, their own reward.

-Larry-

jewish philosopher said...

"We are genuinely altruistic"

Just by the way, that isn't true.

http://brneurosci.org/reviews/war.html

Altruism originated with the Torah.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/01/genius-of-judaism-kindness.html

Anonymous said...

Larry:

You keep on saying "indiscriminate killing" when I keep on saying that I'm only talking about a defensive war.

And I never made any assertions about the sourceof yoru morality. I asked a question.

And your theory about an altuism gene only works if everybody in the society has the gene, and we know that that isn't true.

And even if there is an altruism gene, how did the altruism gene spread thoughout the population? It had to start with a mutation in one individual, and confer some sort of survival advantage in order for it to spread. That's Darwin 101. But it doesn't provide any advantage until it already spread. But it can't spread because it doesn't provide an advantage unless it spread.

And you have a moral sense, true. but why is your moral sense better than mine? Or Hitler's? If it's just a question of a sense, then it is no more significant than your musical taste.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and there are evolutionary explanations for war, rape, etc. If altruism is an evolved trait, then why is it any better than war, which is an evolved trait?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and since this is the time when we get all Ad Hominum, I'll just add one point.

history tells us that the worst mass murderers were atheists, that a disproportionate number of mass murderers were atheists, and vice-versa, and that every time atheists run a country, they resort to mass murder. So if you succeed in your quest of making the world atheistic, then we can expect to see a marked increase in mass murder. I mean, when it comes to indiscriminate killing, you guys have it all over the theists. That doesn't seem to bother you. I find that just a little scary.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

This is about the time that JP would probably tell you to sober up before you write.

But the fact is that you are articulating something that isn't evolutionary theory and pretending it is. You are lying, in other words.

Our little exchange has been all about whether indiscriminate killing is OK. You are the one who keeps trying to bring in the "defensive war" BS, not me. Why is it so hard for you to just outright say that in principle you don't care about degrading the humanity of anyone you think is an enemy?

The funny thing is how you keep trying to ask me, "what's your source of morality?" I've really become a buzzkill for you and JP (who is really just an armchair militant OJ).

Anyway, please sober up, read up, and then let's talk.

-Larry-

Anonymous said...

Larry:

You aren't addressing my questions, so I'll assume that you can't.

You said that altruism evolved via a Darwinian process. I explain why I don't think that it is possible.

You told me that I I approve of indiscriminate killing. I said that I don't apporve of indiscriminate killings. I don't. I, like the majority of people in the world, approve of whatever is necessary to end aggression. Defensice warfare is not indiscriminat killing. Now your fellow atheists, like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Ill, they like indiscriminate killing.

I know the source of your morality. You told me it's your moral sense. What I keep on asking ios your soruce fior saying your moral sense is superior to mine, the majority of humans, Hitler's,etc.

And since it is now the time when we insult each other I'll end with
"Yo mama's so fat her favorite designer is Zeppelin." I can do that.