Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Post About Comments


[a typical JP critic?]

In the Talmud, R. Chanina remarked, "I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students" (Taanis 7a)

On this blog, I find that I do learn a great deal from the comments left by readers, although frankly I am often very disappointed - so many of the comments are simply irrational and illogical.

I have started to notice a pattern.

The bulk of the comments seem to fall into several categories:

Wishful thinking. This means forming beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence or rationality. This is really the rock bottom basis of all false religions, including atheism. For example: A transcendent, intelligent and eternal being cannot exist. Therefore Judaism is false.

Argument from authority. For example: Most scientists believe in evolution, so it must be true.

Appeal to the people. This is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it; it alleges, "If many believe so, it is so." For example: 99.99% of educated intelligent people of the world are not Orthodox Jews, therefore Orthodox Judaism must be false.

Ad hominem argument. This means assuming an argument is false because there is something wrong with the person making it. For example: You are close minded and fanatic therefore you’re wrong.

Argument from personal incredulity. This means "Without having any rational reason, I don't believe this is possible, so it can't be true." For example: I can't believe that a God exists who is telling me what to do therefore it cannot be true.

Straw man argument. A fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. For example: I will say that Orthodox Jewish communities are more peaceful than secular communities. Someone will argue "Islamic terrorists prove that religion doesn't make people better."

Begging the question. This refers to arguing for a conclusion that has already been assumed in the premise. For example: The Deluge could not have happened, because it involves miracles. Miracles cannot happen because there is no God. We know there is no God because the Bible is wrong. We know the Bible is wrong because it mentions the Deluge and we know the Deluge didn’t happen.

Appeal to Ridicule. This is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an "argument." For example "You think God cares if you eat pork! LOL!"

Tautology. This an unnecessary or unessential (and usually unintentional) repetition of meaning, using different and dissimilar words that effectively say the same thing twice. For example: Supernatural events never happen because anything which does happen is by definition natural, although we may not yet understand it.

Burden of Proof. An atheist may argue that the burden of proof rests on the Jew to prove that the Biblical God exists. In other words, until there is convincing evidence presented, there is no reason to believe in the Biblical God. This is true. However by the same token the burden of proof rests on the atheist to demonstrate that evolution exists and could have created us. Until there is convincing evidence presented, there is no reason to believe in evolution.

The truth is that irrational thinking is universal in addiction disorders. It is known as "stinking thinking". Addiction is the only disease which tells the sufferer that they do not have a disease. Any thoughts that promote this lie constitute stinking thinking.


Based upon this experience, my impression is that most people resolve some of the most important questions in their lives by making irrational, emotional decisions rather than by careful research and logical analysis. I guess that’s an important lesson in itself.

96 comments:

DrJ said...

"my impression is that most people do resolve the most important questions in their lives by making irrational, emotional decisions rather than by careful research and logical analysis."

Are you speaking of yourself? Or of the 99.99% of educated intelligent people of the world, who if they were actually logical and open would all become ultra-orthodox Jews?

Since you are busy analyzing us---It is true that deeply held beliefs are not easily changed, especially if you have invested all of your adult life on an idea. It would be very hard to realize that it is all false. So you continue to cling to dogmas, myths, and fantasies to make everything hold together.

That is my analysis of you.

bankman said...

where would you put these?

Miracles cannot happen because i have never seen, nor has anyone ever produced any evidence of a miracle actually occuring. ever.

jewish philosopher said...

"Or of the 99.99% of educated intelligent people of the world, who if they were actually logical and open would all become ultra-orthodox Jews?"

Hey, thanks, I forgot that one! "appeal to the people"

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

"deeply held beliefs are not easily changed"

That's not too original. I mentioned ad hominem arguments.

"nor has anyone ever produced any evidence of a miracle actually occuring"

That's not a logical fallacy; it's a lie.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/holocaust-clear-evidence-of-gods-hand.html

bankman said...

LOL!

thanks for reminding me why i stopped reading your blog!

the jewish people being anihilated is a miracle? lovely.

water being turned into blood. now thats miraculous! (of course its never happened)

jewish philosopher said...

"the jewish people being anihilated is a miracle? lovely."

Argument from personal incredulity.

"water being turned into blood. now thats miraculous! (of course its never happened)"

Dogma.

This is fun!

DrJ said...

"Hey, thanks, I forgot that one! "appeal to the people"

I'm not using it to prove who is correct, it was a response to the self-important arrogance of your statement. Only JP is analytical and makes decisions on careful research. Right. Everybody else is an ignoramus.

"deeply held beliefs are not easily changed"

It was an analysis of you, just like you did one of "us" skeptics. We're all emotional and irrational, you know.

"That's not a logical fallacy; it's a lie."

You empty the term "supernatural" or miracle of all meaning. Like TV evangelists, you take historically occuring events that support your philosophy and then call them "miracles" and "proof of god".
Lots of religious evangalists do that, everybody for his own purpose. Like Ariel Sharon having a stroke as punishment for the disengagement. Or hurricane Katrina as a punishment to Bush for support of the disengagement. I heard that one from the Christians. That's real proof of god!

The point is that if you claim to have the answers from God about world events, you have alot of explaining to do.

bankman said...

those were not arguements - they were questions posed to you that i would love you to answer so i can understand your position, which i am having trouble reconciling with logic and reason.

jewish philosopher said...

"hurricane Katrina as a punishment to Bush for support of the disengagement"

I would say this is a straw man argument. I forgot that one too - keep them coming!

"i would love you to answer so i can understand your position"

Read the link.

bankman said...

Miracles cannot happen because i have never seen, nor has anyone ever produced any evidence of a miracle actually occuring. ever.

In fact, the claim that the murder of 6 million jews is evidence of a miracle does not hold water, as nothing unatural - or against the laws of nature - occured. it was just wild that it happened - kind of like the US hockey team winning the gold medal in 1980. (was that a miracle? hollywood thinks so....) every unlikely event is a miracle and proof god exists? I mean that just sounds moronic dude

jewish philosopher said...

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a miracle means “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”.

You want something against the laws of nature? Fine, the universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate. That's against the laws of nature.

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

DrJ said...

You are using every disingenuous dirty trick in the book for debating-- lying, misrepresenting, misquoting.

My example is not a straw man argument at all (and you know it). It is exactly analogous to your claim about the holocaust. Taking scriptures, biblical ethics, politics and history and weaving them all together into a silly story.

But I know rabbis have a history of doing this. Like the second temple destruction was a punishment for sin'at chinam. Of course it didn't have anything to do with the rising power of the Roman empire and the nationalistic behavior of some extremist Jews.

For what were the Spanish Jews being punished for in the inquisition? For not checking their Mezuzahs?

The truth is, JP, that there are many more rationalistic arguments for faith and Judaism, which have nothing in common with your so-called proofs.

Your dirty tricks are transparent to anybody who visits this blog and do nothing but make Judaism look ridiculous.

jewish philosopher said...

"You are using every disingenuous dirty trick in the book for debating"

This is called "being a sore loser".

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

But that's not a logical fallacy.

"My example is not a straw man argument at all (and you know it)."

It was classic. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

I said:
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a miracle means “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”. In that sense, I believe that the Holocaust was clearly a miracle, although an extremely painful one.

You said:
Like TV evangelists, you take historically occuring events that support your philosophy and then call them "miracles" and "proof of god".
Lots of religious evangalists do that, everybody for his own purpose. Like Ariel Sharon having a stroke as punishment for the disengagement. Or hurricane Katrina as a punishment to Bush for support of the disengagement.

That's implying that I'm just choosing anything at random, which isn't the case.

Anonymous said...

I just tried a fun experiment. I googled "scientific fraud." I got ~88,000 hits. When I googled "religious fraud," I got
12,000 hits. I then tried it on Yahoo. "Religious fraud" ~102,000 hits. Scientific fraud" ~424,000 hits. What does it mean?

DrJ said...

"That's implying that I'm just choosing anything at random, which isn't the case."

So why is the holocaust a miracle, and not everything else?

jewish philosopher said...

I explain that.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/holocaust-clear-evidence-of-gods-hand.html

Alex said...

"No has produced evidence of a miracle" -bookman

Can you give us an example of what WOULD qualify, in your book? Keep in mind that what might qualify for you might not qualify for the strongest of atheists.

DrJ said...

"Can you give us an example of what WOULD qualify, in your book? "

I'd take biblical examples of miracles--talking donkeys and snakes, stopping the "sun" (the earths rotation), splitting of sea, etc. Things that clearly defy laws of nature and physics. Serendipity is not enough, because that happens all the time in nature.

jewish philosopher said...

The universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate. That's against the laws of nature.

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

You see, I think what you're doing is simply stating a tautology. This an unnecessary or unessential (and usually unintentional) repetition of meaning, using different and dissimilar words that effectively say the same thing twice. For example: Supernatural events never happen because anything which does happen is by definition natural, although we may not yet understand it.

If a donkey would talk, you would dismiss it as being an illusion, a hallucination or at best something natural but as yet not understood.

DrJ said...

Lots of fancy words to explain why we don't see talking donkeys and snakes or boats that hold millions of species.

According to your "tautology" EVERYTHING is a miracle, (since nothing would be without God) so therefore nothing really is.

We have every reason to believe that many billions of years ago the universe was different than it is now (fossils, cosmology).

We have no reason to believe that nature was any different 3000 years ago than now, that would allow talking donkeys.

jewish philosopher said...

"Lots of fancy words to explain why we don't see talking donkeys and snakes or boats that hold millions of species."

We do see plenty of things which the laws of nature cannot explain - for example the origin of the universe and the origin of life. But that doesn't bother you; why would Noah's ark? Or an animal speaking for thirty seconds?

Frankly, DrJ, I am certain that nothing could shake your Marxist-Leninist anti-religious dogma because it is just that - dogma.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Soviet_Union#Policy_toward_religions_in_practice

DrJ said...

"We do see plenty of things which the laws of nature cannot explain - for example the origin of the universe and the origin of life"

We don't see the origins at all. Have you?

Just because we don't understand something it doesn't mean its "against the laws of nature"

We have yet to understand the mechanisms of certain atomic particles, or some cancers. Does that mean that they are "miracles"?

When we learn something new and change our theories, there's nothing against the laws of nature. Thats what science is. If we saw talking donkeys nowadays, it wouldn't be a miracle either.

When you think about any of the progress that man has made in the past 3500 years-in any field of knowledge- what has actually come from the bible (except the stories themselves)? Nothing. Nothing in medicine, psychology, physics, cosmology, zoology, chemistry, or geology. That's because the Torah was written by men who knew only what other men knew at the time, not by a god who should know everything. Just read the Rambam's cosmology and you'll understand.

The Bible does have moral tales and does have something to teach us (even though much of it was "borrowed" by god from surrounding cultures, as evidenced by Hamurabbi and Ugaritic texts which are older). But certainly nothing about the physical world.

I can accept that we don't fully understand the origins of life. But if that makes you believe in talking donkeys 3000 years ago, fine. (although I do recall you did have a problem believing in worms turning into people)

Alex said...

Dr. J, since believers don't believe that you're gonna get those kinds of miracles /nowadays/, I'll need to rephrase my question: What kind of evidence of a PAST miracle would it take?

jewish philosopher said...

"Nothing in medicine, psychology, physics, cosmology, zoology, chemistry, or geology."

The Torah prohibits homosexuality. Today we know that homosexuality causes fatal diseases.

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/msm/index.htm

The Torah command circumcision. Today we know that circumcision prevents this same disease.

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/circumcision.htm

So the Torah does include cutting edge medical advice.

This is in addition to the fact that the Torah is the most influential book ever published.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/gods-wisdom.html

But of course none of that matters since your beliefs are based on emotion not evidence and reason.

genesisrules said...

"Nothing in ... geology. "
Well, Genesis says that all the waters were gatherered to one place. By implication, all the land was gathered to one place, too. Looking at how South America and Africa fit together seems to confirm that this used to be the case.

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, I just want to mention, that if you are waiting for an animal to speak before you repent, problem solved!

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/15/nyregion/miracle-dream-prank-fish-talks-town-buzzes.html

Call for me details about your atonement program.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. Multi-verse is a perfectly acceptable scientific explanaton for the exquisite fine tuning of the universe. But it is based on supernatural stuff. It says that there are an infinite number of universes, each one has different laws. We just happen to live in the one that has laws that allow life. But that means that in other uiverses the laws are different, seas can split, donkeys can talk, water can turn to blood, etc. So scientists are okay with supernatural explanations.

and if there are an infinite number of universes, each one with different laws, then there must be one where the laws require the existance of a being with infinite wisdom and abilities. And this being, has the ability to break through and even create other universes, e.g. ours. So multi-verse leads you right back to God.

onionsoupmix said...

I find it fascinating how you apparently do not see that your blog posts evidence the same logical fallacies you bring up here.

Atheists are wrong because they live immoral lives (ad hominem). People convert to Judaism and this confirms the truth of Judaism (appeal to the people). Dogma in every other post, etc, etc.

Shalmo said...

genesisrules are you honestly trying to say that Genesis is compatible with science? There too many problems with that position.

eg: The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that are known to science. Genesis 1:1 The earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. From science, we know that the true order of events was just the opposite.

“And God said, Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3) and “. . .And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1 :5), versus “And God said, ‘Let there be light in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night....’ “And God made two lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also… And the evening and morning were the fourth day” (Genesis 1 :14-19). These violates two major facts. Light cannot exist without a sun, and secondly, how can morning be distinguished from evening unless there is a sun and moon? Frummies try to claim that god is the light he is referring to yet, considering the context it is quite obvious that the light god is speaking of is the light emitted by the sun. Just another feeble attempt at trying to rationalize such a MAJOR blunder.

Plants are made on the third day (Genesis 1:11) before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (Genesis 1:14-19).

“And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind… ‘And the evening and the morning were the third day” (Genesis 1:11-13), versus “And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life… And God created - great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly… And the evening and the morning were the fifth day” (Genesis 1:20-23). Genesis says that life existed first on the land as plants and later the seas teemed with living creatures. Geological science can prove that the sea teemed with animals and vegetable life long before vegetation and life appeared on land.

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, the beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made…every thing that creepth upon the earth after his kind…" (Genesis 1:24-25). Science contends that reptiles were created long before mammals, not simultaneously. While reptiles existed in the Carboniferous Age, mammals did not appear until the close of the Reptilian Age.

(Genesis 14:14) Abram goes into pursuit looking for his captive relative in the city of Dan. The problem here is that the city of Dan did not exist until over 300 years after Moses died. How is it that Abram could enter the city of Dan, when the city did not even exist?

Jacob displays his (and God’s) knowledge of biology by having goats copulate while looking at streaked rods. The result is streaked baby goats (Genesis 30:37). The author of Genesis (God?) believed that genetic characteristics of the offspring are determined by what the parents see at the moment of conception. This is a laughable belief. Ask any animal husbandrist.

The bible says that hares and conies are unclean because they “chew the cud” but do not part the hoof (Leviticus 11:5-6). But hares and coneys are not ruminants and they do not “chew the cud.”

DrJ said...

"The Torah prohibits homosexuality. Today we know that homosexuality causes fatal diseases."

So do heterosexual relations. AIDs is widespread in Africa from male-female transmission.

"The Torah command circumcision. Today we know that circumcision prevents this same disease."

So god commanded something that's healthy for the blacks in Africa....hmmm. Not to relevant for Jews. Besides, in the ancient near East many other surrounding cultures practices circumcision, too, before the Torah was written.

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

"This is in addition to the fact that the Torah is the most influential book ever published."

You're forgetting about most of the East, for whom the Bible has no meaning whatsoever.

Alex--the burden of proof is on you. But I would say if we could find fossil evidence of talking donkeys, I would have to accept that. Also, corroborating evidence from independent sources.

"..since your beliefs are based on emotion..."

What emotion?

The Torah is not necessarily wrong about everything. Its just not a source of scientific knowledge.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion, please point out specific logical falicies on my blog and I will happy to retract them.

Shalmo, I've written about the hares.
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/11/splitting-hares-proof-against-judaism.html

DrJ, the Torah also does not include any really good gormet recipes, or any information about budget travel in Europe. It doesn't include the lyrics to Michael Jackdson's immortal "Billy Jean". (RIP Michael.) What was God thinking???

The Torah includes basically what you would expect a father to tell his son: Where you came from and how should you live your life.

DrJ said...

"The Torah includes basically what you would expect a father to tell his son: Where you came from and how should you live your life."

OK. But this is basically the more liberal interpretative approach towards the Torah-- Its not a history book but rather a book with a message. Just like what the Reform and Humanistic Jews say.

And it is man who interprets it. After all, what does the Torah want us to learn from the story Yehuda and Tamar? That if you screw around, make sure not to leave evidence?

jewish philosopher said...

What I'm saying is that while it's true that the Torah was written by God and it's true that God knows everything, God did not have to write everything He knows in the Torah. Apparently He wants us to discover some things on our own.

"what does the Torah want us to learn from the story Yehuda and Tamar? That if you screw around, make sure not to leave evidence?"

I guess that's what you learned from it, however I think that some commentaries may have different interpretations. I suggest you study them.

onionsoupmix said...

I specifically pointed out examples from your blog of ad hominem arguments and appeal to the people. You didn't even bother to read what I wrote.

DrJ said...

"while it's true that the Torah was written by God and it's true that God knows everything, God did not have to write everything He knows in the Torah"

But at least what He does write should be correct, which of course it isn't.

"I guess that's what you learned from it, however I think that some commentaries may have different interpretations. I suggest you study them."

The commentaries attempt to justify Yehudas actions, and simply show that King David was from this line. In no way is there moral message for us. Yehuda couldn't keep his shlong in his pants, and was stupid enough to leave evidence. And these are our ancestors.

Shalmo said...

JP what evidence do you have that the world is 6000 years old?

I don't think I've ever seen you elaborate on this

Also the Talmud states that Yahweh used Torah as the blue-print for the heavens and the earth; that he saw into the torah 2000 years before creation and used it to create life. This comes in parcel with Jewish belief that all knowledge in the universe is contained in the Torah.

Could you please provide evidence for any of this? I just don't see anything in the Torah that implies something Yahweh could have used as blue-print for creation. IF you mean Genesis, then sorry but all of Genesis contradicts what science tells us.

If the Torah really is the cradle carrying all universal knowledge, don't you think Yahweh would have preserved it better?

A third of the Dead Sea Scrolls contradict your masoretic Torah. That difference alone is massive. And if we had earlier scrolls then they too likely would have even more discrepancies.

Now I asked Garnel about this. He said the Torah's primary purpose to provide halacha, so even with corruption that main purpose of Torah is not halted. However I disagree.

The many variations in the prophecies for instance make the messianic age dubious. How do we know Jesus was not the messiah, when the messianic prophecies are corrupt?

These are important philosophical questions that orthodox jews stubbornly refuse to address.

jewish philosopher said...

"I specifically pointed out examples from your blog of ad hominem arguments and appeal to the people."

You don't understand what the terms mean.

"But at least what He does write should be correct, which of course it isn't."

And again like a broken record: Marxist-Leninist anti-religious dogma.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Soviet_Union#Policy_toward_religions_in_practice

"The commentaries attempt to justify Yehudas actions"

There is actually nothing to justify. The incident occurred before the Torah was given so prostitution was permissible. Yehudah never tried to hide anything.

The point of the Tamar story seems to be to emphasize the importance of fulfilling the Levirate marriage obligation.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0138.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levirate_marriage

I wonder why you choose to see in it evidence that the Torah encourages sexual promiscuity; I wonder which part of your anatomy thought of that.

"JP what evidence do you have that the world is 6000 years old?"

I think I've explained this.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-i-understand-genesis.html

"How do we know Jesus was not the messiah,"

How do you I'm not the President of the United States? The Messiah will be the global king.

Anonymous said...

The point of the Yehuda-Tamar episode is to show the ancestry of King David. This provides more evidence that the Torah is true. Why would the people allow the ancestry of the nation's hero to be recorded in such an unsavory fasion if it wasn't true?

jewish philosopher said...

I also have that question DrJ.

Let’s say you’re right – that the Torah is bogus and was written by people, presumably by Ezra basically. What possible motive would Ezra have for including in the Torah a story which reflects badly on the founder of the tribe of Judah? The vast majority of the Jewish people believed that they were descended from Judah (which is why we are called “Jews” – descendents of Judah). Why would Ezra wish to include in the Torah this type of pointless and embarrassing story which (according to you) never even happened in the first place? Can you cite a similar example anywhere in non-Jewish mythology?

Of course, the answer is obvious. This story is very powerful evidence of a divine, not human, authorship of the Torah.

DrJ, you have truly been hoist with his own petard!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petard#.22Hoist_with_his_own_petard.22

DrJ said...

JP, basically this post turns all of the arguments we skeptic commentators have made against your claims and twists them into meaningless words. For example, when I say that calling atheism stalinist holocaust denial is straw man ad hominem, you deny that his is ad hominem, then claim that our non-acceptance of your philosophy is dogma.

It is transparent to anybody who has been reading this.

"Why would the people allow the ancestry of the nation's hero to be recorded in such an unsavory fasion if it wasn't true"

This argument has been thoroughly discredited, the documentary hypothesis explains all this.

DrJ said...

"This story is very powerful evidence of a divine, not human, authorship of the Torah."

The evidence to the contrary is much more compelling, including anthropormisms, contradictions, anachronisms and inaccuracies.

I have already said that I don't think the torah is false. It is just unreliable as history. Maybe Yehuda and Tamar did happen. It is interesting that you think that the point of the story is the importance of Levirate marriage, a commandment that we haven't observed since Talmudic times. So much for a timeless torah authored by god.

But of course all of my argument here is stalinist-marxist dogma....

alex said...

"Alex--the burden of proof is on you. But I would say if we could find fossil evidence of talking donkeys, I would have to accept that."

I asked you (actually I asked Bankman but you chimed in) what kind of evidence would satisfy you for a past miracle, and you respond with a non-response that the burden of proof is on me, and then sought a ridiculous piece of evidence like fossilized talking donkeys. You can do better than that!

genesisrules said...

Shalmo asked, "genesisrules, are you honestly trying to say that Genesis is compatible with science? There too many problems with that position."
Shalmo could've saved a heck of a lot of time if he had noted that I only pointed out geology.

I'll leave the readers with this brilliant piece of Shalmo's knowledge about light: "Light cannot exist without a sun."

A geneticist said...

Shalmo writes: "Jacob displays his (and God’s) knowledge of biology by having goats copulate while looking at streaked rods. The result is streaked baby goats (Genesis 30:37). The author of Genesis (God?) believed that genetic characteristics of the offspring are determined by what the parents see at the moment of conception. This is a laughable belief. Ask any animal husbandrist."

Perhaps you should criticize this AFTER reading the verses. (snicker) The verses say the animals drank the water with the rods dipped in them. "He set up the rods that he had peeled in the ducts in the watering troughs, where the sheep came to drink." Then go ahead and research the Agouti gene.
G.L. Wolff, R.L. Kodell, S.R. Moore, C.A. Cooney, "Maternal Epigenetics and Methyl Supplements
Affect Agouti Gene Expression in Avy/a mice," FASEB Journal 1998;12:949-957.
and
R.A. Waterland, R.L. Jirtle, "Transposable Elements: Targets for Early Nutritional Effects on
Epigenetic Gene Regulation," Molecular and Cellular Biology 2003;23:5293-5300.

Many of Shalmo's other arguments were very worthwhile, but the following one needs some work: "Plants are made on the third day (Genesis 1:11) before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (Genesis 1:14-19)." What's the problem, plants can't live one day without sunlight?

jewish philosopher said...

"This argument has been thoroughly discredited, the documentary hypothesis explains all this."

Actually, the documentary hypothesis has been thoroughly discredited.

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

"The evidence to the contrary is much more compelling, including anthropormisms, contradictions, anachronisms and inaccuracies."

Perhaps someday you'll share some of this secret evidence with us.

"So much for a timeless torah authored by god."

As I have explained, the Torah is eternal, Judaism changes.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/05/eternal-torah.html

"But of course all of my argument here is stalinist-marxist dogma.... "

You poor victim, being picked on by some mean rabbi.

You consistently advocate for the suppression, and, ultimately, the disappearance of religious beliefs, due to their unscientific and superstitious character. You consider this idea to be absolute, infallible, irrefutable and unquestionable. I am simply calling your belief what it is: Marxist-Leninist anti-religious dogma.

Shalmo said...

Anonymous:

"The point of the Yehuda-Tamar episode is to show the ancestry of King David. This provides more evidence that the Torah is true. Why would the people allow the ancestry of the nation's hero to be recorded in such an unsavory fasion if it wasn't true?"

No. It is quite well-known that the author-composers of various books of the Old Testament were not eye-witnesses. They composed the books hundreds of years after the actual events and narrated the stories with terms that were popular in their own day to help the readers understand the events of the past. Such a colouring of the stories has resulted in quite a few anachronisms in the Old Testament, such as the mention of the ruler of Egypt as "Pharaoh" during the time of Abraham and Joseph, when no Pharaohs existed in their times!

Another example is the mention of the name "Potiphar" in the time of Joseph. The earliest attestation of the name "Potiphar" in Egypt post-dates both Joseph and Moses and it comes from the 21st Dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period (c. 1070 – 946 BCE) in ancient Egypt.

Since we are dealing with coins, it is worthwhile saying something about the mention of "daric" in the time of David in 1 Chronicles 29:7. In 1 Chronicles 29, David was asking an assembly of people to donate for the construction of the Temple. The people gave generously "toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron."

According to the chronology of the Old Testament, David's reign was between c. 1011 and c. 971 BCE. Compared to this time period, when was daric introduced?

In fact, Over 100 years ago The Jewish Encyclopedia had already catalogued this error as well as several others in the Hebrew Bible arising from their study of Jewish coinage:

"No credence whatever can therefore be placed in late Jewish stories mentioning coins of Abraham, Joshua, or David, or even Mordecai (Ber. R. xxxix. ; B. K. 97a). Such passages in Scripture as seem to point to the use of coined money during that period are either interpolated or late. A notable instance of anachronism occurs in I Chron. xxix. 7, where among the offerings of the chiefs of Israel in the time of King David are mentioned 10,000 gold "adarkonim" or darics, coins which were not struck before the time of King Darius I, i.e., more than 400 years after David."

DrJ said...

" am simply calling your belief what it is: Marxist-Leninist anti-religious dogma."

You confuse a strongly help opinion with dogma.

DrJ said...

"Actually, the documentary hypothesis has been thoroughly discredited."

The "rebuttal" in your post is apologetics, while the DH is supported by overwhelming evidence.

I won't give you a DH lesson. Study it yourself, and if you are honest with yourself, you'll admits its truth and stop claiming its Leninist dogma.

"You consistently advocate for the suppression, and, ultimately, the disappearance of religious beliefs, due to their unscientific and superstitious character. "

I say no such thing. Who does? A straw man?

jewish philosopher said...

As I have proven, DH is refuted by overwhelming evidence and frankly DrJ I don't think you are intelligent enough to know yourself what you believe.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo

Everyone knows that the Torh was written after the Avos, so why is it so supprising that it would use terminology that was current when the Torah was written? Same thing with the coin. Chronicles was written after the return from Babylon.

Anonymous said...

And according to t some quick research I did the term Pharaoh was used to refer to the Egyption King's administration, and his court, from way back. It was only later that it was used to refer to the King's person. And all this is an arguement from negative evidence.

Anonymous said...

And my friend, the Egyptologist, sida that Potiphar was a title in use in Egypt, not a name. it means "house officer." Par means house and poti means officer or functionary. Paroh means "big house." Just like in America we use the term "White House" refer to the president. Now Potiphera means "officer of the house of Ra." Ra was the sun god. Rashi says that Potiphar had himself emasculated. Priests in Egypt wee celibate, so it was a perfect career move for someone who was impotent.

Anonymous said...

And DrJ:

How does the DH address the point raised, that the people accepted all this negative stuff about their ancestors and heroes as part of their history?

DrJ said...

"As I have proven, DH is refuted by overwhelming evidence "

Your post is overwhelming evidence? The fact that we don't have fragments from sources? We don't have fragments from the Torah either before the dead sea scrolls.

Anon: "How does the DH address the point raised, that the people accepted all this negative stuff about their ancestors and heroes as part of their history?"

1. Suppose the story is true. So people are honest about their history. So what? Does it prove god wrote it? Natan and Shmuel wrote about David's sin with Bat Sheva. Did God write Shmuel Bet? Many people and nations have unflattering portions of their history.

2. The DH theory includes that there were multiple sources pre-torah, often representing different interests and groups. No different than the pirushim and tzidukim in Mishnaic times. One group/source may have an interest in playing up or playing down a certain figure. Another may have the opposite agenda. This also explains the contradictions in the Torah, and different versions of the same story. Read Richard Elliot Friedman for a good summary of the subject.

The earliest complete Hebrew Bible is the Allepo codex from the 9th century. A greek Septuagint text exists from the 4th century. The much earlier dead sea scrolls have some biblical components, but the are not complete and not in complete agreement with the text we have now.

Thus, before the second temple period, we don't know really what text the Torah/Bible contained, and most likely during the first temple period there was no standard text. They were still arguing about it.

jewish philosopher said...

"Suppose the story is true."

Finally a glimmer of sanity.

"One group/source may have an interest in playing up or playing down a certain figure."

And again, insanity. Which Jewish group wanted to cast Judah, the ancestors of Jews, in a bad light?

DrJ said...

E.
P.

Read Friedman.

DrJ said...

"Finally a glimmer of sanity."

Thanks. I have said repeatedly that not everything in the Torah is false.

jewish philosopher said...

As I've explained, but you continue to deny, DH is just nonsense. It's not just a lack of fragments.

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

Shalmo said...

Anonymous:

"Everyone knows that the Torh was written after the Avos, so why is it so supprising that it would use terminology that was current when the Torah was written? Same thing with the coin. Chronicles was written after the return from Babylon."

Because it shows that indeed the Jewish books were written many many centuries after the supposed events happened hence we see so many historical errors in them. This also lends credit to the DH because the DH explains where these errors come from. Its because the Torah was redacted by Ezra, thus it was written a millenium post Sinai

"And according to t some quick research I did the term Pharaoh was used to refer to the Egyption King's administration, and his court, from way back. It was only later that it was used to refer to the King's person. And all this is an arguement from negative evidence."

AHHH no. There was a clear distinction between the words "Pharaoh" and "King" before the New Kingdom Period. However, in the New Kingdom Period, this distinction was removed and the word "Pharaoh" was the term used to refer to the king himself.

Would it be surprising to see if the Encyclopedia Of The Bible says concerning the name "Pharaoh":

Pharaoh. Ruler over Egypt also known as "the King of Upper and Lower Egypt." He lived in a palace known as the "great house," which was symbol of his authority. The Egyptian word for the palace was applied to the kings of the New Kingdom (c. 1550-1070 BC).... The use of the title pharaoh in Genesis may be anachronistic in that Moses in covering the events of the patriarchs in relation to Egypt used the commonly accepted term "pharaoh" even though the title was not in use at the time of the patriarchs (cf. Gn 12:15-20; 37:36).

"And my friend, the Egyptologist, sida that Potiphar was a title in use in Egypt, not a name. it means "house officer." Par means house and poti means officer or functionary. Paroh means "big house." Just like in America we use the term "White House" refer to the president. Now Potiphera means "officer of the house of Ra." Ra was the sun god. Rashi says that Potiphar had himself emasculated. Priests in Egypt wee celibate, so it was a perfect career move for someone who was impotent."

NOPE. the exact Egyptian original P3-di-p3-RĘż rendering both the Hebrew Potiphar and the Hebrew Potiphera is attested only once on a stela Cairo JE 65444, which at the earliest dates to the 21st Dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period. The 21st Dynasty reigned in Egypt between c. 1069 - c. 945 BCE during the Third Intermediate Period (c. 1069 - c. 702 BCE).

the dates here prove your argument false.

Anonymous said...

DrJ:

The problem is that even if the E people wanted to make make Yehuda look bad, and Yosef look good for socio-political reasons, why would the descendants of Yehuda accept that, unless it was true? If the Torah was redacted in Yoshiyahu's time, why would he include something so negative about his ancestor, unless it was true? The Torah was accepted axs the authentic history of the Jewish as far back as rthere exsists any record. And the Novi is repleat wiht references to the Torah, which was the accepted as the Law of the land. Witness the fact that even the evil Ahab had to follow Torah procedure to get the land he vineyard he wanted.

Shalmo said...

genesisrules:

"I'll leave the readers with this brilliant piece of Shalmo's knowledge about light: "Light cannot exist without a sun.""

Thank you for acknowledging my brilliance. Could you please tell us what the light being talked about there is? Because the Sun was not yet made remember.

Read Genesis 1:3, 1:5 and 1:14-19 again. What light could there have been on the earth without a sun, and secondly, how can morning be distinguished from evening unless there is a sun and moon? Frummies try to claim that god is the light he is referring to yet, considering the context it is quite obvious that the light god is speaking of is the light emitted by the sun.

"Perhaps you should criticize this AFTER reading the verses. (snicker) The verses say the animals drank the water with the rods dipped in them. "He set up the rods that he had peeled in the ducts in the watering troughs, where the sheep came to drink." Then go ahead and research the Agouti gene.
G.L. Wolff, R.L. Kodell, S.R. Moore, C.A. Cooney, "Maternal Epigenetics and Methyl Supplements
Affect Agouti Gene Expression in Avy/a mice," FASEB Journal 1998;12:949-957.
and
R.A. Waterland, R.L. Jirtle, "Transposable Elements: Targets for Early Nutritional Effects on
Epigenetic Gene Regulation," Molecular and Cellular Biology 2003;23:5293-5300."

Again I don't see any refutation here. If you have a proper scientific answer for this blunder please let me here it.

"Many of Shalmo's other arguments were very worthwhile, but the following one needs some work: "Plants are made on the third day (Genesis 1:11) before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (Genesis 1:14-19)." What's the problem, plants can't live one day without sunlight?"

LOL. My friend you are digging yourself in a hole.

Because the order here contradicts how planets are created. The atmospheric changes brought by a Sun are what begin to settle plant life on a planet.

There has to be a Sun first, after which plant life forms. And the Sun has to predate the planet for this to take place, which clearly it doesn't in Genesis.

See this is where frummies trip themselves. You are arguing for a literal 6 day creation process, which isn't reconcible with science because science shows creation of planets, solar systems and other life is a process that takes billions of years not 6 days.

Ironically other frummies like JP try to rework the 6 days into milleniums, which is the opposite of what you are doing. But even his order contradicts science, because Genesis contradicts the creation process.

Genesis 1:1 The earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. From science, we know that the true order of events was just the opposite.

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, the beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made…every thing that creepth upon the earth after his kind…" (Genesis 1:24-25). Science contends that reptiles were created long before mammals, not simultaneously. While reptiles existed in the Carboniferous Age, mammals did not appear until the close of the Reptilian Age.

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, by the way, if you read Friedman, The Bible with Sources Revealed, he claims that the Tamar story was written by J, who lived in Judah.

Once again DrJ, you have truly been hoist with your own petard!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petard#.22Hoist_with_his_own_petard.22

Shalmo said...

genesisrules:

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, the beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made…every thing that creepth upon the earth after his kind…" (Genesis 1:24-25). Science contends that reptiles were created long before mammals, not simultaneously. While reptiles existed in the Carboniferous Age, mammals did not appear until the close of the Reptilian Age.

God makes the animals (Genesis 2:18) and parades them before Adam to see if any would strike his fancy. But none seem to have what it takes to please him. After making the animals, God has Adam name them all. The naming of several million species must have kept Adam busy for a while, why Adam would still have to be living for we haven’t even discovered nor named all the species. Also consider the idea of every living creature being brought to the Middle East, that would have killed many animals due to climatic changes.

God curses the serpent, making him crawl on his belly and eat dust (Genesis 3:14). One wonders how he got around before -- by hopping on his tail, perhaps? But snakes don’t eat dust, do they?

All of the animals boarded Noah's ark “in the selfsame day” (Genesis 7:13-14). Since there were several million species involved, they must have boarded at a rate of at least 100 per second. How did poor Noah and his family make sure that the correct number of each species entered through the door and then get them all settled into their proper living quarters so efficiently?

“The whole earth was of one language” (Genesis 11:1). But this could not be true, since by this time (around 2400 BCE) there were already many languages, each unintelligible to the others.(Genesis. 11:4) According to the Tower of Babel story, the many human languages were created instantaneously by God (Genesis 11:9) But actually the various languages evolved gradually over long periods of time.

(Genesis 14:14) Abram goes into pursuit looking for his captive relative in the city of Dan. The problem here is that the city of Dan did not exist until over 300 years after Moses died. How is it that Abram could enter the city of Dan, when the city did not even exist?

Bats are birds to the biblical God (Leviticus 11:13-19 & Deuteronomy 14:11-18).

No insect (or bird) has four feet (Leviticus 11:20-21).

DrJ said...

All of the questions in you post are answered by the DH. The earliest existing Samaritan bible text is from the 17th century, so, the actual origins of the text are speculative, and are a matter of faith of the Samaritans themselves.

As far as Jerusalem is concerned--D makes mention of the "place which god will choose to sit", but mentioning Jerusalem by name would have been too much an anachronism even for first temple period contemporaries. Obviously sources that pre-date Jerusalem won't mention it, even if the Torah was compiled later.

The issue of styles is really a minor point. The major issue is the actual differences in stories, names used for places and people, and anachronisms.

jewish philosopher said...

"The major issue is the actual differences in stories, names used for places and people"

Which are all insignificant and explained by the commentaries.

"and anachronisms"

Which don't exist at all.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo:

According to my research Pharaoh was used to refer to the office and the administration of the King, much the way "White House" is used today to refer to the President of the United States. It just wasn't applied to the person of the King. It was first applied to the person of King Amenhotep, who did live around the time of the slavery. And why is it so suprising that the Torah would use the terminology that was current when the Torah was written?

And your arguement about Potiphar is based on negative evidence. According to my friend. It is a title.

Anonymous said...

Shalmo

The mefoshim say that the sun was created on the first day, but was placed in the heavens on the fourth day.
And Rashi says that grasshoppers use four legs for walking, and the hind legs for jumping.

Shalmo said...

JP:

"What possible motive would Ezra have for including in the Torah a story which reflects badly on the founder of the tribe of Judah?"

LOL. this argument as is horrible as the kuzari argument, because both are biult on nonsensical knowledge of world religions

Its actually VERY VERY VERY common for people to invent mythologies with "flawed" founders, heroes who are far from perfect.

Have you read the Illiad, how about the story of Ram?

They all contain flawed heroes.

People always manufacture such stories because it makes their founders look more real.

You say Ezra had no reason to include a story that made the founder of the Jews look bad.

Well how about Romulas and Remus. They were raised by a panther and later killed of their deceitful uncle who triedn to kill them of. Later on in life, Romulas unjustly killed his brother Remus. Romulas as his name implies, would then later on found the Roman empire. Just like Jews, here you have a mythology on the origins of Rome.

And just like Judah, you have a "flawed" hero, who unjustly killed his brother.

Have you read the stories on various patheons? On the greek gods? The Norse gods? or perhaps the hindu gods and heroes?

They are all filled with stories not so different than the jewish ones. With heroes who committ murder, betrayal, adultery, and a host of other sins.

Nobody does perfect origins JP.

In fact the idea of an infallible founder is what is rare in history. Aside from Islam, I don't really think there is any religion that stresses leaders/founders/and other important figures need to be infallible.

Anonymous said...

According to this:

http://www.varchive.org/ce/joseph.htm

there was mention of an officer named ptawer (close to potiphar)in the twelvth dynasty, way before the Exodus.

Shalmo said...

Anonymous:

"According to my research Pharaoh was used to refer to the office and the administration of the King, much the way "White House" is used today to refer to the President of the United States. It just wasn't applied to the person of the King. It was first applied to the person of King Amenhotep, who did live around the time of the slavery. And why is it so suprising that the Torah would use the terminology that was current when the Torah was written?"

THIS IS NOT TRUE> I have just shown you that the Torah uses terminology that was not current in its time at all.

Also I keep giving you academic sources for the history I cite, you don't do the same

"And your arguement about Potiphar is based on negative evidence. According to my friend. It is a title."

ITS NOT BASED ON NEGATIVE EVIDENCE> Look at the dates I provided you. The dates proves your argument is false

why are you being so stubborn?

I thought you were an honest person

And a "friend" is not an academic citation at all.

This is why people go OTD. This sort of dishonesty is what is creating all these Jewish apostates.

jewish philosopher said...

"Its actually VERY VERY VERY common for people to invent mythologies with "flawed" founders"

How about a link to one.

Shalmo said...

Anonymous:

"The mefoshim say that the sun was created on the first day, but was placed in the heavens on the fourth day.
And Rashi says that grasshoppers use four legs for walking, and the hind legs for jumping."

could you please show some citations for those

And it very likely that Talmudists invented these things to reconcile the crystal clear flaws here

Talmud only appears in jewish history some 500 years after jesus

"http://www.varchive.org/ce/joseph.htm

there was mention of an officer named ptawer (close to potiphar)in the twelvth dynasty, way before the Exodus."

that article is bogus. It doesn't even cite academic sources like the ones I just gave you

Here is a properly cited article on the matter:

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/External/aziz.html

Pay close attention to the section under "3. Potiphar: An Anachronism During The Time Of Joseph" and please take note of all the citations they provide.

I am not going to go round and round in circles with you on this.

DrJ said...

Anon-"why would the descendants of Yehuda accept that, unless it was true?"

Your basic premise that because the people accept something as true means its true, is flawed. Like JPs Kuzari argument.

People believe lots of things for many reasons. Maybe the need to unify people meant that they had unify texts as well, so people accepted it. Or maybe its their own myth about their origins, with a moral lesson, like everybody else in this world.

Again, I'm not claiming its FALSE, I'm saying its unreliable.

JP-- even if J wrote the Tamar story, so what? Ditto my comment to anon-- because people believed something, it doesn't make it true. You can't use a source to prove its own truth.

Its incredibly naive to think that because something was believed thousands of years ago, it must be true.

Shalmo said...

JP:

"How about a link to one."

Didn't I just give you the story on Romulas and Remus who were the founders of the Romans? Romulas unjustly killed his brother Remus, yet was remembered by the Romans as the heroic founder of their civilization.

How about the Greeks? Read up on Zeus the head god who ruled the others. He was a fornicator. constantly cheated on his wife, who btw he had raped, and sired children with various women

how about Odin?

Have you read the Ilyiad for that matter? Please do. all the heroes committ their fair share of sins.

DrJ said...

Shalmo-"This is why people go OTD. This sort of dishonesty is what is creating all these Jewish apostates."

I didn't become an "apostate" because of dishonest people like JP. I became a skeptic for the same reason that millions of people around the world have become secular-- because religions are meant to control people and because no religion's God makes any sense. And because science has answered many questions that up until the past 200 years religions answered.

Too bad you didn't do the same.

jewish philosopher said...

"Its incredibly naive to think that because something was believed thousands of years ago, it must be true."

Which I never said.

Straw man argument. A fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

Anyway, first you're ridiculing the Torah by asking "After all, what does the Torah want us to learn from the story Yehuda and Tamar? That if you screw around, make sure not to leave evidence?"

When I point out "What possible motive would Ezra have for including in the Torah a story which reflects badly on the founder of the tribe of Judah?"

You answer "the documentary hypothesis explains all this".

When I point out "DrJ, by the way, if you read Friedman, The Bible with Sources Revealed, he claims that the Tamar story was written by J, who lived in Judah"

Your answer is "People believe lots of things for many reasons."

So according to that, the moon landings and the Holocaust could also just be hoaxes. Everything can be dismissed because "People believe lots of things for many reasons." You can use that argument to deny anything and everything.

jewish philosopher said...

"Didn't I just give you the story on Romulas and Remus who were the founders of the Romans?"

But you have no specific source.

DrJ said...

So the evidence for the moon landing and the evidence for the Tamar story are on equal footing.

You make youself look ridiculous.

You claimed that the Torah was written by God as a guidebook by a father towards his son as to how to live. I ridiculed that idea with the Tamar story.

jewish philosopher said...

Frankly, DrJ, I am certain that nothing could shake your Marxist-Leninist anti-religious dogma because it is just that - dogma.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Soviet_Union#Policy_toward_religions_in_practice

DrJ said...

I consider my thread of comments here very succesful, since I succeeded in making you look like a complete idiot.

Now I can go to bed.

jewish philosopher said...

All you've actually said is that you don't believe in the Torah because you don't believe in it. Brilliant.

jewish philosopher said...

"Romulas unjustly killed his brother Remus"

Who said it was unjust? Perhaps it was brave and heroic?

Anonymous said...

Shalmo:

My friend has a degree in Egyptology. I cited a source. The word Potiphar means "House officer." A perfectly reasonalble title. Now, the sources you cited say that the first mention of pitopahr is from a later date. this means that there are no known einstgances of it being used. This is negative evidence.

Anonymous said...

You'll find the stuff wrote about the Torah in any Chumash with Rashi and other Meforshim. And the explanations are based on a careful reasing of the text. For example, when describing creation the Torah use different terms. Boroh, Oso, Yetze, Yotzer. They all have different connotations. When the Posuk used oso, it means finishing what was started, or fixing in place, not original creation. The posuk uses the term Oso, when describing the creation of the sun. This means that the initial creation of the sun wason the first day. It was put in place on the fourth. This is how Midrash works.

And if you look at a grasshopper, you will see it uses the first four legs for walking, and the hind legs are primarily for hopping.

Anonymous said...

And i just googled Ptahwer and I got a lot of hits. It seems it was used before the Exodus.

And I guess i wasn't clear when I discussed Pharaoh. What I ment was that the When the Torah was written, the term Pharaoh was current. So why wouldn't the Torah use it? And the word was in use in the time of the Avos. It just wasn't attached to the king's person.

Anonymous said...

And I taught in a Yeshiva for kids at risk. Every kid there had a learning disability, or was suffering from depression, or ADHD. None of theses kids were at risk because of intellectual reasons. They all were suffering from some organic problem. I kept in touch wiht some of them, They are all frum functioning adults.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link the mentions ptahwer

http://kbonikowsky.wordpress.com/2008/04/07/just-who-was-joe/

Anonymous said...

Here's another link to ptahwer that looks all scholarly:

http://www.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~mjn/egyptian/texts/textpdf/PtahwerAddressVisitor.pdf

Is that enough?

a geneticist said...

Shalmo writes: "Again I don't see any refutation here. If you have a proper scientific answer for this blunder please let me here it."

Who needs a scientific answer for my charge that you misinterpreted the Torah? You only said the animals LOOKED at the rods, not that the animals DRANK from the water in which the rods were placed. That was your blunder.

Anonymous said...

Here's another link that mentions Ptahwer. It's all scholarly and stuff.


http://www.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~mjn/egyptian/texts/textpdf/PtahwerAddressVisitor.pdf

gatogreensleeves said...

How about direct evidence that your religion does not make people more ethical? Mayors, rabbis arrested in NJ corruption probe

jewish philosopher said...

How about direct evidence that it does?

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

gatogreensleeves said...

You're leaving out some logical fallacies JP (go here for a better list: http://www.theskepticsguide.org/resources/logicalfallacies.aspx), such as the one most used my theists: the Argument from Ignorance or "God of the Gaps" (e.g. "You want something against the laws of nature? Fine, the universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate. That's against the laws of nature.").

As for the Argument from Incredulity, it requires a default position of using strictly empirical evidence
or it does not work; for example, when we see the reliability of cause and effect in technology since the dawn of history, this is huge amount of evidence against the possibility of interruption of cause and effect by miracles (i.e. technology works because miracles don't). This is what necessarily informs our credulity and incredulity.

""the jewish people being anihilated is a miracle? lovely."-bankman
"Argument from personal incredulity.""-JP

Bankman's assessment is not an argument from personal incredulity because he won't concede that ANYTHING can happen, it's based upon the belief that there IS an explanation (avoiding the Argument from Ignorance), but that we have not discovered yet (although, in the case above, we HAVE discovered an explanation: we are increasingly capable of more efficient genocide).

jewish philosopher said...

"e.g. "You want something against the laws of nature?"

This is a Straw man argument. A fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. You're implying that I used the expanding universe as a proof of God, which I did not.

"his is huge amount of evidence against the possibility of interruption of cause and effect by miracles"

Here you're apparently making a tautology. This an unnecessary or unessential (and usually unintentional) repetition of meaning, using different and dissimilar words that effectively say the same thing twice. For example: Miracles never happen because anything which does happen is by definition natural, although we may not yet understand it.

"Bankman's assessment is not an argument from personal incredulity"

I think it is. "I can't believe that a God exists who annihilated the Jewish people"

"we HAVE discovered an explanation: we are increasingly capable of more efficient genocide"

This is a Straw man argument again. You're implying that I used merely the scale of the crime itself as a proof of God, which I did not.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/holocaust-clear-evidence-of-gods-hand.html

gatogreensleeves said...

"How about direct evidence that it does?"-JP

The problem here is really not about social groups/sects/factions/tribes/(whatever you want to call them) competing for who has the best behavior track record (and by no means do I infer ANY concession to Orthodox Judaism in this sense), it is about the groups who claim to have their actions divinely sanctioned. In those cases (in comparisons of the divinely sanctioned behavior of religious communities vs. each other as well as non-religious communities), we should expect to see EXTREMELY UNUSUAL GOOD behavior in one group vs. the rest (i.e. if there is a divinely sanctioned group, its stats as well as its "good fruit" should be RIDICULOUSLY obvious). This is NOT the case evidentially. Evidentially, we see only the fluctuations we would expect from evolved societies.

gatogreensleeves said...

“You're implying that I used the expanding universe as a proof of God, which I did not.”-JP
"we HAVE discovered an explanation: we are increasingly capable of more efficient genocide"-me

“This is [these are] a Straw man argument again. You're implying that I used merely the scale of the crime itself as a proof of God, which I did not.”- JP
Don’t conflate informal and formal logical fallacies or formal/informal debate JP. If you honestly did not infer the existence of miracles in your statements, which IMPLICITELY infer the existence of God, then I will retract, but we both know that would be disingenuous of you.
I’ll concede one thing: it’s true that bankman’s statement would be better worded as, “it is far less likely that the holocaust was a miracle than a product of natural cause and effect.” The sentiment would be exactly the same, just expressed in a clearer way. This is not formal debate, we are on a frickin’ blog. Still, I will agree that clarity is a good thing and we are all learning to phrase our words more carefully.

jewish philosopher said...

"groups who claim to have their actions divinely sanctioned"

Which Jews have never claimed. Again, straw man argument. A fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.