Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Unique Gift of Repentance


[prayer on Yom Kippur, 19th century Poland]

Another example of God’s unlimited love for us is the gift of repentance.

The prophet Ezekiel wrote:

As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Again, when I say unto the wicked: Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give back that which he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be remembered against him; he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

God gives us life. He breathes a soul into us. He gives us His beautiful and holy Torah. We should be crying tears of joy, love and gratitude. How we can sin is incomprehensible. Yet, if we do momentarily lose our minds and rebel against God, He does not reject us entirely. We are not doomed. God is still prepared to spare us if we sincerely repent.

No human government would ever have a policy like this. For example, if a robber were to go to the nearest police station, hand over the money he had taken, confess his crimes and sincerely promise to change, he would still go to prison. He is a criminal. He must be punished. Justice demands this. God, however, is more merciful than any human judge. This is mercy beyond human understanding.

The process of repentance, however, is not quick and easy. Repentance means completely changing ones attitude. It means going from a state of deliberately committing a sin to a state of completely abhorring the sin. It is surely far easier to control oneself in the first place and not sin rather than to sin and then repent. Repentance may be similar to addiction recovery. It is a great deal of work, depending on the depth of the sin. It may mean a lifetime of caution and avoiding dangerous situations. Substance abuse withdrawal can be fatal in some cases. Likewise, in an extreme case, the strain of repentance may actually be fatal, as explained in the Talmud Avodah Zarah 17a.

Just to give one example of what may be involved, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein answered the following question (Igres Moshe Orach Chaim chelek 4 siman 117): A woman had once worked as a secretary. While doing so, she had once spent a half hour hugging and kissing her boss. Now, several years later, after having married, she truly regretted her behavior and was certain that she should never repeat it. She asked what other steps she should take. Rabbi Feinstein advised her to daily remind herself of God’s omniscience, to daily recite Psalms and to daily recite a confession of sins.

Nevertheless, the opportunity to repent is available to all of us. We can escape the terrible consequences of sin. This is another amazing gift from our Creator.

168 comments:

scott krane said...

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Interesting reading!
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onionsoupmix said...

don't go down the path of comparing divine and human justice systems... human justice systems have not resulted in the deaths of as many innocents as the divine one.

jewish philosopher said...

My little onionhead, just because you, with your feeble intellect, think someone is innocent does not mean that they really are.

Consider this case for example. Let's say that I choked to death a little baby. Probably you would condemn me as a brutal murderer. However, let's say I have a crystal ball and could see the future and I knew that the little baby would someday become another Hitler who would kill millions. What would you think then? Surely, I would be a hero, not a criminal.

Abe said...

>>>However, let's say I have a crystal ball and could see the future and I knew that the little baby would someday become another Hitler who would kill millions.

But you don't and never will and neither will anyone else.
Sounds like a defense charlie Manson would use to justify his murder of Sharon Tate. He just KNEW she was the anti-christ.

BlackEyedP said...

Its not your place to choke little babies, be they the next Hitler or not. You would still be a murderer. And this whole repentance thing? Just an easy way out of your own "sin". I use quotation marks because sin is a subjective notion, anyway.

Anonymous said...

"I knew that the little baby would someday become another Hitler who would kill millions. What would you think then? Surely, I would be a hero, not a criminal."

Oh, so people should be punished BEFORE they sin, because they don't really have free will anyway.

Very honorable justice system.

Anonymous said...

JP, do you have a personal email address, that I can contact you at?

jewish philosopher said...

God knows the future and sometimes kills people before they can do harm. This may be one reason for the death of innocent people - it's better that they die while still innocent.

On my profile I have email.

Onionsoupmix said...

Whatever excuses you make for God, JP, you are well aware that millions of innocent people die and have died and will die. Not all babies to suffer and die were going to grow up to be Hitler. And not all babies who die "just finished their mission" and not all of them were killed for the sins of their parents. Any rationale that you can offer for the suffering of innocents has a response, you know that. There is no good way out of this one. Millions of people have struggled with this one for thousands of years and haven't come up with anything good.

The secular justice system has a better record. It doesn't punish one group for the offenses of another. It doesn't punish before the crime. It doesn't just randomly decide that some people belong on death row.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion, I think what you are doing here is engaging a logical fallacy called "begging the question".

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

This refers to arguing for a conclusion that has already been assumed in the premise.

In other words you believe innocent people suffer. You know that because you do not believe in a just God who would prevent innocent people from suffering. And you know there is no just God because innocent people suffer.

Anonymous said...

Onionsoupmix:

Which secualr justice system are you refering to? The Nazi's legal system? Or was it the Soviets?

Anonymous said...

Who created sin? Was it god? If not, who else is able to create in the universe?

jewish philosopher said...

God gave people free will and people sometimes choose to sin.

onionsoupmix said...

In other words you believe innocent people suffer.

Hey JP, you also believe that innocent people suffer. You see it in your own life. You want me to spell it out for you more clearly? You seem not to have liked that, last time I did it.

And for that moron asking about which secular justice system I'm comparing it to, no, that wouldn't be Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. It would be the same system JP refers to in his post, the standard "human government" system which I guess I took to mean the American one.

jewish philosopher said...

About my beliefs, you can read my post.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/08/kindness-of-suffering.html

Anonymous said...

"God gave people free will and people sometimes choose to sin."

So god created sin and then the free will for people either to choose it or not?

jewish philosopher said...

no

Anonymous said...

So god did not create sin? In other words, all does NOT come from god?

jewish philosopher said...

Everything is in God's hands except for the fear of God.

Anonymous said...

So god did create sin?

jewish philosopher said...

no

Anonymous said...

Well then who created sin? Did people?

Anonymous said...

Onionsoupmix:

How do you know the American system is better? I do know that in America we do have a very high crime rate. We have child murderers walking free. According to some studies 25% of the population admits to havce been molested by a public school teacher. According to some surveys, 25% of women on college campuses claim to have been raped.

moron

Anonymous said...

Is jewish philosopher a website to get jews to convert to xianity?

jewish philosopher said...

The purpose of this blog is to promote Orthodox Judaism and to critique other ideologies, in particular atheism: promoting truth and real happiness; fighting lies and harmful addictions.

Anonymous said...

"jewish" philosopher - please indicate whether or not you believe that jesus is/was the messiah, the son of god, died for sins, was resurrected, and so on.

Are these or are these not your beliefs? Please have the courage and integrity to post who you truly are.

jewish philosopher said...

Read my profile.

Anonymous said...

i don't believe your profile because of the 'come and hear' site where you get cite Talmud.

Now - AGAIN - please indicate whether or not you believe that jesus is/was the messiah, the son of god, died for sins, was resurrected, and so on.

Are these or are these not your beliefs, "jewish" philosopher? Please have the courage and integrity to post who you truly are.

jewish philosopher said...

If I link to Darwin does that mean I'm an evolutionist? Or a Buddhist website does that mean I'm Buddhist? Come and Hear is the only site with the Talmud in English.

Alex said...

>>Anonymous said...
So god did not create sin? In other words, all does NOT come from god?>>

He created evil, not sin.

Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."

Now, for what that actually means, you'll do well to read the Ramchal's The Knowing Heart.

Alex said...

>>Anonymous:
Now - AGAIN - please indicate whether or not you believe that jesus is/was the messiah, the son of god, died for sins, was resurrected, and so on.>>

The answer is here:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/search?q=christianity

Anonymous said...

Alex,

Sorry, you fail twice.

If god created evil, and sin is a form of evil, then god created sin. Unless you are telling me that sin is not evil, you have finally admitted that god created sin (both you and the host of this pernicious blog seem incapable of giving a straight answer).

If god supposedly created evil and sin, and people (also supposed to have been created by god) commit evil and/or sin, then repentance is hardly the great gift of the opening post: god simply should not have created evil and sin.

How much heroin and hallucinogens do you guys take per day to get jewish/xian theology to make sense to you? Maybe not that much, since you don't rely on any hard evidence and can just make up answers when it suits you.

This blog's host has declared himself an xian by refusing to answer a very simple question that was posed to him earlier. He's an embedded xian trying to introduce xianity to OJ's surreptitiously.

Alex said...

Anonymous, we're arguing over semantics, sorry.
I believe that if you read "The Knowing Heart," it would answer your very good challenges better than we can on a short blog post. Let me know if you choose to read it.

"He's an embedded xian trying to introduce xianity to OJ's surreptitiously."
Interesting theory, but why would he then call Christianity a nutty idea?

jewish philosopher said...

"then repentance is hardly the great gift of the opening post"

You'd rather just burn in hell? It's up to you. Who are you, by the way? Any straight answers?

Anon1 said...

I see thay your god has been busy again in Somoa and Indonesia punishing sinners and proventing the victims from becoming Hitlers.

jewish philosopher said...

Sooner or later everyone's time comes. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Job 1:21

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2701.htm#21

Anonymous said...

"Interesting theory, but why would he then call Christianity a nutty idea?"

Ask the nut.

"You'd rather just burn in hell?"

Oh, is this another supposed "gift" from a supposed god?

Man, you people crack me up. Is there no end to the labyrinth of worlds, realms and beings you have to make up in order to make sense of the world?

Try this on for size. There's no god. He didn't create the universe and he didn't create people. He didn't get pissed of because someone ate his fruit. He didn't make or live with angels, demons or cherubim. He didn't speak to a man on a mountain. He didn't write a book, and he didn't tell anyone to write a book. He didn't show the future to anyone, and he didn't ask for goats to be killed for him. He didn't promise a messiah. He didn't send himself down as his own son to sacrifice himself to himself. He's not listening to prayers. He's not coming back.

Who is he? He is the product of our wonderful minds. He is a theory, a noble attempt at explaining our very strange situation here, a situation that we are only beginning to understand.

He is an outdated hypothesis that fails to explain anything or help anyone. He cannot explain hwo the universe was created. he cannot explain how life began. He cannot explain why life on earth is so diverse. He cannot explain or minds. He cannot explain history or the physical forces of the universe. He cannot because he is not. He is not, he was not, he never was.

He is not in our way. Now, can we talk like reasonable human beings? Can we not set up some artificial and unnecessary difference between us?

jewish philosopher said...

Man, you crack me up.

Try this on for size.

The universe didn't pop of nowhere by itself. Evolution is a scam. We did not develop spontaneously from worms. We cannot do whatever we feel like doing. We are not merely a bag of chemicals sitting in a chair.

We do have a soul. There is an afterlife. God created us. He told us why He created us and how we should live. God knows everything. There are consequences for everything we do.

Now, can we talk like reasonable human beings? Can we not set up some artificial and unnecessary difference between us?

Anonymous said...

So how did our brains acquire the ability to invent God? The ability to invent an idea is not a quality of matter, so how did our brains, which are only matter, acquire that ability?

Anonymous said...

And eveolutionists like Hitler did a far better job of wettin gup barriers between people than theists ever did.

Anonymous said...

Let's talk like reasonable human beings. Turns out we agree on quote a lot.

The universe didn't pop of nowhere by itself. (Your phrasing is odd, but OK, this is your claim. What facts support it? By the way, many scientists agree with your claim.)

Evolution is a scam. (Really? I suppose you should first define 'scam' and then provide some facts that support it. I suppose you don't think religion is a scam? We might want to get your definition of evolution, too. Is it your position that all life on earth is now exactly as it was 6,000 years ago or before?)

We did not develop spontaneously from worms. (No kidding? This is the first I've heard of the spontaneous worm-to-person theory. You'll have to post the quote. I know some folks think that reptiles actually rule the world.)

We cannot do whatever we feel like doing. (Agreed.)

We are not merely a bag of chemicals sitting in a chair. (Agreed.)

We do have a soul. (Doubtful, but perhaps you can define the soul, explain what it's made of, suggest ways for it to be independently observed and so forth. Or are you claiming that this is one of those things that cannot be apprehended by scientific means? If it cannot be apprehended scientifically, then how exactly can it be apprehended? Do you find this method of apprehension to be 100% correct all the time by all people in all times and places?)

There is an afterlife. (Really? How do you know? Repeat same sorts of questions as for the soul.)

God created us. (Which god, and how do we know?)

He told us why He created us and how we should live. (And by what right does he dare hold any authority over us?)

God knows everything. (Wouldn't you call this an assertion without evidence?)

There are consequences for everything we do. (Sure, that's common sense.)

jewish philosopher said...

I think these posts should be helpful:

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

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/09/soul-our-greatest-gift.html

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

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

About the worms, check this out:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990322062150.htm

Just a hint: You cannot just cut and paste arguments used against fundamentalist and throw them at me. Different religions.

Anonymous said...

" You cannot just cut and paste arguments used against fundamentalist and throw them at me. Different religions."

Not really.

But anyway you saw how much common ground there was between your claims and my claims, which simply do not use or require the god idea. I think that's important and encouraging.

jewish philosopher said...

Yeah, really. So if you just want to be lazy and throw the same Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens stuff out without thinking too much, look for another blog.

Anonymous said...

LOL. What would you like us all to think about?

It's great for you that you make all these claims that god is wonderful and shows us love beyond human understanding, but they're just empty claims.

I would ask you to up your game. For example, how do you know Ezekiel actually said what he said? How do you know it wasn't some guy named Jack imagining this character that he called Ezekiel?

jewish philosopher said...

"What would you like us all to think about?"

You could start with the five articles I just sent you links to.

LOL

bankman said...

"Now, can we talk like reasonable human beings? "

ahhhhhh, JP. You use the word "reason", yet you fail to use reason in any of your arguments.

Come back to us when you can use reason to explain how you "know" all of these things (god, afterlife, bible) exist and are not just myths that have been passed down from generation to generation. (please dont link us to prior posts on your blog)

jewish philosopher said...

Well, bankrupt man, I'm not going to rewrite everything every day.

Maybe you can tell me how you know that you evolved from a worm. And don't just give me a link.

Anonymous said...

That 'truth of judaism' post is a hoot!

The watchmaker is your first defense tht judaism is true? This tells me you have no hard data to point out.

Besides, if your god weren't made up you would insult him/her/them by implying that huamn-made machines are at all like his/her/their glorious creations. Nature is perfectly capable of supportig the emergence and development of life and seemingly designed things. Design is in the eye of the beholder. Strike 1 for you.

The anti-conspiracy principle. Ooh, that sounds big and impressive. Unfortunately, once again you are substituting cheap logic for the absence of hard data. Look on YouTube and you'll see tens of thousands of people witnessing faith healing and dialogues with the dead. Fooling a mass of people is not so hard. Besides, so far as I am aware there are no independent claims for the specific events of the book of exodus. Strike 2 for you.

Finally, you say that "Ordinary Claims Do Not Require Extraordinary Evidence." LOL. In your case, they require no evidence whatsoever! Your argument here is actually "I have no evidence but that's OK because I think it's a plausible occurance."

Oh, really? Isn't this event of yours supposed to have happend only once in all of human history? If it were true, would it not be the single most important thing ever to have happened?

Yeah, you need some evidence, extraordinary or otherwise. Strike 3. You're out.

Are your other articles as bad as this one? Please tell me you have better stuff than this.

How is it that you find the claims of judaism plausible and yet find scientifically substantiated claims impossible? Do you do drugs or are you simply in denial?

jewish philosopher said...

Watchmaker Principle
Potential falsification: Present one example of a machine which we have witnessed come into existence spontaneously, without any intelligent designer.
You haven't.

Anti-Conspiracy Principle
Potential falsification: Present one example of a successful conspiracy of 10,000 people who knowingly all told the same lie, which was later somehow discovered to be a lie. [Bear in mind that falsifying the Anti-Conspiracy Principle brings into question the truthfulness of the Holocaust, the moon landings and many other events as well, not only the Exodus tradition.]
You haven't.

"so far as I am aware there are no independent claims for the specific events of the book of exodus"

Same as any pre-modern event.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-history-bunk.html

"That 'truth of judaism' post is a hoot!"

Appeal to Ridicule. This is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an "argument."

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-ridicule.html

You just struck out Mr. Anonymous.

Anything smarter to say, or that's it?

Anonymous said...

You are tiresome.

The watchmaker principle doesn't apply because the machine analogy is faulty. Analogy doesn't prove anything, and your analogy is stupid. Sooner or later, you are going to need to deal with this.

The anti-conspiracy principle is also stupid. As I said, go to YouTube. I'm not going to do your homework for you. Onl the book of exodus claims that there were 10K+ people who witnessed Mt. Sinai. No one source makes this claim. So, you need at least 9,999 additional independant claimants who say they witnessed the exodus, the red sea, the clouds on sinai, the manna, the water from rocks, and so on and yatta-yatta.

Calling your post a hoot is hardly ridicule. It seems to me like you're trying to hand-wave so that your readers will get distracted away from your sophistry.

Once again. All you show is that you have no hard evidence, None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Are even going to attempt to show I'm wrong?

So, mr. xian: How is it that you say you find the claims of judaism plausible and yet find scientifically substantiated claims impossible?

jewish philosopher said...

"You are tiresome."

Thinking is obviously very hard for you. Sorry.

"All you show is that you have no hard evidence, None. Zero. Zip. Nada."

Well, if you can read the bold print, you might have noticed:

THE EXISTENCE OF A SINGLE NATURAL OBJECT EXHIBITING COMPLEX PURPOSEFULNESS IS PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS.

THE FACT THAT JUDAISM COULD NOT HAVE ORIGINATED VIA A FRAUD, DELUSION OR HALLUCINATION IS PROOF THAT GOD WROTE THE TORAH.

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

Now about evolution, THAT'S quite a hoot, as I have proven:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

Speaking of false analogies, if you ever bother to read Darwin's stupid little book, you'll find an absurd analogy, when he compares pigeon breeding to microbes changing into all higher life forms.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

Why do you agree that we can't do wahtever we want?

Nathan

Anonymous said...

You scream: "THE EXISTENCE OF A SINGLE NATURAL OBJECT EXHIBITING COMPLEX PURPOSEFULNESS IS PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS."

Sorry, you are wrong. The existence of a single natural object exhibiting complex purposefulness shows two things. One, that natural things can become highly complex over time. Two, that purposefulness is a concept that humans project onto things.

"Darwin's stupid little book."

Look how angry you are! It's a 150-year-old book. A lot of it has been superseded. Let it go....

Maybe you should try buddhism.

bankman said...

JP, what is 0 + 0?

You can re-write the same junk every day from here until your soul is returned to the garden of eden and you get to shteig over a piece of gemorah with moshe rabainu and eat some yummy Livyoson.

Alternative Genesis said...

Jewish Philosopher,

Do you take the idea of a "book of life and death" literally to mean God makes those decisions on one day?

jewish philosopher said...

"One, that natural things can become highly complex over time."

In nature, things become simpler over time. If you leave a watch outside for a few years you get a piece of rust not a better watch.

"Two, that purposefulness is a concept that humans project onto things."

So your heart for example has no purpose and you would not mind discarding it. I wonder how long you've felt this way.

"A lot of it has been superseded."

It was all obviously false to begin with.

"You can re-write the same junk every day"

Nothing will convince you and people like you. This is a common symptom of addiction disorders known as "denial". Like they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, "denial is not a river in Egypt".

"God makes those decisions on one day"

I think primarily, yes, however the decisions may sometimes later be changed, for example by prayer.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, you took my "natural things can become highly complex over time" - notice the NATURAL THINGS and CAN BECOME - and made it "In nature, things become simpler over time."

Then you take my "purposefulness is a concept that humans project onto things" and try to suggest that - supposedly according to my logic - a human heart has no purpose. Of course a heart has purpose: the purpose we determine it has! In fact, we think of the heart as having many purposes, from being the engine of life to being the seat of emotions.

A productive conversation is impossible if you cannot read. I can't tell if you are unintelligent, dishonest, or have some kind of god-stockholm syndrome that makes you blind to how fascist your ideology is.

In any case, I'm disappointed that there's no challenge here.

jewish philosopher said...

Let me try it again.

You wrote "natural things can become highly complex over time".

This isn't true. We do not find blocks of granite for example turning into office buildings.

You wrote "purposefulness is a concept that humans project onto things."

In other words, it's imaginary. If so, would you mind removing your heart (which has merely an imaginary purpose, but not a real purpose) and mailing it to me?

Anonymous said...

"We do not find blocks of granite for example turning into office buildings."

We're not talking about rocks turning into other things. And an office building is neither natural nor organic.

You seem to think that just because something is imaginary, it's unimportant and disposable. That's not what I said. When we look at a human heart, we interpret it as being highly functional and important. That imaginary purpose is imprtant to me. So, no. You can't have it. I want it.

May I advise that you try to avoid conflating categories and definitions?

jewish philosopher said...

Watchmaker Principle
Potential falsification: Present one example of a machine which we have witnessed come into existence spontaneously, without any intelligent designer.
You haven't.

Anti-Conspiracy Principle
Potential falsification: Present one example of a successful conspiracy of 10,000 people who knowingly all told the same lie, which was later somehow discovered to be a lie. [Bear in mind that falsifying the Anti-Conspiracy Principle brings into question the truthfulness of the Holocaust, the moon landings and many other events as well, not only the Exodus tradition.]
You haven't.

So there you are. You must accept Judaism.

Anonymous said...

"So there you are."

There, indeed.

Falsification of your watchmaker principle: humans, for example, have arisen as you say.

Falsification of your anti-conspiracy priciple. I'll give you three examples - judaism christianity and islam.

jewish philosopher said...

"humans, for example, have arisen as you say"

Wrong. We have NOT witnessed humans come into existence spontaneously.

"three examples - judaism christianity and islam"

Wrong. They are NOT knowingly all telling the same lie. Jews, Christians and Muslims think they are right. As do you, by the way.

So there you are. You must accept Judaism.

Anonymous said...

"We have NOT witnessed humans come into existence spontaneously."

Sure we have. How do you think babies get made?

"They are NOT knowingly all telling the same lie. Jews, Christians and Muslims think they are right."

Absolutely they know they are lying. Jews say the sh'ma, which is a lie. How do we know that they know it's a lie? because if it weren't there'd be no reason to legislate it's being said. People say it becuae they hope to make themselves believe it.

The Nicene creed is a great example of knowingly lying:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

jewish philosopher said...

"spontaneous: produced without being planted or without human labor"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spontaneous

That is not how babies are made.

"lie: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lie

That is not what everyone who is not an atheist is doing.

Now if you just feel like "making fun of the rabbi", please get lost and get a life.

Alex said...

Anonymous wrote: "How do we know that they know (the Shema is) a lie? because if it weren't there'd be no reason to legislate it's being said. People say it becuae they hope to make themselves believe it."

Similarly, smokers who are trying to quit might say, "I know I should quit because smoking is bad for me." That statement must be a lie because why would there be any need to say it? They just WANT to believe it.

jewish philosopher said...

He's just some anti-Semite making jokes.

bob said...

Google the cult of fatima

jewish philosopher said...

Following the prediction of three small children, people saw some kind of weird light.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_F%C3%A1tima

Which proves what?

bob said...

10,000 People supposedly witnessed an open miracle when it was predicted do you beleive this happend?

jewish philosopher said...

Following the prediction of three small children, people saw some kind of weird light.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_F%C3%A1tima

bob said...

OK here is a couple of descriptions of what is claimed to have happend in front of over 10,000 people.

Columnist Avelino de Almeida of O Século (Portugal's most influential newspaper, which was pro-government in policy and avowedly anti-clerical),[1] reported the following: "Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws - the sun 'danced' according to the typical expression of the people."[6] Eye specialist Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper Ordem reported "The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat".[7] The special reporter for the 17 October 1917 edition of the Lisbon daily, O Dia, reported the following, "...the silver sun, enveloped in the same gauzy grey light, was seen to whirl and turn in the circle of broken clouds...The light turned a beautiful blue, as if it had come through the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, and spread itself over the people who knelt with outstretched hands...people wept and prayed with uncovered heads, in the presence of a miracle they had awaited. The seconds seemed like hours, so vivid were they."[8]

Do you beleive this happend?

jewish philosopher said...

Fine, so what?

bob said...

So let me get this straight. You believe that the virgin Mary appeared to three young children and told them were an open miracle would occur, and that the miracle occurred?

If yes you should convert into this cult

If not then can you explain how the children knew when the miracle would occur and how they might have made this miracle happen?

jewish philosopher said...

"If yes you should convert into this cult"

bob, this is a tempting one. One hour mass once a week, instead of three times a day prayers in Judaism... I don't know.

But before I call a priest, I think I have to consider this:

The idea that Jesus of Nazereth was the all powerful, eternal Creator of the universe seems highly unlikely. The guy looked and lived basically like anyone else and then got killed. Therefore tremendous evidence would be needed to support this belief.

At Fatima, I suspect that what happened is as follows: Religious people make all sorts of predictions all the time. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, adults, kids, etc probably all the time say all sorts of things. 99.99% of the time, nothing happens and it's immediately forgotten. In this case, something strange did happen. It probably was some very strange weather event.

So that's it, meaningless coincidence, not proof of the divinity of Jesus.

bob said...

And you dont think its possible that some natrual event occured in sinai, and over the years it was exaggerated from being somthing like what supposedly happend with the cult of fatima to actually hearing god speak?

jewish philosopher said...

I discuss that

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

Anonymous said...

Not everyone who heard about he miracle of fatima believed that it actually happened. But the revelation at Sinai was always accepted as the authentic history of the Jewish people.

bob said...

Anon. said,
"Not everyone who heard about he miracle of fatima believed that it actually happened. But the revelation at Sinai was always accepted as the authentic history of the Jewish people."

Not everyone who heard the Jew's story accepted or accepts it as fact either

Jp said
"Present one example of a successful conspiracy of 10,000 people who knowingly all told the same lie, which was later somehow discovered to be a lie."

Please explain how it can ever be discovered that such a story is a lie, if the fact that it is claimed to have happened in front of 10,000 people makes it a proven fact in your mind.

Abe said...

>>>The process of repentance, however, is not quick and easy. Repentance means completely changing ones attitude. It means going from a state of deliberately committing a sin to a state of completely abhorring the sin.

Not quite. Your process of repentence is not mentioned at all in the Yom Kipur ritual. In fact in Leviticus 16 where the Yom Kipur ritual is found, there is no mention of repentence or teshuva, as we call it today.
Teshuva is a post levitical concept. It was was a man-made invention to assuage a guilt born mindset in order to validate a very, very angry god. Repent or he will kill you.

jewish philosopher said...

"Please explain how it can ever be discovered that such a story is a lie,"

It's conceivable that overwhelming physical evidence could expose a conspiracy.

Let's say the Apollo moon landing was really a hoax.

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

Eventually, astronauts or unmanned probes might really go to the moon and discover that the moon rocks are entirely different than what had been found by Apollo and that nothing from the Apollo missions was really there, although it should be.

In fact, of course, consipiracy theories are simply unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Bob:

But the entire Jewish people accepted the Torah as the authentic history of the Jewish people. That wouldn't have happened if it wasn't true. Someone would have asked "If G-d spoke to my Grandfather, why didn't my grand father tell me." That's not the case with Fatima.

jewish philosopher said...

"Your process of repentence is not mentioned at all in the Yom Kipur ritual."

The effectiveness of repentance is based on the oral law.

"Repent or he will kill you."

In your case, you may be looking at not only death, but eternal damnation.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/jewish-heretics.html

There is an excellent book I suggest you check out. The Gates of Repentance by Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona

http://www.amazon.com/reader/0873065468?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#noop

Abe said...

>>>The effectiveness of repentance is based on the oral law.

Not true. Repentance which derives from the the word teshuva is first noted in Deuteronomy 4:30, where it states ve'shavta -- return to the lord your god and obey him. In fact nowhere in leviticus does the concept of repentence play a central role. This is additional evidence for the validity of the documentary hypothesis which declares through established biblical scholarship. that the Torah was crafted by different persons at different periods.

>>>In your case, you may be looking at not only death, but eternal damnation.

Lets hope so. Its got to be a better fate than your life-long delusional temperment.

jewish philosopher said...

"Repentance which derives from the the word teshuva is first noted in Deuteronomy"

But the effectiveness of repentence, in other words that it brings forgiveness, is I believe not found in the Torah.

"the validity of the documentary hypothesis"

Not really.

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

"your life-long delusional temperment"

Worms turning into people - that's delusional!

Abe said...

>>Worms turning into people - that's delusional!

More fundamentalist ignorance and subversion of the evolutionary process. Worms do not turn into people.

jewish philosopher said...

Abe, clearly you are the ignorant one, ignorant of both your old and new religions.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990322062150.htm

Perhaps you should get that book by Rabbeinu Yonah and continue blogging after you finish it.

bob said...

Jp,
how could any historical story like the one of sinai or miracle of fatima ever be found to be false according to you?

"But the entire Jewish people accepted the Torah as the authentic history of the Jewish people. That wouldn't have happened if it wasn't true. Someone would have asked "If G-d spoke to my Grandfather, why didn't my grand father tell me." That's not the case with Fatima."

Evreybody did not accept the story at sinai as fact. The movements that didnt accept the torah as true were not considerd judaism.

The zohar was discoverd about 500 years ago. Today practicly all orthodox jews accept it as torah sheball peh that was told to moshe at sinai
If reb chaim kanievski or reb shach found a sefer today and said it was part of torah shebaal peh a big part of judaism would accept this as fact

bob said...

The same thing could have happend with judaism somthing small could have been exaggerated into somthing large or even entirley made up:

There were many legends floating around at that time. Somone who a large part of the tribe considered to have what would today be considerd "ruach hakodesh" or "daas torah" found a scroll that contained the torah those that beleived him were the start of judaism as we know it today.

bob said...

A good examole of a legend that could start a story such as the the one contained in the torah would be like the one the aztecs beleived.

The aztecs had a tradition that god appeared before the nation and led them to mexico.

(An account of this legend was written by by the grandson of Montezuma II (the Aztec emperor at the time ofthe spanish conquest) you can find it here, http://descendantofgods.tripod.com/id72.html)

Lets say somone who the Aztecs beleived had the aztec equivelent of ruach hakodesh claimed to have found a book that contained exactly what that god said while leading them. Do you really think it is so unlikley that he would be able to gather have alot of followers? If yes, why?

jewish philosopher said...

"how could any historical story like the one of sinai or miracle of fatima ever be found to be false according to you?"

I think solid fossil evidence of evolution would do it for me, which of course there isn't.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/11/evolution-refuted-again.html

Bob, as far your questions about tradition, I think I've answered them here:

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

Regarding the reliability of the oral law, please check this out:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/10/judaic-literature-providing-proof-of.html

Regarding the Aztecs, I don't believe that there is any proof of a mass revelation believed by all Aztecs. It's just one story in one manuscript.

Anonymous said...

Bob:

As fart back as there is any evidence every jew accepted the Torah as the authentic history of the nation. People only started questioning in modern times.

Anonymous said...

Bob:

I do believe that you are refering to the Chronica Mexicayotle. This was written almost a hundred years after the conquest. It was discovered 200 years later by in an Italian Library. There are other accounts of Aztec history written closer to the time of the conquest that do not have a mass revelation. I not sure that the Aztecs ever saw the Chronica Mexicayotle. IF there are other accounts that don't include a mass revelation, then that would indicate that it was not accepted by the Aztecs as their history.

Anonymous said...

Sorry typo

Should be "as far back"

bob said...

Anon said,

"As far back as there is any evidence every jew accepted the Torah as the authentic history of the nation. People only started questioning in modern times."

What evidence do you have?

bob said...

Anon,

The aztecs did not leave many writings. However the Cronica Mexicayotl was written by the grandson of the aztec ruler at the time of the conquest. Do you have any reason to assume that this is not what most of the aztecs beleived?

Also what other history books written by aztecs are you reffering to?

bob said...

You can even use the cult of fatima for my argument.

Lets say in a couple hundred years from now, somone who the members of this cult beleive has ruach hakodesh finds a book and that he says contain an accurate description of what happend at the miracle of fatima and includes god speaking in it.

Why do you assume it would be so hard for such a person to gather followers?

the same way just about all observent jews beleive that god told evreything contained in the zohar to moshe at sinai despite the book being discoverd pretty recently by only one person, why is it so far fetched for them to beleive somthing like this

Abe said...

>>>Abe, clearly you are the ignorant one, ignorant of both your old and new religions.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990322062150

"The page you are looking for may have moved or is currently under construction". Copying and pasting the address does not bring it up.
That page does not exist as you have identified it, despite your insistance that it does.
Perhaps it died trying to evolve into a human being.

>>>Perhaps you should get that book by Rabbeinu Yonah and continue blogging after you finish it.

Yonah wrote a book in the belly of the whale? Can I rely on his smicha to vouchsafe his credibility?

Abe said...

Bob
>>>Lets say somone who the Aztecs beleived had the aztec equivelent of ruach hakodesh claimed to have found a book that contained exactly what that god said while leading them. Do you really think it is so unlikley that he would be able to gather have alot of followers? If yes, why?

You don't have to go that far back. The Mormons believe that the Angel Moroni appeard to Joseph Smith, their prophet, in 1823 and revealed to him their sacred Book of Mormon. Mormons are now the fastest growing worldwide xtian sect. Similarly, credulous nutty Lubavitchers believe that their prophet ..er.. I mean dead rebbe Schneerson is moshiach.
Its not difficult to fabricate an unfalsifiable supernatural event and garner gullible zealots to promulgate your tenacious, unreasonable beliefs.

jewish philosopher said...

Abe, you also have to learn how to use an Internet browser. Right click and open comments in a new window. Then cut and paste the entire url.

Bob and Abe, according to your thinking that people believe all kinds of false stuff all the time, how do you know that the Holocaust happened or the Apollo moon landings?

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

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

Because it's impossible to organize a successful conspiracy of thousands of people, right?

Same thing with Torah being revealed at Sinai.

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

Anonymous said...

Bob:

The evidence that the Jews believed the Torah is Josephus, other historians, and the Novi, which seems to be quite accurate.

The Mormons believed that the angel was revealed privately to Jospeh Smith, not a mass revelation. If someone asks "why didn't my grandfather tell me that he expereinced a revelation?" the answer is that only Jospeh Smith did. Its not falsifiable. And people are denying the fatima revelation now.

Anonymous said...

Heres a list of other Aztec codices:

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

Some of them are histories, but hey don't have a national revelation.

Anonymous said...

Did the Rebbe perform a Mass Revelation? And most people don't believe that the Rebbe is Moshiach.
That's what I would expct to happen if someone said to the enbtire Jewish people "you have to accept this book of laws because
G-d spoke to your Grandfathers.

bob said...

"Bob and Abe, according to your thinking that people believe all kinds of false stuff all the time"

Of course they do! You also beleive that.

"Because it's impossible to organize a successful conspiracy of thousands of people, right?"

No thats not why.

by the Holocaust there are tons of diffrent independent sources of evidence that it happend. This is not so with sinai.

By the moon landing, its possible it didnt happen.

However i think somone would have spilled the beans by now had it been faked, you would have to involve alot of people in making all the photographs and sets and stuff

jewish philosopher said...

"somone would have spilled the beans by now had it been faked"

Same thing with the Torah, but no one disputed it.

Abe said...

>>>Abe, you also have to learn how to use an Internet browser. Right click and open comments in a new window. Then cut and paste the entire url.

Internet browser navigation is not rocket science. That page does not come up.
Your instructions are innefective.
Perhaps you can copy the pertinent paragraphs in that article that support your claim that evolutionary theory asserts that man developed directly from worms. In fact, why not copy and paste the entire article?

Abe said...

>>>Bob and Abe, according to your thinking that people believe all kinds of false stuff all the time, how do you know that the Holocaust happened or the Apollo moon landings?

Because we have multiple (hundreds of thousands) world-wide, independent attestations -- personal, technological, and physical remains that authenticate the events you specify.

All you have is the Torah. Hardly proof of anything, except that it is an ancient document.

bob said...

Anon,

Josephus was quite a while after sinai.

"Same thing with the Torah"

Not in the scenerio i gave. Read it again

jewish philosopher said...

"Your instructions are innefective."

Because you don't know Internet. Abe, this may be a sign from heaven. Stop blogging and work on Rabbeinu Yonah!!

"Hardly proof of anything, except that it is an ancient document."

Same as most history, but no one has a problem with the Peloponnesian War for example.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-history-bunk.html

jewish philosopher said...

"Not in the scenerio i gave. Read it again"

There was no dispute in ancient times regarding the revelation at Mount Sinai. There was not anti-Torah Jewish sect who were holding out for the old Canaanite religion.

bob said...

Yeah, they werent considerd "jewish". Most people didnt beleive this story. Only the ones that did were called "jews".

Take the cult of fatima for my argument.

Lets say in a couple hundred years from now, somone who the members of this cult beleive has ruach hakodesh finds a book and that he says contain an accurate description of what happend at the miracle of fatima and includes god speaking in it.

Now lets his followers call themselves "bews" there will be no dispute among the "bews" about what happend at fatima.

jewish philosopher said...

"Most people didnt beleive this story."

Wrong. You just made that up.

"members of this cult beleive has ruach hakodesh finds a book"

That's not how Judaism started. Nobody just found a previously unknown book.

Bob, I don't know if you're drunk, high or what. Imagine whatever you want to. If you want to make up your own version of Jewish history, then you're right, Judaism is just the same as Islam and Christianity.

bob said...

Jp said,

"Most people didnt beleive this story"
Then why isnt evreybody jews?

jp said,

"That's not how Judaism started. Nobody just found a previously unknown book."

How do you know?

(besides for the book in question telling you so which dosnt mean anything as i demonstrated above)

bob said...

Anyway i think my case is a plausable natrual way judaism could have came to be.

Why do you think this cannot be what happend?

jewish philosopher said...

"Then why isnt evreybody jews?"

In ancient times, everyone whose ancestors were at Sinai was a Jew.

"How do you know?"

Because no one said so. And it's impossible to organize a successful conspiracy of thousands of people with no one spilling the beans.

Bob, I don't know if you're drunk, high or what. Imagine whatever you want to. If you want to make up your own version of Jewish history, then you're right, Judaism is just the same as Islam and Christianity.

jewish philosopher said...

"Why do you think this cannot be what happend?"

Maybe someone just made up all ancient history. Why do you think this cannot be what happend?

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-history-bunk.html

bob said...

Jp said,

"Because no one said so. And it's impossible to organize a successful conspiracy of thousands of people with no one spilling the beans."

No, its not impossible. It can be done by only one person as I demonstrated in my case above. There would be no one to spill the beans in such a case.

bob said...

"Maybe someone just made up all ancient history. Why do you think this cannot be what happend?"

If there isnt independent sources confirming that some supernatrual event happend we call it a myth.

If it is somthing that is not so hard to beleive and there is evidence found that it happend why shouldnt we beleive it

jewish philosopher said...

Basically, your question was "How is the Sinai revelation different than the miracle of the sun at Fatima?"
Answer: God did not reveal Himself at Fatima.

"How is the Sinai revelation different than the publication of the Zohar?"
Answer: There is no similarity. The Sinai revelation was a divine revelation to millions of people. The publication of the Zohar was not.

"How do we know that the Sinai revelation happened?"
In the same way that we anything in ancient times happened. We have a record of it and a national tradition.

"Couldn't the Torah be a hoax?"
Couldn't the Holocaust or Apollo landings be a hoax? Mass conspiracies are implausible.

jewish philosopher said...

"If there isnt independent sources confirming that some supernatrual event happend we call it a myth.

If it is somthing that is not so hard to beleive and there is evidence found that it happend why shouldnt we beleive it"

What do you call "supernatural"? Anything involving a God who tells you what to do? Just because we don't want something to be true doesn't make it not true.


As I have explained, the Sinai revelation seems very likely to me.

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

Anonymous said...

If the Torah was not revealed at Sinai, at some point in histroy someone went ot he entire Jewish people and said "you have to obey all the laws in this book because G-d spoke to your grandfather" and nobody asked, "then why didn't my grandfather tell me?"

bob said...

You have not understood my argument read it again

Abe said...

>>>Because you don't know Internet. Abe, this may be a sign from heaven. Stop blogging and work on Rabbeinu Yonah!!

So do us all a minor favor and copy and paste the pertinent paragraphs from that article that supposedly buttresses your assertion that evolution states that man evolved directly from worms. That request has been directed to you a number of times and for some unexplicable reason you don't seem to be capable of executing a simple cumputer command.
I wonder why ?

bob said...

ANON SAID,
"If the Torah was not revealed at Sinai, at some point in histroy someone went ot he entire Jewish people and said "you have to obey all the laws in this book because G-d spoke to your grandfather" and nobody asked, "then why didn't my grandfather tell me?""

The same way nobody asked that question when the Arizal said the zohar was given to moshe at sinai

Anonymous said...

The Zohar is just part of the Torah. The Gemora is full of references to the Kabala. Teh Zohar is just a codifiction of an existing body of thats part of the Torah canon. Much like the Mishna Torah is a codification of pre-existing halacha.

jewish philosopher said...

Abe, try this. Google search "flatworm ancestor vertebrates"

bob, the Torah (the Chumash) was not revealed to the Arizal, so you can't claim that the Arizal just made it up.

I think what you're trying to argue is that something strange, but natural, happened at Mount Sinai. Then a few hundred years later, someone wrote the Torah and claimed that this book had been revealed by God at Mount Sinai. Most Jews refused to believe it, however some did. This is how Judaism began.

OK, now what basis do you have for believing that?

I could just as well claim that Alexander the Great wasn't a real person; someone just made up a story, most people didn't believe it, some did, and that's where Alexander the Great came from.

The answer is that Alexander the Great doesn't bother you. Torah does. So you are trying to deny Torah, just like any alcoholic will deny the inconvenient fact that he has a problem. Or anti-Semites deny the Holocaust happened.

"Denial is not just a river in Egypt." - famous saying from Alcoholics Anonymous.

bob said...

Anon said,
"The Zohar is just part of the Torah. The Gemora is full of references to the Kabala."

However the zohar containes many thing not refrenced to in the gemara yet Orthodox Jews except it as fact that these things were given to moshe at sinai IN FRONT OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE yet no one asks "why didnt my grandfather tell me about this".

Anon also said,

"Teh Zohar is just a codifiction of an existing body of thats part of the Torah canon. Much like the Mishna Torah is a codification of pre-existing halacha."

The torah could very well have been codification of diffrent legends that were floating around at that time

Jp said,

"OK, now what basis do you have for believing that?"
What basis do you have for saying it wasnt a natrual event? A the choice is a possible natrual event or that god actually revieled himself this once in the past four billion years, isnt it logical to assume that the natrual thing happend.

Jp, also said

"I could just as well claim that Alexander the Great wasn't a real person; someone just made up a story, most people didn't believe it, some did, and that's where Alexander the Great came from."

If there werent diffrent independent sources of evidence pointing to the fact that Alexander the great exsisted you would be right. However there are.

jewish philosopher said...

"What basis do you have for saying it wasnt a natrual event?"

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

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

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2007/03/extraordinary-history-of-jewish-people.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/10/judaic-literature-providing-proof-of.html

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

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/06/spies-narrative.html

"If there werent diffrent independent sources of evidence pointing to the fact that Alexander the great exsisted you would be right. However there are."

Where? I'm not too sure.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/07/is-history-bunk.html

Anonymous said...

Your grandfather told you that G-d revealed the Torah to him at Sinai. Yorugrnadfather didn't necessarily tell you the details like the details of the Kabala. That he left for your Rebbe.

Abe said...

>>>As I have explained, the Sinai revelation seems very likely to me.


Ah yes, the old discredited kuzari "proof". Have a look here for a thorough debunking.
http://www.talkreason.org/articles/kuzariflaws.cfm

jewish philosopher said...

No, I don't exactly use the Kuzari proof.

And by the way, the Holocaust has also been "thoroughly debunked", at least in the minds of people who don't want to believe it.

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/holohoax.htm

bob said...

Jp,,

All of your posts that you say prove the torah is divine seem to be based either on the premise that a story cannot be made up that says somthing happend in front of thousands or millions of people.
Or that since the torah influenced the world in such a huge amazing way it must be divine.

The first premise is false as it can be done in the kind of case i mentioned above.
The second proof just isnt a proof just because somthing influenced the world dosnt make it divine.

Jp said,
"Where? I'm not too sure."

What i mean is that there are diffrent independent sources that alexander exsisted. If the only way we knew he exsisted was from one ancient macodnian tribel scroll you would be right

jewish philosopher said...

That's not really what I'm saying Bob, however I don't think you're interested in seriously discussing this. I think you've already decided that you don't like Judaism, you don't want to believe it and that's all there is to that.

I'm just curious, what is your native language and how old are you?

Abe said...

>>>And by the way, the Holocaust has also been "thoroughly debunked", at least in the minds of people who don't want to believe it.

It says something about your psyche and character that you would equate biblical scholars (with whom you may disagree) with holocaust deniers.
Ah well... what can you do. Just more reasons to go and stay off the derech.

jewish philosopher said...

There is a lot in common between Torah deniers and Holocaust deniers. Both groups claim that the Jews are incredible liars who have fabricated their history from nothing. If that's what you need to believe, go for it. Nothing anyone can say will change your mind.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that all the sources of Alexander's life were written centuries after his death. There is nothing from his lifetime.

jewish philosopher said...

So long as it has nothing to do with God, it's fine.

bob said...

Hebrew, 22 and btw i am an orthodox practicing jew i just dont agree with your argument

bob said...

Anon,

you are wrong research it

bob said...

Anon,

There are many independent things (such as coins depicting him ect.) and written accounts about Alexander from when he was alive

jewish philosopher said...

Everything we know about Alexander the Great is based on second hand accounts written centuries after his death.

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

The most important source of information about Alexander was written about 400 years after he lived

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

and our primary copy of that is one 12th century manuscript

http://books.google.com/books?id=-aFtPdh6-2QC&pg=PA105&lpg=PA105&dq=Anabasis+Alexandri+vienna+manuscript&source=bl&ots=vI79wLWMfi&sig=3P5WPtSROWDBcZAD4L4vcMIIuXk&hl=en&ei=rr_NSvy6J8nT8Ab6sKn9Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false

There are thousands of ancient coins with the word "Alexander" stamped on them

http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Joukowsky_Institute/resources/papers/alexander_coinage/alexander.html

which doesn't prove very much.

But no one is making a big commotion about "what proof is there of Alexander" and "couldn't it be a hoax" because no one cares about that. We have some solid proof and that's accepted as fact.

bob said...

Jp said,

"There are thousands of ancient coins with the word "Alexander" stamped on them

http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Joukowsky_Institute/resources/papers/alexander_coinage/alexander.html

which doesn't prove very much."

Of course it does. It proves the individual very probably exsisted. There are also statues of him dating from the third century b.c. which is when he died, among other things.
Details of his actual acomplishments and life are actually fraught with controversy.

Abe said...

>>>There is a lot in common between Torah deniers and Holocaust deniers. Both groups claim that the Jews are incredible liars who have fabricated their history from nothing.

Torah deniers do not call you intentional liars. We consider you credulous and wrong but not that you deliberately deny history. Your indoctrinated dogma forces you to employ warped logic, distortion, and sophistic reasoning to validate your conclusions.
Humanistic skeptics have never murdered anyone, unlike holocaust deniers whose heroes have murdered scores of millions. That you cannot see the difference and equate the two is an unfortunate comment on the irrational zealotry of torah fundamentalism.
BTW, I'm still waiting for you to copy that website that alleges that man decended from worms that you have referenced so many times.
Where is it ?

jewish philosopher said...

Bob, the primary sources written by people who actually knew Alexander or who gathered information from men who served with Alexander, are all lost, apart from a few inscriptions and fragments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Alexander_the_Great#Contemporary_sources

Everything we know about him is based on a few medieval manuscripts. Yet, you have no trouble accepting the historical facts of Alexander's conquests and battles.

On the other hand, the Torah is based on the living, continuous written and oral tradition of millions of people. Yet, you reject this as unconvincing.

In regards to the Torah requiring an extraordinary level of proof, I disagree. If something seems likely to have happened, we do not require extraordinary evidence to prove that it happened. Since, based on the Watchmaker Principle, we know that a God exists; we might expect that at some point in history he would reveal his identity and wishes to the human race in a public announcement. Therefore, extraordinary evidence is not required to prove that the revelation at Mount Sinai happened.

This is the comparison between Holocaust deniers and Torah deniers. Both are denying a well established historical event because of personal bias.

"Humanistic skeptics have never murdered anyone"

Neither have humanistic Holocaust deniers I suppose. However Torah deniers in general do have a habit of shooting rabbis, among others.

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

bob said...

Jp,

Your logic is flawed even if the watchmaker argument was a good argument (which it isnt but that dosnt matter for this discussion).

Just because god created people does not make it logical that he created them to serve him.

There are many reasons a god might have created humans, he dosnt neccesarily think like humans do.

If you think about it it actually dosnt make so much sense that the whole universe was created for one species on one little planet.

(If you built a robot as a conversation piece and it became self aware, it may conclude you want it to pray to you, in the meanwhile you just want to look at it.)

Again, you are making a claim that somthing very unusual and out of the ordinary happend you must provide solid proof that it did happen if you want to be taken seriosly

Abe said...

>>>Neither have humanistic Holocaust deniers I suppose. However Torah deniers in general do have a habit of shooting rabbis, among others.

Humanist holocaust denier is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. There are no humanist holocaust deniers. By their noxious denial of recent history, they legitimize Hitler's efforts.
Indeed, holocaust torah deniers make their bed with murderers.
That you deliberately conflate holocaust deniers with humanist skeptics is again evidence of the pernicious effect of torah fundamentalism.

jewish philosopher said...

"Just because god created people does not make it logical that he created them to serve him."

But there is also no reason to believe that he created people and then ignored them. We might expect that at some point in history God would reveal his identity and wishes to the human race in a public announcement. Therefore, extraordinary evidence is not required to prove that the revelation at Mount Sinai happened.

Other than personal bias, there is no reason to accept the conquests of Alexander but deny the Torah.

Also, by the way, where is there a statue of Alexander the Great made from life??

jewish philosopher said...

"Humanist holocaust denier is a contradiction in terms"

Not according to them. They are simply honest researchers - skeptics you might say, searching for the truth behind all the Jewish lies. Just like you Abe.

bob said...

JP,
Here is one http://arthistory.about.com/library/weekly/bl_alexander_review.htm

jewish philosopher said...

Who knows if it's really him?

Abe said...

>>>Not according to them. They are simply honest researchers - skeptics you might say, searching for the truth behind all the Jewish lies. Just like you Abe.

They can call themselves whatever they wish, just as you can call your self-serving septic logic sound and valid.
But the entire moral universe would call their ethos a muderous ideology, hardly humanist.
Again, your istitutionlized sophistry leaves you incapable of distinguising between the two.
Perhaps a few hours less of fundamentalist torah study and a few more of the rules of logic might be the mental tonic that you so desperately need. You might start here.
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

jewish philosopher said...

Abe, I think you're forgetting

The Gates of Repentance by Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona

http://www.amazon.com/reader/0873065468?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sib%5Fdp%5Fpt#noop

Stop blogging and get to work!

bob said...

jp,

Do a little research into Alexander the great and you will see there are many independent sources of evidence from during and after his life that he exsisted (you yourself even mentioned the coins with his picture on them and fragments written when he was alive). You will also see how they know the statues are of him i dont have the patiance or time to get into evrey aspect we mention in this conversation.

However even if historians had no good reason to accept that Alexander exisisted it still wouldnt make you right (logicly) for accepting the torah for no good reason.

jewish philosopher said...

The evidence in favor of Torah is massive. The evidence in favor of Alexander is minimal. The reason why Alexander is universally accepted and Torah is not is merely personal bias.

bob said...

jp,

Again, even IF there was no good reason to accept the fact that Alexander the great exsisted (and this is not the case), it still wouldnt make your reasons for accepting the Torah any more valid.

Im not really sure were you are trying to go with all this stuff about Alexander.

Jp said,

"The reason why Alexander is universally accepted and Torah is not is merely personal bias."

Even if this was true (and again I dont think it is) it wouldnt make your reasons for beleiving the torah any more valid.

jewish philosopher said...

Bob, the primary sources written by people who actually knew Alexander or who gathered information from men who served with Alexander, are all lost, apart from a few inscriptions and fragments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Alexander_the_Great#Contemporary_sources

Everything we know about him is based on a few medieval manuscripts. Yet, you have no trouble accepting the historical facts of Alexander's conquests and battles.

On the other hand, the Torah is based on the living, continuous written and oral tradition of millions of people. Yet, you reject this as unconvincing.

This is clearly an irrational double standard.

bob said...

Again, you arnt proving the torah. You are just saying that there is no good reason to belive that Alexander the great exsisted as well (although I pointed out earlier why there is).

So now (according to you) you have no good reason to beleive that Alexander exsisted and you also have no good reason to beleive the torah is divine.

Why do you think that makes your argument stronger?

bob said...

Jp said,

"This is clearly an irrational double standard"

...and if it is that still dosnt prove that the Torah was written by god

jewish philosopher said...

Bob, I think now we've reached the final stage. You have recognized that the revelation of the Torah was a historical fact. Congratulations!

The only missing piece now is the issue of keeping the Torah. This requires self discipline, but you can do it!

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/01/judaism-and-discipline.html

Good luck and I know that Torah will bring you true happiness!

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/04/real-happiness.html

Chag Somayach!!

bob said...

?

jewish philosopher said...

You're making the right choice. Thank you.

jewish philosopher said...

Bob, incidentally, if you don't mind, may I suggest that you change your name to "Baruch", meaning "blessing". There is no greater blessing than accepting the Torah.

Abe said...

>>>The evidence in favor of Torah is massive.

Only if you define massive as a single source, mutual admiration society.

>>>The evidence in favor of Alexander is minimal.

Perhaps so, by your definition. By using that same definition the historicity of much of the Torah is equaly suspect.

jewish philosopher said...

Of course Abe. And I'm sure you're the type of person who believes that the Holocaust is merely a Jew Zionist conspiracy to make money. Those damned Jewish liars. They keep fooling me.

Abe said...

>>>Of course Abe. And I'm sure you're the type of person who believes that the Holocaust is merely a Jew Zionist conspiracy to make money. Those damned Jewish liars. They keep fooling me.

Nope, I do not.
However if you were a connoisseur of crazy conspiracy theories, you just might believe that torah fundamentalists deliberately strive to gum up the engine of rational thought by concocting similar conspiracy theories.
But that could never be. You're much too doltish to be that clever. I was about to blame god, but I quickly realized that there is no evidence that he was involved. Its just the natural evolution of tenacious, unreasonable beliefs that renders you bereft of reason.
Its that simple.

jewish philosopher said...

Abe, I see you’re just as gullible as everyone else. Now I’m really disappointed. Those Jewish liars fabricated an entire Bible full of miracles which never happened at all! Do you think it would be a big deal for them to cook up a few bogus “gas chambers” for the sake of making big money? HOLOCAUST BU$$INE$$. Billions of dollars in reparations and foreign aid! You know how Jews are about money.

Come on. If you’re going to be a real skeptic Abe, you better try a little harder.

I’ve got the name of a guy you’ve got to talk to: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
This guy is the new Dawkins! He’s debunking not only ancient Jewish conspiracies and falsifications of history, but present day ones too! Pure genius!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad#Allegations_of_Holocaust_denial_and_anti-Semitism

You poor man, Abe. You believe in Auschwitz, do you? What’s next, the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Wake up and smell the cyanide.

Abe said...

>>>...Do you think it would be a big deal for them to cook up a few bogus “gas chambers” for the sake of making big money? HOLOCAUST BU$$INE$$. Billions of dollars in reparations and foreign aid! You know how Jews are about money.
Come on. If you’re going to be a real skeptic Abe, you better try a little harder.

Its enough to bring tears to your eyes, an outraged Jacob Stein fundie sophisticaly defending the honor and dignity of torah innerancy by accusing his detractors as haulocaust deniers. I've almost depleted my last box of kleenex, boo-hoo-hoo, sniff. But its just getting boring --that heart-warming debasement of reason prominading as rational thought. Well, If you can't argue logicaly, you can always reduce your philosophy to a childish level of mendacity. I suppose its the product of too much kolel study, but it sure beats a bad case of indigestion from too much shabbos chulent.

jewish philosopher said...

Abe, you nutty fruitcake Torah denier, I'm just telling to take your crazy so called "skepticism" to it's logical conclusion.