Monday, March 01, 2010

A Peek Underneath


[what you find under rocks]

A recent blog post described a scene from what I would assume is the typical lifestyle of Orthodox Jews who convert to atheism.

The post describes young people who are completely immersed in unhealthy habits and addictions - promiscuity, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol. Apparently not a moment is wasted on philosophical discussions or scientific research; so much for all the questioning and doubts about Torah from Sinai. And these people are really worried about "unethical" rabbis? Oh, I'm sure – but perhaps they should worry about their own underage drinking and substance abuse. And of course these young people are properly filing their income taxes.

In my humble opinion it's obvious what's happening to these people. They're suffering from depression and as a result they are attempting to medicate themselves. However the crutches they're using will not help in the long run. They're not only losing the next world, condemned to eternal damnation, they will lose this world too. The addictions they are cultivating will rot out their minds and bodies. They will eventually be bitter middle aged people and finally lonely old alcoholics and cat ladies.

This is a like a cancer in the community's body.

Prevention is the first priority.

Surgical removal is the final line of defense.

As Sir Walter Scott once wrote:

The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

71 comments:

zibble said...

"eternal damnation"? I guess Mr Stein hasn't completely shaken off the silly ideas of his non-Jewish past.

jewish philosopher said...

I guess zibble dropped out of yeshiva before learning Rosh haShanah 17a

המינין והמסורות {והמשומדים} והאפיקורסים שכפרו בתורה ושכפרו בתחיית המתים ושפירשו מדרכי צבור ושנתנו חיתיתם בארץ חיים ושחטאו והחטיאו את הרבים כגון ירבעם בן נבט וחביריו יורדין לגיהנם ונידונין בה לדורי דורות שנאמר (ישעיהו סו) ויצאו וראו בפגרי האנשים הפושעים בי וגו' גיהנם כלה והן אינן כלין

Shalmo said...

JP the girl who wrote that article said this:

"There was plenty of beer, pot, and cigarettes, but I didn’t need any of it. This was the one place where I could let down my guard."

In other words she avoided the beer, the pot and the cigarettes! So the only sin you can chastize her for is promiscuous sex.

Though I agree that people who leave orthodoxy tend to jump head long into drugs and sex but only because its natural for people who escape from conservative environments to drown themselves into all the things that were forbidden for them.

It takes a few years to calm down and learn to live the secular lifestyle with humility

Alex said...

"The post describes young people who are completely immersed in unhealthy habits and addictions - promiscuity, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol. Apparently not a moment is wasted on philosophical discussions or scientific research; so much for all the questioning and doubts about Torah from Sinai."

Give me percentages. You're painting things too black and white.
Ex:
What percentage of orthodox-to-atheist "converts" go the route you're describing? What percentage blog about "philosophical discussions or scientific research or Torah from Sinai" for a period of time before they give up all that thinking?

jewish philosopher said...

First of all, let me mention that someone going from left wing modern Orthodox to atheism may be a little different; he grew up about 75% atheist anyway and this is just a little shift relatively. Some of those people may be more normal.

However regarding mainstream Orthodox to atheism, I think these are pretty much always very sick people.

Where are the ex-Satmar yeshiva boys or ex-Bais Yaakov girls who are, using their real names, publishing scholarly works critiquing the Bible and Talmud? Where are the ones who are joining the Peace Corp or working in shelters for the homeless? Where are the ones who just get good jobs, get married, have kids and stable families? They seem to be very, very well hidden.

Anonymous said...

One of your sillier posts, JP.

First, its not true.

Second, you quote from the Talmud which is demonstrably wrong in lots of things. The rabbis said many things as scare tactics to get people to listen to them. "You'd better listen to us or you'll burn in hell forever!! Don't violate rabbinic ordinances or a snake will bite you!!"
Pretty lame.

Even the most severe infractions in the Torah are given earthly punishments.

The rabbis were clueless about the afterlife and had no idea what awaited heretics. How could they know? Maybe god gives the heretics a big yasher koach.

But how else could they explain the successful spread of heretical ideas with no obvious earthly punishment? So they borrowed from other ancient culture's ideas of afterlife.

jewish philosopher said...

There are plenty of earthly punishments too.

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

But that's just a little hint of what's waiting afterwards. You might want to check out the last two verses in Isaiah.

And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have rebelled against Me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Anonymous said...

And which part of that prophecy has come true?

The prophets said many things, some came about and some didn't, and some are allegorical. Its talking in a very specific context about specific people.

If you want to base your life on that, go ahead...whatever floats your boat, as Larry says.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: at 4:14

Atheists are less happy. That's why they often resort to drugs and other self destructive behaviors.
There's your punishment.

jewish philosopher said...

For proof of the authenticity of the Torah and the Talmud, check here

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

and here

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

However if you want to live in denial, that's up to you. In Alcoholics Anonymous, they say "denial is not just a river in Egypt".

Anonymous said...

"Atheists are less happy. That's why they often resort to drugs and other self destructive behaviors.
There's your punishment."

I'm very happy, thank you. The only drug I've tried is grass, just once, and I didn't like it. I drink wine once a week for kiddush. And I'm sexually satisfied with my wife of 30 years.

JP, it is you, my friend, who is living in denial.

jewish philosopher said...

I'm sure you're also going to Haiti to save the poor.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 7;36.

That's just you. What about all the other drug addicted atheists? And you claim to be an atheist but you make kiddush. Then you say JP is living a lie. Does your wife knwo about your atheism? Are you lying to her, too?

Anonymous said...

"That's just you. What about all the other drug addicted atheists? And you claim to be an atheist but you make kiddush. Then you say JP is living a lie. Does your wife knwo about your atheism? Are you lying to her, too?"

I am a skeptic insofar as organized religions go; I am not a strong "atheist". I am open to the possibility that there may be some supreme being/prime mover/god of nature. I just don't believe in a personal god. My wife knows how I feel, and a participate in Jewish life as part of a community, not because I am commanded to. Many of my "orthoprax" friends feel the same way. My children also know, and have a strong dose of critical thinking themselves.

Judaism is one path to a spiritual or healthy life, but there are many others.

And BTW, obesity is a far greater public health problem than drug and alcohol use, and the orthodox suffer from this at least as much as the general population. So what about all of those fat ultra-orthodox? Ever have to sit next to one of them on an international flight?

Judaism doesn't offer an answer to everything...

jewish philosopher said...

"the orthodox suffer from this at least as much as the general population"

Non-smokers tend to be fatter than smokers, and relatively few Orthodox smoke. Even considering that, I think actually Orthodox on average are not as fat as American gentiles. For one thing, kosher food costs so much more. Compare a kosher hamburger to McDonald's. I think it's double or triple the price.

Abe said...

>>>A recent blog post described a scene from what I would assume is the typical lifestyle of Orthodox Jews who convert to atheism.

Nowhere in that blog is there an assertion that any of those renegades "converted" to anything, let alone atheism. We are only informed that they abandoned chareidism in favor of a libertine lifestyle. For all we know they are deists and believe in some form of creator.
I believe that their lifestyle became a reaction to the awareness that their chareidi indoctrination was an enormous lie, a vast automatonic conspiracy to encumber their minds and repress their individuality. So, its no surprise that lacking any secular socialization, they escaped to the other extreme of gratuitous sex and deleterious drug use, a lifestyle equally anesthetic as chareidism. This unfortunately is sometimes the track for those fortunate enough to discover the truth. However, the triumph of reason will also hopefully lead them to abandon that debaucherous lifestyle too. While that dissolute lifestyle is hardly enviable, it is not much worse than chareidism and a lot easier to overcome.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how good the statistics are

http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/135/1/248.2.full.pdf

http://www.jewishjournal.com/health/article/obesity_weighsheavily_on_jews_20030124/

but clearly smoking and obesity are major health problems among the orthodox, and to a far greater degree that drug and alcohol abuse (among Jews in general).

So why all of the focus on a few drug addicts who might be ex-orthodox atheists?

Could this be....CONFIRMATION BIAS??

Do you actually have any objective data regarding the phenomenon of drug abuse among ex-orthodox?

jewish philosopher said...

"So, its no surprise that lacking any secular socialization, they escaped to the other extreme of gratuitous sex and deleterious drug use, a lifestyle equally anesthetic as chareidism. This unfortunately is sometimes the track for those fortunate enough to discover the truth."

Well, it should surprise you. Surely the truth should make people kinder, more healthy and more wealthy. No sign of that here.

I don't advocate smoking or over eating. I'm actually writing this in a gym locker room. Among my orthodox neighbors, I personally see about 2% smokers and 10% fat. Now adding pot and beer on top of that is definitely not helping

Anonymous said...

"Surely the truth should make people kinder, more healthy and more wealthy."

This is a fallacy. The truth owes you nothing. The universe owes you nothing.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the truth makes us depressed. Like that we will all die, and for most of us dying will be full of suffering and pain. So we try not to think about it. Or that, the world is full of suffering. We try not to think about that. too.

Not clear why knowing that would make us kinder or gentler.

jewish philosopher said...

“This is a fallacy. The truth owes you nothing”

Actually, I'm not too sure about that.

Religion teaches us fundamentally what we are. Are we created in the image of God and meant to glorify Him by obeying His commandments? Or are we soulless bags of meat; robots created by no one?

Seemingly we can only function optimally if we know the answer to those questions.

If someone gave you a car, but you had a delusion that it was a bicycle, wouldn’t that cause problems? You might wonder where the pedals are, and then cut holes in the floor of the car so that you can stick your feet through and push it along a little. In your error, the car would be almost useless.

“Like that we will all die, and for most of us dying will be full of suffering and pain.”

This is also all wonderful, when we truly understand it. The Talmud teaches us "one must receive the evil with gladness". It is all for our good.
http://www.come-and-hear.com/berakoth/berakoth_60.html#PARTb

Abe said...

>>>Well, it should surprise you. Surely the truth should make people kinder, more healthy and more wealthy. No sign of that here.

Not necessarily. Even the truth may not be sufficient to vanquish the misfortune of the chareidi mindset. Illcit drugs and gratuitous sex are probably psychological defense mechanisms against the anguish and anxiety of having discovered that their former chareidism was a big lie. The good news is that a great many of those that abandon chareidism are not left mired in a dissolute lifestyle. I like many of those who have rejected chareidism are neither drug nor sex addicts.
Of course you'll deny that and blather that all torah deniers are addicts etc. I suppose that's just part of your febrile neurosis.

jewish philosopher said...

Well, in all my debates online with dropouts, only one has had the guts, or stupidity, to tell me who he is.

Ronald Joel Schreiber
25980 Raine St
Oak Park, MI 48237
(248) 968-3614
cell: 248-632-6804
http://bozoyon.blogspot.com/

So I checked him out. Fifty four years old, father of three adult children, divorced, bankrupt, unemployed and lives with his mother. I don't know about drugs, however he does hold a patent for a bong.

People who leave ultra-Orthodox Judaism are all losers. They just can't cope with life, that's why they quit.

Abe said...

>>>Well, in all my debates online with dropouts, only one has had the guts, or stupidity, to tell me who he is.
You've already mentioned on more than one occaison that you'd like to see all atheists dead. Who knows, you might show up at their door with a shotgun. Who in their right mind would divulge their identity to a psycho like you?

>>>People who leave ultra-Orthodox Judaism are all losers. They just can't cope with life, that's why they quit.

Well, you're partially correct. Its the chareidi lifestyle we can't cope with. Its like shoveling manure on a hot summer day. You could do it but why would anyone want to cope with that? And if you do, its quite a statement on your state of mind.
However, after abandoning chareidism we cope with life quite nicely.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that man the father of a woman you harassed and stalked?

Hypocrite. Looks your CEO needs another call, if you're still employed.

jewish philosopher said...

"you might show up at their door with a shotgun."

Which no rabbi in history has ever done. I know very well why you're all so secretive. First of all, probably most of the Internet skeptics are actually one fourteen year old.

"after abandoning chareidism we cope with life quite nicely."

No proof of that anywhere.

"Isn't that man the father of a woman you harassed and stalked?"

In her dreams. They're both mentally ill; she goes to Wayne State University wearing a T-shirt which says in Arabic "I hate Arabs".

Alex said...

Abe: "Who knows, you might show up at their door with a shotgun. "

JP's response: "Which no rabbi in history has ever done."

Not exactly what one would call a direct answer.

jewish philosopher said...

Well, let's check the body count:

Rabbi's killed by atheists. Thousands.

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

Atheists killed by rabbis. Zero.

Anonymous said...

Abe:

When people become Baalei Teshuva, they often get very involved with all the chesed and tzedaka that is part of the Orhtodox community. While people who leave Orthodoxy, might be coping, does the coping include adandoning tzedaka and chesed? Is that part of the shoveling manure? I'm just curious.

Alex said...

You didn't catch that the word "you" was in bold, did you JP?

Abe said...

"you might show up at their door with a shotgun."

>>>Which no rabbi in history has ever done. I know very well why you're all so secretive. First of all, probably most of the Internet skeptics are actually one fourteen year old.

I wasn't referring to any rabbi in history, I was bestowing that psychotic obsession on you, since you've noted many times that you'd like to kill a few atheists ( and I suspect a few inauthentic Juden masquarading as orthodox Jews.)

"after abandoning chareidism we cope with life quite nicely."

>>>No proof of that anywhere.

More of your dopey logic. Why would we need to prove anything to you? I suppose we would also need to prove that we haven't spread anthrax through the U.S. mail to gain your approbation.

Abe said...

>>>When people become Baalei Teshuva, they often get very involved with all the chesed and tzedaka that is part of the Orhtodox community. While people who leave Orthodoxy, might be coping, does the coping include adandoning tzedaka and chesed? Is that part of the shoveling manure? I'm just curious.

I never said that a chareidism was bereft of all humanistic elements. Certainly charity is a noble endeavor. However, you don't have to become chareidi to engage in charitable works, just as those who abandon chareidism must perforce lose all their charitable instincts. And just because chareidim participate in chesed, does not exonerate them from the pernicious malevolence of their religious enterprise. Just because chareidism extols some humnaistic elements, that doesn't mean that it is not overall an intemperate quagmire of ever expanding, meaningless doctrines, prohibitions and rituals. Add to that the intolerance and religious coercion against secular Jews in Israel and the manure simile becomes very apt.

jewish philosopher said...

"the word "you" was in bold"

Where?

"since you've noted many times that you'd like to kill a few atheists"

Only in your paranoid delusions. As I've mentioned, probably most skeptic bloggers are the same 14 year old and/or are complete failures, hence the hidden ids.

"Why would we need to prove anything to you?"

Why should anyone take the word of some anonymous nut as being worth anything?

"religious coercion against secular Jews in Israel"

In the US, Christians have plenty of political influence. It's called "democracy". If it's not for you, maybe try living in North Korea.

Anonymous said...

Abe:

Yuo didn't answer my question. When people become orthodox, there is a net increase of tzedaka and chesed. I'm asking about what happens wehn people leave Orthodoxy. I'm assuming that there is a net loss of Chesed. And i undestand you to be agreeing with me, since people don'tloose allthero charitable instincts when leaving orthodoxy, just some of them. So, Orthodoxy means an increase in chesed. How is thsi pernicious, or malevolent?

Adn what is your basis, as an atheist, to say anything is malevolent or pernicious?

Anonymous said...

The flaw in JP's thinking is really quite obvious. All organized religion is like culture, just not tied to a specific location. It has its rules, priorities, myths and values.

When a person abandons a culture and/or exchanges it for another, there is likely to be (at least temporarily) some personal upheaval.

So people leaving orthodoxy are no different than people rebelling against any religion or culture. Its not the lack of orthodoxy itself, its the act of rebelling and transitioning.

So the fact that a few ex-orthodox may have some personal demonstrates nothing. (Other than that JP likes to use ad hominem arguments alot)

Alex said...

Me: "the word "you" was in bold"
JP: "Where"
Me: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 5:42:00 PM

Summarizing: The original accusation was as follows:
"You've already mentioned on more than one occaison that you'd like to see all atheists dead. Who knows, you (((not rabbis, but you, so don't defend rabbis, defend yourself))) might show up at their door with a shotgun. "

jewish philosopher said...

"So people leaving orthodoxy are no different than people rebelling against any religion or culture."

Sure they are. Atheists becoming Jews don't engage in high risk and illegal behaviors. Jews becoming atheists always do since the atheism is in the first place a rationalization for addiction.

About the shot gun issue, can someone please show me where I have advocated violence and also please explain that if I do why is Ronnie Schreiber mentioned above still intact? This is all just nonsense. I actually have much more reason to fear atheists than the reverse.

Abe said...

>>>Why should anyone take the word of some anonymous nut as being worth anything?

For the same reason that we should not take the word of an identified and openly recognized neurotic like you.


"religious coercion against secular Jews in Israel"

>>>In the US, Christians have plenty of political influence. It's called "democracy". If it's not for you, maybe try living in North Korea.

There is quite a difference between political influence and anti-democratic usurpation of individual rights to work at an Intel plant or utilizing a parking lot on Shabbat. Secular Israelis do not want to surrender their freedoms to an intolerant system of government by enforced by fundamentalist chareidim. Using political influence to transform a democracy into a Saudi Arabian style of authoritarian theocracy is not democratic. It is a suicide pact with the devil.

jewish philosopher said...

"For the same reason that we should not take the word of an identified and openly recognized neurotic like you. "

which may be why I always provide sources, my little peanut brain

"There is quite a difference between political influence and anti-democratic usurpation of individual rights to work at an Intel plant or utilizing a parking lot on Shabbat. Secular Israelis do not want to surrender their freedoms to an intolerant system of government by enforced by fundamentalist chareidim. Using political influence to transform a democracy into a Saudi Arabian style of authoritarian theocracy is not democratic. It is a suicide pact with the devil."

in Bergen county new jersey all stores are closed on Sunday; in Italy Catholicism is taught in general schools; in Ireland I believe both divorce and abortion are illegal. Are you worrying about burkas and beheadings in those places too?

Abe said...

>>>Yuo didn't answer my question. When people become orthodox, there is a net increase of tzedaka and chesed. I'm asking about what happens wehn people leave Orthodoxy. I'm assuming that there is a net loss of Chesed.

Why do you assume? Kindly present us with the scientific data. You simply assume to justify your hypothesis.


>>>And i undestand you to be agreeing with me, since people don'tloose allthero charitable instincts when leaving orthodoxy, just some of them. So, Orthodoxy means an increase in chesed. How is thsi pernicious, or malevolent.

I don't agree with you at all. Your reading comprehension is not too keen.
Not losing all your charitable instincts doesn't acclaim or validate chareidism. Catholic charities are equally as benevolent as chareidi, but that doesn't mean that I should become a Catholic.
And the perniciousness and malevolence wasn't referring to the chesed. I was referring to an "overall intemperate quagmire of ever expanding, meaningless doctrines, prohibitions and rituals. Add to that the intolerance and religious coercion against secular Jews in Israel and the manure simile becomes very apt."

Abe said...

>>>which may be why I always provide sources, my little peanut brain.

How? By quoting yourself as the source? It seems that gemara logic really hasn't done much for you.

>>>in Bergen county new jersey all stores are closed on Sunday; in Italy Catholicism is taught in general schools; in Ireland I believe both divorce and abortion are illegal. Are you worrying about burkas and beheadings in those places too?

It is also wrong to tolerate those infringements on liberty. I don't agree with those restrictions, but those are minor in contrast to the unholy imposition of fundemantalist chareidism on Israeli society. If chareidism ever seizes power, you will see enforced burka-like apparel, intolerance and religious coercion as pernicious as the Saudi design.

jewish philosopher said...

Of course Abe, if you tell us that you're a good person we must believe it, no proof needed, and if you think that laws should be a certain way, then they just should be, damn the voters. And if you want to smoke pot, never take a bath and drink beer then you just will. Everyone's an idiot except Abe.

Anonymous said...

"Sure they are. Atheists becoming Jews don't engage in high risk and illegal behaviors. Jews becoming atheists always do since the atheism is in the first place a rationalization for addiction. "

Atheism is not a culture, you don't "leave atheism". Atheism doesn't represent a distinct community with uniform beliefs, rules and values. It simply denies religion.

jewish philosopher said...

That's false.

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

Alex said...

"About the shot gun issue, can someone please show me where I have advocated violence and also please explain that if I do why is Ronnie Schreiber mentioned above still intact? "

Maybe because you don't live in Michigan, and it would cost too much to go there? Nah, I don't really believe that, but your question is quite unreal.

Anyway, where did you promote violence? Well, although you don't see it, maybe you should show the following link to your friends and get back to us with the stats:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/10/secret-orthodox-atheists-and-how-to.html

jewish philosopher said...

Where I commented:

The problem is that I don’t believe that Orthodox Jews wish to have in their homes and in their synagogues people who are not Orthodox Jews but who are pretending that they are. I think that many Orthodox Jews are unaware of how common these imposters are, however I am trying to increase an awareness of this phenomenon and to urge a very aggressive, although completely legal and non-violent, response to it.

I don’t believe that anyone has a right to be dishonest and to fool his family and friends about his religion so that he can fraudulently enjoy their love, respect and affection.

What would you think of someone who falsely claimed to be a veteran and received full benefits however in reality he was a Nazi war criminal? Or that’s fine too? I guess it is, if you’re a Nazi war criminal…. Sieg Heil everybody.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 2:17:00 PM

Fear of reprisals is certainly not the reason why Jewish bloggers choose to remain anonymous. Anonymity allows people to lie about themselves and others, create whole false personae, hide any wrong doings, lie without shame, in additional to creating bogus multiple identities ("sock puppets") and so on. Think about it - how impressive would it be if some "Failed Rabbis" "whistle blower" blogger would turn out to be a convicted wife beater and drug addict himself?

Shalmo said...

JP:

"In her dreams. They're both mentally ill; she goes to Wayne State University wearing a T-shirt which says in Arabic "I hate Arabs"."

JP I was not aware Tova did this. I knew Tova was a zionazi but I was not aware she does things like this?

How did you know she wears T-shirts with such names?

I'm asking because I am geniunely curious

Anonymous said...

Abe:

I knwo that in every orthodoix community, there is a great deal of chesed and txedaka. I also know that a book called Who really cares" published in Nov 2006 provides sites lotsof stidies hat show that religious people give considerably more to charity than secular people do.

Now, are you sying that when people leave orthodoxy, they maintain the same level of charitablity? And since you are so keen on evidence, pehaops you could provide examples of coercion?

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious as a new atheist to the blog.

When you quote yourself for your blog could I make my own blog and quote it to counter your quotes? Because I'm not finding much validation apart from opinions on here...

I'm just asking.

jewish philosopher said...

"When you quote yourself for your blog could I make my own blog and quote it to counter your quotes?"

Sure, why not?

jewish philosopher said...

"JP I was not aware Tova did this. I knew Tova was a zionazi but I was not aware she does things like this?

How did you know she wears T-shirts with such names?"

I heard this from what I believe is a reliable source.

Verify it with her:

Tova Hadar Schreiber
15241 Burton St
Oak Park, MI 48237
(248) 967-3343
http://righteousrasha.blogspot.com/

Off the Derech said...

>I heard this from what I believe is a reliable source.

Yourself?

Judging from what you consider reliable sources for your general opinions, I see no reason to think your "source" for this information is in any way reliable.

jewish philosopher said...

Ask her.

Off the Derech said...

I did.

Abe said...

>>>I knwo that in every orthodoix community, there is a great deal of chesed and txedaka. I also know that a book called Who really cares" published in Nov 2006 provides sites lotsof stidies hat show that religious people give considerably more to charity than secular people do.

Other than the orthodox community involving itself in much chesed, their altruism is evidence of only that they engage in chesed. Inferences of Hashem's divine imprimatur are entirely false. Catholic charities are equally engaged in charitable works. Perhaps we should all convert to Catholicsm?

>>>And since you are so keen on evidence, pehaops you could provide examples of coercion?


You must be living in a vacuum.

http://jta.org/news/article/2009/07/12/1006432/residents-struggle-to-counter-violent-religious-coercion-in-beit-shemesh

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=169435

http://www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx?id=160983

jewish philosopher said...

"Catholic charities are equally engaged in charitable works."

Christianity was founded by a Jew.

"You must be living in a vacuum."

how about atheist coersion? Why do I have to pay taxes to schools that teach evolution?

Anonymous said...

Abe has left a new comment on your post "A Peek Underneath":

>>>"Catholic charities are equally engaged in charitable works."
Christianity was founded by a Jew.

Why you find it perversely enjoyable to respond with a non-sequitur, is undoubtedly a consequence of too much talmudic study.

>>>how about atheist coersion? Why do I have to pay taxes to schools that teach evolution?

Because evolution has been demonstrated to be a fact and teaching facts is the basis of a quality education. If you want to teach debunked creationism and protest by forbearing your taxes, don't let a five year prison sentence stop you. After all, you're on a mission from god.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html


Posted by Abe to Jewish Philosopher at Friday, March 05, 2010 11:00:00 AM

jewish philosopher said...

[sorry, I must have rejected the above comment by mistake]

"Because evolution has been demonstrated to be a fact"

So coercing citizens to support your religion is a good thing because your religion is the real one.

I suspect that adherents of other faiths may have similar feelings. I wonder if that may have occurred to you.

Anonymous said...

The fanatics in Beit Shemesh a very small minority. They are no more representative of the Orthodox community as a whole than Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and other atheist mass murderers are representative of all atheists.

And I'm not using chesed to argue that Orhtodoxy is true. I'm addressing the point that Abe made, that Orthodoxy has no value.

Anonymous said...

This argument about whose lifestyle is more wholesome is unresolvable. This means it boils down to a personal choice, and the only imperative is to not harm other people. As there is absolutely no evidence of cosmic significance to anything that man does, it becomes silly to pretend that this or that group's magic friend in the sky cares about what we do.

jewish philosopher said...

"the only imperative is to not harm other people"

Who created that imperative? Surely not "a magic friend in the sky".

Anonymous said...

Who created that imperative? Surely not "a magic friend in the sky".



Surely not. It developed through social interaction and history. Obviously, not every individual and society adhere to the imperative all the time in every situation. This unfortunate fact certainly must be proof that no magic friends in the sky are doing anything for humanity. Hence, they probably don't exist. If they do exist, we have no reason to worship them.

jewish philosopher said...

"Surely not. It developed through social interaction and history."

I have no idea what that means, however surely from your enlightened point of view, a human being is no more or less than an infinitesimal, soulless bag of chemicals created by no one for no reason. If I choose to amuse myself by popping bags of chemicals, I see no reason why an enlightened person such as yourself should find reason to criticize me. After all, you don't believe that man was created in God's image, imbued with a divine soul and we are commanded by God not to murder.

Check out fellow atheist Jeff Dahmer's opinion on this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjW7bezdddE

Anonymous said...

If we can define a wholesome lifestyle as one that has less sefl destructive behavior and more behaviors like tzedaka and chesed, then, I do believe that religious people win out.

And history tells us that human social interactions often involve unwholesaome activities like robbery, assault, rape, murder, slavery etc. So how do we know that things like kindness are better than crime? They both came from social interaction.

Anonymous said...

"Who created that imperative? Surely not "a magic friend in the sky".

We did, by mutual agreement+human empathy.

What makes a diamond valuable? Do we need a divine imperative for that?

Similarly, we agree to an organized society where human life is valuable. Unfortunately under most systems, including the Torah's, some are more valuable than others. Man more than a woman, Israelite more than a gentile, etc.

Anonymous said...

Historically mnany societies didn't vlaue the lfie of a salve beyond its monetary value, or the life of a new born, or the life of a foreigner. Modern societty does not value the life of the unborn.

And what imperative is there for any individual valueing what society says, anyway? Lots of people don't. That's why we have prisons.

And why should we value societies good things like chesed, an not societies bad things, like crime?

jewish philosopher said...

"We did"

There is not and has never been any universally accepted code of ethics and even if there were why would I be evil if I chose to ignore it? Bear in mind that according to atheism mankind has no more or less importance than the bacteria living in your toilet.

Different people have different hobbies. Some collect stamps. Some hunt elk. Some kidnap children, rape them, kill them and eat them. Without a divine law, what gives you the authority to decide which hobbies are good and which aren't?

Anonymous said...

" and even if there were why would I be evil if I chose to ignore it?"

Evil is defined by humans, in each society.

There is nothing in the laws of the universe that defines evil.

"There is not and has never been any universally accepted code of ethics "

So?

"Without a divine law, what gives you the authority to decide which hobbies are good and which aren't?"

What gives us the authority to decide traffic laws and tax rates and laws of commerce?

With or without divine law people will commit atrocities. Because even in divine law, the interpretation decides who can kill and who can be killed without being considered murder. Its all relative.

Baruch Goldstein was an orthodox Jewish mass murderer, who killed murdered more people than Jeffrey Dahmner, and who did so because his interpretation of "thou shall not murder" allowed him to do so.

So "divine law" is useless, being subject to human interpretation.

Anonymous said...

"surely from your enlightened point of view, a human being is no more or less than an infinitesimal, soulless bag of chemicals created by no one for no reason. If I choose to amuse myself by popping bags of chemicals, I see no reason why an enlightened person such as yourself should find reason to criticize me. After all, you don't believe that man was created in God's image, imbued with a divine soul and we are commanded by God not to murder."

This is all true. I won't criticize you for popping pills. If you murder, you you'll still be punished because you have shown yourself a threat to society and because the victim's families deserve to get some retribution. You won't be able to weasel out of a conviction through an "insanity" plea because your state of mind will be irrelevant, since without free will you did not "choose" to kill.

Anonymous said...

Here is a great article from JP's favorite drunk, Chris Hitchens. He suggests a rewrite of the 10 commandments. Hilarious.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2010/04/hitchens-201004?currentPage=1

jewish philosopher said...

"With or without divine law people will commit atrocities."

With or without medicine people will get sick. Does this mean we should close all hospitals and medical schools?

Clearly, Orthodox Judaism prevents violence while atheism leads to catastrophe.

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

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/10/god-save-king-why-we-need-both.html

"Who says divine law decides this?"

God gave us the Torah.

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

"If you murder, you you'll still be punished"

Probably not. Most stranger homicides do not end in a conviction.