Tuesday, January 25, 2011

After Five Years - Why Do I Blog?



I was watching a movie yesterday called American Meth, a 2008 documentary concerning the usage of methamphetamine in rural America.

The movie mentions the reactions of teenagers to advertisements like the one above. The most common reaction is apparently laughter (from 17:37 to 18:07); they don't believe it because they have never seen anyone like that. They want to have fun; they aren't worried.

So why does anyone bother to make advertisements like this? In the hope that perhaps one person will refuse to use meth as a result (from 7:07 to 7:33).

Generally, this is the reaction which atheists have toward my blog. It's a joke. They laugh. "Come on, God is going to send me to hell for eating pork or driving to the mall on Saturday? I've never seen anyone struck by lightening when they did things like that. This is just a joke." They want to have fun; they aren't worried. I have even developed a list of illogical excuses used by readers of this blog.

So why do I bother? Because I hope that one person will refuse to become an atheist as a result.

My blog, by the way, is this month 5 years old. I believe that I have helped quite a few individuals and this is one of my life's most important accomplishments. In fact even if I have influenced only one person it would all be worthwhile. Even if that one person is myself.

As the ancient Chinese proverb states "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness."

93 comments:

ksil said...

what if as a result of your blogging, you turned off people and they became not-frum? how many would be too many?

or asked differently, how many BTs would you have to make to offsett the OTDs?

I count myself as 1 that you influenced (the right way - or from your perspective, the wrong way)....

jewish philosopher said...

If I have convinced some phony religious hypocrites to leave the community entirely, that's a good thing I would say. Good riddance to worthless trash.

NC said...

I think you give yourself too much credit. I doubt that a blog is going to make somebody change his religious views.

jewish philosopher said...

Well, it's like the meth ads. They are not aimed at making addicts recover; they are aimed at making sober people stay sober.

ksil said...

the problem, oh wise-one, is that you have literally turned me into a closet OTDer! or orthopraxer, but not so much prax....well not you alone. natan slifkin helped a bit.

THANK YOU AGAIN! I may send you a bouquet of flowers as a gestrue

jewish philosopher said...

Sure. And all the anti-drug ads make people so curious that they become addicts.

ksil said...

dead serious.

NC has been huge too - thank you NC. YOu are new - but excellent. Do you have a blog?

jewish philosopher said...

OK, so what on my blog exactly has convinced you to be an atheist?

NC said...

Not an active one.

ksil said...

not enough time or patience to type it all out.

but for most people reading these comments, its pretty obvious.

I wish i could point to just one or 2 things for you to make it easy for you to figure out, but its just TOO MUCH

jewish philosopher said...

Oh my ksil, such a hectic schedule. I guess between pot, porn, etc it's hard to spend much time blogging. I'll just have to be left hanging in suspense.

ksil said...

nu? the old one.....?

ksil said...

JP,

I was about to type "the thing that has really shown me how false, hurtful and dangerous the orthodox system is, is the abuse you heap on people that are like me, not as "frum" or simply hold different views"

Thanks for getting there before I did! LOL

jewish philosopher said...

You mean as opposed to atheists, who are tolerant of everyone. Not in my experience.

http://bocesjustice.blogspot.com/

Watch the atheist Christopher Hitchens describe infant circumcision as a wicked disgusting genital mutilation inflicted by Jews upon their children.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=U93ZiR692l4

No one is as violently intolerant as atheists. Nothing is as false, hurtful and dangerous the atheist system.

LOL. ROFLMAO.

jewish philosopher said...

Also, ksil, apparently you never read the Passover Haggadah

The wicked one, what does he say? "What is this service to you?!" He says `to you,' but not to him! By thus excluding himself from the community he has denied that which is fundamental. You, therefore, blunt his teeth and say to him: "It is because of this that the L-rd did for me when I left Egypt"; `for me' - but not for him! If he had been there, he would not have been redeemed!"

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/passover/pesach_cdo/aid/1737/jewish/Maggid.htm

Or recited the weekday Amidah

Let there be no hope for informers, and may all the heretics and all the wicked instantly perish; may all the enemies of Your people be speedily extirpated; and may You swiftly uproot, break, crush and subdue the reign of wickedness speedily in our days. Blessed are You L-rd, who crushes enemies and subdues the wicked.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/867674/jewish/Translation.htm

Oh sure, you must have been very, very Orthodox prior to finding my blog. A true Talmudic scholar.

ksil said...

"you must have been very, very Orthodox prior to finding my blog"

born and raised! FFB as they say.

But again, a huge debt of gratitude to you. and I am not even being sarcastic here - this website has helped me more than you can imagine!

My only wish was that we lived in a world where I could tell you who I am, my real name, my wife and kids. but i cant you see. I am worried about how I would be viewed and treated. how my kids would be shunned! my family life would suffer greatly. (DOESNT THAT SPEAK TO WHAT A LOVELY COMMUNITY YOU (and me unfortunately)ARE PART OF!)

btw, there is more porn and pot in yeshiva then there are in the goyishe workplace. go figure!

jewish philosopher said...

I'm sure in the yeshiva you went to, where you never read the siddur.

ksil said...

oh yea, we mummbled a bunch of hebrew words 3 times a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY, but had no clue what we were saying, and didnt much care either.

you ever look around you at shul? or are you in your own litte world?

jewish philosopher said...

" (DOESNT THAT SPEAK TO WHAT A LOVELY COMMUNITY YOU (and me unfortunately)ARE PART OF!)"

Is there any community where people who are very different are welcome? In atheist Russia rabbis were shot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Russia#Soviet_Union_before_World_War_II

"but had no clue what we were saying, and didnt much care either."

Let's face it ksil, you were a bum when you were 14 and you'll be a bum at 114.

LOL

Anonymous said...

Ksil:

Is there as much chesed and tzedakah in the outside world as in the Orthodox world? I really don't think so. And I know lots of people who take davening very seriously. And how would you know how much pot and porn is in the Goyish workplace? NOw I know how much pot and prn are in public schools because I taught in public schools. There is a lot more thn in yeshivas.

Joe said...

You srengthened my emuna for ones.
Thank you very much,May hashem bless you with all the goodness possible.

NC said...

Glad to be of service, Ksil. I won't mention my blog because its not anonymous. But there are plenty of great skeptic blogs out there.

Natan Slifkin is a bit of an enigma. He seems very open and intellectually honest about science, reason and torah but won't quite cross the Rubicon...well there's hope anyway.

NC said...

Lately I have been watching reruns of the original Star Trek. Really brilliant stuff. Deals with very real, present day scientific, moral and philosophical dilemmas. It was born of a day when optimism prevailed that reason and science would lead man to a more peaceful, enlightened, and happier life. Alas, this has not happened, at least yet...maybe in another 500 years....

Anyway the episode, "The Apple", was about a paradise-like world, inhabited by people who worshiped "Vahl", an Diety idol that tapped energy in the universe to control the environment. The people were kept in a subservient, ignorant and dependent state. "Vahl" prevented Kirk and his crew from returning to their ship, and was picking them off one at a time. Eventually, Kirk and Spock figured out how to "kill" Vahl by draining him of his energy. At first the people were apprehensive at the disappearance of their god, but very quickly realized that they were now liberated, although they now faced taking the responsibility for their own lives.

JP, if I could "kill" Yahweh, how would you feel? Would you miss him?

jewish philosopher said...

"Natan Slifkin is a bit of an enigma."

He's modern Orthodox.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/modern-orthodoxy-is-it-ok.html

"JP, if I could "kill" Yahweh, how would you feel?"

I'm a realist and accept life as it is, not just smirking and giggling away inconvenient facts like many people do, with predictable results.

NC said...

I don't know how to objectively measure the quality of one's life. I don't know how you know that your life is so much better than ours.

jewish philosopher said...

Eventually, every sin is punished and the punishment is always big, as I explain here.

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

NC said...

So you are really really certain about the afterlife?

I actually wish it WERE true, I simply don't believe it is.

jewish philosopher said...

"I simply don't believe it is."

Of course you don't. And no teenager believes drugs can kill.

ksil said...

I dont believe in snata claus or zeus either.

jewish philosopher said...

Those are obviously fairy tales. Like evolution.

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

ksil said...

"obviously"

LOL

unlike orthodox judaism. JP, can you please copy and paste a link to several of your old posts on why orthodox judaism is a FACT and TRUE. (I need a good chuckle)

thanks

jewish philosopher said...

Ksil, you prove perfectly the point of this post. What happens when 18 or 20 year olds watch anti drug ads? Smirking, giggling. It's all a joke.

Atheists - same thing. This blog isn't about influencing atheists; they are a write off. It's about convincing just one person not to try atheism.

NC said...

JP, psychologically speaking, you can't really speak of being in denial about hell or the afterlife.

One can be in denial about something the exists presently, or something in the future that is inevitable and clearly fact for all to see (like death).

As for people "trying" atheism, that is really a stupid paradigm. You either believe or you don't, its not like trying on a suit.

The afterlife has never been witnessed by anybody and is just a matter of opinion or fanatsy, depending on which religion you belong to.

So you sound really silly and foolish to make the comparison between the skeptic and a drug user.

ksil said...

FAILED

p.s. Do santa and zeus and jesus make you smirk and giggle?

I thought so....

ROTFL

jewish philosopher said...

"The afterlife has never been witnessed by anybody"

Neither has a proton or electron. Nor has anyone alive today seen George Washington.

"Do santa and zeus and jesus make you smirk and giggle?"

Probably actually not; people don't even think about them.

Anonymous said...

NC:

Nazism was based on science. Communism was based on logic and reason. The French Revolution grew right out of the Age of Reason. We all know how those ended. Are you sure you want to create societies based on science, reason, and logic?

Anonymous said...

"The afterlife has never been witnessed by anybody and is just a matter of opinion or fanatsy, depending on which religion you belong to."


Many people have claimed to have seen the afterlife. There are all those near death experiences. So it has been witnessed.

NC said...

"Neither has a proton or electron".

They are seen indirectly and consistently. Afterlife?

"Nor has anyone alive today seen George Washington".

But his existence is well documented by multiple independent sources contemporary to him.

"Many people have claimed to have seen the afterlife."

As have claimed to see UFO's. They were decieved.

"There are all those near death experiences."

Then there are the vast majority of people near death who are resuscitated and who experience nothing. And those who do experience something match their belief system. So if they witnessed Jesus do you believe them and accept Jesus?

NC said...

"Are you sure you want to create societies based on science, reason, and logic?"

Suprisingly, I agree with you. Science is not the answer to everything. I do not accept Sam Harris' assertion that science will provide the answers to moral questions, for example.

OTOH, its like democracy, the worst political system, except for all others....

NC said...

I actually believe in a higher power. I am just atheist with respect to the biblical/quranic god and any other as defined by organized religions. I believe that there are mysterious forces that are beyond us. There was perhaps a creator. I think there is room for spirituality in governing people's lives.

Spirituality is perceived, and as such, the hebrew bible represents the spiritual perceptions and experiences of the Jewish people. It may not be entirely factually correct. But it is also not "false", any more than the scenery painted by an artist can be "false". It is a representation.

jewish philosopher said...

"Neither has a proton or electron".

They are seen indirectly and consistently. Afterlife?

"Nor has anyone alive today seen George Washington".

But his existence is well documented by multiple independent sources contemporary to him.


OK, NC, so you agree that provided that there is overwhelming evidence you believe in things which either cannot be seen or which no one alive today is an eyewitness too. Same with the afterlife.

NC said...

Overwhelming evidence for afterlife?

jewish philosopher said...

Let me try to sum it up like this:

First of all, Judaism makes more sense than atheism, as I have explained:

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

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

Second, on the average Jews are apparently more happy than atheists, as I have pointed out here:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/06/religion-and-happiness.html

Jews are also more peaceful, sober and kinder on the average than atheists, as I have also explained:

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

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/08/samsons-struggle-satmar-and-others.html

So choosing Judaism over atheism is really a no brainer.

As far as why do so many people, including highly intelligent and educated people, choose to be atheists rather than Jews, the answer is simple. For the same reason so many people, including highly intelligent and educated people, choose to be obese rather than be athletic: it's easier.

NC said...

"For the same reason so many people, including highly intelligent and educated people, choose to be obese rather than be athletic: it's easier."

JP, thats a very simplistic and ignorant theory about obesity. And plain wrong based on medical science. Its a multifaceted social, behavioral and genetic phenomenon. Did your child "choose" to have CP? I am not obese in case you are wondering.

You are also using black and white thinking again. Just because Judaism or the Talmud is right about some things, it doesn't make it 100% right about everything. (like the age of the earth or about zoology or anatomy....). Science has been wrong about some things, too, but it is self correcting.

From your answers I would guess that you are kind of an obsessive, extreme person, who, when you find a method, idea, fad or activity that you like, you adopt it to the exclusion of everything else. Like an addiction.

I think that this unbalanced style of approach is far more unhealthy and dangerous than atheism or any other religious belief per se.

jewish philosopher said...

"JP, thats a very simplistic and ignorant theory about obesity"

Excuse me, however I thought fat was caused by eating and eating is a voluntary behavior.

" Science has been wrong about some things, too, but it is self correcting."

Everything is self correcting. For example government is self correcting, when and if corrupt politicians go to jail.

"From your answers I would guess that you are kind of an obsessive, extreme person, who, when you find a method, idea, fad or activity that you like, you adopt it to the exclusion of everything else. Like an addiction. "

You mean in contrast to Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and about ten million other people preaching evolution and atheism. They are all completely open to all ideas.

JRKmommy said...

1. So, after 5 years, what have the results been? How many have been persuaded to embrace Orthodox Judaism, and how many have you alienated?

http://jrkmommy-personalandpolitical.blogspot.com/2010/12/two-approaches.html

Good intentions are fine, but they aren't enough. The Chofetz Chaim writes of the dangers of praising someone in front of their enemy, lest you provoke the enemy into speaking badly about the person in response.

2. Are your intentions always 100% pure? Yes, it is a mitzvah to give a rebuke - but it needs to be done purely out of concern for the other person, without anger. Are you always able to set aside feelings of anger? To use the most refined language? To set aside your own ego? It's not an easy task, especially on the internet, which lacks both the direct human contact of a personal meeting and the opportunity for editing and external reviewing that comes with traditional publications.

jewish philosopher said...

Mommy, unfortunately statistics are a little hard to come by. Exactly how many people are clean and sober thanks to anti-drug advertising? Does anyone know? Are the ads therefore a waste of money? What if they save just a few lives?

Regarding appropriate decorum when delivering rebuke, bear in mind that this refers to Jews and heretics are not Jews, as I explain here.

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

Now I know that you will tell me that you met some rabbi who disagrees with me. However with all due respect I do cite extremely eminent sources. In a medical emergency, if a country doctor from Mexico disagrees with the head of a department at NYU Medical Center, whose opinion would you accept? 

JRKmommy said...

You are correct that we disagree and that I have received rabbinic advice to the contrary of your position.

I would first look to the doctor who is closest to the patient, as he or she is most likely to be in a position to do a proper assessment, and to be aware of the unique risk factors in that location.

Similarly, in "diagnosing" heresy, I look to the opinion of Torah leaders in our own time and culture, who have broadened the concept of the "tinok shenishba" (lit. stolen child, meaning one who never properly learned in the first place). I also take guidance from those in the Torah world who have emphasized the importance of ahavat yisrael in our time, and who have dedicated their lives to kiruv and/or work with those at-risk. No, they don't magically transform everyone, but they do have a proven track record.

You have not identified any living rabbi that has endorsed your point of view, so I would consider it akin to someone diagnosing themselves using an old medical textbook instead of a doctor.

As for the drug education analogy - I actually don't support programs that are not effective.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,99564,00.html

jewish philosopher said...

I believe that our disagreement is caused by the fact that you are modern Orthodox and this blog as a rule follows the teachings of the Lithuanian rabbinical seminaries of the 1920s and 1930s.

Modern Orthodoxy represents a transitional stage between on the one hand Orthodox Judaism and on the other hand atheism, as I explain here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/03/modern-orthodoxy-is-it-ok.html

Therefore naturally, you don't consider atheism to be a big deal.

Incidentally, the earlier an authority is, the greater weight it carries in rabbinical law, not the opposite. 

 R. Johanan said: The fingernail of the earlier generations is better than the whole body of the later generations. Talmud Yoma 9b

http://www.yashanet.com/library/temple/yoma9b.htm

Judaism has never had a shortage of traitors and apostates. We don't argue that living authorities are greater because they are aware of contemporary culture.    

Taking your attitude a short step further could even lead to the Conservative attitude to the Orthodox ban on driving to Sabbath services:

"The Conservative movement made the decision to permit driving to synagogue based on the changes in the way people were living. Since most people in the modern world live too far from a synagogue to walk, few Jews would possibly be able to attend synagogue without driving, which they believe could lead to the collapse of Jewish observance."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_on_Shabbat_in_Jewish_law#Conservative

Conservative rabbis argue that we are required today to allow driving to the synagogue on Saturday morning in order to save Judaism. Apparently, by banning driving, the fanatic orthodox are guilty of driving away the masses of good, traditional Jews!

I guess you see my blog in that light, however I beg to differ.

NC said...

JP, the view that you promote is clearly "hashkafa" in the sense that you a priori set out to have a particularly severe and strict interpretation of talmud and halachic sources. This is legitimate, given that MO and other streams do the same thing. But you have to be intellectually honest about it, and not pretend that it is the only correct way to interpret the sources. The fact that you present an ugly, bigoted, ignorant, restrictive and cloistered face of Judaism to the public as "the" authentic form is particularly irksome. It does more harm than good.

MO does represent a "blend" of ancient and modern but that is not equivalent to "transitional" which implies that it is changing into atheism. Other than just blogging or reading articles, have you even genuinely been immersed in the intellectual and spiritual life of a modern zionist community or yeshiva? I have. They are devout, sincere, and intellectually vigorous.

The fact that I became a skeptic doesn't prove anything for 2 reasons.
1. We can't confuse cause and effect, perhaps I chose that environment as more palatable given my questions of faith, rather than the reverse.
2. People's spiritual path goes in many directions, and we see heredim who chozer bshe'ela and MO who become black hatter etc.

jewish philosopher said...

"The fact that you present an ugly, bigoted, ignorant, restrictive and cloistered face of Judaism to the public as "the" authentic form is particularly irksome. It does more harm than good."

A Conservative rabbi would argue that any form of Orthodoxy does that. So if you want to water things down, how far do you go before you're just left with water?

"MO does represent a "blend" of ancient and modern but that is not equivalent to "transitional" which implies that it is changing into atheism."

I think the chances of an MO person's grandchildren being atheists are pretty good, while some of the remainder will have gone the other way back to Judaism. A bridge goes both ways.

JRKmommy said...

If I was completely unconcerned about Jews losing their faith, I wouldn't bother to comment and would let you continue to drive people away.

I was thinking about your blog a bit more over Shabbos.

Since I have asked repeatedly about which living rabbi you follow and you have not identified anyone, I assume that you have no rav.

Now, how is it possible that someone who studied for years in Bnei Brak and now lives in the Monsey area has no rav? It's not as though you are livng in an isolated area.

Furthermore, the yeshivish world, to the best of my knowledge, stresses the importance of "aseh l'cha rav" ("make yoursef a rabbi") as stated in the Talmud in Mishna Avot. In my experience, "paskening for oneself" is looked down upon in such circles as being more "Modern Orthodox" type of behavior.

So, why do you not have a living rabbi to advise you about your approach and your blogging? Could it be that no one approves of what you are doing, but you consider them all to be the equivalent of "Mexican country doctors" and believe that you alone have the correct interpretation of the sources?

jewish philosopher said...

Mommy, there is actually nothing at all controversial in my blog or for that matter comments I left on other blogs. It's all just mainstream Orthodox Judaism, based completely on the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch. The extreme condemnation of apostates and homosexuals, for example, are just "aleph bais" so to speak.

Probably the most controversial post is this one

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

which is a little bit "soft" on the age of the earth issue, however I feel that I have a solid basis for it.

JRKmommy said...

Strange, because I have never, ever met an Orthodox rabbi who thought it was acceptable to call a young woman a "fat pig" or "whore", to advise someone to kill themselves, or to make slanderous comments of a sexual nature.

I suspect that you have been told that these things are unacceptable, but chose not to listen to any rabbi who offers guidance. After all, they are either cowards or too ignorant to properly interpret the original sources, right?

jewish philosopher said...

"Strange, because I have never, ever met an Orthodox rabbi who thought it was acceptable to call a young woman a "fat pig" or "whore", to advise someone to kill themselves, or to make slanderous comments of a sexual nature."

Then I'm happy that you have met me and your horizons are expanding. Keep reading the blog - you can learn a lot!

JRKmommy said...

Name another living rabbi who has read these posts and comments and approves of them.

jewish philosopher said...

And if I named let's say five more what would that matter, if the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch are not enough for you?

I invite you to sit at my feet and drink with thirst my words. You're welcome.

JRKmommy said...

No thanks. I already have a rav, who is part of a community, who seeks advice from other senior rabbis, and who is not arrogant.

jewish philosopher said...

I'll just put it like this Mommy - do think the heretics and apostates would prefer I listen too you or ignore you?

JRKmommy said...

Their yetzer hara (evil inclination) would likely prefer that you ignore me, because that makes it easier to simply dismiss Judaism, and Orthodoxy in particular, as hateful and fanatical.

The pintele Yid (G-dly spark within each Jewish soul), however, yearns to be drawn closer, by having someone reach out both intellectually and emotionally. Telling someone that they are going to hell doesn't do that.

jewish philosopher said...

Based on what I can tell, these people would love for me to listen to you. That's why I've been fired from my job, that's why I've been harassed from every angle possible by these people. I drive them crazy. They aren't harassing you and people like you I'm sure.

So go ahead and fight for them if you want to. Advocate for the heretics and general scumbags out there. Why not start a "Tolerance for Islamic Terrorists" movement? They'll also human after all.

NC said...

JRKMommy--

I am a sketic from a frum background, and I know that most of what JP says about Judaism is a bunch of horseshit. It doesn't "turn me off". But I suspect that there might be one or 2 people out there who would get the wrong impression about Judaism.

I think that JP blogs in order to battle with his own demons. I see this all the time in converts and baalei tshuva. They have to take extreme positions, draw the battle lines, in order to distance themselves from their own past or their own doubts. In psychology its called "reaction formation". He exhorts against pornography because of his own sexual impulses. He condemns atheists to hell because he has his own doubts. And he rales against evolution because he sees that the Torah and Talmud are full of scientific errors.

So I recommend blogging and commenting in the spirit of fun, if you find it enjoyable. If not, best to ignore JP.

jewish philosopher said...

Sure and people who work for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration are secretly drug addicts while obviously the people who are in the FBI's Crimes Against Children program

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/cac

are secretly pedophiles.

Hypocrites assume everyone's a hypocrite. It's called projection.

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

About people who feel I'm too intolerant, what about tolerance for Islamic extremists? Has anyone tried to show guys like Osama bin Laden love and compassion? Of course he's done some bad stuff and he seems to be a little nasty, but maybe it was just his hard childhood. His dad had 22 wives and 52 kids plus was busy with his construction business

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood,_education_and_personal_life_of_Osama_bin_Laden#Childhood

Little Osama never had a real male role model. Of course he's a little unstable. Is chasing him around with drone aircraft going to help him build self esteem? I doubt it.

Now according to Talmudic thought, an anti-Orthodox blogger is actually worse than an Islamic terrorist.

"someone who incites a man to sin is worse than someone who murders him. For the one who murders him, murders him in this world, while the one who incites him to sin, drives him out of this world and the World to Come" Sifrei, 23:117

http://www.tachash.org/texis/vtx/chverse/+HwwBmemcz1ec8cxwwxFqcyn1BnGdDdMOqFqAgrwpBnGa+vmFqMeR8qxG5neWykDX6euxww/search2.html#hit1

NC said...

"It's called projection."

I admit my doubts. Do you?

The more adamant and crazed your denials, the more it confirms my assertion. Why? Because your purported reason for your blogging, to dissuade people from atheism, is simply not credible. The only logical conclusion is that you do it to relieve your our ambivalence and anxieties.

ksil said...

"the chances of an MO person's grandchildren being atheists are pretty good"

that is a fantastic reason to live a life full of sheker!!

who cares if your doing it wrong?!?! we need to brainwash our kids so they stay "on the (krum) derech"

anyone can brainwash children from birth, amish, moremans, charedim - no difference....thats not what i want to raise, i want to raise individuals that choose their own path and are not forced to do something potentially against their will (or else be ostracized) becasue I DECIDED thats the way it should be.

jewish philosopher said...

"Because your purported reason for your blogging, to dissuade people from atheism, is simply not credible"

Sure it is.

jewish philosopher said...

"i want to raise individuals that choose their own path and are not forced to do something potentially against their will (or else be ostracized) becasue I DECIDED thats the way it should be."

You know atheists don't believe in free will. We're just robotic soulless bags of chemicals.

onionsoupmix said...

I like that NC, the whole reaction formation bit. I was thinking he just has some severe mental disorder, but I like your theory better.

NC said...

Free will is a feeling, like depression or happiness, and therefore it is real. We deal with it as such. You argue that it exists outside the body, which does not follow.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion, I've got my own little theory about Jewish apostates, which I think is very firmly based on fact not fantasy.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/07/jewish-skeptics-and-sex.html

NC, if so then the entire criminal justice system should be abolished, as I've explained here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/05/crime-and-punishment.html

NC said...

JP, your assertion does not follow, and I repeat that your blog entry ignores vengeance, deterrence, and protection of society.

Your fallacy is that you define "justice" a priori as some incomprehensible, ethereal and mysterious property in the universe which implies (or necessitates) a higher power.

I assert that justice just serves (for man) the 3 main purposes I mentioned, and there's nothing mysterious about it.

Sorry, JP. No murderers freed, no rapists sent to the doctor, and no tax evaders sent for psychotherapy.

jewish philosopher said...

A former dean of Harvard Law School Roscoe Pound wrote in his introduction to "Cases on Criminal Law" by Francis B. Sayre (1927): "Historically, our substantive criminal law is based upon a theory of punishing the vicious will. It postulates a free agent confronted with a choice between doing right and doing wrong and choosing freely to do wrong."

So you would argue that although we now know that our criminal legal system is based on primitive superstitious nonsense, nevertheless it should continue to function intact because it just does such a great job of protecting us from harm. Although based on a fiction, it's the best possible solution.

I'm not really sure what your basis for this is. Even with about a million law enforcement officers and millions of people behind bars, America still has plenty of crime.

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

And why not go a step further and admit that raising children to be God fearing and hell fearing is also a useful fiction which would make society safer.    

Nc said...

Religion may be a useful fiction indeed.

NC said...

I understand your assertion, that the prospect of divine justice is a more effective motivator for behavior than earthly justice. I'm not sure that's true. As proof you offer the example of orthodox Jews. But there are many possible explanations for the differences in crime rates-- social, cultural, socioeconomic. And of course I can bring many counter-examples.

So I suppose we can argue which is a "better" fiction-- divine justice or earthly considerations.

But, I really don't think that the criminal legal system is a "fiction". Rather it is part of a MODEL (along with many other aspects of society) that helps maintain a peaceful and productive society. Like any model, it is not 100% accurate or effective, and makes certain assumptions and approximations.

Models are used all of the time in science and philosophy. Religion certainly uses models, too.

So pick your model. I do not discount the religious model at all. If it helps bring order and happiness to people (not at the expense of others), ge'zunter heit.

jewish philosopher said...

I think we generally assume that basing public policy on facts rather than fantasies should be in the long run more effective.

Considering this, atheists, who regard crime to be no more or less than a natural disaster, since everything is natural, should deal with it accordingly.

If a bridge is about to collapse we don't put it on trial and need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it will collapse before we tear it down and put up a new bridge.

Regarding crime as well, a proactive approach would be the sensible one. We know that criminal families are likely to have criminal children. They should be preventing from having children. We know that that aggressive small children often become criminals. They should be treated psychiatrically and, if not clearly cured, destroyed. Adults who have already committed crimes should also be treated that way.

Of course no atheist will dare say this because it would expose the true depravity of atheism.

NC said...

This is truely a classic straw man argument. Why do you presume to know what a skeptic should say about crime? I keep telling you what I think and you keep telling me that as an atheist I "should" say something else. Its also a slippery slope argument. Do you have some monopoly on atheist logic?

"Preventative" punishment-- while I'm not in favor of it, I'm not sure why it is any worse that "visiting the sins of fathers upon their children....."

jewish philosopher said...

"This is truely a classic straw man argument. Why do you presume to know what a skeptic should say about crime?"

And what exactly would atheists say if they followed their beliefs to their logical conclusions? That our present criminal justice system, although based on no more than superstition and animal instincts, is so perfect we dare not replace it with something based on science and reason? Please be serious.

NC said...

If you take your beliefs "to their logical conclusion" than god knows and is controlling everything and there is no point for man to try to intervene in anything or pray. Yet you modify your theory to not say this. I don't tell you not to, because this would be a straw man argument.

Our criminal justice system is a practical need developed in organized societies for the sake of order and mutual benefit. Note that prehistoric man did NOT have criminal justice systems. So you use davka modern systems as "proof" of the discovery of a soul?

It is based on science and reason, in the sense that it works. (although imperfectly)

jewish philosopher said...

It's similar to global warming. Logically, evolutionists should support it as I explained here

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/03/climate-change-and-evolution.html

Likewise, atheists should logically advocate abolishing the criminal justice system and replace it with a system of eugenics, psychiatrity and extermination as I explained here

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/05/crime-and-punishment.html

However in reality, no one really believes in atheism. It's merely an excuse to eat whatever I want to and f--k whatever I want to.

NC said...

JP this really doesn't fly. I believe this in essence the ad hitlerum argument. A combination of slippery slope + straw man fallacies.

By your logic: nobody REALLY believes in Judaism, because if they did they wouldn't really pray for things and they wouldn't actually try to change anything in the world, since God plans everything perfectly and everything is known beforehand, and there is no need to intervene. Furthermore there is no need to punish anyone because it is part of God's plan. The criminal justice system should be abolished.

See? Nobody really believes that.

The fallacy stems from purposefully distorting your opponent's position and insisting that this is his real opinion despite his assertion that this is not so. Saying that evolution "promotes" destruction by global warming is a distortion. Saying that atheism advocates social Darwinism is a distortion.

What does it mean to "take something to its logical conclusion"? The slippery slope argument is a fallacy, because opinions and positions don't actually work like that. We don't say somebody who believes in democracy is actually an anarchist. A capitalist is not necessarily a libertarian, etc.

I think you fall for this fallacy a lot in your blog and comments because of black and white thinking.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't really understand your question. Although everything is a result of divine providence, God wants us to choose to be His instruments for good in the world.

True, sincere atheism however leads to insanity, as was the case with Nietzsche

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche#Mental_breakdown_and_death_.281889.E2.80.931900.29 

NC said...

I'm asserting that you accuse us of not taking our positions to their logical conclusions, but neither do you. That's because the conclusions mentioned are not actually logical or reasonable, but extreme and distorted.

" sincere atheism however leads to insanity, as was the case with Nietzsche"

And so can religiousity
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3819715

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

I'm joking. That's a bit hysterical and overgeneralizing, wouldn't you say, JP?

jewish philosopher said...

So why don't you explain to me exactly why an atheist would oppose global warming, in spite of the stimulus it would give to evolution or why an atheist would oppose replacing the present criminal justice system with a system of psychiatric evaluation, treatment, eugenics and extermination, in spite of the fact that humans are merely robotic soulless bags of chemicals.

Speaking of social Darwinism, Darwin's son Leonard was the Chairman of the British Eugenics Society between 1911-1928 and became Honorary President from 1928 until his death.  

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

It would be surprising if you understand Darwin better than his own son.  

NC said...

Who says we want to "stimulate" evolution? Plagues and natural disasters are natural, too, we don't "stimulate" them.

jewish philosopher said...

We had better evolve before the planet becomes uninhabitable.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci/tech/specials/washington_2000/649913.stm

An asteroid strike caused mice to evolve into people. Surely uncontrolled global warming will work similar wonders.

NC said...

"We had better evolve before the planet becomes uninhabitable."

What does that say about god's planning? Does the fact that man's future looks grim, fit in easier to your god theory than the evolution model?

jewish philosopher said...

Actually, the Messiah will be here to save long before any fictional evolution is needed, as I explain here

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2010/07/apocalypse-soon.html

God is doing a great job of planning, don't worry about it.


So why don't you explain to me exactly why an atheist would oppose global warming, in spite of the stimulus it would give to evolution or why an atheist would oppose replacing the present criminal justice system with a system of psychiatric evaluation, treatment, eugenics and extermination, in spite of the fact that humans are merely robotic soulless bags of chemicals.

NC said...

"So why don't you explain to me exactly why an atheist would ..."

EMPATHY

We don't give "stimulus" to things that harm people.

Why don't animals just slaughter each other or commit suicide?

Its a dumb question, JP

jewish philosopher said...

Your brand of empathy would stifle evolution and we would still be one inch long, have 16 legs and be crawling around in the mud somewhere.

The real reason is because you know as well as I do that evolution is nonsense.

Atheists know that carrying their beliefs to their logical conclusions would expose them as being insane.

NC said...

"Atheists know that carrying their beliefs to their logical conclusions would expose them as being insane."

This reminds me of the Rambam's admonition about thinking about god or messiah too much. And of the Talmudic tale of the 4 wise men who went into the pardes and one went insane...

So I suppose going too far in anything can make you crazy.

This has actually been my message to you.

NC said...

I thought about this point further. There are lots of things, although true, are rather depressing, and if we harp on them it can lead us to depression, insanity or suicide. Yet that doesn't make them false. Here's a short list (notwithstanding an afterlife...):

1. one out of nine of us, before we die, will suffer a slow deterioration into a immobile, mindless and contracted vegetable, due to Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

2. Global climate shifts will lead to disaster on earth in the next 50-100 years.

3. As a middle aged, married man, assuming marital fidelity, you will never, ever, again feel the excitement, passion, and pleasure of sex and romance with a new lover.

4. Many of our loved ones will definitely die or be killed.

These things are not so far in the distant future, either. Yet, we choose not to focus on them.

So, with evolution or materialism, I choose not to focus too much on the true nature of things.

Anonymous said...

jewish philosopher said...
"Watch the atheist Christopher Hitchens describe infant circumcision as a wicked disgusting genital mutilation inflicted by Jews upon their children."


JP finds this especially offensive, but clearly it follows from the fact that without circumcision he would lose his pretext to suck off little boys.

NC said...
"Natan Slifkin is a bit of an enigma."


I think this Nathan guy, A.K.A. "Anonymous," A.K.A. "Jacob Stein's anal bead" is really just JP himself posting anonymously. It is safe to assume that the Anonymous comments in agreement with or support of JP are JP speaking, to create an illusion of support. (Also, the fact that "Nathan S." expresses the EXACT SAME THING that JP does, except in slightly dumber words is an attempt by JP to make himself appear slightly less retarded by contrast.)

NC said...
"I actually wish it WERE true, I simply don't believe it is."


And I myself sometimes wish there were an afterlife, if only so assholes like JP can go to Hell and be assraped by Satan himself. Actually, if any religion WERE true, Christianity and Islam would both be a HELL of a lot (pardon the pun) more likely to be true than Judaism. So considering that as a Jew JP rejects Jesus Christ as his lord and savior, and that he personally published many blasphemous statements against the Prophet Muhammad, the Islamic faith, and the Muslim people, there would be a considerable chance that JP will be first in line to receive Satan's barbed shaft.

jewish philosopher
"Let's face it ksil, you were a bum when you were 14 and you'll be a bum at 114."


How kind of you to anticipate that ksil will live to be 114. Unlike poor old you, who will probably soon be killed by a (take your pick) neo-Nazi, Islamic fundamentalist, or other reactionary; or who will probably end up committing suicide while making it look like an accident so as to collect on the life insurance for his family, who must sell their house and move into a mobile home because the man of the house is a dipshit loser who can't hold a job or even finish school.

jewish philosopher said...
"Hypocrites assume everyone's a hypocrite. It's called projection."


HAHAHA! Oh the irony. When you accuse others of engaging in projection, you yourself engage in projection. But no, the only one I see "projecting" is some closet-faggot rabbi who has the audacity to call himself a "Jewish Philosopher" and whose only supporters are his imaginary friend Nathan and, occasionally, Shalmo, a Jew-turned-Islamist.

Incidentally, while accusing your detractors of projecting, you mention Osama bin Laden in that very post. Is it because OBL reminds you of yourself?

jewish philosopher said...

This is such perfection, nothing can improve it.