Sunday, July 31, 2011
[our privileged planet]
Yesterday morning as I was walking to my synagogue, I felt the warmth of the sunlight falling on my face. It suddenly occurred to me how seldom I appreciate this miraculous gift from God.
Without the sun, obviously all life on earth would instantly die. The temperature of earth's surface would quickly go down to a few degrees above absolute zero, about 450 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.
There is more to the story however. If the earth would be any closer to the sun or further from the sun, or if the sun were any hotter or colder, liquid water and therefore life would not exist on earth.
Furthermore, the earth's atmosphere contains a small amount of a gas called ozone. Ozone is vitally important to life because it absorbs biologically harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation coming from the sun. Without this God given shield, created by a process called the ozone-oxygen cycle, we would all be dead.
And there's more involved than that. The sun produces a solar wind, a stream of charged particles ejected from the upper atmosphere of the Sun. The earth's magnetic field saves us from being killed by the solar wind. The magnetic field is caused by the special composition of earth's outer core. Mars, for example, does not presently have a global magnetic field. (The outer planets do have magnetic fields, however are lifeless for other reasons, such as low temperature.)
So when we enjoy the beautiful life giving light of the sun, we should be aware that this is the result of many fortunate factors: the existence of the sun, the size of the sun, the distance of the sun from the earth, the presence of the ozone layer and the magnetosphere. If anything was changed, we wouldn't be here to marvel at it.
We should remember all this every morning when we say the Yotzer ohr which states "the blessed God, great in understanding, prepared and brought about the rays of the sun". [emphasis mine]
Posted by jewish philosopher at 3:54 PM
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
[it's not OK]
One thing which I think has raised the most eyebrows about my blogging is that not only have I written articles supporting and promoting Judaism, however I have also done a lot of writing critiquing atheism and sometimes even leaving very critical comments on atheist blogs. Not only am I trying to advocate Judaism, however I am also doing everything possible to discredit atheism.
This has sometimes come at great personal cost. I have, for example, been fired from my job and expelled from nursing school.
This is, however, hardly unprecedented.
In Israel, the Yad L'achim organization for decades has done counter missionary work, trying to diminish the influence of Christian missionaries in Israel. Activists have sometimes been beaten, sued and complaints have been made to the US State Department. When doing anti-intermarriage work, Yad L'achim members even risk their lives to save Jews.
All this work is done apparently with full ultra-orthodox rabbinical support.
Every "Jewish skeptic" writing on the Internet is no different than a "Messianic Jew" handing out pamphlets at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Surely, everything possible must be done to discourage these scoundrels who seek to corrupt their fellow Jews.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 3:03 PM
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
[if he lies, his nose gets longer]
Proof #1: Atheists do not suggest replacing law enforcement with animal control.
According to atheism people are animals who are in no way exceptional in comparison to other animals. Therefore atheists should logically suggest that animal control officers be used to capture and destroy nuisance people in the same way they are used to control nuisance animals. People are not merely like animals, we are animals. Animal control is far more effective and less expensive than law enforcement. About thirty people per year in the US are killed by dogs; about 20,000 are murdered by other humans. Furthermore the cost of police, courts and prisons is astronomical; dog catchers and animals shelters, not so much. The elaborate and expensive criminal justice system is based on the superstitious, pre-Darwinian notion that people are different; we have souls and were created in the image of God.
However no atheist suggests this because no atheist sincerely believes that we are merely animals, not better or worse than a dog or a rat.
Proof #2: Atheists do not advocate global warming.
According to atheism, microbes developed into people through the process of evolution. Mass extinctions have accelerated evolution in the past. Global warming is now causing a mass extinction. Global warming should therefore be a positive thing in the long run which should be encouraged.
However no atheist suggests this because no atheist sincerely believes in evolution.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 9:36 PM
Thursday, July 14, 2011
What should you call someone who acts like an orthodox Jew but rejects some or all of the beliefs of orthodox Judaism?
He could be called a hypocrite, fake or impostor. These words however are very general and have nothing specifically to do with religion. These people like to call themselves "orthoprax", however I feel that this seems to emphasize the positive excessively - practicing Orthodox Judaism, at least publicly.
I would like to use the word "phonydox", short for "phony Orthodox Jew". I believe that rooting out the phonydox and expelling them from our homes, schools and synagogues should be an urgent priority.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 3:59 PM
"Kids. They're not easy. But there has to be some penalty for sex."
Said by Bill Maher, atheist and winner of the 2009 Atheist Alliance International Richard Dawkins Award.
Practicing what he preaches, Mr Maher has never married or fathered a child nor does he intend to.
If atheists succeed in converting all of humanity to their beliefs, how long will humanity survive? At best a couple of centuries?
Posted by jewish philosopher at 3:39 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
[our true home?]
Darwin wrote in Descent of Man Chapter VI
"Some naturalists, from being deeply impressed with the mental and spiritual powers of man, have divided the whole organic world into three kingdoms, the Human, the Animal, and the Vegetable, thus giving to man a separate kingdom. (1. Isidore Geoffroy St.-Hilaire gives a detailed account of the position assigned to man by various naturalists in their classifications: 'Hist. Nat. Gen.' tom. ii. 1859, pp. 170-189.) Spiritual powers cannot be compared or classed by the naturalist: but he may endeavour to shew, as I have done, that the mental faculties of man and the lower animals do not differ in kind, although immensely in degree. A difference in degree, however great, does not justify us in placing man in a distinct kingdom"
This is a cornerstone of atheism. Man is not central to the universe, he is not in any way special nor was he created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but rather man is merely another animal. Human exceptionalism is anathema to the true atheist.
Taken to it's logical conclusion, this would seemingly mean a huge cost saving to the criminal justice system.
There are a total of about 160 million cats and dogs alone owned by people in the United States. This is in comparison to 311 million people in the United States. Regarding people, we spend about $70 billion per year locking up about 2.5 million people. We have close to a million sworn law enforcement officers in the United States as well as thousands of judges, prosecutors and civilian workers on all levels at an incalculable cost. However regarding cats and dogs, we seem to make do with a handful of inexpensive animal control officers and a small number of shelters plus the liberal use of lethal injections. And this very low cost system seems to work quite well. Thirty four people were killed by dogs in the United States in 2007 while about 19,000 people were killed by other people that year. According to atheists, we should apply the same methods of animal control to people because people ARE animals.
Additionally, human reproduction should be supervised by the state and federal departments of agriculture. Someone like Casey Anthony, for example, from an atheistic perspective should probably just have been quickly spayed and released once her lack of fitness as a mother became obvious (which was from day one), no three year long carnival needed.
I wonder why atheists don't argue more passionately for social reforms based on Darwin, reason and science? Are they afraid to reveal how insane their beliefs really are?
Posted by jewish philosopher at 12:55 PM
Sunday, July 03, 2011
[the Jonestown victims - don't drink the Kool Aid]
In my experience, there are two primary arguments which atheists use to support their belief that the Biblical God does not exist and evolution created us.
The first, more logical however lesser known, is an argument from facts.
The fact is a something known as biostratigraphy. This is the discovery, about 1840, that fossils in sedimentary rock present themselves in distinct assemblages. There are for example fossil assemblages which include trilobites, other assemblages which include dinosaurs and so on. This seems to contradict the creation story in Genesis, which seems to imply that all life was created six thousand years ago and while some species have surely become extinct since then, any fossil strata should include modern day living species as well as any extinct ones. In fact, many strata, perhaps most, contain only extinct species of plants and animals.
The correct explanation for this is that these fossils represent remnants of earlier eras in earth's history, prior to Adam, as I have explained here. The facts therefore do not contradict the Torah.
The second, and more popular, argument for atheism is an argument from authority.
This argument states that if a vast majority of eminent, let's say Nobel prize winning, scientists, believe that a certain concept is true, then it is true beyond reasonable doubt and any rational person should be willing to literally bet his life, his afterlife, his family's lives, everything in this world and in any other worlds, on the truth of that concept. This applies even if the concept appears to be absurd, even if the scientists are not able to provide convincing evidence supporting the concept to a layman and even if there is a clear self serving reason for the scientists to promote the concept. Therefore evolution must be accepted as a fact and the Bible rejected as a myth, even though evolution is clearly nonsense and even though scientists clearly have a strong interest in discrediting the Bible and endorsing evolution, because by doing so they negate the influence of the clergy and promote themselves as being society's most important intellectuals. They are no longer merely studying God's handiwork while the theologians study God Himself; rather now scientists are unraveling the secrets of the universe while the clergy are simply liars or idiots.
Of course, if someone is willing to set aside his own critical thinking and blindly embrace anything taught by the "great leaders", he could just as well have followed Jim Jones into his suicide pact.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 8:08 PM