Thursday, December 08, 2011

Portrait of an Atheist




"All thinking men are atheists."
- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, Chapter 2

Hemingway, a brilliant writer, but a lifelong alcoholic who married and discarded one wife after another until he finally fell into depression and blew his own head off at the age of 61.

If this is a "thinking man", it may be wiser to be thoughtless.

17 comments:

WOACARE said...

This is R. Nachman's way of thinking. Perhaps you should become a Breslover.

jewish philosopher said...

What's interesting to me is that shouldn't a "thinking man", meaning a man who is intelligent, knowledgable and whose mind controls his emotions have a happier life? Shouldn't he have good relationships with others? So what happened here?

The answer is that while religion may be the opium of the people, alcohol and opiates are the religion of atheists. Unable to find solace in prayer, the atheist seeks solace in toxic high dosages of analgesics, with unfortunate results.

Ironmistress said...

Meditation is like heroin.

It is an efficient way of numbing away all the distresses, sorrows and pain in the life. It enables you to carry on where an atheist would make himself a third eye.

Unfortunately, it does also so with elation and joy and all the positive feelings.

Meditation is good medicine, but bad lifestyle. Like heroin, it may develop an addiction, numbing in the process the whole life away. If the meaning of life is non-involvement, non-attachment, non-thinking and non-feeling, I questionize why we are here.

Anonymous said...

Hemingway's depression and suicide came about partly from his inability to write. He had suffered physical injuries from his lifetime of adventures and from a more recent plane crash that he survived.

I wonder if the better argument is to avoid alcohol and to pursue meaningful and lifelong love relationships.

But then there's this:

"A Brooklyn newlywed who jumped to his death from a hotel balcony the night after his wedding was tormented by memories of being sexually molested as a Jewish student, sources say.

After joyfully singing and dancing at their lavish celebration in Williamsburg on Nov. 3, Motty Borger, 24, bared his secret anguish to his bride, Mali Gutman, the next day -- and the revelation caused a strain, a source close to the family told The Post.

"That entire day he discussed it with her. He told her the story of his life, how he felt so awful and he couldn't go near her," the source said. The couple had met just last July, after a matchmaker set them up.

"When he got married, he realized he couldn't face up to it, and he told his wife that he needed help."

jewish philosopher said...

The difference is that such behavior is rare among orthodox Jews however it is unfortunately so typical of atheists, as I have pointed out.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2007/05/godlessness-is-not-great-how-lack-of.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/05/rational-response-squad.html

I've actually only found one example of a decent atheist, and he regretted being an atheist.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/01/chandra-good-atheist.html

jewish philosopher said...

And then these people want to tell everyone else what to believe and how to live.

Jeff said...

Amidst your contempt for atheism, you forget the basic rules of logic, like the fallacy of overgeneralization and confusing association with causation.

So, let's see. Take Rabbi Motti Alon, who was recently indicted for sexual abuse of his students. Hmm. He preaches purity, Torah, hesed, and love of Israel. And apparently, he also fondles his students.

Hmm. If this is a "torah man", it might be wiser to be without Torah.

Same logic, JP.

(BTW of course I don't deduce that Judaism encourages sexual abuse.)

The truth is that you have no idea how common or uncommon these phenomenon are in the various communities, and you generalize from famous anecdotal cases to create a spurious association. Then you make the illogical leap that this association (which is spurious) occurs because of causation.

That characterizes your arguments throughout this blog.

Its actually quite paradoxical.

Because on one hand your generalization involves inductive reasoning in a big way. You have a few data points and you induce a general rule. Yet, you reject the same methodology of reasoning when it comes to evolutionary biology, claiming that we can't "observe" it. (Never mind that we can't really observe ANYTHING without making some assumptions and using inductive reasoning).

The answer to this contradiction, of course, is your extreme confirmation bias which distorts your reasoning.

jewish philosopher said...

"The truth is that you have no idea how common or uncommon these phenomenon are in the various communities, and you generalize from famous anecdotal cases to create a spurious association."

I think I have quite a good idea, however prove me wrong. 

Find a convincingly documented example of a single prominent atheistic leader who was kind, honest, and sober and had a stable family life. 

In contrast, in the orthodox Jewish community, it's hard to find convincingly documented examples of prominent leaders who are not kind, honest, and sober and have a stable family life. That's in spite of the indefatigable efforts of of anti-orthodox writers  such as Vicki Polin, Hella Winston, Paul Manilow and Scott Rosenberg to publicized any real or imaginary crimes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Awareness_Center
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fj2zf06X7A
http://www.thejewishweek.com/category/person/hella_winston
http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/ 
http://mrroshyeshiva.blogspot.com/2007/08/mr.html   
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shmarya_Rosenberg

How about an orthodox Jewish serial killer? No shortage of atheists however.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2011/10/atheists-have-license-to-kill.html
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/07/atheists-in-their-own-words.html

"Yet, you reject the same methodology of reasoning when it comes to evolutionary biology, claiming that we can't "observe" it."

Please, evolution is a total scam which belongs in the dustbin of history along with other crackpot ideologies of the 19th century, as I explain.

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

Jeff said...

First, with your challenge you're setting up a false dichotomy. Orthodox leaders vs. "atheistic leaders". Since most people don't broadcast their religious beliefs publicly, you're ignoring all of the people for whom their belief or lack thereof is a non issue. I know you can make the no true Scotsman argument, but many stridently secular politicians, in congress or the knesset, are honest and decent family men. People like Yossi Sarid, Zahava Galon, Yossi Beilin. I might not agree with their politics, but no matter.

What's an "atheist leader" anyway?

jewish philosopher said...

I'll put it like this. If you want exact, official statistics concerning the levels of divorce, substance abuse and sexual promiscuity among atheists compared to orthodox Jews, unfortunately there are none. However I think that anyone doing the most superficial research will realize that the difference is huge - and it's not in favor of atheists.

Therefore I do believe that's it's a little presumptuous for atheists to tell me how to live and think. Some would apparently even like to send me to prison for child abuse while my children are placed in foster care simply for the crime of sending them to Jewish schools.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2007/jun/07061805
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/118-religion-39-s-real-child-abuse

This was actually done in the Soviet Union

http://www.berdichev.org/jewsinurss_a_3.htm

and of course we know what a great moral and ethical success the USSR was.

Ksil said...

If you are an atheist, there is nothing inherently wrong with doing drugs, or having sex....so why would i look at that data as proof that religious people are correct?

Tim tebow keeps winning, ao i have converted to christianity anyway....jesus MUST be lord if he keeps winning

Mr. Cohen said...

Jewish Philosopher, you are wasting your time by arguing with these people. It would be better if you would use your time visiting the sick or volunteering in a hospital or helping elderly people or tutoring or helping to maintain your local synagogue.

Ironmistress said...

Let's say we all know what has happened in the Catholic Church.

Nobody so far knows what happens at mikva once the day at shul is over. Or at back rooms of mosques.

Where is organized religion, there is sexual abuse of minors. This is, however, not to say that Atheists were morally any better.

Ironmistress said...

Once we are on the topic of death, you might write here an inspection on the Jewish perspective of the treatment of the earthly [c]remains of your fellow countrymen who have given their utmost for their country and how their country has rewarded them.

Alex said...

JP, This post is so much like so many others of yours. Can't you come up with new material??

jewish philosopher said...

"If you are an atheist, there is nothing inherently wrong with doing drugs, or having sex....so why would i look at that data as proof that religious people are correct?"

The point of this post is not that atheism is necessary false, but rather that atheism is stupid.

"Jewish Philosopher, you are wasting your time by arguing with these people."

The problem is that I feel that if I would disable comments, it would give the impression that I am afraid of questions and that I have no answers. I'm not as a rule trying to convince the commentators themselves; you're right, they are past the point of no return.

"Where is organized religion, there is sexual abuse of minors."

Where there are humans, there is misbehavior. However in some places there is more, in the orthodox jewish community there is less, as I explain.

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

"you might write here an inspection on the Jewish perspective of the treatment of the earthly [c]remains of your fellow countrymen"

We have a lot of rules about treating human remains respectfully, however this has nothing to do with the topic of this blog.

"JP, This post is so much like so many others of yours. Can't you come up with new material??"

Take drug education programs. It's all the same basic messages; heroin and cocaine are unhealthy is not a new discovery. 

jewish philosopher said...

Here's another great atheist thinker.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/08/winner.html