Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Rose with a New Name



This blog's name is now Torah Philosophy and the domain name is torahphilosophy.com. All of your old links to jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com will continue to function.

I decided that acquiring a custom domain name would give an added impression of prestige and authority to this blog, however nothing else has changed.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" Shakespeare 

Enjoy! 

75 comments:

Jeff said...

I wish you luck, however I do have the concern, that potentially newly religious Jews, when searching on google for Torah philosophy, will hit your site first and be truly horrified.

jewish philosopher said...

They will be electrified with divine wisdom.

By the way, I think as things stand now, and tell me if I'm wrong, a search for "Jewish philosophy" on all major search engines brings me up as the first or second result.

Jeff said...

Yes, that's true, however "Jewish Philosophy" could mean anything newfangled. Somebody looking "Torah Philosophy" is most likely looking for something representing Orthodoxy, of which you represent a tiny margin.

jewish philosopher said...

Actually, this blog is totally mainstream, with perhaps two exceptions.

First of all, I allow people like you to comment freely. I approve probably 98% of comments which are not computer generated advertisements.

Secondly, I am prepared to accept a form of Old Earth Creationism, as opposed to the New Earth Creationism which is more typical in orthodox circles. I explain that here.

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

Beyond that I think little if anything in this blog would raise an eyebrow in any orthodox yeshiva or synagogue.

Modern orthodoxy would regard this blog as fanatic craziness, however, as I explain, they are a dying fringe.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2010/03/modern-orthodoxy-is-it-ok.html

Jeff said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that your calls for the death penalty for gays and Jewish heretics would not be supported by any mainstream ultra-orthodox rabbi.

I also doubt that they would share your view that the holocaust was a "miracle" and proof of God's existence.

jewish philosopher said...

"the death penalty for gays and Jewish heretics"

The death penalty for sodomy is explicitly written in the Torah Leviticus 20:13

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0320.htm#13

and has been imposed in all traditional monotheistic societies, including United States up to the early 19th century.

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

I don't see how any sincere monotheist, let alone orthodox Jew, would question that.

Regarding apostates from orthodox Judaism, I advocate banning them from the orthodox community.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/06/jewish-heretics.html

I don't think that's too controversial either. Herem has existed for centuries and for much smaller infractions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herem_(censure)

"I also doubt that they would share your view that the holocaust was a "miracle" and proof of God's existence."

To say that the Jewish victims of the Holocaust were, at least by and large, sinners who were deserving of their fate I also don't think is especially controversial. To say otherwise would seemingly be to bring into question divine justice. Bear in mind also that, to the best of my knowledge, only a small percentage of holocaust victims were orthodox as well as the fact that, according to the Talmud, seemingly minor sins may result in a tragic, premature death:

FOR THREE SINS WOMEN DIE IN CHILDBIRTH: BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT OBSERVANT OF [THE LAWS OF] NIDDAH, HALLAH, AND THE KINDLING OF THE [SABBATH] LIGHTS. Shabbath 31b

http://www.israelect.com/Come-and-Hear/shabbath/shabbath_31.html#PARTb   

Jeff said...

Although you may be a rabbi, you are neither a posek nor a leader of any community. So, even though your positions seem justified in your own mind, my assertion remains-- no living mainstream orthodox rabbi holds these positions. If I am wrong please provide a reference. It is not enough to quote the Talmud, since you are not qualified to posek based on the Talmud. I can quote the Talmud, too, but nobody would consider my ruling to have any validity, and neither yours.

Anonymous said...

And bullshit by any other name still stinks!

jewish philosopher said...

"So, even though your positions seem justified in your own mind, my assertion remains-- no living mainstream orthodox rabbi holds these positions. If I am wrong please provide a reference."

No problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moetzes_Gedolei_HaTorah#Current_members_belonging_to_Agudath_Israel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edah_HaChareidis#Present_members

These gentlemen unfortunately don't have websites or email addresses. One or two may speak English; most will speak Hebrew. Visit them and discuss with them your questions about my blog. Again, the issues they might raise would be regarding young earth creationism and my allowance of non-believers to air their views, but I don't think anything beyond that would be an issue.

"And bullshit by any other name still stinks!"

I disregard haters.

Joe said...

Congratulation to the new name! Did the blog had a bris?:)

Kidding aside. Kudos to you for all the great work you do, you do the job which many of us has to do. And you have influenced many minds for the batter including mine, So thank you for that.

Hashem should help you, on this 'Zchus' you and your family should never know of any pain or problem, and you should merit to eternal bliss at Moshiach's coming, soon. Amen

Anonymous said...

The Torah is not a philosophical document. Any prestige this site may have at first blush quickly diminishes when one reads the crap you publish under the guise of religion. You remain a scourge upon on society at large and upon Judaism in particular.

jewish philosopher said...

Well, many people reading this blog are reminded of the unpleasant reality that they will before long depart this earthly existence and descend into the raging inferno of eternal damnation. Naturally, that's annoying.

Too bad.

Anonymous said...

"reminded of the unpleasant reality that they will before long depart this earthly existence and descend into the raging inferno of eternal damnation"

Rubbish. No reason at all to think there's such a thing as eternal damnation. None.

Jeff said...

"are reminded of the unpleasant reality that they will before long depart this earthly existence "

I agree with this part. We will all die. An unpleasant reality that we prefer not to think about. As to the second part, well, I can only be reminded of something that I (and most people) know to be true, like taxes and death. Since that is not the case with your "reminder" it has no effect.

Would you please exhibit a little theory of mind, please?

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

Evidently because you are constantly battling the impulses of your penis, you assume that is everybody else. Perhaps at one time you also battled addiction, and you therefore assume everybody is. You further seem unable to fathom that somebody can disagree with you that might be right, that they can only be in "denial".

As for your references, I am obviously unable to go to interview Eida Heredit. But the Heredi Gedolim have come out with thousands of psakei halacha on various subjects, and I don't recall any of them calling for death penalties for gays or for a witch hunt for closet kofrim. Believe me, I am not saying this from the top of my head. I have gone to Shiurim on the topic of the "Jewish" attitude towards "heretics", and no contemporary posek calls for what you propose.

If you have evidence otherwise please provide it.

Ironmistress said...

Well, many people reading this blog are reminded of the unpleasant reality that they will before long depart this earthly existence and descend into the raging inferno of eternal damnation. Naturally, that's annoying.

Let's say it is the lesser evil compared to an eternity spent in the company of people like Fred Phelps, Ruhollah Khomeini and their ilk.

As an engineer I am used to doing the worst case scenario. Annihilation by being thrown into a blast furnace is a lesser evil compared to eternal company of an irrational, arbitrary and whimsical cosmic bully.

If there are deities, I sincerely hope none of them is Allah.

jewish philosopher said...

"Rubbish. No reason at all to think there's such a thing as eternal damnation. None."

The evidence is undoubtable.

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

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2010/03/jewish-literature-seeing-effects-of.html

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/06/jewish-heretics.html

"Evidently because you are constantly battling the impulses of your penis, you assume that is everybody else."

In unguarded moments, they really make it clear themselves. I'm not making this stuff up.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2010/07/of-course-its-all-about-science.html

http://www.unpious.com/2010/03/sin-samantha-talmud/

http://www.unpious.com/2010/02/monsey-underworld/

"I have gone to Shiurim on the topic of the "Jewish" attitude towards "heretics", and no contemporary posek calls for what you propose."

Your ignorance doesn't mean I'm wrong. Spend a few years in Bnei Brak, Israel or Lakewood, New Jersey and you'll learn something.

"Annihilation by being thrown into a blast furnace"

The sinner is not annihilated. That would be no big deal - a few seconds of agony and it's over. In hell, the agony continues forever.

Ironmistress said...

"Annihilation by being thrown into a blast furnace"

The sinner is not annihilated. That would be no big deal - a few seconds of agony and it's over. In hell, the agony continues forever.


Hmm. Eternal [cruel and unusual] punishment for a temporal transgression?

Ergo: God is evil, and the duty of mankind is to resist him and his whims and to build a better society on the Earth. This concept where your argument leads is called maltheism. See also misotheism.

Your exegesis is scaringly close to that of Fred Phelps and Ruhollah Khomeini.

jewish philosopher said...

"Hmm. Eternal [cruel and unusual] punishment for a temporal transgression?"

Entirely appropriate for one who rebels against the divine creator.

Nothing is unjust. Just learn Torah, do it and you're fine. Simple. No one is stopping you.

Jeff said...

"The evidence is undoubtable.

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

Hypothetically, lets say you prove the Torah is the true. Why does that mean that everything that is said in the Talmud is correct? We know they made mistakes. They can't be wrong about SOMETHING?

Einstein was a brillian physicist and discovered relativity. But he was wrong about quantum physics. An authority can be right about one thing and wrong about another.

jewish philosopher said...

Although our tradition is imperfect, it's the best we've got and God only asks that we do our best.

ksil said...

"torah philosophy"?

you should call it oxymoron.com (or just moron.com, if you prefer)

seriosuly, you ever read this torah you speak of? its like you have never read it! a few bubba maysahs...laudry lists of items that were made for the holy temple, laundry lists of generations of people, how long they lived, how many kids x, y and z had...i mean its just boring worthlessness. philosophy? hardly

jewish philosopher said...

The Torah is the world's oldest and most influential book and it contains the only real, perfect philosophy.

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

However, as mentioned above, many people reading this blog are reminded of the unpleasant reality that they will before long depart this earthly existence and descend into the raging inferno of eternal damnation. Naturally, that's annoying. Too bad.

ksil said...

"raging inferno of eternal damnation"

if only the "torah" had ever mentioned that!

oh well...

Joe said...

Ironmisterss:

TP:"The agony continues forever"...

I don't know about eternal hell, but how does "disappearing for all eternity" sound to you?.

jewish philosopher said...

Of course there is hell. To believe otherwise would negate divine justice since the Nazis and their victims would all have the same fate. Regarding further details, the Talmud explains them.

Anonymous said...

This should be good. Please explain where in the Torah, the Talmud, or other place from which you get this "raging inferno of internal damnation" from?

I certainly hope it is better than some Gehinnom reference but I await with baited breath.

Joe said...

I was talking about ETERNAL hell.

jewish philosopher said...

"Please explain where in the Torah, the Talmud, or other place from which you get this "raging inferno of internal damnation" from?"

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/06/jewish-heretics.html

Anonymous said...

That covers your viewpoint on the Jew (which in and of itself has several caveats that might make even the Jew not be considered a heretic by your articulated standards).

However, what about the non-Jew?

jewish philosopher said...

I don't know really.

Ironmistress said...

The Torah is the world's oldest and most influential book and it contains the only real, perfect philosophy.

No, it isn't. The philosophy as we know it today was perfected in Pagan Greece and especially in Athens some 6th to 3th centuries BC. They laid the basis on epistemology, ontology, ethics, logics, metaphysics, estetics and societal philosophy.

They are taught even today in each and every university in this world. Not Torah. Nor Nevi'im nor Ketuvim. Nor Quran. Nor Tripitaka nor Vedas.

Ironmistress said...

"JP:"The agony continues forever"..."

I don't know about eternal hell, but how does "disappearing for all eternity" sound to you?.


It sounds exactly like Qohelet 2:18-20 and 3:1-3.

Oblivion and expiring into nothingness is a far more plausible fate than ending up in pointless eternal torture and suffering.

A free man considers death as a horrible disaster. He fears it, since it means the end of the pleasures. A slave will welcome death as a liberator and friend, since it will mean the end of suffering. But they both are just as dead when they are dead.

Of course there is hell. To believe otherwise would negate divine justice since the Nazis and their victims would all have the same fate.

It would again be eternal punishment for temporal crimes. It would be even more injust than having the Nazis and their victims having the same fate (i.e. expiring into oblivion). But Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) describes exactly that: the human being will simply vanish into nothingness once s/he is dead and nothing remains thereafter.

Qohelet confirms that everyone has the same fate. See Qohelet 9:1-12.

Ironmistress said...

There is nothing in Tanakh which suggests there would be a "raging inferno". It is a Christian concept, and mentioned in the Revelations. Not even all Christians will approve it but rather interprete it as a metaphor.

Jeff said...

"Although our tradition is imperfect, it's the best we've got"

I'll put it like this.

When most intelligent people determine what to accept as fact or fiction, they use one of several standards:

1. Legal Evidence
2. Scientific evidence
3. "Philosophical" arguments
4. Cultural tradition
Your claims completely fail standards 1 or 2.

Legally speaking, most of your claims are hearsay (the "600,000 witnesses" claim) or based on books whose authority or authenticity cannot be verified. Scientifically your claims are completely unsubstantiated.

Philosophical arguments are whimsical and are best used to formulate ethics and morality, not for empiric reality.

So you are left with tradition, which is no different than anybody else's religion.

"Of course there is hell. To believe otherwise would negate divine justice since the Nazis and their victims would all have the same fate. "

See above. That is a circular philosophical argument. Its also logically flawed, because you preclude other possible pathways of divine justice, besides hell.

Joe said...

TP:

You are correct sir, I take it back.

So the "disappearing for all eternity" goes to regular sinners who don't repent on time, they get 12 months in hell. And then, if their life was mostly sinful they disappear forever. but if mostly good they go to heaven.

But the heretics and those who make sin others (probably those who were really into it) burn in hell forever.

jewish philosopher said...

"No, it isn't. The philosophy as we know it today was perfected in Pagan Greece and especially in Athens some 6th to 3th centuries BC. They laid the basis on epistemology, ontology, ethics, logics, metaphysics, estetics and societal philosophy."

I think more people are familiar with the Ten Commandments than they are with Plato.

"There is nothing in Tanakh which suggests there would be a "raging inferno". "

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. Isaiah 66:24

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1066.htm#24

"When most intelligent people determine what to accept as fact or fiction, they use one of several standards:"

What about common sense and history?

The Watchmaker Analogy is based on common sense.

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/did-life-form-by-accident/

The revelation at Mount Sinai is as well documented as anything else in premodern history.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/07/is-history-bunk.html

Anonymous said...

"According to my very extensive and painstaking research there is not a shadow of a doubt: Jews are right and are going to heaven, atheists are wrong and are going to hell. Case closed."

Case closed? Then how do you explain your own conflicting responses in two different threads that diverged subject wise?

When discussing this same "hell" I stated "That covers your viewpoint on the Jew (which in and of itself has several caveats that might make even the Jew not be considered a heretic by your articulated standards)." and then asked "what about the non-Jew?" (See http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/atheist-rabbi.html)

Your response: "I don't know really."

How can you state the case is closed for a non-Jewish atheist and then say you don't know when it comes to the non-Jewish heretic? Often one who is a heretic by your articulated standards will also be an atheist.

jewish philosopher said...

Gentiles who observe the Noahide laws will go to heaven.

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

About the rest I'm not really sure.

Ironmistress said...

"No, it isn't. The philosophy as we know it today was perfected in Pagan Greece and especially in Athens some 6th to 3th centuries BC. They laid the basis on epistemology, ontology, ethics, logics, metaphysics, estetics and societal philosophy."

I think more people are familiar with the Ten Commandments than they are with Plato.


Legislature demanding blind obedience is not considered philosphy. Torah is not about judcial philosophy, it is mere legislature. It would be philosophy if we'd attempt to find what was on lawgiver's mind when he coded his thoughts into text but Torah does not cover that. That is covered in exegetics.

But Aristotelian logic is present everywhere and in everyday life.

"There is nothing in Tanakh which suggests there would be a "raging inferno". "

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. Isaiah 66:24


Carcasses. Not living souls. A carcass is, by definition, a dead body. The "fire which does not get quenched" refers to the valley of Hinnon where the municipal waste, including self-dead carcasses of animals and bodies of executed criminals of Jerusalem was incinerated and where bonfires were burnt continuously. They did not consist of eternal fire, but they were supplied by a continuous feed of municipal waste.

I would intereprete this as an allusion or metaphor on being annihilated into nothingness, not as eternal torture.

jewish philosopher said...

The philosophy of the Torah is monotheism. The laws are applied philosophy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy#Applied_philosophy

The Talmud is quite clear about the afterlife.

Believing Jews are going to heaven:
In the World to Come there is no eating nor drinking nor propagation nor business nor jealousy nor hatred nor competition, but the righteous sit with their crowns on their heads feasting on the brightness of God's presence (Berakhot 17a).

Atheists are going to hell forever according to Rosh haShanah 17a and the Talmud explains that the fire of hell is sixty times stronger than ordinary fire (Berakoth 57b).  

Anonymous said...

Based on the Noachide Laws one can be an atheist and avoid blasphemy, thus escaping the raging inferno you reference. Care to refine once more?

jewish philosopher said...

I don't recall the Talmud discussing the fate of gentile atheists.

Ironmistress said...

The philosophy of the Torah is monotheism.

That is not philosophy, that is theology. While there is philosophy of religion, the first to truly develop a philosophical concept of religion instead of blind worship was Aristotle. in his "Metaphysics" he inspected the properties of deities and the "first cause" argument.

[Needless to say, his philosophy tore the Greek Paganism into shreds.]

The laws are applied philosophy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy#Applied_philosophy


Laws with no judicial principle or context behind are not philosophy, they are merely legislature. The first true judicial philosophy was Roman justice, and it is even today the basis of Western justice.

jewish philosopher said...

Philosophy is a study of problems which are ultimate, abstract and very general. These problems are concerned with the nature of existence, knowledge, morality, reason and human purpose.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy#cite_note-0

Ari said...

Seems you follow Beit Shammai in citing Rosh haShanah 17a. In doing so you fail to acknowledge the often opposing views (Bava Metzia 58b for example). Furthermore, you fail to acknowledge that today most choose to follow Beit Hillel. Even at the time of the disputes between Beith Shammai and Beit Hillel it was Beit Hillel that prevailed (See Berakot 36b, Betzah 11b and Yebamot 9a).

Jeff said...

"What about common sense and history?"

Common sense is used to grasp simple everyday problems to make decisions. It cannot be used to solve complex technical problems. Is quantum mechanics or special relativity "common sense"? Is genetics "common sense"? You're reliance on "common sense" with the watchmaker analogy is worthless.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall the Talmud discussing the fate of gentile atheists.

You invoke the Noachide Laws which are discussed in the Talmud (see Sanhedrin 56a quoting Tosefta Avodah Zarah 9.4) and which identify the seven laws that must be followed for a gentile to ascend to Olam Ha-Ba. Interestingly, not one of the Noachide Laws involves a belief in God. In fact, only the prohibitions against idolatry and blasphemy relate to God.

Obviously a gentile atheist need not worry about committing idolatry. Therefore, it stands to reason that if a non-believing gentile avoids blasphemy and follows the remainder of the Noachide Laws that gentile atheist will ascend to Olam Ha-Ba as oppose to spending time eternal in Gehinnom.

The Talmud does discuss both the Jew and the non-Jew when it comes their fate upon passing.

jewish philosopher said...

"Seems you follow Beit Shammai in citing Rosh haShanah 17a."

There is no dispute. You're misreading it.

"In doing so you fail to acknowledge the often opposing views (Bava Metzia 58b for example). "

That's not opposing. See Tosofos there.

"Common sense is used to grasp simple everyday problems to make decisions. It cannot be used to solve complex technical problems."

Common sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts."

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

That's seems like a good method to choose a religion to me.

Note that Richard Dawkins is the first one to claim that one needn't study silly things before rejecting them; apparently common sense is quite sufficient.

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/1647-do-you-have-to-read-up-on-leprechology-before-disbelieving-in-them

Jeff said...

"That's seems like a good method to choose a religion to me."

Well, there is where we part ways in how to make decisions, Mr. Stein. Seems to me that in complex matters such as the origins of the universe, origins of species, etc, would be out of the purview of common sense.

Like Quantum Mechanics, which common sense would tell me is total nonsense.

However, common sense WOULD tell me that ancient stories of talking donkeys and snakes, an ark filled with millions of animals, splitting seas and the sun "standing still" are nothing but fairy tails, just like similar stories in every other religious book.

Common sense would also tell me to live my life getting along with other people and enjoying family and life as much as I can without hurting anybody. Not out of fear of some imagined purgatory. Finally, to accept that we are all destined to die like all living things.

After all, that would be "Simple perception of the situation and facts", no?

jewish philosopher said...

Atheism completely contradicts common sense

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/02/lame-duck-why-atheism-fails.html

while Judaism is entirely based on it

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/12/look-at-world-with-innocent-eyes.html

"Like Quantum Mechanics, which common sense would tell me is total nonsense."

It's not nonsense, it's simply beyond our understanding.

Anyway, things work better when based on logic rather than logical fallacies.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/06/post-about-comments.html 

Jeff said...

"Atheism completely contradicts common sense"

To primitive man who knew no better, yes. It does take some thought and investigation. That's why I said you can't use common sense for such questions.

Since the "common" in common sense implies the fact that many people sense it, Islam and Christianity make common sense, too. 3.5 billion is pretty common.

I think that you like to define common sense as YOUR logic, and everybody else's is not.

I come back to theory of mind, again...

jewish philosopher said...

"To primitive man who knew no better, yes. It does take some thought and investigation."

Atheism is a Victorian era scam, thoroughly refuted by 20th century science.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/11/science-versus-atheism.html

"Since the "common" in common sense implies the fact that many people sense it"

No, far from it:

People sometimes say: "Common sense is quite rare." Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique portatif 

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Voltaire#Dictionnaire_philosophique_portatif_.281764.29

ksil said...

"The Talmud is quite clear about the afterlife."

so, some dudes wrote down in a book 2,000 years ago about heaven and hell....and you believe it?

man,m you are gullible! I am surprsied you are not a mormon - that buba maysa just happened like 150 years ago!

jewish philosopher said...

That's what European Jews thought too, until Hitler came Lol.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/06/holocaust-clear-evidence-of-gods-hand.html

Eclipse said...

"To say that the Jewish victims of the Holocaust were, at least by and large, sinners who were deserving of their fate I also don't think is especially controversial. To say otherwise would seemingly be to bring into question divine justice. Bear in mind also that, to the best of my knowledge, only a small percentage of holocaust victims were orthodox as well as the fact that, according to the Talmud, seemingly minor sins may result in a tragic, premature death."

I beg to differ. Your statement most certainly IS controversial. Not a single one of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust remotely deserved such a horrible fate. It makes no difference whether they were Orthodox, atheist, or anything else. They were innocent victims of depraved, human evil. The Holocaust had nothing to do with divine justice or with anything divine. It was solely an act of horrible human beings. To say otherwise is to give the perpetrators a free pass and say they did nothing wrong and even that they did the will of God. They did not. As a child of survivors, from a family that lost many to this crime against humanity, I find your statement abhorrent. If you believe it so much, try approaching a Holocaust survivor and saying this to his/her face. You'll likely get the same punch in your face that Buzz Aldrin at 77 gave to a man who told him, "you never walked on the moon."

jewish philosopher said...

"Not a single one of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust remotely deserved such a horrible fate."

According to orthodox Judaism, they probably all did.

"To say otherwise is to give the perpetrators a free pass and say they did nothing wrong and even that they did the will of God."

No. Even though every murder victim was decreed by God to die, however the death could have been by natural causes. By taking upon ourselves to be the killer, we violate the prohibition "You will not murder" Exodus 20.

"You'll likely get the same punch in your face that Buzz Aldrin"

I would discourage people from trying that.

Ironmistress said...

Philosophy is a study of problems which are ultimate, abstract and very general. These problems are concerned with the nature of existence, knowledge, morality, reason and human purpose.

And this is not studied in the Torah. It is merely legislature and jurisprudence.

The first to really study these problems with seriosity were the Pagan Greeks. Needless to say, the Greek Pagan religion was not capable of standing the conclusions made by the philosophers: it collapsed.

Torah does not contain philosophical ponderings, analysis, reasoning nor scenarios. It is jurisprudence, legislature, mythology and history. Nevi'im and Ketuvim do, however, contain the philosophy part here. Yet they are far younger than Torah.

Today the natural sciences based on mathematics, physics and chemistry have seized the hegemony on philosophy - the other philosophical models have not been able to compete with the triumphant sciences of explaining those questions. Whereas philosophy produces today merely bravosierra like Postmodernism, natural sciences are going strong.

My spouse bought me the Stephen Hawking's book "The Grand Design". It is excellent reading and explains why natural sciences and Materialist view of world are so successful and why other philosophies have failed.

Ironmistress said...

"Not a single one of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust remotely deserved such a horrible fate."

According to orthodox Judaism, they probably all did.


Is your God a monster?

Nobody - I mean nobody - with any common sense and sense of empathy would ever claim such a monstrous claim.

Your God - or rather image of him - makes God a cosmic psychopath and bully, who enjoys causing pain, agony, suffering and misery. He is an egomaniacal monster, who is so jealous that even his name cannot be said aloud (3rd Commandment is merely pure name magick). As an ally he is unreliable, as an enemy horrible and he just is as dangerous even to his own as a blast furnace or live high voltage wire.

Where do you need Devil if you have a God like that?

jewish philosopher said...

"My spouse bought me the Stephen Hawking's book "The Grand Design". It is excellent reading and explains why natural sciences and Materialist view of world are so successful and why other philosophies have failed."

Where exactly has Materialism succeeded? In Nazi Germany? In Stalinist Russia? In present day Europe where the native population is dying and being replaced by Muslims.

jewish philosopher said...

"Is your God a monster?"

For an atheist, the idea of being inevitably held accountable for every thought, word and deed is the most horrifying nightmare imaginable. Rather than accept this reality, they prefer to throw a tantrum and call God names.

Ironmistress said...

Where exactly has Materialism succeeded?

On successfully answering the questions you presented as the purposes of philosophy - the problems concerned with the nature of existence, knowledge, morality, reason and human purpose.

No other branch of philosophy has ever been able to give so concise, complete and flawless set of answers as science.

For an atheist, the idea of being inevitably held accountable for every thought, word and deed is the most horrifying nightmare imaginable

Ever read George Orwell's "1984"?

See Psalm 53:4: "There is no righteuousness, no one". Which means that God will nail each and every human being in the end and everyone will end up in the "fiery inferno". Since there is absolutely no Homo sapiens sans deeply feebleminded who have never sinned - and each and every thought, word and deed are accounted for - the logical result is that everyone will end up in endless and pointless eternal torture.

Do you think you could anyhow yourself avoid that fate? Does reading Torah or being proficient in Talmud save you from that fate?

No. The Ecclesiastes promises that the fate of everyone is the same. See Ecclesiastes 3:19-20.

Your image of God resembles the Muslim concept of Allah - a cosmic despot - in a horrible and scary way. There is no love in such god, no compassion, no self-consciense - nothing which makes us humans. It leads inevitably into misotheism.

jewish philosopher said...

"No other branch of philosophy has ever been able to give so concise, complete and flawless set of answers as science."

Chemistry, physics and medicine, which are exact, laboratory sciences, have helped us live longer and more comfortable lives. That's it; no philosophical answers.

"Do you think you could anyhow yourself avoid that fate? Does reading Torah or being proficient in Talmud save you from that fate?"

Sure.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed; Deut. 30:19

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0530.htm#19

Of course for atheists this is the biggest nightmare imaginable - to have to follow, whether we like it or not, laws set down by our Creator and to be held accountable and to inevitably deal with the consequences. Atheists rant and rave about how cruel, monstrous, tyrannical, inhumane, impossible etc etc it all is. That's called immaturity.

Ironmistress said...

"No other branch of philosophy has ever been able to give so concise, complete and flawless set of answers as science."

Chemistry, physics and medicine, which are exact, laboratory sciences, have helped us live longer and more comfortable lives. That's it; no philosophical answers.


Natural sciences have given us all the answers on the big philosophical questions: nature of existence (essence of matter, energy and laws of nature), knowledge (knowledge is verifiable valid assumption), morality (even apes have ethics, so no deity is needed to state ethics), reason (it is the ability of recognizing what is sensible and what not) and human purpose (the purpose of human life is what we make it - nobody can dictate it to us).

"Do you think you could anyhow yourself avoid that fate? Does reading Torah or being proficient in Talmud save you from that fate?"

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed; Deut. 30:19


So you resort on magic?

Sorry, no avail. Let's say there is a deity who puts a the tree of knowledge in the middle of the Garden of Eden and says, do what you like guys, oh, but don't eat the fruit. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting "Gotcha." It wouldn't have made any difference if they hadn't eaten it. Because if you're dealing with somebody who has that kind of mentality you know perfectly well he won't give up. He'll get you in the end.

Of course for atheists this is the biggest nightmare imaginable - to have to follow, whether we like it or not, laws set down by our Creator and to be held accountable and to inevitably deal with the consequences.

I'm no Atheist but an Agnostic, so that diatribe does not concern me. Show me God exists and I'm a believer. [Just hope that deity isn't Allah.]

When the deity is irrational, has serious anger control issues, is whimsical, hates his creations, states irrational laws and says "Shut up and obey!" I have very serious doubts of that deity. Or rather the image of such deity. That is why I do not take Torah too seriously, but rather read the other books of Bible.

jewish philosopher said...

"Natural sciences have given us all the answers on the big philosophical questions"

You're confusing science with atheism. Science is chemistry, physics and medicine. Atheism is a new false religion promoted by many scientists as I explain here.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/05/atheism-in-nutshell.html

"When the deity is irrational, has serious anger control issues, is whimsical, hates his creations"

There's nothing irrational or hateful. Imagine a king who commands you to stuff your pockets with the crown jewels which will be yours to keep, however if you refuse you will be beheaded. It doesn't sound bad to me. Just do it and become a billionaire for life.

For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say: 'Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say: 'Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?' But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Deut. 30:11-14

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0530.htm#11

Darwin was very angry with God because his young daughter died; that's why he invented atheism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/jun/08/featuresreviews.guardianreview42

Atheists must learn, like Job, to face reality, take it like a man and accept that if something bad happens it presumably means that there is something wrong with HIM, and nothing wrong with God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Job#Speeches_of_Job

Ironmistress said...

"Natural sciences have given us all the answers on the big philosophical questions"

You're confusing science with atheism.


The question was about philosophy, not religion, and natural sciences can give the best answers today for the philosophical questions. If those answers can be obtained without assuming existence of deities, too bad for them. It's called Occam's Razor.

And I am still not an Atheist but an Agnostic.

"When the deity is irrational, has serious anger control issues, is whimsical, hates his creations"

There's nothing irrational or hateful. Imagine a king who commands you to stuff your pockets with the crown jewels which will be yours to keep, however if you refuse you will be beheaded. It doesn't sound bad to me.


It sounds very bad to me. Which strings are attached? Such whimsical command raises suspicions of his motives. What are his backthoughts? Why such diktat? If there is also a directive to shut up and obey and not to ask any questions, the little alarm bell inside me begins to ring; it is time to run away - and quick!

Just do it and become a billionaire for life.

Who pays the piper calls the tune. I am VERY suspicious of any such diktats.

Darwin was very angry with God because his young daughter died; that's why he invented atheism.

No. Atheism existed far before Darwin. See Psalm 53.

jewish philosopher said...

"natural sciences can give the best answers today for the philosophical questions"

Science can answer questions like why do I have a headache or how can I build a cleaner car; that's it.  

"It sounds very bad to me. Which strings are attached?"

Why don't the laws of nature bother you? Who made them and why? And you're free to ignore them as well. For example, don't eat in protest of the digestive process. See how that goes.

"Atheism existed far before Darwin."

Not really. People almost never applied the name to themselves. No Enlightenment philosopher was an open atheist. 

An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.
-- Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (1986), page 6

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/dawkins.htm

Ironmistress said...

"natural sciences can give the best answers today for the philosophical questions"

Science can answer questions like why do I have a headache or how can I build a cleaner car; that's it.


And it can give answer to all philosophical questions just as well.

"It sounds very bad to me. Which strings are attached?"

Why don't the laws of nature bother you? Who made them and why?


Do they need a maker? They can be derived from the essence of the universe and its qualia itself.

And you're free to ignore them as well. For example, don't eat in protest of the digestive process. See how that goes.

The consequences of ignoring natural laws are immediate and easy to perceive. There are absolutely no consequences on ignoring or violating "divine" laws. I have eaten pork and shellfish all my life. As have cheeseburgers. I have mixed fiber clothes. In the age of 40+, I have the physique of 25 year old. And people who know me say I have exceptionally high standard of ethics.

One simply doesn't need deities to be ethical.

"Atheism existed far before Darwin."

Not really.


Yes, it did. Democritus, the father of science, was also the father of Materialism.

And I am still not an Atheist, mind you.

jewish philosopher said...

"Do they need a maker?"

Sure. The universe cannot be eternal because this would violate the first law of thermodynamics and/or the second law of thermodynamics. 

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

and it cannot appear from nothing because that would violate the law of conservation of mass

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

Therefore, God did it.

"The consequences of ignoring natural laws are immediate and easy to perceive."

Not necessarily. A few years ago, Christopher Hitchens giggled and smirked about his unhealthy lifestyle.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/10/hitchens200710

Last month he dropped dead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Hitchens#Esophageal_cancer_and_death

"One simply doesn't need deities to be ethical."

You sure do. Without worshipping God, you'll worship either power or pleasure, the fist or the phallus.

"Yes, it did. Democritus, the father of science, was also the father of Materialism."

Atheists today all look to Darwin.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/06/atheism-myth_13.html  

jewish philosopher said...

As far ethics are concerned, you might by the way want to consider Finland's alliance with Germany in World War II

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

Ironmistress said...

As far ethics are concerned, you might by the way want to consider Finland's alliance with Germany in World War II

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


I know it exactly, and it is called Realpolitik. The enemy of your enemy is your friend.

The choice would have been either to be crushed by Russians or to get in-between Russians and Germans and become battlefield of both Russia and Germany - and be crushed by both. Uneasy alliance with Nazi Germany was the way of the lesser evil. It was the only way we could spare our independence - and physical existence.

Finnish Jews fought along with Ethnic Finns, and many were decorated. Finland refused to deport any of the Jews in Finland to Germany. The result is that there is very little to speak of Anti-Semitism in Finland.

That is also the reason why I am extremely skeptic and cynical on mixing politics and religion. Realpolitik knows no such things as "right", "wrong", "good" or "evil". It knows only success and defeat.

The question is not about who is right. The question is about who is left.

Ironmistress said...

"Do they need a maker?"

Sure. The universe cannot be eternal because this would violate the first law of thermodynamics and/or the second law of thermodynamics.


That only states that universe has a beginning. It doesn't say anything about a designer or maker. Stephen Hawking inspects this really well in his book.

and it cannot appear from nothing because that would violate the law of conservation of mass

See inflatory expansion. Matter is nothing but a form of energy, and inflatory expansion converted the vacuum energy into matter.

"The consequences of ignoring natural laws are immediate and easy to perceive."

Not necessarily. A few years ago, Christopher Hitchens giggled and smirked about his unhealthy lifestyle.


His choice. I keep myself fit and abstain from substances known to be poisonous. But so far pork, shellfish, cheeseburgers and mixed fiber clothes have never caused anyone any harm.

Last month he dropped dead.

Don't we all?

"One simply doesn't need deities to be ethical."

You sure do. Without worshipping God, you'll worship either power or pleasure, the fist or the phallus.


I worship neither. I live a good life of temperance. I have absolutely no need of worshipping either power, mammon nor pleasure.

"Yes, it did. Democritus, the father of science, was also the father of Materialism."

Atheists today all look to Darwin.


That is a moot argument. It is the same as "Atheists today all look to Einstein [who was Agnostic]" or "Atheists today all look to Newton" [who was Anglican Christian]. Darwin was no ideologist; he was simply a scientist. Nothing more and nothing else. Atheists do look to Einstein and Newton too - they too were scientists.

jewish philosopher said...

"inflatory expansion converted the vacuum energy into matter"

If true that would be supernatural since conservation of mass is a law of nature.

"I keep myself fit and abstain from substances known to be poisonous."

I'm sure you do because you know the consequences of defying the laws of nature without whining about how monstrous, unfair, undemocratic, arbitrary and so on they are. Likewise, don't complain about God's other laws.

"I worship neither. I live a good life of temperance. I have absolutely no need of worshipping either power, mammon nor pleasure."

History has demonstrated the truth of this principle. Why bother saying something about yourself which is entirely unverifiable?

"Darwin was no ideologist"

He was hardly a scientist either. He wrote a stupid little atheistic tract, cleverly disguised as popular science, which is the foundation of all present day atheism. 

Ironmistress said...

"inflatory expansion converted the vacuum energy into matter"

If true that would be supernatural since conservation of mass is a law of nature.


No, it doesn't violate. Remember that it is the vacuum energy which converts into mass. The Wikipedia article explains it quite well.

"I keep myself fit and abstain from substances known to be poisonous."

I'm sure you do because you know the consequences of defying the laws of nature without whining about how monstrous, unfair, undemocratic, arbitrary and so on they are. Likewise, don't complain about God's other laws.


Again a moot argument: apples and oranges. Laws of nature are completely amoral. They just are. Laws of Torah, however, are completely arbitrary, irrational and whimsical. Such God cannot be neither omnipotent, omniscient nor omnibenevolent, but rather suffers from a serious personality disorder and problems with anger control. What is the point on worshipping, let alone respecting, such deity.

I know exactly well what happens if I eat spoiled meat, no matter how kosher; my stomach will get sore. But absolutely nothing happens if I eat a cheeseburger. So what's the point?

"I worship neither. I live a good life of temperance. I have absolutely no need of worshipping either power, mammon nor pleasure."

History has demonstrated the truth of this principle."


No. Society consists of individuals, just like you and me.

"Darwin was no ideologist"

He was hardly a scientist either.


Yes, he was. Evolution is not merely a fact; it is a paradigm.

jewish philosopher said...

"The Wikipedia article explains it quite well."

I don't see that.

"Laws of nature are completely amoral."

The laws of nature and the laws of the Torah were all authored by the same infinitely wise Creator. Follow them or suffer consequences.

"Society consists of individuals, just like you and me."

And what happened to European society since atheism took hold? First the raised fist of Fascism and Communism. When those failed, now the false god of hedonism. According to current trends, Europeans will gradually die off and be replaced by Muslims.

"Evolution is not merely a fact; it is a paradigm."

A completely ludicrous paradigm, like the Christianity it replaced.

Alex said...

Maybe you should create a new blog. You can call it:
OverdoseWithLinks.blogspot.com