Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why We Should Be Orthodox


(Sabbath table)

Believing, observant Jews are going to eternal paradise according to the Talmud Berakot 17a: 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.

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

This is referred to in the book of Daniel 12:2-3:

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to reproaches and everlasting abhorrence. And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn the many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

The evidence supporting this is clear beyond any reasonable doubt.  

The Torah is validated by nature and history

by the descending levels of Jewish literature

by the wisdom of the Torah

by the honesty of the Torah

and by the Holocaust.

Atheists attempt to debunk the Torah using evolution

the documentary hypothesis

the suffering of the innocent

and all sorts of logical fallacies.

In fact, it's obvious that atheists do not really believe their own stated beliefs.

146 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK. Thanks.

Abe said...

"Nonbelievers are going to hell forever according to the Talmud Rosh haShanah 17a. The Talmud Berakoth 57b explains that the fire of hell is sixty times stronger than ordinary fire."

I'm indebted to you for pointing this out to me.
My disregard for the talmud's admonition was based on my belief that hell was only fifty-nine times stronger than ordinary fire. I could survive fifty-nine, but not sixty. Now that you've opened my eyes, I will renounce atheism, pornography, drugs, unkosher vegetables and modern orthodoxy in favor of your chareidi fundamentalism.
Tomorrow, right after shacharis I'm going to stand on a street corner in Monsey, NY and throw soiled diapers at immodest women, be they Jewish or not. If that won't get me into heaven, nothing will.
I can't wait to get started.

ksil said...

if only that were true,,,unfortunately, truth is hard to come by on this blog.

jewish philosopher said...

As usual, instead of real arguments, the appeal to ridicule.

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

One thing I'll guarantee: No one who reads this post will ever fully enjoy transgressing the Torah again.

Abe said...

It appears that your guarantee is as shoddy as your premise.
Tomorrow, I'll be driving to Manhattan to enjoy a broadway show with friends and savor a nice steak in my favorite restaurant. There's nothing like sticking a finger in god's eye on shabbos.
Will he dispatch me to hell for my impiety ?
Considering that I've been impugning his torah for almost twenty years, the result will likely be the same.
Unless of course, you can promote the same wrath against me that he's assembled against you. Just let me know when I can expect god to smite me down because I hear that hell now has Iphone service and I want to make sure that my Apple is with me when I'm dispatched. I just want to sustain your bitachon that hell is sixty times as hot as normal fire. I'll text message you tomorrow -- after shabbos, of course !

ksil said...

since none of it has any truth to it, there is no such thing as "transgressing" it.

yuo can believe in santa, or tooth faries, or jesus or zeus, or talmud - whatever, its all made up. just be honest with yourself

jewish philosopher said...

"Just let me know when I can expect god to smite me down"

The sooner the better for everyone's sake.

jewish philosopher said...

"since none of it has any truth to it, there is no such thing as "transgressing" it."

I've presented massive proof. Refute it.

ksil said...

refute jesus christ. refute mohamed. refute zeus. refute the FSM.

your man-made stuff from thousands of years ago has been refuted, over and over and over again.

you can continue to put your hands over your ears and yell and scream.

jewish philosopher said...

"refute jesus christ. refute mohamed. refute zeus. refute the FSM."

Easy. Since there is far more evidence for Torah than there is for any of those, Torah wins. Same thing with your god, evolution.

Jeff said...

Add me to the list of your readers who is now convinced. The fear of being immersed on boiling excrement for eternity, as promised by your blog, has brought me to abandon my evil ways and see the truth. Thanks for pointing it out.

Seriously, what you consider "evidence", JP, most rational people consider bubbe meises. Its all subjective, circumstantial conjecture and interpretation. We keep telling you that and you keep insisting that your "evidence" is on par with evidence by modern standards in the sciences.

That's simply delusion.

Brought said...

shouldn't you rather become a member of Westborough baptist church? They specialise in telling people they will go to hell.

You are such an embarrassment to judaism...

Anonymous said...

Who are the "believers"? Everyone who is not of your sect?

If this is is what you "believers" believe, have you considered the possibility that your faith is not the correct one? perhaps it is ... you name it ... ?

All make more or less equally sense, yet the "believer" recognize it only in themselves -- and is this not an argument against them all?

A "believer" says:

"easy, there is more evidence for Torah than..."
or
"easy, there is more evidence for Koran than..."
or
"there´s more evidence for Gospels than..."
or
...


All with equal certainty and arrogance...

Honest man says: "there is no real evidence for any of these"

And because there is no evidence; all there is, is faith.

Honest man is not necessarily an atheist, but certainly he is not
a "believer" (many atheists are, for sure), yet he has a faith ...

Honest man is honest with his faith; he recognizes it as what it is -- a faith.

(part of) My faith is: all "believers" are damned.

My God is not a God of any "believer".

Perhaps also Torah actually says this. Perhaps it is not for "believers"?


Cheers.

Anonymous said...

how will the pain of fire affect me being that after my death nerve endings will cease to function and pain can no longer be transmitted or felt? Or is this some spiritual fire?

Jeff said...

I would say that this is what it comes down to:

1. Neither you or us skeptics are delusional, from a psychiatric perspective.

2. Each side has taken its position for it own rational reasons. Obviously many people take positions like yours, and many (more) don't.

3. Evaluation of logic and evidence is not an objective affair. You either belong to the scientific-rationalist school of thought (like Rabbi Slifkin), or the Heredi-reactionary approach. You belong to the latter.

4. The above two approaches are INCOMPATIBLE. We're talking two different languages, JP. Kind of like a naturopathic healer talking to a professor of medicine, trying to convince each other of the rightness of their approach. There is no common basis for dialogue.

As you said, the cultural war is already decided. Scientific rationalism is prevailing, in most places.

jewish philosopher said...

"Seriously, what you consider "evidence", JP, most rational people consider bubbe meises. Its all subjective, circumstantial conjecture and interpretation. We keep telling you that and you keep insisting that your "evidence" is on par with evidence by modern standards in the sciences."

Seriously, it's as solid as anything else we know about history.

"shouldn't you rather become a member of Westborough baptist church? They specialise in telling people they will go to hell."

Most traditional religions believe in punishment in an afterlife.

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

"All make more or less equally sense, "

No they don't.

"how will the pain of fire affect me being that after my death nerve endings will cease to function and pain can no longer be transmitted or felt? Or is this some spiritual fire?"

The soul can experience pain or pleasure.

"3. Evaluation of logic and evidence is not an objective affair."

Making the wrong choice will have consequences nevertheless.

"As you said, the cultural war is already decided. Scientific rationalism is prevailing, in most places."

The US is a lost cause. However globally there is no primarily secular community which has a fertility rate at a replacement level. Atheism is a religion of either mass killing or hedonism, both of which lead to extinction. It's the HIV of religion. 

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism#Geographic_distribution

Sunni Islam is probably the world's largest and most rapidly growing single belief system at the moment. Whatever that proves.

http://www.pewforum.org/Mapping-the-Global-Muslim-Population.aspx

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

Anonymous said...

"Scientific rationalism is prevailing, in most places."

Because it works better than religious rationalism. A focused look at any orthodox community shows that a significant percentage of people feel arbitrarily repressed and see no recourse for improving the situation.

Where there is rationalism, fair representation, and mechanisms for change, there is a healthy community. Where there isn't, you have what the ultra-Orthodox community actually is: a core group of like-minded fanatics that can't substantially grow because people leave the group either to start/join another group like it or to enter a more fair and broadly rational community.

jewish philosopher said...

"Because it works better than religious rationalism."

If you mean that atheistic communities are better than Orthodox Jewish ones, you're wrong.

On the average orthodox Jews are happier

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

more peaceful

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

kinder

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

and more sober

http://www.casacolumbia.org/articlefiles/379-So%20Help%20Me%20God.pdf

than atheists.

Jeff said...

"Sunni Islam is probably the world's largest and most rapidly growing single belief system at the moment. Whatever that proves."

I don't think that Muslims reject evolution.

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

They copied ideas about heaven and hell from rabbinic Judaism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afterlife#Islam


"Making the wrong choice will have consequences nevertheless."

By "wrong" do you mean "factually incorrect" or not to your liking? I suspect the latter.

"Atheism is a religion of either mass killing or hedonism, both of which lead to extinction. "

I don't have much regard for "predictions" of that sort, especially from an ideologue.

"Seriously, it's as solid as anything else we know about history."

That's not true from a rationalist perspective. But I know you're not in that school. For you rejecting Judaism the same as holocaust denial. To us rationalists the difference is as clear as the sun at noon.

Two different languages...

jewish philosopher said...

"I don't think that Muslims reject evolution."

It actually sounds as if Muslims would pretty much agree with me regarding evolution:

According to Salman Hameed, writing in the journal Science, there exists a contradictory attitude towards evolution in the Muslim world. While Muslims accept science as fully compatible with Islam, and most accept microevolution, very few Muslims accept the macroevolution as held by scientists, especially human evolution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_views_on_evolution#Muslim_societies

"By "wrong" do you mean "factually incorrect" or not to your liking?"

Making the incorrect choice will have consequences.

"I don't have much regard for "predictions" of that sort, especially from an ideologue."

That sounds like an ad hominem

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

and wishful thinking

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

I suppose people opposed to greenhouse gas limitations say the same.

"That's not true from a rationalist perspective."

Orthodox Judaism is certainly as well verified as anything we know about ancient history.

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

While on the other hand atheism is so absurd that atheists themselves don't sincerely believe it.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/07/two-proofs-that-atheists-are-lying.html

SJ said...

In atheism, mutations have replaced God as creator of life on Earth.

Jeff said...

"In atheism, mutations have replaced God as creator of life on Earth."

In physics, gravity has replaced god as that which pulls things to the ground.

In medicine, germs have replaced god in describing what causes infectious disease.

In meterorology, jet streams and ocean currents have replaced god in what causes rain.

In cosmology, the sun's light reflecting off the moon has replaced god as the source of light.

JP, how are these things any different than evolution?

jewish philosopher said...

Everything is controlled by God, however God has many messengers.

http://www.torah.org/learning/perceptions/5768/vaeschanan.html

Evolution however is heretically because it contradicts Scripture.

Jeff said...

In your blog you interpret the genesis story metaphorically. You speak about daily emanations, lost worlds, Adam being the first speaking man, etc. These things are interpretations. Why not more interpretation?

The rabbis interpret many things in the Torah metaphorically. Eye for an eye, etc.

It doesn't have to contradict scripture unless you want it to.

jewish philosopher said...

You can't just make stuff up.

If you can find any book written by an orthodox rabbi prior to 1859 which implies that we are descended from some other animals, you win $100.

Jeff said...

They didn't know about fossils or Neanderthal man.

I don't think they wrote about relativity either.

This is where you are absolutely wrong, JP. You CAN make stuff up. The Talmud, Rishonim and Achronim are full of innovations.

Did the Rambam write about sheitels? Why are they permitted? Did the Talmud have anything about "glatt"? What about prusbul? Did the rishonim know about the brain and brain death?

Yes, I know, Judaism changes but the Torah doesn't. Fine. But the interpretation changes.

And, evolution has no halachic repurcussions whatsoever, so it poses no problem at all.

jewish philosopher said...

You can't decide that the written Torah means something non-literal without a traditional source. This is why Christian proof-texts from the Torah are worthless

http://biblebasicsonline.com/english/Study07OriginofJesus/0701OTPropheciesOfJesus.html

as well as Islamic ones 

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

Jeff said...

Who defines "traditional source"? People do, there's no objective standard.

In 150 years the writings from today will be "traditional". Perhaps even this blog will be dug up and considered a priceless manuscript!!

For a married women, whose hair is like nakedness, which "traditional" source permitted her to cover this nakedness with another woman's hair? Objectively, that would be like allowing women to go around with tops covering their breasts but printed with another woman's breasts. SO what's wrong with wet t-shirt contests?

This is not to mock the custom, its to point out that somebody "reinterpreted", during the last 150 years, the Torah. I'm sure you are aware of many other examples like this.

Besides, I'm not aware of anything in the shuichan aruch or the Talmud requiring a person to accept a particular theory of physics or biology-- only that one follows the halacha.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't believe that you can innovate a new, nonliteral interpretation of the Torah without a source in at least the amoraim or earlier.

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

If anyone could just make stuff up, then we could just as well accept the Christian or Islamic interpretations of the Torah.

http://biblebasicsonline.com/english/Study07OriginofJesus/0701OTPropheciesOfJesus.html

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

The Talmud mentions married women wearing wigs Nazir 28b

http://www.come-and-hear.com/nazir/nazir_28.html#PARTb

Jeff said...

I'm not so familiar with that section of Talmud, but it seems to me that the context is referring to allowing her to cover up some ugliness of being a nazir by wearing a wig for her husband.

It seems that the ruling for wigs came about "only" 400 years ago

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

I also think that your assertion about amoraim is correct only applying to halacha rulings per se, not historical or philosophical interpretations. I don't think we are required to accept amoraim's statements about anatomy or biology, for example.

Perhaps later generations cannot directly contradict the talmud halachic rulings, but thet can reinterpret the words, the meaning, and the context.

Since evolution is not halacha, the "earlier generations" rule is not relevant. I'm not aware of any Jewish law that is based on evolution being true or false.

jewish philosopher said...

Evolution is similar to the divinity of Jesus or the prophesy of Mohammed. It's part of a foreign religion which contradicts the plain meaning of the Torah and is not validated by any Talmudic source.

jewish philosopher said...

By the way, the entire practice of prohibiting public nudity has no reference in the Torah to begin with. It is apparently an ancient Jewish custom, not a Torah law, and the parameters are likewise determined by ancient custom. The Talmud implies that a wig is acceptable as a hair covering.

Jeff said...

"Evolution is similar to the divinity of Jesus or the prophesy of Mohammed. "

Well, that's your interpretation. The divinity of Jesus or Mohammad have specific halachic ramifications that contradict Jewish practice. Jews for Jesus do not observe halacha (although some deceptively wear outside trappings of religious Jews) Evolution, OTOH, does not require you to worship it or pray to it, for example. It does not negate any Jewish law or moral requirement, any more than special relativity or particle physics do, which rabbis of old also knew nothing about.

jewish philosopher said...

Evolution is the god of atheism.

jewish philosopher said...

This is why evolution is the universal acid which destroys all other religions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin's_Dangerous_Idea#Universal_acid

Jeff said...

Evolution is like gravity.

Its simply there.
It doesn't care what you think of it.
You don't pray to it.
It doesn't tell you what to do or not do.
It doesn't ask for loyalty
It doesn't have a temper.
It doesn't get jealous.
It doesn't change its mind.

And, it doesn't tell people to kill other people.


So how is that a god? Every god I know of has all of those things.

jewish philosopher said...

In atheism, evolution is the magic force which created us. It's different from God in that it has no intelligence, therefore it cannot demand or prohibit anything.

Jeff said...

"In atheism, evolution is the magic force which created us."

Magic like gravity.

I wouldn't consider "belief in gravity" to be a religion. Same for evolution. Just a mechanism.

jewish philosopher said...

Except for the fact that gravity is real while evolution is magic, as I've proven.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

That's another reason why the Talmud doesn't mention it.

SJ said...

"In atheism, mutations have replaced God as creator of life on Earth."

In physics, gravity has replaced god as that which pulls things to the ground.


MUTATIONS ARE NOT A CONSTRUCTIVE PHENOMENA. Any construction that could occur from mutation seems to me to be both rare, and (if you are an atheist) by minimal chance.

It is easier for me to believe that life was popped into existence by God than it is to believe that a primarily destructive force of nature created life in all its diversity and complexity.

Jeff said...

SJ:

People are entitled to have their beliefs, I suppose, despite the scientific evidence.

I assume that you would have just as much trouble "believing" in the wave-particle nature of electromagnetic energy, but that doesn't stop it from being true.

jewish philosopher said...

If evolution is science, maybe Scientology is too. Anything called science is science.

Jeff said...

Denying evolution is like holocaust denial.
Ha ha!

jewish philosopher said...

You see, what it all comes back to is that you believe that since the overwhelming majority of scientists believe in evolution therefore it must be true and I am merely rejecting it because I just don't understand it, just like I don't understand how to build a hydrogen bomb from scratch for example.

My response is, no, I do understand evolution quite well. I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours studying it. And I know it's wrong.

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

In that case, why do nearly all scientists profess a belief in it? The answer is simple. Scientists are no more honest than any other group of people in society. No one except a fool doubts that.

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

And scientists have a very strong motive to promote evolution. Evolution is the basis of atheism. According to atheism prophesy cannot exist and therefore clergymen are unimportant, making scientists society's most important intellectuals.

Jeff said...

So it really comes down to, do I think the scientists are lying or are you lying?

I think most of us know the answer.

I think you have every reason in the world to be lyng.

After all, you made a decision many years ago to throw your lot in with the ultra orthodox rabbis, and, indeed, scientists threaten the status of rabbis as the source of all truth.

Therefore, you lie about the evidence to protect the rabbis.

Anonymous said...

"The answer is simple. Scientists are no more honest than any other group of people in society."

Including rabbis. Those of us who understand Judaism quite well see how obviously and thoroughly man-made it is. But we know why the clergy promote their religions: the status, power, sex, and wealth they have enjoyed for millennia.

jewish philosopher said...

It's got nothing to do with trusting me or rabbis.

I'm not not saying  "I'm so brilliant and such an expert. Trust me and believe in Judaism even though it makes no sense."  or "The rabbis are so brilliant and such experts. Trust the rabbis and believe in Judaism even though it makes no sense."

I'm say "Believe Judaism because of the massive evidence."

jewish philosopher said...

Here's a top evolutionary biologist recently disgraced.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=5365746

SJ said...

People are entitled to have their beliefs, I suppose, despite the scientific evidence.

I assume that you would have just as much trouble "believing" in the wave-particle nature of electromagnetic energy, but that doesn't stop it from being true.


Actually no Jeff, I have full respect for science, except for climate change and macroevolution.

I was about to keep in civil but you made the first sarcastic remark so I'mma tell you to go "f*ck" your boyfriend shmarya. I put f*ck in quotes because it's not real sex.

Jeff said...

"I'm say "Believe Judaism because of the massive evidence."

You said that you have thoroughly studied and reviewed all of the evidence about evolution and reject it. In contrast, scientists who have all of the evidence, say the opposite.

Now I, as an intelligent person but unable to review all of the evidence (this not being my profession) have to decide who to rely on: you or the scientists. You are asking me to believe your analysis.

I don't.
Why? Because of your obvious vested interest, along with your lack of scientific training. You are an amateur.

From my lay familiarity with evolutionary biology, which makes sense to me, I have to rely on somebody for the details.

I'll go with the biologists. Notwithstanding that there are a few bad apples.

jewish philosopher said...

First of all, if you're a believer in "the experts", then no one I presume is a bigger expert on Jesus than the Pope. He says Jesus is your lord and savior. I don't see why you don't believe him.

As Richard Dawkins correctly points out "Do you have to read up on leprechology before disbelieving in them?"

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

Silly things can be rejected with very little research. I have however gone the extra mile and read up on evolution. In fact I was raised in American public schools as an evolutionist and I believed in it until I was 16. 

Secondly, who exactly are the experts anyway? I tried surfing around the web and there seem to be in fact very few individuals who actually make a career out of studying evolution. Perhaps the most respected is Sean B Carroll.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_B._Carroll

I emailed him yesterday through his website asking him about the problem of evolution being impossibly improbable. If he is kind enough to answer, I'll publish that. 

Jeff said...

"I was about to keep in civil but you made the first sarcastic remark so I'mma tell you to go "f*ck" your boyfriend shmarya. "

I guess you think that I am somebody else. I am not a homosexual, and I don't know who Shmarya is. Anyway, SJ, best of luck.

"tried surfing around the web and there seem to be in fact very few individuals who actually make a career out of studying evolution"

Interesting for two reasons. 1. The real professional literature cannot be found by "surfing" the web, but rather in scientific databases. 2. Saying that somebody makes a career out of evolution is like looking for an expert on "life". It is so broad, and general, and everything is based on it, people subspecialize. So you have microbiologists studying DNA and other cell structures and how they change and differ between species. That is evolution, too.

" I presume is a bigger expert on Jesus than the Pope. He says Jesus is your lord and savior. I don't see why you don't believe him."

I have rebutted this already. The pope is an expert on Catholic theology, I wouldn't go to him for history or cosmology. Same with rabbis-- they are experts on Jewish theology. Not physics or biology.

If you think that evolution is so improbably impossible, consider this: Can you count to a billion? Can you even imagine the number? Can you imagine what a stack of a billion one dollar bills looks like?

Now think of 14 billion years, and trillions of stars trillions of miles away.

Next, tell me if you can imagine something the size of an electron.

Now tell me, after you have made all of the calculations and understood them, if you have any idea about what is improbable or impossible in those distances and time frames.

These things, like many concepts in physics, cannot be understood intuitively, only mathematically.

jewish philosopher said...

"Saying that somebody makes a career out of evolution is like looking for an expert on "life". "

I don't see how someone who studies the behavior of sharks or the causes of cancer is an expert on evolution. They have probably spent less time studying evolution than I have. So who are the experts in evolutionary biology who I am supposed to trust because they really understand it? There aren't too many, but if they can answer my questions I'm all ears.

"The pope is an expert on Catholic theology, I wouldn't go to him for history or cosmology."

And biologists are experts about life. I'm not going to accept their opinions about God and creation.

"These things, like many concepts in physics, cannot be understood intuitively, only mathematically."

No one can actually do the math behind evolution because no one yet knows how complex life is. However the best estimates don't seem to work.

http://www.mathematicsofevolution.com/ChaptersMath/Chapter_150__Probability_of_Evolution__.html 

Jeff said...

Again, you are asking us the accept the opinion of a Mormon who has a bachelor in mathematics, as opposed to something like this

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-math-solve-origin-of-life

jewish philosopher said...

And you cite a very speculative article which I don't think has yet, three years later, gotten much attention, published in a magazine biased toward militant atheism.

http://www.ridgenet.net/~do_while/sage/v13i4f.htm  

Making a decision about evolution based on a poll of scientists is like making a decision about Jesus based on a poll of Bible school professors.

What I do is I read the book (Origin of Species, New Testament), read several major pro and con books, personally contact and ask questions to leading believers and then decide myself. My opinion is "no" on both Darwin and Jesus.  

Anonymous said...

"I'm say[ing] 'Believe Judaism because of the massive evidence.'"

What massive evidence? There is none. Your links do not provide strong or massive evidence of anything specific in Judaism. It's all interpretive and there are plenty of contradicting facts.

The Torah certainly is not validated by nature or history. Nature presents a better scientific case for some naturalistic process. The case for any sort of supernatural or divine guidance/intervention/foreplanning is total speculation.

Another example: the development of the revelation at Sinai story is explainable in its broad outlines. There's no good reason to think that Israel must have received Torah in the desert.

Anyone who takes your "believe Judaism because of the evidence" seriously will eventually become a non-believer because when you really look at the case for whether the evidence better points to (a) Judaism or (b) something else, Judaism doesn't win. Heck, even Christianity has a better case for being true than Judaism.

jewish philosopher said...

"Nature presents a better scientific case for some naturalistic process."

Such as what?

"the development of the revelation at Sinai story is explainable in its broad outlines"

How?

"Heck, even Christianity has a better case for being true than Judaism."

What case is that?

Anonymous said...

"Such as what?"

Such as biology, chemistry, physics, and cosmology, for starters.

"How?"

I thought you said you read up on all this stuff! Surely you know the pictures on ancient Israel and the development of its religion(s)?

jewish philosopher said...

"Such as biology, chemistry, physics, and cosmology, for starters."

Which all prove that God exists.

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

"I thought you said you read up on all this stuff!"

Sure. I read the Bible every day.

"Surely you know the pictures on ancient Israel"

You have pictures of ancient Israel? Does the Israel Museum in Jerusalem know?

Anonymous said...

"Which all prove that God exists."

In your opinion, perhaps, but not really. If you worked out the logic rigorously, with premises and conclusions, you would find that you can't actually get to 'God exists' from material facts or scientific knowledge. In fact, history of the last 1000 years shows only one thing, that religious beliefs must yield to scientific knowledge.

By 'picture' I mean the concrete description of ancient Israel that we are able to piece together by documents and artifacts of the time.

The upshot of all of it is inescapable: No evidential, logical warrant for God exists. And, really, that's OK. You have some demands of reason for your god-belief, but you are actually in it because you like it. You believe it says something nice and true about you. It assures you that you are decent and moral, and that the non-Jews and atheists are all...whatever.

What was that again about the massive evidence for Judaism again?

jewish philosopher said...

"If you worked out the logic rigorously, with premises and conclusions, you would find that you can't actually get to 'God exists' from material facts or scientific knowledge."

Why not?

"By 'picture' I mean the concrete description of ancient Israel that we are able to piece together by documents and artifacts of the time."

The archeological  picture is extremely hazy.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2010/12/israeli-archeology-mess-of-biblical.html

"You have some demands of reason for your god-belief, but you are actually in it because you like it."

You have some demands of reason for your god-denial, but you are actually in it because you like it. Perhaps you want to do things that God would prohibit so, like an alcoholic denying he has a drinking problem although his health is already failing, you deny God.

Anonymous said...

"The archeological picture is extremely hazy."

Then you admit you have no basis from archaeology to support much of Torah?

"You have some demands of reason for your god-denial."

I don't deny god.

Let me ask you: do you believe with perfect faith?

jewish philosopher said...

I don't cite archeology as a proof of orthodox Judaism.

Joe said...

Jeff said:

"For a married women, whose hair is like nakedness, which "traditional" source permitted her to cover this nakedness with another woman's hair? Objectively, that would be like allowing women to go around with tops covering their breasts but printed with another woman's breasts. SO what's wrong with wet t-shirt contests?"

Jeff.

On this point you are absolutely right, Jewish women wearing wigs is absurd. before couple of hundred years ago no Jewish women wore a wig, it has only became permissible after a decry from a government on women not to cover their heads. And the wigs then didn't even look like real hair, but the wigs of today even ARE real hair.

And TP, Yes, exposed hair on a married women is a issur.

ברכות כד ע"א אמר רב ששת שער באשה ערוה
http://www.e-daf.com/index.asp?ID=45&size=1

And what is the difference when you have Your hair or someone else's, when it's both immodest?

Jeff said...

Arguing about history is a funny thing. Its arguing about whether something that no longer exists really was.

It seems to me, the important question is what is now. Does god seem to exist now? Is he intervening in the world? Can I effect that intervention? Do we know what he wants of us?

It also seem to me that without resorting to historical arguments, plain observation would answer all of the above in the negative. Events seem probabilistic, nobody can prove he exists PRESENTLY, and none of the conflicting opinions of what he wants make any sense in terms of world events. Prayer seems to have no effect. And there appears to be no present evidence for the existence of a soul or afterlife.

In other words, historical evidence is simply irrelevant to the above questions. The historicity of ancient events really don't matter. What if Jesus actually did walk on water or heal people? It wouldn't matter to us, in relation to these questions.

So, even if god did talk to Moses on a mountain and gave commandments-- if god is absent now, if prayer doesn't work, if there is no evident justice, and no evidence whatsoever to soul or afterlife (other than argument by authority of talmud)--

then-- the only reason to be orthodox is to belong to a community and give structure. It has no cosmic purpose.

jewish philosopher said...

"On this point you are absolutely right, Jewish women wearing wigs is absurd."

A great many orthodox rabbis would absolutely agree with you on this. If you can convince your wife to throw out the wig and wear a clothe covering, go for it.

jewish philosopher said...

"Is he intervening in the world?"

Yes.

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

"And there appears to be no present evidence for the existence of a soul or afterlife."

Wrong.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/10/near-death-experience.html

"if god is absent now, if prayer doesn't work, if there is no evident justice, and no evidence whatsoever to soul or afterlife (other than argument by authority of talmud)--

then-- the only reason to be orthodox is to belong to a community and give structure. It has no cosmic purpose."

This is a formal fallacy known as denying the antecedent.

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

If P, then Q.
Not P.
Therefore, not Q.

For example:

If Queen Elizabeth is an American citizen, then she is a human being.
Queen Elizabeth is not an American citizen.
Therefore, Queen Elizabeth is not a human being.

Wrong. Although Queen Elizabeth is not an American citizen, she is a human being. 

Your denial of the antecedent is:

If God would reveal Himself now, if prayer did work, if there would be evidence of justice, if there would be evidence presently of the soul and the afterlife, then we would know that the Torah is authentic.

God is absent now, prayer doesn't work, there is no evident justice, and there is no evidence whatsoever to the soul or afterlife.

Therefore we would know that the Torah is not authentic.

Wrong. The Torah could very well be authentic although God is absent now, prayer doesn't work, there is no evident justice, and there is no evidence whatsoever to the soul or afterlife.


This is a variety of non sequitur.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur_(logic)

Jeff said...

I understand your claim, but that is not what I am arguing. I am not using it to prove the Torah is false.

I am saying that whether or not it is true or false is simply not relevant.

Lots of things may or may not have happened thousands of years ago. Does it matter?

"http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2011/10/near-death-experience.html"

That level of evidence is about the same as somebody who has a dream, hallucination or any other psychic phenomenon. Does a dream prove anything?


I'll even extend this to your holocaust denial argument. Emotional issues aside-- in another 50-100 years, will it matter whether or not the holocaust occurred? I know I am saying something provocative. But people use the holocaust for all kinds of claims. The most compelling to me is learning a lesson to try not to let it happen to us again. Some people use it to justify the state of Israel. But I'm not even sure if that's possible. In 100 years, nobody-- the perpetrators or victims descendents-- will have any memory of the events.

Think about the Germans and the French. For hundreds of years, until 60 years ago, they were slaughtering each other, the worst of enemies. Now they're allies.

History becomes part of our psychological narrative. But what really matters is what exists now.

jewish philosopher said...

"I am saying that whether or not it is true or false is simply not relevant."

Sure it is.

Believing, observant Jews are going to eternal paradise according to the Talmud Berakot 17a: 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.

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

"That level of evidence is about the same as somebody who has a dream, hallucination or any other psychic phenomenon."

Not really. Hallucinations never cause radical positive life changes. No one has ever woken up from a ketamine experience for example and decided to stop practicing law and devote his life to working in a homeless shelter. Radical improvements in behavior are however common after a near death experience.

Jeff said...

" Radical improvements in behavior are however common after a near death experience."

There are lots of anecdotal reports of transformative spiritual experiences. For example:

http://www.therealizedself.com/2011/04/a-transformative-spiritual-experience/

This of course proves nothing. However sincere the person involved and however much I respect their person experience, I would be hard pressed to use it as evidence for any metaphysical reality.

"Sure it is."

Yes, I know they believe that, which is all based on a historical narrative and extrapolating into now. And I say-- whatever may have happened or what was written 2000 years ago-- the reality NOW, based on present evidence, is that these things do not exist.

AS we have concluded earlier, what you and I consider "evidence" is totally non-overlapping. (at least when it comes to Judaism).

jewish philosopher said...

So in other words any evidence concerning the afterlife you are conveniently declaring invalid since you have not personally experienced it and presumably you will not experience it until you are dead.

Jeff said...

Not personal experience (which is the weakest evidence anyway) Let's say that I have reviewed the existing evidence for and against the soul and afterlife, at least as much as you have reviewed the evidence for evolution.

And after reviewing such evidence, which includes various individual reports of spiritual experiences, contradictory traditions of different religions and ancient books, the lack of scientific evidence, and the philosophical arguments--

I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing.

I come to this conclusion not only because of the lack of evidence, but also because of the logical absurdities inherent in the existence of an individual soul, as defined by religious traditions.

Having said that, my wife believes in reincarnation :)

jewish philosopher said...

If you want to, you can deny that HIV causes AIDS

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

But of course that's not going to change the consequences.

Jeff said...

I can prove the consequences of HIV, you cannot prove the consequences of the afterlife.

jewish philosopher said...

In this post I prove it.

Jeff said...

All you have done is attempted to show that rabbinic books are authentic. A valiant effort. That does not prove that afterlife exists, JP. Come on, you know better. If the Talmud makes a statement about biology, does that in of itself prove it to be true?

I repeat the question. Other than the Talmudic assertion itself, which you keep repeating and accept on faith, what is the proof for afterlife??? I mean proof outside the Talmud?

You seem to have a mental block. You equate showing that the Talmud is authentic, with the assertion that every statement in the Talmud is correct and infallible. However, that does not follow.

100 dollars if you provide substantial physical or circumstantial evidence, or direct credible testimony, for the existence of hell.

jewish philosopher said...

"substantial physical"

Hell is of course spiritual not physical. No one is going to discover hell in a cave somewhere and bring back samples of fire and brimstone.

"circumstantial evidence"

Massively. Circumstantial evidence is evidence in which an inference is required to connect it to a conclusion of fact, like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime.

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

Read this post. Click on the links. Read those linked posts. Click on the links within them etc.

"direct credible testimony"

Credible to you? Definitely not. No evidence would possibly be convincing to you because apparently you are addicted to certain behaviors which the Torah prohibits. Addicts routinely deny even the most unquestionable evidence that their behavior will have dire consequences.

http://alcoholism.about.com/od/dyna/a/uc_sgt.htm

Jeff said...

Everybody I know who believes in these things don't even claim that they believe it because of 'evidence'. They cite feelings, traditions, intuitions, etc.

I have never met anybody like you who claims "massive." evidence. So tell me who is convinced by this supposed evidence?

Only self delusion could explain your belief in such evidence like near death experiences and the like. I have read your posts and I challenge you to provide the name of a single person, who is not already a believer, who is convinced by this nonsense.

jewish philosopher said...

"Everybody I know who believes in these things don't even claim that they believe it because of 'evidence'. "

You don't know the right people. The majority of orthodox Jews would claim this, in my experience.

"I have read your posts and I challenge you to provide the name of a single person, who is not already a believer, who is convinced by this nonsense."

I don't get it. If he's convinced he's a believer. 

Jeff said...

I couldn't resist trying to get in the last word :-)
I know you don't allow it.

Joe said...

"I have read your posts and I challenge you to provide the name of a single person, who is not already a [non] believer, who is convinced by this nonsense."

Hmm I became a believer thanks in part to this posts.

Jeff said...

A god as described by TP in this blog is worthless. Even if he created the world x billion years ago, then went to sleep allowing people to slaughter each other (whether or not they are his 'chosen people', innocents or not)-- the cup of tea on the table in front of me at this moment is of more benefit and value to me than such a god.

If such as god still exists and can hear me, and is awake, and reads this blog, I have a message for him: "GOD IS AN A-HOLE!"

As far as hell is concerned, I supposed if I believed in it I would fear it (if I knew how to avoid it). But since to the best of my knowledge NOBODY has been able to demonstrate the existence of the soul, the afterlife or hell, well--I'll go with common sense:
Dead is dead. Like animals. The end. Like before you were born.
It doesn't hurt. Its just nothing.

jewish philosopher said...

"GOD IS AN A-HOLE!"

No, He's actually wonderful, but He's fair. He's not an enabler and everything is paid back, good or bad, sooner or later.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/08/kindness-of-suffering.html

"But since to the best of my knowledge NOBODY has been able to demonstrate the existence of the soul, the afterlife or hell"

I proved it in this post.

"-I'll go with common sense:"

Which tells us that a mass killer cannot escape punishment by swallowing a poison capsule. There must be a fair punishment in the afterlife.

ksil said...

someone should write a book using this blog. a comedy book.

"The answer is simple. Scientists are no more honest than any other group of people in society."

right! its a big consipracy! and only JP knows it. silly old man.

"have full respect for science, except for climate change and macroevolution."

I believe in all science, except certain things that I pick and choose. how dumb is SJ? answer: very dumb.


"So who are the experts in evolutionary biology who I am supposed to trust because they really understand it?"

dont we witness evolution occurring right in front of our eyes daily? yes.

"The torah is true because it says it is"

No circular reference there!! LOL

"If you want to, you can deny that HIV causes AIDS" (he uses the gravity argument….in reverese! Hilarious)

"No one is going to discover hell in a cave somewhere"

you can’t disprove it! Therefore it is tru! Same with the toothfairy

"He's not an enabler and everything is paid back."

this is a lie. plain and simple.

jewish philosopher said...

"its a big consipracy"

For atheists I guess scientists are like the Pope - infallible.

"dont we witness evolution occurring right in front of our eyes daily? yes."

this is a lie. plain and simple.

"this is a lie. plain and simple."

You wish! ROFLMAO!!

Joe said...

"...allowing people to slaughter each other (whether or not they are his 'chosen people', innocents or not)..."

God is great, He sustains us every second, without him we would be barely pieces of dust and suffer a great deal.

The reason of the suffering in the world is so as to teach us to fear him and do exactly what he wants us to do, for this is very important for our future after the redemption.

Joe said...

"Everybody I know who believes in these things don't even claim that they believe it because of 'evidence'. They cite feelings, traditions, intuitions, etc."

This is actually true, and this is what is called "Emuna Peshuta".

But imagine if you would break a coin holding it in your hand and you don't look at it (it's dark lets say), and you don't understand how its possible or how you became that strong, but you feel the broken coin in your hand, Would you not believe you actually broke a coin? (maybe the metaphor is not good but you get the idea)

Similarly is with theirs believe in God, just because you only feel it doesn't mean it's not true.

In today's world of lies and misinformation it's hard to get to the truth trough logical evidence. But after the redemption when the the lightness and clarity will be on its highest level, we will be able God willing, to believe through logic and intelligence.

Hopefully soon. Amen

Jeff said...

Joe,

I have no problem at all with "emunah peshuta". Human instinct and intuition is how humans function, and for the most part, is adaptive. For people who have it, I have no desire to uproot it from them (unless their beliefs infringe on somebody else's rights, like the heredim of Beit Shemesh).

I do have a problem with JP's approach of pretending that it is all logical and proven and that science is a conspiracy theory. This leads to extremism, because it is based on false arguments.

I wish that your prediction about the redemption were true. However (perhaps unfortunately), I don't believe in messianic predictions. These beliefs are based on rabbinic interpretation of prophetic promises about the afterlife and the indefinite future, which I don't believe in. But I understand the motivation behind them: to give us the sense that divine justice still operates, even if we don't see it. I think its benevolent wishful thinking.

Jeff said...

"..without him we would be barely pieces of dust and suffer a great deal."

Now where is the logic there, Joe? If without god we wouldn't exist, how would we suffer? And if we do exist without god, well, that's evolution...

"No, He's actually wonderful, but He's fair."

Tell that to the tsunami victims.

Jacob, you have a wonderful way of twisting meanings of things. Massive suffering is "fair", and lethal punishment is "loving kindness". Sounds like USSR or North Korea doublespeak to me.

jewish philosopher said...

"Sounds like USSR or North Korea doublespeak to me."

Jeff, let me put it like this. I'm reading a book right now called "American Junkie". 

http://american-junkie.com/index.html

At one point, the author, an extreme heroin addict, has such a massive infection on his buttock that the doctors plan on amputating his leg since doing so is the only way to save his life.

This is what God does. If we abuse and mutilate ourselves, then we may need drastic treatment. The Holocaust was one example, however God has many ways and means and times and places.

Additionally, God is fair and just and every evil action, word or thought must be punished appropriately according to it's wickedness.

Jeff said...

If the victim does not know what he is being "punished" for (say, like terror victims or tsunami victims) and they are dead, what purpose does it serve, since the victim has no chance to correct his behavior? Same for the living survivors. And let's say his soul finds out why he was punished. What can he do? Isn't punishment supposed to correct behavior?

And, if I and the people surrounding me suffer in any case, no matter what, what does it matter what I do?

This is but one of the logical absurdities of your theology/theodicy.

This is unlike human punishment, for which there is an accusation, a trial, and a punishment for clear reasons, with a time relationship.

The whole divine punishment idea is logically absurd, besides being morally ridiculous.

Imagine this. The government has a certain tax law, for which there is a severe penalty. Now say the authorities noted that you violated the law in 1995. Then, in 2012, a policman comes to your door, your hands are amputated, and you are thrown in prison for the rest of your life. You or your family are not told why your are being "punished". Nor is anybody else told. Your are simply told you are being punished out of compassion and loving kindness.

This is exactly the scenario you describe, and this is how things operate in North Korea or Iran or in the former USSR.

Makes god sound like a psychopath, doesnt it?

Joe said...

"...(unless their beliefs infringe on somebody else's rights, like the heredim of Beit Shemesh)..."

As I proved it, clear feelings can be the bases of everything even Bold actions.

"JP's approach of pretending that it is all logical and proven"

JP is actually doing the hard job for us proving things the logical way even in such a dark and deceiving world.

But that doesn't mean Judaism can not be proven clear and logical, it Just means that in the PRESENT times it's hard to get to the truth sometimes.

For example: How many people in America know that all these wars America does today are bad for us and it will eventually lead us to a third world war God forbid?
Most not.

Therefor I most say the world is full of falsehood, and to get to the truths easily and clearly we would need a real cleansing of sorts, and a bright light shining upon us.

Joe said...

I said:

"We would need a real cleansing of sorts, and a bright light shining upon us"

I not sure what we need, but we for sure need some more clarity of mind.

jewish philosopher said...

"If the victim does not know what he is being "punished" for (say, like terror victims or tsunami victims) and they are dead, what purpose does it serve, since the victim has no chance to correct his behavior?"

Here's a brain storm: before you're dead, read my blog and try to improve yourself!

Jeff said...

So if the terror victims (many who were religious) would have read your blog, they wouldn't have been killed, right?

jewish philosopher said...

Well, let me put it like this. You're in favor of a God who would create you, but with no strings attached. No laws, no rules, no consequences. You should be free to do anything which your selfish, cruel, hedonistic little heart desires and God will fully support you in this.

That might be a nice wish, but that's not how it is. Life stinks, right?

Just like you must live in accordance with the laws of nature whether you like them or not, or suffer dire consequences, you must live in accordance with the laws of the Torah whether you like them or not, or suffer dire consequences.

Jeff said...

"You're in favor of a God who would create you, but with no strings attached. "

No I'm not in favor of the God part. I was just speaking hypothetically if it were true.

"you must live in accordance with the laws of the Torah whether you like them or not, or suffer dire consequences"

Simple observation of the world shows that things don't actually work that way. Obviously, also Torah observant people "suffer dire consequences" and aren't immune.

Furthermore in your afterlife scheme you have no possibility of correction of either yourself or anybody else, or for anybody else to learn from your fate. So you either suffer in this world or the next.

So even in your facockte scheme you have no formula to avert these "dire consequences", which nobody can learn a lesson from anyway, and therefore the whole scheme is worthless and explains nothing.

I come back to my cup of tea, which is of much greater value. Since you think that I am blissfully heading towards an eternity in hell, all the more reason to enjoy life to its fullest without regard to your silly little rules!

Now, I think your fate is to die and then-- nothingness. How does that sound? Better or worse than hell?

jewish philosopher said...

"So even in your facockte scheme you have no formula to avert these "dire consequences", which nobody can learn a lesson from anyway"

Sure there is. Just like you can buy books about health and live according to the laws of nature, whether you agree with them or not, you can Jewish books and live according to the laws of God, whether you agree with them or not.

Jeff said...

"Sure there is..."

The "dire consequences" come anyway, so why would I do what you suggest? How can you prove that such a formula actually works?

Your comparison to health is fallacious, in that (a) the consequences are available for all to see, and (b) some people are lucky anyway, because of the genes or the laws of probability.

You speak if things in the future, like afterlife or hell, as though they are things that have already occurred and that somebody can witness and learn from. Of course that is false.

Unlike an alcoholic who gets cirrhosis or a smoker who gets cancer. But prove to me that Hitler went to hell.

jewish philosopher said...

"But prove to me that Hitler went to hell."

Just read this post. It's all circumstantial, but there's nothing wrong with that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumstantial_evidence#Validity_of_circumstantial_evidence

Jeff said...

Please give me specific circumstantial evidence that Hitler went to hell. Not general statements that he'll exists, or that it's for punishment. I want proof that Hitler went there, and not to heaven or nothingness.

jewish philosopher said...

How about proof you won't be there.

Jeff said...

I think you are mixing up what "should be" and what is. Joseph Stalin should have been tried as a war criminal, but sadly, wasn't. Hitler SHOULD HAVE gone to hell, according to your theology, but that doesn't mean he did.

Regarding your comment about me, well, a prediction is only proven true or false after the fact....

Anonymous said...

"Please give me specific circumstantial evidence that Hitler went to hell."

I had a dream, and in the dream Hitler was there.

Anonymous said...

"Just like you must live in accordance with the laws of nature whether you like them or not, or suffer dire consequences, you must live in accordance with the laws of the Torah whether you like them or not, or suffer dire consequences."

Just like the robber who says "Your money or your life!" If you don't do what the robber says, you die. It's your fault, not the robber's.

jewish philosopher said...

All that we can be certain of is that eventually, sooner or later, somehow or other, everything is perfectly fair.

You could be surprised to find God likes Hitler better than He likes you.

Jeff said...

I don't see how a person can be certain of any future event. We usually predict the future based on induction.

jewish philosopher said...

"It's your fault, not the robber's."

And he said; naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2701.htm#1

"We usually predict the future based on induction."

There were people who jumped from trains going to Auschwitz

http://c3.ort.org.il/Apps/WW/page.aspx?ws=496fe4b2-4d9a-4c28-a845-510b28b1e44b&page=5d675d48-68df-4fc3-833c-04a23648f70e&fol=be48f6d2-16cc-4358-95d7-9f4fae520292&code=be48f6d2-16cc-4358-95d7-9f4fae520292&box=3e0902e0-b315-412c-a5ec-927e5dab4302&_pstate=item&_item=8623db21-8417-4874-897e-c9bbcdfaf9d2

without having seen it themselves. In fact, many people refused to believe the evidence that the educated, civilized Germans could be murdering innocent civilians. Where did they end up?

Jeff said...

I don't say that you always have to see something for yourself to believe it. That's why I said inductive reasoning.
All prediction is inductive. (and therefore imperfect)

jewish philosopher said...

Before you end up in hell, jump off the train and repent.

Jeff said...

If I were to accept the idea of Hell, I would probably go with the Christian idea, which makes much more sense.

jewish philosopher said...

They copied it from us. I like originals, not copies.

Jeff said...

Sometimes copies are improved upon.

jewish philosopher said...

Definitely cheaper. Here are fake Rolexes.

http://www.betwatches.com/Rolex.html

Jeff said...

Newton is the original motion mechanics. Einstein was a cheap fake.

jewish philosopher said...

The authentic Torah is obviously the Torah and both Christians and Muslims admit that it WAS originally God's will. But then He changed His mind and sent Jesus or Mohammed, a yeshiva drop turned false messiah and an illiterate Arab merchant, to replace it.

Jeff said...

However derogatory way you want to frameit, Christianity and Islam have been far more successful religions than Judaism. By any objective measure-- number of adherents, contribution to civilization, power, money, you name it--Judaism is far behind. Remember, in antiquity, at Judaism's peak, it was the dominant monotheistic system in the middle east. But it completely lost out to its competitors when it failed to adapt to a changing reality.

Perhaps that was god's plan, to make Christianity supersede Judaism! it was a miracle, like the holocaust!

jewish philosopher said...

So popularity is a measure of truth? Sunni Islam is probably the world's most popular single religion. (Perhaps the Catholic church is officially larger, however only a small percentage are active true believers.)

So when are you joining the jihad?

jewish philosopher said...

For centuries in the ancient world, Hellenistic culture was by far the most dominant. Who could question the divinity of Zeus or the philosophy of Aristotle?

Anonymous said...

Muslims make the case that Jews altered Torah, distorted it. They use the Koran as evidence and have supports establishing the Koran's athenticity.

jewish philosopher said...

When Jews and Christians arrived in the Arabian peninsula, Arabs were dissatisfied. Judaism was Jewish oriented. Christianity was Greek and Roman oriented. So they invented their own Arab oriented monotheism. This is Islam.

Jeff said...

"Muslims make the case that Jews altered Torah, distorted it. "

They are of course correct but for the wrong reasons. Since the Torah was the work of humans, of course it was edited over time. Just not the way that Muslims claim is was.

"So popularity is a measure of truth?"
No, but its a matter of success. If a religion fails what good is it?
I say that the advent of Christianity is at least as big a miracle as the holocaust. The ancient, temple era Jews were all in error, following the phony Talmud, and along came this guy who swept the population into a belief that contradicts Judaism and makes his followers more powerful and numerous than the Jews could ever be.
Definitely God's will. It the Jews being punished for following the Torah they way they were.

jewish philosopher said...

The Torah predicts that if Torah observance is abandoned, Jews will be murdered.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0326.htm

The Jews abandoned the Torah.

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

The Jews were killed.

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

Prophesy fulfilled; Torah validated.

Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. John 4:26

http://kingjbible.com/john/4.htm

He died without ever being crowned. Mark 15:37

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Mark-Chapter-15/

Claim falsified.

Miracles: Judaism  1 Christianity 0

Jeff said...

The prophecy predicted techiyat hametim
Never happened

Prophecy predicted that all the goyim will come to Jerusalem to worship god
Never happened.

Torah promises karet for all kinds of sins.
Doesn't happen

Throughout history Jews were slaughtered, regardless of their observance, well before the enlightenment.
Torah disproven

jewish philosopher said...

"The prophecy predicted techiyat hametim
Never happened

Prophecy predicted that all the goyim will come to Jerusalem to worship god
Never happened."

It will. There's no cut off date.

"Torah promises karet for all kinds of sins.
Doesn't happen"

Sure it does.

"For whosoever shall do any of these abominations, even the souls that do them shall be cut off from among their people." Lev. 18:29

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0318.htm#29

After death, they will go to hell, cut off from other Jews in paradise.

"Throughout history Jews were slaughtered,"

Because they sinned. But no sin compared to the Enlightenment and no slaughter compared to the Holocaust.

Jeff said...

Never happened, never will.
How much are you willing to bet?

I see, when it suits your case, you correlate two things.
When it doesnt, it "hasn't happened yet" or, it's different.

Truly persuasive.

When it comes to prophecy, anything goes. You sound just like all the false prophets of the other religions.

jewish philosopher said...

"Never happened, never will. 
How much are you willing to bet?"

If you want to use failed Biblical prophesies as a basis for rejecting Judaism, then the burden of proof rests on you to demonstrate that they did indeed fail.

"When it comes to prophecy, anything goes."

If the Holocaust actually was a normal, natural event then why did no one foresee it? Even after Hitler came to power in 1933, I know of no political observer, gentile or Jew, American or European, who had any inkling. Jabotinsky perhaps came the closest when he formulated an evacuation plan for central European Jews in 1936 and the vast majority of central European Jews considered him to be a dangerous crackpot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ze'ev_Jabotinsky#Evacuation_plan_for_the_Jews_of_Poland.2C_Hungary_and_Romania

The mass killings began five years later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust#Death_squads_.281941.E2.80.931943.29

Even while the gas chambers of Auschwitz were operating at full speed, in the minds of most European Jews

"the notion that human beings--let alone the civilized Germans--could build camps with special apparatus for mass murder seemed unbelievable. Since German troops liberated the Jews from the Czar in World War I, Germans were regarded by many Jews as a liberal, civilized people. Escapees who did return to the ghettos frequently encountered disbelief when they related their experiences"

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/36quest2.html

So, true, you can brush off the coincidence of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Holocaust as being just that, a random, meaningless coincidence, however I think not. It's like any circumstantial evidence. If John Doe is seen fleeing the crime scene moments after the murder, does that indicate any connection or merely meaningless coincidence? If there is a great deal of other evidence of John Doe's guilt, does this "coincidence" tip the scales more clearly against him?

jewish philosopher said...

Note that during the Holocaust, the American press shied away from covering it, partly because it was so unbelievable.

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/14/news/150th-anniversary-1851-2001-turning-away-from-the-holocaust.html

Jeff said...

Humans are notoriously bad at prediction. 2 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the demise of the USSR, would anybody have predicted it? 2 years ago would you have predicted that Syria would be at civil war? Everybody was saying then that Assad was the key to peace in the Middle East.

"then the burden of proof rests on you to demonstrate that they did indeed fail."

Wrong. Bad logic. The opposite.
If I say that sometime in the future,(and I don't specify when-- maybe tomorrow or maybe in a million years) green men from mars are going to come to earth and impregnate human women, who is the burden of proof on? Does my prediction have any meaning? You cant disprove it!

"does this "coincidence" tip the scales more clearly against him?"

There would have to be a lot of coincidences to convict him, such that these coincidences would be extremely unlikely if he had not done the crime.

I didn't say that the holocaust was a random, meaningless event. Morally obviously it was not. But history flows like a stream, with many branches. In a sense the enlightenment DID make the Shoah possible because scientific progress and technology went hand in hand with it. Hitler's death machine would have been impossible without modern chemistry.

In fact, the son of a Hasidic family was key in the development of Zyklon B gas and modern chemical warfare:

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

Now that is an irony, no? Can we say that the Hasidim were responsible for the holocaust?

jewish philosopher said...

"Humans are notoriously bad at prediction."

The Holocaust was so extraordinary that even as it was happening many people were incredulous and in fact even today many millions deny that it happened.

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

I therefore believe that it fits the dictionary definition of “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”, in other words a miracle.

Just as aside, I'm reading right now an excellent perhaps definitive two volume biography of Hitler by Ian Kershaw. 

http://www.amazon.com/Hitler-1889-1936-Hubris-Ian-Kershaw/dp/0393320359/ 

http://www.amazon.com/Hitler-1936-1945-Nemesis-Ian-Kershaw/dp/0393322521/

To this day, after decades of intensive research, no one knows when or why he became an anti-Semite. He certainly was in 1919 at age 30, however prior to that he seems to have been fine with Jews. Weird.

"Does my prediction have any meaning?"

I couldn't use it as proof that your religion is false.

Jeff said...

"I couldn't use it as proof that your religion is false."

You would use it as proof that my religion is nonsense and that I am a charlatan.

"I therefore believe that it fits the dictionary definition of “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”

So your operational definition of a miracles is "something that people have a hard time understanding".

1. Since that is based solely on people's reaction, not the event itself, it is completely subjective and therefore nobody could agree what meets that criterion.
2. Although in the Bible there is the concept of divine intervention in historical affairs, it was only after declaration by prophets.
3. The usual definition would be something that occurs outside of the laws of nature.
4. Given that, theoretically. god is involved in all human events, there would be no distinction between ordinary and extraordinary events.
5. Was the tsunami in Japan a miracle? How about Israel's victory in the 6-day war?

If you want to say, x, y, or z where extraordinary events in history, fine. But history is full of events like that, and occasionally they will occur. No reason to say they were supernatural in any way.

jewish philosopher said...

The Torah predicts that if Torah observance is abandoned, Jews will be murdered.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0326.htm

The Jews abandoned the Torah.

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

The Jews were murdered.

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

Prophesy fulfilled; Torah validated.

Throughout history Jews were slaughtered, because they sinned. But no sin compared to the Enlightenment and no slaughter compared to the Holocaust.

I therefore believe that the Holocaust fits the dictionary definition of a miracle: “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”.

Jeff said...

" But no sin compared to the Enlightenment and no slaughter compared to the Holocaust."

Only because you say so. They were rewarded with a State afterwards. Pretty extraordinary event. You didn't answer if that was a miracle or not. Or perhaps is was an antimiracle. Like the tsunami.

Also, you don't prove any rule in induction with n=1.

The economist Nouriel Roubini predicted the housing collapse.

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

He is therefore always right, a prophet. The collapse was an extraordinary event, no?

Sometimes people get lucky.

It seems to me, that if one religion and one god is the true one, it would prevail over the thousands of others. But god doesn't seem to be able to do that. Pretty lame for an omnipotent god.

Face it. Events that fit your philosophy, are "miracles". Those that don't, you ignore and think up excuses. Pretty lame theory.

jewish philosopher said...

"They were rewarded with a State afterwards."

Was it a reward or a new trap?

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/10/israel-holocaust-20.html

I have a feeling that if asked most experts on Jewish history today would assert that the Jewish people would, on the whole, have been better off had there never been a Zionist movement.

"The collapse was an extraordinary event"

All this hinges on whether, in ones personal opinion, the Holocaust was an ordinary event, not different than thousands of other mass killings and natural disasters, or was it highly unusual, extraordinary, perhaps unique.

"that if one religion and one god is the true one, it would prevail over the thousands of others"

Oh, it will.

They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1011.htm#9

We just aren't there yet, but God has plenty of time. Like they say: It ain't over till the fat lady sings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_ain't_over_till_the_fat_lady_sings

Jeff said...

The holocaust was a punishment for the European Jews and their rabbis who exhorted them to stay in Europe. The ones that fled to Palestine (or America) survived. To me that is the miracle. And the ones that fled to Palestine were the atheist ones, for the most part.

jewish philosopher said...

The window for European Jews to emigrate anywhere began with the cheaper steam ship travel about 1880 and pretty much closed with the outbreak of World War I. Of those who took advantage of that window, nearly all left orthodoxy, simply because the advantage of emigration was to find work in factories which were open on Saturday.

One thing I've always been curious about is that in all the furiour about "where was God in the Holocaust", what percentage of victims were orthodox? I can't find that anywhere. I suspect not more than 10%.

Jeff said...

I don't think that the Nazis discriminated between the orthodox and non orthodox. In any case 10% of 6 million is 600,000. Thats a lot of innocent orthodox Jews being gassed...

My assertion is that if you're drawing correlations and causations from historical events, I can come up with equally plausible alternative explanations. Its very subjective.

As you know. many national religious Jews (and evangelical Christians) see the miraculous hand of god in the formation and survival of Israel against all odds. A fulfullment of a prophecy and the beginning of the Messianic period. I of course think that this is nonsense, no less so than your theory.

Jeff said...

"We just aren't there yet, but God has plenty of time. Like they say: It ain't over till the fat lady sings."

The end of days theology is part of many religions' narratives, not just Judaism.

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

Personally, the whole idea that a diety would "wait" thousands of years to some unknown date to finally reveal himself and win over all the other gods, and in the meantime, let his religion and its followers be trampled, sounds illogical and silly, as well as primitive.

I would add that all such end of days prediction with dates that passed have proven to be false.

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

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


So the track record is really pretty bad.

jewish philosopher said...

"a lot of innocent orthodox Jews being gassed"

Even being orthodox doesn't make you innocent.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2009/08/kindness-of-suffering.html

"Its very subjective."

Everything is subjective. Many believe HIV doesn't cause AIDS.

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

However making the wrong choice will still have consequences.

Personally I see atheism as being just as irrational as the Christianity which it replaced.

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

It's all based on magic and contradicts everything we know about modern science.

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

Like any member of an irrational cult you are choosing to suspend critical thinking and blindly believe the leaders.

jewish philosopher said...

"So the track record is really pretty bad."

Atheism hasn't yet taken the world by storm, so whatever you believe you're in a minority.

Jeff said...

"Atheism hasn't yet taken the world by storm, so whatever you believe you're in a minority."

Atheism requires no magical end of days prediction (although some scientists do make such projections).

In contrast, rabbinic judaism makes all kinds of unfulfilled or impossible conditions on end of days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_messianism#Ancient_Israel

I think its pretty clear who has the magical thinking here.

So good luck waiting!

jewish philosopher said...

2,000 years ago no one would have believed that we would still exist.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2010/01/eternal-jew.html

So when it comes to Jews, history may be full of surprises.

Jeff said...

"history may be full of surprises."

Can't argue with that.

The bummer is that neither one of us will be around to know who was right.

jewish philosopher said...

I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. How long it takes, I will await His coming every day.

http://www.ou.org/torah/rambam.htm

Anonymous said...

"I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. How long it takes, I will await His coming every day."

No you don't. It's obvious that religious belivers don't actually believe the nonsense of their prayers and their received dogma. If you actually believed it, you would behave much differently. You would actually follow the instructions of the Torah. As it is, you compromise as much as you can get away with to hedge your bets.

jewish philosopher said...

"You would actually follow the instructions of the Torah"

Not me. I'm following and so should you!