Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The New Year for Trees

Tomorrow is known in the Talmud as the New Year of Trees, on which it is customary to eat fruit. Therefore this is an appropriate time to note God's gift of the orange.

What a masterpiece of intelligent design! The fruit is sweet, delicious and nutritious. The peel is a beautiful wrapper, easily removed. The pits may be thrown on the ground and, in the right conditions, will each grow into a tree that will produce thousands of additional oranges. Imagine being able to break off part of a computer, throw it on the ground and see a computer factory grow from it.

Human breeding has improved upon the original wild citrus, however those are merely small finishing touches on a masterpiece.

To counter that this all appears to be designed, however in reality has been created by chance, is like saying I only imagine that I am a human, however I am in reality an earthworm dreaming that he is human. It is a denial of what our senses perceive bordering on madness.


Anonymous said...

Hey JP check out kosheruncorn.com I think you and this guty will have some interesting debates

jewish philosopher said...

It doesn't work.

Takamas said...

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Anon (who should really choose a name!) meant to say "unicorn".

Jeff said...

It's unicorn.

jewish philosopher said...

kosherunicorn.com. got it. 

I don't know if I would disagree with the guy much philisophically. I do think it's odd that he believes that his complexion and sexual tastes are so important. I wouldn't reallly think of advertising my blog as the "fair skinned, attracted to young blondes, Orthodox Jew". But whatever. I wonder if it's a hoax. Remember the Gay Girl in Damascus?


Jeff said...

"It is a denial of what our senses perceive bordering on madness. "

My senses cannot perceive quantum mechanics, prions or relativity. So they must be wrong!

If you are unable to conceive of anything else besides intelligent design, it is because our brains are programmed to make causal connections, even when they don't truly exist. Its like optical illusion phenomena, which exist for an adaptive purpose (because of our physiology), but fool us into seeing things that aren't there.


Most of the time these effects serve us well, but occasionally they're wrong, such as in the case of atttributing a "designer" to a bacteria or any other life form.

jewish philosopher said...

"My senses cannot perceive quantum mechanics, prions or relativity."

So you should have no trouble believing in God, heaven or hell either.

"but fool us into seeing things that aren't there."

Atheism, like every cult, asks members to suspend critical thinking and follow the leaders based on blind faith.

Jeff said...

No faith at all.

Homology, DNA and fossil lines, to me, clearly point to evolution being true (unless all the evidence is fabricated by those evil scientists.)

"So you should have no trouble believing in God, heaven or hell either."

I would, if I wasn't such a stickler for empirical evidence, which, for the supernatural, does not exist.

Holy men writing things 2000+ years ago doesn't hold up in any court of evidence. But, if I could corroborate it in some other way, I would be open to it. But, in general, as you say, extraordinary things require extraordinary evidence-- and supernatural things fall in that category.

jewish philosopher said...

has been pretty much discredited

proves that life is so complex it must have a divine creator.

"fossil lines"
demonstrate catasrophism not evolution.

But don't think - just follower the leaders!

"writing things 2000+ years ago doesn't hold up in any court of evidence"
that's the basis of all premodern history

"extraordinary things require extraordinary evidence-"
It would actually be extraordinary for God to create us but never explain why.

Jeff said...

has been pretty much discredited"

Ha! Its only a problem if you believe in evolution! Ha Ha! The exceptions are only exceptions if you believe in common ancestry!

Besides, the overall gist of that article is that homology overwhelming supports evolution, although the main evidence comes from DNA and fossils.

jewish philosopher said...

There are quite a few homologies between my iPad and my iPhone. Proof that they evolved from a common ancestor.

Ksil said...

I know, right! There is SO MUCH more proof for god, especially the god of the bible. Not all the other gods....or jesus. Just the one that jacob stein chose.

All that science mumbo jumbo. Its not true, gravity, dna, fossils, cellular technology. All bologna.

But after life and messianic times....that is FACT.


jewish philosopher said...

If it's good enough for Moses it's good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

"If it's good enough for Moses...."

Moses never existed. He's fictional.

jewish philosopher said...

Maybe Aristotle was too.


Anonymous said...

"Maybe Aristotle was too."

Sure. Maybe. But Moses almost certainly.

jewish philosopher said...

Based on what, pray tell?

Jeff said...

Let's do a thought experiment.

Say you have had severe brain damage from a near drowning. You suffer from irreversible hypoxic injury. You have been unconscious (or minimally conscious) for several years.

Your soul is still in your body, since you are not dead. And since your body and brain make any form or action or expression impossible, the soul is completely passive and entrapped. Since the soul is non-physical it cannot see, feel or hear anything by itself. The soul also needs the brain to think, so it cannot think either.

In this situation, the soul's only possible characteristic is that it is a "life force". Since it cannot feel, think, act or communicate, in essense it has no more individual identity than a body part, a rock, or any inanimate object.

Now, part two. Our comatose patient dies. The soul departs, right? Although it is now free of this sick body, it cannot be any better off than it was while in the body, because it possesses none of its own senses, thoughts or will. It cannot have more outside the body than when it was inside. (If it did, it would not be the same thing. It would be something new, and different from the original deceased).

Now, this life force, assuming it continues to exist somewhere, is supposed to face justice and go to heaven or hell. But we have shown that it cannot have any thoughts or will, and therefore no individual identity. Sending such an entity to hell, would be like throwing a rock into hell. The original living person cannot have any connection to it, and the soul has no feelings or connection to the orginal persons identity.

So how exactly is that supposed to be a punishment for a person who was bad in his lifetime?

Jeff said...

And why should I be afraid of such a thing, it it really happens? Its not "me" anymore.

jewish philosopher said...

The soul is actually quite complex.


I would assume it is the "animal soul" which is inactive during a coma. Perhaps it disappears at death. The "Godly soul" may be functioning 24/7 during life, before conception and after death as well.

See more detail here.


Jeff said...

Dichotomizing the soul doesn't help you out of the conundrum.

First, if you have two distinct souls, then where is the "I"? The whole soul theory is meant ( by you) to address your problem of feeling yourself. But with 2 souls you can only speak of "we".

Second, if the "upper" soul is that which survives, independent of the body, then it retains the problem of not being part of the body, and not able to act. Hence it would not be the part of "you" responsible for sins, and punishing it is illogical, and pointless. It would be like punishing my liver. If it has any "will", then it must still be connected to the body in some way, because "will" requires senses, thought, and ability to act.

jewish philosopher said...

I recommend checking out the links I provided (the second unfortunately is Hebrew only). 

The soul is cosntructed in a series of layers or a series of stages, each one linked to the next. It's not only two either but actually many and some segments may come and go. The Talmud Taanis 27b for example refers to an "extra soul" which appears only on the Sabbath.


deepthinker14 said...

ok mr jp lets see what u got. If you think you are so smart try to answer one proof, not from the bible, just plain out in the world that there is a god. Lets say you answer that, then i want to know why if there is a god out there, then why would he kill 6 million jews. dont give me any stupid answers that you gave to everybody else, I want to hear a good answer with PROOF

jewish philosopher said...

No problem.



Jeff said...

"The soul is cosntructed in a series of layers or a series of stages, each one linked to the next."

I read the Hebrew links.

R Luzzato knows this information about the soul from Kabbalah and other ancient sources. Presumably he didn't make these discoveries himself.

Now, the Kabbalists or other ancients were privy,so it is claimed, to spiritual information, not available to others, and certainly not available to anybody in our day.

However, spiritual traditions from other religions (including ancient ones not related to Judaism) claim the same thing and contradict the Jewish one. And, the Jewish sources were revealed to be fallible (as demonstrated by Rabbi Slifkin's writings).

Regardless of the historical voracity of the Sinai tradition, the whole afterlife/soul thing, is therefore a big conjecture on the part of the rabbis. Even if they are right about one thing, it doesn't make them right about everything.

I don't know exactly how the kabbalists claim to know this information-- be it dreams, visions, traditions from the prophets, talking directly to god, whatever.

Many of the Talmud's comments are probably allegorical (like the neshama yeteira of Shabbos). The biblical references to soul or afterlife are obtuse and vague, at best.

jewish philosopher said...

The point is that there are answers to your questions about where the soul is or what it is it doing during unconsciousness.

Elohai Neshamah ("My God, the soul…") thanks God for restoring man's soul to him each morning when he wakes up.


The soul is not entirely departing, since this would be fatal. Rather certain segments are and upon waking these return.

The Jewish teaching is that what we perceive when we look at a person is similar to seeing the small exposed tip of a vast submerged volcanic mountain whose roots reach deep into the earth's crust.

As I have pointed out, if man is merely an animal as atheists insist, then why don't atheists advocate abolishing law enforcement and replacing it with animal control?


Jeff said...

"then why don't atheists advocate abolishing law enforcement and replacing it with animal control?"


jewish philosopher said...

Empathize with the poor crime victims and tax payers.

Jeff said...

We do.
It's not either/ or.

jewish philosopher said...

Research shows that empathy for humans is rapidly falling in the United States.


While love for dogs and cats seems to be rising.


So you should agree that we can soon substitute animal control officers for law enforcement agencies and just give a lethal injection to any human showing aggressive tendencies.

In fact, we do use an elaborate law enforcement system rather than animal control officers due to the concept of "human rights".

The first line of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads:

"Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,"


As HUMANS we have INHERENT DIGNITY and INALIENABLE RIGHTS. In other you can't kill innocent babies, but you can kill innocent rats, not because you happen to feel more sorry for people than you do for rats. Rather it's because people are INHERENTLY different.

This contradicts atheism, which teaches that men and rats are equal.

We see therefore that atheists in general don't really believe their own stated beliefs. 

By the way, logically so, Marx, Nietzsche, Lenin and the Soviet government did not believe in human rights.    





jewish philosopher said...

Concerning all secular concepts of human rights, it's interesting to note that in his book After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre claimed the concept that all human beings have certain rights simply by virtue of being human was illogical, stated "the best reason for asserting so bluntly that there are no such rights is indeed of precisely the same type as the best reason which we possess for asserting that there are no witches and the best reason which we possess for asserting that there are no unicorns: every attempt to give good reasons for believing there are such rights has failed."


So atheists are simply clinging to some fantasy which makes no sense. 

Anonymous said...

"simply clinging to some fantasy which makes no sense."

Pot, meet religious wingnut.

jewish philosopher said...

Atheism is an obvious lie


jewish philosopher said...

When and if atheists claim to promote humanism and due process of law and human rights, they are basing this on earlier monotheistic ideas which contradict their own stated beliefs.

Anonymous said...

When and if theists claim to promote humanism and due process of law and human rights, they are basing this on secular ideas which contradict their own stated beliefs.

Jewish religious beliefs completely contradict humanism. They are not compatible. Jewish laws are borrowed from other cultures. Civil law and due process have no basis in religion, no need for religion, and no support from religion.

There is no sabbath in civil law. That's religious nonsense. There's no kashrut in civil law. The philosophy of investigating crimes, gathering evidence, trying the accused fairly and consistently--all civil and no important part religious.Incarceration and rehabilitation: not religious.

It's a fact: religions like Judaism are incompatible with democracy and civil equality. They abhor "secular" education and industry. Your very presence on the internet, JP, is proof that you don't really believe in Judaism.

Judaism is a cancer upon you.

jewish philosopher said...

Jews believe that man is endowed with an elevated, God given soul.

Therefore Judaism invented altruism


and orthodox Jews are seldom violent 


and basically pacifists.


Atheists however often preach humanism, human rights and legal due process while also preaching that man is merely a soulless bag of chemicals. This is a glaring contradiction. 

Anonymous said...

"Atheists however often preach humanism, human rights and legal due process"

How awful that they "preach" this! Shame on them for preaching this.

"preaching that man is merely a soulless bag of chemicals"

Yes, soulless, but also sentient. Don't forget sentient. We are bags of chemicals with intelligence and emotions. There's nothing about atheism that causes it to reject or recoil from the fact that human beings display intelligence and emotional states. In fact, atheism sees intelligence and emotion as special and valuable.

Judaism, on the other hand, hates both. Judaism doesn't want you thinking outside the Talmud. Judaism wants you to contain your emotions and want to tell you what objects are appropriate for your emotions. Judaism has nothing to rely on but the soul. But the soul has been utterly and finally disproven.

So Judaism is a lie.

Jeff said...

You make the same baseless argument over and over again that morality is impossible without god. This is based on one dimensional thinking.

You completely ignore the whole field of moral philosophy, which has been presented in some form or another repeatedly in the comments.

Only you see a contradiction because of black and white thought processes. Only a psychopath cannot see any rational reason for morality.

jewish philosopher said...

"Don't forget sentient."

So are rats.

"Judaism doesn't want you thinking outside the Talmud."

Wrong. That's atheism: "Trust the scientists that evolution created you, not God." And like any false cult atheists suspend critical thinking and blindly drink the Kool Aid.


"But the soul has been utterly and finally disproven."

On the contrary, there is lately even more evidence of it.


"You completely ignore the whole field of moral philosophy, which has been presented in some form or another repeatedly in the comments."

Just like I ignore voodoo and leprechauns.

"Only a psychopath cannot see any rational reason for morality."

Atheists have a license to kill. They say so and do so.


Anonymous said...

" It is a denial of what our senses perceive bordering on madness."

Are you claiming that our sensesalone are sufficient?

jewish philosopher said...

I think it's a good place to start. I like to use the duck test.