Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Someone's Going to Pay



The Canadian film 7 Days describes a fictional story in which a Quebec surgeon's eight year old daughter, a lovely and beloved only child, is raped and murdered in a park. Upon learning that the police have apprehended the perpetrator, the grief stricken father decides to take revenge. He abducts the suspect while the suspect is being brought to his trial. Over the course of seven days, the father uses his surgical skills and equipment to brutally torture his daughter's killer. I am not going to spoil the movie, however suffice to say, by the time the father is interrupted by the police, the killer is no longer in good health.

Frankly, I was shaken by this movie on many levels, not the least because I am the father of two small daughters.

However, as Jews, this story should fill us with an immense fear of God. This story can help us comprehend the potentially incomprehensible and inescapable punishment for sin.

The Ramban wrote in Shaar haGemul that one moment of suffering in hell is worse than suffering like Job for seventy years in this world. Whatever horrific suffering a person can imagine enduring in this world, for seven days or even for seventy years, it is nevertheless not comparable to a moment in hell.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that this link describes a more classic orthodox idea of afterlife and hell, rather than your Christian ideas of purgatory:

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/jewish-afterlife-beliefs/

BOB said...

Hey, JP, do you have any posts about the "Big Bang Theory"? what's your opinion on it?

Ironmistress said...

According to the Finnish law, vigilantism is always a more severe crime than the original transgression.

So if the rapist of your daughter is sentenced to, say, 4 years in prison and you avenge it to the perpetrator, you are likely to get 12 years.

The judicial system in this country has very poor sense of humour on those who take law on their own hands.

jewish philosopher said...

"I think that this link describes a more classic orthodox idea of afterlife and hell, rather than your Christian ideas of purgatory:"

The Talmud Berakoth 57b explains that the fire of hell is sixty times stronger than ordinary fire.

"do you have any posts about the "Big Bang Theory"? "

I talk about the age of the universe here

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/09/how-i-understand-genesis.html

and how the Big Bang contradicts atheism here.

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

Anonymous said...

"The Talmud Berakoth 57b explains that the fire of hell is sixty times stronger than ordinary fire."

Aish Hatorah doesn't take it literally, and nobody else does, either, and neither should you. Lots of Talmudic statements are allegorical.

jewish philosopher said...

"Fire is one-sixtieth part of Gehinnom" means that the suffering caused by earthly burning is merely the slightest taste of what the pain of hell is. I don't think anyone disputes this.

The Talmud there states as well: Sleep is one-sixtieth part of death. Same idea.

Watching the torture inflicted on the criminal in this movie and then remembering that this is merely the slightest taste of what the pain of hell is like I think could be quite educational.

ksil said...

"The Talmud Berakoth 57b explains that the fire of hell is sixty times stronger than ordinary fire."


I wonder how these primitive rabbis living 2,000 years ago KNEW this and you read it and accept it as fact....but scintific data, proof and theories?!?!?! nah, all a big conspiracy!!!

LOL..

jewish philosopher said...

It's simple logic. Rebelling against God is the most heinous crime; logically the punishment will be equally extreme.

You know denial of consequences is very common in addiction disorders.

http://www.netplaces.com/addiction-recovery/roadblocks-to-treatment/dealing-with-denial.htm

"but scintific data, proof and theories?!?!?! nah, all a big conspiracy!!!"

It's actually atheism which is at odds with modern science.

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

ksil said...

why does it not "shock' me this guy likes a movie in the "torture porn" category, which is where some movie critics place it.

i hope the members of your shul know this about you.

speaking of which, whats with all your movie watching?!?!

jewish philosopher said...

The movie is generally reviewed as being more philosophical than porn

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10012104-7_days/

I suggest you take a look at it. You'll get a peek at what you can expect. Lol!

Anonymous said...

"It's simple logic. Rebelling against God is the most heinous crime; logically the punishment will be equally extreme."

As was going to poke fun and say that you're going to be disappointed when you die and discover that there is no heaven, hell or anything else.

The I realized that I was wrong.

Because...because...YOU WONT EXIST TO BE ABLE TO DISCOVER IT!

jewish philosopher said...

"you're going to be disappointed when you die and discover that there is no heaven, hell or anything else"

And exactly how do you know that? The evidence seems to be clearly in the other direction.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/why-weshould-beorthodox.html

Of course, wishful thinking is very popular. It's easy to form beliefs and make decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence or rationality. However like jumping off a building while denying the laws of gravity, the results make be very sudden and shocking.

ah-pee-chorus said...

"Of course, wishful thinking is very popular"

it sure is with you. you so desperately wish there was a god and a heaven. but moreso, you desire a hot fiery hell where everyone who disagreed with you would be.

you are one angry dude.

Anonymous said...

" The evidence seems to be clearly in the other direction."

Sure. Don't confuse your house of cards with "evidence".

Since you believe in god, he must be just. Since he must be just, there must be a hell.

Hardly evidence. More like "wishful thinking"

BOB said...

"I talk about the age of the universe here"

Ok, Iread those posts, the Big Bang Theory contradicts those atheists who believe the world has existed eternally (which is many from my observations), but does it also contradict those who do not think the world has existed eternally?

Does it contradict Jewish principles? and furthermore, is it a sound theory at all? b/c at least from what I've read, it seems to have many flaws.

ksil said...

"The evidence seems..." = "The Talmud Berakoth 57b explains that the fire of hell..."

you should write a peer reviewed scientific paper on this conslusion!!

AHAHAHAH

jewish philosopher said...

"Don't confuse your house of cards with "evidence"."

I'm waiting breathlessly for your conclusive refutation.

"but does it also contradict those who do not think the world has existed eternally"

So how did it start?

"Does it contradict Jewish principles?"

We've always believed in creation from nothing.

"you should write a peer reviewed scientific paper on this conslusion!!"

Plenty of decisions in life are not based on any universally accepted scientific principles: who to vote for, who to marry, where to live, which career to pursue, etc. Even regarding medical decisions there are often varying opinions.

http://patients.about.com/od/discoveringyourdiagnosis/a/workwith2ndopin.htm

And by the way, where is the peer reviewed scientific paper supporting your atheistic conslusions!!

Anonymous said...

"I'm waiting breathlessly for your conclusive refutation."

FSM

jewish philosopher said...

Try this. Commit a major crime, like a bank robbery. Then when you're on trial and the prosecutor faces you with a mountain of evidence proving your guilt, just respond with a closing argument:

Don't confuse his house of cards with "evidence". The FSM could just as well have robbed that bank.

I'll visit you in prison.

ah-pee-chorus said...

i can see why you left christianity. jesus just isnt angry and spiteful enough for you.

Ironmistress said...

The concept of Purgatory is a Roman Catholic one, from the Middle Ages, and not recognized by Eastern or Protestant churches.

Purgatory is NOT Hell. Purgatory is, as the name implies, a preparatory stage for an unrepentant but not reprobate sinner to Heaven. It is intended to "burn away the sins" by making the sinner to face their sins and suffer their consequences, and the agony is not intended to punish but to correct the sinner. Once the sinner has suffered all the consequences of his or her sins, he is ready to enter the Heaven.

There is a joke of Purgatory.

A man has died and St. Peter checks him for Heaven. He asks:

"How many times have you cheated your wife on Earth?"

"None", says the man.

"The Book of Life says you've cheated her thrice. It will mean your purgatory shall be three needle pricks on your schmeckel to compensate the agony your wife suffered because of your infidelity", says St. Peter and takes an awl...

"Ouch! Ouch! "OUCH!" yells the man. St. Peter says: "Now you may enter in."

The man then asks: "What is that horrible yelling and screaming at the neighboring room?"

St. Peter answers: "Oh, there is a certain salesman on his third day in a sewing machine..."

Ironmistress said...

Hmm. Ordinary fire reaches temperatures of up to 1400 K. Enough to smelt silver and gold, but not iron.

If the heat is sixty times more intense than ordinary fire, it will mean a temperature of up to 80 000 kelvins. That will mean the surface temperature of either a white dwarf or an O spectrum class blue giant.

Enough to vaporize you and your neural system. After a horrible shock nothing is felt anymore.

Ironmistress said...

Torture is NOT considered a good form of justice anywhere in the Western world.

This is not a Christian concept, but an Atheist one and stemming from both Romano-German jurisprudence and the concept of Humanism and human rights. Torture was outlawed in almost all Western countries in the 18th centuries.

Even those countries who still maintain the death penalty, aim to execute the convicts as quickly as possible. That is why we use firing squads, beheadings and long drop hangings instead of burning alive, stoning, flaying alive, Catherine wheel, hanging high, crucifixion, damnatio ad bestiae or gas chamber. Firing squad is not approved by Talmud, but it is far quicker and merciful than any kosher methods of lawfully murdering your fellow human being.

Richard Dawkins is pretty much correct with his estimation of the Tanakh God: a guy you would not like to have as your neighbour.

jewish philosopher said...

"i can see why you left christianity. jesus just isnt angry and spiteful enough for you."

"Richard Dawkins is pretty much correct with his estimation of the Tanakh God: a guy you would not like to have as your neighbour."

And what horrible, terrible, awful things does this "guy" demand? Don't steal or murder. Help the poor. On Saturday morning go to a synagogue instead of a shopping mall. Don't have sex if you're not in a committed relationship. Don't eat in a Gentile's home. Outrageous, insufferable, wild, crazy rules.

Why are the rules exactly the way they are and why is the punishment so astronomical? See the post before this one. 

And by the way, what is prison if not a form of torture? Is it a vacation resort?

Anonymous said...

My FSM comment was referring to the existence of Hell.

If some guy claims that the afterlife consists of an afternoon on a nude beach in Spain with a 6 pack of beer, it would have about the same credibility.

FSM refers to all things that cant be either proven or disproved. For my part, I don't believe in those types of things.

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BOB said...

"So how did it start?"

Yeah, good point, but I wonder if anyone believes that God created the universe, and then evolution happened and made modern man...

Ironmistress said...

And by the way, what is prison if not a form of torture? Is it a vacation resort?

An institution of correction and a method of isolating criminals from their potential victims.

The paradox is that the more brutal a place a prison is, the more ruthless, brutal and vicious it also makes the inmates.

Those prisons which provide real means of rehabilitation, such as drug rehab, facilities of schooling and learning trades and facilities of learning the skills needed in the society usually produce the best results.

A criminal is more likely to be mad than bad. Most have very low intelligence and few have any decent education, and almost all have committed their crime drunk or stoned. Only very few are real career criminals. That is why torture is prohibited in the Finnish Constitution. Compared to US prisons, Finnish prisons may feel like holiday resorts, but Finnish criminal statistics are less than one fifteenth of those in US.

Yet again it is a VERY good reason to be skeptical on the existence of Tanakh God. If He is truly that unwise, we should seriously ask if Misotheism is the way to go.

Ironmistress said...

And what horrible, terrible, awful things does this "guy" demand? Don't steal or murder.

You do not need God to tell that. Any moron who is not a psychopath can go without stealing or murdering.

Help the poor.

You do not need God for that. Well organized social security system works just as well.

On Saturday morning go to a synagogue instead of a shopping mall.

What makes this command completely insane are the inane regulations on what you are allowed to do and how long you are allowed to work. If I enjoy a game of badminton or golf on my resting day instead of church or synagogue, why cannot I have that?

Don't have sex if you're not in a committed relationship.

You do not need God to realize why promiscuity is not a good idea.

Don't eat in a Gentile's home.

This is not only utterly rude, it is a vile insult to the host. Anyone with normal sense of empathy can realize why this command is not only insane but completely outrageous. You should not ask why you are persecuted if you behave like a complete jerkass.

Outrageous, insufferable, wild, crazy rules.

Exactly.

Buddhism makes far more sense in this respect. If you need a religion, Buddhism is the way to go.

Ironmistress said...

It's simple logic. Rebelling against God is the most heinous crime; logically the punishment will be equally extreme.

The Bible says we are all God's children.

Which method do you prefer on executing your own rebellious teenage children? Do you shoot them? Hang them? Behead them? Put your kids to electric chair? Or do you perhaps have a gas chamber in your basement?

What kind of a father will sentence his own children to death for teenage disobedience? If God really is gazillion times of both more intelligent and wise than we are, then we are simply not culpable but compareable to feebleminds - who are not sentenced to prison but to asylum for treatment.

Draconian punishments are a hallmark of a very weak and unstable ruler. Not one with divine powers and wisdom.

jewish philosopher said...

"FSM refers to all things that cant be either proven or disproved."

I proved it.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/why-weshould-beorthodox.html

I think all those FSM things and "there is just no reason to believe in God" arguments are written, at least originally, by atheists with a Christian background. For example the British atheists - Russel, Htichens, Dawkins, etc. That doesn't work too well with Judaism because we began with a mass revelation, so there is a reason to believe in Torah.

You have to keep straight which argument applies to what.

By the same token "why doesn't God answer prayers" works for Christianity since I think Jesus said somewhere that prayers must be answered.

"Warning: Something's Not Right Here!"

I don't know what the story is with that. It only comes up with Chrome, not Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox. I've also tried running virus check software but get nothing.

"Yeah, good point, but I wonder if anyone believes that God created the universe, and then evolution happened and made modern man.."

I think modern orthodox Jews and Roman Catholics do. I've debunked evolution however.

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

"An institution of correction and a method of isolating criminals from their potential victims."

I think that in most places prisons do not function as psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers or vocational schools but rather they are simply cages where criminals are punished by being deprived of an normal family, economic and social life. In other words they are a form of torture. For some reason, about two hundred years ago, most people decided that this was more humane than flogging, although actually it is probably far more painful, especially when you consider that most prisoners in fact are beaten at some point anyway.

"Finnish criminal statistics are less than one fifteenth of those in US."

Crime in the United States is primarily a black and Hispanic problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States#Minorities

35% of prisoners are white while 72% of the population is white

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity

"Yet again it is a VERY good reason to be skeptical on the existence of Tanakh God."

Like every addict you will grasp at any straw to remain in denial. You and other atheists just sound like the spoiled babies that you are who refuse to accept any limits. See how big a success that is. Christian Europe ruled the world. Atheist Europe is dying off and being colonized by Muslims.

"Any moron who is not a psychopath can go without stealing or murdering."

Funny how millions of secularized Europeans slaughtered tens of millions of other Europeans between 1914 and 1954, until America stepped in and put a stop to it. I guess they missed this memo.

"This is not only utterly rude, it is a vile insult to the host."

We would have long ago assimilated and disappeared without rules like this. Have you met any Phoenicians lately?

"Buddhism is the way to go"

Which you probably really know nothing about.

In the West Buddhism has become no more than the respectable elements of New Age, merely called "Buddhism" and missing all of its main elements, replacing them with commercialist and popularist gimmicks. The London Buddhist Society and other high-brow Buddhist institutions in the West are inactive, elitist gatherings of intelligent pseudo-Buddhists, genuine Buddhists in the West are very hard to find.

http://www.humanreligions.info/buddhism_criticism.html

"The Bible says we are all God's children."

Where?

Ironmistress said...

There is a reason why many vocal Atheists do have Jewish background. It is not faith, it is genetics.

Autism and Atheism are intertwined, and almost all Autists are Atheists while most Atheists do sport Autistic tendencies. The various forms of Autism, especially Asperger Syndrome, are more common amongst the Jews than any other nation. Scandinavians are also well represented on the Autism spectrum.

More on connection between Atheism and Autism here.

Autists seldom conform to general ideas and societal norms and are very vocal on both defending their own opinions and aggressively attacking those which they consider false or sham. That is why so many Militant Atheists sport Jewish roots and why almost all Militant Atheists show Autistic tendencies.

jewish philosopher said...

Autism is neurolological disorder.

Ironmistress said...

Perhaps so. That makes it easier to understand why so many vocal Atheists do have Jewish background.

Richard Dawkins himself has Asperger's. That explains a lot of his abrasiveness, impudence and his complete lack of empathy.

About humans being God's children is mentioned in Deut 14:1, Psalms 2:6-7 and Hosea 10:1. New Testament confirms that in Matt 5:48, 6:9, John 20:17 and Acts 17:29. It is really difficult to see a loving and benevolent parent willing to execute his or her own children by cruel and unusal ways, less to sentence them in an eternal torture.

jewish philosopher said...

The righteous are called God's children.

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD; and not rather that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? None of his righteous deeds that he hath done shall be remembered; for his trespass that he trespassed, and for his sin that he hath sinned, for them shall he die. Yet ye say: The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel: Is it My way that is not equal? is it not your ways that are unequal. When the righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall die therefor; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Ezekiel 18:23

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt1218.htm#23

jewish philosopher said...

Frankly, I think a lot of atheism today is just immaturity. We believe in an eternal infancy without responsibility. People remain students until well into adulthood. Even after that, many continue living in Hotel Mom for years. A large and growing percent never marry, don't want children and in essence never accept adult responsibilities. Drinking, drugging and fornicating through life, they eventually end up dependent on an overburdened public health system.

In a culture like this, the idea that our Creator actually makes rules and imposes consequences is an unspeakable cruelty which must be completely denied in spite of any or all evidence.

Ironmistress said...

Htichens, Dawkins, etc. That doesn't work too well with Judaism because we began with a mass revelation, so there is a reason to believe in Torah.

1. We have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that mass revelation occurred.

2. Even if one happened, a more plausible explanation by Occam's Razor is mass hallucination or mass psychosis

3. Christianity is based on Judaism.

I think that in most places prisons do not function as psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers or vocational schools but rather they are simply cages where criminals are punished by being deprived of an normal family, economic and social life.

In most places the human stupidity and blind disregard of sciences of criminology and psychology is manifested by having prisons as institutions of psychological torture.

Crime in the United States is primarily a black and Hispanic problem.

Even so, the criminal statistics are tenfold compared to Europe. In Europe, the Muslim immigrants are seriously over-represented in crime.

There are today more prisoners in US than there was in Stalin's USSR. There is somewhere something seriously wrong.

You and other atheists

I am STILL NOT an Atheist. And you cannot convert me into an Atheist by calling me one.

any limits. See how big a success that is. Christian Europe ruled the world.

We rule the world still. Economically and intellectually. We found out seventy years ago that ruling it by violence is actually a pretty bad idea.

Atheist Europe is dying off and being colonized by Muslims.

In your dreams. The only colonization they are doing is colonizing the bottom dregs of the society and the slums. Not the positions which matter.

Funny how millions of secularized Europeans slaughtered tens of millions of other Europeans between 1914 and 1954,

It is called war, and one of the main driving forces to the war was American plutocracy and aspiration for world domination by plutocracy. The world wars were the natural terminus via cultural evolution on Classical Liberalism.

I am pretty sure the cultural evolution via Neo-Liberalism will lead into World War Three. This time Europe won't be a participant, but US will.

"This is not only utterly rude, it is a vile insult to the host."

We would have long ago assimilated and disappeared without rules like this.


So being an impolite jerkass is a means against cultural evolution. Fine. You should not whine about Anti-Semitism then.

Have you met any Phoenicians lately?

No, but the Assyrians are still going strong. Some 300 000 of them do live in Sweden alone.

[And no, they do not worship Baal or Marduk or Ishtar anymore. They are Christians.]

"Buddhism is the way to go"

Which you probably really know nothing about.


Yes, I do know. What would you like me to tell about it?

http://www.humanreligions.info/buddhism_criticism.html

The criticism you presented is good. Yet the same criticism applies to all world's religions.

if you wish, I could analyze the criticism more thoroughly.

Ironmistress said...

No, it is not only the righteous, it is everyone. Every single Homo sapiens.

That is the whole point on the study of glilgul haneshamot, transmigration and reincarnation. It is providing the wicked enough chances to get themselves straight.

It is a doctrine not found in official Christianity, but quite interesting enough. The Phil Murray film "Groundhog Day" illustrates this concept well.

Perhaps this world we live in is indeed Hell? And being sentenced to Hell means reincarnating in this valley of tears again and again?

Ironmistress said...

Just one notion of the criticism.

The author of the criticism, Vexen Crabtree is a very well known and renowned Satanist, and his texts reflect his Weltanschaung pretty well.

While this particular text is pretty good, Mr. Crabtree is everything you'd loathe. He is Atheist to the boot, and not the type of an Atheist you'd find pleasant or intellectually attractive. He is of the type who were dominant in Germany in the thirties and forties, and whose heroes are Nietzsche, Darwin, Spencer and Galton.

jewish philosopher said...

"We have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that mass revelation occurred."

The evidence is indisputable.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/why-weshould-beorthodox.html

"a more plausible explanation by Occam's Razor is mass hallucination or mass psychosis"

Occam's razor has many interpretations.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/simplicity/

"God did it" seems simple to me. And William of Ockham himself I'm sure believed in the revelation at Mount Sinai.

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

"In most places the human stupidity and blind disregard of sciences of criminology and psychology is manifested by having prisons as institutions of psychological torture."

Whatever. However apparently most of humanity considers some form of torture, call it a prison, to be the most appropriate punishment for criminals. Don't ask me why flogging was worse.

"Even so, the criminal statistics are tenfold compared to Europe."

Not exactly.

In Finland there were 132 homicides in 2008

http://www.stat.fi/tup/suoluk/suoluk_oikeusolot_en.html

In the state of Utah, which I think is ethnically similar to Finland, there were 53

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/utcrime.htm

Population of Utah is 2.8 million

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah#Demographics

The population of Finland is 5.4 million

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

"So being an impolite jerkass is a means against cultural evolution."

Social isolation is the only means of religious survival. Interestingly, every area with a significant Jewish population has chosen to emulate us - Europe became Christian, the Middle East became Muslim. Our immense contributions to host cultures have then been repaid with murder.

"No, but the Assyrians are still going strong"

And Persians and Greeks have their own countries, however none of those people have retained their religion for 3,000 years, plus they were huge empires in the first place, not some villages among of the hills of the Palestine.

"Yet the same criticism applies to all world's religions."

So I don't see why Buddhism is so exciting. In South Korea, droves of Buddhists have become Christians.

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

The greatest Buddhist country today is apparently Thailand

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

which is most famous as a center for sex tourism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Thailand#Extent_of_prostitution

"Every single Homo sapiens."

No, not really.

"It is providing the wicked enough chances to get themselves straight."

Of course repentance and forgiveness are possible.

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

But you have to do it.

Abe said...

"The evidence is indisputable."

The "evidence" is a hollow corruption of logic and twisted inferences.

Undeniable proof of the torah's human invention is here. Its indisputable.

http://www.martincwiner.com/the-kuzari-proof-3-million-witnesses-can-be-wrong/

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/religion/article_819.shtml

jewish philosopher said...

I don't find either of those articles very impressive.

I think that my version of the Kuzari Principle avoids most of the objections which have been raised to other versions of it.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html

Regarding archaeology, I have dealt with those questions here

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/02/torah-and-archaeology.html

I have refuted the documentary hypothesis here

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/12/documentary-hypothesis-critique.html

and evolution here

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

Incidentally, the second articles praise for secular humanism is especially interesting.

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/religion/article_819.shtml

According to atheism, there is clearly little if any rational basis for human exceptionalism.

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

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201107/animal-minds-and-the-foible-human-exceptionalism

His praise for Christopher Hitchens is amusing as well. He died in December. He was apparently so widely hated that no memorial has been or will be held for him.

JRKmommy said...

What's with the sudden movie watching?

4 posts down, when we were discussing Rabbi Orlowek's work, you mentioned that his good advice included not exposing your children to motion pictures. I wasn't aware that it was acceptable for frum adult men either - certainly not in the Litvish as opposed to Modern Orthodox circles.

I also wonder how watching movies relates to the concept of bitul Torah.

jewish philosopher said...

Even philosophers get a little downtime occasionally. I'm not offering any halachic opinions however.

But I did pick up a few useful ideas. Who is wise? He who learns from all people, as the Sages taught.

http://www.torah.org/learning/pirkei-avos/chapter4-1a.html

jewish philosopher said...

Incidentally, regarding Abe's post yesterday above, I have a couple of other posts about Torah and archaeology.

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

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/comparative-chronology.html

Anonymous said...

Although Abe's first link is poorly composed, it pretty much blows your Kuzari argument out of the water. You can use a story to prove its own truth, nor claim special exception to the well known rule that mass deception in history was common.

jewish philosopher said...

According to atheism, Judaism is basically the fabrication of Ezra the Scribe. Abraham, Moses, etc never even existed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_with_Sources_Revealed#Comparison_with_Wellhausen

According to atheism, Ezra possessed an almost magical ability to control information and human behavior. Therefore he was able to instantly convince the entire far flung Jewish community as well as the Samaritan community who were enemies of the Jews that their earlier traditions were wrong and that his new Torah was authentic.

http://www.criticalthinkeracademy.com/2011/tct-017-critical-thinking-about-conspiracies-part-2/

Oddly, Jews have never given Ezra credit for being the founder of their religion. Samaritans don't acknowledge him at all.

Therefore I find this theory to be implausible.

Anonymous said...

Relevant to this discussion, since we can't even agree on what is logical and what constitutes evidence.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/reasons-for-reason/

jewish philosopher said...

Even when everyone is looking at all the same evidence and agreeing on the same basic logical principles, different people will reach different conclusions.

Take for example, Casey Anthony.

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

Did she kill Caylee or not?

The jury decided that there was not enough evidence to prove that she did.

The prosecutor in the case vehemently disagrees

http://www.amazon.com/Imperfect-Justice-Prosecuting-Casey-Anthony/dp/006212532X/

as did most ordinary citizens

http://www.christianpost.com/news/poll-majority-of-the-public-disappointed-over-casey-anthony-verdict-51908/

The truth is that either she did it or she didn't and we have no time machine which will carry us back magically to June, 2008 in Orlando, Florida to see with our own eyes what really happened.

By the same token, like the prosecution in the Anthony case, I've made what I believe is an ironclad case for Torah.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/01/why-weshould-beorthodox.html

Some will disagree, but I'm convinced they're wrong.

Ironmistress said...

JP, a sentence cannot be given based solely on indices, and the graver the accusation, the more waterproof the evidence must be.

It has been estimated that in some 5% to 20% of all capital cases the accused is actually innocent to the crime he is prosecuted. And you cannot revive a wrongly executed person. It is better to let ten guilty to walk free than execute one innocent.

In this case Casey Anthony was sought death penalty. In such situation the jury had to be unanimous of the guilt of the accused to agree. With any doubts the verdict would be "not guilty".

Given to the circumstances, most likely Casey Anthony simply is not mentally sound. She lives in delusionary world, and her correct depository would not be prison or death chamber, but asylum for criminally insane.

jewish philosopher said...

The jurors could have convicted Anthony on a lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter while acquitting her of first-degree murder.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Caylee_Anthony#Verdict_and_sentence

Instead the jury unanimously found her innocent of of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse because they believed that the evidence was insufficient.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/casey_anthony_trial/casey-anthony-juror-jury-sick-stomach-guilty-verdict/story?id=14005609#.T4VJelEV08A

I think they were wrong. Most people think so. However this is their opinion.

Anonymous said...

"I think they were wrong. Most people think so"

So in cases in which there are different interpretations we should go by the majority of people?

Hmm. Judaism by this standard would be outvoted....

An interesting point in the Times articles is that sometimes people can't even agree on the facts themselves...let alone agree on rules of evidence or what constitutes a "logical" argument.

This all sounds very post-modern. However I still believe that somethings are absolutely true or false.

jewish philosopher said...

It is absolutely true: Casey is murderer or she's not. However the jury said no, most observers said yes, reaching different conclusions looking at the same evidence.

The same is true regarding the Torah revelation at Mount Sinai.

I don't think it's a matter of agreeing on what is logical and what constitutes evidence, as someone suggested above. It's a matter of personal judgement, however there is a factual right and wrong answer.

Ironmistress said...

There is a third option: she is perpetrator but not culpable.

In that case she is not a murderer, but not innocent either.

In such cases her place would be asylum for criminally insane, not prison nor letting go free.

Ironmistress said...

The same is true regarding the Torah revelation at Mount Sinai.

There is also a third option: mass hallucination. Given to Occam's Razor, this is the most plausible explanation.

If it was a mass hallucination, it may be subjectively true for the witnesses, but objectively false.

jewish philosopher said...

"There is a third option: she is perpetrator but not culpable."

Anthony didn't claim insanity, which in any case is seldom successful as a criminal defense.

Of course from an atheistic point of view, we have no soul, no free will and therefore never have moral responsibility.

"If it was a mass hallucination,"

I doesn't seem likely.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2008/03/mind-blowing-torah.html

Ironmistress said...

"We have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that mass revelation occurred."

The evidence is indisputable.


No. We have only one source, which is not reliable and cannot be cross-verified. I would call it anecdotal at best.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Bible isn't.

"a more plausible explanation by Occam's Razor is mass hallucination or mass psychosis"

Occam's razor has many interpretations.


Yes. The more simple an explanation, the more plausible.

The most simple explanation is that it is all confabulation. If we give it a benefit of doubt, a mass hallucination or mass psychosis is the most plausible explanation. Claiming a divine intervention really occurred requires really waterproof evidence, which the Bible isn't.

"God did it" seems simple to me.

It is simple but not evident. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Whatever. However apparently most of humanity considers some form of torture, call it a prison, to be the most appropriate punishment for criminals.

This is argumentum ad populum. Mind you, can you believe that half of people are dumber than the average.

Don't ask me why flogging was worse.

Because humans by general are incredibly stupid, malevolent and mischievous lot.

In Finland there were 132 homicides in 2008

Finland is one of the leading old EU countries on homicide. You should not be comparing Finland to Utah, but to some US state occupying the same rank of order on homicide in US as Finland is on EU.

Most Finnish homicides are drunk buddies stabbing each other death because of booze in drunken stupor and not remembering anything after and then experiencing a horrible remorse usually ending in perpetrator's suicide because of killing his best friend. Outright murders are extremely rare - only some 5 to 10 per year.

"So being an impolite jerkass is a means against cultural evolution."

Social isolation is the only means of religious survival.


Religion schmeligion. There are far more important aspects on national identity and cultural evolution than religion.

Interestingly, every area with a significant Jewish population has chosen to emulate us - Europe became Christian, the Middle East became Muslim.

Or perhaps the significant Jewish population has moved there afterwards?

Our immense contributions to host cultures have then been repaid with murder.

Being a rude isolationist with defiant or even hostile attitude towards the host population is certain to evoke antipathy.

"No, but the Assyrians are still going strong"

And Persians and Greeks have their own countries, however none of those people have retained their religion for 3,000 years,

There are still Zoroastrians in Iran, and actually people are secretly giving up Islam for Zoroastrianism and Christianity.

Greeks have been Christian since the Roman times. The oldest extant edition of Tanakh, Septuaginta, was originally written in Greek. As were the Apocrypha and also the New Testament books, with exception of Matthew, which originally was written in Aramaic.

Greek language is still very much vivid. The Greek literature, art, music and science is vivid. And do you really miss Zeus and his ilk?

plus they were huge empires in the first place, not some villages among of the hills of the Palestine.

The Greek city states were some villages at Peloponnese, Attica and Hellas. Only the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) was an empire at the first place.

So I don't see why Buddhism is so exciting.

Of all religions, it makes most sense.

The greatest Buddhist country today is apparently Thailand

...where Theravada has been heavily syncretized with primordial Thai Paganism. Thai Buddhism is more a heathen religion than a truly Buddhist religion.

which is most famous as a center for sex tourism

Make love, not war.

jewish philosopher said...

"We have only one source, which is not reliable and cannot be cross-verified."

We have the unanimous tradition, written and oral, of two nationalities, the Jews and the Samaritans, since time immemorial.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Once we establish that God created us, a mass revelation at some point in history is expectable, as I explain here.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html

"Claiming a divine intervention really occurred requires really waterproof evidence, which the Bible isn't."

Not at all, as I just explained. However to prove that we are descended from bacteria would, however atheists don't have that evidence as I explain.

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

"This is argumentum ad populum."

No, this a contradiction to your statement.

"Torture is NOT considered a good form of justice anywhere in the Western world."

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/04/someones-going-to-pay.html?showComment=1333576085455#c299492568612354759

Could you please try and pay closer attention to the conversation.

"You should not be comparing Finland to Utah, but to some US state occupying the same rank of order on homicide in US as Finland is on EU."

What a lot of people fail to realize is that in the United States we have a large African and Hispanic origin population. Therefore certain areas of the countries and certain neighborhoods are basically little bits of Latin America and Africa. Latin America and Africa have a high homicide rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Homicide-world.png

So comparing Sweden to Texas is comparing apples to oranges.

"There are far more important aspects on national identity and cultural evolution than religion."

Who says?

"Being a rude isolationist with defiant or even hostile attitude towards the host population is certain to evoke antipathy."

I understand. Refusing a dinner invitation is certainly a valid grounds for homicide. At least maybe in Finland.

"There are still Zoroastrians in Iran"

1,500 years ago the Zoroastrians possessed a mighty empire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sassanid_Empire#Religion

Today they seem to be a small and dwindling community, at least as far as observant members go.

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html#Zoroastrianism

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/india/091228/parsi-community-mumbai?page=0,0

"Of all religions, it makes most sense."

Why?

"Make love, not war."

Prostitution is not about love.