Sunday, June 10, 2012

Give Happiness a Chance



We would all like to feel satisfied and have a sense of well being. But how can we reach that goal?

Fortunately, a highly respected social psychologist, Dr. David G. Myers, has reviewed thousands of recent scientific studies regarding what makes people happy and he has published his findings in a book called “The Pursuit of Happiness” , Avon Books 1992.


First of all being rich does not make people happy (page 31), so scratch that. Having happy ancestors does have a big influence (page 122); however for most of us, it’s too late to choose our parents. So what can we actually do to become happier?

Well, in a nutshell, here it is:

- Develop a strong faith and trust in God. page 183
- Believe in an afterlife. page 200
- Focus on spiritual rather than material accomplishments. page 188
- Focus on the present moment more than on the past and the future. page 51
- Focus on what you have, not on what you are lacking. page 56
- Focus on what others are lacking, not on what they have. page 56
- Focus on helping others, not helping yourself. page 194
- Develop good relationships with family and friends; try to be part of a supportive community and family. pages 142 and 155
- Try to find employment which suits your talents. page 129
- Maintain a healthy diet. page 77
- Exercise. page 77
- In general, care for your health. page 76
- Get enough rest. Allow quiet time to relax. page 138

This is the true, common sense, scientifically proven path to achieve greater happiness, not the endless pursuit of wealth, fame, sex, drugs, fattening food and alcohol. All of those things bring a brief thrill, but at a high cost and they cannot provide long term satisfaction and well being. (For proof, read the biographies of the rich and famous.) Many people, especially young adults, are distracted by such things, sometimes wasting years and sometimes ruining or terminating their lives in the process. Instead, simply the quiet, sober, healthy, generous, religious life is what really works. Difficult and boring, perhaps. But in the long run, much happier.

It's interesting to note how the attitude of psychiatrists to monotheism and spirituality has almost completely reversed itself over the past century. According to Abraham Verghese, all along, the majority position of Psychiatry has been that Psychiatry has nothing to do with religion and spirituality. Religious beliefs and practices have long been thought to have a pathological basis, and psychiatrists over a century have understood them in this light. Religion was considered as a symptom of mental illness. Jean Charcot and Sigmund Freud linked religion with neurosis. DSM3 portrayed religion negatively by suggesting that religious and spiritual experiences are examples of psychopathology. But recent research reports strongly suggest that to many patients, religion and spirituality are resources that help them to cope with the stresses in life, including those of their illness. Many psychiatrists now believe that religion and spirituality are important in the life of their patients. The importance of spirituality in mental health is now widely accepted.

When we meet an atheist, we should pity him. Not only has lost the next world, which he doesn’t believe exists; however he has lost this world as well. He finds pain difficult to cope with since he believes that disasters happen without reason. He believes that his existence will soon end. He believes that human accomplishments have no permanent or cosmic significance. In light of this, he may try to squeeze out whatever pleasure he can from his fleeting life, with little concern for how this affects other people or even how it affects his own long term future. He may very well become an addict – obsessed with alcohol, drugs or some other substance or behavior, which makes him feel good at first but not for long. Finally, as he grows older and his hopes of pleasure dim, he may prefer suicide. He has nothing to look forward to, so why bother any more?

Richard Dawkins attempts to put this in a positive light when he says, “if you're an atheist, you know, you believe this is the only life you're going to get. It's a precious life. It's a beautiful life. It's something that we should live to the full, to the end of our days, whereas, if you're religious, and you believe that there's another life, somehow, that means you don't live this life to the full, because you think you're going to get another one. That's an awfully negative way to live a life. Being an atheist frees you up to live this life properly, happily, and fully.”

Whatever “religion” he is referring to, it doesn’t seem to be Orthodox Judaism. The life of a Jew is filled each day with immense gratitude to God for all His blessings and with boundless joy for the opportunity to serve Him. The Jew is not on an endless pleasure treadmill, chasing rainbows that turn out to be illusions. He is accomplishing great things each day by studying Torah, praying and performing Jewish rituals. In addition to that, Jews believe in loving each other, which alleviates so much of the isolation and loneliness common in our self-centered world. Tragic stories such as people committing suicide in a park so that they would not “die alone” are unimaginable in the Orthodox community.

It’s also noteworthy that Judaism can help a person develop a tremendous amount of self-control. It’s probably no accident that virtually all addiction recovery programs consider belief in God to be an essential component.

What a gift atheists are throwing away. Someone wishing to “live to the full, to the end of his days” needs to accept God and His Torah.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I follow all of those concepts except the religious ones. I'm not frum and am very happy with my life. No sex or drug addictions either. The frum people around me are fat depressed anxious and broke...

Flora said...

All of those wonderful descriptions you write about religion could also apply to someone who is Modern Orthodox and Religious Zionist, as we also believe in G-D & the Torah, just that G-D works through phenomena such as evolution and Zionism.

What would you say about that?

Anonymous said...

Everything you say is true – which is why I (having spent a lot of time around baal t’chuvahs) believe it is the quest for feeling safe and secure that drives their commitment to Torah.

I have always wondered about how people can accept the Torah as divine – without doing a lot of research on it outside the tradition – but I realize that the price of admission to a safe and secure life is the acceptance of the five books as divine.

This actually makes me cynical about the motives of Torah Jews (baal t’chuvahs more than FFB, as FFB are frequently not as idealistic about frum life as BTs.)

I realize that many BTs are trying hard to fill a gap. Accepting a book as written by G-d is the price of admission to get “the goodies” – a woman who will become your wife and stay with you, the built in prestige of being a Jew in the frum world, the self-satisifed feeling of having found the “truth.”

Two points here:

First, many people accept G-d – or can make that leap of faith. This is not the same as accepting that the book we call the Torah is from G-d. Yes, there is the argument that G-d must have given us some instruction for living – but that doesn’t mean he actually wrote that book. If you do the research, really spend time studying the academic view (it could take a few years) you will likely expand your view to the strong possibility that what we call the Bible is the culmination of centuries of development in the area of wisdom writings of several kinds.

You might still strongly believe in G-d (most people do.)

Second point is the opposite of frum living is not a drug-fueled life of wanton sex and self destruction. This is just not what we see. I live in NYC and am surrounded by all kinds of people – but your average white, middle class, well educated person father of two kids in private school is not walking around drugged up and cynical.

For some reason, BTs in particular seem to feel that their world has real limits and in the rest of the world is “anything goes.” These same BTs often have secular parents who are financially and emotionally supporting them, and who belie this assertion! Their parents have solid marriages which are decades long, don’t do drugs, are capable and responsible workers with advanced degrees, and are sympathetic and loving towards their children, including the BT one.

Yes, the world has addicts of all kinds. But I grew up in a middle class world of mainly secular Jews. My high school class (twenty five years ago) is largely married to the same person, raising good kids, working hard at good jobs – and pursuing fulfilling lives.

Most of the BTs I know ignore this fact.

Tuvia

jewish philosopher said...

"I follow all of those concepts"

I think you're lying.

"G-D works through phenomena such as evolution and Zionism."

Evolution is nonsense

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

and who takes Zionism seriously today?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-Zionism

"This is not the same as accepting that the book we call the Torah is from G-d"

This post is not attempting to demonstrate that the Torah is true. I have a lot of other posts about that.

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

"My high school class (twenty five years ago) is largely married to the same person, raising good kids, working hard at good jobs – and pursuing fulfilling lives."

I actually tried to look up a few years ago my high school alumni (Clarkstown High School North, New City, NY, very middle class, suburban, class of 1978). My very limited, unscientific survey indicated that only about 25% currently had a spouse, a child from that spouse and a job.

This would seem to agree with other sources.

47% of working age Americans don't have full time job.

http://www.businessinsider.com/real-employment-rate-47-percent-2011-1

43% of American are single

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-08-19/living/single.in.america_1_single-fathers-single-mothers-single-parents?_s=PM:LIVING

41% of new mothers are unwed

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/unmarry.htm

about 40% of those who marry, end in a divorce

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/19/health/19divo.html

It seems to be a lucky few Americans with a good job, stable marriage and kids. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, however you might be looking at 10% to 20% of the adult population, and I have a suspicion that of those, a large portion are conservative Christians (who probably make up about 20% of the population).

Anonymous said...

The divorce rate among white, well-educated folks is about twenty percent. If you include everyone it goes up.

Divorce has gone up in the secular world through the 1970’s as “no fault” divorce laws were passed state by state. The first state to pass them was California and NY State was the last (passed only a few years ago.) But NY was the holdout – many states enacted no fault divorce in the seventies.

Used to be for a woman to get a divorce she had to prove a reason – like adultery. Not easy to do. With the advent of no fault divorce the divorce rates jumped (which makes sense) and then leveled off. No fault divorce laws are probably the main reason divorce rates jumped in the seventies.

One good side effect of the advent of no fault divorce? Suicide rates among married women (trapped in unhappy marriages) dropped.

Tuvia

Anonymous said...

"I think you're lying."

I'm thinking your comments aren't really adding to the debate.

In any case, since this is your theory that you are putting forth, it is your burden to provide the supporting evidence and explain contradictory evidence. Alas, your approach to evidence that does not fit in with your theory is to conclude that it is "a lie"- the hallmark of many frummies when confronted with concepts they don't understand.

Think about it: if the world was so simple as it is in your mind, with frumkeit leading to unadulterated bliss and with secularism leading to misery and addiction, don't you think most people would have already switched over? Or are you the only one with this secret knowledge?

The reason that we don't switch is because we, and many people whom we know, are secular, happily married to the same person, have a lovely family, no addictions, good jobs and pleasant lives overall. And many frum people, like I said, seem stressed, anxious, and some are even hateful and angry, like you. I can't count how many of my frum friends are on mental health medicines.

jewish philosopher said...

"The divorce rate among white, well-educated folks is about twenty percent."

What would be interesting to calculate would be: based on current statistics and current trends, how much chance does a child graduating an American public high school this year have of holding a good job ($40,000 or more in today's dollars), being married and having children with his spouse 25 years from now. I think the chances are pretty slim, we might be in the 10% range, but I'm just guessing.

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. 

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz#Dorothy

"Alas, your approach to evidence that does not fit in with your theory is to conclude that it is "a lie"- the hallmark of many frummies when confronted with concepts they don't understand. "

My approach is that anything an anonymous person writes about himself on the Internet is probably a lie.

"if the world was so simple as it is in your mind, with frumkeit leading to unadulterated bliss and with secularism leading to misery and addiction, don't you think most people would have already switched over? Or are you the only one with this secret knowledge?"

Almost no one leads a medically recommended lifestyle.

http://news.msu.edu/story/31/

Why don't you ask your doctor: "if the world was so simple as it is in your mind, with leading a healthy lifestyle of low fat food, no smoking, daily workouts, etc leading to unadulterated bliss and with other lifestyles leading to misery and addiction, don't you think most people would have already switched over? Or are you the only one with this secret knowledge? "

Anonymous said...

I think it is interesting that the book you started with for this post is a secular book.

Basically, you are advocating a “medically recommended” lifestyle.

Now, the problem: why should a Jew choose to live a fully Torah life?

It seems the thrust of the post was to include various elements in a life in order to maximize the chance for fulfillment and hope and happiness (or something like that.)

It seems that if we follow your logic (or the logic of the book you quote) it could lead to a Jewish person dropping his Judaism and maybe marrying someone he or she loves – and then going to Church on Sunday and accepting the basic thesis of Christianity that the mitzvoth are not needed, just living in a state of grace or some such and following the ten commandments or something like that.

I recently visited Dallas and did a lot of driving there (and listening to the radio): they have maybe four radio stations for religious (Christian) programming. It was not fire and brimstone (maybe five percent of the programming was severe message stuff.)

What it emphasized was developing a relationship with G-d. It was positive, encouraging, kind of stuff.

It seemed to me that it struck the right chord for modern people: for sure remember G-d is involved in your life. Now go out and be a good person, and make sure you stay in touch with a church and things like that. And sex in marriage is beautiful, but not before marriage, etc.

Honestly JP: the gentile religion of our land is SO popular. It captures so many immigrants (every Korean immigrant I know is a Christian.)

I guess the question: why should a Jew bother with all the headaches and difficulties of Torah living?

Medically recommended sounds closer to the gentiles in our country who make G-d and church a regular part of their lives.

And the secular books and those types – like Tony Robbins or the guy at Penn who does positive psychology – seem to point to a way to optimize life. Why bother listening to Orthodox rabbis at all?

Tuvia

jewish philosopher said...

"why should a Jew bother with all the headaches and difficulties of Torah living?"

I explain that elsewhere.

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

Anonymous said...

JP:

I get that you’ve developed a Jewish “apologetics” or defense system. I’ve read the Christian ones too. They seem basically as common-sensical as the Jewish one. They even have a good defense – a rationale – for why it makes sense to accept that Jesus lived and did what the New Testament says he did (although I have not read the NT myself.)

Anyway, why be Jewish and not Born Again Christian (or some less radical form of that religion?)

Again – they do a fine job of defending the idea that everything they claim happened to and with Christ, actually happened.

I personally believe you have not done the homework regarding Modern Biblical Crticism – you just haven’t bothered I think – it is beyond the Documentary Hypothesis (which itself has been modified and refined over the decades.)

But if after doing that homework a person continues to want to be part of organized religion – why not Tony Robbins plus a prosperity preacher plus church and whatever tenets and rules it supplies?

The fastest growing religion in the USA is Mormonism. Why not that way? It is comprehensive and obviously fulfilling enough to attract many – and it is about a hundred and fifty years old!

You can keep saying “read my apologetics for Judaism,” but seriously, they all have apologetics – why not the ones that billions of others or (in the case of Mormonism) twelve million others have elected to join? They are solving the puzzle for so many – if religion matters to a person – why not go to a popular one?

Tuvia

jewish philosopher said...

"why be Jewish and not Born Again Christian"

Do you seriously think that Jesus of Nazareth may have been God? And if not, what's the question?

Michael said...

Hi JP,
This link to a recent Gallup poll--involving hundreds of thousands of individuals--confirms a link between health, and perceibed well-being, and religiousity. Religious Jews had the highest well being.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/religion-and-health_n_1290740.html

The non-religious, across faith groups, consistently scored lower than the most religious.

The "moderately religious" actually scored slightly lower than the atheists, although you can surmise that, at least as far as Jews go, these are likely to be non-orthodox or orthoprax types. And it kind of makes sense, since these are often the types who will bash Judaism on blogs like this, some before ultimately going OTD. But the data are there--Jewish atheists experience significantly reduced well-being compared to their religious counterparts.

Anonymous said...

JP wrote: “Do you seriously think that Jesus of Nazareth may have been God? And if not, what's the question?”

Billions of people think it makes sense. But of course – a leap of faith is required.

Here is a link to the Top Ten Proofs Christianity is the Only True Religion:

http://toptenproofs.com/product_cotr.php

And don’t forget the Bible Codes extend to the New Testament too (as has been shown by Christian apologists.) Eerie!

I’m sure Mormonism has several proofs (something is attracting people to it in record numbers.)

I know Islam has some. One involves Muhammed’s ideas about embryology. A British scientist even supported the idea that Muhammed had knowledge about it that – for the time he lived in – could only have been known through “divine” means.

It’s not just Jewish kiruv that tries to scare us with spooky crap! They’re all in on it!

Tuvia

ksil said...

cute post.

no truth in there, but since when do you care about truth?

i believe in the fairy godmother - which makes me SOOOOOOO happy....la de da, la de da.....skip through the forrest happy happy

silly old man

Dave said...

I think that the remarkable aspect of that poll is that the overall differences are fairly small, and that most people are happy, religious or not. The 65-70% or so of non-religious/atheist people who are happy is a far cry from JP's stereotype of a miserable alcoholic atheist who watches porn all day.

The 25-30% of people who are unhappy in each category are probably people with severe chronic or mental illness, or with personality issues. This would be true regardless of religiousness. Professionally I certainly have come into contact with plenty of depressed religious people (although the taboo often prevents them from admitting that they are depressed).

While I would assume that religious life and community helps people with coping, I also suspect that highly religious people express themselves differently than others, which could skew the results.

jewish philosopher said...

"Billions of people think it makes sense."

Billions believed in communism too.

Other religions: one guy. Judaism millions of witnesses.

http://www.torahphilosophy.com/2012/04/uniqueness-of-judaism.html

"i believe in the fairy godmother"

This is what happens when people smoke too much weed. Brain damage.

"I think that the remarkable aspect of that poll is that the overall differences are fairly small"

Heredity plays a role as well as other things we can't change. However there is quite a bit of research linking monotheism to happiness.

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

http://www.adherents.com/misc/religion_suicide.html

Basically my point is that the concept of the atheist/hedonist "grabbing all the gusto" while the orthodox Jew sits miserably tormenting himself would seem to be untrue, and in fact the reverse is more true.

Anonymous said...

JP said: “Other religions: one guy. Judaism millions of witnesses.”

As you know Christians (and Muslims) believe in the national revelation recounted in the Old Testament.

National revelation is one proof – Aish HaTorah has others. Christianity has ten proofs for why it is the one true religion (in that one web page) – perhaps there are more (I would not be surprised.) Islam has a number of proofs as to why it is the one true religion.

The proofs game is mainly terrible. It all requires not looking more deeply into how the Bible came into existence.

The story Mormons have on its origin is quite unusual and would not withstand much scrutiny. Still it is the fastest growing religion in the US.

I think your secular book on how to live a happy life just confirms something – many people need a spiritual life and find a religion to fulfill that need. None of the religions withstand serious scrutiny (and I mean scrutiny beyond the apologetics) – but that is not important. Having a spiritual life is a gain for many, and organized religion appeals to many. Billions of Christians and Muslims (and Hindus and Buddhists) make this clear.

Regarding the poll – I would not make too much of it. I have met some very happy religious folks. I have met plenty of folks who are happy who are not Jewish, but who have G-d in their lives.

It seems to me the book that is the subject of the post is talking about including many things in a life, and that moderation seems important to happiness (as the book describes what makes for a happy life.)

Frum living is not a particularly moderate life – which is why the frum world is relatively small (after thousands of years), and the Mormon religion has twelve million adherents in a hundred and fifty years.

Christianity – as practiced in most of the churchs (Unitarian, Baptist, Presbyterian, Protestant, Episcopalean, etc.) is relatively painless compared to Orthodox Judaism. But you do get that dose of G-d and morality the book says makes a difference.

Black Americans more strongly believe in G-d (and God’s will) than any other group in the US. They also have relatively difficult histories and are poorer than most other groups. Maybe join their church for the best overall sense of religious well-being.

Tuvia

jewish philosopher said...

"None of the religions withstand serious scrutiny"

Evolution certainly doesn't.

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

"Frum living is not a particularly moderate life"

It's demanding, however of course the reward in the afterlife will be in accordance with the greater effort.

Evangelical, conservative Christianity as it's generally practiced today in the United States would be entirely unrecognizable to most Christians of even a century ago, who were very traditional Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. It fits in with American culture. It's the fast food of religions - just pop into your local church for an hour a week, "get right with God" and you're done.

For gentiles, it may not be too bad. It does basically follow the Seven Noahide Laws.

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

However as far as logic and reason is concerned, I'm sorry, however don't see how other religions even approach Judaism. There is no serious proof that Jesus of Nazareth was God, that Angel Gabriel appeared to Mohammed, that the Ganges River is a goddess or that an angel gave Joseph Smith golden plates. These are just baseless fairy tales.

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moroni_(Book_of_Mormon)

Judaism on the contrary is based on a mass revelation.

Anonymous said...

I get the sense you do not bother reading the proofs of other religions. I will leave Mormonism and Scientology out of it – but the Christian apologetics industry convinces many. The proof of Islam is in the “divine knowledge” that Mohammed seems to have about scientific matters (an indirect proof, but compelling to many.)

These proofs are all about as convincing as Aish proofs (most of which have proven weak and Aish has stopped using.) If you delve deeper, you will find them wanting. All of them.

The point of your post was that G-d and faith and the community of like minded religious individuals is an asset to a person. It helps them find purpose and meaning in life – they enjoy life more.

I don’t argue with that – the book was based on some kind of scientific measurement -- and undoubtedly speaks to some truth: many folks believe in G-d, and belong to organized religion. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t fill some need, if it didn’t work.

There is no reason to believe one needs be Orthodox Jewish to get the benefit the author is talking about.

Orthodox Judaism is actually much closer to becoming a full-time clergy person than say, just being a Baptist or Presbyterian.

The book is telling us participation helps – but says nothing about “fully committing” in the way a priest or minister does.

If I read your post right, the idea was to participate and believe and it will help enrich a life.

When social scientists tell us that belief enriches our life, and so does regular participation in organized religion – they are not telling us to do more than join a church, keep G-d in your heart, raise a moral family according to the normative teachings of your church, and participate in enriching communal activities.

What the author is saying applies to Jew or gentile alike. While not large in number, there are about thirty thousand Jews who have decided to turn to Christ (this is referring to Jews for Jesus – probably hundreds of thousands of (nominal) Jews go to mainstream churchs in the US.) Whether it personally pains me or not, they are getting a boost from that old-time religion – the boost you were talking about in your post.

Tuvia

jewish philosopher said...

The research about the benefits of believing in God could apply to all sorts of belief. However I don't find any other belief systems to be at all plausible. Of course that's a matter of personal judgement. Likewise in politics there are people who will argue vehemently for Nazism, Communism or anarchism. There are millions who believe that President Bush blew up the Twin Towers or that the Holocaust never happened.

Anonymous said...

We say religion enriches people’s lives. You make a point of putting up a post on this, quoting from a book by a secular social scientist.

But then you say that the hundreds of millions who believe and go to church (and who are the subjects that led to the book’s conclusions about religion) are fooling themselves and practicing the wrong religion.

I say it’s reasonable to say that all religious people are fooling themselves (again, one has to do some work outside the Beis Medrash to see this.)

But I think we can agree that religion and belief in G-d is popular precisely because it enriches peoples’ lives. Orthodox Jews are not the only ones who want a relationship with G-d – it is near universal.

Regardless of whether you’re right in saying that all religions except Judaism are mistaken, or I’m right in saying all religions including Judaism are mistaken – any person who sincerely practices any religion and believes in G-d and joins a community of followers is – so says the book – enriched.

I think I am running out of ways to make this point. Look forward to the next post...!

Tuvia

Ironmistress said...

Tuvia wrote:

I recently visited Dallas and did a lot of driving there (and listening to the radio): they have maybe four radio stations for religious (Christian) programming. It was not fire and brimstone (maybe five percent of the programming was severe message stuff.)

What it emphasized was developing a relationship with G-d. It was positive, encouraging, kind of stuff.

It seemed to me that it struck the right chord for modern people: for sure remember G-d is involved in your life. Now go out and be a good person, and make sure you stay in touch with a church and things like that. And sex in marriage is beautiful, but not before marriage, etc.


That is my observation too.

Religion is a good servant but a bad master.

Ironmistress said...

Do you seriously think that Jesus of Nazareth may have been God? And if not, what's the question?

If he was mosiach, that is the case.

That is the ticking time bomb in the basement of Judaism. Did we kill Mosiach? Oops...

In any case, it shows why death penalty for religious issues is a bad idea. It will only create martyrs.

jewish philosopher said...

"I say it’s reasonable to say that all religious people are fooling themselves"

Including atheists, who believe that the evolution fairy made them.

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

"I think I am running out of ways to make this point."

The idea that worshiping other gods is satisfying and easier than worshiping the God of Israel is hardly original. The Bible is full of such incidents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manasseh_of_Judah#Religious_policies

However I don't find those other religions to be at all convincing. And I'm not merely saying this because I was born and raised a Jew so of course I think Judaism is the best. I was raised a liberal Christian and my adopted brother is a practicing Catholic.

ksil said...

"believe that the evolution fairy made them."

strawman.jewishphilosopher.com

i wish i could go back in time to the days when i was in a cult like trance, and believed all this orthodox rabbinic jewish nonsense was true. ahhhh....ignorance is bliss! (that shuold be the title of this post)

jewish philosopher said...

Definitely more healthy than the alcohol/drugs/porn hazy you're in now.

Anonymous said...

Why did you change the quote at the top of your page? And you changed it to one by Helen Keller, a radical socialist. How come?

jewish philosopher said...

I think she's more remembered for her efforts to help the handicapped.

Anonymous said...

While this is certainly true, my case as a big anti-socialist (or maybe just a regular guy), goes as follows:

While it is true that nobody is perfect, everybody has a good and bad side, and we should look at people favourably, I still believe that some things can not be reconciled. I would say that being a radical socialist, teaching this in public, and influencing a great many people, is one of those things.

Take for example, a Jew, who eats kosher, learns Torah everyday, and loves his fellow Jews, and helps out his Jewish community on a regular basis, all while enthusiastically studying the New Testament and preaching Christian doctrine in Church every Sunday. Would you trust this person any longer?! would you look at him favourably?!

Or, Imagine a person who wants to encourage you to be a more moral and religious person, perhaps even make you a better Jew. To teach you, he gives you a book, and near the start of this book it is written that the Twin Towers collapsed in Philadelphia in 2002. Now, even if you did have the strength to finish this book, and you found the rest of it to be very enlightening, would you seriously even go so far as to think of wasting any more time with this guy?!

Ironmistress said...

Take for example, a Jew, who eats kosher, learns Torah everyday, and loves his fellow Jews, and helps out his Jewish community on a regular basis, all while enthusiastically studying the New Testament and preaching Christian doctrine in Church every Sunday. Would you trust this person any longer?! would you look at him favourably?!

I would call him Messianic.

Karma runs over the dogma. Always.

Anonymous said...

"I would call him Messianic."

I wasn't asking you.