Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Church of Atheism

this could just as well be Richard Dawkins the atheist leader
It's interesting how atheists passionately insist that atheism is not a religion. This is apparently done in order to make an impression that atheism is superior to mere religion. Atheism is some sort of scientific fact, according to it's believers, not just a religion.

On the other hand, I recently came across an article on The author, Chris Stedman, a homosexual atheist, descibes having begun searching for an organized community of nontheists, which led him to a reception following a public discussion organized by a nonreligious group. At the reception he was shocked to discover that religion — and religious people — were roundly mocked, decried, and denied. He heard comments such as “Wasn’t it wonderful how intelligent the panelists were and how wickedly they’d exposed the frauds of religion? Weren’t they right that we must all focus our energy on bringing about the demise of religious myths?” and “We have the superior perspective; everyone else is lost,”

Stedman claims that as a former Evangelical Christian, these words were hauntingly familiar, and they represented a kind of sure-handed certainty and dismissal — a kind of fundamentalist thinking, really — that he’d hoped to leave behind with his “born again” beliefs.

So when you come down to it, atheists are not merely religious, but religious fundimentalists. Their belief that there is no Biblical God and evolution created us is ultimately no different than a Christian's belief that Jesus Christ is his lord and savior and anyone who believes differently is evil.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gonorrhea: The New AIDS?

As true now as it was in the 1940's
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease which if left untreated will cause sterility as well as other painful complications. Untreated gonorrhea infection spreads to sites other than the genitals, such as the joints, skin, heart, or blood. It may even be fatal.

And apparently there will soon be no treatment for it.

Gonorrhea can be transmitted from either partner to the other by vaginal and anal sex as well as by fellatio.

It is true that latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, reduce the risk of transmission of STDs such as gonorrhea. However very few people actually do use them consistently and correctly, for many reasons, between the discomfort of condom usage to the lack of sobriety of people having sex.  Surveys indicate that most sexually active unmarried Americans seldom use condoms at all. During fellatio it seems to be unheard of.

This should give a little bit of pause to potential atheists out there who are looking forward to a life of sexual freedom. They could well be in for a life of permanent misery. And it helps us to appreciate the great wisdom of the Torah's emphasis on chastity.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Free Will: The Atheist Battle Against Sanity

Sam Harris - another zombie
Sam Harris, the atheist activist, recently published a book called Free Will.

Harris states clearly: “Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control.”

So there you have it. Not only is design in nature an illusion according to atheists, however our constant subjective experience of making choices to do one thing and not another is an illusion as well.

Logically, therefore, all praise for good behavior or criticism of bad behavior is irrational since the person doing those things had no choice.

To me this is reminiscent of the doctrine of transubstantiation  the belief that,in the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and the wine used in the sacrament is changed into the substance of the Body and the Blood of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before. Somehow nothing really is what it appears to be. Or something like that.

Even the New York Times reviewer has mixed feelings:

Couldn’t it be that we need the experience of what Wegner and others call “perceived control,” at least as a model of voluntary behavior, to get on with our lives and to have our achievements recognized and to be instructed by our failures? (Doesn’t Harris enjoy his success? I bet he does.) Finally, what happens to traditional qualities of character like courage, villainy, leadership? Poof! However correct Harris’s position may be — and I believe that his basic thesis must indeed be correct — it seems to me a sadder truth than he wants to realize.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Invisible God

The fact that God has no body is one of the fundamental principles of Orthodox Judaism. The antiquity of this belief is seen in Deut. 4:15 which notes “for you saw no manner of form on the day that the LORD spoke unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire”.

Sometimes my children ask me “What does God look like?” I have to explain that we cannot see Him. Then they ask “Why not?”

Atheists also like to ask, “Isn’t God simply an imaginary friend?” In other words, doesn’t God’s invisibility imply that He may not exist at all?

To me it seems obvious that God must be invisible and in fact this is one of the first things which attracted me to Judaism, rather than for example Christianity.

For us to see something, for something to be tangible to us, it must have borders and limits and it must exist in space. Therefore, logically, an infinite being who created space itself cannot be visible. God is everywhere and furthermore everywhere is within God, therefore it is impossible to see Him.

Additionally, God’s level of reality is different from ours. Let’s say someone is thinking about a person. That person exists only in his imagination. The imaginary person cannot see the person who is imagining him. Likewise, we are like thoughts in God’s mind. He is the only true reality. This is what (Jeremiah 10:10) meant “The Lord God is truth”. He and He alone is real.

God is not our imaginary friend - just the opposite. We are God’s imaginary friends.

This makes clear the fallacy of Richard Dawkin’s question, “Who created God?” This question assumes that God is a material being. God is essentially entirely unlike any physical being, therefore He requires no creator.