Friday, June 29, 2012
Watching this video clip, I think it's pretty obvious why no woman with half a brain would want to abandon the Orthodox Jewish community, where people date briefly without touching, marry young and stay married, and instead become a secular American girl.
I'll be the first to admit that relationships are difficult everywhere. As Sartre commented "Hell is other people". However certainly little could be worse than the insanity which most American young women put up with today.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 12:44 PM
[the current model]
Ideally, atheists would like to imagine that the universe has always existed. Aristotle believed in a Universe existing unchanged throughout eternity. Millennia later, as monotheism waned, this idea became popular again. In the early 20th century the common worldview held that the universe is static — more or less the same throughout eternity. No creator needed.
Furthermore, atheists would like to imagine that life has gradually developed. Obviously, for a complex machine such as a living thing to pop into existence suddenly would require an intelligent designer - or, in other words, God. However a very, slow gradual process conceivably could be natural and spontaneous. Therefore Darwin wrote:
As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favourable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modifications; it can act only by short and slow steps. Hence, the canon of "Natura non facit saltum," [meaning "nature does not make jumps"] which every fresh addition to our knowledge tends to confirm, is on this theory intelligible. (Origin of Species Chapter 14: Recapitulation and Conclusion)
Today however we know that the universe was suddenly created about 13.75 billion years ago.
About 4 billion years ago life on earth appeared suddenly .
About 530 million years ago many forms of more advanced life appeared suddenly . Here is a photo of the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary.
About 450 million years ago, there was a sudden transition from trilobites to jawed and bony fish. Here is a photo of the Ordovician–Silurian boundary
About 200 million years ago, there was a sudden transition from smaller reptiles to giant dinosaurs. Here is a photo of the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.
About 65 million years ago, there was a sudden transition from dinosaurs to mammals. Here is a photo of the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary.
For atheists, this is a nightmare. They now have to deal with not one but eight special creations. In response, they have tried to save their religion by first of all denying that these transitions were really so sudden; they try to interpret the evidence to make them as long as possible, however the evidence seems to be against that. Additionally, they have invented the silly doctrine of punctuated equilibrium.
For Judaism, however, as I have explained, I don't think this is a problem.
For Judaism, however, as I have explained, I don't think this is a problem.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 11:30 AM
Friday, June 22, 2012
[the protein ubiquitin - the cleaning machine]
According to a recent article in the New York Times, proteins are the machines that carry out the directions of genes. They must be formed at a certain moment and destroyed when they are no longer needed, or when they go bad.
A cell is something like an orchestra, with thousands of players. These are the proteins. They must all work together in harmony and play their parts at the right moment.
A cell knows when to eliminate a protein by using a tagging system. Every cell has within it a special protein that is everywhere: ubiquitin. Out of the thousands of proteins, this one tags damaged and bad proteins, binds to them and creates a molecular “kiss of death” until they are chopped up and degraded.
Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s are caused by proteins accumulating in the brain and destroying brain cells. The reason we don’t get Alzheimer’s when we are 10 is that when we are young, the bad proteins are disposed of quickly. With age, the cell’s machinery may lose the ability to do that.
It's incredible to consider the vastly complex and perfectly orchestrated machinery which is functioning in each one of our 60 to 90 trillion cells.
How accurate the Jewish prayer said after elimination is: Blessed are You, Lord, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 9:54 AM
Friday, June 15, 2012
Actually, birds exhibit intelligence sometimes associated with apes and small children.
In addition, birds are remarkably sensitive.
The New York Times recently wrote that robins can find worms with their sense of hearing. The worm’s tiny bristles rustle against the sides of their burrows.
Birds are able to navigate using a magnetic sense, still not completely understood.
They have other talents which humans do not. They can use each eye independently. They can fly with one eye closed and half of their brain asleep and still navigate better than a human driver texting in traffic.
The proverbial "eagle eye" is not a myth either. Bald eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight. They have two foveae or centers of focus, that allow the birds to see both forward and to the side at the same time. Bald eagles are capable of seeing fish in the water from several hundred feet above, while soaring, gliding or in flapping flight. This is quite an extraordinary feat, since most fish are counter-shaded, meaning they are darker on top and thus harder to see from above. Fishermen can confirm how difficult it is to see a fish just beneath the surface of the water from only a short distance away. Eagles, like all birds, have color vision. An eagle's eye is almost as large as a human's, but its sharpness is at least four times that of a person with perfect vision. The eagle can probably identify a rabbit moving almost a mile away. That means that an eagle flying at an altitude of 1000 feet over open country could spot prey over an area of almost 3 square miles from a fixed position.
When we see the birds fly by, remember that we are seeing creations of God which are far more sophisticated than any man-made drones.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 11:45 AM
Sunday, June 10, 2012
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.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 6:11 AM
Sunday, June 03, 2012
[somebody's got to do it]
No. The universally revered Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan in his book Chafetz Chaim (1873) writes in the Laws of Evil Speech 8:5 that Judaism mandates us to hate, insult and disgrace any Jew who denies the divine origin of any part of the Pentateuch or the legal portions of the Talmud.
Are there other rabbis today who are preaching or practicing such behavior?
Yes. The Yad L'Achim agency in Israel conducts a very active program to harass Jewish Christians who are attempting to convince other Jews to convert to Christianity and this is endorsed by many respected rabbis. Jewish skeptic bloggers are no better than Christian missionaries and in fact may be worse. Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman wrote "now an evil has sprung up worse than idolatry and this is atheism".
How has the Internet created a small but tragic wave of Jewish heresy?
The Internet has made pornography easily, privately and universally available. This in turn has led to sex addictions which have then led Jews to convert to atheism. The Talmud Niddah 13b insightfully comments: Rab stated "A man who wilfully causes erection should be banned because he incites his desires upon himself". R. Ammi stated: "He is called a transgressor, because such is the art of the evil inclination: Today it incites a man to do this, tomorrow it incites him to that and the next day it incites him to worship idols and he proceeds to worship them." In our times, atheism has replaced idolatry. Imagine the effect it would have on society if cocaine were to be legalized, it would be cheaply and conveniently available by mail order to anyone with a credit card and furthermore people would on a weekly basis receive free sample packets of cocaine in the mail from drug companies. This is basically what the Internet has done, however regarding pornography not cocaine, something which at least from an Orthodox Jewish point of view is probably equally harmful. Every individual, family and community must cope with and battle with this new reality. I hope that my blog can make some small contribution.
Why do I occasionally use crude slang terms when criticizing Jewish heretics?
This is done to emphasize that the motives which these people have are in no way intellectual or idealistic, rather their choices are based on the most degrading, debased and disgusting impulses.
Aren't people who accuse others of something usually guilty of it themselves?
Not to my knowledge. I don't think that law enforcement officials for example are typically thieves and murderers. I don't think that child protection service workers are typically child abusers. I don't think that drug enforcement agents are typically drug addicts.
Do you advocate using violence to fight Jewish heretics?
No. I don't advocate, have never advocated and have never been guilty of doing anything illegal to fight Jewish heretics. I have however been myself victimized by Jewish heretics who have contacted my wife, my rabbi, my employer, law enforcement officials, child protection services, Google and others to make complaints. I have also received violent threats. In addition most Jewish heretic bloggers do not allow me to comment on their blogs, although I welcome their comments on my blog.
Doesn't criticizing Jewish heretics violate the blogger.com content policy concerning hate speech?
This policy seems to be interpreted very liberally by blogger.com. This blog for example has been sitting out there for years with apparently no problem from blogger.com. Apparently blogger.com does not want to become an arbitrator of political and religious beliefs.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 10:07 AM