A few beefs with Judaism
Posted: 08 October 2010 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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First let me say that Sam Harris rocks.  I just started reading the The Moral Landscape last night after catching his post on HuffingtonPost.com.  I had already dismissed all religions, and I thought my insights in this area were advanced, but now I see I was just cracking the surface with my intuition.

Since Sam has mainly used Christian and Muslim examples (at least what I have read so far) of spreading questionable morals (I agree with him on these examples) I would like to point out what I think are the biggest moral shortcomings of dogmatic Judaism:

1.  Gods Chosen People

Rabi’s and other follower of Judaism must simply stop this non-sense.  I believe it causes the followers to devalue other people.  There is no rational basis for this claim.

2.  Give me my homeland back

Sorry, this does not scale and therefore not rational and infringes on others well-being.

3.  Eye for an Eye

This is a terrible idea and leads to the Hatfield and McCoy syndrome.  Again it is not rational and does not lead to human well-being.

[ Edited: 16 December 2011 03:25 AM by Nhoj Morley]
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Posted: 25 October 2010 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I agree with your comments about Sam Harris. I saw him on booktv a few weeks ago and copied my adult children on the video. Blew my socks off!

With regards to understanding Judaism it helps to work backwards, as follows: Judah was the last of the many tribes of Israel, who were all descended from Abraham, from Noah, and from Adam.

Their “chosen” status was only about delivering the Messiah, the Christ.

With that in mind, it is important to understand that they have never been a genetic “race”, other than being generally Semetic, like Arabs. The people of Israel were God’s chosen people only as long as they chose God, and, therefore, their status as such disappears if they reject the advent of the Christ, as they have fortold it.

The modern Ashkenazi Jew has no claim on the Promised Land, whose use was completed a couple of thousand years ago. In fact, according to the Tanach, if Jesus of Nazareth was the real thing, there is no longer a need for Israel, including a tribe called Judah.

Why Judaism? Why isn’t it called Israelism? Abrahamism? Is Hebrewism appropriate?

If the prophesies of the Tanach have been fulfilled by the advent of Christ, then Israel and Judaism no longer exist.

Don’t take me wrong! I have no problem with someone who claims to be Jewish any more than with one who claims to be psychic. Each engender the same sense of pathos in me, with no ill feelings.

An eye for an eye seems fair by the old agreement (Old Testament), in order to preserve the path for Christ, however, the new agreement suggests forgiveness.

[ Edited: 25 October 2010 09:42 PM by axeldaddy]
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Posted: 23 December 2010 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Hi guys, glad to join the conversation. I feel a need to address some of the misconceptions about Judaism I am seeing here. I am qualified to do this based on 16 years of Yeshiva education incorporating 9 years of Talmudic law. To give you some more general background, I am an orthodox jew currently pursuing a doctorate in physics and I am generally interested in serious philosophical debate.
 
1.) The idea of the jews being God’s chosen people is based on the idea that those individuals who are aware that polytheism (and the primitive practices associated with it) is wrong must lead the others by example. The chosen status is simply an acknowledgement of our lineage containing Abraham, the first monotheist. Hence the Jewish people are chosen, much in the same way that Sam Harris is.

2.) The Jews are not simply a group based on religion, but also a large family (a race if you prefer, but we tend to think of each other as family). For proof of this follow the link below.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603123707.htm

As such we have a solid claim to our family land, which, although we could not exercise sovereignty over it since the Roman invasion, has always been home to some of us and in the hearts of all of us. This claim is valid because:

We are verifiably the offspring of those from whom it was stolen by force of arms.

We have never given up on reclaiming it, we simply waited for a time when it would become feasible.

We have always maintained at least a small presence in the land.

There is no one with any kind of a similar claim. There has never been a sovereign state based there since our defeat (until our return).

Our claim is not in any way diminished by axeldaddy’s belief that Jesus fulfilled the Jewish prophesies (in fact he did not, this is apparent when one knows what the prophesies are) because it is based on ownership in common law and not any kind of religious belief.

3.) Your are correct in your assessment of an eye for an eye as a literal concept of justice. Jewish law has never taken a literal interpretation of this, instead it is and has always been understood to mean that a comparable value must be extracted from the offender (think law suit). In fact, most of the much maligned practices described in the Torah (old testament) are quite compatible with modern law in the U.S. and elsewhere when enacted properly. In the Talmud it is said (of the courts of those times, based on Torah law) that a court which executes someone every 70 years is an unusually bloody (harsh) court.


Fez

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Posted: 13 January 2011 03:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Hello Jeff,

I think are the biggest moral shortcomings of dogmatic Judaism:

1.  Gods Chosen People

There are many reasons for calling a people Gods chosen people.  In the case of Judaism it spears from the fact, (I personally believe) that one man Moses lead them out of Egypt to a Land they could call their own. If Moses was sent by a God to Egypt to bring these people out of slavery, then they are definitely chosen by God.

The definition of ‘chosen’ is really the issue.

Rabi’s and other follower of Judaism must simply stop this non-sense.  I believe it causes the followers to devalue other people.  There is no rational basis for this claim.


Jews also believe that anyone who does the will of God, is acceptable to him.
Doesn’t that mean that being a chosen people means the chosen have the choice?
Seems Christianity tells the same thing. Is it any different to belonging to a youth club or even a football team? Do you think we create problems which do not exist?
They are Jews why should they say they are not Jews?

2.  Give me my homeland back

Sorry, this does not scale and therefore not rational and infringes on others well-being.


Why do countries deport others not born in them?
Doesn’t it infringe on the rights of others well-being?
Which do you think is the biggest problem. Wanting what you believe is your own country or deporting someone because it isn’t their own country?

3.  Eye for an Eye

This is a terrible idea and leads to the Hatfield and McCoy syndrome.  Again it is not rational and does not lead to human well-being.


You think we should change the laws and stop punishing those guilty of crimes such as murder?
Isn’t that the same kind of idea.

Is it really any different from the way we respond to other situations in life.
We are human and an eye for eye can also mean a life for a life.

[ Edited: 13 January 2011 03:40 AM by Badd]
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Posted: 21 December 2011 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Sorry but the rabbi is disingenuous. The talmud is the rejection of God’s law and antiChrist, it follows the insane laws of men. It is a hate filled tract of bigotry, pedophilia, misogyny and superstition, to say the least. They have declared was against all non jews who have not complied with their demands. Its not a race, its a religion. Its is patently satanic. Their history is replete with death and destruction and have been thrown out of country after country due to their criminal murdering ways. Every country that has allowed jews in, gets destroyed, as is happening in America right now.
They engage in porn, prostitution and sex slavery.
The rabbis lie, murder and steal. They have to lie, its how they maintain their parasitism
I curse them everyday. I pray for their complete destruction.

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Posted: 05 April 2013 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Fez - 23 December 2010 08:46 PM

Hi guys, glad to join the conversation. I feel a need to address some of the misconceptions about Judaism I am seeing here. I am qualified to do this based on 16 years of Yeshiva education incorporating 9 years of Talmudic law. To give you some more general background, I am an orthodox jew currently pursuing a doctorate in physics and I am generally interested in serious philosophical debate.
 
1.) The idea of the jews being God’s chosen people is based on the idea that those individuals who are aware that polytheism (and the primitive practices associated with it) is wrong must lead the others by example. The chosen status is simply an acknowledgement of our lineage containing Abraham, the first monotheist. Hence the Jewish people are chosen, much in the same way that Sam Harris is.

2.) The Jews are not simply a group based on religion, but also a large family (a race if you prefer, but we tend to think of each other as family). For proof of this follow the link below.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603123707.htm

As such we have a solid claim to our family land, which, although we could not exercise sovereignty over it since the Roman invasion, has always been home to some of us and in the hearts of all of us. This claim is valid because:

We are verifiably the offspring of those from whom it was stolen by force of arms.

We have never given up on reclaiming it, we simply waited for a time when it would become feasible.

We have always maintained at least a small presence in the land.

There is no one with any kind of a similar claim. There has never been a sovereign state based there since our defeat (until our return).

Our claim is not in any way diminished by axeldaddy’s belief that Jesus fulfilled the Jewish prophesies (in fact he did not, this is apparent when one knows what the prophesies are) because it is based on ownership in common law and not any kind of religious belief.

3.) Your are correct in your assessment of an eye for an eye as a literal concept of justice. Jewish law has never taken a literal interpretation of this, instead it is and has always been understood to mean that a comparable value must be extracted from the offender (think law suit). In fact, most of the much maligned practices described in the Torah (old testament) are quite compatible with modern law in the U.S. and elsewhere when enacted properly. In the Talmud it is said (of the courts of those times, based on Torah law) that a court which executes someone every 70 years is an unusually bloody (harsh) court.


Fez

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Posted: 05 April 2013 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Fez,

Congratulation or good luck on obtaining your advance degree in physics, I wish you the best.

From my point of view, there really isn’t any way to prove our beliefs. That includes any so-called sacred books written by man through “Divine Revelation”.  There are many honest and dedicated people with different so-called “Divine Revelation” books. And they have and are surrendering their time, money, thoughts and life to it. So to believe that there is only a specific god, who has selected a specific people, who are charged to get this message out to the rest of us, is just disappointing.  Everyone, including you, will not be persuaded from what they believe to be to the absolute truth. So consequently, only a few will reap the rewards promised.

Now regarding you returning to your home land, it is unfair to those who have not, nor will they ever return to their homeland.  If my memory of history serves me correctly, your race was forcibly placed on that land irrespective of the current inhabitants.  As the story goes, your race was liberated from the atrocities of Germany and then you were force in a land where now the inhabitants are having problems.  If I’m wrong with this story I apologize, but you did say your race returned to their homeland.

The history of the world has always been about war and forcing or enslaving people and this have not been corrected.  Case in point, the American Indians, the African-Americans, Northen Ireland to name a few, shouldn’t their injustice be corrected as well?  I love the diversity of people and the promise of our learning from each other to advance and enlighten each other.  But life is seemingly uncaring of race, religion, age and gender, and so I accept the things that are occurring, even the different races/groups professing to have the one and only truth.  But I do not subscribe to any of it.  I prefer to remain a free man, who lives a guilt free life from something beyond the here and now.

If I wanted to pit one group against the other I would choose one group out of all the others.  I would hold a grudge against one gender for that gender entire existence, i.e. Eve of the Garden of Eden. I would not stop tsunamis, hurricane, tornado, war, disabilities, pedophilia, rape, and the list goes on and on.  But hey… that’s life.

I’ve concluded that lots of people need something to believe in to deal with life.  Some even need it to restrain their ugly urges. But then there are those of us who questions what we don’t understand like we would anything else.  If there is no threat of bodily harm or loss of income, we will continue to be vocal.  You see, I look at all religions as simply shackles of the mind. “Lean not on your own understanding”. “God ways are above men way”.  “Surrender your will to the divine will”.  Thereby disarming man’s being.  If, and I don’t believe this, we are in god’s image and likeness, why would we have to surrender the very thing that’s of him? 

And there is nothing worst that one group creating laws to the detriment of all other groups, waging war against a group with opposite beliefs. If god is what everyone claims, why is this necessary?  Why, because this is man masquerading as followers of god’s will.

[ Edited: 05 April 2013 10:41 PM by grihm1]
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