Judaism and the “Jewish” ethnic group are not the same.
Posted: 04 December 2007 02:22 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I find it very odd that it is acceptable to criticize and disparage Christianity and Islam but it is racism/anti-Semitism to criticize Judaism. Personally I do not recognize the race/ethnicity that most people call “Jewish.” For that matter I ignore all of the human created boundaries that we call race and ethnicity. If all of our genetic codes were dropped in a bin and drawn at random it would be virtually impossible to tell what “race” or “ethnicity” to which a particular person belongs. Even when considered as “groups” the differences are probabilistic and not in any way deterministic. Therefore I do not believe that criticizing Judaism as a religion has any bearing on someone’s bogus claim to be somehow genetically different from other Homo sapiens.

Even if “Jew” was a valid “racial” category, Judaism as a religion in no way defines or applies to all of the people that our warped and archaic tribal system assigns the term “Jew.” Being “Jewish” racially/ethnically, whatever the hell that means, has no relationship to Judaism which is based on the genocidal fiction called the Torah. Criticizing the Torah and Judaism cannot be anti-Semitism because a faith and a “race/ethnicity” are very different things.

Additionally, true “anti-Semites” and those who claim to be “Jewish” racially/genetically are deluding themselves. Those of the Jewish faith who are purely “Semitic” by genealogy are few and far between. Those placed in the “Jewish” bin have varied and rich ancestries that can be traced to various regions in Eastern Europe and many “Jewish” peoples’ ancestors never lived in Canaan in the distant past. As mentioned above the genetic record also renders “anti-Semitism” or pro “Jewish” as meaningless and ill-founded divisions. Will I respect peoples’ cultures which incidentally have morphed markedly over the millennia; yes. Will I respect the demand that I respect a religion just because someone is going to use the ad hominem attack of labeling me, incorrectly no less, an anti-Semite; no. When someone needs to resort to an ad hominem attack they are indicating that they are holding a position devoid of logical support. Do not attack me, point out what is wrong with my position. As soon as someone pulls out the “anti-Semite” card they just lost the argument.

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“Most of the Israelites did not come from outside Canaan - they emerged from within it. There was no mass Exodus from Egypt…no violent conquest of Canaan. The early Israelites were - irony of ironies - themselves originally Canaanites!

The conquest of Canaan by Joshua could not have happened [as] described in the Bible. Most of the towns…either weren’t inhabited, didn’t exist or were conquered at wildly different times.” —Finkelstein and Silberman

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Posted: 04 December 2007 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Cooper - 04 December 2007 07:22 AM

I find it very odd that it is acceptable to criticize and disparage Christianity and Islam but it is racism/anti-Semitism to criticize Judaism. Personally I do not recognize the race/ethnicity that most people call “Jewish.” For that matter I ignore all of the human created boundaries that we call race and ethnicity. If all of our genetic codes were dropped in a bin and drawn at random it would be virtually impossible to tell what “race” or “ethnicity” to which a particular person belongs. Even when considered as “groups” the differences are probabilistic and not in any way deterministic. Therefore I do not believe that criticizing Judaism as a religion has any bearing on someone’s bogus claim to be somehow genetically different from other Homo sapiens.

Even if “Jew” was a valid “racial” category, Judaism as a religion in no way defines or applies to all of the people that our warped and archaic tribal system assigns the term “Jew.” Being “Jewish” racially/ethnically, whatever the hell that means, has no relationship to Judaism which is based on the genocidal fiction called the Torah. Criticizing the Torah and Judaism cannot be anti-Semitism because a faith and a “race/ethnicity” are very different things.

Additionally, true “anti-Semites” and those who claim to be “Jewish” racially/genetically are deluding themselves. Those of the Jewish faith who are purely “Semitic” by genealogy are few and far between. Those placed in the “Jewish” bin have varied and rich ancestries that can be traced to various regions in Eastern Europe and many “Jewish” peoples’ ancestors never lived in Canaan in the distant past. As mentioned above the genetic record also renders “anti-Semitism” or pro “Jewish” as meaningless and ill-founded divisions. Will I respect peoples’ cultures which incidentally have morphed markedly over the millennia; yes. Will I respect the demand that I respect a religion just because someone is going to use the ad hominem attack of labeling me, incorrectly no less, an anti-Semite; no. When someone needs to resort to an ad hominem attack they are indicating that they are holding a position devoid of logical support. Do not attack me, point out what is wrong with my position. As soon as someone pulls out the “anti-Semite” card they just lost the argument.

Ok ... so then why don’t you argue for the unsupported claim that the Torah is, as you put it:  a “genocidal fiction”?  Them’s strong words.  And it sure seems like your making a non-sensical ad hominem when you offer nothing to back that up.

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Posted: 04 December 2007 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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This analysis is clearly presented in “TEOF”, but it is not specifically Sam’s argument. You could criticize Cooper for plagiarizing someone else’s argument, but that’s not what you do, because you know the argument is now in the public domain. You turn it into Cooper’s argument, because you don’t have access to Harris or to the public at large.

All you’re doing is recursively accusing Harris of the same thing, but you know he backs up his words with references to OT literature, so you pretend that it’s Cooper’s argument, and condemn him because he’s not also cribbing the references for you.

You do this regularly when somebody posts an idea without citation. It seems your only strategy is to insist that people cite stuff that is now very much in the public domain.

Now we know what your special fetish is, Publius: Academic rigor. Screw you. You’re not in class now.

Anyway, you completely miss Cooper’s point in order to pick at the little piece of tinfoil you chose instead. You’re an intellectual magpie, Publius, and definitely not into the big picture.

[ Edited: 04 December 2007 08:59 AM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 04 December 2007 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Salt Creek - 04 December 2007 01:54 PM

This analysis is clearly presented in “TEOF”, but it is not specifically Sam’s argument. You could criticize Cooper for plagiarizing someone else’s argument, but that’s not what you do, because you know the argument is now in the public domain. You turn it into Cooper’s argument, because you don’t have access to Harris or to the public at large.

All you’re doing is recursively accusing Harris of the same thing, but you know he backs up his words with references to OT literature, so you pretend that it’s Cooper’s argument, and condemn him because he’s not also cribbing the references for you.

You do this regularly when somebody posts an idea without citation. It seems your only strategy is to insist that people cite stuff that is now very much in the public domain.

Now we know what your special fetish is, Publius: Academic rigor. Screw you. You’re not in class now.

Anyway, you completely miss Cooper’s point in order to pick at the little piece of tinfoil you chose instead. You’re an intellectual magpie, Publius, and definitely not into the big picture.

What are you like 4?  If I were you, I’d just be embarrassed.  Always and ever insisting on evidence, and yet never providing it.  Every time you post it’s like watching a little kid have a temper tantrum.  If my strategy is to ask for a citation (i.e. evidence), yours is to resort to swears (e.g. “screw you”).  I can’t even get angry with your posts anymore, I just feel sorry for you.  You’re obviously not up to the task of debating anything, even though you think you are.  (Truly, a sign of the delusional.)  Go and be happy with your dogma and let Cooper answer for himself.

Cooper left a diatribe that he refused to be considered an anti-semite if he attacked Judaism, which suggests that in fact he has a critique of Judaism to offer.  Fine.  But his “critique” of Judaism was an inflamatory one liner.  And it was without a cite (the rest of that post was just rherotic—and indeed, if you don’t think Jews are a race/ethnicity, a point I choose not to debate, then all that’s left to discuss is Judaism as a religion).  But mere citation to a verse isn’t sufficient either—for that’s just the beginning of the discussion.  Whether you think God exists or not, religion certainly exists as a social phenomena.  And religions are a hell of lot more than their sacred texts.  If you want to critique the religion fine, but I’m going to ask for an argument, and ask that you show that you know a thing or two about the subject your critiquing.  You obviously know nothing; so our conversation is done.

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Posted: 04 December 2007 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Publius - 04 December 2007 02:34 PM

And religions are a hell of lot more than their sacred texts.

Do inform us, O, Erudite One. As if we haven’t seen your hole card already dozens of times.

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Posted: 04 December 2007 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Cooper, you seem to be saying that one can be anti-Judaism without being a racist, since Jews are not Semites, thus Judaism is not a race.

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Posted: 04 December 2007 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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The Convention (in article 2) defines genocide:

...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
– Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article II

“Being “Jewish” racially/ethnically, whatever the hell that means, has no relationship to Judaism which is based on the genocidal fiction called the Torah.”

In the specific examples of “genocide” in the Jewish Bible which you will cite, which definition of “genocide” are you referring to?

Was the Battle of Verdun “genocide”? After all, the German plan was to utterly destroy the French, and eventually the British.

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Posted: 30 December 2007 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I apologize for the delayed response. I rarely have time to visit the forum. Publius and mcalpine both commit one of the most common logical fallacies. This fallacy is referred to as Ignoratio Elenchi (“ignorance of refutation”, Latin), Irrelevant Thesis, or more commonly a Red Herring. Interesting questions you raise but they have absolutely no relation to the argument I present. Regardless I can address both of your comments/questions with the following.

The acts of genocide in the Torah fit squarely into definition (a) Killing members of the group. However I would imagine that mcalpine already knew this and merely brought the issue up for sake of argument. Surely you would not have a motive to distort the truth.

To both Publius and mcalpine the remainder of this post contains the numerous acts of genocide commanded and/or committed in the Torah. But I imagine that you both are very well versed in this also. Oh…and if you have time, maybe you can come up with some comments that actually relate to my original post.

Genocide in the Torah:

Zechariah 14

9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.

11 . . . Jerusalem will dwell in security.

12 Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth.

13 It will come about in that day that a great panic from the LORD will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another.

14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance.

15 So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps.

Isaiah

24:1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 

24:6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

60:12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.


Psalm

The children of Israel praying for the destruction of the “wicked.”

59:13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.

God’s supposed answer to the genocidal prayer in 59:13

101:8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.


See also:

Psalm

109:6-14
135:8, 10
139:19-20
140:10

Here are a few references where the god of Judaism commands the murder of all non-believers.

Deuteronomy

13:12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,

13:13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; 

13:14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;

13:15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

13:16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

13:17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;


Deuteronomy

17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, 

17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;

17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:

17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.


References for other acts of genocide against those who are not “Jewish”.

Numbers

21:3, 34-35
31:1-54
33:50-52

Deuteronomy

2:25, 33-36
4:3
6:15
7:2, 16, 20-23
12:30
13:6-10
25:19
31:3
32:21-26

Joshua

6:21
8:22-26
10:10-11; 28-32
11:6-17

Judges

1:17, 19
3:28-29
11:21

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“Most of the Israelites did not come from outside Canaan - they emerged from within it. There was no mass Exodus from Egypt…no violent conquest of Canaan. The early Israelites were - irony of ironies - themselves originally Canaanites!

The conquest of Canaan by Joshua could not have happened [as] described in the Bible. Most of the towns…either weren’t inhabited, didn’t exist or were conquered at wildly different times.” —Finkelstein and Silberman

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Posted: 06 January 2008 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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A few of Isaac Asimov’s statements may further illuminate my original post.

“I am Jewish in the sense that if an Arab wanted to throw a rock at a Jew, I would qualify as a target as far as he was concerned. However, I do not practice Judaism or any other religion.” (March 17, 1969 letter).”

“Elected in 1985 as president of the American Humanist Association, Asimov rejected an offer to support “Jewish” humanism: “I want to be a human being, nothing more and nothing less” (June 21, 1985). (All letters cited from Yours, Isaac Asimov, a Lifetime of Letters, edited by Stanley Asimov, 1995).”

http://ffrf.org/day/?sel=1&day=2&month=1

Criticizing the Torah or any other portion of Judaism is not anti-Semitism any more than criticizing any portion of Christianity is anti-Caucasian or what have you. The same can be said for the politics and policies of the state of Israel but that is a discussion for another forum. When any person tries to intertwine religion, ethnicity, and/or nationality they are committing several logical fallacies. In plain English not all ethnic Jews believe in and/or practice Judaism. Also not all adherents of Judaism are ethnic Jews. Similar statements are valid concerning Israel. I would imagine that many of them know that but proceed anyway to provide themselves with a stick, albeit an irrelevant stick, with which to metaphorically beat others. Until the true nature of Judaism, Jewish ethnicity, and Israel are honestly addressed the arguments and the resultant decisions will often be fallacious just as their premises are fallacious. Anyone who states otherwise is either deluded or dishonest.

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“Most of the Israelites did not come from outside Canaan - they emerged from within it. There was no mass Exodus from Egypt…no violent conquest of Canaan. The early Israelites were - irony of ironies - themselves originally Canaanites!

The conquest of Canaan by Joshua could not have happened [as] described in the Bible. Most of the towns…either weren’t inhabited, didn’t exist or were conquered at wildly different times.” —Finkelstein and Silberman

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Posted: 12 January 2008 10:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Cooper - 30 December 2007 01:20 PM

Oh…and if you have time, maybe you can come up with some comments that actually relate to my original post.

Oh, they have the time, they just don’t have the relevant comment.  It is normal for Publius and mcalpine to either leave or toss out irrelevant diversionary attacks when cornered to keep you from seeing they don’t have a point.

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Posted: 12 January 2008 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Cooper - 06 January 2008 03:03 PM

Criticizing the Torah or any other portion of Judaism is not anti-Semitism any more than criticizing any portion of Christianity is anti-Caucasian or what have you. The same can be said for the politics and policies of the state of Israel but that is a discussion for another forum. When any person tries to intertwine religion, ethnicity, and/or nationality they are committing several logical fallacies. In plain English not all ethnic Jews believe in and/or practice Judaism. Also not all adherents of Judaism are ethnic Jews. Similar statements are valid concerning Israel. I would imagine that many of them know that but proceed anyway to provide themselves with a stick, albeit an irrelevant stick, with which to metaphorically beat others. Until the true nature of Judaism, Jewish ethnicity, and Israel are honestly addressed the arguments and the resultant decisions will often be fallacious just as their premises are fallacious. Anyone who states otherwise is either deluded or dishonest.

Cooper, I agree with you completely. In fact, the only refutation one can make is to cry “Anti-Semitism”, which isn’t a refutation at all, only a distraction.

The problem is that when you have a term that defines a negative behavior, people will automatically shy away from any statement that will get them labeled with it. The cry of anti-Semitism brings up vivid images of jackbooted goose steppers shoveling corpses into ovens. Many people are afraid of being associated with that imagery, so they will not allow themselves to say anything that could be percieved as negative about the Jewish faith or Israel.

Of course, this has the ability to completely stifle dialogue. One can raise a good point about the questionable actions of the Israelis, and there are many criticisms to be leveled, but their opponent has only to claim they are an anti-Semite to shut them up. When this occurs, it will effectively shut down the critical thinking skills of the viewer/reader. Most people will feel so uncomfortable questioning this accusation, and be so fearful of getting splattered with tar from that brush, that they won’t risk investigating the validity of the criticisms, let alone come to that persons defense.

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Posted: 07 February 2008 03:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Salaam, Shalom

Judaism is the link between God & us through Moses[peace upon him]...
The Quran told us that Hebrew & also some Egyptians believed & went out of Mesra’em with prophet Moses….

Mesra’em is an area between Yemen & Asir ... it’s not Misr (Egypt)
Read: The Bible Came from Arabia by: Kamal Salibi

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