The Jewish Debate
Posted: 07 January 2005 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I think it would be interesting to see a rabbi and an atheist debate. Judaism is the one religion I know of that includes heated debate and rational enquiry as a crucial part of its heritage. The arguments they weave are much more complex, I think, and designed to fool smarter people, than those of other religions. I've debated some rabbi's, and not one has said I should look into my heart, or ask God to reveal himself. They at least try to appeal to my rational side. Traditional Torah-true Judaism is not widespread, and has much less relevance on the world stage then the other two big religions. But in terms of sheer discourse value, a debate between an accomplished rabbi and someone like Sam Harris would pretty neat. I'm assuming Sam is Jewish (as am I) and I'm wondering if he avoids attacking Jewish belief so as not to upset his mother.

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Posted: 07 January 2005 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“herenow”]I’m assuming Sam is Jewish.

As God’s Natural Law and the Law of God do not mention Christ and that they have been filed into the Christian category and that they do not sound traditionally Jewish (although they slant that way) that would be my best educated guess. Well Sam, what say you?

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Posted: 08 January 2005 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Not sure I understand your answer, the way you worded it. There’s a book by Lawrence Kellerman called the permission to receive, and also one called the permission to believe. The arguments are not presented as proofs, but he calls them preponderences of evidence, or ways to believe without sacrificing one bit of rationality. He invokes many arguments that together make a compelling case on the surfaqce, but any one of them on their own is lacking. I think this combining of different arguments into one barrage of reasons after reasons tends to sway those who at all want to be swayed. One such argument is refered to as the Incunabuar. It states that the beliefs that 600,000 jews received a direct revelation simultaneous is an impossible belief to generate. It asks us to imagine how the next generation would have to be endoctrinated…every single one in their parent’s generation would have to agree to tell the same lie. My contention is that a. the number of jews at Mt. Sinai gradually increased in oral traditional and was finally agreed upon as 600,000 at the time of Ezra the Scribe…and who could argue at that point? Two weak arguments that I see a lot are a. where did morals come from if not from God? and b. How did such incredible against-the-odds complexity on Earth arrive without god? To me these arguments are shockingly uninformed…with obvious answers, and me with only a remedial knowledge of science, anthropology and ethics can easily see how morals generate and evolve, and how organisms evolve towards greater complexity. But back to my point, it seems like Christians merely quote scripture mindlessly in an effort to brainwash by repetition, as if by some strange directive in secret christian meetings, someone must say “just keep saying it over and over…that’s the best way to make them see the light. Don’t worry how you sound to non-believers, it’s proven to work over time and it’s your duty as a Christian.” Rabbis never do that, they never say “God gave us the Torah and Mt. Sinai and we must love and worship him…” more than once. They do however like to point out the nonsensical arguments: a. the amazing. unlikely history of the jews, and how many accomplished jews there are, and they pass this stuff off as support, again muddying the water for the impressionable.

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Posted: 09 January 2005 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”] “just keep saying it over and over…that’s the best way to make them see the light.

Is this not what the Bush Whitehouse does?

Say the same thing over and over and people believe.

There are many Americans (my mother included) that still believe Saddam Hussien was a threat to the USA and that the weapons of mass distruction will magically appear out of the sands soon.

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Posted: 09 January 2005 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Along the lines of keep saying it over, check out

http://www.comics.com/comics/getfuzzy/archive/getfuzzy-20041212.html

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Posted: 29 August 2005 12:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I’m assuming Sam is Jewish (as am I) and I’m wondering if he avoids attacking Jewish belief so as not to upset his mother.

If you saw the CSPAN program of Sam’s presentation to a synagogue in LA, you will remember the audience and the rabii probing at Sam’s background.  Sam avioded any direct answer to their probes but did say that his parents once offerred him a sunday school attendance, which he declined. This would lead one to believe that his background is not Jewish. However, the rabii offerrred Sam a belated bar mitzva, which would indicate that at least the rabii thought he was Jewish.

My “nutshell” summary of Sam’s book is that his issues with religion are focused on the effects of beliefs and how these beliefs create hostility among humans.  Although Judaism could be subjected to significant criticism on this basis, perhaps it could be considered just a little more innocent than Christianity or Islam since Judaism is not an evangelical faith.  The common criticism that religion fails to inspire any morality in the people could certainly be equally applied to Judiam.

Stay Well

Wot

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Posted: 18 March 2006 05:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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He avoided attacking it because of all the absurdities, Judaism requires the least challenge. 

God’s chosen people.  Think about it a while.  Now why’s everybody always picking on them?  Give me a break!  At least those loopy Muslims try to convert people. 

Sam mentions the “give Caesar” line.  That’s a Jesus quote, I believe.  He contradicted Jewish law (“let he who is without sin cast the first stone”) a lot, but He also insisted on the every jot and tittle approach.  Even ol’ doctor J couldn’t be consistent, but at least he opened the idea of salvation up to the Gentile.  No wonder that one caught on.  It’s like the star-bellied sneech theory from Dr. Seuss. 

Religion is rediculous.  Faith is not.

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Posted: 18 March 2006 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I know I’m going to regret it, but please do explain how Catholics are “so persecuted” in the world?  Take your time.

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Posted: 19 March 2006 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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I’m still not quite catching the persecution angle.

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Posted: 19 March 2006 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“klangdon”]I know I’m going to regret it, but please do explain how Catholics are “so persecuted” in the world?  Take your time.

The priest are persecuted because they can’t date altar boys! LOL

Thats what we call a joke, treb. Please don’t follow it with another rant.

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Posted: 20 March 2006 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“treblinka”][quote author=“Celsus”][quote author=“klangdon”]I know I’m going to regret it, but please do explain how Catholics are “so persecuted” in the world?  Take your time.

The priest are persecuted because they can’t date altar boys! LOL

Thats what we call a joke, treb. Please don’t follow it with another rant.


I reject your anti- Semitism towards the Catholic priesthood.
Any insult to the Catholic faith, is a insult to Jesus, a Semite who is the redeemer of the world. Anti catholic remarks are therefore ipso facto anti semitic.

You’re like the ultra-sensitive kid in the playground - you open your mouth and people laugh at you!!  If you’re a typical catholic, then there is the source of the persecution of catholics.  LOL  LOL  LOL

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Posted: 20 March 2006 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“treblinka”][quote author=“SitDogmaSit”][quote author=“treblinka”][quote author=“Celsus”][quote author=“klangdon”]I know I’m going to regret it, but please do explain how Catholics are “so persecuted” in the world?  Take your time.

The priest are persecuted because they can’t date altar boys! LOL

Thats what we call a joke, treb. Please don’t follow it with another rant.


I reject your anti- Semitism towards the Catholic priesthood.
Any insult to the Catholic faith, is a insult to Jesus, a Semite who is the redeemer of the world. Anti catholic remarks are therefore ipso facto anti semitic.

You’re like the ultra-sensitive kid in the playground - you open your mouth and people laugh at you!!  If you’re a typical catholic, then there is the source of the persecution of catholics.  LOL  LOL  LOL


should the same tag apply to those who whine about the holocaust,
even when there is no evidence to support it. there is as much evidence of a holocaust at the local barber shop, both can produce piles of cut hair.

But you show absolutely no signs of a sense of humor.  People laugh when you take yourself too seriously, especially when you haven’t a clue what your babbling about.  :wink:

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Posted: 20 March 2006 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“treblinka”][quote author=“SitDogmaSit”][quote author=“treblinka”][quote author=“SitDogmaSit”][quote author=“treblinka”][quote author=“Celsus”][quote author=“klangdon”]I know I’m going to regret it, but please do explain how Catholics are “so persecuted” in the world?  Take your time.

The priest are persecuted because they can’t date altar boys! LOL

Thats what we call a joke, treb. Please don’t follow it with another rant.


I reject your anti- Semitism towards the Catholic priesthood.
Any insult to the Catholic faith, is a insult to Jesus, a Semite who is the redeemer of the world. Anti catholic remarks are therefore ipso facto anti semitic.

You’re like the ultra-sensitive kid in the playground - you open your mouth and people laugh at you!!  If you’re a typical catholic, then there is the source of the persecution of catholics.  LOL  LOL  LOL


should the same tag apply to those who whine about the holocaust,
even when there is no evidence to support it. there is as much evidence of a holocaust at the local barber shop, both can produce piles of cut hair.

But you show absolutely no signs of a sense of humor.  People laugh when you take yourself too seriously, especially when you haven’t a clue what your babbling about.  :wink:

You mean you will debate the holocaust ?  LOL

Let’s begin with Treblinka, fair enough ?  8)
Wait come back, why are you running.  :wink:

Why debate?  You win.

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