Question from :
Shalom all, I see that you focus on many religions, but haven’t seen anything on Judaism. I wonder what your opinion might be on it, and, if to someone, if the be Torah divine. To me it is, but I’d like to hear any arguments against it, not that I may refute or debate it, but just to “see” what the other side has to offer.
Answer by SmartLX:
There are indeed only a few articles that involve Judaism, simply because not many people writing in identify as Jewish or ask about specifically Jewish topics.
Very little of my perspective on Judaism is unique to Judaism. It’s a theistic religion, reliant on claims of the existence of an interventionist creator god which I don’t think are justified. Nearly all of the Great Big Arguments for gods that I’ve covered can be used to argue for your god just as well as any other, and they have no additional merit when applied to yours.
My perspective on the Torah, as an ex-Christian, is that it’s a subset of the books in the Bible and specifically the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Many of the discussions I’ve had on the divinity and inerrancy of the Bible can be applied to these five books. To approach them from scratch, I don’t think they’re divine because I don’t think there’s a real god to bestow divinity on anything. To argue in the other direction for the existence of the god based on certain discernible qualities of the books is to argue that such qualities are impossible without the influence of a god, which I don’t think is the case.
If you’re looking for specific challenges to the material in the Torah, I’ve occasionally touched on Exodus, and all the stuff on evolution and cosmology has some bearing on Genesis.
What About Judaism?
Question from :
4 thoughts on “What About Judaism?”
All religions are the same in the sense that they all claim that there is an intentional, intelligent creator of the universe, which is most certainly not the case. Details have no significance. They are all bs.
SmartLx. Has repeatedly discounted the arguments that I have supplied that completely trounce the idea that evolution could in any way be a valid scientific theory. It is all built upon what others have said are possibilities or maybe’s without ever showing that what they have assumed have been actually proven in today. For instance, the evolutionists says that chemicals combined in some way and that is how life “could” have started. Yet, they have never supplied the research where this assumption has ever been repeated. They only “assumed” it could have happened. But, along with this, is the complete ignoring of what man has actually been able to observe, which is the “fact” that life has only been observed to come from something or Someone that is already alive. No one has ever observed that any kind of organism, simple or complex, has ever suddenly arrived from nothing or from chemicals. They also ignore the fact that if there were chemicals that could have been combined by accident, then how did these chemicals ever have come together on their own. If these chemicals were the only chemicals present, in any possible kind of beginning you could imagine, then maybe the chemicals could have mixed and then by accident a spark of something could have given life. But in reality, we are talking about a hostile environment that was if there were, all sorts of chemicals especially those that were not conducive for life. How did the good chemicals separate to combine when all around were all the bad chemicals? And, (and this is what the atheists do not want someone to point out), when they point out the glorious triumph that they say proves that life could have come from nothing, (which earlier scientists had already refuted, when Spontaneous Generation, was denounced as erroneous theory), the atheists, do not take into account, that what was performed in a laboratory, was in a laboratory, under supervised circumstances with continual monitoring. Done with man made chemicals, by intelligent beings. The life or partial life that they lift up as evidence against Intelligent Design, is actually evidence for Intelligent Design. But the RNA, was only a simple protein, and not life. And even this remembered had to be formed by intelligence doing all the work. Not chemicals left to their own inertness. So SmartLx, dismissal of all religions save Christianity, has merit. But to dismiss Christianity when the Bible has always been proven to be reliable for knowledge of all sorts, is ignorantly short of understanding.
I profess haven’t a clue about Judaism.
But here’s the thing … I am a born Hindu (born into a Hindu family) and despite being a trenchant atheist now, I still feel hankerings sometimes for the philosophical underpinnings of Hinduism … especially the Vedanta school of thought (Hinduism has 6 plus 3 distinct schools of thought … the plus three because Hinduism claims rights to the origins of Jainism, Buddhism and Carvakism all three of which refuse to return back the warm embrace 🙂 ).
I often find that the philosophical underpinnings of Hinduism are very broad … in-fact one can argue that 6 of the 9 schools of thought in Hinduism are atheistic in nature (no belief in a deity but belief in the knowledge imparted by certain books and belief in certain rituals).
Carvakism, infact, is very close to “modern atheism” – it focuses entirely on empiricism and calls all the philosophy behind the religion as well as the texts (the Vedas and their derivatives) pure balderdash (!).
I have often reflected on why I have this attachment for my born into religion … and the answer is clear as day. As impressionable children, powerful memories of our times with our family/ friends, in religious or semi-religious communities/ gatherings in our big or small churches, temples, mosques etc. (the good old days) form. And these memories of bonding and bonhomie stay with us for most of our lives.
Thus my nostalgia towards Hinduism and its various forms and schools of thought.
When I look at my born into religion objectively, the conclusion I reach is simple … yes there are some gems of philosophical wisdom in some discourses in some of the texts of Hinduism. But a lot of it is just, well, fiction.
I prefer to take some of the philosophical thoughts of that religion – if they are compatible with rational thinking – and not bother at all about the fables and tall tales about gods, the divine trinity (yes – Hinduism has one) and the original supreme being from which it is argued the divine trinity and all the other gods/ goddesses/ saints etc. sprung.
To most Hindus – the gods and the fables ARE the religion. To me only that part of the underlying philosophy of the religion that is in line with rational thought matters. The rest I discard without much thought. But I humbly profess that the nostalgia remains … I even call myself a Carvaka (rather disingenuously ofc) to avoid arguments with Hindu fundamentalists (who probably aren’t as bad of the fundamentalists of some other religions, I daresay, but who are just as prone to righteous indignation about silly things that will make most people who do not follow their religion laugh or feel bemused about 🙂 ).
So I guess whatever your faith is – you need to first address how much your attachment to it is due to this psychological aspect of us human beings about clinging on to our born into religions (or indoctrinated into religions) and how much of it is rational.
I suspect, on introspection, you will find there is little or no rationality about your attachment to and glorification of your faith/ religion.
You are soooooooo mis guided. Just like there are fish drawn back to they spawn. Like there are butterflies that traverse miles to return from where their predecessors took flight, we too are drawn back to our origins. God has placed a homing beacon within each one of us. As the spark of life that we are given is passed on from parent to offspring, so too is that homing beacon. We can choose to ignore it and count it as “nostalgia”, or we can seek the Truth, that is waiting for us to discover Him. Man yearns for God because, Man has experienced God. That is why we have God or a god in our cultures, because there is God. God, the true God, has been lost sight of, and man has set up the counterfeits from satan in His place, to distract us from seeking the true God, But none the less, He is there. And He is trying to reveal Himself to us all. That is why many are not satisfied with their current god. For even those of us who have an inkling of the true God, somehow settle for far less then who God really is. We are satisfied with a god who doesn’t call us to become better than we are or want to be. A god that will be there only when we need to want him. But the true God calls us to be better than we are. In all points of our lives. The true God tells us that we are more than we imagine and that reaching for the perfection is the only way to achieve it. And that means reaching for Him, ever second, every minute, every hour, every day of our lives. He made us in His image, which He longs to remake us to again. But He can only do this if we allow, Him access to our hearts. So I encourage you to seek the true God. And remember that “12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
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