Thursday, March 29, 2012

"God's" Jealousy and Love of Death

When studying the Torah, one of the most obvious "lessons" is that god seems to be very jealous. A good portion of the 613 commandments revolve around the fact that god wants you to only worship him. The first 2 of the 10 commandments have to do with this: 1. "You shall have no other gods before me" 2. "You shall not make for yourself any graven image...". In fact, god would be so upset if you worshiped other gods, that he declares the punishment for such a transgression to be death. The Israelite nation was told to destroy entire cities where idol worship is prevalent and kill all its residents.

But rather than condemning all those that do not believe in him to death, wouldn't it be more loving and merciful of god to just reveal himself to the nonbeliever? Or is human life so unimportant to the "merciful god" that he would rather let people live in doubt and than condemn them to death/hell for not taking this difficult leap of faith?

I know many of my readers will say that they see god all the time through "miracles" and other subjective evidence. But every religion attributes these events to their god(s). So if I happened to be born into a Hindu family than the cards are already stacked against me. Even if I recognized a so called miracle, the chances are I would attribute it to a Hindu god and not to the jealous monotheistic god. So apparently it is either not that important to god that people know he is the "one true god", or he just loves death.

And if one were to learn more of the Torah, I think the evidence points to god loving death. In the book of Exodus, god punishes the Egyptian people with 10 plagues, because the Pharaoh would not release the Israelite nation from slavery. The 10th plague - god's grande finale, he kills every single first born male in Egypt with no regard for age or deed. It did not matter if the first born was 1 minute old and had never done a bad deed. It did not matter if the person lived in a part of Egypt that had no Israelite slaves. Everyone had to die. And according to Jewish tradition, this event is not mourned, but rather it is celebrated.

The holiday of Passover is starting next week. At the Seder meal, where the story of the exodus from Egypt is told over, the plagues are celebrated as ten of god's greatest and most wonderful miracles. I personally think the story is fiction, but those that believe it to be true never seem to question the morality of this act. I know I never did when I was religious. It is just understood that god kills those that he deems deserve it and that we "mere mortals" cannot question these acts.

Of course the obvious next question is, why should anyone worship such a god? God is vengeful, jealous, violent and petty. Does that sound like an all powerful super being to you? Does that sound like a good source for morality? I know that the religious believer will tell me that we cannot question god, nor can we understand his acts. They would say that is seems immoral to us because we do not understand god and his plan etc. But I think that is a cop out. Believers in the Torah claim that it is the source of morality. Than I ask, where is the morality? Shouldn't god lead by example?

Of course there are plenty of more examples of the immorality of the Torah, but I will have to write about those in a later post.


52 comments:

  1. Ok...so I have many comments to make but Ill just make a few points:
    1. if Gd just revealed himself to those who did not believe in Him, then He would be depriving people of free choice...by Gd removing His obvious existence in the world, He gives people the opportunity to choose to believe in Him, thus creating a chance to achieve eternal reward. Gd punished those back in a time (that i dont think we can fully understand) when His presence was so clear-like in Egypt, and yet the people still chose to deny Him. Gd doesnt strike down a Hindu just because he was born Hindu. Its when His existence is so clear and yet someone still decides to deny Him that the person is "punished" whatever that means...We are always taught that Gd takes into account someone who is just not knowledgeable. There is no one in this world today that knows enough about Torah/ Gd's existence that he can be considered a "heretic"
    2. We DO NOT celebrate the death of the first born sons OR the plagues, and your misinformation could actually cause people who are reading this to become antisemetic so you should really be careful what you write. In fact, at the seder, we have a special "ceremony" where at one point we dip our pinkies into our wine, or pour out, ten drops of wine, to remember that we do NOT celebrate the downfall of our enemies. It says in the Torah "In the downfall of your enemies, do not rejoice" Gd is not happy when He needs to punish a nation, but just like any father who punishes his child for doing wrong to teach a lesson, so does Gd..and maybe His punishments are on a much greater scale, we dont always understand why He does what He does but its not like today you see the Jewish people going around avenging Gds honor by killing "non-believers" because, again, biblical times are something that we can not fully understand in this day and age. On Passover we are celebrating our freedom from the slavery in Egypt.
    A person can choose to see only what they interpret as "the evil, venegeful side of Gd" not understanding the full picture. But if you thought about the unlimited amount of good this world has to offer maybe you could see that Gd actually created a beautiful world for us to enjoy, and serving Him is giving recognition and thanks for the world we are given..and even moreso, we get rewarded for that appreciation...of course, If that is what you believe.....

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    1. The argument about free choice is ridiculous. People don't chose to believe. You are either convinced or you are not. It is not a choice. You can chose to trust, but that is not the same thing.
      The makot are celebrated as gods greatness and no where in the Hagda does it say not to celebrate them. And my point was not that the death of the Egyptians is celebrated, but that god doing the plagues is celebrated as an important part of the exodus story.

      And I am so tired of people saying that obvious moral issues in the Torah are actually just things that we cannot understand because we are not great enough. That is such an empty way of seeing things. What sort of moral code is too complicated to understand and misunderstanding it can lead to evil?

      I know many religious Jews that will freely admit there are issues with the Torah and they struggle to understand it. I respect that. But just to pass it off and say that it is above us is just lazy. I am not trying to get people to stop being religious. I am trying to explain my issues with the religion. I do not expect anyone to read my blog and stop being religious. I would just hope it would make people think. I am tired of getting the same answers, almost word for word since first grade.

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  2. Im not really sure how you figure that a person cannot choose to believe in something, I can choose to believe whatever I want, I can choose to believe in the Easter bunny, that is free choice...only an angry non-believer would say you are either convinced or not...
    No one ever said that the world was perfect, if it was perfect, we'd be bored, there would be nothing to strive for..the same goes for the Jewish religion. We are meant to struggle with questions about the Torah we are encouraged to ask..that is why the seder is so bizarre..we make up a table of all sorts of obscure symbols to get people to ask questions..
    saying that some things may be beyond our comprehension is not a cop out either..for some people that is the peace they make with themselves, and if they are able to serve Gd without those answers, good for them. For others, they need to search and question and they may search their entire lives for the answers and never get them..but that is not a reason to stop believing. We are taught that it is ok not to understand, but not to be afraid of it either. I think it would be foolish to think that everything in existence is within human grasp...there will always be mysteries of the world that we wont be able to solve...and yes, In my personal opinion, I think we can't always understand everything written in the Torah..that doesnt make me weak..but if it's something that really does bother me..so I will go out and search..But i wont say thats it, I dont believe in Gd because this doesnt make sense! I think that is a sign of weakness...
    And my issue is not that maybe your comments will cause someone to become not religious. my issue is that your comments could cause antisemetism...posting to the world that Jews are taught to believe that they are greater and above everyone else...is a very dangerous thing to say..I was raised to believe that everyone in this world has something to contribute and we must learn from eachother, and our job is to lead by positive, moral example..just because there are some Jews who dont, doesnt mean Judaism is a bad religion.
    I am sure that if you grew up religious you have been to at least dozens of seders and probably EVERY haggada has instructions to pour out wine with mention of the ten plagues...so deny it all you want, but we are not celebrating the actual death and destruction of the Egyptian people. We are acknowleging with great awe the power that Gd has. He was never more obvious in the world than at that point...THAT is what we are commemorating.
    ps. Im not really sure where you get your information from that the punishment for people who worships other gods is death. I know many people who believe in all sorts of different gods and they are walking around perfectly fine and healthy...arent you?

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    1. If I put a gun to your head and said believe that Jesus is your savior and you said you did, that does mean that you believe that to be fact. It is not a matter of choice and has nothing to do with anger.

      For the record, I did grow up religious. I know what it is to believe and what it is not to believe. And I never said the world should be perfect, but I think it is cruel to "test people" with their lives on the line.

      Saying things are beyond you understanding is not the cop out. There are things I will never understand. The point is I will never stop asking and trying to understand, even if I fail.

      And apparently you are reading what you want and not what I actually wrote. I said that gods act is being celebrated, not the death of the people. But I find that to be wrong as well.

      And the Torah clearly states that god has chosen the Jewish people as special. I did not make anything up.

      PS I got that from the Torah. It is mentioned throughout Devarim. And of course nonbeliever dont just drop dead. I would say that is because there is no god. But Im sure you have some other reason.

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  3. This is not the first blog to mention that Jews consider themselves God's Chosen People. If that is your issue, please make sure you leave similar comments on other blogs; change encyclopedias; have all siddurim removed from the public domain, etc.

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    1. I do not understand your comment at all. I have issues with that world view. What does that have to do with anything else?

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    2. Sorry, I was replying to MH, not you. If she is concerned that Jews will get a bad reputation from this blog, well that train already left the station.

      I love your blog :)

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    3. Thanks tesyaa!
      Keep reading and share with your friends :D

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  4. I didnt have an issue with anyone saying the Jewish people are the chosen people by their own Gd...its not like an exclusive club...anyone can convert if they want to be a part of that too...what I'm saying is that not every Jew is taught to believe they are better than everyone else...I know alot of righteous non-Jews..and I would put all of my money down to believe they are going to heaven faster than Bernie Madoff...and Im not a believer because I am scared Gd is going to smite me if Im not..I do it out of love and respect for something greater than myself that brought me into this world and gave me so many opportunities to bring light and happiness into it...you also have to remember that there is serving Gd out of love..not just fear...

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    1. Of course there is all different kinds of belief. I am can only write my opinion. I appreciate you reading my blog and commenting. I personally have not been convinced and when I did believe in/practice Judaism, it did not bring me happiness.
      If it works for you, than I am happy for you. To each their own. As long as you don't expect other to fall in line with your belief system and do not hurt anyone, do as you please :)

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  5. From a history of religion POV, there is clearly an evolving concept of G-d and what G-d is.

    Originally, pagan societies saw all religion as local. If you wanted to prosper, you appeased the local gods, and if you wanted to win a war, you'd sacrifice to the local war god. The idea that G-d was more abstract and more universal came about gradually, and not without some struggle. I see some of this as a throw-back to the "my god can beat up your god" mindset.

    There was also a long, slow evolution away from seeing G-d with human characteristics. I don't think of G-d as being jealous, but I do think of humans looking for a way to relate to the Ultimate Force Behind the Universe using human emotions to convey concepts and to try to understand what cannot be understood.

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    1. Interesting points. I like what you wrote and will think about it more. Thanks for sharring!

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  6. Ami makes a lot of great points here. I especially like his analysis of the morality of the 10th plague. I had never really thought about it like that before (the newborns especially).

    @MH: It's disingenuous to say we don't celebrate the death of the firstborn. One drop of wine is supposed to represent our regret over spilled blood? Look at Dayenu, where we sing jubilantly "if He had killed their firstborn, but not dealt with their gods, it would have been enough for us!"

    What purpose did the plague of the firstborn have? A pre-emptive military strike? If God doesn't reveal Himself in order to provide free choice, why would He reveal Himself in plagues, knowing Pharaoh was going to refuse to recognize Him? The plagues are one of those thorns in the Free Choice argument altogether, so now is not the time to make that type of argument.

    It is wrong to celebrate "awe and power" when that awe and power causes unnecessary death. It would be difficult to say that the death of thousands of Egyptians, many of whom were innocent, was necessary. Sorry, but "God has His reasons" just isn't good enough here.

    The discussion about belief is an old epistimological question. Philosophers generally do say that one cannot choose to believe, but one can choose have faith.

    There are different reasons to adopt a belief. One of those reasons is authority. One can choose to respect a certain authority or reject it, and there may be reasons for that. In the case of conflicting evidence, one can choose to weigh certain evidence over other evidence. In that sense, one can choose to believe.

    How would you go about believing in the Easter Bunny? Would you honestly be able to adopt the belief that such a creature exists? Would you ascribe authority to Cadbury's advertising agency or some old TV show's writers?

    "Do not rejoice at the downfall of your enemy" is not in the Torah. It is in the book of Mishlei. While it is a guiding principle that is used to reinterpret celebratory behavior over death, the actual meaning is much more limited. First off, the quote is "binfol OYIVCHA al tismach" - it's in the singular ("enemy," not "enemies"). The book of Mishlei (11:10) also says "Ba'avod resha'im rinah" - "there is ecstasy in the destruction of the wicked" and Tehillim 58:11 says "Yismach tzaddik ki chazah nakam; pe'amav yirchatz b'dam ha-rasha" - "the righteous man shall rejoice when the evil are avenged; he will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked." (There are several possible answers to this contradiction, but one explanation is that "binfol oyivcha al tismach" refers to a fellow Jew, in the same way that "v'ahavta l're'acha ka-mokha" does.)

    If one reads Tanakh, one will see it's full of the celebration of death (e.g. "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands" - 1 Shmuel 18:7)

    Clearly the idea of celebrating death is no longer an "official" part of Judaism. The rabbis accomplished this by roundabout exegetical interpretations and inserting a token ceremony into the Seder. You're right that it would be a mistake to ascribe the idea of rejoicing at the slaughter of our enemies as something representative of the modern Jewish approach. But it is very much a Jewish approach as anything else in the Torah: the death penalty, laws of purity, sacrifice, charging interest, shemittah, etc. Just as the practice of those concepts has changed throughout history thanks to rabbinic interpretation, so too has the practice of rejoicing over the destruction of God's enemies.

    And JRK is right about the concept of God evolving too. Judaism can be understood by the same anthropological, psychological, and social methods as any other religion.

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    1. Thanks for the great comment Ben! And thanks for the soruce in Mishlei. I did not know it

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    2. >There are several possible answers to this contradiction

      Well...the simplest could mean that an enemy does not necessarily mean he is wicked.

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  7. When God is violent, and vengeful, is he violent towards those that are doing bad, or those that are doing good?

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    1. when god kills newborn babies, he is killing the innocent. Very simple.

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    2. Well lets make it harder. Really, anyone that didn't ACTUALLY throw Jewish babies in the river or enslaved them is innocent, correct? Why limit it to babies?

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    3. In my post I mention that as well. Babies just is more dramatic. And I have been told by others when arguing this point that "no one in Egypt did not enslave Jews". That is a baseless comment, but there are those who think that way in order to justify the evil.

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  8. BTW, why are you picking on this story, and not the flood story. Surely his violence was much worse there, no?

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    1. As I wrote there is plenty of other stories in the Torah that are amoral, but I wrote about this one because Pesach is coming up.

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    2. I think you meant "immoral"

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  9. >Sorry, but "God has His reasons" just isn't good enough here.

    why?

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    1. Because that is cheap, lazy, pathetic, empty and frankly a stupid answer. Whenever religious people can't think of a smart explanation or an explanation of substance they go to the default, "God has his reasons", or "God works in mysterious ways". But there is simply no thought behind that answer. So either try harder or simply say, "I don;t know"

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  10. Well "I don't know" is the same as saying God having his reasons. I mean, it's not God DOESN'T have his reasons right? Even if you believed in God, would you expect to know all his workings?

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    1. No it is not. "I don't know" has intellectual integrity. "God has his reasons" means that you dont know, wont try to understand, but you are sure that it was the right thing. You have no doubts and no questions.

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  11. >but you are sure that it was the right thing.

    Thats a silly thing to say. If you believe in God it presupposes that you are sure it's for the right reason and not the wrong reason. And that at some level you WON'T understand, but that obviously God is going to have his reasons.

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    1. That is part of the problem of believing in god. Nothing can be wrong. All evil, all horrors are part of his plan and he is always good. You can justify anything that way.

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    2. Of course what YOU do can be wrong, but how would YOU know, if God is evil, if by definition a God is larger than the universe, and his plans are in some grand way incomprehensible to man?

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    3. Is this a serious response?

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  12. First off, hi. It sounds like your new life on the "road" is serving you well, and I'm glad to hear that. Everyone needs to follow their own path.

    What you say about God's jealousy, and the rather weak philosophical apologies for it, certainly resonates. Of course, it's not only jealousy that precipitates killing. There's also "regret" for having created humanity, due to its evil ways - hence millions (innocent children most definitely included) were washed away with the Flood.

    I take it as a given though that these are historical myths, meaning they are probably based on some actual events but have been heavily mythologized (with gods and miracles) in order to present a more "fitting" and memorable story. So I don't hold "God" accountable for any killing. It's people who kill, and too often with God as the justification.

    The real question then is what do we do with all this? How do we regard our own tradition? Let's put the God issue to the side for a moment. I say you have to begin with the fact that the Biblical God is nothing more than part of the mythology, but even with God as a fictional character in the story, we still have to deal with the story itself. What is it trying to teach us? Do we accept it or reject it?

    Certainly a great deal of the Chumash text at face value would be rejected by the modern person as a guide for living. But here's where it gets interesting. I think the Jewish people have known this already for thousands of years. This is why we had to invent "drash". Drash is not about looking deeper into the meaning of the text per se. It is about looking deeper into the human psyche, and recreating the text to be relevant and meaningful, to give over teachings which produce high-level, moral human beings.

    So you're absolutely right. The Torah text itself is not suitable to base one's morality on (which doesn't mean it wasn't moral in its day of course), but Judaism is not so much about the text, as it is a reaction to the text. And if we take that as a starting point, there's plenty of good stuff to work with.

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    1. Hi to you s well and thanks the well wishes. And a special thanks for reading my blog :)

      I agree with everything you said, but to a point. I believe I wrote in a different post, but I don't know which one, that Rabbis have made their careers over the last thousands of years explaining away the evil of the Torah. This comes in all sorts of forms, but the easiest example is the Gemara saying that the death penalty was rarely used (less than once in 70 years) and therefore isnt as bad it sounds.

      But here is where the problem comes in. The text is still there and the Torah is still considered the center of Judaism/the word of god himself. This has allowed modern, ultra conservative, radical, hateful Jews to use Torah text to preach hate and violence to their followers. Examples of this are first the book "The Law of Kinds", written by Rabbi Lior in Israel about how sometimes one must kill non Jews, even innocent ones (the Israeli police are even investigating him over this). Another example is Rabbis preaching hate against gays.

      I believe because of the world's move towards tolerance, their has been a huge ultra conservative backlash in the forms of radical Charedi Judaism, Radical Christian movements (Born agains, evangelicals, mormons, etc) and fundamentalist Islam. These are all major threats to our world civilization(s).

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    2. Ami, I suppose what I'm saying is that once you remove God from the picture, it no longer becomes "explaining away" the evil, but rather remaking Torah to suit our needs. The idea is that the Torah, as an all-too-human document, should only and always serve the needs of Jews, not that Jews should serve the Torah. The latter is really a form of idolatry, as it attributes more value to a static document and associated ideology, than to actual live human beings. And it's this backwards prioritization, this false worship, which leads to the dangerous forms of fundamentalism you mentioned. (BTW, this is also the case for every "ism" - even secular ideologies - when given importance over and above the human being.)

      Of course, one might ask, if Torah is not fit "as is" to serve our needs, why even bother remaking it? Indeed, many will choose not to bother, and as autonomous individuals with lives to lead, they absolutely have that right. However, if you take out the God component, focus on "love your neighbor," and make the rituals of Judaism into occasions for elevating ourselves as human beings, coming together as families and as communities, then the practice of Judaism can be a lovely, meaningful, and utterly positive thing, with the capacity to inspire and support us as a people for generations to come.

      I would add though that I believe we need to do more to respond to those things in Torah which we find to be reprehensible. It's not enough to simply "not talk about it" (as silence = complicity) or even to reinterpret it. No, we have to actively and unequivocally repudiate it, reject it, and give that as the reason for our needing to reinterpret and remake Torah.

      Thanks for the thoughtful response!

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    3. What you are saying makes sense. However, if you remove god, why keep the Torah as a central subject in one's life? Why not say "we follow x traditions/holidays like our ancestors? If you keep the Torah around in a central role, I believe it remains dangerous. God is throughout it and cannot be separated so easily. Such a separation can only happen on an individual basis and is therefore a difficult way to help society evolve past its archaic themes.

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    4. I do agree with Ami, at a certain point, trying to make the Torah fit into your needs, you ask yourself....why need the Torah?

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    5. Ami and Holy Hyrax, good questions.

      I want to clarify/qualify something I said. About the idea that Torah should serve our needs... 1) "Our" needs refers not only to the individual's needs but also those of the community, which means sometimes (where appropriate) deciding to put aside our own self-interest for the sake of the "tzibur". 2) I don't mean that Judaism should merely reflect our wants. In fact I think sometimes it should challenge them, and challenge us to shoot higher. However, it's a challenge that exists to serve our interests, like the concept of "ezer k'negdo", helping us by challenging us.

      Why keep the Torah as central in one's life if the Biblical God is a myth? There is no one answer to this question. Habit, communal norms/expectations, cultural self-identity, aesthetic enjoyment, meaning and inspiration, wanting to see themselves as a part of something larger, to permeate daily life with a more elevated consciousness, etc. An number of reasons a person would be religiously observant.

      But I fully recognize that for many Jews it serves them much better to live without Torah/mitzvot. And that's fine, too. Far be it from me to "proselytize"!

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  13. >There's also "regret" for having created humanity, due to its evil ways - hence millions (innocent children most definitely included) were washed away with the Flood.

    I will take the story as Myth and move from there. Ask yourself, in context of the story (not your feelings) why God regretted making man? It's not because he all of a sudden woke up and decided to destroy them. It's because THEY were defiling the world with their evil ways and immorality. In context to the story, these children were growing up in an evil world and causing evil as they grow. Man, in general have become corrupt.

    In context to the entire story, your life is not your own. It is given to you. Therefore, he can take it. He punishes societies and nations (not necessarily the particular individuals) because as a nation you are responsible for the abhorrence which was caused. And the Israelites suffered for this as much as others. Think of it sort of like boot camp where the bad action of one, causes the discipline of the entire group.

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    1. Look, this is a dumb conversation for us to be having. I think the Torah is nothing more than a fairy take run a muck. So I really dont care that you think god is perfect. I think that is silly, and dangerous. But if you really think that, than there is no point of us talking. Anything i say can just be dismissed by t your belief that there is an unknown plan that you cannot prove exists that says your view is right and I am wrong. When you have some evidence, or what to have a conversation of substance, you know where to find me. But I am not going to argue with someone who has no point to make. it is waste of both our time.

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    2. Im not looking at it right now as fact. I am looking at it as a myth, ok? But I prefer to look at it in context of its OWN context. OK? It's a work of fiction? Ok? But even works of fiction have its own premise. What you do is simply ignore the premise and start shouting.


      >Anything i say can just be dismissed by t your belief that there is an unknown plan that you cannot prove exists that says your view is right and I am wrong.

      Of course this is silly. Because the fallacy of atheists (and Dawkins in particular) is that you argue God as if he was your next door neighbor. A neighbor is someone you can approach and understand. Therefore, if God is like a man, than why SHOULDN'T you understand his ways?

      >When you have some evidence

      Very lazy to suggest I can have evidence for a deity's worldly plans. Of course how would that help you Ami? Let's say all the evidence was thrown on your doorstep, what then? You would still have plenty of emotional misgivings about what he chooses to do. You would stay say he is jealous and a murderer and a tyrant that doesn't love but instead is prone to violence. So at least be honest.

      >But I am not going to argue with someone who has no point to make.

      thanks. You start bitching about Judaism and you don't want anyone taking the other side arguing against you? Keep bitching. The mic is all yours.

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    3. Oh please. Calm yourself. That is not what I said. I said you cannot have evidence. You just accept it. So what is the point of this debate? And of course I expect others to argue. My religious friends and me debate all the time. Its interesting, as long as the debate is of some value. But just saying god is right because he is god, than what? What should I say to that as someone that doesnt believe in god?

      And if I was proven wrong, I would be proven wrong. And yes I would have emotional issues with god still, but I would know he is real.

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    4. I can't have evidence obviously. But at least I can make a philosophical argument. Now, if you reject the idea that the concept of God will undoubtadly mean that mere mortals will not understand his ways, than fine, there is no point talking. I can't argue against the God you made up in your head and then destroy. I can only argue the idea of YHWH. Now, you don't have to believe in YHWH, but at least work on its own premise.

      >but I would know he is real.

      You just changed the topic. It's not about proof of his existence. It's proof of his workings in the world. That is why this is so disingenuous of you and has been my point . Even if you had all the proof in the world, you KNOW you would STILL now know his workings, so none of that would help.

      >What should I say to that as someone that doesnt believe in god?

      You don't believe in God, not because you don't know his ways but because there is no evidence of HIM. To repeat, even if you had evidence of his existence, you would still be complaining against what he does. Because, evidence of his existence does not equal, evidence or understanding of his workings.

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    5. Not the god I created, but YHWH. And no I did not change the topic. If I had proof of a super human being, I would trust I might just trust it to do what it thinks is right, as I once did when I believed in such things.

      What proof of his workings? Things you subjectively assign to god because it fits your belief system?

      And stop saying what I would do in a hypothetical situation that does not exist, or are you claiming to be a profit as well?

      If I had evidence of god, or more specifically the Jewish god, than there is a good chance I would see things differently. But there is no way of knowing because there is no proof. You keep writing things as if you know me well. You really really don't.

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    6. >I would trust I might just trust it to do what it thinks is right

      why? You are really asking me the same thing? So I get to ask YOU. Why? Just because you have proof he exists, how does that help YOU to know that what he does is for good? I'm simply throwing the ball back at you. The answer lies in your comment. "Trust."

      SINCE I believe in YHWH, I have TRUST that what he does is for the good.

      PS- you are simply wrong that you are arguing against YHWH (rather a God you created). God himself says in the Torah that man will not know his ways. So if you want to argue against YHYH....well.....argue against YHWH

      >Things you subjectively assign to god because it fits your belief system?

      LOL. I don't think you have any clue as to my belief system. I'm not some yeshiva bochur as you were. Nor do I subjectively assign anything with God. YOU get to complain against God via the text, than I am answering your question via the text as well along with the greater picture that you receive from reading Genesis to the end of Nach.

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    7. To amend what I said. I have trust, because I can't possibly know his entire reasons nor see the grand picture. By definition a human won't know the action of God. So we have trust.

      Trust comes into play when you don't know 100%

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    8. Once again very wrong. I was never a Yeshyvah bachur. But keep trying.

      I am arguing against a text I find to be amoral and for lack of evidence to the contrary, assume is man made. Than you come back with the same text that I am saying is man made, and saying god write that people wont understand. You believe god wrote the Torah. From that point on we really have very little to talk about. God cannot be wrong, we just cant know his ways and the conversation is over.

      however, if the torah is man made, than it is the evil of man and should not be a source of morality. that is my point. if you believe, that is your right. I used to, and I know how it feels.

      My argument isnt with the GOD. it is with the fictional character in a book that gets taken way to seriously. We are not even discussing the same thing. We have different starting points.

      You are just attacking me because you do not like me. Simple as that.

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    9. Oh please. I have nothing against you. I have a problem with your premise.


      >Than you come back with the same text that I am saying is man made, and saying god write that people wont understand. You believe god wrote the Torah.

      No, I am saying IF you believe in this God, than you have to go by HIS definition, not the definition you want to create. Hence, my defense of MH in his saying "God has his reasons"

      A) If you believe in God, by definition you are not going to understand his ways.

      B) Even IF you arguing against the [fictional] character of YHWH than you still have to argue context of this fairy tale, which is, he says "You won't understand all my ways"

      C) You admitted yourself that IF you had reason to believe in God, you would have to put your "Trust" in him even if you did not understand what he was doing (ie. the flood, 10 makot) . Then now you understand MH and myself.

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  14. >Examples of this are first the book "The Law of Kinds", written by Rabbi Lior in Israel about how sometimes one must kill non Jews, even innocent ones

    Am I wrong that the context of that was in context to war?

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    1. Law of Kings btw and yes it is and also to prevent war. Look, I am not a naive enough to say that Innocent never die in war and that there is a way to prevent such things. I am against the mentality that it is ok when NON JEWISH innocents die. One humans life is not worth less than another.

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    2. I haven't read his work and I doubt you have. I have a feeling that his work (and I may be wrong) is that in war if you have to kill innocents in order to kill terrorist, than it must be done if it will prevent death of soldiers and Israelis. I don't know if he said it is OK mechatchila that Non Jews die, but if they HAVE to die since you are fighting a war, than it has to be done.

      Remove Israel and Jew from the picture and replace it with any other war between other nations and you have the same thing.

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    3. You really know nothing about me. I have read more than you know I have, and my family is big Rabbi Lior fans and I have even met the man a number of times. I am closer to that world that you realize. I was brought up by parents who are Kahanasts and for a long time I believed in that way. I am not rejecting other peoples life style as much as I am rejecting my former life style.

      And no, Jew is not a nation and non Jew is not a nation. If you had to kill a Jew living in Egypt to save 10 Jews in Israel because he lived next door to a terrorist, halacha forbids that. But, if non Jewish life is not as valued and more easily sacrificed according to halacha. You can break shabbat to save a Jeiwsh life, but not a non Jewish life. These are known facts about halacha. Look it up.

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    4. Of course I know nothing about you. I am talking about Law of Kings. I will take your word for it that you know the content. i have a feeling halacha looks at it like a family member. Everyone obviously values their family over someone else's.

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