08 September 2006

Different strokes for different folks.






It's interesting how the same post was received in a different forum.
The original context of the post was slightly different but the general issues discussed there were the same as on my Blog.


What follows is is one of the replies I received on that Forum.

Posted here with permission from SZ

*************************************************************************************



[about Avigdor Miller]
> One statement that he made will forever stay with me.
>
> I paraphrase - " what do the evolutionists have to offer the world
> other than a dog's death?".

What a shallow, worthless and reprehensible statement. The same branch
of science that brings us evolution also brings us the most amazing
cures to all kinds of heretofore untreatable and wretched diseases.
The very things that, in previous generations, caused untold numbers
to "die like dogs" were in fact eradicated by this very same science.
What untold suffering it has alleviated! What a blight on humanity it
would be should we be convinced to drop evolution and its associated
sciences!

I shudder to think what would happen should we allow people with that
attitude to run roughshod over scientific progress. Dog's death
indeed! Scientific progress -- the thing these venomous statements are
aimed against -- brings immeasurable benefit to all our lives. Compare
that to what fundamentalist religious dogma has wrought throughout the
ages.

And what does the dogmatic anti-evolutionist stance propose to offer
the world? An imagined everlasting vainglorious existence, enjoying
the light of the feminine half ("Shechinah") of an incomprehensible
deity? How does that add more meaning to your life as opposed to
enjoying the light of a (usually) very comprehensible feminine
companion right here in this world, while contributing, in your own
small way, to scientific progress, and ensuring the fruits of this
progress remains available to other comprehensible beings to enjoy for
eternity?

How is mindless fealty to some incomprehensible super-being, ensuring
you always do what He expects, any more meaningful than single-minded
fealty to very comprehensible family and friends, ensuring you always
contribute to their happiness while not needlessly causing pain? How
does the imagined heavenly reward for every little thing someone does,
somehow elevate their existence above those who do good deeds for
truly altruistic reasons, without waiting for a reward in an imaginary
next world?

In fact, *that* is the true life (and death) of a dog, pining for a
reward from his incomprehensible master right up to his very last
breath. Humans are better than that. We don't need to imagine
ourselves slaves to a being more powerful than ourselves, keeping us
in line by the threat of punishment and the incentive of rewards. We
are capable of doing good deeds not because of a desire to appease an
incomprehensible deity, but because of our desire to increase the
sum-total of happiness of beings just like ourselves. Altruism and
happiness is what gives life (and death) true meaning, not slavish
obedience to something we cannot understand.

> Of course, that's no proof to Judaism, but I envy some of those that
> you seem to pity.

I agree with you on this. A lot of unquestioning believers live very
happy lives, and are not in need of anyone's pity. Having your life
regulated by a God and always knowing with an absolute certainty what
the "right" thing to do is, does alleviate a lot of life's stress the
rest of us experience.

This is why I agree that the approach you have taken with your wife
might be the most sensible one to take, at least for some.

-SZ

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    62 Comments:

    At September 10, 2006 3:29 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Wow, am I suppose to respond to that responce?

    Do you support that responce, because if you do, I need to tear it apart piece by piece.

     
    At September 10, 2006 6:48 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    IC, I agree with most of it. I'll be kind of busy the next couple of days, so I may not respond promptly, but I always love to hear diversity of opinion.

     
    At September 10, 2006 8:39 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    [about Avigdor Miller]
    > One statement that he made will re better than that. We don't need to imagine
    ourselves slaves to a being more powerful than ourselves, keeping us
    in line by the threat of punishmenforever stay with me.


    In fact, *that* is the true life (and death) of a dog, pining for a
    reward from his incomprehensible master right up to his very last
    breath. Humans at and the incentive of rewards. We
    are capable of doing good deeds not because of a desire to appease an
    incomprehensible deity, but because of our desire to increase the
    sum-total of happiness of beings just like ourselves. Altruism and
    happiness is what gives life (and death) true meaning, not slavish
    obedience to something we cannot understand.


    Way too much antroporphism for one who doesn't believe in things science doesn't explain.


    > Of course, that's no proof to Judaism, but I envy some of those that
    > you seem to pity.

    I agree with you on this. A lot of unquestioning believers live very
    happy lives, and are not in need of anyone's pity. Having your life
    regulated by a God and always knowing with an absolute certainty what
    the "right" thing to do is, does alleviate a lot of life's stress the
    rest of us experience.


    Guess what... MORE QUESTIONING believers live happy lives than those "unquestioning believers" Just because some of us were lucky to start asking questions early on, and had good teachers to answer our questions, doesn't mean you know more than we do. Infact, we probabbly know more.

    I read somewhere that Gilgamesh became famous on the blogs, however, I learned about gilgamesh in 10th grade at my Jewish highschool.


    Infact, most of the quetions I have seen on these blogs are questions we asked in highschool. Wait no, all of them were questions we asked in highschool.

     
    At September 10, 2006 10:21 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >Guess what... MORE QUESTIONING believers live happy lives than those "unquestioning believers"

    You took a survey?
    Either way, I'm sure that more MO fall away that Chareidim. Thos that question and stay, yes can be very happy. (Sort of like I was).

    But also take it in context; what SZ is saying is that there's no point in upsetting my wife.


    > . Wait no, all of them were questions we asked in highschool

    So you had a better indoctrination. I've often stated, that if you've been given this stuff (evolution, ancient earth, etc) early on in youth as part of th ecurricuulum , there's a better chance of staying with the program that if you get acquainted with if later on in life from outside sources. (That still doesn't make it true).

     
    At September 11, 2006 2:58 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >But also take it in context; what SZ is saying is that there's no point in upsetting my wife

    Really?

    It sounded to me like he was calling R. Avigdor Miller an inhumane monster with a desire that nobody ever get healed from medicine.

    Such a laugh. If I learned it in highschool that means I was indoctrinated, nevermind that I was being taught this stuff my athiest christains, and Lebonese Armenian history teachers, and a Buddhist Christian english teacher.

    No, all it means is that I had these questions when I was a teenager, and got stuck in the same trap you are in of looking at pieces and not looking at the whole. You are suffering from compartementlization to a degree that makes you forget facts that you would otherwise know.

    compartementlization is necessary for our brains to function, but you have to remember that just because you make a box, doesn't mean thats the only definition of the box.

     
    At September 11, 2006 8:47 AM, Anonymous cipher said...

    Altruism and happiness is what gives life (and death) true meaning, not slavish obedience to something we cannot understand.

    Irviner,

    I would suggest that right-wing Orthodoxy insists upon obedience to something we cannot understand. We are always told that God and his methods are beyond our comprehension, and that we are required to observe the commandments, both as they appear in Tanakh and as they have been interpreted by the Rabbis, whether or not we understand them, or the reasons for them. Obey first; understanding will, or may, come later.

    Over the past few months, I've seen your blog, and I've been reading your comments on blogs maintained by frum skeptics and agnostics. For someone who claims to be content with Orthodoxy, and to have had most of his questions answered satisfactorily, you seem to be pretty heavily invested in arguing with and trying to convince those who disagree with you.

     
    At September 11, 2006 11:13 AM, Anonymous Sheigetz said...

    BHB,

    SZ seems to have taken R' Miller completly out of context. He is most certainly not advocating that we abolish all scientific research/progress. He is taking issue with those theroies e.g. evolution, that are contrary to Torah.
    By painting R' Miller objections with such a broad stroke, it appears that SZ is just trying to discredit him (and those that believe like he does), rather than a true intellectual debate.
    In this regard, I feel that you too are not really interested in finding the truth, but rather in proving your point of view. I know you have denied this in previous posts, but I have yet to see a convincing argument for your kefiera, all I see is agruments against traditional Torah beliefs.

    It reminds of the addage from the Chofetz Chaim (I think), "If one believes there no questions, if one does not there are no answers."

    IC,
    Even though I doubt you will be able to convice any of the "kofrim" as I stated above, it makes for interesting reading. So keep up the good work.

     
    At September 11, 2006 11:21 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >But also take it in context; what SZ is saying is that there's no point in upsetting my wife

    >Really?

    > It sounded to me like he was calling R. Avigdor Miller an inhumane monster with a desire that nobody ever get healed from medicine.

    IC. You often do that. I say one thing and you apply it to a different statement.

    Please go back and read the thread of comment. I agree, he does blast R. Miller. but do you not agree with the medical benefits that evolyionary science provides?

    > No, all it means is that I had these questions when I was a teenager, and got stuck in the same trap you are in of looking at pieces and not looking at the whole. You are suffering from compartementlization to a degree that makes you forget facts that you would otherwise know.

    On the contrary,if I compartmentalize everything and accept an apolgetic answer here, there and everywhere, you can easily believe. It's in looking at the big picture, when I lost my faith.

     
    At September 11, 2006 11:26 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >cipher said...

    Cipher, welcome.

    It's kind of interesting. I opened a blog to engage with the skeptics but it's the Believers that comment the most. Maybe that's just the nature of things. The skeptics, nod their heads and agree, so it's only the believers that will really comment. So either some of these believers are trying to convince themselves at the same time and articulate what they want to believe. On the other hand IC and LY seem to each have their own strng consistent beliefs and are not waffling. Which is good.

     
    At September 11, 2006 11:37 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >SZ seems to have taken R' Miller completly out of context. He is most certainly not advocating that we abolish all scientific research/progress. He is taking issue with those theroies e.g. evolution, that are contrary to Torah.


    SZ, is upset because R. Miller says "The ONLY think Evolutionists provide" and that is certainly not true.

    > In this regard, I feel that you too are not really interested in finding the truth, but rather in proving your point of view.

    I'm not trying to prove anything in this blog. I stated in the past that I'm trying to express my beliefs and discuss the emotional aspects that accompanies these beliefs.

    > I know you have denied this in previous posts, but I have yet to see a convincing argument for your kefiera.

    read this http://baalhabos.blogspot.com/2006/07/come-with-me-little-neshamala.html



    > It reminds of the addage from the Chofetz Chaim (I think), "If one believes there no questions, if one does not there are no answers."

    I used to be the former. Now I'm in the latter category. If you have any answers, I'll be glad to hear them. The problem is there are TOO MANY ANSWERS. That's because there are thousands of questions. I don't need to re-state these on my blog. You want arguments, go to GH, LY, Dov Bear. Go to TFSG and look up the LINKS section for papers upon papers. What's the point of me reguritating that here?

    BTW, it's all sort of funny getting Mussar from A sheigits. As I said I amy be a Koifer but I'm not a Sheigets (I heard it elsewhere, though).

    Are you MoseySheigtz?


    > IC,
    Even though I doubt you will be able to convice any of the "kofrim" as I stated above,


    I wish he would.

     
    At September 11, 2006 1:48 PM, Anonymous Sheigetz said...

    >Are you MoseySheigtz?
    Yes, but I figured I am a sheigetz outside of Monsey as well. ;-)

    >BTW, it's all sort of funny getting Mussar from A sheigits

    Please do not take my comments as Mussar, I did not mean it as such. I was mearly adding my two cents to the "debate".
    Honestly, from what I read on your blog, I think you are a very nice guy, and perhaps not as big a kofer as you make out. I think you just do it for the ratings. LOL

     
    At September 11, 2006 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    who is SZ? where can I read his stuff?

     
    At September 11, 2006 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    who is SZ? where can I read his stuff?

     
    At September 11, 2006 2:26 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Over the past few months, I've seen your blog, and I've been reading your comments on blogs maintained by frum skeptics and agnostics. For someone who claims to be content with Orthodoxy, and to have had most of his questions answered satisfactorily, you seem to be pretty heavily invested in arguing with and trying to convince those who disagree with you.

    This is true, and this is why people think I'm concieded and arrogant. Because I have my answer to everything, because I'm allready comfortable with my understanding of the world.

    I just wish more people saw the world I did so they wouldn't have so much inner conflict in thier lives.

    As for the evolution stuff... Evolution does NOT lead to medical achievments. Thats a whole other ball game.

    If scientists used evolution to find cures to cancer and find ways of building better computers and better bridges, we would be sueing those scienetists left and right because of all thier failed attempts.


    somebody showed me something very interesting... If you take the Mass of every combination of amino acid that is possible (i.e. a protein chain of a length of 300 molocules) And added that all up, you would have more mass than the size of the Earth.

    Choices had to be made, and not every combination could have been created.

     
    At September 11, 2006 2:41 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >I used to be the former. Now I'm in the latter category. If you have any answers, I'll be glad to hear them. The problem is there are TOO MANY ANSWERS.

    This is what I ment by compartmentlization.

    If you take an honest look at reality, look at the whole of reality. And I mean a really honest look. From the homeless man on the streat in America, to the homeless in Thailand, to Bill gates, to the monks who don't work for a living, to the bloggers, to those who don't understand computers, to everyone.

    Any combination of a humanity that you can think of, exists in our world. There is no such thing as saying "You won't find a person who X" because you will find someone.

    The same can be said about life on earth in general(though to a slightly lesser degree)

    If you look at all of reality, the only conclusion I think an honest person can come to, is that there is no simple answer to anything.

    Then we come to Judaism, which has no simple answers to anything either. It looks like there are simple answers, and for each individual person there is a simple answer... but just as there is a type of person for everything, there is also every type of Jew, and if you look in the sources, you can find any answer you like also.

    Thats the argument for doing whatever the hell you want. The skeptics out here, also seem to think that this is "proof" that Judaism is bunk. It doesn't give a single answer that conforms with every current opinion about the way the world works. (even though that vision of the world is constantly changing depending on the century and culture you are in.. yet Judaism works in all those cultures in all those centuries)


    Once you finish looking at ALL of reality, then you have to come back home. To your time and your place, and you have to make decisions. Its at this point that Judaism, also has an answer for you. If you follow Avigdor Miller, you will get this answer, if you follow Rav Kook you will get this answer. But all of them are able to take the world at large, the infinitness of it, and bring it down to concrete things.

    I wish I could say my final point in writing, but its not going to happpen. But basically, you come to a point where you have a system that works everywhere at any time for every person, yet at the same time you are making your own choices, but you keep your choices within a framework that you know works if you make the right choices for yourself within that framework.

    the reason I think the BTs are often more into this, is because it says "To reach the heighest heights, you have to first go to the lowest lows".. I also thought that every FFB should at an early point in thier life reject judaism, just so they could be a True BT, because being a BT is better than being an FFB. Then I learned that not everybody analyzes every aspect of life the way I do, and so many may reject but never bother putting in the effort to know if they should come back or not.

    Ok, I think I'm done ranting, and if I left something out, I'll notice that by the way you respond.

    There are pages more I could say on this subject.

     
    At September 11, 2006 3:57 PM, Blogger JewishBiFemme said...

    Hmmmmm. No comment lol

     
    At September 11, 2006 6:26 PM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

    >SZ seems to have taken R' Miller completly out of context. He is most certainly not advocating that we abolish all scientific research/progress. He is taking issue with those theroies e.g. evolution, that are contrary to Torah.

    This is a completely untenable approach because it will destroy the entire enterprise of science. Why should science place the dogmas of Orthodox Judaism off limits? Why wouldn't they then also place the dogmas of Muslims or Calvinists or Jehova's Witnesses (no blood transfusions!) off limits too? And its more than "why should it"--it *can't* do it.

    This approach seems to think that the scientific method can pick and choose what it is doing but it cannot. It has to use critical thinking, irrespective of which dogmas it contradicts.

     
    At September 11, 2006 7:14 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >This is a completely untenable approach because it will destroy the entire enterprise of science

    Since when does science claim to know the Truth?

     
    At September 11, 2006 8:18 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    jbf

    LOL indeed! (the title says it all)

     
    At September 11, 2006 11:50 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Sheigets, a koifer is a koifer.

    Anon, SZ, does most of his postings on TFSG (Yahoo forum).

    IC, are you saying Evolutionary theory is not the foundation for up and coming medicate treatments, Gene therapy, understanding new Virus, etc?
    >Once you finish looking at ALL of reality, then you have to come back home. To your time and your place, and you have to make decisions. Its at this point that Judaism, also has an answer for you.

    IC, I really I'm glad for you that the answers do the trick. They just do not for me.


    > If you follow Avigdor Miller, you will get this answer,

    Did you ever read R' Miller? Do you agree with him?

    > if you follow Rav Kook you will get this answer.

    Is there any sort of concensus, between Satmar, R' Miller, R'kook, E'Elyashiv?


    I wish I could say my final point in writing, but its not going to happpen. But basically, you come to a point where you have a system that works everywhere at any time for every person, yet at the same time you are making your own choices, but you keep your choices within a framework that you know works if you make the right choices for yourself within that framework.

    I don't understand.

    >the reason I think the BTs are often more into this, is because it says "To reach the heighest heights, you have to first go to the lowest lows"..

    Most of our great ancestors, the Avos, etc, did not fall into this category.

    > I also thought that every FFB should at an early point in thier life reject judaism, just so they could be a True BT, because being a BT is better than being an FFB.

    Bmokom Sheballei Teshuv Omdim..



    I don't get your drift with the amino acids

     
    At September 11, 2006 11:52 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    JBF, I have no idea what you mean, but welcome! The title of this post seems to suit your lifestyle ;)


    MSF, welcome I'm not certain that's what IC really meant.

     
    At September 12, 2006 1:36 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Is there any sort of concensus, between Satmar, R' Miller, R'kook, E'Elyashiv?

    Ofcourse there is... do you really have to ask this question?

    The consensus is everyday halacha. They all agree on everything you probabbly do (if you are telling the truth) shabbos, Kashrut, brachas, pesach, the obligation to daven. The differences are really quite minor.

    This idea that everyone always has to agree with eachother for it to be true, is actually the exact opposite of what Torah teaches us.

    If you look at the laws of false prophets you will know what I mean.


    Also the Avot did come from the lowest lows as well. Its just that thier lowest is way above our highest.

    As for the rest of the stuff, it was ranting, if you don't get it you don't get it.

     
    At September 12, 2006 1:39 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >IC, are you saying Evolutionary theory is not the foundation for up and coming medicate treatments, Gene therapy, understanding new Virus, etc?

    Oops didn't answer this one.

    I am saying that the concept that Humans are the same thing as animals, and that animals are the same thing as plants is NOT the foundation for gene therapy.

    I am sayin that you can do gene therepy and reject evolution. Just as you can do astrophysics and reject the idea that all orbits are circular.

    However, it is true that without them thinking that orbits were circular you would never have astrophysics. And it is true that the idea that evolution might be true, lead people to discover what allows them to do gene therepy.

     
    At September 12, 2006 10:46 AM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

    >Since when does science claim to know the Truth?

    It has nothing to do with "the Truth," (is that a proper noun?).

    It has to do with perfecting heart surgeries, finding cures for cancer and more efficient ways of feeding people.

    Is dogmatic purity really more important than using human intellect to make the world a better, healthier world? And yes I know all about the A bomb. I still say humans are more fortunate to have science than to not have it.

     
    At September 12, 2006 11:00 AM, Blogger Kylopod said...

    "IC, are you saying Evolutionary theory is not the foundation for up and coming medicate treatments, Gene therapy, understanding new Virus, etc?"

    Microevolution, maybe. Not universal common ancestry.

     
    At September 12, 2006 11:03 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >>Is there any sort of concensus, between Satmar, R' Miller, R'kook, E'Elyashiv?

    > Ofcourse there is... do you really have to ask this question?


    I meant in HAshkafa. It's kind of funny because I believe usually Eilu V'Eilu Divrei is said about halacha. And now, we have basic agreemen t in Halacha but HAshkafa is so divergent.

     
    At September 12, 2006 11:21 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
    At September 12, 2006 11:25 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    KP, I may have overemphasized the evolutionary aspect. The scientific community which brings us Evolution, brings us great medical & technological innovation.

    BTW, are you saying Common universal Ancestry is not part of Evolution in general? Can you trust Macroevolution without it?

     
    At September 12, 2006 1:34 PM, Blogger Kylopod said...

    KP, I may have overemphasized the evolutionary aspect. The scientific community which brings us Evolution, brings us great medical & technological innovation.

    But that doesn't really tell us anything about the truth or falsity of evolution. Many important scientific breakthroughs were made within frameworks that were later rejected. Alchemists made many advances in chemistry. Many of the great discoveries that would later aid evolutionary biology--the beginnings of taxonomy, paleontology, and genetics, among other things--took place within a creationist framework.

    I agree with S.'s point that science should not be bound by any religious dogma. If it was, it wouldn't be science. The ultimate test of any theory is whether it stands up to the evidence, not whether it is a product of "the scientific community."

    BTW, are you saying Common universal Ancestry is not part of Evolution in general? Can you trust Macroevolution without it?

    Most scientists today accept universal common ancestry on the grounds that multiple origin seems too unlikely. But certainly that issue is separable from acceptance of microevolution, or even evolution across the species.

     
    At September 12, 2006 1:59 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Is dogmatic purity really more important than using human intellect to make the world a better, healthier world? And yes I know all about the A bomb. I still say humans are more fortunate to have science than to not have it.'

    You are missing the argument. Nobody is saying that Hard science is bad.

    All that is being said, is that the belief that Humans are not divinely special is bad.

     
    At September 12, 2006 2:00 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >I meant in HAshkafa. It's kind of funny because I believe usually Eilu V'Eilu Divrei is said about halacha. And now, we have basic agreemen t in Halacha but HAshkafa is so divergent.

    Since when was Judaism soley defined by Hashkafa?

    If you want to see Hashkafic arguments, you can open up the talmud.

     
    At September 12, 2006 2:04 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Also, even on matters of Hashkafa, all the rabbis you mentioned agree on many points. Such as Jeruselem being the site of the Temple, the comming of Moshiach, the divinity of the Torah, That one should rest on shabbat.. I bet they all agree on what is "shabbostik" or not.

    The points of divergance that make Jewish communities look so different, are actually very small. Its usualy 1 or 2 concepts that will cause a commmunity to completely split.

    But that is a fairly seperate issue, which many people attribute to gallus.

     
    At September 12, 2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

    >You are missing the argument. Nobody is saying that Hard science is bad.

    >All that is being said, is that the belief that Humans are not divinely special is bad.

    It doesn't matter if it's "bad." Science can't take into account Islamic dogma and it can't take into account Torah dogma (which, by the way, is highly debated--who appointed R. Avigdor Miller the last word on what is and isn't kosher science?).

    If any dogmas were taken into account and limited what scientists were able to say or think then science would not happen. There was dogma which wouldn't have allowed Copernicus to make his discovery. This imposition will cripple the critical thinking faculties of people. And besides, why should your dogma be privileged over many others? Scientists can't train themselves not to violate the dogmas *you* hold dear and they certainly can't be sure not to offend all possible dogmas.

     
    At September 12, 2006 3:42 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >If any dogmas were taken into account and limited what scientists were able to say or think then science would not happen.

    Where do you get the idea that anybody is saying what dogmas are taking into account for science?

    And by the way... Science DOES take certain Dogmas into acount. For example. Science will not do experiments on live human beings. There are ethics even in Science.

     
    At September 12, 2006 3:44 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
    At September 12, 2006 3:44 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Please explain to me why any scientist has to believe that Humans are just another form of bacteria inorder to do scientific research.

    I thought science was immune to the beliefs of its practictioners.

     
    At September 12, 2006 4:29 PM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

    >Where do you get the idea that anybody is saying what dogmas are taking into account for science?

    Well, my initial response was to the comment that R. Avigdor Miller was "not advocating that we abolish all scientific research/progress," rather he was "taking issue with those theroies e.g. evolution, that are contrary to Torah."

    My point is that he derived at his issue with evolution and whatever else he didn't like through religious dogma. A sound critique of science can't be based on someone's dogmas.

    >And by the way... Science DOES take certain Dogmas into acount. For example. Science will not do experiments on live human beings. There are ethics even in Science.

    Ethics aren't dogmas.

    Even if you only mean that science does impose limitations on what it is willing to do that are not mandated by science itself, while true, this is neverthless not a compelling reason why science should take into account that it doesn't violate religious dogmas, particularly as it cannot be sensitive to all religions and all dogmas. If it did then science would collapse and that was my original point. Science can't proceed if it can't draw the conclusion that species evolve because this goes against a particular belief system. Jehova's Witnesses believe there are alternative to blood transfusions. Should this belief play a role in science?

    >Please explain to me why any scientist has to believe that Humans are just another form of bacteria inorder to do scientific research.

    Scientists don't have to have any particular belief about humans, but they certainly can't conduct proper research if they are not *allowed* to think certain things or draw certain conclusions.

     
    At September 13, 2006 12:44 AM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    Ok, once again, nobody is criticising the process of science, nor its conclusions.


    The criticism is for us normal people who do not do research, to believe the outcome of some sciences as Emet.

    why don't you get this?

     
    At September 13, 2006 7:45 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > I agree with S.'s point that science should not be bound by any religious dogma

    Or that evolutionists (scientists) bright more to the world than a "dogs death".

     
    At September 13, 2006 11:20 AM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

    >why don't you get this?

    Because its absurd. Only those engaged in the scientific endeavor will ignore religious dogma while those not engaged will consume the benefits of their work while rejecting the method they use?

     
    At September 13, 2006 4:10 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Because its absurd. Only those engaged in the scientific endeavor will ignore religious dogma while those not engaged will consume the benefits of their work while rejecting the method they use?

    I really don't get why this is so complicated, and what you are really arguing. Because so far you are not arguing against anything anybody here has said or implied.

    If somebody tells me that computers work because there are little mice running inside the box, it really does not affect at all how I program software.

    This year science thinks genetics works because of evolution. Next year they will think it works because of String Theory. The year after that it will be a theory about how quarks manipulate matter and are the real driving force behind biology.

    Dogmas and theories only matter in academics.

    Its like in cryptology.. people were creating codes and breaking them, long before anyone articulate the mathematical theory of how they work.

    There is ZERO connection between modern medicine and the concept that Humans are predetermined animals with no free will. (even though thats what the theory of evolution says)

     
    At September 13, 2006 4:54 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > If somebody tells me that computers work because there are little mice running inside the box, it really does not affect at all how I program software.

    Not true. As someone who works in software, you should know that. I won'treven bother to give you examples. By understanding the internals of anything, you can and should adapt for it. I imagine the same is true for underlying theory of evolution. The better one understands the theory behind anything, the better they can exploit it.

     
    At September 13, 2006 6:10 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    My knowledge of hardware is from the early 90s. Almost none of that information is true anymore. I know this because I tried to build a , racomputer recently, and everything was too different, and the number of options too great.

    Just like knowing if my Graphics card is PCI, PCI-Express, or AGP is meaningless for my programming, how is believing that monkies are the closest living realitive to humans usefull for solving problems of science?

    In fact, If we went off evolution alone, we would be in a world of hurt because Pig hearts are closer to human hearts than Monkey hearts are. We do tests on mice much more often than tests on monkies.

     
    At September 14, 2006 7:33 AM, Blogger Billie Jean said...

    > In fact, If we went off evolution alone, we would be in a world of hurt because Pig hearts are closer to human hearts than Monkey hearts are. We do tests on mice much more often than tests on monkies.

    Firstly, they're called monkeys.

    Secondly, we do tests on mice more often than on monkeys because it's easier to get ethical approval for it, they have a short life span, and are easy to genetically modify.

    Thirdly, despite what religious fundamentalists would have you believe, scientists are not dogmatic about evolution. They're able to use their common sense and scientific method to work out what hearts are best to use for transplants, irrespective of our genetic similarity to primates.

    Fourthly, Darwin's theory of evolution has had a huge impact on genetics and molecular biology. These fields are the cutting edge for medicine: development of treatment for cancer, diabetes, genetic disorders, etc all depend on principles of natural selection.

    And by the way, string theory has nothing to do with genetics.

     
    At September 14, 2006 7:40 AM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    since ic repeated the urban myth of pigs heart, it hit me this may be one of those kiruv proofs sold at gateways weekends.

    my neighbor recently said the same thing to me.
    i told him i would look it up on google.

    surprise surprise.
    i wonder how much effort the kiruv people put into investigating their own claims.
    or do they figure since the internet ban, no one will second guess them?

     
    At September 14, 2006 8:04 AM, Blogger Kylopod said...

    "Darwin's theory of evolution has had a huge impact on genetics and molecular biology."

    And vice versa.

    "These fields are the cutting edge for medicine: development of treatment for cancer, diabetes, genetic disorders, etc all depend on principles of natural selection."

    Natural selection, yes. Macroevolution, no.

     
    At September 14, 2006 8:27 AM, Anonymous cipher said...

    Anything that adds to the totality of human knowledge increases our understanding of the universe and our place in it. Concerning our origins, evolution is the theory that best fits the evidence. Jewish and (especially) Christian fundamentalists deny this vigorously. They are simply wrong.

    Irviner, you have made a decision to accept, a priori and as an article of faith, that anything that contradicts the received tradition is, by definition, wrong. You remind me of my Chabadnik nephew, who also doesn't believe in evolution. He believes as well that the sun revolves around the earth, because the Rebbe once said something ambiguous about it, and because, supposedly, Maimonides supported the Ptolemaic model, and we can't contradict Maimonides because he is a greater genius than any scientist, past or present, including Copernicus, Newton and Einstein. And he responds to contradictory evidence in a similar way – “What does it matter? What difference does it make to anyone’s life?” This just floors me. I believe sincerely that this outlook, apathetic at best and hostile at worst, is holding us back as a species. In its Christian and Islamic iterations, it is destroying our planet and our global civilization.

    Again, I have to ask – why do you and Lakewood Yid spend so much time and expend so much energy trying to convince everyone else that they are wrong? If I understood your earlier response, you were saying that it’s because you believe that they would all be happier if they shared your perspective. I don’t buy this. My repeated experience over the course of many years has been that when someone tries so hard to convince others that he is right – especially when a faith-based belief system is involved – he isn’t trying to convince them, as much as he is trying to convince himself.

     
    At September 14, 2006 10:15 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    IC, I'm somewhat acquainted with software development, and the better the understanding of the underlying hartdware and OS, the better one can develop for it. The better you understand the workings of anything, the better you can explit that knowledge and make it work for you.

    Cipher,
    > My repeated experience over the course of many years has been that when someone tries so hard to convince others that he is right – especially when a faith-based belief system is involved – he isn’t trying to convince them, as much as he is trying to convince himself.

    Is that so bad? Part of the reason I blog, is to help clarify and articulate what I do believe. And that can be an eye-opener. The debate on both sides of the fence forces each to analyze their true beliefs. Maybe a test would be to see if you can debate in favor of the other viewpoint. I can't. Which just solidifies my own beliefs. In that sense, I'm glad I don't have now young children to put through the yeshiva system. I would find it difficult to sit and learn chumash with them in a fashion that is suitable for their environment. And thank God (can I say that) that I'm not in the Chinuch world.

     
    At September 14, 2006 10:48 AM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    bhb
    i have a young son just starting gemera (elu mitziyos).

    im looking forward to learning with him. if a harvard scholar finds near east studies valuable enough to make it a career, i feel i can be proud to continue the tradition of talmud study.

    it also will probably be the first time i actually learned it, as in school i never paid attention. That clearly was a combination of learning issues and bad rebbeim.
    in those days, it was called "the student being lazy"
    my son on the other hand has a zest for learning, and it also provides father and son bonding time.

     
    At September 14, 2006 10:50 AM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    which reminds me.
    any study on kids with learning issues and accepting the standard explanations of our religion?

    what percentage of skeptics had learning issues (im talking about people with average to above average intelligence).

     
    At September 14, 2006 11:53 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > i have a young son just starting gemera (elu mitziyos).im looking forward to learning with him.

    Happy, I have no problem with Gemara. I specifically said Chumash!

     
    At September 14, 2006 11:55 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > what percentage of skeptics had learning issues (im talking about people with average to above average intelligence).

    I have no idea, perhaps "Off the derech by Margoles" has some insight.

     
    At September 14, 2006 12:21 PM, Blogger happywithhislot said...

    bhb
    whats the problem with chumash?
    why do you diffrentiate?

     
    At September 14, 2006 1:44 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    >whats the problem with chumash?
    why do you diffrentiate?

    Happy, Gemara is logic and reason (of a sort). You can tell yourself and even a child, that aggadata has some other meaning. So it;s not being intellectaully dishonest.

    But learning Chumash with a child and teaching them Breishis & Shmos means teaching something you don't believe in. I don't think you're go to tell your eight year old, that Noach really didn't spend time on a Taiva while the rest of the world boiled in hot water.

     
    At September 14, 2006 2:19 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >Irviner, you have made a decision to accept, a priori and as an article of faith, that anything that contradicts the received tradition is, by definition, wrong. You remind me of my Chabadnik nephew, who also doesn't believe in evolution.

    Wow, that is news to me, since when do I not believe in evolution?

    And string theory is the theory of everything, so it by definition has to affect biology.

     
    At September 14, 2006 3:32 PM, Anonymous cipher said...

    Sorry, that was my perception.

     
    At September 14, 2006 3:38 PM, Anonymous cipher said...

    BHB,

    Is that so bad?

    Well, yeah... I rather think it is. If they're arguing with you because they're trying to "save" you, I think it's the height of presumption. If, as I suspect, they're attempting to quell their own doubts and anxieties, then they're attacking you when you may be at your weakest, and with ulterior motives. I don't mean to second-guess you, but my impression over the past year has been that frum skeptics and agnostics who start blogging do so because they are looking for a support community that they can't find off-line.

    And, if I'm wrong, if some of you are doing it because you secretly want to be drawn back in - then the proselytizers don't seem to be doing a very good job!

    Plus, to be honest – I find it grating. These guys all have an attitude.

     
    At September 14, 2006 5:30 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Cipher,

    > If they're arguing with you because they're trying to "save" you, I think it's the height of presumption.

    Why, if they're doing it because of true conviction. It's hard to blame them.

    > If, as I suspect, they're attempting to quell their own doubts and anxieties, then they're attacking you when you may be at your weakest, and with ulterior motives.

    Are you saying they might not really believe but convince someone who's borderline? Wow, that would really be ironic.

    > I don't mean to second-guess you, but my impression over the past year has been that frum skeptics and agnostics who start blogging do so because they are looking for a support community that they can't find off-line.


    Absolutely. It was very lonely before.

    > And, if I'm wrong, if some of you are doing it because you secretly want to be drawn back in - then the proselytizers don't seem to be doing a very good job!


    Very perceptive. After being a skeptic for seven years and thinking I was the only one such as me, I was hopeful there were answers. When I stumbled into the Blogworld, it took all of 2 or 3 days, to confirm my fears. But my own blog is just to give me an outlet to tell my bottled up feelings. I'm not expecting any salvation or miracles from my blogging.

    > Plus, to be honest – I find it grating. These guys all have an attitude.

    I think, that more than anything they're frustrated at how stubborn we are and how difficult it is to make a solid case for faith.

     
    At September 14, 2006 7:11 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >I think, that more than anything they're frustrated at how stubborn we are and how difficult it is to make a solid case for faith.

    I have never been fustrated by somebody' level of stubbonrness. I am very stubborn myself.

    However, I am ALWAYS fustrated when people who are "skeptics" (what a crappy word by the way) decide that truth comes from mockery and "just joking"

    I don't make jokes about other religions, I don't make jokes about pagans, I don't make jokes about Athiests. Why is it ok for the "athiests" to mock and deride people of faith or anyone who they think is "stupid" or an "idiot"?

    I see it everywhere. one reason I like talking on this blog, is that BH doesn't do that. But too many others do. As if being popular and being witty means they have super knowledge or something.

    I can be just as witty and jabby in reallife as people on these blogs, but since I don't know anybody here, I try to hold back my jokes. You can't see the expression on my face or hear my tone.

    Its the mockery that fustrates me to no end, because it just further divides people. (but who cares right? "its fun! don't be so anal")

     
    At September 14, 2006 7:13 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    I have yet to see a valid argument for athiesm or the the falseness of any religious argument. you can't make a good case for that either.

    infact, if you do enough research on the internet, you will see that you can't make a solid case for anything.

     
    At September 14, 2006 8:44 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    > I see it everywhere. one reason I like talking on this blog, is that BH doesn't do that.

    Thanks; and I though it was cause I was witty ;

    >I have yet to see a valid argument for athiesm or the the falseness of any religious argument. you can't make a good case for that either.


    You think you can't make an argument against Christianity (How about the Ramban's Veekooach?)

     
    At September 15, 2006 5:52 PM, Blogger Irviner Chasid said...

    >You think you can't make an argument against Christianity (How about the Ramban's Veekooach?)

    His arguments would never convince an agnostic christian.

    Everyone has different axioms which they assume. And everyone has different ones.

     

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