The Prager/Zindler debate on the existence of the Jewish god.
Dennis Prager and Frank Zindler debated the existence of the Jewish god at the recent American Atheist convention in Minneapolis. Frank did a superlative job of undermining the flimsy rationale for the existence of this god. I would like to offer a few more nails in its coffin.
Prager defined his god as nonphysical – beyond this world. If completely nonphysical how then did this god create, interact with and dominate the physical universe?
Prager said that although religion cannot explain evil, atheism cannot explain the rest of the world. But it can. It’s called science and it explains great portions of the extant universe.
Prager said that so what if his god cannot be defined or measured neither can happiness love or pornography. Happiness and love however can be and are being measured and quantified just like any other aspect of conscious emotion by self report correlated with behavior, autonomic and hormonal variables. The last time I looked the dictionary defined pornography as anything that is created explicitly to cause sexual excitement or arousal.
Prager says happiness according to science is simply the amount of serotonin in the brain. This reveals a profound naivete of neuroscience. The brain circuits underlying emotion utilize serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine plus many more neurotransmitters, are distributed throughout diverse nuclei in the brain, are highly complex and have been evolving for hundreds of millions of years. Serotonin level – ha ha!
Prager says that both Communism and Nazism were based on atheism. Then how come the Nazis killed millions of their brother atheist Communists and vice versa? And how come old fashioned Communism, which was dogmatic, authoritarian and oblivious of evidence, has more in common with religion than with rational atheism? And how come no Communist ever wrote an atheist tract like those written by Dawkins et al? Although old fashioned Communism talked atheism they did not walk atheism.
Prager said that Judaism was and is an unmitigated blessing to the world which has only brought great good to humankind. Then how come it brought a contempt for women (see the orthodox Jewish morning prayer “thank god I am not a woman&rdquo. And how come Judaism contains institutional bigotry in that it commands Jews to treat other Jews with more respect and dignity than gentiles?
Eric Stone, PhD
Chappaqua, NY 10514