Regarding Flavius Josephus

outofnowheres
outofnowheres's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: 2009-11-08
User is offlineOffline
Regarding Flavius Josephus

Is he a reliable historian when it comes to the life of Jesus?

 

http://sacred-texts.com/judi/josephus/ant-18.htm

Check out Chapter 3, paragraph 3. Is this guy a credible historian?

 

p.s. I have no clue about which forum topic to place this.

Idiots are Fun! No wonder every village wants one.-House


outofnowheres
outofnowheres's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: 2009-11-08
User is offlineOffline
Sorry about the broken link. I'll just paste it.

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

Idiots are Fun! No wonder every village wants one.-House


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
 Flavius Josephus 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Josephus

outofnowheres wrote:

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

 

Josephus was not a contemporary of jesus - he was born about 5 years after jesus is alleged to have died and would not have been doing much in the way of quality writing for at least another 25 years - most likely longer. Josephus did most his writing from his patron's house in Rome - he was no field historian. This would have been very second hand or he would have been making it up.

Most importantly, this passage first appeared in the copy of the Jewish Wars owned by church historian and power broker Eusibius Pamphili, a man who lived both sides of AD300 and who exhorted his friends to falsify documents to support NT claims. The passage does not appear in earlier Jewish texts and most credible historians believe it to be a fabrication inserted out out context.

You need to consider that the words could only have been written by a christian - no practising jew, as Josephus was his whole life, could have written "if it be lawful to call him a man...he was the christ". It's a very clever attempt to validate the entire christian doctrine of the ressurection, forgiveness in christ and all the rest of it, in one single paragraph.

The tone of the line "And the tribe of christians...are not extinct to this day" also subtly suggests the author was writing long after the events.

Eusebius wrote to a friend prior to the discovery of this text and said something along the lines of: "In the cause of our argument we will need additional historical support - for our purposes let us turn to Josephus the Jew."

There are oblique references to a chrestus and a jesus in Tacitus and elsewhere but they could be talking about anyone. There's no mention of messiahs rising from the dead, long darknesses at midday, earthquakes and stars falling from the sky associated with jewish revolutionaries. The NT is almost completely unsupported by contemporary historians of the day. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


outofnowheres
outofnowheres's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: 2009-11-08
User is offlineOffline
So, Flavius isn't reliable......

Thanks for answering my question.

 

Im now unsubcribing from this post.


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
His references to Jesus aren't reliable

 

But he is a credible source and a prolific historian.

Christians who visit this thread may contend and with justification, that the historical method in which multiple documentary references combine to carry increasing weight applies to the NT and any scraps gleaned from the historians of the day.

I personally think the case of jesus is too important to rely on justification using nothing but the unknown authors of the NT and the 3 or 4 indirect things that exist outside it.

From memory the gold standard is 2 sources that don't always agree and an eyewitness - correct me some one if you like.

In any case I think when you're talking about the presence on earth of a living god, embracing this standard becomes perilous.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist wrote: But

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

But he is a credible source and a prolific historian.

Yes, and much of his other writings are accepted, to a fair degree, without dispute.  But the interpolation of "Jesus" doesn't appear in all the existent manuscripts.  That's why that interpolation is suspect.

Atheistextremist wrote:
Christians who visit this thread may contend and with justification, that the historical method in which multiple documentary references combine to carry increasing weight applies to the NT and any scraps gleaned from the historians of the day.

Most Christians are unaware that many of the writers aren't eyewitnesses, and that in the case, for example, of The Gospel According to Luke, I believe that Luke was Paul's personal physician.  So these aren't INDEPENDENT references.

Atheistextremist wrote:
I personally think the case of jesus is too important to rely on justification using nothing but the unknown authors of the NT and the 3 or 4 indirect things that exist outside it.

I don't know that there is even one reliable source outside of the Greek texts.  Consider the case of James the Just -- he's considered to be an historical figure, but I don't know of any reliable writings by James that testify to Jesus' existence.  His historical behavior is inconsistent with Jesus as any sort of divine messenger who "replaced" all of Jewish Law.  That's part of what we do know reliably about James -- he was very active in the Jewish community, and very active as a pious Jew, prior to being murdered.  Likewise, what is known about Peter is that he left the movement that had, by that time, become dominated by Paul and supposedly performed "teshuvah", an act of repentance, for having been involved with that movement.  That also testifies against Jesus as the founder of a new religious movement, and testifies to Paul having invented Christianity as a heretical belief system.  Those are two independent sources that refute Pauline Christianity, and to me that's a slam dunk proof that Pauline Christianity, at a minimum is fake.

Atheistextremist wrote:
From memory the gold standard is 2 sources that don't always agree and an eyewitness - correct me some one if you like.

In any case I think when you're talking about the presence on earth of a living god, embracing this standard becomes perilous.

My recollection, and it's been 25 years since I set foot in a History class in Uni, is that independence is critical.  The four Gospel accounts need to be counted as a single source, and disagreements counted against their accuracy.

(As an aside, if we take Josephus at face value, along with what is known about James, Jesus was definitely not the Messiah, and the genealogies in the Gospels are false.  If we don't take Josephus at face value, there are zero sources for the historicity of Jesus, and the only accepted sources still point to Paul as the inventor of Christianity. )

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Ctrl Y
Theist
Posts: 73
Joined: 2007-05-19
User is offlineOffline
outofnowheres wrote:3. Now

outofnowheres wrote:

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

Gary and Lisa Giblin refute this passage as evidence for a historical Jesus in the latest Skeptic magazine:

"This passage, and another longer passage about Jesus, are almost certainly Christian interpolations - if for no other reason than the fact that Josephus was a devout Jew who would hardly have described Jesus as a 'wise man' who did 'wonderful works' and 'won over many Jews.'"


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Ctrl Y wrote:outofnowheres

Ctrl Y wrote:

outofnowheres wrote:

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

Gary and Lisa Giblin refute this passage as evidence for a historical Jesus in the latest Skeptic magazine:

"This passage, and another longer passage about Jesus, are almost certainly Christian interpolations - if for no other reason than the fact that Josephus was a devout Jew who would hardly have described Jesus as a 'wise man' who did 'wonderful works' and 'won over many Jews.'"

The real proof that it is a Christian interpolation isn't that Josephus wouldn't have called him a "wise man" or that he did "wonderful works" or even "won over many Jews".  The real proof it's a Christian interpolation is that the Messiah doesn't die until Universal Peace is instituted.  There were many "wise men" of that era, including people we still quote today -- Rabbi Hillel being one.  And people did "wonderful works" -- tonight starts Hanukkah and someone, somewhere light the miraculous 8 day oil.  And there were even people who have massive followings -- James the Just, who is very much an historical figure, had quite the following.  The problem is that Isaiah doesn't allow for a "do over", and even if it DID allow for a "do over", based on what Jesus said ("some among you will not die until you've seen me come again in a cloud of glory", or whatever the Greek texts claim), he flunked the qualifications for being the "do over" guy.  Rome sacked Jerusalem in 70CE and destroyed Judea in 135CE.  Still no Jesus #2, still no global peace, still no not much of anything by way of being "[the] Christ".  The qualifications for being "the Messiah" are very straightforward -- Universal Peace, rebuild the Temple, be the King of Israel.  Rome occupied Judea for all of Josephus's life, the Temple was destroyed in 70CE and not rebuilt, and Herod was the King when Jesus was killed.  Three strikes, he's outta there.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:and

FurryCatHerder wrote:

and Herod was the King when Jesus was killed.

actually, herod antipas was tetrarch of galilee.  the romans dissolved the judean monarchy after herod the great's death.  there was no king when jesus died.

by the way, there are still sabbatians among the jewish people today, are there not?

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Again, whoever was reported

Again, whoever was reported to be a real human is irrelevant to me to the subject of fantastic magical claims such as virgin births and surviving rigor mortis.

Scientology is based on a REAL human being who wrote a REAL books and REAL people started a new religion off of a falsehood. Even IF Jesus was a real man, which any honest historian should admit, is debatable at best, it still would not make the earth made in 6 days nor would spitting in someone's eye to cure their blindness be a valid medical procedure.

Considering the time it was written at best you might say that this "historical" person wanted the claims to be real because like most humans today, will write anything to justify the existence of their claimed super heros.

We can see Superman in movies flying around New York City, but no sane person believes that Superman is real because they saw him flying around New York City.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

and Herod was the King when Jesus was killed.

actually, herod antipas was tetrarch of galilee.  the romans dissolved the judean monarchy after herod the great's death.  there was no king when jesus died.

Picky, picky.  Whatever the answer, there was never a "King Jesus".  Not that it would be possible -- based on Josephus and other sources, if Jesus ever did exist, he was of the House of Levi, therefore not at all in the Davidic line (House of Judah), therefore couldn't ever become King.

iwbiek wrote:

by the way, there are still sabbatians among the jewish people today, are there not?

Depends.  If there are, I can't imagine their beliefs are normative enough to still be Jews.  I mean, Sabbatai Zevi has been dead (and a dead Muslim) for quite a while and he flunked "Messiah 101" as well.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:Picky,

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Picky, picky.

well, it was my major.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Whatever the answer, there was never a "King Jesus".

agreed.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Not that it would be possible -- based on Josephus and other sources, if Jesus ever did exist, he was of the House of Levi, therefore not at all in the Davidic line (House of Judah), therefore couldn't ever become King.

ok, i don't usually argue over genealogies that were probably pulled out of someone's ass, but from what source do you get that jesus was a levite?  i don't think either of the contradictory genealogiesin the gospels bear this out, and as far as i know those are the only genealogies of jesus ever offered.  i don't recall josephus mentioning his heritage--then again, the actual josephus probably never mentioned him at all.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Depends.  If there are, I can't imagine their beliefs are normative enough to still be Jews.  I mean, Sabbatai Zevi has been dead (and a dead Muslim) for quite a while and he flunked "Messiah 101" as well.

well, this was always the big question my jewish professor put to us in all our judaism courses: what exactly constitutes a "jew"?  the orthodox tend to have a very narrow view of this: it only comes through the maternal line and conversion is not possible.  as i mentioned on another thread, when i was on a tour of the prague ghetto i asked our tour guide about the possibility of converting to judaism (i wasn't seriously interested, just curious).  he told me it wasn't possible.  which is funny, since there are guidelines for converts in the torah.

my professor was a reform jew.  she didn't even keep kosher.  (then again, some jews have much more strict views of "kosher" than others.)  she was a member of a synagogue, though, and her kids were bar- and bat-mitzvahed.  which is another funny thing, since many jews, particularly orthodox, don't recognize the bat-mitzvah as valid.  in fact, to some jews, my professor would no longer be considered a jew.

i'm just saying, the idea of what is "normative" is not cut-and-dry.  based on your posts, you seem to have fairly liberal views and accept a lot of what science tells us about the origin of life and the universe.  my professor was the same way.  on the other hand, i own an edition of the chumash published by an orthodox publisher and the study notes in it often read like a scofield bible: everything in the text is to be taken literally and often the notes engage in the same kind of lame apologetics that one would expect from christian fundies. 

so which is the "real" judaism?  and how can you just arbitrarily exclude sabbatianism from that?  or jews for jesus, for that matter?  by the way, it never has been a problem for sabbatians that sabbatai zevi is physically dead, anymore than that jesus is physically dead for jews for jesus.

incidentally, who would be more welcome at the majority of synagogues, a sabbatian or a jew for jesus?

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Not that it would be possible -- based on Josephus and other sources, if Jesus ever did exist, he was of the House of Levi, therefore not at all in the Davidic line (House of Judah), therefore couldn't ever become King.

ok, i don't usually argue over genealogies that were probably pulled out of someone's ass, but from what source do you get that jesus was a levite?  i don't think either of the contradictory genealogiesin the gospels bear this out, and as far as i know those are the only genealogies of jesus ever offered.  i don't recall josephus mentioning his heritage--then again, the actual josephus probably never mentioned him at all.

James is 100% historical and we know James was a priest.  That makes him a member of the House of Levi.  Because James and Jesus are brothers, that sort of makes Jesus one as well.

iwbiek wrote:

well, this was always the big question my jewish professor put to us in all our judaism courses: what exactly constitutes a "jew"?  the orthodox tend to have a very narrow view of this: it only comes through the maternal line and conversion is not possible.  as i mentioned on another thread, when i was on a tour of the prague ghetto i asked our tour guide about the possibility of converting to judaism (i wasn't seriously interested, just curious).  he told me it wasn't possible.  which is funny, since there are guidelines for converts in the torah.

There are no guidelines for conversion in the Torah, though it was obviously done.  The are communities that are very down on the concept of conversion, but that's their issue, not Judaisms.

iwbiek wrote:
my professor was a reform jew.  she didn't even keep kosher.  (then again, some jews have much more strict views of "kosher" than others.)  she was a member of a synagogue, though, and her kids were bar- and bat-mitzvahed.  which is another funny thing, since many jews, particularly orthodox, don't recognize the bat-mitzvah as valid.  in fact, to some jews, my professor would no longer be considered a jew.

It's impossible to "un-become" a Jew.  I have ton of Jewish relatives who all think they are Christians.  After Mom passed away, I'd go to Dad's place to cook Thanksgiving dinner and spend an entire day making his kitchen kosher on account of my Southern Baptist father was actually  Jewish.  He thought it was "nice", but still wanted to know why I gave up Jesus for Lent on year.

iwbiek wrote:
i'm just saying, the idea of what is "normative" is not cut-and-dry.  based on your posts, you seem to have fairly liberal views and accept a lot of what science tells us about the origin of life and the universe.  my professor was the same way.  on the other hand, i own an edition of the chumash published by an orthodox publisher and the study notes in it often read like a scofield bible: everything in the text is to be taken literally and often the notes engage in the same kind of lame apologetics that one would expect from christian fundies.

I've certainly never claimed that all Jews are smart people and none of us are deluded.  I was heading off in an Orthodox direction many years ago and it was the excessive literalism of some that turned me away.  I used to ask Orthodox friends if we were supposed to have done all those things 3,000 years ago.  Once I learned that Orthodoxy was a reaction to religious persecution and the destruction of the Temple I realized a lot of the strictness in Orthodox Judaism was invented.

iwbiek wrote:
so which is the "real" judaism?  and how can you just arbitrarily exclude sabbatianism from that?  or jews for jesus, for that matter?  by the way, it never has been a problem for sabbatians that sabbatai zevi is physically dead, anymore than that jesus is physically dead for jews for jesus.

Sabbatai Zevi can be excluded because his behavior is contradictory to Torah.  There's nothing contradictory about thinking the earth is 5,770 years old.  Stupid?  Yes.  Contradicts the Torah?  No.

iwbiek wrote:
incidentally, who would be more welcome at the majority of synagogues, a sabbatian or a jew for jesus?

Sabbatai Zevi, and I believe his followers as well, was excommunicated, so I'm guessing a Jew for Jesus.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Furry, we find it funny when

Furry, we find it funny when one fan of one religious club/text tries to debunk another when BOTH have the same core belief in common.

Arguing the details of ancient books written by unscientific people would be like watching a Star Trec fan argue that Captain Kirk is real against a Star Wars fan arguing that Luke Skywalker was real. OUR POINT........WHO CARES

You BOTH believe that there is an invisible magical super brain with super powers and no physical brain, no neurons, no cerebellum, floating out there everywhere and nowhere at the same time, meddling in the affairs of humans.

How about this. YOU/THEY and all humans who have ever uttered claims of super heros, merely believe in them because the idea of swooped off the tracks and having their villains defeated, appeals to them.

You already accept that other people's stories are fiction. The only difference between you and an atheist is that we reject one more claim than you do. When you understand why you reject other people's claims, YOU SHOULD understand why we reject yours as well.

BELIEVERS all over the world get stuck on the details WHEN WE ARE ARGUING that the MOTIF is the same. My super hero will save me. It is absurd to claim, be it the sun or a volcano being a thinking being. So why would it be less absurd to say that this same "being" could be non material, if it couldn't be the sun or a volcano?

How about considering that humans merely like their pet claims because the thought of having a super hero is appealing?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:You BOTH

Brian37 wrote:
You BOTH believe that there is an invisible magical super brain with super powers and no physical brain, no neurons, no cerebellum, floating out there everywhere and nowhere at the same time, meddling in the affairs of humans.

No, Jews don't believe in puppet-master-god.  I think you're back to confusing us with religions that believe sky-daddy or free-ponies-from-heaven-guy is going to fix their skinned knee.

Brian37 wrote:
BELIEVERS all over the world get stuck on the details WHEN WE ARE ARGUING that the MOTIF is the same. My super hero will save me. It is absurd to claim, be it the sun or a volcano being a thinking being. So why would it be less absurd to say that this same "being" could be non material, if it couldn't be the sun or a volcano?

How about considering that humans merely like their pet claims because the thought of having a super hero is appealing?

The Hebrew Hammer is =my= super hero!

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
FCH,I have to admit i am a

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3657
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
jcgadfly wrote:FCH,I have to

jcgadfly wrote:

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

   Because he's Jee-zus and he can do anything !!!!!

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:FCH,I have to

jcgadfly wrote:

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

He wasn't.  His brother James is known through historically verifiable facts to have been from the Tribe of Levi.  Since there's no historical evidence that Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah (there's no evidence at all that he existed, but work with me on this one), he must have been from the same tribe  as his brother, which is Levi.

QED, definitely not the messiah.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

Because he's Jee-zus and he can do anything !!!!!

My iPod is plugged into my alarm clock and I have "Jesus Christ Superstar" on it.  I =love= when songs from JCSS come up.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

He wasn't.  His brother James is known through historically verifiable facts to have been from the Tribe of Levi.  Since there's no historical evidence that Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah (there's no evidence at all that he existed, but work with me on this one), he must have been from the same tribe  as his brother, which is Levi.

QED, definitely not the messiah.

Thanks - I thought that was just Christian shoehorning Jesus into Messianic prophecy.

I still wonder why all peoples of the book worship the created God (Allah, Yahweh, Jesus) instead of giving props to the creator man.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly

jcgadfly wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

He wasn't.  His brother James is known through historically verifiable facts to have been from the Tribe of Levi.  Since there's no historical evidence that Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah (there's no evidence at all that he existed, but work with me on this one), he must have been from the same tribe  as his brother, which is Levi.

QED, definitely not the messiah.

Thanks - I thought that was just Christian shoehorning Jesus into Messianic prophecy.

Yup.  There are hundreds of "fake" prophecies that Jesus didn't come close to fulfilling.

Quote:
I still wonder why all peoples of the book worship the created God (Allah, Yahweh, Jesus) instead of giving props to the creator man.

Well ... you'd have to get into some of the more "humanistic" forms of Judaism for that answer.  My answer would be that (aside from "G-d exists" ) history has taught us that becoming more "Aren't we great!" centered tends to lead to "We're so much greater than them, let's go kill them and take their stuff!!!"  Not that "My god can beat up your god!" doesn't go the same way ...

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


KSMB
Scientist
KSMB's picture
Posts: 702
Joined: 2006-08-03
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:James

FurryCatHerder wrote:
James is 100% historical and we know James was a priest.  That makes him a member of the House of Levi.  Because James and Jesus are brothers, that sort of makes Jesus one as well.

Questions about this. What are the sources for James? Does he have a title of some sort, like James the Just? What are the sources, besides christian forgeries in Josephus, that he was the brother of Jesus?


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:James

FurryCatHerder wrote:

James is 100% historical

based on what?  the talmud doesn't count, btw.

having been a classical studies major as well as a religion major, allow me to submit that it's really fucking difficult to classify anyone as "100% historical."  i don't know if i would even give that title to plato, and he supposedly left us tons of writings.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

There are no guidelines for conversion in the Torah, though it was obviously done.  The are communities that are very down on the concept of conversion, but that's their issue, not Judaisms.

they could say the same thing about you: openness to converts is your hang-up and doesn't reflect what judaism really is.  in fact, one could say that the beauty of judaism lies in the fact that there is no one right answer for anything.  that how the halakhah works.  hillel and shammai both have their say.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

It's impossible to "un-become" a Jew.

my prof, despite being an extremely liberal reform jew, would definitely disagree with you.  she always argued that a "messianic" or jewish christian was no longer a jew because, by giving in to the very faith that jews had suffered and died resisting for centuries, they turned their backs on their heritage and thus forfeited their right to be called jewish.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Once I learned that Orthodoxy was a reaction to religious persecution and the destruction of the Temple I realized a lot of the strictness in Orthodox Judaism was invented.

"invented"?  that's a bit glib, isn't it?  i mean, most jews, not just orthodox, would argue that things like the "hedge around the torah" and ideas like that were necessary to retain the identity of the jewish people in the diaspora.  if it hadn't been for the synagogue and the talmud and the hasidim and even safed, you might just be an american today and nothing more. 

but perhaps you're right, in more ways than you know.  i read a very interesting book by the hungarian rabbi raphael patai in which he posits that the claim of modern jews to be direct descendents of the biblical hebrews or israelites is sketchy at best.  the most likely scenario is that a remnant of abrahamic myth was left over from a tiny semitic people, and during the time of the assyrian, babylonian, persian, and hellenistic invasions, the greater semitic peoples--many of them canaanites--latched onto these well-preserved myths and retroactively identified themselves with the "hebrews" or "israelites" to maintain a sense of identity.  it's sort of like how here in slovakia, after centuries of foreign rule, the modern slovaks identify themselves with the great moravians of the early middle ages, even though an actual connection is unlikely.  my old prof considered even the historicity of king david to be about as likely as that of king arthur, and the idea of an international trading empire under king solomon as just pure legend.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Sabbatai Zevi, and I believe his followers as well, was excommunicated, so I'm guessing a Jew for Jesus.

really?  i mean, i used to be friends with a jewish christian.  when he converted, his mother told him she wished he were dead.  somehow i doubt that becoming a sabbatian would have gotten that kind of emotional rise.  or if he had chosen to believe in bar kochba, for example.  (i mean, he was even endorsed by rabbi akiva of all people, wasn't he?)  also, on a totally unrelated note, i knew a guy who got his jewish friend an "i  jesus" keychain as a gag for her birthday and her mother freaked and told her to throw it out at once.  once again, despite theological niceties, somehow i doubt that "i  sabbatai zevi" would have gotten any notice.  i mean, if we take the gospels at face value, jesus was rejected by the majority of jews from day one.  bar kochba and sabbatai zevi, however, had huge followings in their days, among both laymen and religious leaders.  i think even today that's embarrassing enough for most jews that they feel it's better to forget or ignore those "mistakes" altogether. 

oh btw, in what way was shabbatai zevi "excommunicated"?  i thought it was impossible to "un-become" a jew.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
and i also have to ask,

and i also have to ask, what's up with the "G-d" thing?  i've read plenty of jewish writers--gershom scholem, martin buber, adin steinsaltz, jacob neusner, hannah arendt, abraham cohen, jeffrey rubenstein, blu greenberg, etc.--and i've never seen that.  i mean, "god" is not his name.  i can understand not using the tetragrammaton, though i've read kabbalistic writers who say even that is not god's true name, and i can understand using "adonai" or "hashem," but "god" is just an english word, derived from german.  it's not even semitic.  the only jewish writer i've ever seen use it is leonard cohen in his poems, and i thought it was just a poetic conceit.  i mean, it's like christians who always capitalize "He" or "Him" or "His" when it refers to god--even way back when i was a fundy i thought that was superstitious and stupid.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:Brian37

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:
You BOTH believe that there is an invisible magical super brain with super powers and no physical brain, no neurons, no cerebellum, floating out there everywhere and nowhere at the same time, meddling in the affairs of humans.

No, Jews don't believe in puppet-master-god.  I think you're back to confusing us with religions that believe sky-daddy or free-ponies-from-heaven-guy is going to fix their skinned knee.

Brian37 wrote:
BELIEVERS all over the world get stuck on the details WHEN WE ARE ARGUING that the MOTIF is the same. My super hero will save me. It is absurd to claim, be it the sun or a volcano being a thinking being. So why would it be less absurd to say that this same "being" could be non material, if it couldn't be the sun or a volcano?

How about considering that humans merely like their pet claims because the thought of having a super hero is appealing?

The Hebrew Hammer is =my= super hero!

STOP IT! You are defending DETAILS IE "PUPPET MASTER" And I am talking about MOTIF "SUPER HERO"

SUPER HERO is the MOTIF. YOU/THEY  both believe in a brain with super powers with no physical location that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

In the words of Tom Cruise " SHOW ME THE MONEY"

Stop arguing about your tribal book of myth. I don't care.

Your starting point, even before your claimed comic books, is that your god exists.

FINE, show me this invisible brain that can think and do things without a physical brain.

Your claim of invisible brain is just as stupid as the Egypitians thinking the sun was a thinking brain.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:FurryCatHerder

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

The Hebrew Hammer is =my= super hero!

STOP IT! You are defending DETAILS IE "PUPPET MASTER" And I am talking about MOTIF "SUPER HERO"

Oh, PUH-LEEZE.  Which part of Judaism =requires= "SUPER HERO"?

I was arguing G-d's existence with a Jewish Atheist and he pointed out (quite rightly) that the concept of "Imitatio Dei" means that G-d doesn't even have to exist for G-d to exist.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Having had this conversation withy FurryCat before

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:
You BOTH believe that there is an invisible magical super brain with super powers and no physical brain, no neurons, no cerebellum, floating out there everywhere and nowhere at the same time, meddling in the affairs of humans.

No, Jews don't believe in puppet-master-god.  I think you're back to confusing us with religions that believe sky-daddy or free-ponies-from-heaven-guy is going to fix their skinned knee.

Brian37 wrote:
BELIEVERS all over the world get stuck on the details WHEN WE ARE ARGUING that the MOTIF is the same. My super hero will save me. It is absurd to claim, be it the sun or a volcano being a thinking being. So why would it be less absurd to say that this same "being" could be non material, if it couldn't be the sun or a volcano?

How about considering that humans merely like their pet claims because the thought of having a super hero is appealing?

The Hebrew Hammer is =my= super hero!

STOP IT! You are defending DETAILS IE "PUPPET MASTER" And I am talking about MOTIF "SUPER HERO"

SUPER HERO is the MOTIF. YOU/THEY  both believe in a brain with super powers with no physical location that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

In the words of Tom Cruise " SHOW ME THE MONEY"

Stop arguing about your tribal book of myth. I don't care.

Your starting point, even before your claimed comic books, is that your god exists.

FINE, show me this invisible brain that can think and do things without a physical brain.

Your claim of invisible brain is just as stupid as the Egypitians thinking the sun was a thinking brain.

 

Brian, I have to point out that apparently Furry believes in a first cause god existing outside the universe. I'm assuming she believes this god got the wheels in motion and is now laying back at Zegema Beach with a flock of hot young angels

waiting for the end of time/judgment day/etc. I think FurryCat's interpretation means she sidesteps the usual stiles that trip over the fundys. She also takes a fairly interpretative approach to torah - except the bit about the cheeseburgers - though her view is

is a little unclear - milky - if you like.

This makes it harder to argue with her about the whole god thing. Obviously, it's impossible to say anything verifiable about what exists outside the universe but lately there have been some suggestions - FurryCat has gone for G_d (I know), while our

BobSpence has plumped for quantum foam.

Making matters more interesting still is the view of newcomer Jocax who insists that prior to the universe the Jocaxian Nothingness prevailed. According to Jocax, this nothingness nevertheless had laws (a quality I found very suspicious) and it was these laws

that allowed the nothingness to introduce the somethingness of quantum mechanics. Bob argued nothing has no laws until there's something (which I personally agree with).

Finally, Luminon says our immediate universe will soon be governed by M - who rather than being the still oddly sensual Judy Dench, is in fact some dude who looks like Imran Khan, has a taste for chinese food and plans a brave new world.

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:Brian37

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

The Hebrew Hammer is =my= super hero!

STOP IT! You are defending DETAILS IE "PUPPET MASTER" And I am talking about MOTIF "SUPER HERO"

Oh, PUH-LEEZE.  Which part of Judaism =requires= "SUPER HERO"?

I was arguing G-d's existence with a Jewish Atheist and he pointed out (quite rightly) that the concept of "Imitatio Dei" means that G-d doesn't even have to exist for G-d to exist.

Is this "If God didn't exist someone would have to create him?"

Not that I'd want to - the Bible is replete with the evidence of God's "virtue". I'd put him on a par with Charlie Manson.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:Brian37

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

The Hebrew Hammer is =my= super hero!

STOP IT! You are defending DETAILS IE "PUPPET MASTER" And I am talking about MOTIF "SUPER HERO"

Oh, PUH-LEEZE.  Which part of Judaism =requires= "SUPER HERO"?

I was arguing G-d's existence with a Jewish Atheist and he pointed out (quite rightly) that the concept of "Imitatio Dei" means that G-d doesn't even have to exist for G-d to exist.

God doesn't have to exist for God to exist? Ok, is there a clinic you can get your methadone at?

The only way that a god can exist and not exist at the same time is in your head as a claim. God is just a claim in your head. That is the only logical explanation. People make these imaginary friends up and believe them to be fact.

BTW, "super" means "beyond" God is not natural but super natural so that would make him(never seen his nads btw) a super hero, unless you don't think your God is trying to save humans? Typically when some cop or EMT saves us we call them heros. Which would rightfully put God in the "beyond nature" super hero.

If God is natural, then why call him a god? You are attempting to avoid the superstitious claims of your traditions.

Do you believe that humans magically popped out of dirt fully grown? Do you literally believe that the earth was made in 6 literal days? Do you literally believe that tons of water were magically parted by the wave of a hand?

If God did not have super powers how did those things happen? He either has super powers and wont share his secrets with us, or he is a made up myth people like believing is real.

 

BTW, long before your Jewish myth, Yahweh was part of the Canaanite pantheon as part of a divine family under the head god El, and Elohim were the plural for gods. In the Canaanite myth Yahweh was competing with BAAL for the love of Asurath(sp).

"Let us make them in our image" SOUND FAMILIAR? That line was in the Ugartic text long before the Hebrews incorperated their monotheistic version of it into the OT.

If you can accept Christianity and Islam as knockoffs of the Abrahamic god, what makes you think that the Hebrews weren't competing with other prior myths? You are falsely assuming that humans live in a vacuum.

http://books.google.com/books?id=S1tQ5Larst0C&dq=Hebrews+polytheistic+past&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=en&ei=WLgmS5TcJI-YtgeA...

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/MSmith_BiblicalMonotheism.shtml

Your precious Yahweh before the Hebrews adapted it, was the god of war and a lesser god to boot in the Canaanite pantheon.

Now before you go spouting, "The details are different" misses the point.

OF course Jews and even the Hebrews view Yahweh as different and separate than the Canaanites.

BUT THAT IS NOT MY POINT.

My point is that just like a business makes a product, they get their ideas from prior ideas. If Coke comes out with a cherry soda, Pepsi looks at it and says, hey, I like that idea, but I will change the color of the can and give it a different name and make the flavor slightly different.

The early Hebrews merely included older names and older ideas and managed to successfully market their new product.

Just like Christianity had to attach itself to the Jewish faith to start a new one to compete with all the other ones surrounding it at the time. Just like Scientology was started by the fans of a Science fiction writer whom use the cross as their symbol. Include an old idea, name or icon and call it different.

Again, this is why I don't deal with details, because it is all bullshit.

THE MOTIF of a god(pick one) is the idea that some invisible friend will swoop you off the train tracks and get you into his plush fan club up in the clouds while he stomps on the villains. Being the first to put a crappy book together about your super hero, doesn't make it the first super hero ever claimed in human history.

The cave painters thought animals and and volcanos were their heros and villians. You simply attach your cart to a current anthropomorphic popularly held myth to be fact.

So cut it with the "detail" crap. God is nothing but claim, be it yours or any other in human history and it is nothing but humans projecting their own traits on the world around them.

 

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
This is common in human

This is common in human behavior.

The Buddhist empire of Ankor started out strictly Buddhist. At some point they came into contact with Hindus. Then, over time the Ankor sandstone statues of Buddha took on Hindu fetures, even though still viewed as Buddhist.

And if you don't want to see my point debate a Christian. They will ADMIT that they are attached to your faith. What they wont do is say that you got it right.

When I hear both of you try to defend your god claims I hear Charley Brown's teacher.

Wwaaa waaa waaa waaa waaa Yahweh

Waaa waaa waaa waaa waaa Jesus

So what?

Just like you reject Buddha as a figure to be followed or Buddhism a religion to be practiced. I reject your superstitions as well.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly

jcgadfly wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

The Hebrew Hammer is =my= super hero!

STOP IT! You are defending DETAILS IE "PUPPET MASTER" And I am talking about MOTIF "SUPER HERO"

Oh, PUH-LEEZE.  Which part of Judaism =requires= "SUPER HERO"?

I was arguing G-d's existence with a Jewish Atheist and he pointed out (quite rightly) that the concept of "Imitatio Dei" means that G-d doesn't even have to exist for G-d to exist.

Is this "If God didn't exist someone would have to create him?"

Not that I'd want to - the Bible is replete with the evidence of God's "virtue". I'd put him on a par with Charlie Manson.

No, I obviously believe G-d exists.  To me, the argument means that G-d is self-enabling, rather than "externally enabling".  G-d doesn't have to tinker with human affairs because we've been told to do all the things G-d would do if G-d were into tinkering.

As for the comparison to Manson, a lot is made of all the "And then G-d smote the (fill in the blank)" and not a lot made about the people being smitten.  To give you an idea, the Egyptians were engaging in genocide prior to the events that lead to the Exodus.  They had 9 different opportunities to allow us to leave without any of them getting killed.  They refused, you know the rest of the story.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

The Hebrew Hammer is =my= super hero!

STOP IT! You are defending DETAILS IE "PUPPET MASTER" And I am talking about MOTIF "SUPER HERO"

Oh, PUH-LEEZE.  Which part of Judaism =requires= "SUPER HERO"?

I was arguing G-d's existence with a Jewish Atheist and he pointed out (quite rightly) that the concept of "Imitatio Dei" means that G-d doesn't even have to exist for G-d to exist.

Is this "If God didn't exist someone would have to create him?"

Not that I'd want to - the Bible is replete with the evidence of God's "virtue". I'd put him on a par with Charlie Manson.

No, I obviously believe G-d exists.  To me, the argument means that G-d is self-enabling, rather than "externally enabling".  G-d doesn't have to tinker with human affairs because we've been told to do all the things G-d would do if G-d were into tinkering.

As for the comparison to Manson, a lot is made of all the "And then G-d smote the (fill in the blank)" and not a lot made about the people being smitten.  To give you an idea, the Egyptians were engaging in genocide prior to the events that lead to the Exodus.  They had 9 different opportunities to allow us to leave without any of them getting killed.  They refused, you know the rest of the story.

So we'd be doing all the things god does if he didn't exist? Why add the middleman? We can just do stuff ourselves.

I wasn't looking at the wars or the Exodus (although many of the enemies god had was because they didn't kiss his can). I was thinking of the non-Levite who got vaporized because he didn't want the Ark of the Covenant to hit the ground. That, to me, is a capricious kill.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:iwbiek

FurryCatHerder wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

and Herod was the King when Jesus was killed.

actually, herod antipas was tetrarch of galilee.  the romans dissolved the judean monarchy after herod the great's death.  there was no king when jesus died.

Picky, picky.  Whatever the answer, there was never a "King Jesus".  Not that it would be possible -- based on Josephus and other sources, if Jesus ever did exist, he was of the House of Levi, therefore not at all in the Davidic line (House of Judah), therefore couldn't ever become King.

iwbiek wrote:

by the way, there are still sabbatians among the jewish people today, are there not?

Depends.  If there are, I can't imagine their beliefs are normative enough to still be Jews.  I mean, Sabbatai Zevi has been dead (and a dead Muslim) for quite a while and he flunked "Messiah 101" as well.

I am glad you accept the absurdity of a "king Jesus". GREAT, FANTASTIC, and you are one step ahead of their fans. BUT what you fail to see is that the word "KING" itself is an appeal to authority.

You fail to see that "lord" "king" and "god" are the same motif. If Jesus is not the ultimate power, how convenience for you to provide your own explanation for the ultimate authority, YOUR magical lawgiver, in it's place.

The problem you don't want to face is human traditions back then polytheist or monotheist, were not based on scientific observation, but false equation of good fortune to a magical father figure. Modern monotheism simply managed to out market all the other claims of divine entitlement.

The only difference in provable REAL kings and monotheistic or polytheistic gods past or present, is that we can prove that humans are real and dictatorships do happen. To postulate a magical "king" in the sky is not only absurd, but self defeating to our own REAL self determination.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:The only

Brian37 wrote:

The only difference in provable REAL kings and monotheistic or polytheistic gods past or present, is that we can prove that humans are real and dictatorships do happen. To postulate a magical "king" in the sky is not only absurd, but self defeating to our own REAL self determination.

Yeah, and that would explain why G-d expects =us= to do some of that "self determination" stuff and fix the world ourselves, rather than having sky-daddy-god doing it all for us.

Glad to see you recognize the significance of "self determination" in the development of human societies.  Judaism's been teaching it for about 3,500 years now.  Good to see Atheists are getting with the program!

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:Brian37

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

The only difference in provable REAL kings and monotheistic or polytheistic gods past or present, is that we can prove that humans are real and dictatorships do happen. To postulate a magical "king" in the sky is not only absurd, but self defeating to our own REAL self determination.

Yeah, and that would explain why G-d expects =us= to do some of that "self determination" stuff and fix the world ourselves, rather than having sky-daddy-god doing it all for us.

Glad to see you recognize the significance of "self determination" in the development of human societies.  Judaism's been teaching it for about 3,500 years now.  Good to see Atheists are getting with the program!

Will you fucking stop it!

Do not equate your modern twisting of Jewish tradition as being the same as modern skepticism.

Your Jewish or Hebrew hero is BUNK, bullshit and made up. Atheists are not "getting with the program", we are bucking the status quo.

You are pulling the same retrofitting bullshit we see Christians pull and Muslims pull.

You are still admitting that a sky daddy exists even if you claim that your super hero wants us to do it on our own.

You still have a father figure that you want to be real, even if you claim that this daddy took our training wheels off.

Besides the point. You are still claiming that a magical cause that is human like created all this, but has no brain, no neurons or cerebellum. I could give a shit less if you claim that your super hero decided to cut the apron strings, you are still claiming a super hero.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:FurryCatHerder

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

The only difference in provable REAL kings and monotheistic or polytheistic gods past or present, is that we can prove that humans are real and dictatorships do happen. To postulate a magical "king" in the sky is not only absurd, but self defeating to our own REAL self determination.

Yeah, and that would explain why G-d expects =us= to do some of that "self determination" stuff and fix the world ourselves, rather than having sky-daddy-god doing it all for us.

Glad to see you recognize the significance of "self determination" in the development of human societies.  Judaism's been teaching it for about 3,500 years now.  Good to see Atheists are getting with the program!

Will you fucking stop it!

Do not equate your modern twisting of Jewish tradition as being the same as modern skepticism.

Your Jewish or Hebrew hero is BUNK, bullshit and made up. Atheists are not "getting with the program", we are bucking the status quo.

You are pulling the same retrofitting bullshit we see Christians pull and Muslims pull.

You are still admitting that a sky daddy exists even if you claim that your super hero wants us to do it on our own.

You still have a father figure that you want to be real, even if you claim that this daddy took our training wheels off.

Besides the point. You are still claiming that a magical cause that is human like created all this, but has no brain, no neurons or cerebellum. I could give a shit less if you claim that your super hero decided to cut the apron strings, you are still claiming a super hero.

Long before you pulled this crap Jefferson too pulled the same crap. He believed that God was real, but like you, tried to pass him off as a guy who was the car maker, but had nothing to do with the driver after the driver bought the car. He didn't place any belief on the magical claims of Jesus, but liked many of the moral stories of Christianity. Just like you want to pass of your Jewish faith as the inventor of morality.

I thought Jefferson was a brilliant lawmaker and without the age of Enlightenment or the Constitution, I hesitate to think how much longer humans would have had to struggle to get to our current progress.

BUT, I place his God claims in the same boat as yours, BULLSHIT. "I am not like the others" is a vacuous tactic I have seen from even pantheists.

I have the same beef with you as I would if I were debating the existence of God with Jefferson. The same beef I have with people claiming that the universe is a giant brain.

We can find morals in all sorts of writings. There is nothing special about your Jewish tradition anymore than there is anything special about finding morals in Harry Potter.

At least Jefferson had the balls to face hard questions.

"Question with boldness even the existence of a God for if there be one, surely he would pay more homage to reason, than to that of blind folded fear".

I will tell you the same thing I'd tell a Christian or Muslim. Training wheels or not. Apron strings cut or not. There is no such thing as a magical camera in the sky, by any name.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:Brian37

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

The only difference in provable REAL kings and monotheistic or polytheistic gods past or present, is that we can prove that humans are real and dictatorships do happen. To postulate a magical "king" in the sky is not only absurd, but self defeating to our own REAL self determination.

Yeah, and that would explain why G-d expects =us= to do some of that "self determination" stuff and fix the world ourselves, rather than having sky-daddy-god doing it all for us.

Glad to see you recognize the significance of "self determination" in the development of human societies.  Judaism's been teaching it for about 3,500 years now.  Good to see Atheists are getting with the program!

if by "self determination" and "fixing the world" you're referring to tikkun olam then this idea has only become part of popular jewish theology since the days of isaac luria in the 16th century.  most of your own jewish scholars will admit this.  it's hardly 3,500 years-old.

before lurianic kabbalah's unprecedented and universal influence on popular theology among both the sephardim and the ashkenazim, the issue of humanity's active role in affecting the universe was divisive and you know it.  the most we can get from the hebrew bible itself is the general idea that israel can sometimes change god's mind, and then god changes circumstances himself.  however, he's very careful to always make it clear that he is in 100% control and we can like it or lump it, a la job. 

all we can begin to know about the religion of the ancient hebrews we must learn by turning a critical eye to the hebrew bible.  and as far as we can tell from that source, for the hebrews there was no tsimtsum, no shevirath ha-kelim, no pieces of en-sof trapped helplessly in kelipot requiring the mitzvot of each jew to set them free.  there was only a big, scary desert god that required, like so many of his kinfolk around him, the blood of animals to be appeased.  this is the root of judaism.  embrace it or reject it, but please don't gloss it over retroactively ("3,500 years" ) with the words of rabbis who lived in a completely different time, often in a completely different place, and facing completely different challenges.  judaism has no more of a monolithic history than any other religion.

 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3657
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is onlineOnline
iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:


Yeah, and that would explain why G-d expects =us= to do some of that "self determination" stuff and fix the world ourselves, rather than having sky-daddy-god doing it all for us.

Glad to see you recognize the significance of "self determination" in the development of human societies.  Judaism's been teaching it for about 3,500 years now.  Good to see Atheists are getting with the program!

if by "self determination" and "fixing the world" you're referring to tikkun olam then this idea has only become part of popular jewish theology since the days of isaac luria in the 16th century.  most of your own jewish scholars will admit this.  it's hardly 3,500 years-old.

before lurianic kabbalah's unprecedented and universal influence on popular theology among both the sephardim and the ashkenazim, the issue of humanity's active role in affecting the universe was divisive and you know it.  the most we can get from the hebrew bible itself is the general idea that israel can sometimes change god's mind, and then god changes circumstances himself.  however, he's very careful to always make it clear that he is in 100% control and we can like it or lump it, a la job. 

all we can begin to know about the religion of the ancient hebrews we must learn by turning a critical eye to the hebrew bible.  and as far as we can tell from that source, for the hebrews there was no tsimtsum, no shevirath ha-kelim, no pieces of en-sof trapped helplessly in kelipot requiring the mitzvot of each jew to set them free.  there was only a big, scary desert god that required, like so many of his kinfolk around him, the blood of animals to be appeased.  this is the root of judaism.  embrace it or reject it, but please don't gloss it over retroactively ("3,500 years" ) with the words of rabbis who lived in a completely different time, often in a completely different place, and facing completely different challenges.  judaism has no more of a monolithic history than any other religion.

 

  How ironic.  Concerning Judaism, I seem to gather more information and historical clarity from persons who are not even religious than from the actual adherents of the faith in question.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

He wasn't.  His brother James is known through historically verifiable facts to have been from the Tribe of Levi.  Since there's no historical evidence that Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah (there's no evidence at all that he existed, but work with me on this one), he must have been from the same tribe  as his brother, which is Levi.

QED, definitely not the messiah.

Again, WHO THE FUCK CARES?

We agree with you that Jesus was not a messiah. BECAUSE there is no such thing for our species YOU IDIOT!

You are falsely equating the age of your myth as being proof that you got it right on your god claim.

WE are trying to point out to you that claims of god(s) are bullshit. Be it your pet obsession or that of one of some cave dweller long before you who truly believed that the volcano was a god.

So what?

People make up shit and believe it to be fact. You confuse tradition and history of making claims as being fact. No different than any other debunked bullshit in human history.

Jesus is not the messiah DUH, AND THANKS for the update. But if you want to wait round for your Jewish super hero, you are going to end up with the same results as the Egyptians waiting for the sun to save them. Bullshit is bullshit, your problem is that you walked into a well armed crap detector.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
ProzacDeathWish wrote:iwbiek

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

How ironic.  Concerning Judaism, I seem to gather more information and historical clarity from persons who are not even religious than from the actual adherents of the faith in question.

it's not ironic at all.  all it takes to understand a religion and its development is the ability and the will to study.  if you can gather data and draw conclusions from that data, you can study religions as much as anything else.  it's only the religious (and i'm not singling out FCH with this remark) who, when faced with an argument they can't or won't take the time to answer, often try to pull the card of "well, you're not of our faith so you're not capable of really understanding the text."  i've had lots of christians pull this shit on me: "you're not filled with the holy spirit so you can't understand 'god's word' properly."  i've seen poorly educated sunday school teachers pull this shit on distinguished professors.  it's a coward's way out.

of course, the problem with a religious person who pulls this card is the same as with every other subpar theorist in any discipline: not enough data, not enough training, or both.  my rule of thumb is, if i haven't done at least a year's worth of intensive study--either formally (as in the case of religion and classical studies) or informally (as in the case of marxist theory and communist history)--i won't speak about it.  if i do, it will be only to ask questions or humbly advance very tentative ideas, and i certainly won't draw any firm conclusions.  i just think that's common respect in any intellectual discussion.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:FurryCatHerder

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

He wasn't.  His brother James is known through historically verifiable facts to have been from the Tribe of Levi.  Since there's no historical evidence that Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah (there's no evidence at all that he existed, but work with me on this one), he must have been from the same tribe  as his brother, which is Levi.

QED, definitely not the messiah.

Again, WHO THE FUCK CARES?

We agree with you that Jesus was not a messiah. BECAUSE there is no such thing for our species YOU IDIOT!

You are falsely equating the age of your myth as being proof that you got it right on your god claim.

WE are trying to point out to you that claims of god(s) are bullshit. Be it your pet obsession or that of one of some cave dweller long before you who truly believed that the volcano was a god.

So what?

People make up shit and believe it to be fact. You confuse tradition and history of making claims as being fact. No different than any other debunked bullshit in human history.

Jesus is not the messiah DUH, AND THANKS for the update. But if you want to wait round for your Jewish super hero, you are going to end up with the same results as the Egyptians waiting for the sun to save them. Bullshit is bullshit, your problem is that you walked into a well armed crap detector.

hey, come on, brian, this time she was just answering an honest question.  even if it was a question about magical unicorns, it was still a question and it was courteous of her to answer.

btw, i don't think the egyptians expected the sun to "save them" from anything.  at least not in a messianic sense.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

FCH,

I have to admit i am a little confused. How can Jesus be of the tribes of Levi and Judah?

He wasn't.  His brother James is known through historically verifiable facts to have been from the Tribe of Levi.  Since there's no historical evidence that Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah (there's no evidence at all that he existed, but work with me on this one), he must have been from the same tribe  as his brother, which is Levi.

QED, definitely not the messiah.

Again, WHO THE FUCK CARES?

We agree with you that Jesus was not a messiah. BECAUSE there is no such thing for our species YOU IDIOT!

You are falsely equating the age of your myth as being proof that you got it right on your god claim.

WE are trying to point out to you that claims of god(s) are bullshit. Be it your pet obsession or that of one of some cave dweller long before you who truly believed that the volcano was a god.

So what?

People make up shit and believe it to be fact. You confuse tradition and history of making claims as being fact. No different than any other debunked bullshit in human history.

Jesus is not the messiah DUH, AND THANKS for the update. But if you want to wait round for your Jewish super hero, you are going to end up with the same results as the Egyptians waiting for the sun to save them. Bullshit is bullshit, your problem is that you walked into a well armed crap detector.

hey, come on, brian, this time she was just answering an honest question.  even if it was a question about magical unicorns, it was still a question and it was courteous of her to answer.

btw, i don't think the egyptians expected the sun to "save them" from anything.  at least not in a messianic sense.

I know she was. My response was "pulling my hair out" Text is hard to convey intent. It wasn't meant as a serious "f-u" but a "arrrgggggeeeeee". Like curly shaking his fist at Moe.

Furry, please take the message seriously, but don't take my fist shaking seriously.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
BTW, the Egyptians DID have

BTW, the Egyptians DID have a trinity motif where Ra and Osirus and Horus judged the dead in heaven.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:BTW, the

Brian37 wrote:

BTW, the Egyptians DID have a trinity motif where Ra and Osirus and Horus judged the dead in heaven.

i thought the typical trinity was isis, osiris, and horus.  viz.:

regardless, the idea of an eschatological judgment doesn't necessitate soteriology.  i'm pretty certain the egyptian judgment of the dead was based on deeds, thus the motif of anubis balancing the deceased's heart against a feather on a set of scales.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13663
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

BTW, the Egyptians DID have a trinity motif where Ra and Osirus and Horus judged the dead in heaven.

i thought the typical trinity was isis, osiris, and horus.  viz.:

regardless, the idea of an eschatological judgment doesn't necessitate soteriology.  i'm pretty certain the egyptian judgment of the dead was based on deeds, thus the motif of anubis balancing the deceased's heart against a feather on a set of scales.

Thanks for that correction. But maybe my understanding is rusty. I thought Ra was the boss of Osirus and that he and Osirus were in heaven when Horus accended to sit at the right hand of Osirus in judgement of the dead.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:FurryCatHerder

iwbiek wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

The only difference in provable REAL kings and monotheistic or polytheistic gods past or present, is that we can prove that humans are real and dictatorships do happen. To postulate a magical "king" in the sky is not only absurd, but self defeating to our own REAL self determination.

Yeah, and that would explain why G-d expects =us= to do some of that "self determination" stuff and fix the world ourselves, rather than having sky-daddy-god doing it all for us.

Glad to see you recognize the significance of "self determination" in the development of human societies.  Judaism's been teaching it for about 3,500 years now.  Good to see Atheists are getting with the program!

if by "self determination" and "fixing the world" you're referring to tikkun olam then this idea has only become part of popular jewish theology since the days of isaac luria in the 16th century.  most of your own jewish scholars will admit this.  it's hardly 3,500 years-old.

Which is why the concept exists within religious texts, such as Zechariah and Isaiah, that are at least 2,000 years old.  I mean, they are OLDER than 2,000 years, but at least Christians can agree they are at least 2,000 years old.

I'm all for having a nice, detached scholarly debate with people, but I like them to be honest.  And please refrain from insulting me by asserting that I'm somehow too blinded or whatever to engage the texts in full-on critical analysis.  I've been doing that since many of y'all were in diapers or not even born yet.  Ex-Christians who run off and become Jews tend to be highly skilled in ripping scripture to shreds.  The paradigm shift from "Jesus loves me, but his father hates the Jews for killing his son!" to "Ani Ivrit" is just a bit to much to NOT be able to tear any religion's scriptures -- including Atheism-as-a-religion -- to shreds.

iwbiek wrote:
before lurianic kabbalah's unprecedented and universal influence on popular theology among both the sephardim and the ashkenazim, the issue of humanity's active role in affecting the universe was divisive and you know it.  the most we can get from the hebrew bible itself is the general idea that israel can sometimes change god's mind, and then god changes circumstances himself.  however, he's very careful to always make it clear that he is in 100% control and we can like it or lump it, a la job.

Of course G-d is 100% in control.  When you fall off a cliff, gravity is pretty much 100% in control as well.  Gravity pretty much controls everything we do that doesn't involve electricity, the way I figure it (this is a metaphorical wandering, not a scientific one ... ) but it doesn't control if we turn left or right at a four way stop sign.

iwbiek wrote:
all we can begin to know about the religion of the ancient hebrews we must learn by turning a critical eye to the hebrew bible.  and as far as we can tell from that source, for the hebrews there was no tsimtsum, no shevirath ha-kelim, no pieces of en-sof trapped helplessly in kelipot requiring the mitzvot of each jew to set them free.  there was only a big, scary desert god that required, like so many of his kinfolk around him, the blood of animals to be appeased.  this is the root of judaism.  embrace it or reject it, but please don't gloss it over retroactively ("3,500 years" ) with the words of rabbis who lived in a completely different time, often in a completely different place, and facing completely different challenges.  judaism has no more of a monolithic history than any other religion.

I think you need to read more of that Hebrew bible to find where it says G-d doesn't want all those bloody animal sacrifices in the first place, and where it's said that for a lot longer than Luria has been alive or dead.  This is the biggest problem arguing with either disaffected Jews, or Christians or Atheists.  You go for the blood and guts parts and ignore the rest.

But you also need to either get over your Orthodox upbringing, or learn where the Orthodox were coming from when they made up most of the concepts that you're confusing for the underlying texts -- which include far more than just the Tanakh.  Or even stop mistaking Judaism for Christianity.  Along with mistaking just about every other religion for Christianity.  The only people who believe Yitzack was attending a Yeshivah in the desert between the Akidah and making babies are the craziest of the Orthodox, and the only people who LITERALLY believe pieces of Ein Sof are trapped helplessly in kelipot are still more crazy Orthodox who need a refresher in Judaism 101.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:Which

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Which is why the concept exists within religious texts, such as Zechariah and Isaiah, that are at least 2,000 years old. 

citations?  and bear in mind i've been trained in exegesis myself, by the jewish professor i mentioned to you before.  if you can show me unequivocally, without any room for alternate interpretations, that lurianic concepts obviously exist in these texts, then i'll cede the point.  but even your own rabbis would argue that the very nature of torah makes that impossible.  so the only thing for a "detached scholar" to do is to go with the assumption based on evidence: that the idea of tikkun olam, etc., in its present form accepted by most of modern judaism, can be traced back as far as safed and that's it.  anyone who insists that this concept, as we know it today, exists in the hebrew bible and issac luria merely expounded what was already there, is, as far as i'm concerned, the same kind of person who insists that the zohar is a tannaitic text, i.e., a person with preconceptions based on faith.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

I mean, they are OLDER than 2,000 years, but at least Christians can agree they are at least 2,000 years old.

yes, they are.  but lurianic kabbalah is not there.  tikkun is not there.  tsimtsum and the breaking of the vessels are not there.  the same way as pauline christology, athanasian trinitarianism, episcopal hierarchy, caesaropapism, and papal infallibility are not in the gospels, but of course that doesn't stop christians from seeing them there.  then again, i suppose jews could never make a similar mistake?

FurryCatHerder wrote:

And please refrain from insulting me by asserting that I'm somehow too blinded or whatever to engage the texts in full-on critical analysis.

never said that.  in fact, the one time i made a remark that religious people are blinded by their preconceptions when approaching a text i clearly stated that i wasn't necessarily referring to you ("necessarily" because i simply don't know you well enough yet to say one way or the other if such a statement applies to you).

FurryCatHerder wrote:
 

I've been doing that since many of y'all were in diapers or not even born yet.

please spare us this.  there are as many old idiots as there are young idiots.  age means nothing to me.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Of course G-d is 100% in control.

i'm sorry, but doesn't safed kabbalah and hasidism state that the mitzvot of israel are necessary to free the reshimu (yes, there was debate about if these are essentially pieces of en-sof) from the kelipot?  furthermore, isn't the messiah himself trapped in the lower depths of existence, in the world of the kelipot, and cannot free himself, but rather israel must free him through mitzvot?  thus the saying, "the messiah will not come until one hour after he is needed."  isn't this the whole purpose of kawwanah, dedicating each mitzva to the reunion of the holy one, blessed be he, and his shekhinah?

ok, now you can jump on this and say it's all metaphorical, but once again you're projecting your modern conceptions on the ideas of men who lived 5 centuries ago.  then again, you have no choice but to do this if your faith requires that these ideas still be valid in a modern world.  i've never read anywhere, whether in cordovero, luria's disciples, the baal shem tov, or their modern interpreters and experts like scholem, buber, and moshe idel, that these men considered the idea of israel's active and necessary role in reuniting god with his creation  to be metaphorical.  if the idea of tikkun is only a metaphor for being nice to each other, then centuries of expounding this doctrine, not to mention the doctrine itself, are unnecessary.  no, the only choice a "detached scholar" has is that lurianic theology, and thus modern "normative" jewish theology (as in the theology accepted by the majority of jews), states, quite clearly, that god NEEDS israel.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

I think you need to read more of that Hebrew bible to find where it says G-d doesn't want all those bloody animal sacrifices in the first place, and where it's said that for a lot longer than Luria has been alive or dead.  This is the biggest problem arguing with either disaffected Jews, or Christians or Atheists.  You go for the blood and guts parts and ignore the rest.

we absolutely do not ignore the rest.  we just don't believe, because all of higher critical evidence is against it, that the texts in the hebrew bible form a coherent whole.  we believe that the ancient hebrew priest from the time J was writing would be in firm disagreement with the prophetical school doing its writing several centuries later.  why?  because these texts express contradictory ideas.  only those with a vested religious interest feel the need to either "harmonize" or ignore these contradictions. 

by the way, i mentioned the sacrifices because i was specifically comparing rabbinical judaism with the religion described by the torah, i.e., the pentateuch.  J, E, P, and D all espouse the viewpoint that literal sacrifices are required by god.  there is no internal evidence in the pentateuch that would lead us to believe otherwise, and this cannot be altered by anything a later prophet or rabbi says.  otherwise, it's not textual criticism: it's dogmatics, deductive rather than inductive.  nor does mixing around the hebrew letters, a la abraham abulafia, count as inductive reasoning either.

yes, i am very aware that according to the rabbis the torah is never finished, but one cannot take this concept into account when one engages in higher criticism.  you can't have it both ways.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

But you also need to either get over your Orthodox upbringing, or learn where the Orthodox were coming from when they made up most of the concepts that you're confusing for the underlying texts -- which include far more than just the Tanakh.

i'm not jewish, nor is any of my family.  and i know where the orthodox were coming from.  if you don't consider my degree in religion, at least one third of which was made up of jewish studies, worth anything then please stop implying i don't know enough and engage my knowledge directly.  so far the majority of your arguments with everyone in this forum has been that we can't really talk about these things because either we're not jewish or we're not significantly informed about judaism.  well, i think i've already demonstrated that the latter is not true of me.  now, to make engagement easy, my arguments in this thread have been as follows:

1. that the idea of tikkun olam can be traced back to the safed school of kabbalah at the earliest.

2. that lurianic kabbalah is the primary influence on modern popular jewish theology (in the most literal sense of theology), religious ethics, and eschatology.  i do not say this influence is universal, but it is primary for the majority of religious jews, not only the orthodox, but a large portion of the conservative and reform as well.

3. that modern jewish popular theology espouses the idea of tikkun olam, which clearly states that israel's mitzvot are necessary to finish god's work.  this does not mean that god is impotent, but that if israel does not cooperate with god, god cannot fulfill his purpose for creation.

4. that this idea runs contrary to the hebrew bible.

5. that in order to reconcile this contradiction, a jew who holds the hebrew bible sacred and inviolable must

          a. renounce the idea of tikkun olam,

          b. reinterpret the idea so that it no longer conforms to its original, lurianic meaning, or

          c. subvert the obvious meaning of the original text.

feel free to address any or all of these arguments at your leisure.  i'm a patient person and i won't bullshit you if you don't bullshit me.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Or even stop mistaking Judaism for Christianity.

see, this is what i mean by "bullshit."  you've been pulling this card on everybody in this forum.  how the hell am i mistaking judaism for christianity?  i have been arguing from nothing but jewish concepts and citing jewish authorities whom i've named several times.  i've also made it clear that all my jewish studies were made under a jewish professor (a born and raised jewish professor, no less).  now, once again, don't make such implications or accusations without backing them up.  this is the precise reason why some of the people on this forum are getting irritated with you. 

FurryCatHerder wrote:

The only people who believe Yitzack was attending a Yeshivah in the desert between the Akidah and making babies are the craziest of the Orthodox, and the only people who LITERALLY believe pieces of Ein Sof are trapped helplessly in kelipot are still more crazy Orthodox who need a refresher in Judaism 101.

once again, no true scotsman.  the "craziest of the orthodox" would argue that it's precisely you who need the refresher.  and guess what?  pretty much all the texts would be on their side.  you think they're wrong basically because you disagree.  you think the torah should be subverted in order to fit modern, enlightenment principles of empiricism.  they think the torah (and yes, i mean oral as well as written) should be taken at face value unless it states otherwise.  unlike the catholic church, there is no central authority in judaism to say who's right and who's wrong (though it might be worth noting that the old part of jerusalem is basically controlled by the orthodox today).  so i'm afraid you can't speak authoritatively on another's judaism either.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
You're fixated on Kabbalah

You're fixated on Kabbalah and the (incorrect) notion that "Tikkun Olam" only makes sense as having originated in Kabbalh.

Start with "Ohr Ha'Goyim" in Deut and work your way forward to "Bayom ha Hu yiyeh Ad-nai echad u'Shemo echad" in Zechariah.  The tail end of Isaiah will also help paint the picture.  You should also look at examples in the teachings of Rabbi Hillel (the discussion around "Teach me Torah while standing on one foot" is a very basic lesson) and the attributed sayings of Jesus ("Do you put a light under a bushel?", a reference to "Ohr Ha'goyim".

And any yid who insists that Kabbalah is literally and factually true should be excommunicated for heresy.

Here's a quote from a widely regarded website (www.jewfaq.org) on Kabbalah --

Quote:
Like most subjects of Jewish belief, the area of mysticism is wide open to personal interpretation. Some traditional Jews take mysticism very seriously. Mysticism is an integral part of Chasidic Judaism, for example, and passages from kabbalistic sources are routinely included in traditional prayer books. Other traditional Jews take mysticism with a grain of salt. One prominent Orthodox Jew, when introducing a speaker on the subject of Jewish mysticism, said basically, "it's nonsense, but it's Jewish nonsense, and the study of anything Jewish, even nonsense, is worthwhile."

Here's what another says about Jewish mysticism --

Quote:
When non-Jews ask about Judaism, they commonly ask questions like:  Do you believe in heaven and hell?  In angels or the devil?  What happens to the soul after death?  What is the nature of God and the universe?  The answers to questions like these define most religions; in fact, some people say that the purpose of religion is to answer these kinds of questions.  Yet from a Torah viewpoint, most of these cosmological issues are wide open to personal opinion.  The areas of Jewish thought that most extensively discuss these issues, Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism, were traditionally not even taught to people until the age of 40, when they had completed their education in Written Torah and Oral Torah (in other words, in Bible and practical Law).

A Talmudic tale on studying Jewish mysticism --

Quote:

Talmudic doctrine forbade the public teaching of esoteric doctrines and warned of their dangers. In the Mishnah (Hagigah 2:1), rabbis were warned to teach the mystical creation doctrines only to one student at a time.[40] To highlight the danger, in one Jewish aggadic ("legendary&quotEye-wink anecdote, four prominent rabbis of the Mishnaic period (first century CE) are said to have visited the Orchard (that is, Paradise, pardes, Hebrew: פרדס lit., orchard):

Four men entered pardesBen Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher (Elisha ben Abuyah),[41] and Akiba. Ben Azzai looked and died; Ben Zoma looked and went mad; Acher destroyed the plants; Akiba entered in peace and departed in peace.[42]

In notable readings of this legend, only Rabbi Akiba was fit to handle the study of mystical doctrines. The Tosafot, medieval commentaries on the Talmud, say that the four sages "did not go up literally, but it appeared to them as if they went up."[43] On the other hand, Rabbi Louis Ginzberg, writes in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901–1906) that the journey to paradise "is to be taken literally and not allegorically".[44] For further analysis, see The Four Who Entered Paradise.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3389
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
FurryCatHerder wrote:You're

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You're fixated on Kabbalah and the (incorrect) notion that "Tikkun Olam" only makes sense as having originated in Kabbalh.

tikkun olam doesn't just mean doing mitzvot in general.  tikkun olam means repairing the world, not making the world nicer.  if you're not talking about tikkun olam then just tell me to begin with, "i'm not talking about tikkun olam."  or at least, "i think of tikkun olam differently than 5 centuries worth of writers who developed that doctrine."

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Start with "Ohr Ha'Goyim" in Deut and work your way forward to "Bayom ha Hu yiyeh Ad-nai echad u'Shemo echad" in Zechariah.  The tail end of Isaiah will also help paint the picture.  You should also look at examples in the teachings of Rabbi Hillel (the discussion around "Teach me Torah while standing on one foot" is a very basic lesson) and the attributed sayings of Jesus ("Do you put a light under a bushel?", a reference to "Ohr Ha'goyim".

i'm familiar with that, particularly ohr ha'goyim and rabbi hillel's analogy.  i just don't think you can identify ohr ha'goyim and all it biblically pertains to with the term "tikkun olam" and stay within common usage.

by the way, please address my points.  don't try to fob me off with instructions to go do more reading.  i've done and still do my reading.  if you don't believe that the most common conception of tikkun olam in modern judaism comes straight from lurianic kabbalah then please make an argument, but you'll be disagreeing with some of the biggest names in jewish scholarship.  i'll even quote gershom scholem, major trends in jewish mysticism, new york: schocken books, 1995, pp. 285-286:

"The Lurianic Kabbalah was the last religious movement in Judaism the influence of which became preponderant among all sections of the Jewish people and in ever country of the diaspora, without exception.  It was the last movement in the history of rabbinic Judaism which gave expression to a world of religious reality common to the whole people.  To the philosopher of Jewish history it may seem surprising that the doctrine which achieved this result was deeply related to Gnosticism, but such are the dialectics of history."

now, perhaps many jews today take lurianic kabbalah and the idea of israel's necessity in tikkun olam metaphorically, but we have no evidence luria himself, nor at least four centuries of later writers who developed the idea of tikkun olam, did, and so it's just plain fallacious to retroactively say, "well, it's metaphorical, it was always meant to be metaphorical, and anyone who says otherwise is a heretic or a nutter."  i say fallacious, but not surprising, since almost every religion says something to this effect in every age.

FurryCatHerder wrote:

And any yid who insists that Kabbalah is literally and factually true should be excommunicated for heresy.

now who's speaking in christian terms?

btw, once again, i thought it was impossible to "un-become" a jew.  how does "excommunication" work, exactly?  without a central authority, who does it?  and if what you're saying is true, why haven't the hasidim been "excommunicated"?

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


FurryCatHerder
Theist
FurryCatHerder's picture
Posts: 1253
Joined: 2007-06-02
User is offlineOffline
iwbiek wrote:by the way, i

iwbiek wrote:

by the way, i mentioned the sacrifices because i was specifically comparing rabbinical judaism with the religion described by the torah, i.e., the pentateuch.  J, E, P, and D all espouse the viewpoint that literal sacrifices are required by god.  there is no internal evidence in the pentateuch that would lead us to believe otherwise, and this cannot be altered by anything a later prophet or rabbi says.  otherwise, it's not textual criticism: it's dogmatics, deductive rather than inductive.  nor does mixing around the hebrew letters, a la abraham abulafia, count as inductive reasoning either.

No, from a pure TORAH perspective, sacrifices are simply NOT what is required.  Furthermore, for many things sacrifices were FORBIDDEN.  The notion that sacrifices are absolutely, completely, unalterably, etc. REQUIRED is a Christian interpolation.  It's the Christian justification for claiming that Jesus was a sacrifice -- to liberate Jews from the sacrificial system.

This gets back into the concept of what is NECESSARY and what is SUFFICIENT and using those two concepts to understand the mechanism behind some result.  In Torah Judaism, what is NECESSARY are the actions that lead up to making the sacrificial offering.  Without those actions, the sacrifice is meaningless.  Furthermore, outside of Eretz Yisrael, where sacrifices are FORBIDDEN COMPLETELY, the preceding actions which are required within Eretz Yisrael are still required.

iwbiek wrote:

yes, i am very aware that according to the rabbis the torah is never finished, but one cannot take this concept into account when one engages in higher criticism.  you can't have it both ways.

Yes, in Judaism we =can= have it both ways.  And if someone comes up with a third way, we can have it in that way as well.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."