Poll

What Religion are you?

Jewish
1 (1.8%)
Muslim
1 (1.8%)
Hindu
0 (0%)
Buddhist
0 (0%)
Other
2 (3.5%)
Theist
2 (3.5%)
Folk Religions
2 (3.5%)
Deist
7 (12.3%)
Christian
11 (19.3%)
None (Atheism)
31 (54.4%)

Total Members Voted: 48

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #320 on: December 24, 2013, 03:28:51 PM »
been due to their obedience to the laws laid down in Torah. Further, you must realise that our Faith isn't based on revelation to one man. God revealed himself to the ENTIRE nation on Mt. Sinai. Read the Book of Exodus for details. The point is that the entire nation, not just Moses, witnessed a theophany. & Jews present & future accepted Torah @ that time. When those Jews said yes to the Law, they spoke for all Jews, past, present, & future. So by doing my part, I'm simply fulfilling my part of the contract. I don't know if you get the hang of what I'm saying, but there it is. & you are right. You can't prove a negative, like the NON-existence of God.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 04:17:00 PM by Yaakov ben Avraham »

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Offline beardo

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #321 on: December 24, 2013, 08:25:51 PM »
Why choose faith over facts, logic and reason?
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Offline Lemon

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #322 on: December 24, 2013, 08:39:55 PM »
Why choose faith over facts, logic and reason?

There's no logical reason to do so.
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #323 on: December 24, 2013, 08:46:57 PM »
Why choose faith over facts, logic and reason?

You realize you are asking someone who literally believes a God would create everyone with profound flaws and then choose some of the most illiterate and warlike among them to be "The Chosen People". If you can believe that, you can literally believe anything.
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Offline Tintagel

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #324 on: December 24, 2013, 09:09:37 PM »
Why choose faith over facts, logic and reason?

You realize you are asking someone who literally believes a God would create everyone with profound flaws and then choose some of the most illiterate and warlike among them to be "The Chosen People". If you can believe that, you can literally believe anything.

My question was one of genuine curiosity.  I don't need to belittle anyone's beliefs (and/or ethnicity) regardless of what I think the truth is. 

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #325 on: December 24, 2013, 09:11:53 PM »
Actually, Jews have ALWAYS been more literate on average, than their Gentile neighbours, simply because historically, every male, @ least, had to be able to read Hebrew. It was a requirement of the Faith. Many also read Aramaic, the language of the Talmud, & quite a few learned the language of the country in which they lived (starting w/ the Babylonian Exile & continuing in other Diaspora nations throughout history). Contrast the literacy among male Jews in Medieval Europe in Hebrew v. the 95% illiteracy rate among male non-Jews of the same time & place in any language. As for being warlike, that depends on when. In the Bronze Age, yes, but no more than those around them. Since the last Jewish-Roman War, not so much. As for my belief in God, see a few posts up. The complexity of the human eyeball alone speaks to an intelligence behind its creation. Thank you, Tintagal. Likewise, I don't mean to be nasty. Those who disagree are entitled to their beliefs, or the lack thereof.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 09:16:26 PM by Yaakov ben Avraham »

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Offline beardo

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #326 on: December 24, 2013, 09:53:51 PM »
But how can you be so convinced that god is the hebrew/jewish/whatever god you think he is? For all we know, god, should he exist, might not have those properties. How can we even be sure there's only one god? Faith? Again, why choose faith?
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 10:41:58 PM by beardo »
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Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #327 on: December 24, 2013, 10:58:15 PM »
The simplest answer to that is the one I gave to it a few posts up, and I shall recapitulate it briefly here. I encourage you to read the Book of Exodus of the Hebrew Bible for further details, but suffice it to say that the Jewish Faith is one that does NOT depend on revelation to ONE man, be it Jesus, or Mohammed, or Bahu'allah, or Joseph Smith, Jr, or anyone else. On Mt. Sinai, Jews received a NATIONAL theophany. Read through the posts here for more on that. But the entire nation accepted the commands of Torah. When the Jews at Mt. Sinai accepted Torah, they did it for themselves and all Jews past, present, and future. My participation in Judaism is simply doing my part in fulfilling my portion of the Covenant that my ancestors accepted on my behalf. We saw God on the Holy Mountain. He did the wondrous works in those days for all the Jews, not just one. I realise that none of this is going to matter to you, you will still say that my beliefs are silly, or illogical. I disagree. I choose the leap of Faith for one simple reason. I have seen too much in my life that is explainable in no other way.

I have had too much happen to me that shouldn't have. By all rights I should have died about eight times in this life. I should have had some other very horrible things happen to me that didn't. I believe that God is the only thing that prevented that. I choose Faith because no other explanation works, in my mind. My family is not, and never has been, observant. I came to observance on my own as an adult. There simply was too much for me to accept any other explanation. God was fulfilling His part of the Covenant. Why was I not fulfilling mine? That was the question I had to answer. And answer  it I did, by choosing to fulfill my side of things. Its only fair. You may choose to disagree with me. You may choose to think I'm an idiot. But I ask you to respect my choice, as I respect yours. My brother and his wife are atheists to this day. But I believe, and I always shall.

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Offline Lemon

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #328 on: December 24, 2013, 11:10:54 PM »
I respect your beliefs, for a start. I don't understand why you consider coincidences, general good luck and things you can't explain as proof, however. Today there are many things we know that we didn't know in the past, examples aren't needed, it's all around you, and there will be much more we'll know in the future. Things you may be using at the moment as personal reason to believe will probably be some of these things we will someday know, providing we don't die out as a species. Lack of knowledge, almost intentional ignorance and misinterpretation are huge in keeping faiths afloat in the modern times, and they're not decent at all.
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Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #329 on: December 24, 2013, 11:15:52 PM »
I appreciate your respect. I for one do not believe in luck. And I freely admit that I have no die-hard proof of God's existence or non-existence. As for things we know now that we didn't know before, and will know in the future that we don't know now, that is true enough, and needs no argument. Nevertheless, I don't see that as a reason not to believe in God.

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Offline Lemon

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #330 on: December 24, 2013, 11:19:47 PM »
Alright then. I'll leave you there, there's not much more to discuss in the matter, at least for me.
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #331 on: December 25, 2013, 01:14:59 AM »
Actually, Jews have ALWAYS been more literate on average, than their Gentile neighbours, simply because historically, every male, @ least, had to be able to read Hebrew. It was a requirement of the Faith. Many also read Aramaic, the language of the Talmud, & quite a few learned the language of the country in which they lived (starting w/ the Babylonian Exile & continuing in other Diaspora nations throughout history). Contrast the literacy among male Jews in Medieval Europe in Hebrew v. the 95% illiteracy rate among male non-Jews of the same time & place in any language. As for being warlike, that depends on when. In the Bronze Age, yes, but no more than those around them. Since the last Jewish-Roman War, not so much. As for my belief in God, see a few posts up. The complexity of the human eyeball alone speaks to an intelligence behind its creation. Thank you, Tintagal. Likewise, I don't mean to be nasty. Those who disagree are entitled to their beliefs, or the lack thereof.

I was speaking of pre-Abrahimic Semites of the tribe that God chose as the Chosen People. They had no such requirement of their faith because it did not exist as such yet. In regards to the claim regarding the eyeball, there is quite a lot of literature describing the descent of the various eyeballs we see in Nature, some more successful than others and all obeying the same laws that the rest of descent through natural selection does. I really hope you believe in evolution, or are you a YEC?
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Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #332 on: December 25, 2013, 04:56:45 AM »
I assume by YEC you mean Young Earth Creationist, and NO, I am not. I do believe in micro-evolution, at least. I don't believe that we all evolved from the primordial slime as such, but I do believe that the higher primates are related to each other in some form, and that there is some linkage between the two. I am sure that eyeballs from one animal (including humans) are related to eyeballs in another animal, although I DON'T even begin to understand the science behind the matter. After Maths, the subjects I hated most was any of the Sciences. History, Philosophy, Language, Religion, that was always my strong point.

I still believe that there was a Master Creator behind the eyeball, and behind the evolution of the various animals and plants. As far as the Hebrews being illiterate, EVERYONE was illiterate at the time, so my question would be, what is your point? The only people that could read were the highest classes of any society. But since the Hebrews developed a religion and a Scripture (basically since Moses wrote the Torah), they have been highly literate.

On another note, I have never met a Jew of any variety that is a YEC. That is a strictly Christian thing, I think.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #333 on: December 25, 2013, 02:16:17 PM »
Yet you believe the revelation at Mt Sinai is literally true. You cherry pick the Torah to suit your needs.

The Egyptians and Babylonians had sophisticated cultures at the time that God in his infinite wisdom decided that this small tribe of Semites were clearly the front runner as the best hope for mankind. As good an example of wishful thinking as I can imagine.

Just as an aside, certain elements of abiogenesis has been demonstrated to occur spontaneously in the presence of natural environmental factors.
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Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #334 on: December 25, 2013, 03:39:14 PM »
Not being certain what abiogenesis is, I can't respond to that. The Egyptians had an advanced culture at a certain period of time. The Babylonians did at a later period of time. Both were filled with abominable practices before God. The Hebrews living among them  had maintained their purity. The question is nothing to do with the best hope for mankind.

In fact, God often says throughout the Bible, even though you are a small, irrelevant people on a worldwide scale, I shall keep my covenant with you. He says this repeatedly in the Prophets. Why he chose us is beyond our understanding as much as it is beyond yours or anybody else's trying to figure it out. All we can say is, that is what he did.

Of course the revelation at Mt. Sinai is literally true. It would be stupid to think otherwise. It would negate the whole point of Torah, and of Judaism. As for "cherry picking", I suppose that depends very much on your point of view. What an outsider calls cherry picking, we call doing our best to determine which out of 613 Laws needs following in order of importance. For example, thou shalt do no murder seems more relevant to daily life than thou shalt not light a fire on the sabbath.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #335 on: December 25, 2013, 04:07:18 PM »
If you believe God appeared to a nation on a mountaintop why don't you believe the Earth was created in 6 days 6,000 years ago?  Is that all of a sudden too incredible?

I also have to call you out on your view of the abominable practices of ancient Egypt and Babylon. Why do you not give them the same morally relative exoneration you give to Hebrew slave keeping?  Again you appear to be cherry picking.

As to abiogenesis-google is your friend. 
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Offline Roundy

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #336 on: December 25, 2013, 04:57:30 PM »
I'm certain the Exodus story is 100%, literally true.  So certain that I'm sure Yaakov can point to some source outside of the Old Testament confirming that the Egyptians ever kept the Israelis as slaves.  I'm sure loads of archaeological evidence has been dug up supporting that scenario.

Right Yaakov?  Do you have anything?
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Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #337 on: December 26, 2013, 07:11:04 AM »
A thousand years is as a day to God. The Psalms. The Bible says NOTHING about how many years ago the Earth was created. It also says nothing about how many hours a day was. Since the sun was not created until the fourth day, if memory serves, and the 24 hour day comes from the Earth circling the sun, the first three days were of undetermined length. The Talmud goes into this at length.

Re: the Exodus story, the Egyptians NEVER wrote about any history that portrayed them in a bad light. However, there are references to a sudden entry of a foreign people into the Holy Land about the time that the Book of Joshua was written and the about the time the events described there occurred. Most scholars today believe that the Hebrews entered the Holy Land in both methods of slow diffusion and military maneuvering.

It is true that the events of the Exodus have not been proven definitively to date. But much of the Hebrew Bible that was once considered fanciful has been proven true. This will be eventually as well.

Regarding slavery, you fail to remember that every seven years there was the year of Jubilee, when every slave had to be offered his freedom. If he chose to stay with his master, so be it, but slaves were offered manumission every seven years. This is far different from the nations around Israel.

And given that again, the ENTIRE nation saw God, we rely on the manifest experience of 2 million people. Not just Jesus, or Mohammed, or what have you. Two million people have a hard time hallucinating the same event. And this has been passed down in written Torah and oral tradition from that day to this. You can argue semantics all you like. It fundamentally doesn't matter. I am a Jew.  My People are Chosen of God for a special purpose. I have no doubt of this.

Offline spank86

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #338 on: December 26, 2013, 12:33:17 PM »
My People are Chosen of God for a special purpose. I have no doubt of this.

Soap?

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: What Religion are you?
« Reply #339 on: December 26, 2013, 04:38:43 PM »
Quote
A thousand years is as a day to God. The Psalms. The Bible says NOTHING about how many years ago the Earth was created. It also says nothing about how many hours a day was. Since the sun was not created until the fourth day, if memory serves, and the 24 hour day comes from the Earth circling the sun, the first three days were of undetermined length. The Talmud goes into this at length.

So you are choosing which part of the Torah to take literally. Genesis is subject to metaphor and extrapolation but Exodus is a written history. Again, this is cherry picking.

How do you know the population of the Hebrews at the time of Exodus?  How do you know they were all at Mt. Sinai?  Is it just from the Torah?

So the Jews had moral slavery? Fascinating.  The jubilee only applied to Hebrew slaves. Non-Hebrew slaves could be owned permanently and bequeathed to children. I also read it was not clear whether Jewish laws concerning slaves were statutory or aspirational guidelines. So much for that. Again, why do you give Jews a free pass in morality but others cultures of antiquity are held to a rigorous standard.
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