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About Me

A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Proof of God from Gaza Rockets

This post is inspired by the 2014 conflict between Israel and Gaza. Similar reasoning can be used to refute other such arguments.

Very few Israelis have been killed by the thousand rockets fired by Hamas from Gaza. It must be a miracle and therefore a God (eta which is Yahweh) exists.

We  have natural explanations that explain the low death rate and therefore reject this proof of god. Moreover, lucky runs in games of chance occur {eta 8/8/2014 meaning runs of low probability} and these do not prove God exists.

Support for most facts and figures found at end of post.

1) Israel has the sophisticated Iron Dome missile defense system which is 90% effective - it tracks the rocket and lets some fall if risk is low. Some of those rockets are duds.

2) Israel has an early warning system warning civilians who go to mandatory bomb shelters in homes.

3) Laying on the ground provides 80% (or more) decrease for chance of death from a Gaza rocket explosion. 

4) Hamas fires technologically poor quality rockets - low payloads (and so the damage they can cause is much reduced) and they have low accuracy. If Hamas fired heavier payloads and with increased accuracy death rates would increase.

5) Many Israelis without shelters or in more hazardous areas temporally relocate to safer locations.

6)  In war, from ancient times to modern - many religions and nations have claimed their god has performed a miracle for their team or for them as individuals. People look for explanations and patterns even for random events. It is a human brain problem.

7) And if by chance rockets do land and kill many Israelis will  believers say God does not exist ? No, they will make up excuses for God. A good example is the holocaust and all the apologetics.

8) To prove a god is involved we need to compare the probability of god to the probability of people being killed by Gaza rockets. Given Hamas's rocket type, Israel's technology and civilian preparedness the latter probability is probably low. The probability of God is unknown, and arguably zero since we have no empirical evidence for gods and no valid philosophical arguments for gods. Therefore we accept the natural explanations.

9) By random chance Israel may be having a good run. [Persian Gulf War : 46 scuds were fired into Saudi Arabia yet only one Saudi security guard was killed. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scud . Should we argue it was Allah protecting Saudi Arabia ? ]

Sources and support 
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From "Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ changes the face of battle" July 10, 2014  www.washingtonpost.com

"By shooting down more than 90 percent of its targets, the system is ensuring Israel’s decisive technological edge that has helped it operate virtually unhindered in Gaza." 

"Iron Dome quickly recognizes the trajectory of incoming rockets and whether they are headed for major population centers. Those are shot down, while others are allowed to fall in empty fields to spare the hefty cost of firing the sophisticated interceptors. Local reports say each launching costs about $20,000."

"So far, Hamas and other Gaza militants have fired more than 420 rockets toward Israel in three days of fighting. The military says it has shot down 90 of those, including several over Tel Aviv and central Israel."  

“If we keep up what we are doing, there is a good chance that we will be able to lower the ratio to one death for every 10,000 rockets fired,” he said. [ In other words low death rates are expected]

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome#Effectiveness

"In comparison with other air defense systems, the effectiveness rate of Iron Dome is very high. Defense consultant Steven Zaloga stated that Iron Dome's destruction of 90 percent of missiles it targeted is 'an extremely high level', above that usually expected for air defense systems.Slate reported that the effectiveness rate is "unprecedented" in comparison with earlier systems such as the Patriot missile defence system. During Operation Protective Edge Iron Dome's interceptors were claimed to have struck down 87% of their targets."

"In November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Iron Dome's effectiveness was estimated by Israeli officials at between 75 and 95 percent. " 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_defense_in_Israel#Warning_systems

"Air raid sirens used are typically sounded to warn of air raids or missile attacks on civilian population."  

"According to the 1951 civil defense law, all homes, residential buildings and industrial buildings in Israel are required to have bomb shelters. However, several homes or residential buildings may make use of a single shelter jointly."