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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, November 25, 2014

Proof / Disproof of God based on Fallow Part Two

UPDATED THRU 11/26/2014

The 'proof' consists of three questions and one premise.  I will state  the questions and premise and then provide brief responses to each. Additional refutations and details are fleshed out in Part 3.  I suggest reading Part 1 now since it provides academic and other support. .

 Later on, I will use Shemita to provide a  'proof' that the Torah is not divine. 


Question 1) How could the Torah make the Shemita law risking the starvation of an entire nation, unless it could back it up with the guarantee of extra yields as in verse 21  ? 

Answer 1a) Risk could be minimized greatly or eliminated.

Answer 1b) Potential benefits of Shemita out weigh the risks. 

Answer 1c) Even if Shemita was risky, leaders/religions make outrageous or dangerous claims regardless if they can back it up or not. For example the Indian Ghost Dance. 

Answer 1d) If extra yields did not occur in the sixth year or the risk of starvation was real, Priests/Rabbi's could issue a suspension of the law or provide legal loop holes.

Answer 1e) Logical fallacy of argument from incredulity or ignorance. 

Question 2) Why would the Torah write such a risky law into  the Torah ? 

Answer 2a) Risk could be minimized greatly or eliminated. 

Answer 2b) Other religions/cultures had/have dangerous rituals/laws.

Answer 2c) Logical fallacy of argument from incredulity or ignorance.

Answer 2d) Mythology of Seven is common in Ancient Near East and could provide basis of the law.

Answer 2e) There are certain benefits (agricultural, social, economic..) that accrue if the whole country fallows at the same time. I.E. Better pest and diseases control, encourages national self sufficiency, encourages international trade,...)

Question 3) Why would the people accept such a risky law ?

Answer 3a) Risk could be minimized greatly or eliminated 

Answer 3b) Many religions had dangerous or risky rituals.

Answer 3c) Logical fallacy of argument from incredulity or ignorance.

Answer 3d) The Israelites as a whole may not have accepted Shemita.

Answer 3e) Mythology of Seven is common in Ancient Near East and could provide basis of law.

Answer 3f) If extra yields did not occur in the sixth year or the risk of starvation was real, Priests/Rabbi's could issue a suspension of the law. 

Answer 3g) Shemita probably had economic and agricultural benefits.

Premise  4)  If triple yields did not occur it would 'prove' the Torah was false, hence the fact that the Torah makes a testable claim proves the Torah is true. 

Answer 4a) People  may have initially had no way to verify the Torah claim of triple yields, and the Torah authors knew this. 

Answer 4b) Torah authors may have had no concern about testablity , at least when the law was first written.

Answer 4c) Indian Ghost Dance - claim was made for immunity from white man's bullets. This claim could be tested. Same for numerous other religions. 

Answer 4d) If triple yields do not occur Priests/Rabbis can say the Israel sinned or the law was not fully observed or Yahweh did not provide for one reason or another. Excuses and Apologetics.

Shemita Disproves Divinity of Torah 

A) Although fallowing is a good agricultural practice, the Torah's approach six years of production followed by a fallow year would eventually result in soil exhaustion. 

B) The Torah fails to teach superior methods of agriculture. For example, grain followed by legume followed by fallow. 

C) No evidence exists that triple yields (in sixth year) occurred in ancient Israel or are occurring in Modern Israel as promised. In fact just the opposite.

{ETA 11/25/2014 Even if the entire Israel did not observe Shemita those that did should get the triple yields. An omnipotent god could achieve this through natural means. For example, god could infuse extra nutrients from underground, or provide extra water via rain patterns.}


D) The more risky or crazy a ritual/law is or the less beneficial it is, the more suspicious it is not divine. If Shemita is not the best agricultural practice or if there is a risk of starvation I am inclined to reject it as being divine.

Continued Part 3

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