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About Me

No longer take comments. Post's 'labels' are unreliable for linking or searching. Use the INDEX OF POSTS instead. A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview and understanding of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. 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. IF YOU GET A MESSAGE THAT THE POST IS MISSING - LOOK FOR IT IN THE INDEX or search or the date is found in the address.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Yahweh, Mountain and or Warrior and or BloodThirsty gods

The religious write about the Lord as the morally perfect being,  the transcendent  and other lofty philosophical descriptions. I wonder if they ever read the Tenach with intellectual honesty. Also, they seem to be unaware of the many points of contact of the Lord with some other gods.

For example the Lord is associated with war, blood, and mountain(s). That will be the focus of this post, but there some additional and related material in some of my older posts. I will provide a tiny sampling from Ancient Near East Literature and a tiny sampling from the Tenach. A book could be written about it.

Page references from the book Near East Religious Texts Relating to the Old Testament (Edited by Walter Beyerlin) 1978 and  Bible translations from The Jewish Study Bible Berlin and Brettler 2004

1) In Exodus 7 The Lord brings the blood plague upon Egypt.

Page 97 - The Sumerian Myth Inanna and the Gardener -
The goddess Inanna brings a plague of blood - filled all the springs with blood and woman slaves who drew water got blood.

2) Isaiah 34 ....For the Lord is angry at all the nations, Furious at all their host;
He has doomed them, consigned them to slaughter. Their slain shall be left lying,
And the stench of their corpses shall mount; And the hills shall be drenched with their blood....The Lord has a sword; it is sated with blood....

Jeremiah 46:10 But that day shall be for the Lord God of Hosts a day
when He exacts retribution from His foes. The sword shall devour; it shall be sated and drunk with their blood.

Page 193 Anat’s War  The warrior goddess Anat mows down cities, heads roll beneath her, bathes in the blood of dead soldiers, slaughters until satiated  etc:

3) Exodus 3 Now Moses, tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, drove the flock into the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Also,  Moses  ascended a Mountain to visit with the Lord - Exodus 24.

Page 200 Anat’s Audience With El  -  The goddess Anat ascends the mountain of El to have a chat with El.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Kuzari Argument Part 23 or Proof of God from Miracles Part 3

It will be helpful to at least skim my Kuzari argument posts and Miracle posts 

Continued from   Kuzari Argument Part 22

Rabbi Gottlieb (RG) Principle: Let E be a possible event which, had it really occurred, would have left behind enormous, easily available evidence of its occurrence. If the evidence does not exist, people will not believe that E occurred.

This can be briefly restated as: If  people believe an event of type E occurred, then evidence must exist for the event's occurrence. 

[RG means to say a mass of people. RG does not mean if a only a few people.]

I am fully aware the following story is not like the Mount Sinai story but that is besides the point. RG’s principle is flawed for reasons I have discussed in prior posts.  One flaw is that it can not determine whether the witnesses opinion of the event are reliable.

There are interesting events that took place in Ireland in 1985.

From the book Looking For A Miracle by Joe Nickell 1993

Page 64 A Virgin Mary statue in a grotto in County Cork, Ireland swayed gently. Dozens of people including several news reporters claim to witness the movement. Some claimed the hands and feet moved. Scientists sent to investigate also saw the movement !

[I know what you are thinking. It was skullduggery, perhaps involving wires, smoke and mirrors and the like. Or you may be thinking the viewers drank a wee bit too much Irish Whiskey. However scientists determined something else was involved.] 

[Youtube has a video on the incidents at County Cork. The video claims thousands come and seven out of ten see something and even skeptics come away converted !]

The book explains the scientists know that NO STATUE MOVEMENT actually took place because they had filmed the statue and the film showed no movement. The scientists determined the viewers were unconsciously moving not the statue.  At dusk the statue has a halo of lights and that halo was providing a reference point for the eye. The viewer can not detect that one's head and body are unconsciously moving. 

[I strongly suspect prior religious beliefs and group think also played a role for some on lookers.]

When I read or hear about stories involving miracles, ghosts, demons, haunted houses, mental telepathy,  telekinesis, and other alleged supernatural things I give them very little credibility.  For any of that sort of stuff to be true it would mean that the established physics that we know operates 100% of the time in our part of the cosmos would be violated.  What is more likely - that well tested physics is violated or that  the stories are bunk or poor evidence for one reason or another. Save yourself time, money, mental energy and physical energy - be skeptical. 

 Continued Kuzari Argument Part 24 UYGHURS

Monday, April 22, 2019

Proof of God from Prophecy Part 4

It will probably be helpful to read all my Prophecy posts where I have argued that alleged fulfilled Tenach prophecies do not justify evidence for supernatural. Start with  Proof of God from Prophecy Part 1

Many religious claim there are no false prophecies in the Tenach.  A few prophecies they claim are at present unfulfilled, but they will be fulfilled someday. The focus of this post are  the prophecies the religious claim have been fulfilled.  Some religious argue that the virtual 100% success rate of Tenach prophecy is evidence of supernatural.

For the sake of argument I will accept the (questionable) religious claim above. That there are prophecies in the Tenach and they made predictions that were fulfilled.

There were numerous prophets in ancient Israel including many unknowns.  {ETA 5/21/2020 Many more prophets were active in ancient Israel and Judah than those whose work is represented in the prophetic books of the Bible. SOURCE Page 457-458 of  THE JEWISH STUDY BIBLE Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler editors 2004.}

   No doubt they made numerous predictions/prophesies and no doubt many of them would be argued by the religious to have been fulfilled  prophecies.  Yet,  it is also possible  many of the numerous predictions/prophesies they made did not come true.  What if the scribes and priests who were recording the prophecies only selected to record what they thought were prophecies that came true ?  What if the canonization process only selected the prophecies the scribes and priests thought had come true. We would be left with a biased record of fulfilled prophecies, plus some prophecies that the religious claim are at present not fulfilled ! 

Thus the high prophecy success rate could be due to the biased recording and canonization process whereby the (thought to be) successes  get written down and canonized. What were thought to be  failures were not recorded. This created a biased data set of prophecies in the Tenach. 

The religious may respond that the Tenach does record some false  prophecies. If so, then this means Tenach prophecies contain failures not something the religious desire to argue. Also, it is possible the  canonizers were unaware that the prophecy was really a failure.  Thus the failed prophecies got recorded and canonized anyway.   

The religious may claim there is a special category of prophecies that have  come true after the canonization process and so my argument fails. My response is very few if any prophecies are known to fall into the special category.  Besides those prophecies that allegedly fall into the special category are not amazing or fail the requirements for a valid prophecy.   

There is no evidence the alleged extremely high prophecy success rate requires the invocation of supernatural.  The high prophecy rate could be the result of a biased recording and  canonization processes.