A few interesting reads out there (wish I could remember the people who I found these from), and a really interesting clip from Pakistani TV:
- The New York Times says it's a must to believe in free will.
- BeyondBT with a great essay on The Pursuit of Truth. I loved this short summation of mussar:
What does mussar teach us? Rav Dessler, an influential Rabbi regarded for his contributions to Jewish thought, defines mussar very succinctly. He says that people need to question their ability to reach valid conclusions and decisions. We’re not necessarily in a position to exercise good judgement because we are, unfortunately, likely to be swayed from truth. Our wants bias our judgement. What we want shapes the way we view any given situation and the way we think through decisions. Our character flaws and self interest shape our wants and help to distort our perspective. To reach truth we need to refine our character traits (our middos) and develop an intense desire for truth. This is mussar.
- Post #2 on how to shop for Pesach on a budget.
- Most people know I'm generally optimistic-realistic (if a bit sarcastic on occasion), but here's a good post on how rational pessimism can save your day.
We should be back in the swing of things shortly. Enjoy!
I had to LOL at the juxtaposition. On free will, we must believe because it's good for us to believe. Right after that, we must develop an intense desire for truth.ReplyDelete
Not to mention the irony of Orthodox blogs advocating an "intense desire for truth." As long as you believe in the "right" truth, huh? :-)
>As long as you believe in the "right" truth, huh? :-)ReplyDelete
Is there anyone out that that desires to believe in a false truth?
People who genuinely have "an intense desire for truth" follow the evidence/logic wherever it goes, even if they don't like the results.ReplyDelete
Orthodox people start with their conclusion and work backwards. That's pretty much what the word "orthodox" means.
But thats not what you said. Your critical of orthodox blogs for advocating the "right" kind of truth ( ie Judaism is true). But that goes without saying. Every group, whether right, left, atheist, theist, or eskimo is going to promulgate the "right" truth, (ie, their truth).ReplyDelete
Regarding what you say about orthodoxy...I say, so what? The fact that someone works backwards may not be the best way to acquire truth (in a general way), but it also doesn't mean the end goal is ipso facto wrong either. I certainly didn't start with any conclusions as I was a BT later on in life. I wouldn't call myself a traditional OJ, but my search for truth has yet to lead me in your path.
There's no such thing as kefirah in atheism. You are "allowed" to ask or even believe whatever you want. If you start believing in God, by definition you're not an atheist any more, but it's not like you've broken some rule.ReplyDelete
Orthodox Judaism has literal rules against certain beliefs. Real people were actually excommunicated for honestly holding different opinions.
The fact that someone works backwards may not be the best way to acquire truth (in a general way), but it also doesn't mean the end goal is ipso facto wrong either.
It makes it 99.9999999% more likely to be wrong, but I guess as it's not "ipso facto" wrong, it's okay with you.
I will say that BTs have a little more credibility on the subject, being able to at least say that they don't just believe what their parents did.
Honestly, though. Did you become a BT because of a dispassionate search for the truth? Or was it more a desire for meaning and/or community?
>There's no such thing as kefirah in atheism. You are "allowed" to ask or even believe whatever you want. If you start believing in God, by definition you're not an atheist any more, but it's not like you've broken some rule.ReplyDelete
This isn't relevant to anything pertaining to what I said.
>Orthodox Judaism has literal rules against certain beliefs. Real people were actually excommunicated for honestly holding different opinions.
Duh! Any belief is going to have rules or else its not a belief. And actually, this goes with your first comment about if you believe in God, you are not longer an atheist, but its not like you have broken any rule. Well, you sort of have. There is a sort of self identifying rule in atheism that you CANNOT have a belief in god to be an atheist. That is a rule that goes without saying. If you do, you are out of the club. Same with orthodoxy (or any other organization for that matter...like the Free Masons for example).
>It makes it 99.9999999% more likely to be wrong, but I guess as it's not "ipso facto" wrong, it's okay with you.
No, you misunderstood. You, always use that line that an OJ works backwards. This is true to a great extent, but it says nothing about the validity about the end goal. I have to judge that end goal (for our example, TMS or some variation of it) on its own merit, not how OTHER people approach rationalizing their beliefs.
>Honestly, though. Did you become a BT because of a dispassionate search for the truth?
Elaborate on that question please.
>Or was it more a desire for meaning and/or community?
Not at all. I will go on record, as telling my wife that life was simpler and happier before I became frum. lol.
No, you misunderstood. You, always use that line that an OJ works backwards. This is true to a great extent, but it says nothing about the validity about the end goal.ReplyDelete
The point is that the only way that this method reaches a true conclusion is if you happened to start with a true conclusion. That means the whole reasoning process is superfluous, and your conclusion (belief) has nothing to do with reasoning.
Obviously, the fact that other people use bad reasoning does not imply that your reasoning is bad. I'm not saying otherwise.
Elaborate on that question please.
Basically, what I'm getting at is the reason you became a BT. In my experience, people become BTs because they find something attractive about Orthodox Judaism, while people become atheists not because atheism is particularly attractive (it isn't, really) but because they come to believe that it's just true. While this obviously doesn't prove that atheism is true, I think it does provide some evidence that atheism is more likely to be true than OJ.
(Religious people claim that people become atheists for the guilt-free hedonism, but I don't think that's true. Most of the I know including myself did not want to become atheists. I know that people become OJ because they like the community and the sense of meaning, though.)
It could very well be that you are an exception, in which case I'd be curious as to how you became convinced that OJ is true.
>and your conclusion (belief) has nothing to do with reasoning.ReplyDelete
But it doesn't make that conclusion false. The fact that Yaakov Chaimovitz can't argue his point very well says nothing about the validity of whether that belief is —tachles– correct or not. This is just a general statement of course. Thats why I said, I don't care if X amount of people in a group start with the conclusion. Thats their problem that they don't know proper reasoning skills, but ultimately, the end goal needs to be fought on its own merits and not on the merits of orthodox Jews.
>It could very well be that you are an exception, in which case I'd be curious as to how you became convinced that OJ is true.
I am not the mushy sort of type that searches for meaning. I'm sort of like Ezzie in that aspect, except much more ripped and good looking.
It depends how you define OJ. If by OJ you mean a seamless mesorah passed from father to son...than no, I am not convinced. If you mean a perfect Torah that reaches all the way back to Sinai without mans tampering than I am not convinced. If you mean something happened, and a covenant was established between God and the Israelites and that, that covenant took the form as a Torah, both by some mix of divine hands and mans hands (i.e. think Halivni's theory) than , it took me years, but I am convinced.
But it doesn't make that conclusion false.ReplyDelete
Yeah, yeah, I keep agreeing with you about that. It doesn't make it false, but it makes it suspect. For example, if I said that I know your wife is cheating because my toaster told me, it might or might not be the case that she is cheating, but you'd be a fool to believe me without other evidence.
but I am convinced.
What I'm trying to get at is why. What caused you to start looking? What convinced you? Et.c
>What caused you to start looking?ReplyDelete
my grandfather was traditional. It sparked something. I am also a lover of history, so the historical question got me interested as well.
What convinced you?
on one leg: looking into the existence of the Jews. Their size, their survival, their returning to Israel. Something that is promised by god all through Tanach. I bought Gold's book " Bondage of the Mind" where he dedicates a whole chapter to this issue. He obviously does not believe in a divine reason and instead gives a naturalistic reason for it. He does though concede that it would be reasonable to believe BECAUSE of this issue that the Jews are chosen, but that it does not necassarily mean God gave a torah. To which I agree