Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
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16-08-2013, 05:45 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(16-08-2013 05:09 PM)Recovery Wrote:  
(16-08-2013 07:06 AM)Chas Wrote:  Do you eat bacon?

Yes, I eat bacon. Luckily my family never kept Kosher but I had many friends whose families did.

I ask because I know secular or cultural Jews who won't eat pork.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-08-2013, 05:51 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(16-08-2013 05:07 PM)Recovery Wrote:  
(16-08-2013 08:11 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It’s time Christianity’s spokespeople publically admit what many every-day Christians already know; that the Old Testament is largely immoral and that none of it should be read as truth. They won’t do that because they’re too rigid to consider new ideas. How pure, real, and sensible is science in comparison! Science invites questioning; churches usually suppress it. If a scientific theory is proven flawed, it’s discarded and a better one replaces it. Scientists learn from their mistakes, usually no one is offended, and progress continues. No excuses or reinterpretations are needed. Christianity, in comparison, is stuck with its ancient texts - and humanity has repeatedly suffered the consequences."

This is what blows my mind the most. It wasn't until I lost my faith that I actually began to analyze what is preached in the Old Testament. I still occasionally attend synagogue with my family (once or twice a year, my parents don't know I'm an atheist), and I am absolutely blown away with how immature, self-centered, harsh, and immoral this "god" of the Old Testament really is. I have to restrain myself from standing up in the middle of services and just screaming to everyone..."REALLY?!?! You actually believe and take this crap seriously?!" I think the problem is that most of these people never really read the scriptures that they live their lives by.

Agreed.

If you think about it objectively, it's quite a bizzare concept to read and reread ancient documents to look for direction and meaning.

Backward Thinking and Divisiveness

“But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”
(Reg, leader of the People’s Front of Judea, from the film “Life of Brian”)

Six hundred years before Jesus Jewish priests badgered their fellows into a fanatical reverence for scripture. As a consequence, most Jews looked backward by trying to rigidly conform to the last jot and tittle of the Torah, instead of being open-minded and flexible. They were obsessed with ingratiating themselves with their imaginary God, which excluded them from having cordial relations with gentiles.

Most people from conquered nations came to realize that while they may have had no great love of Rome, it was in their interests to be part of the Empire, because it usually bought them peace, law, order, and trade. The Palestinian Jews were different. They refused to learn from foreigners because their imaginary God had already told them how to live. They failed to adapt to what was then a more modern world, and suffered recurrent military defeats at the hands of gentiles as a result.

Their obsessive reliance on scripture meant they were subject to primitive law and ethics. They frequently fought and argued amongst themselves, partly because God’s rules were so open to interpretation. Their religious leaders, not democratically elected, who claimed to know how to interpret scripture, asserted an elevated status for themselves and taxed the people’s incomes.

At the beginning of the Christian era, an eclectic mix of Jews and gentiles wrote more stories about God with the explicit, but not admitted, aim of asserting authority over everyone in the empire. Some of these writings eventually became the New Testament. They instilled similar convictions in their converts, such as an injunction to obey priests, a reluctance to embrace new ideas, and an intolerance of all non-believers. Ever since the dawn of Christianity, Christians have been squabbling with each other and outsiders, just as the ancient Jews always did, and the baloney in the Bible is largely to blame.

Islamists also took a leaf out of the Jewish practice, to write their own version of scripture, the Koran, about 600 years after the Christians. It too is still being used to control people.

The human family is still suffering from belief in holy books, because Jews, Christians and Muslims are still fighting each other.
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16-08-2013, 05:56 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
bumpy bumpy bump me, wheeee.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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16-08-2013, 10:16 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
Looking at Judaism from an outside perspective (ex-Christian), it's clear to me that it's a dying faith. Considering there are around 2 billion Christians, 1.5 billion Muslims, yet only 14 million Jews... a tiny number in comparison.

It's surprising that the very root of monotheism is practiced in such small numbers, and with the rate of non-believers/unaffiliated rising all the time, I don't think it'll be long before Judaism as a religion disappears.

Looking at Judaism, it shows it's age... it is a very old system, around 4000 years old. Islam is a teenager by comparison, quick to anger, stubborn, fiercely independent, hostile to criticism. Christianity I think is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis... it's past the mad days of it's youth in which it conquered much of the world. It settled down after the enlightenment, and perhaps worries now that it's lost it's edge... hence the sudden surge in fundamentalism and extremism in the US.

These are all very human characteristics... perhaps this could be taken as a clue to their very human origins.

As an anti-religious atheist, in general I'm glad to see religions in decline... but I do worry what could be lost. I just hope that with the decline of Judaism, we don't lose Jewish music, comedy and culture in general. The Jewish sense of humor is something I love... in many ways it's very similar to British humor.

But I'm well aware that being Jewish is much more than just following a religion, that it's an identity and ethnicity much greater than mere belief. So I'm hopeful that Jewish atheists will continue the art and culture... but that the old dogma of religion will eventually go by the wayside.

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17-08-2013, 07:24 AM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
Actually, it's not "the very root of monotheism''. Thats the spin. It's false.
The ancient Hebrews were just as much polytheists, as all their surrounding cultures.
They were "monolaterist", which means they chose to worship one among many in the pantheon of ancient Near Eastern gods. After the Exilic period, the prophets attempted to suppress the worship of other gods, and it was a long, and not so successful attempt.
Why and how this happened is a fascinating topic, having to do with the destruction of the long/large traditional family units/lines. Monotheism arose a few times, in ancient cultures, not first in ancient Israel. Yahweh had a "consort", (proven by archaeology). Ashera was worshiped along with Yahweh, and figurines of her have been found in a number of archaeological dig sites, (including Jerusalem).

The question of the concept post-mortem survival is also interesting, as it's easy to see how that changed, and it had to do with the "exaltation" (*raising up*, in 'historic status"), of (originally ONLY), political heroes. I talked about it some here. They did not believe in it until towards the change of the millennium, and then only some elements.
I have no clue what they actually think about it today. I should ask a Jewish scholar.
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17-08-2013, 10:31 AM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(17-08-2013 07:24 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Actually, it's not "the very root of monotheism''. Thats the spin. It's false.
The ancient Hebrews were just as much polytheists, as all their surrounding cultures.
They were "monolaterist", which means they chose to worship one among many in the pantheon of ancient Near Eastern gods. After the Exilic period, the prophets attempted to suppress the worship of other gods, and it was a long, and not so successful attempt.
Why and how this happened is a fascinating topic, having to do with the destruction of the long/large traditional family units/lines. Monotheism arose a few times, in ancient cultures, not first in ancient Israel. Yahweh had a "consort", (proven by archaeology). Ashera was worshiped along with Yahweh, and figurines of her have been found in a number of archaeological dig sites, (including Jerusalem).

The question of the concept post-mortem survival is also interesting, as it's easy to see how that changed, and it had to do with the "exaltation" (*raising up*, in 'historic status"), of (originally ONLY), political heroes. I talked about it some here. They did not believe in it until towards the change of the millennium, and then only some elements.
I have no clue what they actually think about it today. I should ask a Jewish scholar.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...other-look

I understand that... I meant it's the root of modern monotheism, apart from Sikhism.

It is fascinating reading clues to the polytheistic origins of Judaism. They crop up all over the bible.

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17-08-2013, 12:41 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(16-08-2013 10:16 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  Looking at Judaism from an outside perspective (ex-Christian), it's clear to me that it's a dying faith. Considering there are around 2 billion Christians, 1.5 billion Muslims, yet only 14 million Jews... a tiny number in comparison.

It's surprising that the very root of monotheism is practiced in such small numbers, and with the rate of non-believers/unaffiliated rising all the time, I don't think it'll be long before Judaism as a religion disappears.

That's also because Jews in general don't actively try to convert people to their religions the way Christians and Muslims will. Also, Jewishness (yes I'm making up the word) is passed from the mother. In other words, a Jewish woman may marry a non-Jew and her children will still be Jewish. If a man marries a non-Jew, his children must be converted -- to be considered Jewish. It's all or nothing.

Also the holocaust did a lot of damage -- I've known a few people who completely renounced their Jewish faith out of fear. They never told their children they were Jewish. Also, in the US Judaism was oddball and there was much antisemitism.

I don't know if Judeism will eventually die out completely. I know some devout Jews and others who are more "cultural" Jews -- who believe in their heritage without a strong belief in god.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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17-08-2013, 01:30 PM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(17-08-2013 12:41 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(16-08-2013 10:16 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  Looking at Judaism from an outside perspective (ex-Christian), it's clear to me that it's a dying faith. Considering there are around 2 billion Christians, 1.5 billion Muslims, yet only 14 million Jews... a tiny number in comparison.

It's surprising that the very root of monotheism is practiced in such small numbers, and with the rate of non-believers/unaffiliated rising all the time, I don't think it'll be long before Judaism as a religion disappears.

That's also because Jews in general don't actively try to convert people to their religions the way Christians and Muslims will. Also, Jewishness (yes I'm making up the word) is passed from the mother. In other words, a Jewish woman may marry a non-Jew and her children will still be Jewish. If a man marries a non-Jew, his children must be converted -- to be considered Jewish. It's all or nothing.

Also the holocaust did a lot of damage -- I've known a few people who completely renounced their Jewish faith out of fear. They never told their children they were Jewish. Also, in the US Judaism was oddball and there was much antisemitism.

I don't know if Judeism will eventually die out completely. I know some devout Jews and others who are more "cultural" Jews -- who believe in their heritage without a strong belief in god.

I think it will probably die out eventually... as a faith that is. I think all religions will eventually fade away or be superseded. Every religion has it's day and then begins to decline, hence the staggering numbers of gods humanity has dreamed up.

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18-08-2013, 12:15 AM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(17-08-2013 12:41 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Also, Jewishness (yes I'm making up the word) is passed from the mother.

I don't know if it's a real word but it's used all the time. I myself use it.

Anyway, I don't consider myself "de-converted" as I still appreciate many Jewish values and ideals. I actually even keep kosher. It's quite easy since I gave up meat but I eat on dairy plates, don't eat shellfish or catfish. I'm also a member of two synagogues. I simply don't believe in the existence of any gods, including the Jewish god.

I find it interesting that the OP sits in services and feels annoyed that everyone else actually believes what is written in the Hebrew Bible as truth. Unless you are attending Orthodox shuls, I doubt many of them really do. And up to what point do they believe it? What is their actual perception of god? Do they think of him as the god portrayed in the Hebrew Bible? No, many do not.
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18-08-2013, 02:05 AM
RE: Discussions of Judaism, My Former Faith
(17-08-2013 12:41 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  ...
That's also because Jews in general don't actively try to convert people to their religions the way Christians and Muslims will. Also, Jewishness (yes I'm making up the word) is passed from the mother. In other words, a Jewish woman may marry a non-Jew and her children will still be Jewish. If a man marries a non-Jew, his children must be converted -- to be considered Jewish. It's all or nothing.

Also the holocaust did a lot of damage -- I've known a few people who completely renounced their Jewish faith out of fear. They never told their children they were Jewish.
...

Yes.

^^^ My family history.

Didn't know until I was 33 (the day of my wedding).

Shocking

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