(Mostly) Open call for discussion
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22-03-2016, 04:08 PM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
(22-03-2016 09:05 AM)Agnostic Shane Wrote:  
(22-03-2016 08:50 AM)Chas Wrote:  No, you're running out of smart people who are willing to entertain your horseshit. Drinking Beverage
Did you automatically exclude yourself from that group when you entertained my "horeshit" with your response?

That response doesn't even make sense. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-03-2016, 04:24 PM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
(22-03-2016 10:07 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Not to throw a wet blanket on this love fest, but this is the boxing ring.

So it seems there are a few offers to debate.

Reltzik, who do you choose to debate or just have a discussion with? Otherwise the thread will just be locked.


Why not just move it out of the Boxing Ring since no one has taken the challenge?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-03-2016, 06:45 PM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
(17-03-2016 12:29 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  This invitation is open to anyone else, on any other topic related to religion... provided, of course, it's something we disagree on.

As much as I'd enjoy that I'm having a difficult time thinking of anything related to religion that we'd be likely to disagree on.

(21-03-2016 09:16 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I would love to have a conversation with you about why everything you think you know about Judaism is wrong. If the discussion is still open, that is, and you're still in the process of selecting your debate partner.

And I'd love to take you up on that Aliza but everything that I think I know about Judaism could be written on the sharp end of a pin in billboard-sized font. And it's still probably wrong.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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26-03-2016, 12:24 AM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
Argh. Okay, I'm now up to a week and a half without internet at my home and the problem still doesn't have a "fixed-by" date yet, so I'm bumming someone else's internet for a few days. Sorry I've been so slow to reply to everyone, and I don't think the problem's getting better soon.

(21-03-2016 09:07 PM)Agnostic Shane Wrote:  Choose one:

Objectively speaking:

Morality is an illusion.
The self is an illusion
Time is an illusion
Proof is an illusion

I am not absolutely certain if these statements are true but I would like to argue on behalf of them, it that's ok with you?

I'm ignostic to all of these. I'd need precise definitions of "morality", "self", "illusion", and "time" to take positions on them. Conventional definitions aren't cutting it for me. (I'm on board with proof, though... it just depends on how you define "illusion".

That said, I think all of these, in the conventional sense and with the exception of morality and proof, are thoroughly valid and predictive models for understanding our universe (which is one of my ways of judging whether something is real -- that's a big can of worms there, my veiw of reality). I'd also say that morality exists as a mix of social convention, instinctive empathy, and enlightened self-interest. I don't know whether any of these escapes your category of "illusion", though.

(21-03-2016 09:16 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I would love to have a conversation with you about why everything you think you know about Judaism is wrong. If the discussion is still open, that is, and you're still in the process of selecting your debate partner.

Post edit: I should add to this that if you have a yeshiva education, you probably know more than I do, so there would be no point in discussing. My offer stands, assuming you were not raised in orthodox Judaism. Tongue

I'd be up for this. I didn't have much of an education in Judaism at all, except some afterschool at a JCC. But, while interesting, "Judaism is misunderstood" is not something I'm really taking a con position against. I'll see if there's a more debatey topic up ahead. If so, I'll take that option and we can have our talk in a different thread.

....

Okay, I having read through the rest of.... that, I think I'll go with Aliza, unless she finds the brokenness of my internet and the necessary spottiness of my replies off-putting. I don't think she'll be proving everything I know wrong because I don't claim to know much, but I still think a free-wheeling education and exploration is interesting.
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26-03-2016, 07:52 AM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
There was once a Jew who got shipwrecked on a deserted island. When a rescue team finally finally found him, they discovered that he had been very industrious and had constructed several buildings on the island. “This is my home,” the Jew explained, beaming with pride. “And this one over here is where I smoke my fish.... Oh, and look here! This one is my synagogue!” The pilot pointed to another building. “What’s that one over there?” The expression on the Jew’s face darkened. “That’s the other synagogue. I wouldn’t be caught dead in that place!”

I thought you wanted more of a discussion than a debate, but don't you worry! We’re two Jews about to be engaged in a friendly discussion about religion. We will agree on nothing. It is our natural state of existence.

Here’s a few sample topics we could discuss:

1. Why religious Jews believe we’re headed into the messianic era right now.
2. The right for Israel to exist (not sure what stance you already take on this).
3. The apparent gender discrepancy in orthodoxy.
4. The holocaust and why Jews are hated.
5. Why secularism does (or does not) spell the end of the Jewish people.

I suppose we can start by just discussing something and we'll let the points of disagreement surface naturally. Smile
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26-03-2016, 12:07 PM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
This debate is now between Reltzik and Aliza all other posts or comments will be deleted.


If you'd like to continue your discussion feel free to create another thread.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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26-03-2016, 12:08 PM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
(26-03-2016 07:52 AM)Aliza Wrote:  There was once a Jew who got shipwrecked on a deserted island. When a rescue team finally finally found him, they discovered that he had been very industrious and had constructed several buildings on the island. “This is my home,” the Jew explained, beaming with pride. “And this one over here is where I smoke my fish.... Oh, and look here! This one is my synagogue!” The pilot pointed to another building. “What’s that one over there?” The expression on the Jew’s face darkened. “That’s the other synagogue. I wouldn’t be caught dead in that place!”

I thought you wanted more of a discussion than a debate, but don't you worry! We’re two Jews about to be engaged in a friendly discussion about religion. We will agree on nothing. It is our natural state of existence.

Here’s a few sample topics we could discuss:

1. Why religious Jews believe we’re headed into the messianic era right now.
2. The right for Israel to exist (not sure what stance you already take on this).
3. The apparent gender discrepancy in orthodoxy.
4. The holocaust and why Jews are hated.
5. Why secularism does (or does not) spell the end of the Jewish people.

I suppose we can start by just discussing something and we'll let the points of disagreement surface naturally. Smile

Heh. I've heard that one. Here's one for you:

A Jewish mother is walking along the coast with her little boy when suddenly a huge wave hits them both. She maintains her footing, but her boy is swept away by the tide. She immediately turns to prayer.

"God, you better bring him back to me, RIGHT NOW."

Another wave promptly deposits the boy at her feet, wet and disheveled but otherwise unharmed. The mother checks him over, ensures that he's uninjured, and then says another prayer.

"HEY! He was wearing a HAT!"

*****

Let's talk about the right of Israel to exist. I'll lay out my positions on the matter.

First of all, I don't think any polity has an innate "right" to exist. That is a policy concession or promise extracted from its neighbors, sometimes by force or threats, sometimes through friendly relations. It's basically a cornerstone of civil conduct between nations, promising that they do not regard each other as entities that NEED to be knifed in the back in a dark alley. It's not a matter of ephemeral, abstract, morally-mandated privileges to be recognized and acknowledged as some metaphysical fact.

In the case of Israel, the right to exist (as a concession) was extracted from most of its neighbors through a couple of epic ass-kickings.

It does not, IMO, stem from any distant historical claim to the land by the Jewish people... any more than the Greeks or the Romans or the Canaanites or the various Muslim peoples who held that territory have a historical claim to it today. Nor do their religious beliefs and ties to the Holy Land give them any more right to it than the religious beliefs of Christians and Muslims.

There's also the belief that Jews have a literally God-given right to the land which, as an atheist, I of course do not believe. It's a particularly problematic belief leading to expansionism and settlement polices that further destabilize the region. It's far from universal among Jews, but is strongest in Israel's conservative, nationalistic wings.

Nor do I think Israel gained a right to exist -- beyond the sense of a property concession or grant -- from Britain when it carved the state out of Palestine. The sort of forced relocation of Palestinians that followed was, IMO, a severe human rights violation that Britain had no right to engage in.

I also don't think that the Holocaust gave Jews a right to their own state in the Holy Land. Arguably, it demonstrated that they needed SOME state of their own, but the most logical and moral act would have been to carve it out of the wreckage of Germany, the nation that had conducted the Holocaust, and which was now broken and already being divided.

The final test I would apply is whether a nation LOSES a moral right to exist (you know, that thing I don't think is actually a thing) by generally carrying on evil. When the only moral thing to do is to protect its victims by eliminating it as a polity. Again, Nazi Germany is a good example of such a state. There's much that Israel is doing that's skeevy, IMO. I don't think the phrase "Apartheid State" is an exaggeration where it is concerned, and I do not hyperbolize when I describe Israel's management of the occupied territories as creating the world's largest ghetto, complete with frequent, militarized pogroms. (And I do not yet regard the Palestinians as having a truly independent state. What they have is what I refer to as a "state-and-a-half solution", which is getting them the worst of both worlds.) Have the Palestinians committed atrocities in return? Some of them, certainly... with much of the impetus for that being their own mistreatment.

Yet despite this, I don't think Israel has crossed the line yet where it loses a right to exist. In this it is not much worse than its neighbors in the region, and still quite better than many, and the harm that would be caused by ending its existence would far outstretch the harm of it continuing to exist. This is a large blemish on an otherwise-reasonable nation, one that needs to be wiped clean but not to the point, yet, of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Anyhow, that's my two cents on Israel's right to exist. (I'm frugal, so my two cents stretch farther than most anyone else's.) Any fodder for an argument there?
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26-03-2016, 05:29 PM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
(26-03-2016 12:08 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  In the case of Israel, the right to exist (as a concession) was extracted from most of its neighbors through a couple of epic ass-kickings.

It does not, IMO, stem from any distant historical claim to the land by the Jewish people... any more than the Greeks or the Romans or the Canaanites or the various Muslim peoples who held that territory have a historical claim to it today. Nor do their religious beliefs and ties to the Holy Land give them any more right to it than the religious beliefs of Christians and Muslims.

There's also the belief that Jews have a literally God-given right to the land which, as an atheist, I of course do not believe. It's a particularly problematic belief leading to expansionism and settlement polices that further destabilize the region. It's far from universal among Jews, but is strongest in Israel's conservative, nationalistic wings.

Ironically, Christians, Jews and Muslims all believe that the Jews will once again return to their homeland in the end of days. I won't try to claim that I understand the Quran or that I'm qualified to speak on its behalf, but I find statements like this to be quite surprising given the political climate in the middle east.

The following is from the website: "WHAT THE QUR'AN REALLY SAYS" by Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi. (I'm quoting this from a Jewish source, by the way.) I don't understand why Muslims are so against the Jews being in the region given the statements below.

"To Moses We [Allah] gave nine clear signs. Ask the Israelites how he [Moses] first appeared amongst them. Pharoah said to him: 'Moses, I can see that you are bewitched.' 'You know full well,' he [Moses] replied, 'that none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has revealed these visible signs. Pharoah, you are doomed.'"

"Pharoah sought to scare them [the Israelites] out of the land [of Israel]: but We [Allah] drowned him [Pharoah] together with all who were with him. Then We [Allah] said to the Israelites: 'Dwell in this land [the Land of Israel]. When the promise of the hereafter [End of Days] comes to be fulfilled, We [Allah] shall assemble you [the Israelites] all together [in the Land of Israel]."

"We [Allah] have revealed the Qur'an with the truth, and with the truth it has come down. We have sent you [Muhammed] forth only to proclaim good news and to give warning."

[Qur'an, "Night Journey," chapter 17:100-104]

SHAYKH PROF. PALAZZI COMMENTS:

God wanted to give Avraham a double blessing, through Ishmael and through Isaac, and ordered that Ishmael's descendents should live in the desert of Arabia and Isaac's in Canaan.

The Qur'an recognizes the Land of Israel as the heritage of the Jews and it explains that, before the Last Judgment, Jews will return to dwell there. This prophecy has already been fulfilled.


With all of that said, I won't try to make an argument that the Jews belong in the land solely for any theological reason, but theology does play a role in both the claims of their being there, and also in efforts to remove them.
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26-03-2016, 08:01 PM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
(26-03-2016 05:29 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(26-03-2016 12:08 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  In the case of Israel, the right to exist (as a concession) was extracted from most of its neighbors through a couple of epic ass-kickings.

It does not, IMO, stem from any distant historical claim to the land by the Jewish people... any more than the Greeks or the Romans or the Canaanites or the various Muslim peoples who held that territory have a historical claim to it today. Nor do their religious beliefs and ties to the Holy Land give them any more right to it than the religious beliefs of Christians and Muslims.

There's also the belief that Jews have a literally God-given right to the land which, as an atheist, I of course do not believe. It's a particularly problematic belief leading to expansionism and settlement polices that further destabilize the region. It's far from universal among Jews, but is strongest in Israel's conservative, nationalistic wings.

Ironically, Christians, Jews and Muslims all believe that the Jews will once again return to their homeland in the end of days. I won't try to claim that I understand the Quran or that I'm qualified to speak on its behalf, but I find statements like this to be quite surprising given the political climate in the middle east.

The following is from the website: "WHAT THE QUR'AN REALLY SAYS" by Shaykh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi. (I'm quoting this from a Jewish source, by the way.) I don't understand why Muslims are so against the Jews being in the region given the statements below.

"To Moses We [Allah] gave nine clear signs. Ask the Israelites how he [Moses] first appeared amongst them. Pharoah said to him: 'Moses, I can see that you are bewitched.' 'You know full well,' he [Moses] replied, 'that none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has revealed these visible signs. Pharoah, you are doomed.'"

"Pharoah sought to scare them [the Israelites] out of the land [of Israel]: but We [Allah] drowned him [Pharoah] together with all who were with him. Then We [Allah] said to the Israelites: 'Dwell in this land [the Land of Israel]. When the promise of the hereafter [End of Days] comes to be fulfilled, We [Allah] shall assemble you [the Israelites] all together [in the Land of Israel]."

"We [Allah] have revealed the Qur'an with the truth, and with the truth it has come down. We have sent you [Muhammed] forth only to proclaim good news and to give warning."

[Qur'an, "Night Journey," chapter 17:100-104]

SHAYKH PROF. PALAZZI COMMENTS:

God wanted to give Avraham a double blessing, through Ishmael and through Isaac, and ordered that Ishmael's descendents should live in the desert of Arabia and Isaac's in Canaan.

The Qur'an recognizes the Land of Israel as the heritage of the Jews and it explains that, before the Last Judgment, Jews will return to dwell there. This prophecy has already been fulfilled.


With all of that said, I won't try to make an argument that the Jews belong in the land solely for any theological reason, but theology does play a role in both the claims of their being there, and also in efforts to remove them.

I'd guess the primary theological objection is Jihad, (the lesser version of) which requires Muslims to unite in defense of Muslim lands against infidel invaders. If Muslims regard the current state of Israel as not part of the end times but a premature invasion and seizure of land by infidels (even if they're "people of the Book"), that would explain the opposition.
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26-03-2016, 11:03 PM
RE: (Mostly) Open call for discussion
(26-03-2016 08:01 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  I'd guess the primary theological objection is Jihad, (the lesser version of) which requires Muslims to unite in defense of Muslim lands against infidel invaders. If Muslims regard the current state of Israel as not part of the end times but a premature invasion and seizure of land by infidels (even if they're "people of the Book"), that would explain the opposition.

I have also been taught this, and I believe it's a big part of the problem. But keep in mind that the Arabs accepted British rule for 28 years. They declared war on Israel days after the state was founded. Non-Muslim rule was not exclusively the root of the problem.

I believe Israel is a peace-seeking, productive nation that strives to cooperate with their neighbors and with the rest of the world. For that reason, I think Israel has a right to exist and to defend themselves against those who wish to destroy them. I would agree that their biblical claim to the land is moot, but they’re there now and they received the land fair and square.

The Arabs who lived in this region prior to the 1967 war regarded themselves as Syrian or even Jordanian. The term “Palestinian” was concocted in a single day following the six-day war to try to preempt and delegitimize the Jewish claim to the land. The Arab population currently calling themselves Palestinians are claiming ancient heritage to the land, but they are in fact immigrants themselves, just as the Jews are. A population boom in the late 1800's and early 1900's saw Arab refugees settling in Palestine from surrounding Muslim countries. The Arab's heritage, language, culture and religion are all identical to the other Arab countries from where they originally hail. While this does not reverse the fact that they are currently in Israel, trying to destroy the Jewish state, they do so under false pretenses. They have no connection to the Philistines from the bible and they have no historical connection to the land.

"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937

"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".

- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".

- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956

"As I lived in Palestine, everyone I knew could trace their heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from. Everyone knew their origin was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, this is the kind of stuff our education in the Middle East included. The fact is that today's Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations! I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today's Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christians from Greece, muslim Sherkas from Russia, muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door. My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life by Abdul Qader Al-Husseni (the leader of the Palestinian revolution) after being accused of selling land to Jews. He used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families. The town has now grown to 30,000 inhabitants".
- Walid Shoebat, an "ex-Palestinian" Arab
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