The Always Articulate Aliza
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23-12-2015, 01:45 PM (This post was last modified: 23-12-2015 01:51 PM by Adrianime.)
The Always Articulate Aliza
I recently learned Aliza is a theist, which was news to me. I'd like to talk to her about her beliefs and what she is doing on an atheist website...and this format is as good as any.

We already began our conversation in PM, I opened with:

Quote:So I guess to start with...Do you subscribe to a specific religion? If so which one? And how come you are here? Tongue
To which she responded:
Quote:Yes, I subscribe to a particular religion. Smile I'm a mainstream, observant Jew, but I'm less observant than an orthodox Jew. -While I was raised in a secular home, my Jewish education is strictly orthodox.

I came to TTA because I was curious to learn about atheists. Judaism is crammed packed with agnostics, but gentile atheists are quite a bit different. I wanted to understand them better. Also, I expect to encounter many atheists in my future field, so I thought it would be wise to get some exposure to their way of thinking.

Aliza, would you be okay with continuing our 1 on 1 conversation here? Thumbsup

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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23-12-2015, 01:56 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(23-12-2015 01:45 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I recently learned Aliza is a theist, which was news to me. I'd like to talk to her about her beliefs and what she is doing on an atheist website...and this format is as good as any.

We already began our conversation in PM, I opened with:

Quote:So I guess to start with...Do you subscribe to a specific religion? If so which one? And how come you are here? Tongue
To which she responded:
Quote:Yes, I subscribe to a particular religion. Smile I'm a mainstream, observant Jew, but I'm less observant than an orthodox Jew. -While I was raised in a secular home, my Jewish education is strictly orthodox.

I came to TTA because I was curious to learn about atheists. Judaism is crammed packed with agnostics, but gentile atheists are quite a bit different. I wanted to understand them better. Also, I expect to encounter many atheists in my future field, so I thought it would be wise to get some exposure to their way of thinking.

Aliza, would you be okay with continuing our 1 on 1 conversation here? Thumbsup

I'd be happy to. Thanks for the invite. Smile
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23-12-2015, 02:00 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
Great! So the format will be a 1 on 1 conversation. Topic: Your religious beliefs and possibly my non-belief. Also feel free to ask me anything you want, and of course you can refuse to answer any given question.

Thanks for participating. Big Grin

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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23-12-2015, 02:04 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
Quote:Yes, I subscribe to a particular religion. Smile I'm a mainstream, observant Jew, but I'm less observant than an orthodox Jew. -While I was raised in a secular home, my Jewish education is strictly orthodox.

I came to TTA because I was curious to learn about atheists. Judaism is crammed packed with agnostics, but gentile atheists are quite a bit different. I wanted to understand them better. Also, I expect to encounter many atheists in my future field, so I thought it would be wise to get some exposure to their way of thinking.
So I don't know much about Judaism. Can you give me a little background about some main points of your belief System? How do you differ (in your opinion) from the agnostic Jews and the orthodox Jews?

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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23-12-2015, 02:15 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
Ok this debate is between Aliza and Adrianime only.
Any comments from people outside the debate will be deleted.


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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23-12-2015, 02:34 PM (This post was last modified: 23-12-2015 06:24 PM by Aliza.)
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(23-12-2015 02:04 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  
Quote:Yes, I subscribe to a particular religion. Smile I'm a mainstream, observant Jew, but I'm less observant than an orthodox Jew. -While I was raised in a secular home, my Jewish education is strictly orthodox.

I came to TTA because I was curious to learn about atheists. Judaism is crammed packed with agnostics, but gentile atheists are quite a bit different. I wanted to understand them better. Also, I expect to encounter many atheists in my future field, so I thought it would be wise to get some exposure to their way of thinking.
So I don't know much about Judaism. Can you give me a little background about some main points of your belief System? How do you differ (in your opinion) from the agnostic Jews and the orthodox Jews?

Judaism does have a belief component to it, but for Judaism, faith and belief are not the cornerstones of the religion. Judaism is a religion of action. When you boil it down, it’s really just a way to live one’s life. It strives to promote an environment where people give charity, help others, are respectful and honest to others, and live in Jewish communities, promoting Jewish values.

In contrast to Christianity, it’s not a religion that gives much thought to what happens when a person dies, or what impact a person’s belief system will have on the fate of their eternal souls.

I had mentioned that many Jews are agnostic. I’ve even known orthodox Jews who don’t believe in G-d. Orthodoxy reflects a person’s observance level, and not their personal “connections to G-d.” Orthodox people live more of the Jewish law, secular people live less of it. I’m less observant than a true orthodox person, in part because of my secular upbringing, and also because I’m lazy Tongue One of the best things about Judaism is that I can choose to live the lifestyle because it suits me, but I don't fear the "wrath of G-d" for failing to adhere to every single tenant of the religion.
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23-12-2015, 02:42 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
Interesting. Do you basically share the same beliefs as your parents?

From your point of view, what does "god" want from you as a Jewish person? Is there any punishment for not granting "him" this?

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23-12-2015, 02:46 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(23-12-2015 02:34 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I had mentioned that many Jews are agnostic. I’ve even known orthodox Jews who don’t believe in G-d. Orthodoxy reflects a person’s observance level, and not their personal “connections to G-d.” Orthodox people live more of the Jewish law, secular people live less of it. I’m less observant than a true orthodox person, in part because of my secular upbringing, and also because I’m lazy Tongue One of the best things about Judaism, is that I get to live the lifestyle because it suits me. I choose to make it work for me, but I don't fear the "wrath of G-d" for failing to live every single tenant of the religion.
When you say observance, do you mean this type of stuff?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:J...bservances

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23-12-2015, 07:35 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(23-12-2015 02:46 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  When you say observance, do you mean this type of stuff?

Good question! Sorry, I sometimes use Jewishy jargon. Smile

Your link sums it up nicely. To be observant is to follow the 613 commandments, as laid out in the Hebrew Bible, and also to follow the Rabbinic law, as (largely) detailed in the Talmud. Different groups of Jewish denominations hold to varying levels of observance (or no observance) while still being 100% Jewish.

(23-12-2015 02:42 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Interesting. Do you basically share the same beliefs as your parents?

Both of my parents are culturally Jewish, but neither of them are observant. My father is agnostic, and my mother is marginally theistic. My late grandfather also played a significant role in my development, and he was a staunch atheist, yet very culturally Jewish.

(23-12-2015 02:42 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  From your point of view, what does "god" want from you as a Jewish person? Is there any punishment for not granting "him" this?

According to everything I’ve learned, G-d expects from Jewish people, the same thing that he expects from non-Jewish people. The objective is to cram as much joy and pleasure into your life as you can, but to do it as a connoisseur, and not some ravenous pig. We’re here to learn, experience, and grow.

As far as being punished for failing to do this, I’ve heard it said that if you missed some opportunity to experience pleasure in your life, you’ll be held accountable for it after you die. –But there is no eternal punishment for failing to live up to G-d’s expectations. Really, failing to enjoy your life and to live up to your potential is in itself punishment enough.
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23-12-2015, 08:28 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(23-12-2015 07:35 PM)Aliza Wrote:  Good question! Sorry, I sometimes use Jewishy jargon. Smile

Your link sums it up nicely. To be observant is to follow the 613 commandments, as laid out in the Hebrew Bible, and also to follow the Rabbinic law, as (largely) detailed in the Talmud. Different groups of Jewish denominations hold to varying levels of observance (or no observance) while still being 100% Jewish.

Both of my parents are culturally Jewish, but neither of them are observant. My father is agnostic, and my mother is marginally theistic. My late grandfather also played a significant role in my development, and he was a staunch atheist, yet very culturally Jewish.

According to everything I’ve learned, G-d expects from Jewish people, the same thing that he expects from non-Jewish people. The objective is to cram as much joy and pleasure into your life as you can, but to do it as a connoisseur, and not some ravenous pig. We’re here to learn, experience, and grow.

As far as being punished for failing to do this, I’ve heard it said that if you missed some opportunity to experience pleasure in your life, you’ll be held accountable for it after you die. –But there is no eternal punishment for failing to live up to G-d’s expectations. Really, failing to enjoy your life and to live up to your potential is in itself punishment enough.
Wow, that's amazing. So basically, according to you, your purpose in life is the same as mine. Which is essentially "be happy." Although it seems you have a few more constraints than I do.

You keep mentioning atheist and agnostic Jews. So I have a couple questions on that.

1. Is that frowned upon in many Jewish circles? Or do people just not care any more?

2. (This question is directly from Chas): "if a Jew doesn't believe in God, then what would be the basis for all those laws that a Jew is supposed to live by? Y'know, the God-given ones. Consider"
My version of the same question is...Why observe if you don't believe? Just a cultural thing? Also, if "god" doesn't want or expect anything more than your own pursuit of happiness, then what is the point of these "613 commandments, as laid out in the Hebrew Bible"? If "god" has made rules, why would he just "not care" if they are not followed?

In other words, why have rules if there is no incentive to follow?

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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