The Always Articulate Aliza
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28-12-2015, 05:17 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
A bonus question for funzies Tongue

Do you believe in destiny?

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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28-12-2015, 05:34 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(28-12-2015 05:17 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  A bonus question for funzies Tongue

Do you believe in destiny?

Nope! Not really. I believe we carve our own paths in this world. Smile

I do suspect that certain character traits have genetic links, though.
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28-12-2015, 05:42 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(28-12-2015 05:34 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(28-12-2015 05:17 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  A bonus question for funzies Tongue

Do you believe in destiny?

Nope! Not really. I believe we carve our own paths in this world. Smile

I do suspect that certain character traits have genetic links, though.
Interesting! One of the reasons I got involved in atheism as a hobby (I've always been atheist, just never did much with it) was because of this girl I was talking to in college who was a strong believer in destiny and everything being god's will. My gosh it is one of the most painful conversations I have ever had.

But yes, I agree with you. Thumbsup

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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28-12-2015, 05:46 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(28-12-2015 05:42 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  
(28-12-2015 05:34 PM)Aliza Wrote:  Nope! Not really. I believe we carve our own paths in this world. Smile

I do suspect that certain character traits have genetic links, though.
Interesting! One of the reasons I got involved in atheism as a hobby (I've always been atheist, just never did much with it) was because of this girl I was talking to in college who was a strong believer in destiny and everything being god's will. My gosh it is one of the most painful conversations I have ever had.

But yes, I agree with you. Thumbsup

Destiny just isn't a Jewish idea because it would contradict the idea that we all have free will.
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28-12-2015, 06:41 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(28-12-2015 12:56 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  That is the most logical outlook I've ever heard from a theist. Because yeah, if a deity did exist, why would it be this jealous childish monster that most people think it must be? Worship me! Love me! Believe in me! Follow these rules (or suffer)! It's terrible. If a deity existed why the eff would it care about all that crap or need anything from us? Often people who don't buy that stuff, but still choose to believe in a deity become deists. In fact, I probably wouldn't be an anti-theist if most theism worked this way. What you describe is very non-coercive as opposed to most Christian doctrine. Although, without coercion, I don't see how theistic religion can thrive.

Why does a religion need to thrive?

If a religion is actively attempting to thrive, then how can that religion justify that they’ve got the absolute truth? The act of proselytization, in my opinion, displays an inherent weakness. If they carried the absolute truth for all of humanity, then why hasn’t all of humanity already chosen to be a part of it? Why must it be sold like a bill of goods? I think if G-d wrote a religion that was intended for all people, then people would be falling over themselves to follow it.

Unlike our proselytizing counterparts, joining (conservative or orthodox) Judaism is really quite difficult. We’re not interested in your membership, your belief system is irrelevant to us, we maintain that you can be a good person without being a Jew, and we don’t need your tithes to sustain ourselves financially. What else is there?

(28-12-2015 12:56 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  So is there an afterlife in your beliefs? Can you describe it if so? Will more observant Jews (than you) have different beliefs on the afterlife or what god expects?

There is an afterlife of sorts, yes. Reincarnation is not off the table, either. This is basically the orthodox view of the afterlife, though different movements may have different spins on it. What you believe will probably not impact what actually happens, so if one movement (or all movements) are wrong, then it doesn’t matter anyway. When you die, what happens will happen.

So my best understanding of the mainstream Jewish view is that your soul returns to the world of souls. Your good deeds and bad deeds are evaluated, and you’ll be shown the actual potential that you could have reached (assuming that you failed to reach that potential). You’ll see all of the lost opportunities and the happiness that you passed up on. Bad deeds are “cleansed” from your soul by your atoning for the wrong doing, and this process is said to be very emotionally painful. This period of time lasts for a maximum of 1 year, but such a long-term would be reserved for the worst of the worst people. At the end of this period of time, your soul joins the rest of the souls. Some schools of thought say that if you failed to reach your potential, then your soul could be born again, either as a whole or split up and merged with another soul.

Oh, and there is an idea that righteous people (Jewish and non-Jewish) will be resurrected in the Messianic era and live on earth again.
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29-12-2015, 03:34 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(28-12-2015 05:04 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(28-12-2015 12:19 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Was there any event in highschool in particular that "swung you the other way"? Or were you just finding yourself? Was there something that really convinced you?

No, not really. I didn’t much care for learning Spanish in high school, so during that class period, I spent my time thinking of more interesting topics such as of the origins of life. Through my ponderings, I decided that it just made more sense to me that there probably was a creator. It was really that simple. It wasn’t this profound epiphany that led me to immediately devote my life to my religious beliefs. I didn’t “have a vision” which served as the basis for my belief system.

It just made more sense to me and continues to make more sense to me. If my studies lead me to a different conclusion in the future, then I’ll change my position. –But I still won’t eat bacon-wrapped scallops.
haha, I didn't expect you had some magical experience or anything, but sometimes people have a moment where they "pieces fall into place" so-to-speak. And yes, please don't waste amazing bacon on disgusting scallops. Try bacon wrapped dates instead Thumbsup

Aliza Wrote:It was definitely the case with me. I tried affiliating myself with gentile culture, but I found that I just felt more at home with people from my own cultural background. If I was going to go the theist route, it was apparent to me that I would have to do this from within Judaism both from a theological perspective, and also from a cultural perspective.
Understandable. Do you feel like you practice because you are following the truth? Or do you feel you practice because you enjoy it and feel comfortable? Or all the above?


(28-12-2015 06:41 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
Adrianime Wrote:Although, without coercion, I don't see how theistic religion can thrive.

Why does a religion need to thrive?

If a religion is actively attempting to thrive, then how can that religion justify that they’ve got the absolute truth? The act of proselytization, in my opinion, displays an inherent weakness. If they carried the absolute truth for all of humanity, then why hasn’t all of humanity already chosen to be a part of it? Why must it be sold like a bill of goods? I think if G-d wrote a religion that was intended for all people, then people would be falling over themselves to follow it.

Unlike our proselytizing counterparts, joining (conservative or orthodox) Judaism is really quite difficult. We’re not interested in your membership, your belief system is irrelevant to us, we maintain that you can be a good person without being a Jew, and we don’t need your tithes to sustain ourselves financially. What else is there?
Ahh, yes that is the question. Why does religion need to thrive? I would argue that religions that are "designed" to thrive are the most problematic and likely the most corrupt. Many religions are set up like a business (and a virus). With a goal of getting as many followers as possible. Christianity and Islam control adherents through fear, consequence, and shame. People are controlled by feeling that there is something wrong with them, and that they are a sinner if they don't believe. I am glad the Judaism you describe doesn't follow in these footsteps. Judaism predates Islam and Christianity, correct?

Aliza Wrote:
(28-12-2015 12:56 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  So is there an afterlife in your beliefs? Can you describe it if so? Will more observant Jews (than you) have different beliefs on the afterlife or what god expects?

There is an afterlife of sorts, yes. Reincarnation is not off the table, either. This is basically the orthodox view of the afterlife, though different movements may have different spins on it. What you believe will probably not impact what actually happens, so if one movement (or all movements) are wrong, then it doesn’t matter anyway. When you die, what happens will happen.

So my best understanding of the mainstream Jewish view is that your soul returns to the world of souls. Your good deeds and bad deeds are evaluated, and you’ll be shown the actual potential that you could have reached (assuming that you failed to reach that potential). You’ll see all of the lost opportunities and the happiness that you passed up on. Bad deeds are “cleansed” from your soul by your atoning for the wrong doing, and this process is said to be very emotionally painful. This period of time lasts for a maximum of 1 year, but such a long-term would be reserved for the worst of the worst people. At the end of this period of time, your soul joins the rest of the souls. Some schools of thought say that if you failed to reach your potential, then your soul could be born again, either as a whole or split up and merged with another soul.

Oh, and there is an idea that righteous people (Jewish and non-Jewish) will be resurrected in the Messianic era and live on earth again.
So what defines good and bad deeds? Culture? You kind of already said it isn't the holy book, correct?

Do you mind if I ask you about your views on the truth values of your beliefs?

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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30-12-2015, 08:33 AM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2015 09:04 AM by Aliza.)
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(28-12-2015 12:19 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  What was the religious education you pursued?

I was raised in Reform Judaism, which is one of the more liberal denominations. In this movement, a belief in G-d is not really taught or expected. Some people may legitimately believe in G-d, but it has been my experience that most people don’t. An individual’s personal position on G-d is irrelevant and not discussed or cared about.

Basically, I grew up not realizing that the Jewish community supported a belief in G-d.

When I had questions about G-d, I didn’t turn to Judaism for answers. This is actually a really common theme in Reform Judaism, and asking a Reform Rabbi about G-d is more damaging than helpful because there’s a good chance that the Rabbi doesn’t believe in G-d either. My curiosity and lack of direction made me ripe for the picking by fundamentalist Christians, though! My first exposure to the bible was through a Christian lens, not a Jewish one.

I had also researched a few eastern religions and some new age spirituality stuff. I went so far as to attend a few Universal Unitarianism services, but I never affiliated myself with any of these movements.
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30-12-2015, 06:28 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
(29-12-2015 03:34 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  haha, I didn't expect you had some magical experience or anything, but sometimes people have a moment where they "pieces fall into place" so-to-speak. And yes, please don't waste amazing bacon on disgusting scallops. Try bacon wrapped dates instead

I don’t know, Adrianime! I’ve met some Christians who follow Christianity solely because they believe Jesus literally spoke to them personally.

Maybe I’ll fry up some beef-fry wrapped dates this weekend. Smile Sounds like an odd combination, but I’m all for trying new things.

(29-12-2015 03:34 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Do you feel like you practice [Judaism] because you are following the truth? Or do you feel you practice because you enjoy it and feel comfortable? Or all the above?

All of the above.

Yes, I do practice because I believe I’m following truth. I hesitate to agree with every single rabbinic interpretation of Torah, but the bigger picture is certainly truth to me. As far as practicing goes, I practice the religion because it works for me and I believe it has had a positive impact on my life.

(29-12-2015 03:34 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I am glad the Judaism you describe doesn't follow in these footsteps. Judaism predates Islam and Christianity, correct?

Judaism is the source religion for Christianity, and indirectly for Islam as well.

And yes, the Judaism that I have experienced and I practice doesn’t follow in these footsteps, but I don’t want it said that I turn a blind eye to the fundamentalism within our own ranks. We have fruit-balls within Judaism, and there are some denominations that support interpretations of our law that I can’t possibly practice myself or even defend.

(29-12-2015 03:34 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  So what defines good and bad deeds? Culture? You kind of already said it isn't the holy book, correct?

Ah, okay. I wasn’t clear before. Sorry about that. Let me try to clarify: I stated that the law (which is found in the Torah) is to improve your own life, but I failed to mention that people don’t have the right to hurt other people. No one gets a free pass on stealing from anyone, cheating others in business, or harming anyone else in any way. Even something as seemingly innocuous as talking bad about another person or embarrassing them harms the other person, and is considered to be a sin.

These sins fall into the category of man-against-man, and you don’t get to quietly repent for your bad behavior and just pray these sins away. According to our theology, G-d forfeits the right to forgive you if you sin against another person. If you hurt someone else, your only recourse is to make it right with the person you’ve hurt. If you don’t make it right within your own lifetime, then your soul will atone for these sins after death, and this process is said to be very emotionally painful.
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07-01-2016, 01:51 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
I apologize to those who are following this. This thread was for my own curiosity, not for the benefit of others (cold-hard truth) and Aliza and I have been talking elsewhere so this thread won't likely continue much.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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07-01-2016, 01:52 PM
RE: The Always Articulate Aliza
Thanks again Aliza Thumbsup

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