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Author Topic: Theological Question of the Week #2-Marketplace of Faith
Darth_Mauve
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First, this is not a pro-or-anti religion trolling expedition. I hope to create a well considered discussion on the subject. If you are not willing to have your ideas changed by overwhelming arguments, don't expect others to change theirs no matter how overwhelming you think you wit may be.

Is their a Marketplace of Faith and is it a good thing.

By Marketplace of Faith I am referring to the idea that in a society of religious freedom people are able to shop around the various faiths until they find one they can support, or support none at all.

Does the openness of this Marketplace help find true faith since we can easily move to what we find more correct, or does it drown out true faith because the masses flock to what is easy, comforting and self-serving, not what is true.

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Javert
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Is there one? Legally, yes. Socially, it depends entirely on your current faith. And yes, I think it's a good thing. It's one of the benefits brought by mass communication. Knowledge is no longer a rare commodity.
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katharina
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The alternative is Not Good, both for personal freedom (I believe in freedom of religion), and for the religions themselves (I dissaprove of faking it for social reasons).

However, I think that there can be a variety of ways to be religious even when everyone is the same nominal faith. Some find spirituality in nature, some in music, some in quiet prayer, some in service, some in doctrine building, some in scriptural study, some in teaching. Everyone could be the same denomination and still find different ways to spiritual fulfillment.

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Lisa
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Unfortunately, I think there is such a marketplace here in the US. It's one of the reasons why Jews don't belong here.

Look, if you're an advocate of the current cultural insistence that there is no Truth (with a capital T), then such a marketplace is probably a nifty thing. Although in such a case, I wouldn't shop there at all. But if you think that your religion really is The Truth -- that any other religion might possess some truth (either because they got it from us, or because even a broken clock is right twice a day), but that only yours has the real deal -- then the only way such a marketplace could be useful is if you believe in proselytizing. If you don't, then it isn't only of no value -- it's of negative value. In a big way.

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katharina
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I do believe in Truth with a capital T, and I also believe that people being coerced to follow Truth is wrong. A choice to be good/moral/virtuous/whateveryourword is only meaningful if there was a genuine choice, which means the ability to choose otherwise.

Adults who have been forced are nothing at all, neither faithful nor unfaithful.

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rivka
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I agree with Katie.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
... Does the openness of this Marketplace help find true faith since we can easily move to what we find more correct, or does it drown out true faith because the masses flock to what is easy, comforting and self-serving, not what is true.

Your analogy hints at an answer. Does the *actual* marketplace optimize for the "best" product? In theory yes, in practice no (depending on your definition of best of course). Monopolies can change the rules to unduly favour them, producers can optimize for lowest price by making flawed products that consumers cannot easily detect, compensation structures can favour short-term profits over long-term success, etc.

Are there analogous problems in the marketplace of faith? I would say yes.

Perhaps just as a regulated system of capitalism appears to be the best (but still flawed) solution for organizing an economy, it may be the case that a regulated system of religion appears to be the best (but still flawed) solution for organizing religious faith.

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MightyCow
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I think the Marketplace is great, because it takes the Truth out of the hands of the few, and allows the masses to examine their options. Knowledge is power, and the knowledge that so many conflicting faiths all claim The Truth can be quite enlightening.

Seeing that other religions' supernatural claims are no more or less compelling, supported, or worthwhile than ones own encourages one to look for the man behind the curtain.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Unfortunately, I think there is such a marketplace here in the US. It's one of the reasons why Jews don't belong here.

man, how many american jews could possibly agree with you at all about that?
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rivka
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Oh, probably quite a few.

Most of them don't use the (gasp!) Internet, though.

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Juxtapose
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The marketplace for religion isn't a very open market, due to the indoctrination of the young. And I say that recognizing that indoctrination of the young is not inherently moral or immoral, and that it's probably unavoidable.
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August
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Yes, I think that there is such a marketplace of faith, and that it has not only been fostered by America's supposed "free religion", but by the internet. The Constitution has the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause. But let's face facts: our society is predominantly Christian.
About the internet: I am sure that the Marketplace of Faith wouldn't exist (or at least, exist as it does) if we weren't able to communicate so freely and so quickly. I think that it's a good thing because being able to learn about and explore different faiths allows one to decide what fits best, and thus learn more about themselves.

I feel like the masses who flock to faiths that are self-serving and "easy" won't go looking around in the first place. And, well, if they do, then it's their loss. The people who are persistent and faithful enough will find their "True Faith". I don't yet know if a single "True Faith" exists. I think that if one did, there would be a whole lot less arguing in the world, because I think that people with opposing views feel the same righteousness as I feel when they are protecting their beliefs. I want to always be open-minded, but it's hard to think about what's "wrong" feeling the same as what's "right".

So if there's a single "Truth" out there, the people who can recognize it will pursue it. I believe that a person's faith should be self-selected, because otherwise how will we know that are children are truly good or just going along with what they've always known? I believe in a truth that feels so inherently right to me. I found it through years of searching, and I will probably continue searching as long as I live to try and perfect it. The task is probably futile, but as I change, so does my faith. And once I have found the Truth I believe that I will stop changing.

I speak from personal experience: I've always felt free enough to explore different religions, and when I was thirteen I nearly came up with my own. Maybe it was growing in such a diverse neighborhood, with so many different faiths around me that made me realize that there's a benefit to learning about all of them. If people can be so passionate about a belief, it's worth learning, and understanding. And without a Marketplace of Faith, how could we find the Truth? (if it exists, that is)


quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
It's one of the reasons why Jews don't belong here.

Wait, what?
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MightyCow
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August: Because Jews are God's Chosen People, and since we don't recognize that, and God hasn't bothered to convince the rest of us, they aren't afforded the proper respect and status that they deserve. Obviously.
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rivka
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[Roll Eyes]

While I strongly disagree with Lisa, I think it's pretty clear that's not what she means.

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MightyCow
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I'm not so sure. I guess we'll have to see.
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Raymond Arnold
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Add me to the list of people who disagree with Lisa. Assuming Judaism is the Truth, how would a person not raised as Jewish be expected to figure that out without an "open market?"
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CaySedai
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Add me to the list of people who disagree with Lisa. Assuming Judaism is the Truth, how would a person not raised as Jewish be expected to figure that out without an "open market?"

I think that Lisa has said that a person who must be born and raised (not converted) to be a "real" Jew. The person's mother must be Jewish in order for the child to be a real Jew. So if a woman converts in order to marry a Jew, she is not actually a real Jew (in my recollection of a statement by Lisa) nor are her children.

Which is why proselytizing is useless (under this interpretation) - either you are or you aren't.

(Edited to add, while leaving the original comment unchanged: Lisa states later that I am mistaken. I apologize for any misunderstanding. I had an impression of a memory of reading something she said a long time ago. I think her comment explaining that converts have to be really, really sincere probably explains it better than my faulty recollection.)

[ April 25, 2010, 12:57 AM: Message edited by: CaySedai ]

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Raymond Arnold
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I hadn't heard her say that specifically. I know that for Judaism in general proselytizing isn't as big an issue, and I can definitely see that if the point is that the Jews are the chosen people, then "true" Jews are what ultimately matters. But I'd think there'd be at least some value in other people coming to decide that Judaism IS in fact the true religion.

As for proselytizing in general... well I certainly think it's annoying, but I don't have any particular objection to it so long as it isn't excessive. I haven't met someone who bothered me after a "no, I'm not interested." Also, if you are starting by saying "I want to see what religions are available so I can figure out the truth" (a reasonably healthy way to start, albeit difficult given the propensity of people to follow the religion of their parents) then, as noted, proselytizing isn't so necessary given the internet.

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katharina
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I don't care what Lisa thinks. It doesn't matter.

------------

While I definitely believe in freedom of religion and the "marketplace of faith" is a byproduct of it, that doesn't mean that I think that the "truest" religion will be the one that the most people choose. That's the wrong model.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I do believe in Truth with a capital T, and I also believe that people being coerced to follow Truth is wrong. A choice to be good/moral/virtuous/whateveryourword is only meaningful if there was a genuine choice, which means the ability to choose otherwise.

Adults who have been forced are nothing at all, neither faithful nor unfaithful.

Anybody who disagrees with what kat is expressing here is a fascist.

Even though I'm not a Mormon, nor even religious, I do recognize that as soon as you take away the element of free choice, you have a serious problem, and it will have Unpleasant Unintended Consequences, sooner or later. See what's happening in Iran right now, the youth rebelling against the government? People generally rebel when they feel coerced.

The best you can hope for (if you coerce others) is that you can delay the consequences until after you and your generation die, thus leaving the problem for your descendants to deal with. For instance, look at how the Russians treated their royal family. The royal family got taken out back of the woodshed and shot in their heads. Also, in other news, the Russian royals, historically, were some of the most despotic and brutal rulers in Europe, for centuries.

Take Ceaucescu, in Romania. He was the meanest dictator EVAR, and they killed him, hard.

Yeah, coercion will hurt ya. First it hurts them, then it hurts you. Fun stuff, baby.

IOW, what goes around, comes around.

Check the history books, baby. It's all there.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Anybody who disagrees with what kat is expressing here is a fascist.
Steve that was really unnecessary.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Anybody who disagrees with what kat is expressing here is a fascist.
Steve that was really unnecessary.
Maybe, but my statement was fairly true.
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Raymond Arnold
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Um, well, yes? Except that your statement screamed "sarcasm," which implied we were supposed to take it as the opposite of true.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
I'm not so sure. I guess we'll have to see.

It hurts me to respond to your idiotic misrepresentation of what I said. It's because, unfortunately, not every Jew is educated properly, and because of that, some of them can be drawn off the path into foreign religions. In a worst-case scenario, into a religion which is idolatrous (at least for Jews).

There's absolutely no plus side to a "marketplace of faith" for us. The ideal situation is for all of us to be back in Israel, and for members of other religions to be barred from representing their religion to any Jews there.

Would you want your child to be brought up with racism being viewed as "just another ideology"? If not, then you can understand not wanting your child to be exposed to bad ideologies, and you should be able to understand why those who are in possession of the Truth wouldn't want our children exposed to Non-Truth as though it was just another legitimate way to be.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
There's absolutely no plus side to a "marketplace of faith" for us. The ideal situation is for all of us to be back in Israel, and for members of other religions to be barred from representing their religion to any Jews there.

So, freedom of religious expression is something that you feel that the jews need to be protected from. Never you mind the delicious irony that exists in that your reasoning has more in common with the islamic theocracies that imperil Israel than it has to do with Israel's policies themselves.

See, this is what I talk about when I say you make such a great, great fanatical zealot.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by CaySedai:
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Add me to the list of people who disagree with Lisa. Assuming Judaism is the Truth, how would a person not raised as Jewish be expected to figure that out without an "open market?"

I think that Lisa has said that a person who must be born and raised (not converted) to be a "real" Jew. The person's mother must be Jewish in order for the child to be a real Jew. So if a woman converts in order to marry a Jew, she is not actually a real Jew (in my recollection of a statement by Lisa) nor are her children.
Good God, no! A convert is just as much a Jew as anyone born Jewish. So long as it's a kosher conversion. For all I know, I could be the descendant of converts. The greatest Sage in our history, Rabbi Akiva, certainly was.

But to answer Raymond, why should we care? I mean, it's a good thing for non-Jews to learn that Judaism is true, so that they can conform to the Noachide laws, but we don't seek converts.

And I'll tell you why. When a non-Jew eats a ham sandwich, he isn't doing anything even remotely wrong. It isn't, "Well, he's a non-Jew, so you can't expect him to know better," or anything like that. It's completely value-neutral.

When a Jew eats a ham sandwich, he's causing harm. To himself, first of all. To the entire Jewish people, too. And to the entirety of creation, as well.

So there's a question of risk management. A convert might remain religious. Might be a wonderful Jew and a great asset, or one of his descendants might be an amazing person like Rabbi Akiva. But at the same time, he might not. What's the upside to adding that risk? We have enough Jews who are violating God's laws already. Why risk adding to that?

Now... when someone comes to convert, and is really, really sincere, we sometimes take that chance. It's up to the rabbis involved in the conversion process and their personal impression of whether the person will be and remain a faithful Jew. The first reaction to anyone seeking to convert to Judaism is always "No." And only those who are persistant ever make it through.

There are those who feel that converts should not be accepted at all today. The law is that we don't accept converts when יד ישראל תקיפה, which means "when the Jews are triumphant", basically. The idea being that when we're living in a shtetl getting attacked by Cossacks every second Tuesday, anyone who wants to become a Jew is either nuts or really, really sincere. But when we have our own homeland, and when you can have Jews (however rotten) as Chief of Staff of the POTUS or as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, then such assurances aren't there.

Now... I have friends who are converts. Some of them, I'm glad they converted. Some, not. I don't know how I feel about it being possible to convert to Judaism today, but I certainly can see why some would oppose it.

And no, Rivka, it isn't only cloistered Haredim who see a problem with the corrosive nature -- in many ways -- of American society.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
I hadn't heard her say that specifically. I know that for Judaism in general proselytizing isn't as big an issue, and I can definitely see that if the point is that the Jews are the chosen people, then "true" Jews are what ultimately matters. But I'd think there'd be at least some value in other people coming to decide that Judaism IS in fact the true religion.

Oh, certainly there is. The end goal is a world where everyone, Jew and non-Jew, serves God as they're supposed to.
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Armoth
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I'm beginning to believe that if Lisa said the world was round, you'd all tell her that the world is flat, and that she's evil.

As a Modern Orthodox Jew, I was taught that we can gain a lot of value from the marketplace of faith.

However, ideally, I agree with Lisa, that if you believe Judaism, or your religion, is the absolute truth, you don't want exposure to anything other than the truth.

With respect to Kat's point - I believe freedom of choice still exists when there is no "marketplace of faith." My understanding of the early generations of Judaism, an age of prophets and miracles where God stared at them in the face - free will was about living your life with the purity that clarity and truth demands. The tests of our generation is more about seeing a God who chooses to hide Himself in this world, about about being open-minded enough to see beyond the self and into the source.

With respect to Sam's point - Just because factions of Islam are at war with Judaism doesn't mean we disrespect them or their faith. A lot of their processes and values are meaningful to us. Indeed, Jewish law demands that if one cannot find a synagogue to pray in, he should pray in a mosque because it is a recognized place for prayer.

Note that I do not think that Jews should not be exposed to the outside world, to literature, history, etc. Modern Orthodox Judaism is all about operating in the outside world and maintaining a traditional Jewish lifestyle. However, when it comes to the ultimate truth, I see no value of there being a "marketplace of faith", and only negatives. Because others faiths exist, Jews have an obligation to learn about other faiths so that Jews can prove to themselves the validity of their own faith over others.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
There's absolutely no plus side to a "marketplace of faith" for us. The ideal situation is for all of us to be back in Israel, and for members of other religions to be barred from representing their religion to any Jews there.

So, freedom of religious expression is something that you feel that the jews need to be protected from. Never you mind the delicious irony that exists in that your reasoning has more in common with the islamic theocracies that imperil Israel than it has to do with Israel's policies themselves.

See, this is what I talk about when I say you make such a great, great fanatical zealot.

You know how dumb the comparison is, right? It's like pointing out that Hitler was a vegetarian and using that to bash vegetarians. The fact that commonalities exist between a good ideology and a bad one doesn't say anything about the ideologies themselves.

And as far as non-Jews preaching their religions in Israel, if the religion happens to be an idolatrous one, we are absolutely obligated to prevent them -- at any cost. And on the subject of irony, consider the irony that the Muslims, who are our greatest enemy, are one of the few religions which can absolutely never be considered idolatrous. If we were making up the rules to suit ourselves, I can guarantee you that wouldn't be the case.

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MightyCow
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Lisa: Again, you just said the same thing I did, but with a lot more words, and trying to make it sound more like you're right and everyone else is a fool for not agreeing with you.

P.S. You're the awesomest person I know and I totally love you.

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Parkour
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quote:
When a Jew eats a ham sandwich, he's causing harm. To himself, first of all. To the entire Jewish people, too. And to the entirety of creation, as well.
Jewish God makes some pretty silly ways to damage all of creation, doesn't he.
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
Lisa: Again, you just said the same thing I did, but with a lot more words, and trying to make it sound more like you're right and everyone else is a fool for not agreeing with you.

P.S. You're the awesomest person I know and I totally love you.

No. She didn't.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
You know how dumb the comparison is, right? It's like pointing out that Hitler was a vegetarian and using that to bash vegetarians. The fact that commonalities exist between a good ideology and a bad one doesn't say anything about the ideologies themselves.

Sure, because Hitler was surrounded by enemy vegetarians everywhere, and you represent hitler in the analogy, I guess. Nope. The irony comes from how YOUR ideology is one that your own religious nation thankfully manages to avoid much more than its sworn enemies do. And to its benefit, too.

You very frequently have ideas for what is 'good for Israel' and what they should have, which would actually be pretty terrible for it were they to ever really fall in with their ideas.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
When a Jew eats a ham sandwich, he's causing harm. To himself, first of all. To the entire Jewish people, too. And to the entirety of creation, as well.
Jewish God makes some pretty silly ways to damage all of creation, doesn't he.
While I appreciate the respect you afford my religion, you can pick up R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's philosophical work, "Horeb" for a more thoughtful explanation of the prohibition.

Though, roughly, there is a category of commandments that are called chukkim - they are laws where the reason is hidden from mankind, though they usually inculcate an unconscious level of sensitivity.

Either way, whenever you do something against God's will, you are destructive. The world was created for mankind to do good, and when you violate God's will, you are destructive in the sense that you move opposite His will.

In this context, it doesn't matter what the reason is for the prohibition, what matters is that the Creator, the Source, your truest love asked you not to do something, and you did it anyways - that's destructive to your relationship with Him, and ultimately, to your purpose in the world.

In fact, I would suggest that "rational" commandments and prohibitions are more deceptive in that there is greater opportunity to divorce the commandment from it's ideal purpose - your relationship with God, and to convince yourself that it's there to uphold some (false) sense of objective morality.

Plugged back into our example - Judaism is a way of life for the world, not just for Jews. Non-Jews are given 7 commandments. It isn't destructive for them to eat pig because God has a relationship with non-Jews and didn't ask them, as a part of it, not to eat pig.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
When a Jew eats a ham sandwich, he's causing harm. To himself, first of all. To the entire Jewish people, too. And to the entirety of creation, as well.
Jewish God makes some pretty silly ways to damage all of creation, doesn't he.
Maybe if you understood more, you wouldn't see it as silly.
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
You know how dumb the comparison is, right? It's like pointing out that Hitler was a vegetarian and using that to bash vegetarians. The fact that commonalities exist between a good ideology and a bad one doesn't say anything about the ideologies themselves.

Sure, because Hitler was surrounded by enemy vegetarians everywhere, and you represent hitler in the analogy, I guess. Nope. The irony comes from how YOUR ideology is one that your own religious nation thankfully manages to avoid much more than its sworn enemies do. And to its benefit, too.

You very frequently have ideas for what is 'good for Israel' and what they should have, which would actually be pretty terrible for it were they to ever really fall in with their ideas.

While that may be true about Lisa, it wasn't in this example. Besides, you were asking Lisa about the ideal world - there are little to no places left on earth where you can escape the marketplace of faith without giving up other freedoms that Lisa would likely agree are necessary to protecting a religious way of life.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
You know how dumb the comparison is, right? It's like pointing out that Hitler was a vegetarian and using that to bash vegetarians. The fact that commonalities exist between a good ideology and a bad one doesn't say anything about the ideologies themselves.

Sure, because Hitler was surrounded by enemy vegetarians everywhere, and you represent hitler in the analogy, I guess. Nope. The irony comes from how YOUR ideology is one that your own religious nation thankfully manages to avoid much more than its sworn enemies do. And to its benefit, too.

You very frequently have ideas for what is 'good for Israel' and what they should have, which would actually be pretty terrible for it were they to ever really fall in with their ideas.

While that may be true about Lisa, it wasn't in this example. Besides, you were asking Lisa about the ideal world - there are little to no places left on earth where you can escape the marketplace of faith without giving up other freedoms that Lisa would likely agree are necessary to protecting a religious way of life.
Right.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
While that may be true about Lisa, it wasn't in this example.

Not particularly. israel would not benefit. i'm sure the 'ideal' will completely ignore the unintended consequences of trying to protect the poor fragile views from freedom of religion and making sure they only get the proper education slash indoctrination, but IRL, that would draw Israel ever closer to its own little dark age, and Judaism even further away from relevance in an increasingly open world.

quote:
there are little to no places left on earth where you can escape the marketplace of faith without giving up other freedoms that Lisa would likely agree are necessary to protecting a religious way of life.
those FREEDOMS being
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
While that may be true about Lisa, it wasn't in this example.

Not particularly. israel would not benefit. i'm sure the 'ideal' will completely ignore the unintended consequences of trying to protect the poor fragile views from freedom of religion and making sure they only get the proper education slash indoctrination, but IRL, that would draw Israel ever closer to its own little dark age, and Judaism even further away from relevance in an increasingly open world.
First of all, I'm talking about Judaism; not the modern State of Israel, necessarily. Which is a tool, but not necessarily the only one. The land of Israel belongs to the nation of Israel (the Jews), and not to the government of the State of Israel.

Second of all, who gives half a damn whether you consider Judaism relevant or not? Honestly. I'm okay if God thinks we're doing the right thing. Your uninformed opinion really isn't worth a whole lot, you know?

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
there are little to no places left on earth where you can escape the marketplace of faith without giving up other freedoms that Lisa would likely agree are necessary to protecting a religious way of life.
those FREEDOMS being
Among others, the freedom to keep God's laws. We've lived in times when non-Jews wouldn't allow us to do so. When they would kill us for the "crime" of circumcising our sons. There are plenty of nutjobs out there today who would like to have that viewed as child mutilation. There are countries where kosher slaughter of animals has been banned.

Look, I don't have any issues with the US being dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. And that among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It's probably one of the most civilized nations non-Jews have ever built, and I applaud them for it. That doesn't mean it applies universally. For example, if you were to learn through a scientific study that smoking was fatal in 100% of cases to anyone exposed to it, you'd certainly make it illegal. Not to violate their liberty, but because it's going to hurt others.

So right now, you aren't aware that idolatry (for example) is harmful 100% of the time. So you think that banning it is a bad thing. But that's your lack of knowledge talking. I'm still on board with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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Parkour
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quote:
Though, roughly, there is a category of commandments that are called chukkim - they are laws where the reason is hidden from mankind, though they usually inculcate an unconscious level of sensitivity.
If the pork prohibition is one of these, then that means that humankind is specifically not told why jews are not allowed to eat pork?

quote:
Maybe if you understood more, you wouldn't see it as silly.
I doubt it. I bet I would discover that it is an outdated prohibition related more to issues facing people living thousands of years ago that is lucky to still be followed by anyone because it got coded more strongly into today's dogma even after it becomes fine to do other things like wear 60/40 cotton/polyester blends.

But I am just interested in the dramatic nature of it all even if I am fine with you putting that prohibition on yourselves.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Though, roughly, there is a category of commandments that are called chukkim - they are laws where the reason is hidden from mankind, though they usually inculcate an unconscious level of sensitivity.
If the pork prohibition is one of these, then that means that humankind is specifically not told why jews are not allowed to eat pork?
That's correct. We have no idea why sheep are okay and pigs aren't. Why cows are okay and horses aren't. Why salmon is okay and sturgeon isn't.

quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Maybe if you understood more, you wouldn't see it as silly.
I doubt it. I bet I would discover that it is an outdated prohibition related more to issues facing people living thousands of years ago that is lucky to still be followed by anyone because it got coded more strongly into today's dogma even after it becomes fine to do other things like wear 60/40 cotton/polyester blends.
What's wrong with wearing cotton poly blends?

quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
But I am just interested in the dramatic nature of it all even if I am fine with you putting that prohibition on yourselves.

We aren't. But it's okay. When primitive tribesmen run into civilized people who know that diseases are caused by germs, they probably think it's just a superstition, too. You're kind of like that. You don't understand it, so you think it's silly.
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Samprimary
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quote:
For example, if you were to learn through a scientific study that smoking was fatal in 100% of cases to anyone exposed to it, you'd certainly make it illegal. Not to violate their liberty, but because it's going to hurt others.
How inapplicable could this possibly be? You would make it illegal because of scientific knowledge, not because of a religious faith saying 'god says so,' minus the proof.

quote:
So right now, you aren't aware that idolatry (for example) is harmful 100% of the time. So you think that banning it is a bad thing. But that's your lack of knowledge talking.
Not agreeing with your religious beliefs or that your statement that idolatry (as defined by Lisa) is harmful 100% of the time (according to Lisa) is not a 'lack of knowledge.' If someone disagrees with something that you assert religiously, that doesn't make it a 'lack of knowledge' talking. it means you disagree on a matter of religious faith.

you'll knowingly continue that tact, of course, but it's just inapplicable axiom. The word 'knowledge,' as you wield it, becomes useless, as become your declarations of what knowledge others possess or lack.

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Raymond Arnold
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I actually think Lisa's point makes sense in context now. I think she's wrong, but at a point that is pretty far removed from the conversation we're actually having right now so I'm not going to worry about it at the present juncture.
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
We aren't. But it's okay. When primitive tribesmen run into civilized people who know that diseases are caused by germs, they probably think it's just a superstition, too. You're kind of like that. You don't understand it, so you think it's silly.

How does this relate to the reasoning you use? Germ theory is science. Yours is insistent faith. This poor comparison and insult aside, it is not about what I do not understand no matter how many times you try to frame it that way, it is about a matter of faith that we do not share.

But do I get to use the same comparison against you, and whip out the comparisons to ignorant tribesmen that think that evolution or the earth being older than 6000 years is 'silly'?

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
We aren't. But it's okay. When primitive tribesmen run into civilized people who know that diseases are caused by germs, they probably think it's just a superstition, too. You're kind of like that. You don't understand it, so you think it's silly.

How does this relate to the reasoning you use? Germ theory is science. Yours is insistent faith. This poor comparison and insult aside, it is not about what I do not understand no matter how many times you try to frame it that way, it is about a matter of faith that we do not share.

But do I get to use the same comparison against you, and whip out the comparisons to ignorant tribesmen that think that evolution or the earth being older than 6000 years is 'silly'?

Mine and Lisa's religion is based on knowledge, not faith.

A question was asked. Lisa answered it honestly based on her ideal view of the world.

I don't see how this point is that hard to understand. If you believe in an objective truth, why would you want to corrupt the world with non-truths?

Your response can't be - "But I don't believe it's true!" - Lisa wasn't legislating, she is saying what the ideal was.

I'm Jewish. I believe everyone should believe in the Jewish God. You gonna be mad at me because you disagree with me?

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The White Whale
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Look, if you're an advocate of the current cultural insistence that there is no Truth (with a capital T), then such a marketplace is probably a nifty thing. Although in such a case, I wouldn't shop there at all. But if you think that your religion really is The Truth -- that any other religion might possess some truth (either because they got it from us, or because even a broken clock is right twice a day), but that only yours has the real deal -- then the only way such a marketplace could be useful is if you believe in proselytizing. If you don't, then it isn't only of no value -- it's of negative value. In a big way.

I have a huge problem with this idea that one's religion (or point of view, even) is The Truth and that everyone elses' religion (or point of view) is either wrong, ignorant, or broken. This seems to lead (and in your case, Lisa, often leads) to a "there is nothing to discuss, your viewpoint is irrelevant, and there is no possible compromise" conclusion. I see this as a cause of a lot of the problems in the world today.

ETA a case in point:

quote:
Second of all, who gives half a damn whether you consider Judaism relevant or not? Honestly. I'm okay if God thinks we're doing the right thing. Your uninformed opinion really isn't worth a whole lot, you know?
Maybe it's my upbringing, or career, or atheism. Everything I do, see, and hear is open to questioning. By myself and others. I see value in differing opinions and in different viewpoints. Diversity is important because it creates resilience. A diverse system is less likely to collapse in on itself, be it an ecosystem, a political system, or religious system.

So I do think a Marketplace of Faith is a good thing. Even if you're not shopping, I feel that exposure to this marketplace is educational and a way to expand one's understanding. I'm an atheist, and cannot imagine that ever changing. But I've taken a class in a Buddhist monastery. I discuss Christianity with anyone who is willing to open up. I regularly read books on others' experiences with their religions. I read criticisms of religions (including atheism) as long as they remain calm, rational, and at least a little respectful.

I think everyone should be allowed to choose their religions freely, and I get upset when I see children being raised in a close-minded manner, where they are taught that there is The Truth and a Right Way to Think. I feel like these children grow up to either remain completely or partly closed-minded, or need years to recover before they can figure out how to actually think and reason for themselves.

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Parkour
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quote:
Mine and Lisa's religion is based on knowledge, not faith.
I am sure that you think so.

quote:
Your response can't be - "But I don't believe it's true!" - Lisa wasn't legislating, she is saying what the ideal was.
Not just that (I would be fine if it stopped there). She is also insists ignorance and lack of knowledge, reflexively, when there is disagreement over her Truth. I have a complaint to that.


quote:
You gonna be mad at me because you disagree with me?
Where am I getting mad at anyone for disagreeing with me? I am not even getting mad at Lisa's claims of my thinking her views are silly due to being an ignorant tribesman.
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Armoth
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Marketplace of faith is different than questioning. Questioning is allowed - actually encouraged.

I teach Jewish high-school kids. One of them came up to me and told me they were having issues with their faith, but they were just gonna take a leap of faith and believe. I explained that that was a Christian concept, and worthless in Judaism. Who cares if you leap to believe something - and I insisted that the student be intellectually honest - if honesty led the person to atheism, I would respect them more than if they remained Jewish because it was merely convenient.

My point above was that questions will arise even if there is no marketplace of faith. A major reason to be against a marketplace of faith isn't so much that it is threatening, but also that it is upsetting - if you think something is true, you don't want falsity to be out there.

But a marektplace of faith is also a problem because it is threatening. Look at how Judaism is reacted to on this forum. We do a lot of crazy things. We shake palm branches, we wait till the weather gets cold to sit outside in booths, we don't eat pig or shrimp for no reason (and are proud that we don't know the reason). We're crazy. It took a lot of study and the context of our religions communities to understand the laws, precepts and commandments, and to understand that they are actually not so crazy. An environment that shoots down such study before it even gets off the ground is threatening to a true, intellectually honest pursuit.

And I don't believe that eliminating exposure to such a marketplace undermines intellectual honesty. It merely focuses a person on his religion. Again, as a Modern Orthodox Jew, I believe in exposure to literature, science, etc. It's not like I don't believe in education.

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The White Whale
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
I teach Jewish high-school kids. One of them came up to me and told me they were having issues with their faith, but they were just gonna take a leap of faith and believe. I explained that that was a Christian concept, and worthless in Judaism. Who cares if you leap to believe something - and I insisted that the student be intellectually honest - if honesty led the person to atheism, I would respect them more than if they remained Jewish because it was merely convenient.

My point above was that questions will arise even if there is no marketplace of faith. A major reason to be against a marketplace of faith isn't so much that it is threatening, but also that it is upsetting - if you think something is true, you don't want falsity to be out there.

Isn't there a contradiction here? You would respect someone who decided to leave the Jewish faith (which you believe to be The Truth) and become an atheist, but you don't want falsity out there? Would you also respect them if they turned away from Judaism and became a Christian? Muslim?
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by The White Whale:
quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
I teach Jewish high-school kids. One of them came up to me and told me they were having issues with their faith, but they were just gonna take a leap of faith and believe. I explained that that was a Christian concept, and worthless in Judaism. Who cares if you leap to believe something - and I insisted that the student be intellectually honest - if honesty led the person to atheism, I would respect them more than if they remained Jewish because it was merely convenient.

My point above was that questions will arise even if there is no marketplace of faith. A major reason to be against a marketplace of faith isn't so much that it is threatening, but also that it is upsetting - if you think something is true, you don't want falsity to be out there.

Isn't there a contradiction here? You would respect someone who decided to leave the Jewish faith (which you believe to be The Truth) and become an atheist, but you don't want falsity out there? Would you also respect them if they turned away from Judaism and became a Christian? Muslim?
No. Because Marketplace of faith or not, I think that atheism is an intellectually honest option and isn't considered because it is broadcast in the marketplace, but because it is a rational conclusion to reach when asking one's self the God question.

And yes. I would respect them, because in this day and age we DO have a marketplace of faith, we are exposed to it and are forced to contend with it whether we like it or not. It is for those reasons that many Jews study other religions, so that they should be able to respond to the arguments of others faiths.

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