Is this anti-semitism?

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It's very tricky. Nearly 18% said Judaism was “intolerant” -- even that isn't necessarily anti-semitic; I would saw that Islam, or any faith, really, is "intolerant" too. The Holocaust point is probably more worrying -- this was a cross-Europe poll, so held in countries considerably more culpable in this respect than the UK. Many quasi-Leftists fall on this position when attacking Israel, which is a vile position to hold, lacking in sympathy -- and I'm speaking as someone who is critical of Israel.

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:39 (11 years ago) Permalink

I've often thought the biggest problem with the often nebulous and knee-jerk accusations of anti-semitism is that there is an extri special word for it (ie it ain't called Anti-Judaism). Islamophobic is incleasingly being brought in to mean a similar kind of thing for Islam - though certainly not as loaded. But there is no real offical word for hating Christians.

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

It's not vile to be desperately upset with Israel's treatment of Palestinians is it, given the circumstances of the founding of Israel from a political standpoint? Admittedly, the founding of Israel on the ground kinda started to whole treatment of Palestinaians thing thing, but...

Dave B (daveb), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:48 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hmm, the Holocaust one I'm not entirely convinced about, Enrique. Some Jewish people argue, not that it is time to forget, but time to get out of a victim-casting obsession with past persecution. Not because they are self-haters, but because they think it helps Jewish culture move on, and because in certain hands, the Holocaust issue is almost used as a trump card in all arguments, which is obviously irritating.

I accept that “Jews should stop playing the victim for the Holocaust and the persecutions of 50 years ago” is anastily-worded statement and I'm not saying I would agree with it. And yeah, maybe it's not for gentiles to say any of these things anyway.

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:50 (11 years ago) Permalink

It's a bit vile to say that Israel only exists because the Jews 'used' the Holocaust as leverage, which is what a lot of revisionist leftists do in their attempt to undermine Israel's legitimacy as a nation. In its less nuanced uses, this is what the Finkelstein book does. Obviousy it shouldn't be used to justify current hostilities against the Palestinians, but I can understand why it was used back in the 1940s, when the area was a British mandate-colony.

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 12:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

What we learned from the Holocaust is that it is a very wrong idea to separate people out according to religion/sexuality (remember Catholics and homosexuals also suffered there), place them in internment camps and then kill them. What we learned from apartheid is that it is wrong to separate people out by skin colour and deny them access to cities and areas and basic civil rights as if on a whim. I would suggest to Israelis of a 'pioneer' bent to learn from the Holocaust and apartheid the lesson about onetime victims relishing their turn on bully duty, and to find a way to resist.

suzy (suzy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

i thought it said 'jews should stop "playing the violin" for the holocaust'... i wish they had worded it that way because i don't think nearly as many people would be in favour of stopping violins!

jeremy jordan (cruisy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

Is it racist to say that a religion is intolerant? It would certianly be racist to say that Jews were intolerant.

It is not true that Judaism is intolerant, but saying it is might have all manner of motives, not necessarily racist ones. Although not excluding racist ones, either. For instance, someone might believe that Judaism is intolerant because its rituals can comes across as dogmatic and strict, such as not allowing you to use the car on a Friday. But this is not actually intolerance. To say that Judaism is intolerant implies that the religion or the culture has no sympathy for outsiders or other cultures. This is not true. Judaism, like Islam, is a religion of love and charity, which is not confined to the community but extends as far as loving the enemy.

Of course, I'm not talking about any particular state or government here, just the teachings of the religions.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

Um, the Balfour Declaration dates back to long before the Holocaust.

Ricardo (RickyT), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:03 (11 years ago) Permalink

How much of the fear and mistrust of Judaism comes from it being a non-evangelical religion (menkos Jews 4 Jebus notwithstanding).

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:05 (11 years ago) Permalink

Um, the Balfour Declaration dates back to long before the Holocaust.

Sure it does, but the Holocaust was a major part of the ideological constellation that led to Israel being set up. As you know, the Balfour declaration was no road-map, and of course had its Nazi counterparts (ie setting up of Jewish homeland far away from Europe).

Judaism, like Islam, is a religion of love and charity, which is not confined to the community but extends as far as loving the enemy. But neither are interpreted like that, or at least they aren't so often. The problem is the conflation of race and religion -- I think Ed made me think on this. I don't think it's racist to take issue with faith -- no-one will call me racist for having a problem with Christianity's views on homosexuality, for example.


Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:10 (11 years ago) Permalink

You're right, Enrique, about no-one calling you racist for taking issue with Christianity's dogma on sexuality. But what about the statement that Judaism might be about love and charity in principle but is is not interpreted like that? Do you mean actual Jews don't act out of love and charity? Or do you mean gentiles don't regard Judaism as about love and charity?

If you think that Judaism is about love and charity but Jews don't act as if it is, then that's already sounding like an attack on the race not the religion to me...

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:14 (11 years ago) Permalink

Pete, that's not at the heart of it at all. The Romans/Greeks didn't really 'get' monotheism, but it's the crapness of Christianity and its prostletysing that created a great deal of anti-Semitic sentiment, what with chasing the money-lenders out of the temple yada yada and people judging ALL Jews as usurers/cash-obsessed/cleverer than. I'm pretty bloody thankful I went to school with thousands of Jews, because they had in their favour a belief in the power of learning and education being a pathway to aspirations. Their parents were the best agitators for getting stuff done for everyone in my town that I've ever experienced.

Again: all bigotry is a manifestation of the bigot's insecurity, usually unsubstantiated.

suzy (suzy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:18 (11 years ago) Permalink

So, has anybody got any idea why someone would say that Judaism is intolerant? (I'm not asking if any of you are racist, I'm just wondering if anyone has any examples or good guesses about purported Judaic intolerance... And I mean the religion, not the state or Isreal or somesuch)

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hmm, interesting. I suppose I was thinking that the idea of not wanting to spread "the good news", being a closed community pretty much marks you out as The Other, but certainly the other factors you point out seem a fair bit more convincing.

How has Christianity dealt with the Jesus as king of Jews thing?

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:25 (11 years ago) Permalink

Dave, you've already said it's intolerant of several things (like allowing you to use the car on a Friday). You also explained why this doesn't mean the same as 'intolerant' to you. I understand that, but 'intolerant' means different things to different people.

Perhaps the main point of this thread was that I hate ambiguously worded questionnaires, esp. if they're deliberately so.

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:26 (11 years ago) Permalink

because people conflate judaism with the state of isreal?

Stringent Stepper (Stringent), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:30 (11 years ago) Permalink

Or with 'all Jewish people'.

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:33 (11 years ago) Permalink

I don't mean that it doesn't mean intolerant to me, I mean it is not what intolerant means. Intolerance is an unwillingness to endure differing opinions. Religious Law is not intolerant of those who break religious law. Laws are not opinions, so flouting the law is not a differing opinion either.

If you are a Jew, you do not drive etc on the Sabbath. This is a ritual by which you live a religious life. It is the code by which you get closer to god. That is not intolerant. Judaism would be intolerant if it forbid non-Jews to drive etc on the Sabbath.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:34 (11 years ago) Permalink

good point, what about forcible removal of non-jews and 'pioneer' settling though?

Stringent Stepper (Stringent), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:35 (11 years ago) Permalink

That's Isreal, not Judaism

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:37 (11 years ago) Permalink

Is a state intolerant for forbidding someone to open his business, or restricting his hours of busines by law on the Sabbath no matter what his religion?

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:37 (11 years ago) Permalink

in·tol·er·ant    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (n-tlr-nt)
adj.

Not tolerant, especially:
a. Unwilling to tolerate differences in opinions, practices, or beliefs, especially religious beliefs.
b. Opposed to the inclusion or participation of those different from oneself, especially those of a different racial, ethnic, or social background.
c. Unable or unwilling to endure or support: intolerant of interruptions; a community intolerant of crime.


I'd say a) is pretty different to b)

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:38 (11 years ago) Permalink

That's Isreal, not Judaism
-- run it off (davebeec...), January 27th, 2004 1:37 PM.


because people conflate judaism with the state of isreal?
-- Stringent Stepper (stringen...), January 27th, 2004 1:30 PM.

there you go mate

Stringent Stepper (Stringent), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:39 (11 years ago) Permalink

the State may well be intolerant if it restricted business hours for citizens who don't share the law of the Sabbath, but the religion isn't intolerant because the state does this.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:40 (11 years ago) Permalink

So, if the problem is the conflation of the state and the religion, does that mean it is racist to say that Judaism is intolerant instead of saying that Isreal is intolerant?

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

not racist, I mean anti-semitic...

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

Huzzah, The UK is intolerant (no shock there....)

Pete (Pete), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

Well, a lot of places in London settled by Jews had Sunday trading by dint of being closed on Saturday for Sabbath: see Brick Lane/Whitechapel, Golders Green/Hampstead.

suzy (suzy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:44 (11 years ago) Permalink

the religion isn't intolerant because the state does this

I don't know enough about the tenets of Judaism to go into it, but by analogy -- it *is* intolerant if it sanctions the law, surely?

Judaism != Jews, maybe, run it off? It's clumsy, but race and religion are not the same. So it isn't racist to criticize a faith? I doin't know.

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

Religious Law is not intolerant of those who break religious law.

Surely religious las IS intolerant of people who break it. I'm guessing there must be punishments for transgression, even if it's just an evil look during church - and that kind of emotional punishment can be extremely effective/painful, especially in close-knit communities and ones where the people have a God's good will yo lose.



Laws are not opinions, so flouting the law is not a differing opinion either.
If you are a Jew, you do not drive etc on the Sabbath. This is a ritual by which you live a religious life. It is the code by which you get closer to god. That is not intolerant. Judaism would be intolerant if it forbid non-Jews to drive etc on the Sabbath.

-- run it off (davebeec...), January 27th, 2004.

Laws are opinions, they're (usually(should be!)) the opinion of the majority as to how individuals should behave.

Also, not being allowed to drive on a Sunday (or Saturday) IS intolerant: intolerant toward Jews. I think most religions are least tolerant of their own.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:52 (11 years ago) Permalink

Laws are opinions, they're (usually(should be!)) the opinion of the majority as to how individuals should behave.

That's a bit of a shallow view of jurisprudence.

Ricardo (RickyT), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 13:55 (11 years ago) Permalink

jurisprudence = ideological screen for repressive state apparatus

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

how could a religion as old as the hills sanction a state as young as Isreal? Still less the acts of the leaders of such a state.

The ideological screen idea is itself an ideological screen.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:34 (11 years ago) Permalink

Ideologies don't screen. They are productive not obstructive. Eagleton at one point uses the example of the phrase "the Prince of Wales is a nice chap". This is ideological because it produces a certain effect (support for the Royals as people) not because it hides the real social relations (Royals are social leeches, or etc). The fact that it makes no mention of politics, economics, and so on does not mean that it is a screen any more than a black and white photo can be said to be a screen against colour.

As such, juridprudence is not an ideological screen; it is ideological. That doesn't mean it is no different from other ideas or opinions. Opinions that are ratified and authorised are not opinions in the same way as opinions that are not.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

Sorry -- it was just my little joke. Nonetheless, I think it's interestingly provocative to call laws 'opinions'.

Enrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:46 (11 years ago) Permalink

yes, I agree.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hey, we Jews are barely tolerant of each other, let alone the rest of you.

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:12 (11 years ago) Permalink

Enough with the kvetching!

suzy (suzy), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:41 (11 years ago) Permalink

kvetching - one of my favourites. A friend calls her young baby a kvetch box

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:47 (11 years ago) Permalink

Every time you moan you have to put a coin in the kvetch box.

Chuck Tatum (Chuck Tatum), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:55 (11 years ago) Permalink

[all babies are young, aren't they... doh!]

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 15:59 (11 years ago) Permalink

Laws are opinions, they're (usually(should be!)) the opinion of the majority as to how individuals should behave.
That's a bit of a shallow view of jurisprudence.

-- Ricardo (boyofbadger...), January 27th, 2004.

Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law isn't it? Isn't what I've said what that all boils down too?

Where _is_ the depth?
It's simple isn't it?

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:00 (11 years ago) Permalink

Can you explain how it all boils down to opinion?

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

Hey, we Jews are barely tolerant of each other, let alone the rest of you.
-- Chuck Tatum (sappy_papp...), January 27th, 2004.

See! Told you!

And more kvetchup please!

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:01 (11 years ago) Permalink

Laws (attempt to) make people behave in the ways other people _think_ they should behave.

How humans should behave is a matter of opinion. Different religions, for example, havie differing opinions.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:02 (11 years ago) Permalink

Sorry -- it was just my little joke. Nonetheless, I think it's interestingly provocative to call laws 'opinions'.
-- Enrique (miltonpinsk...), January 27th, 2004.

To clarify, laws themselves aren't exactly opinions, but what they attempt to enshrine as 'right' and 'wrong' ARE opinions.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:05 (11 years ago) Permalink

I might break the law even though I agree with it generally, but I may also break the law because I have a different opinion as to what is 'rihgt' and what is 'wrong'.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:06 (11 years ago) Permalink

who are these other people? Don't the laws apply to the people who write them? (Seriously)

If laws are backed by the state (and, after all, that's what makes them laws, rather than guidelines or codes or something else) then they are not just opinions, they are sanctified, ordered, institutionalied, backed up by the criminal justice system etc. I'm not saying power and hierarchy and stuff aren't involved -- of course they are -- but laws don't get to be laws without going through a socially sanctioned process.

The case of breaking the law because you have a different opinion (civil disobedience etc) does not mean that the law is treated as opinion it means that laws are seen as arbitrary and changeble, so that collective action can bring about social changes that force laws to change.

run it off (run it off), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:07 (11 years ago) Permalink

Yes they do apply to those that write them (or they're supposed to).

Yes, they are socially sanctioned, they are the combined opinions of a lot of people.

mei (mei), Tuesday, 27 January 2004 18:09 (11 years ago) Permalink

anyway all this going off-topic is probably anti-semitism but i work for jews and arabs yolo #bothcool #peace

an absolute feast of hardcore fanboy LOLs surrounding (imago), Saturday, 16 May 2015 01:04 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

the revelation that the house of saud don't abide by the rules of the mutaween when abroad probably doesn't represent some earth shattering vic perry level revelation at this point but an endearing picture is painted nonetheless

nakhchivan, Saturday, 16 May 2015 01:11 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i have no idea what any of you are talking about btw

he quipped with heat (amateurist), Saturday, 16 May 2015 01:41 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

disturbing traces of antimemetism there

nakhchivan, Saturday, 16 May 2015 01:43 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

There exists vampire slash fiction where vampire A is Peter Mandelson and vampire B is George Osborne. Apparently aficionados call this 'Mandelborne.'

scientist/exotic dancer (suzy), Saturday, 16 May 2015 09:52 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

I'm lost

jennifer islam (silby), Saturday, 16 May 2015 18:30 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

interesting stuff from Jodo re: anti-semitism in latin america:
http://lithub.com/alejandro-jodorowsky/

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 17:29 (Yesterday) Permalink

man I so regret never taking a class with Stavans

jennifer islam (silby), Friday, 29 May 2015 20:05 (Yesterday) Permalink

He assimilated as best he could. But he also deprived me of any metaphysics to fall back on.

Real.

jennifer islam (silby), Friday, 29 May 2015 20:07 (Yesterday) Permalink

is jodorowsky jewish?

he quipped with heat (amateurist), Friday, 29 May 2015 20:15 (Yesterday) Permalink

he makes it pretty clear in that interview

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 20:22 (Yesterday) Permalink

forty odd extra letters there than answering the question

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Friday, 29 May 2015 22:57 (Yesterday) Permalink

about 90 w your post

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:08 (Yesterday) Permalink

denied. I dont know the answer, didnt read the article. and theres no set starting contrasting ideal number of letters for the sentiment I'm expressing- that you've been kind of a dick there.

like obv I could've just typed that, but eh it might've come across somewhat short

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Friday, 29 May 2015 23:12 (Yesterday) Permalink

people should read the interview, is my answer

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:21 (Yesterday) Permalink

yeah clear enough. I'm regretting not giving the short version already obv

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Friday, 29 May 2015 23:25 (Yesterday) Permalink

thx thread police

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:26 (Yesterday) Permalink

Spoiler alert: yes, but m/l atheist.

nickn, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:39 (Yesterday) Permalink

haha waht he is not an atheist!

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:40 (Yesterday) Permalink

Well, that's what I got from it, except for the "cosmic consciousness" aspect, which to me reads atheist.

nickn, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:41 (Yesterday) Permalink

There is no cosmic muffin or hairy thunderer, iow.

nickn, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:42 (Yesterday) Permalink

I... think you are misunderstanding him

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:42 (Yesterday) Permalink

it's true he is not your standard believer of any of the main religions but dude is def not an atheist

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:43 (Yesterday) Permalink

I mean is this a thing an atheist says:

AJ: Another door I opened was mysticism. I’m a mystic. Not in the religious sense, but in the sense that I work with that unnamable entity we call God.

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:44 (Yesterday) Permalink

not in the religious sense?

p much, ya

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Friday, 29 May 2015 23:44 (Yesterday) Permalink

IS: What about God? Does He exist?

AJ: As far as I’m concerned that’s a naive question.

IS: Excuse me for asking.

AJ: Because God is—He cannot exist because He’s beyond existence. Maimonides, a great Jewish philosopher, wrote A Guide for the Perplexed to try to define God. He ended up saying “God is the thing about which we can say nothing.” There are no words for Him; God is unthinkable.

IS: So you do believe.

AJ: I don’t believe in God, but I feel Him. I’d be stupid if I didn’t realize that this vast universe contains life. And it has a creator.

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:44 (Yesterday) Permalink

that's a pretty classic mystical-tradition way to define God - that which cannot be defined, beyond language, beyond comprehension etc. and he cites fucking Maimonides.

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:45 (Yesterday) Permalink

ur v angry about him being an atheist hey

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Friday, 29 May 2015 23:46 (Yesterday) Permalink

like I'm glad you atheist guys think everyone who is not a fundamentalist does not actually qualify as a religious person but that is a nonsensical, ahistorical way to think about religion imo

xp

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:46 (Yesterday) Permalink

it's wrong! he would be angry!

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:47 (Yesterday) Permalink

xp

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:47 (Yesterday) Permalink

I re-scanned, and maybe you can call him spiritual, but his ideas are not what I think of when I think of a person that believes in God.

xp: I can understand if you think he is religious, though.

nickn, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:50 (Yesterday) Permalink

seems p clear that has operating in that ground btwn no god and we don't know everything yet its cool I'm flirting with a few concepts and I'll take that as atheism just not fundamentalist atheism.

we can all claim him I spose which maybe is his point idk

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Friday, 29 May 2015 23:51 (Yesterday) Permalink

like I'm glad you atheist guys think everyone who is not a fundamentalist does not actually qualify as a religious person but that is a nonsensical, ahistorical way to think about religion imo

xp

This person who does not believe in a theistic God is clearly not an atheist

Matt Armstrong, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:55 (Yesterday) Permalink

This is a guy who references God, religious thinkers, and religious themes and imagery constantly in his work, often with reverence and a deeply nuanced understanding of their traditions.

These are not things atheists do ime

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:56 (Yesterday) Permalink

I will ask him if he considers himself an atheist. Stay tuned

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:58 (Yesterday) Permalink

y/e sems determined not to acknowledge religion's deep and profound impact on all areas of human culture and experience, that seems like a pretty dumb limit to put on atheism and is not m/e

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Friday, 29 May 2015 23:58 (Yesterday) Permalink

I re-scanned, and maybe you can call him spiritual, but his ideas are not what I think of when I think of a person that believes in God.

"Because God is—He cannot exist because He’s beyond existence. Maimonides, a great Jewish philosopher, wrote A Guide for the Perplexed to try to define God. He ended up saying “God is the thing about which we can say nothing.” There are no words for Him; God is unthinkable." < this is essentially what I and every educated Orthodox Jew I know believes. There's even a term for this theologically: Apophatic theology. So bad news if you think you're an atheist and you agree w/ the statement above - you believe in God, and in a very old tradition that spans multiple faiths + periods of history.

Mordy, Friday, 29 May 2015 23:59 (Yesterday) Permalink

Thx mordy

Οὖτις, Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:01 (10 hours ago) Permalink

bad news for u mordy, all of u are in fact atheists &moves rhetorical chess piece&

thoughts you made second posts about (darraghmac), Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:01 (10 hours ago) Permalink

i don't know why you'd want to blur the lines between theism + atheism when every other god-believer out there has a 'all atheists secretly believe in god' argument in their back pocket

Mordy, Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:02 (10 hours ago) Permalink

there's a levi of berditchev story:

There is a well-known story about the famous 18th century Chassidic master, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, who was well known for his empathy and non-judgmental character. One Rosh Hashanah he invited his neighbor to come with him to synagogue. The neighbor declined, saying, "Rebbe, I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in G-d. It would be hypocritical of me to step foot in a synagogue." Rabbi Levi Yitzchak smiled and replied, "The G-d that you don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either."

i like the twist here where the atheist replies, "the g-d you believe in, i also believe in."

Mordy, Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:05 (10 hours ago) Permalink

everytime i read an interview w/ jodorowsky i hear it in my head spoken with his characteristic lisp. it's great.

he quipped with heat (amateurist), Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:05 (10 hours ago) Permalink

a cool thing about Judaism is that one Jew might say "I don't believe in God" and another might say "I do believe in God" and mean more or less the same thing! I think that's neat.

jennifer islam (silby), Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:05 (10 hours ago) Permalink

Apophatic theology not limited to judaism either! Altho its maybe more widely expressed in judaism

Οὖτις, Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:09 (10 hours ago) Permalink

This is a guy who references God, religious thinkers, and religious themes and imagery constantly in his work, often with reverence and a deeply nuanced understanding of their traditions.

These are not things atheists do ime

― Οὖτις

See, I can easily imagine an atheist doing this, because atheist or not, humanity's experience with God/religion informs so much of our culture and behavior.

I will yield to Mordy's point because I am a Catholic who lapsed into atheism at a very young age, and haven't studied religion at all (which makes me supremely qualified to shoot my mouth off about it on the internet).

nickn, Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:15 (10 hours ago) Permalink

I mean it's probably worth unpacking what we mean by "atheist" in this context b/c Jews adhering to various kinds of observance could variously have been called atheist, panentheist, etc. based on what they say about God and other Jews purporting to be atheist don't see it as much of an impediment to Jewish observance/practice.

E.g. I would call myself a "religious atheist Jew who forgets or doesn't get around to most forms of observance lately, also I don't mean I am a New Atheist" if anyone asked me, maybe that's for another thread

jennifer islam (silby), Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:22 (10 hours ago) Permalink

every other god-believer out there has a 'all atheists secretly believe in god' argument in their back pocket

i used to take these v seriously & wld pride myself on being able to evade all these arguments w/ my hyper-atheism. i def think the more trad nature of Judaism is attractive in that it seems to sidestep the modern redefinition of & obsession with belief in its post-enlightenment epistemological form

ogmor, Saturday, 30 May 2015 09:18 (1 hour ago) Permalink


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