Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And One I Don't Agree With

This guy makes some of the worst arguments I've seen in a long time. Basically, he takes the Kuzari Principle as rock-solid logic and denies the existence of support for evolution. The second issue is scientific and therefore outside my realm (although I'm going to have to assume the 99.9% of scientists who support evolution are probably on to something), but the using the Kuzari's argument as a proof for the existence of G-d and the divinity of the Torah is illogical.

Here are some ridiculous arguments I noticed while skimming:

1) "How do you know that G-d exists?

There is no other way to explain the existence of the universe and the origin of life other than to say that an intelligent Supreme Being created it."

No other way? I can think of an unlimited number of other ways. I came out of a nice tasty cup of Tradition vegetable flavor soup. Or maybe it was spit out of some weird space-time continuum. Or perhaps it was always there.

"How do you know that the Torah is G-d's will?

It seems logical to assume that G-d would at some point tell mankind what he wishes them to do and it seems reasonable that this revelation would have been made publicly not privately. The revelation at Mt. Sinai was obviously G-d's revelation to mankind."

Just because something seems logical does not mean it is true (and that's assuming it's logical that G-d would communicate with us). And even if that was true, who says G-d gave us the Torah?

"How do you know that the Talmud is authentic?

The vast majority of observant Jews since time immemorial have accepted the Talmud as the authentic interpretation of Jewish law. Therefore it obviously is."

Well, that settles it. Although the vast majority of Christians accept the New Testament, but hey what do they know?

2) "Proof: It is impossible to fabricate important events in a nation’s history. Too many people will object to the obvious fallacy. Therefore the events of the book of Exodus must have happened since no Jews questioned them for several thousand years."

There are numerous problems here. No one is talking about openly fabricating the stories. It's possible that historical events morphed in time from a small exodus to the event we have in the Torah. It's like playing Telephone.

Moreover who said no one ever questioned it? There were (and still are but to a less degree) huge costs to questioning the prevailing wisdom. People who did so probably were ostracized. Plus we aren't dealing with 21st Century skeptics here. People during the Middle Ages were pretty gullible.

There is so much here that I could go on forever. But I don't have time, so I won't.

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