Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Rational Approach to Divine Origin of Judaism REVIEW

The following text is my review of the video, The Rational Approach to Divine Origin of Judaism...


Please forgive my slapdash review, which was written as the video was playing.

For starters, I don't like this man's voice. It's forced, fake and loud. It has the hallmarks of someone saying little of importance but with lots of self importance.

This man says he's come up with an algorithm that can work out all religions in seconds. This man thinks a lot of himself! He also has a low opinion of the minimum complexity of an algorithm. Algorithm...A step-by-step problem-solving procedure, especially an established, recursive computational procedure for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.' Well, he hasn't devised an algorithm at all.

He says Judaism comes up as the only religion of a god who presented himself to more than one person. However, at Mt Sinai, the masses were told to not touch the mount or go up it or they would be 'shot through'. Some people have suggested that was because there were 'holy' marksmen with bows and arrows at the ready to shoot dead anyone who dared to touch the mountain. In fact, 'shot through' meant hit by a 'fiery dart' or ball of brimstone from the volcano, which is what Mt Sinai was.

Moses was the one to 'meet with god'. He was some sort of pyschopath (he had already commited murder) who wanted to lord it about the Hebrews and be the top honcho. He had the brovado to scale the mount, returning to the foot of it with a flushed face, which he hid with a scarf. It was obviously hot up there. The 40 days and 40 nights thing is just fiction....filler...as was the god narrative.

Picture the scene...the Hebrews spot a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of smoke by night (volcano) in the distance and it appears to move as they meander about (distant constants do seem to move if you change direction), they arrive at it (at which point 'the lord' is said to look like a fire on the top of the mountain) and are so awestruck they get all spooked and mesmerised.

The algorithm doesn't work because Moses was obviously making it up. He went up to the top of the mountain and hung about for a bit, thinking up a list of rules to apply to the gang of naive people who had followed him. The actual text will have been written long after the event so do not expect it to be accurate. The god narrative was added later by priests who were part of the system...the industry....the machine.

Moving on with the video The Rational Approach to Divine Origin of Judaism....

At timeline 22:01 'People are gullible and given a charismatic leader, they will believe ANYTHING......as long as the lie cannot be checked.'

How would a group (how many in it we do not know but we cannot assume scripture is accurate...probably is in fact exagerated just like the longevity of the patriarchs to make the religion sound more impressive) be able to check whether or not a big shot man was telling the truth about there being a man-god at the top of the mountain if the big shot had told them to not go up the mountain under any circumstances? They had to take him on his word.

People will believe anything....especially extremely supersititous people who were easily spooked by the natural world. There is no word for 'volcano' in the Bible because the ancients didn't know what a volcano was. The only references to volcanoes you will find are also references to 'god' or his abode.

The ancient Hebrews were pre-conditioned to believe Moses's account of the theophany. They automatically believed him. They were seriously spooked by the erupting volcano. They were going to be seriously excited and like sponges for lies. The threat of death for disbelief must also have been an added persuasion.

Believing volcano gods gave clans laws was not unusual. Most of the world then was worshipping imaginery volcano gods and they all had sets of laws to keep them in tow. If you believe the Sinai theophany then you have to believe in all volcano gods because there is nothing different about it. They even sacrificed animals at the base of Mt Sinai and Yahweh apparently liked the smell of burning flesh. Do you believe a genuine god would like the smell of burning flesh? I have come across a lot of Christians who would argue that one until they were blue in the face and the scholarly interpretations are so wildly laughable it makes me wonder what their motives are and what wacky backy they must be smoking to turn blood letting into something admirable and worshippable.

The author of the video is now going on and on about how Judaism has survived thus far due to the meme 'Our ancestors heard god speak!'.

The ancient Hebrews did not need to hear anyone speak at Mt Sinai. They just needed to see the fire, smoke and brimstone balls and hear the thunder. That's it...they were convinced a god lived in the mount. ALL ancients believed there was a god who lived in erupting 'mountains of fire'. They did not need to hear the god say anything. The sights and sounds of a volcano were enough to convince them. The god narrative was added later.

'Anything that is normal will happen more than once'

Yes, that is likely. More than once groups of nomadic ancient people have falsely believed volcanoes (Holy Hills) were inhabited by resident deities. In fact, history repeats itself so often there are still people in this world who throw live animals into volcanoes, falsely believing they can appease them. Everywhere in the world where volcanoes or seismic activity is prevalent, there are signs of volcano worship....pyramids being notable. (Bare in mind Mt Sinai was in Arabia and not the Sinai Peninsular).

Now he is claiming that Judaism is unique (in the last 4000 years) because it is the only religion in which god was said to speak to a group of people. Well, he is wrong. How did history's imaginery volcano gods set their laws and make their faithful clans abide by them if they did not also have tweaked oral tradition that slipped in a god narrative?

Then he goes into odds and dice...what are the chances of this happening again.....god talking to a group of people?

Oh dear. I did an engineering degree. It was the wrong degree for me. I should have done something more human. This man is a theology student I believe. He should have done an engineering degree. He puts a lot of effort into making himself sound like a mathematician and uses words like algorithm to make things sound more complex. He attempts to make religion a mathematical puzzle that can be worked out with statistical analysis. In fact, maybe he should have done an acting degree or a marketing degree.

This is an all too typical mental responce to an over-trained eye in religious studies. Normally it can be seen in the ultra religious acting in a Complusive Obsessive Disordered way....trying to work out Bible code by adding up numbers of letters and finding sequences and ludicrous life wasting things like that. Totally mad. This man is heading that way. He thinks religions can be validated or falsified simply by devising an algorithm or working out probability odds.

Oh dear again.

What is, as far as I can see, almost entirely absent from the study of religion is an empathic study of the human mind. This man doesn't talk about how people thought back in ancient times, he doesn't say what their knowledge limiations were, he doesn't say how they reacted to the natural environment, etc. You would have thought all these elements are of no consequence and that all that matters is a mathematical equation as though the components were machines and not people.

This man has tried to find the needle in the haystack to prove the religion's validity. He's found these tiny little bits, created a dynamic video and added his loud, forceful and egotistical voice to bolster his argument. If you were to take away the dynamism of the video, take away the over-acted voice...what would you have left? Not a lot.

Yahweh was said to talk to a bunch of desert nomads whereas no god in histiory has ever been said to talk to his people before? Has he studied all of history's gods? Do we even have written records of what other clans did, saw, heard? Of course we don't, but logic tells us that clans in the past had laws and showed obedience to their made-up gods, so these gods must have been said to have passed on their laws or spoken to their people in some way. The Wizard of Oz is a good example....talking from behind the curtain via loud speaker.

What else is there in his over-dramatised argument? That the odds are high. Hmmmm.....a weak argument made to sound robust. He says, 'We can say this in laymens' terms or mathematical terms'. This man is up himself. Laymen meaning people not as brilliant as he. He falsely sees himself as a mathematician despite the maths he uses being so basic it wouldn't stump a kid. What is really needed is more 'laymen' and less 'mathematician', or should I say 'fake mathematician'?

This video is only good at conveying one thing....that the maker thinks far too much of himself. He loves the sound of his own voice, he makes claims of his own brilliance ('this algorithm I invented') and is only memorable for his utter neglect of the one thing that could and will solve this puzzle once and for all.....an undertsanding of human nature, in particular the mindset of the ancient people. All that is required is a capacity for empathy, an open mind and an honest heart that aims to discover the truth no matter what it is.

To conclude, the rational approach to divine, or lack of, origin is to think in human terms, putting yourself into the sandals of the ancient awestruck desert nomads.

The Rational Approach to Divine Origin of Judaism is in fact totally irrational.
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  1. A review on your review.(sorry if the English is not so good)
    You said that Moses was the only one to 'meet with god', in fact, the verses say that the entire Jewish nation heard God speak.
    Exodus 19:9 - "And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with thee, and will also believe thee for ever...."
    God tells moses that the entire Jewish nation will here him talk to moses. to make sure that the Jews will know for sure that moses is a true prophet....
    Or can you interpret this verse in another way?
    The verses there also continue saying: "Ye yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. "
    It's obvious that all of the Jews heard God speak.
    It is only after they heard God, that they have asked moses to go and talk to God alone. because they were so terrified....that's just what the verses say.
    By the way about the volcano theory, I don't think there is a volcano in the sinai desert.
    And even if there was. why the hell did all of the Jewish people just stay there and watch? and how did they survive?
    The verses also say that Moses went up to the mountain during the "eruption",
    did you ever here of a person going close to a volcano while it's erupting and still survive? how the hell did he return from there?!

    So if the verses say that God did actually talk in front of everyone, and if there really isn't a volcano in the sinai desert. the lie can be checked and this story couldn't have been made up.

    Then you say that "The god narrative was added later." and basically that the entire Jewish faith that God spoke to them at mount sinai is wrong...
    BUT HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF, finding religions that say that they were witnesses to an eruption is easy. but a religion that their faith is a direct TALK from God? even if they didn't believe it from the beginning, there is no other religion on the planet that their faith evolved into believing that God actually spoke to them(an entire nation), and not just gave them a show....

    Therfore his arguement is valid. it's naturally impossible to make up such a story. and if no other religion out of at least 5,000 that existed couldn't make up something like this. it's because it can't be done.

  2. The location of the Biblical Mount Sinai has never been categorically confirmed. It's highly unlikely to be today's preferred choice, which was chosen only because someone dreamt it was there. The Sinai was named after the pin-pointing of the mountain and not the other way around.

    The most likely location for Mount Sinai is where the Bible says it is....Midian in Arabia. Saudi Arabia has many volcanoes and some that have erupted during the time of the Exodus.

    There is a religion in which the leader was said to speak with their god at the top of a mountain. Mount Kenya has many myths that correspond with the myths of the Hebrews. Their leader climbed the mountain to speak with the god, the clan was once on bondage (slavery), the god was said to be a god almighty and the creator of the universe, etc.

    Your god is not as unique as you seem to think. The main reason why Yahweh has survived so long is because the Hebrews left the inhospitable volcanic lands for the land of milk and honey, thus leaving the evidence behind.

    Volcanologists often climb erupting volcanoes, make footage of the lake of fire full of brimstone and live to tell the tale and show the film. Volcanoes in Saudi are oil based, which would explain the lack of ash in the Biblical descriptions.

    I suggest you spend some time studying this blog as there are many things in it that will help you understand the theory.