Friday, February 29, 2008

A quote

This is one of the distinctive beliefs of the Catholic hurch that distinguishes it from other forms of Christianity.

"Belief that the Church is the vessel and deposit of the fullness of the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles from which the Scriptures were formed. This teaching is preserved in both written scripture and in unwritten tradition, neither being independent of the other."
-wikipedia.

Fascinating, isn't it?

Also, this chick is amazing. She made a Britney Spears song sound good. That's talent.

50 Comments:

Blogger Lubab No More said...

Speaking of making Britney look good check out this clip:

"Toxic" played on the ukulele
http://youtube.com/watch?v=XWxxTph7ibU

3:53 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

Fascinating. I'm quickly becoming a huge fan of this song as long as it's played by anyone but Britney Spears.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

I don't get it... so they're right and everyone else is wrong?

5:02 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

um...according to them, yeah. Isn't that how it is with all religions?

6:01 AM  
Blogger Yoni said...

judaism doesn't say that every religion is necesseraly wrong.

For instance, I'm not sure that it says that buddism is wrong. (I don't think that buddism worries to much about g-d in the first place, and takes a rather ambivilant, unoffensive stance, and its certain not to have any kind of polytheistic bents.) nor am I sure that it says, for instance, islam is necesserily wrong. (although I'm sure that judaism objects to the muslim assertions to replacing judaism and to jewish scriptures being wrong... no, if they'd left that out jews would probably have no problem with muslims at all, except maybe a little bit with their killing joy.)

(only reason we have a problem with christianity is A their predispositon towards converting jews and B that whole trinity problem and the yushka being the embodiment of g-d...)

no, we're a surprisingly tollerant religion.

7:26 AM  
Blogger הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

About Yael Naim; I don't really get it about her- Her songs are good, but, like Britney, when she's not the one singing them. It's a waste of a song! ...you shouldn't be singing in a language that's not your native tongue. If she sounds so Israeli in English, why not sing in Hebrew (I'm sure she'd hit it big in Israel).

11:32 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

Yoni-
We still don't think they're right though. We think we're right. We just don't happen to care what they believe as long as they're not killing us at the moment.

Dude with ridiculously long Hebrew Name-
um...I think she already has. I disagree though. I think her version of Toxic was amazing.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

oh wait...ok I'm slow. Sorry.
Truth is, I've only ever heard one other song by Yael Naim, and I found it really annoying. I was, however, legitimately impressed by what she did with this song. I haven't really had the time for more in depth research lately, but I can take your word for it.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Miri, her song "new soul" which is linked on the same YouTube page is kinda fun.

I don't get what the issue/shock is that Catholicism believes they're exclusively right. Wouldn't you find it more problematic if they didn't think they were right, i.e., keeping a religion without belief in its inherent truth? Logic dictates that there can be only one singular existential truth, so what's the big deal if they belief they've got it?

9:00 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

I'm really not sure where everyone keeps picking up this point from. My point with the quote was that they too have both a written and an unwritten tradition, just like Judaism. I thought that was interesting.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Ohhhh....

9:48 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

a) Catholic take on apostolic tradition.

b) Protestant counter-argument here

10:37 AM  
Blogger Yoni said...

dictates that there can be only one singular existential truth

which is why formal logic is inferior to dialectical logic.

:)

(multiple truths are the reality man. Math tells you that imaginary numbers are just that, hypothetical fantasies. Anyone who works on electronics will tell you that the mathamaticians are barking mad, and imaginary numbers are anything but imaginary.)

;)

10:48 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Yoni, dialectical logic would only seem the superior because, although logical that there is a singular truth, we as "thinking people" cannot accept that any one religion or belief has got it right. The logic that would make as arrive at there being one truth doesn't per force make it true that someone has understood that truth. And, because truth is elusive and that people find it so reprehensible that someone should pronounce their's the sole truth (as in dogma, revelation, etc.), human intuition has propagated a new truth called dialectical reasoning.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

ok if we're going to do the philosophical pandering I want a definition of the word "one" and a definition of the word "truth" and possibly a third and separate definition for the phrase "one truth" before this discussion can go any further at all.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

How about one definition for all three- absolutism, reality, existence, and as it IS, not as it is perceived by us humans.

Perception isn't absolute, it's hindered by our own interpretations. Even that which is empirical is necessarily clouded by the meanings and importance that are applied by us. The one, the truth, and the one truth that I'm talking about exists in independence of human understanding, discovery, or the capability thereto.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

you're defining "one truth" as absolutism, reality, and existence? I do not understand. Explain yourself.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Yoni said...

the reality that isn't perceptible isn't reality.

We are, shall we say, trapped within our own senses and egos.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Miri and Yoni-

My point is that reality exists, and the truth of it is out there, whether we can understand it or not.

To explain with an example, it's logical that there is one truth to explain existence, one thing that did happen, one event, one catalyst, one being or one cause that happened into the world, whether it be G-d, a big bang, the spaghetti monster or a chaotic mix of atoms. In religious terms, G-d exists or he doesn't exist, the earth is 5767 years old or it's not, the Torah was given at Sinai or it wasn't. Empiricism cannot lay claim to any of that knowledge, but something had to have happened. The only absolute predication is that a world exists and we are living in it.

Humans can theorize existence and explain away through scientific and pseudo-scientific means of explication, but that neither proves nor encroaches on what is real. Our means of verification, although possibly reliable, are extrinsic means of deciphering this reality.

Reality is not what we see and know, it just is. It is what it is; intrinsically there.

Philosophy, at least metaphysics, is merely conjecture. It is a myth that mere human thought can wholly decide the source of existence of the world and life. How can an arbitrary understanding be concrete? Without being able to analyze the world from without, what can possible be definitively said?

I think that's why religion is so refreshing for people. Philosophy is confusion; religion, whether Judaism or Catholicism, is based on revelation and tradition, allowing people to "know" that their knowledge is truth. When it comes from a higher power, a being that is both extrinsically and intrinsically a part of the world, with the knowledge and scope to understand that which cannot be understood, one can be assured that their belief is authentic and they aren't mistaken.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Yoni said...

nemo, no it isn't. Its not logical at all for their to be "one truth"

unless you believe in an absolutist idea of life.

I say she dumped me, She says I dumped her, who is right? quite posibly neither and quite possibly both!

same with everything else.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

Nemo-
"one can be assured that their belief is authentic and they aren't mistaken"

Assurances are cheap. What you're saying is, essentially, religion makes people feel better and philosophy, because it attempts some measure of logic and intellectual honesty, cannot state that anything necessarily is or isn't for definite fact. That's all very well and good, but it isn't saying all that much really.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

Yoni-

"Its not logical at all for their to be "one truth""

This is why I wanted definitions. To avoid confusion.

In fact, Yoni, it is not at all illogical - it simply depends, as I said previously, one one's definitions of "one," "truth," and "one truth." E.g.:

one - that which is complete unto itself, singular, and unified.

truth- that which is.

one truth- everything.

There you go. Not so hard, really.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Yoni- I'm talking metaphysics and religion, not about half-empty half-full queries. In inter-human relationships on a local and global scale, there exists many perspectives, and within that sphere there cannot be truth.

With questions of the bigger picture though- i.e. the narrative of the universe and the purpose, if there is one, of life- there really is no two ways to tell it over.

Miri- "Assurances are cheap... That's all very well and good, but it isn't saying all that much really."

Really now? If you knew the purpose of your existence and how to maximize on it, would you think it's cheap? To me, that is the only compelling reason to keep to anything, otherwise we're lost in hopeless pondering.

"This is why I wanted definitions. To avoid confusion."

I didn't give exact definitions for a few reasons:
A. I wasn't being so precise (medayek) with my choice of words.
B. I'm not so skilled as to find the words to express what I'm really trying to communicate, hence my roundabout explanations.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

"What you're saying is, essentially, religion makes people feel better and philosophy, because it attempts some measure of logic and intellectual honesty, cannot state that anything necessarily is or isn't for definite fact."

It seems that we're forgetting here why we have religion...

Marx had it wrong: religion is not the opiate of the masses. People don't keep to a religion because it feels good. Gratification without substance isn't a sufficient reason to have EVERYone locked in.

Religion is first and foremost a matter of revelation. It's validity stems from the fact that it was at some point imparted to mankind by a higher power. It isn't a feel-good assurance, it is a viable, and even probable (though NOT logical, verifiable, etc.) occurrence.

Also, for the record, I wasn't putting religion ahead of philosophy in terms of correctness. I was only speculating about the nature of religion. Philosophy has its place. There is strength in logical arguments that cannot be found in canon alone. Making the better argument is the best form for human discovery, and if religion is all wrong, than it is the best shot that humanity has at understanding the universe. But, in terms of surety, it will never have what religion has.

6:59 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

"Marx had it wrong: religion is not the opiate of the masses. People don't keep to a religion because it feels good."

Opiates dull the pain... In the context of the history of organized religion, Marx was not too far off.

8:29 PM  
Blogger הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:38 AM  
Blogger הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

I don't know. every time I see 'yoni' and 'e-kvetcher' bantering about philosophy here, it seems like that baby is somehow telepathically communicating deep philosophical ideas to, uh..Yisrael Dov Odeser (if he catches him in between his 'Nachman' chantings..)

1:39 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט,

I think you have me confused with someone else - I seldom banter about philosophy. I know precious little of it and the stuff that I know I don't care for.

7:22 AM  
Blogger הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

yeah, just stick with your Nachman chantings man...

9:11 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

Nemo-
"If you knew the purpose of your existence and how to maximize on it, would you think it's cheap? "

The operative words here are "if" and "would." The fact of the matter is, I don't know. And neither do you, really.

"I didn't give exact definitions for a few reasons:"

Yes but I wanted exact definitions for one reason: so that we would know what we meant by the words that we said. You and I could say exactly the same sentence and mean two entirely different things by it. It is crucial to define your terms in a philosophical discussion, otherwise you fall into all sorts of semantical sandtraps and get essentially nowhere.

"Religion is first and foremost a matter of revelation. It's validity stems from the fact that it was at some point imparted to mankind by a higher power. It isn't a feel-good assurance, it is a viable, and even probable (though NOT logical, verifiable, etc.) occurrence."

Ok, but see it's not that there's no logic there, it's that the logic is circular. I.e., the premise has to be accepted in order to be explained. How is that in anyway a valid argument?

"But, in terms of surety, it will never have what religion has."

Yes, see, of all of the things which I have become intellectually wary of these last few years, surety is number one on the list. How is it an advantage to be so sure that you're right that there is no room for other thinking? Why is it a valid value for you to be super-confident? Why is the turning off of your thinking considered a plus? I have made it my personal mission to never be sure of anything pretty much ever. To me, surety is one of the most frightening, dangerous, and infuriating aspects of religion. I wish it were done away with.

E-kvetcher-
"Opiates dull the pain... In the context of the history of organized religion, Marx was not too far off."


You know how I feel about this perspective, so I'll refrain from another rant. Also, I have to admit that it does kind of work that way for most people.

12:13 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

>Also, I have to admit that it does kind of work that way for most people.

Miri, that is my entire point. There are always exceptions to a rule - each person is unique. Yet, when you try to generalize an idea, it has to be done by looking at the most common behaviors and beliefs, not the outliers. However unfair it may seem to the outliers :(

12:21 PM  
Blogger Yoni said...

tobie, with regard to the weariness of surity, I agree with you

1:39 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Yoni- Tobie???

4:23 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

"The operative words here are "if" and "would." The fact of the matter is, I don't know. And neither do you, really."

But I could think I do, couldn't I? And then it wouldn't be so cheap, would it? It would be worth the world to me despite whether anyone else agrees.

When you relegate religion to a theoretical improv, it has no value. A god engendered by a philosophy is not a god, it's only an assumption; one that would be constricted by intellectual honesty to formulate.

For a god to be real, he (or she) must be living and functioning (sorry for lack of definitions!! :). This god must, depending on the religion, control the world and guide it. The people that believe in such a deity, believe that their purpose is determined by this god. God isn't just a study for them, it is their very life. They believe in it fully. That is why they're certain.


"semantical sandtraps and get essentially nowhere."

Have I been clear so far? Do you understand what I mean?


"Ok, but see it's not that there's no logic there, it's that the logic is circular."

I can't speak for other religions on this one and I'm not going to get into the Masoratic discussion because I think we both know it well. Also, I think your reply here was knee-jerk and not well thought through. Masora is not circular, at least not in the classic cynic's believe-in-G-d-because-Bible-says-so type circular. It is received wisdom, which is disprovable and testable, and therefore scientifically plausible. Whether it happened or not is another discussion.

And for the record, in any "logical" argument you have to accept certain premises. Circular arguments are where you have to accept contingent premises.


"To me, surety is one of the most frightening, dangerous, and infuriating aspects of religion. I wish it were done away with."

I hate to inform you, but that's just your problem. Your level of discomfort has no pragmatic bearing on reality (again, sorry I can't define that word better!). If religion is right, it's right. If it's wrong, then it's bloody wrong. And if you're cool being unsure, that's fine too. But how can you- by you I mean mankind- possibly deign to know it all, or any of it, to know whether someone's wrong, right, or maybe yes maybe no?

5:09 PM  
Blogger Yoni said...

I ment miri

4:42 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

Nemo
"But I could think I do, couldn't I? And then it wouldn't be so cheap, would it?"

Are we talking about objective or subjective value? Yes, IF you can buy into it, IF you can believe in it, then sure, it would mean the world to you. But if you're incapable of telling yourself that these things are necessarily true, then it is worth nothing.

"A god engendered by a philosophy is not a god, it's only an assumption; one that would be constricted by intellectual honesty to formulate."

Yes but G-d is really only an assumption pretty much any way you look at it. Even from the view-point of religion.

"God isn't just a study for them, it is their very life. They believe in it fully. That is why they're certain."

I don't care why they're certain, I just know that it's dangerous. It's people that are that certain that beat women up on buses for sitting where men can see them. It's people like that that think they ought to be wearing birkas. It's people like that that essentially are robbing my religion of what it ought to be. I can't help but be afraid of them, and resent them.

"Also, I think your reply here was knee-jerk and not well thought through. Masora is not circular, at least not in the classic cynic's believe-in-G-d-because-Bible-says-so type circular. It is received wisdom, which is disprovable and testable, and therefore scientifically plausible. Whether it happened or not is another discussion.

"when a circular argument is used within one syllogism. That is, when the deduction contains a proposition that assumes the very thing the argument aims to prove; in essence, the proposition is used to prove itself, a tactic which in its simplest form is not very persuasive. " quoth Wikipedia. I say you are wrong. How exactly is "recieved wisodom" in any way disprovable, testable, or scientifically plausible?

"I hate to inform you, but that's just your problem. Your level of discomfort has no pragmatic bearing on reality "

Not at all, except for the daily fear of being beaten up on buses, spit upon or yelled at for wearing denim skirts in Bnei Brak, that my children will someday think it is perfectly normal and acceptable for Jewish women to be wearing birkas. ooh, or how about being really annoyed when a random women who is a complete stranger to me comes up to me in a public place and feels entitled to mussar me about what I'm wearing or how I'm moving? What about people who are so sure they're right that they see nothing wrong with injuring fellow Jews by throwing stones at them while they're driving? What about people who are so sure that they're right that they won't hire people they disagree with, or will ruin a perfectly good shidduch bc someone doesn't fit 100% with they're worldview? No you're right, I have absolutely no reason to be uncomfortable with these people at all. Thank you for dispelling my worries so effectively.

5:19 AM  
Blogger Yoni said...

Miri?

Can you breathe?

Your complaints are legit and nemo is being rather silly.

but please breathe?

6:12 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

A. If you would be paying attention, I've taken no stance on who's correct. I'm not arguing for or against religion, heck, I'm not even discussion a specific religion.

The scopre of this discussion is the theoretical correctness of one (subjective) world-view versus the other. I'm not making any assertions about daily religious life. Don't make me into the enemy.

B. I haven't been back to Bnei Brak recently, but I did live there for a year. I think people are nutty there and I see them for all of their faults- I have a pretty good critical eye- but, in my experience, your fears and your description are exaggerated. No one is threatening your life or threatening to beat you up. It has happened and it could happen again, but it's not going to happen to you.

Maybe stop reading Jewschool and live a little.. Tell me how many women are wearing burkis? How many women are being beat up on buses?

I don't know you and I don't know your experiences, but let me tell you about mine: I lived in Bnei Brak for a year. I listened to loud non-Jewish music, made a lot of noise in the streets, laughed in the face of the cell-phone ban and walked around with blue-jeans hanging half way down my ass. This happened almost nightly. There were lots of complaints, lots of calls to the police, we were told off and sneered at. But one thing that never happened was that I was never beaten or lynched or any other silliness that these neighborhoods are so well known for. When you come to a town which has strict standards, flaunting those standards will have its repercussions. People will be annoyed and tell you off, and that's just normal. But no one is out there to hurt you.

C. I didn't tell you not to be uncomfortable; that would go against the grain of what I did say. Please re-read. You're welcome to find religious life despicable, worrying and dangerous. But, you'd only be SUBJECTIVELY correct.

D. "How exactly is "recieved wisodom" in any way disprovable, testable, or scientifically plausible?"

Because the story is so full of holes. Disprove the holes, and you've disproved the story.

There is an element of circular logic in the Mesorah idea, which I didn't deny, but that's not its real weakness.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Yoni said...

nemo, you are not a woman, which might account for your different experience in bnei brak.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

Nemo-
"It has happened and it could happen again, but it's not going to happen to you."

what makes you say that? How could you possibly be so sure?

"Maybe stop reading Jewschool and live a little.. Tell me how many women are wearing burkis? How many women are being beat up on buses?"

I don't know what Jewschool is and I've certainly never read it. As far as I can tell, in the area of about 7-10 women are wearing birkas at the moment, aand there are at least five different accounts of women being beaten up on bses. I'm not in Bnei Brak that often personally, but a close friend works there, and reports being spat at, yelled at, and called any number of names just bc she was wearing a denim skirt, as common occurences.

"When you come to a town which has strict standards, flaunting those standards will have its repercussions. People will be annoyed and tell you off, and that's just normal. But no one is out there to hurt you."

REally? So, the mobs in Beit Shemesh who protest on people's lawns, demanding that they move bc their sons wear kippot srugot and went to the army, those people don't mean any harm? Or the people who stone buses bc the men and women aren't segregated? Or boycott businesses and throw rocks at store windows because they think that for example, pizza places are evil bc they may become hang outs? These people mean no harm? If that's true, they really need to work on their communication skills.

And Yoni is right. You are male. That makes a difference. Not that they'd never exhibit violence towards you, but we're considered harlots for wearing the color red, and since we're not actually considered Jewish women if we don't wear potatoe sacks, it's perfectly permissible for us to be publicly humiliated for the sake of preserving "G-d's Word." I know you'd like to think I'm exaggerating; believe me, I'd like to be exaggerating. I'm not though. That's the thing.

"But, you'd only be SUBJECTIVELY correct."

Yes. BUT SO ARE THEY. That's what I'm trying to say man.

"here is an element of circular logic in the Mesorah idea, which I didn't deny, but that's not its real weakness."

Yes you did. And it is a huge part of the weakness.

p.s., sorry for being so vitriolic at you. I's nothing personal, I just take this issue really seriously.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

"nemo, you are not a woman, which might account for your different experience in bnei brak."

Yes, but I am ostensibly a Lubavitcher and a bum... Bnei Brak's not only known for "mistreatment" of women...

8:40 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Miri on whether I denied that there is some element of circular reasoning: "Yes you did. And it is a huge part of the weakness."

My words:

"Masora is not circular, at least not in the classic cynic's believe-in-G-d-because-Bible-says-so type circular."

NOT IN THE CLASSIC... TYPE CIRCULAR

Anyways, I have more important things to do with my life, such as go skiing, right now, so I'll have to finish this conversation later...

8:48 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Miri, one more thing:

Mesorah is predication, upon predication, upon predication. As in any scientific argument, it can be broken down, compartmentalized, and each of its predications validated or contradicted. The argument relies on documentation (talmudic), tradition, and a few assumptions that shore up the disconnects. That is not circular, that is the scientific method.

BUT, the big caveat, and I stress this because I'm agreeing with you on this, is that being logically plausible doesn't make an argument correct.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Yoni said...

Nemo, I've been mistaken for a woman on the net many, many times, and the treatment that women recieve from men is WAY different than what men receive, especialy from "frum" men (read animals).

its offensive is what it is, and there should be no excuses made for it.

(and miri, I'm still hoping that a bunch of girls and their boyfriends will go sit on a bus (together!) that passes through bait shemesh with tazers or mace (or both!) and then get those hooligans. :)

(and maybe complete with a teshuva clearly presenting to them the error of their ways and why they're going straight to gehenom for their actions and why they're litteraly in cherem for it.)

11:53 AM  
Blogger Tobie said...

flaunting those standards will have its repercussions.

Flaunt: to show something off
Flout: to flagrantly disobey

On the more substantive issues... yeah, no, actually, I'm going to stop here.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Yoni said...

tobie, enforcing chumrot on the local populace is a big issur.

:)

5:29 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Yoni, I should think that a bunch of American Lubavs blasting Metalica from the third story in a city as dense as Bnei Brak, should have warranted a bit more violence from such a reputedly wild bunch... at least a little more than your average denim skirt...

Besides, go walk the streets of Bnei Brak, there are plenty of local girls wearing denim, pink, and black stiletto boots. Go to the park on Friday nights and see how easy it is to get laid... this stuff goes down in the heart of the city, and no one seems to be getting beaten up for it.

Like I said to Miri, don't make me into the enemy. I'm not making excuses- I would condemn it too- I'm merely reminding everyone that their concerns are exaggerated.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Nemo said...

Tobie- point well taken.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

Nemo-
"Besides, go walk the streets of Bnei Brak, there are plenty of local girls wearing denim, pink, and black stiletto boots. Go to the park on Friday nights and see how easy it is to get laid... this stuff goes down in the heart of the city, and no one seems to be getting beaten up for it.
"

That's not really the point. No one was denying Bnei Brak its underground community of youthful rebellion; that just goes with the territory. But in any case, I wasn't restricting my condemnation to Bnei Brak; I brought it up in one example bc my friend is there all the time, and she mentioned specific incidents to me. Beating up the kids trying to get laid in the park is really more of a Ramat Beit Shemesh thing. :) My real issue is with the general trend in Orthodox Judaism today that feels that it is always more right to be more machmir, that black hats are really where it's at if we would all just stop being lazy and admit it, and that really, if we were being the best Jews we could be, we would all look like the people in Mea Shearim. I feel that this trend is inherently wrong and is slowly working away at the structural integrity of the Jewish community as we know it today.

2:54 AM  
Blogger Nemo said...

"its underground community of youthful rebellion"

We're apparently not communicating. Whatever.

4:51 AM  

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