Monday, January 15, 2007

Are talking donkeys silly?

Happy says that any religion which requires you to believe in talking donkeys is just plain silly. Now, I think we all agree that God, if He exists, could certainly make a donkey talk, and vis-a-vis God, creating talking people is no more silly than creating talking donkeys. However God is not the issue here, man is. To a (normal) man, a talking donkey is quite ridiculous.

The Rambam famously re-interprets this whole episode as a dream, but frankly, thats very clowny. Reminds me of Dallas season seven, and that was pretty clowny too. But how about a talking horse? I think that's slightly less silly. Maybe we can re-interpret Bilaams ass as a horse instead. That might help things. The other advantage is that it will spare us all those silly jokes about God talking out of Bilaam's ass.

I recently was sent an email list full of famous names: Akiva Atwood, DBH (the conspiracy nut), Koffer, Ostroff, FKM (Freakin Kiruv Maniac), discussing at length whether Science might be true or not. Such a waste. I find it hard to believe that this is what God wants from us (assuming He exists). And, since God saw fit for whatever reasons to completely hide all evidence of Himself, I find it hard to believe that He cares one way or another as to whether we believe in Him at all. It's all a test? It's all baloney more likely.

The fundamentalists claim they are being reasonable, but any normal, rational and objective person can see they are not. How can they possibly advance the lamest of arguments, and think they are good? It's mamash unbelievable.

Here's what I think is going on:

What comes out of their mouths:

TMS is entirely rational blah blah kuzari proof blah blah critical thought blah blah

What goes on in their brains:

Torah just must be true, I mean it must be! My whole life is predicated on that fact, And my whole family, my whole community, everyone I know. I’ve believed this since childhood, how could it not be true? And my father, and his father and so on for three thousand years! And how many yidden were moser nefesh for this??. If it isn’t true, then I have been living a lie for all these years. How could that be? It just can’t! And not only that, it would mean all the Gedolim have been living a lie, and all the Acharonim, and Rishonim, and oh my gosh, Chazal! And not only living a lie, but Chazal were a part of it! That couldn’t be! All that Torah and Torah learning, all those Mitzvot, the entire enterprise? All false? All a waste of time? No! It just couldn’t be! And anyway, Hashem would never have allowed that to happen. Not to the Yidden! Not to me! No way. Just can’t be. No! Never! Can’t be. Oy, and to even have such thoughts is such a pgam in my emunah. Oy, almost kefirah, such a bad aveirah. I can’t even think like this! Oy.

Update inspired by Little Foxling: And I don't want to go to Gehinom! I don't want to lose my cheleck in Olam Habah! Please Hashem, take these kefiradick thoughts away from me. They distress me so much. Please Hashem, I was only doing this lshem shamayim, only to fight the skeptics. I didn't ever intend to get skeptical thoughts myself. I promise to try and be mechazek myself. I promise! I'll also daven with more kavanah, and learn more. But please remove these doubts and questions from me, please!

And how could I possibly be skeptical? To tell my wife? My kids? My parents? My in-laws? Oy, my chavrusoh? My Rav? My shul? My community? Oy, the shame, the humiliation, how could I possibly do that! No way. It just must be true. What am I thinking?! Of course it's true, of course it's true. Oy, of course of course of course its true. Just take a deep breath. Relax your mind, and think of Torah. Please Hashem help me in this hour of my need. I don't ask for much. Please remove any kefirah doubts and let me be mechazek in my emunah. Your Holy Torah! OF course its all True. The Avos, the Neviim, Chazal, the Rishonim, the Acharonim, the Gedolim
(for RJM you can skip the Gedolim, he thinks they're a bunch of simpletons who have it all wrong anyway), my Rabbeim! Oh my gosh, my amazing Rabbeim! Of course they are all right. How could they possiblt be wrong? No, it just can't be. It can't.

What’s funny is that nobody gives a second thought to the fact that 2 billion Christians have it all wrong, and are praying to a god who isn’t there. Or that all the Moslems have it all wrong. All the thousands of Christian and Islamic martyrs who gave up their lives for nothing. All the millions of man hours spent in specifically Christian or Moslem (or Hindu) pursuits all essentially a waste of time. That’s all entirely believable. But the Yidden being wrong? No! That cannot be!