An Escape Mechanism

To remember

  • God = a ‘wish fulfillment; a fictional father figure projected in the sky of our imagination + created by our desire for security.’
  • Heaven = imaginary projection of our extinction + death
  • religion = psychological escape mechanism => we don’t have to face life as it really is.
  • atheism = flight from reality > projection of desire not to have to meet God one day + give account for your life.

God does not believe in atheists

escape

The new Atheists quote Sigmund Freud, that God is a ‘wish fulfillment; a fictional father figure projected in the sky of our imagination and created by our desire for security.’ On this view, Heaven is an imaginary projection of our extinction and death. And religion is simply a psychological escape mechanism so that we don’t have to face life as it really is. Well, of course, that’s all true; provided only that God does not exist. But if God does exist, exactly the same Freudian argument will show you equally convincingly that it is atheism that is the flight from reality. A projection of the desire not to have to meet God one day and give account for your life. If God does exist, then atheism can easily be seen as a psychological escape mechanism; to avoid taking responsibility for one’s life.

–John Lennox

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Scientific Proof is Unproven

Scientific Proof is Unproven

To remember

  • common misconceptions of science = idea of “scientific proof.” > Science =not in the business of “proving” theories (or laws).
  • Everything in science is tentative
  • Facts are based on our best understanding and if our understanding changes tomorrow so will our facts.

Panoptic Discourse

One of the common misconceptions of science (that even those with science degrees fall prey to) is the idea of a “scientific proof.” Science is not in the business of “proving” theories (or laws). Anyone that says science has “proved” so and so in their discussions does not really understand science. When we say something has been “proven” we are in effect claiming finality, that is to say, there is nothing in the future that can overturn the status of the theory.

But that is not how science works. Everything in science is tentative. And yes, I mean EVERYTHING. When we judge competing theories we do so by evaluating and analyzing the evidence for it and contrasting it with the alternative theories. The theories we accept are contingent on the best available evidence. As such, with new evidence the accepted theories can be challenged and/or replaced. Thus regardless of our…

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Finding the Messiah in Hebrew dictionaries – 1.

Brit In Jerusalem

I’ll carry on with more about my trip round China shortly.   My blog follows a sort of ‘Reader’s Digest’ pattern of stories that start and stop mainly on themes of my faith in Christ, travel in places of the bible and other countries that interest me.

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This week I was really blessed to get this set of 4 volume Hebrew dictionaries, these used to belong to a library, I know that the Hebrew language actually gets ‘updated’ with new words for modern things, these books are from 2000.   So I don’t know how out of date they have to be to be retired!

I’m not a biblical scholar.  I have no Jewish background in my family as far as I know.  I’m a Christian who did some volunteering in Jerusalem, and I learned some Hebrew out there.   Not very much, not enough to be much useful.   I can’t remember many words…

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Do You Want to Believe?

The “WEIRD-people” from the Weird world may have very weird ideas loving to belong to the Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic world but seem often to be blinded by their politicians, like the present presidents of the U.S.A., Turkey and Russia, who are of the same breed and love the tyranny of a dictatorship where they must play the lead, over a a group of people who are caught up in human doctrines of one of their religions, be it a very conservative form in Christendom, or in Islam, or in Russian Orthodoxy mixed with Stalinism.

We may be asked to calm down, but what happened to our family members, our teachers and friends in the 1930ies and 1940ies is clearly printed in our heads and  here in Europe we see history repeating itself.

In Christendom there is also once again a growing hate to those of Christianity. The ones believing in a Trinity got their agricultural fork out again, trying to get down who believe in the Only One True God of Israel, (Jews, Jeshuaists, Non-Trinitarian Christians and Muslims). Those who say they are Christian often do not take on the attitude of Christ, who should be their rebbe and show how they prefer to live without a God Who has given mankind His commandments. They want others to believe we do not have to keep those commandments any more, and do live accordingly a life full of indecent and immoral actions and foul language.

Our best hope should not be on that sort of community but should direct with open eyes for a better world where people of all sorts of culture, colour or race can live together in a global community of loving and sharing people.

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To remember

  • We all have friends who believe things that seem crazy, but we don’t think our friends are crazy.
  • People adopt beliefs based on several factors. If those factors are different, then the people tend to adopt different beliefs.
  • Differences in factors as: region, economic class, ethnicity, social circles, information sources, + life experiences lead people to different beliefs.
  • differences show up mainly in emotion + intuition, which influence our political + moral judgments.
  • perhaps half of Americans accept utilitarian + universalist ideas, but also value loyalty, respect for authority, respect for the sacred, individual liberty, + support for the common good.
  • disagreements exist + also a few genuine crazies + haters: in a population of over 300 million, that’s inevitable.

Don’t let a tiny minority of crazies and haters blind you to the fact that most people want to be good and to do the right thing – even if their idea of “the right thing” sometimes clashes with ours.

  • Screaming at people, calling them names, and dismissing their concerns as unworthy of consideration => on-going conflict + social disintegration.

The Thousand-Year View

graphic-01-newrepublicMy latest blog post for The Jewish Journal:

After a bitterly divisive election season, there’s one question on everyone’s mind:

“How can people possibly believe that?”

What “that” is depends on who’s doing the talking. It means one thing to Trump supporters, something else to Clinton supporters, and who knows what to third-party supporters.

We all have friends who believe things that seem crazy, but we don’t think our friends are crazy. So we’re completely baffled. Are the people who disagree with us ignorant? Stupid? Hyper-emotional? Or – this seems to be the favorite – are they just plain evil?

It’s usually none of those things. The true answer is simpler and more innocent.

People adopt beliefs based on several factors. If those factors are different, then the people tend to adopt different beliefs.

In 2016 America, those factors differ a lot – by region, economic class, ethnicity, social…

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Yehowah in the Leningrad Codex

Since my childhood in the Old Roman Catholic Church I had been brought up with the Holy Name of God, though two versions of His Name were used: Jehovah (at that time written Yehowah or YHWH, later Jehovah and still later Jehovah or JHWH) and Yahweh (also later receiving the J for the Y and becoming Jahweh).

In the 1960ies the Jehovah’s Witnesses gaining more foot on the ground and the Catholic church starting loosing people to other faith groups and even having people (like me) totally abandoning the Holy Trinity, they started to create a hate against the Name Jehovah.

In a certain way we could see the growing hate against Jehovah, because most people, like still today, co-notate it with the faith group from the American organisation Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. In the land of the origin of that organisation we also could see a growing hate against non-trinitarians and users of God’s Name. On the other hand around the turn of the 20th to 21st century we saw also in the United States more people coming up for God’s Name, though they refused the contemporary or modern spelling which was by then also used in most other languages and as such said God His Name was not Jehovah, because a Y did not exist yet in ancient Hebrew, instead of accepting that it is exactly the same and in modern spelling it is agreed to write Jehovah, like others also write Jesus or Jeshua and not Iesus (e.g. like in the King James Bible of 1611) or Yeshua (like some also claim Christ his name to be).

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To remember

Leningrad Codex (or Codex Leningradensis) = oldest complete manuscript of Hebrew Bible using the Masoretic Text +Tiberian vocalization = oldest complete codex of the Tiberian mesorah

Masoretic vowel points in Leningrad Codex allow for pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton​ — the four Hebrew consonants making up the divine name — ​as Yeho·wah’.

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Additional reading

  1. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  2. Een Naam voor een God #11 Y of J Kiezen
  3. Lord in place of the divine name
  4. Lord Of The Creation
  5. Anti Jehovah sites
  6. Al-Fatiha [The Opening/De Opening] Süra 1:1-3 In the name of Allah the Merciful
  7. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #11 Muslim Idiom Translations
  8. Jehovah in the BASF
  9. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

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Related

  1. The Tetragrammaton
  2. Questions and Answers About the Name of God
  3. Blog 1903 Names of God: Adonai
  4. What is the name of God?
  5. Yes, Yes; No, No; Men are men; Women are Women. Numbers 30 – part 1
  6. What’s in a name?
  7. His Name Upon Us – Numbers 6:23-27
  8. Respecting God’s name
  9. Why is God called by different names in different ages? What are the significances of God’s names? |Eastern Lightning

Yehowah

LeningradCodex_text

The Leningrad Codex (or Codex Leningradensis) is the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the Masoretic Text and Tiberian vocalization.[1] It is dated 1008 CE (or possibly 1009) according to its colophon.[2] The Aleppo Codex, against which the Leningrad Codex was corrected, is several decades older, but parts of it have been missing since 1947, making the Leningrad Codex the oldest complete codex of the Tiberian mesorah that has survived intact to this day.

In modern times, the Leningrad Codex is significant as the Hebrew text reproduced in Biblia Hebraica (1937) and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1977). It also serves scholars as a primary source for the recovery of details in the missing parts of the Aleppo Codex.

In his wisdom, Yehowah has seen to it that his Word, the Bible, has been preserved until modern times. The diligent work of…

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A Spot at the Kotel Won’t Save Us: A Crisis in American Judaism

Like there are many denominations in Christendom as well in Christianity, man’s world got also so many different divisions in the Judaic world as well people who call themselves Jewish, meaning the race but not being religious and acting against Torah, outsiders should recognise that difference between secular, Zionist-, devout and less devout religious Jews and fundamentalist Jews.

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To remember

  1. In August 2017:  eyes of liberal American Jewish world were fixed on the Kotel.
    leaders of the Conservative, Reform + Reconstructionist movements banded together to demand a mixed-gender space at the Western Wall > clear pushback against  institutional power of ultra-Orthodoxy in Israel.
  2. prominent liberal American Jews threatened to boycott Netanyahu’s government over its refusal to recognize the liberal diaspora.
  3. liberal American Jewish world remains more divided than ever
  4. more American Jews publicly opposing Israel’s occupation of West Bank + Gaza.
  5. masses of Jews are embracing intermarriage + abandoning Israel = death-knell of Jewish peoplehood in America = threaten to dissolve the very ties that make a Jew a Jew.
  6. massive drop-off in support for Israel among American Jewish college students
  7. J.J. Goldberg laments
    “strange metamorphosis of the Jewish spirit over the past century, from hopeful optimism in the face of great suffering to bitterness and suspicion amid plenty…[if], for a half-century after 1917, the dominant mood among Jews in America and Israel alike was one of optimism…in the half-century since 1967, the mood has been increasingly gloomy and cynical.”
  8. Am. Jewry in transition towards a future where communal identity will not be defined by support for Israel, nor will it rest primarily upon markers of blood > decades-long fixation on Israel + endogamy sapped American Jewish identity of the vitality and dynamism it needs to survive.
  9. For too long, mainstream Jewish America turned dictum of Rabbi Hillel on its head
  10. beginning to shake loose inherited normative frameworks +evolve in exciting new directions => New American Jewish identity
  11. Jewish college students supporting BDS + identifying as anti- or non-Zionist.
  12. IfNotNow + Open Hillel publicly + proudly oppose Israel’s occupation as Jews.
  13. Mirroring trends across the Jewish world, many from mixed families + having non-Jewish partners <= no less Jewish than predecessors = product of American Jewish assimilation

Doikayt

(originally published in Tikkun)

“Remember the days of the world; understand the years of each generation” (Devarim, 32:7)

“…that [we] may turn the heart of the fathers back through the children, and the heart of the children back through their fathers” (Malachi, 3:24)

Last month, the eyes of the liberal American Jewish world were fixed on the Kotel. In a rare display of unity and resolve, leaders of the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements banded together to demand a mixed-gender space at the Western Wall, in a clear pushback against the institutional power of ultra-Orthodoxy in Israel. So deep were we stung by this bitter betrayal, that for the first time in living memory, prominent liberal American Jews even threatened to boycott Netanyahu’s government over its refusal to recognize the liberal diaspora.

And yet, even as we are united in condemnation of ultra-Orthodox fundamentalism, the liberal American Jewish world…

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Why are we surprised when Buddhists are violent?

Dan Arnold & Alicia Turner, New York Times, 5 March 2018

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The Nya Thar Lyaung reclining Buddha is an important religious site in the Bago region of Myanmar. Credit, Frank Bienewald/LightRocket, via Getty Images

While history suggests it is naïve to be surprised that Buddhists are as capable of inhuman cruelty as anyone else, such astonishment is nevertheless widespread — a fact that partly reflects the distinctive history of modern Buddhism. By ‘modern Buddhism,’ we mean not simply Buddhism as it happens to exist in the contemporary world but rather the distinctive new form of Buddhism that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries. In this period, Buddhist religious leaders, often living under colonial rule in the historically Buddhist countries of Asia, together with Western enthusiasts who eagerly sought their teachings, collectively produced a newly ecumenical form of Buddhism — one that often indifferently drew from the various Buddhist traditions of countries like China, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Japan and Thailand.

This modern form of Buddhism is distinguished by a novel emphasis on meditation and by a corresponding disregard for rituals, relics, rebirth all the other peculiarly ‘religious’ dimensions of history’s many Buddhist traditions. The widespread embrace of modern Buddhism is reflected in familiar statements insisting that Buddhism is not a religion at all but rather (take your pick) a ‘way of life,’ a ‘philosophy’ or (reflecting recent enthusiasm for all things cognitive-scientific) a ‘mind science.’

Buddhism, in such a view, is not exemplified by practices like Japanese funerary rites, Thai amulet-worship or Tibetan oracular rituals but by the blandly nonreligious mindfulness meditation now becoming more ubiquitous even than yoga. To the extent that such deracinated expressions of Buddhist ideas are accepted as defining what Buddhism is, it can indeed be surprising to learn that the world’s Buddhists have, both in past and present, engaged in violence and destruction.

There is, however, no shortage of historical examples of violence in Buddhist societies. Sri Lanka’s long and tragic civil war (1983-2009), for example, involved a great deal of specifically Buddhist nationalism on the part of a Sinhalese majority resentful of the presence of Tamil Hindus in what the former took to be the last bastion of true Buddhism (the ‘island of dharma’). Political violence in modern Thailand, too, has often been inflected by Buddhist involvement, and there is a growing body of scholarly literature on the martial complicity of Buddhist institutions in World War II-era Japanese nationalism. Even the history of the Dalai Lama’s own sect of Tibetan Buddhism includes events like the razing of rival monasteries, and recent decades have seen a controversy centering on a wrathful protector deity believed by some of the Dalai Lama’s fellow religionists to heap destruction on the false teachers of rival sects.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

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Related

  1. Is the Buddha really a Warmonger?….
  2. Hardline Buddhist Clergyman Released After Serving Time For Inciting Unrest
  3. Sri Lanka declares state of emergency after Buddhist-Muslim clash
  4. Sri Lanka declares state of emergency after Buddhist-Muslim clash
  5. Moral quandary in Myanmar studies: Looking at the Rohingya crisis as an outsider
  6. State of emergency declared in Sri Lanka after Buddhist-Muslim clash
  7. Sri Lanka lifts nationwide state of emergency
  8. 3Novices:Ultra-nationalist Myanmar Buddhist monk freed from prison
  9. Buddhist nationalism burns as Pope visits Myanmar