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…

View original post 589 more words

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

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

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  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

A brief history of Stephen Hawking: A legacy of paradox

A brief history of Stephen Hawking:
A legacy of paradox
Stuart Clark, New Scientist, 14 March 2018

Picture

Stephen William Hawking. 1942 – 2018. – Cosmologist, space traveller and hero.

‘I think most physicists would agree that Hawking’s greatest contribution is the prediction that black holes emit radiation,’ says Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. ‘While we still don’t have experimental confirmation that Hawking’s prediction is true, nearly every expert believes he was right.’

Experiments to test Hawking’s prediction are so difficult because the more massive a black hole is, the lower its temperature. For a large black hole – the kind astronomers can study with a telescope – the temperature of the radiation is too insignificant to measure. As Hawking himself often noted, it was for this reason that he was never awarded a Nobel Prize. Still, the prediction was enough to secure him a prime place in the annals of science, and the quantum particles that stream from the black hole’s edge would forever be known as Hawking radiation.

Some have suggested that they should more appropriately be called Bekenstein-Hawking radiation, but Bekenstein himself rejects this. ‘The entropy of a black hole is called Bekenstein-Hawking entropy, which I think is fine. I wrote it down first, Hawking found the numerical value of the constant, so together we found the formula as it is today. The radiation was really Hawking’s work. I had no idea how a black hole could radiate. Hawking brought that out very clearly. So that should be called Hawking radiation.’

The Bekenstein-Hawking entropy equation is the one Hawking asked to have engraved on his tombstone. It represents the ultimate mash-up of physical disciplines because it contains Newton’s constant, which clearly relates to gravity; Planck’s constant, which betrays quantum mechanics at play; the speed of light, the talisman of Einstein’s relativity; and the Boltzmann constant, the herald of thermodynamics.

The presence of these diverse constants hinted at a theory of everything, in which all physics is unified. Furthermore, it strongly corroborated Hawking’s original hunch that understanding black holes would be key in unlocking that deeper theory.

Hawking’s breakthrough may have solved the entropy problem, but it raised an even more difficult problem in its wake. If black holes can radiate, they will eventually evaporate and disappear. So what happens to all the information that fell in? Does it vanish too? If so, it will violate a central tenet of quantum mechanics. On the other hand, if it escapes from the black hole, it will violate Einstein’s theory of relativity. With the discovery of black hole radiation, Hawking had pit the ultimate laws of physics against one another. The black hole information loss paradox had been born.

Hawking staked his position in another ground-breaking and even more contentious paper entitled Breakdown of predictability in gravitational collapse, published in Physical Review D in 1976. He argued that when a black hole radiates away its mass, it does take all of its information with it – despite the fact that quantum mechanics expressly forbids information loss. Soon other physicists would pick sides, for or against this idea, in a debate that continues to this day. Indeed, many feel that information loss is the most pressing obstacle in understanding quantum gravity.

‘Hawking’s 1976 argument that black holes lose information is a towering achievement, perhaps one of the most consequential discoveries on the theoretical side of physics since the subject was invented,’ says Raphael Bousso of the University of California, Berkeley.

Read the full article in the New Scientist.

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What Steve Bannon really wants

The Muslim Times

Whatdoes Donald Trump want for America? His supporters don’t know. His party doesn’t know. Even he doesn’t know.

If there is a political vision underlying Trumpism, however, the person to ask is not Trump. It’s his éminence grise, Stephen K. Bannon, the chief strategist of the Trump administration.

Bannon transcended his working-class Virginia roots with a stint in the Navy and a degree from Harvard Business School, followed by a career as a Goldman Sachs financier. He moved to Los Angeles to invest in media and entertainment for Goldman, before starting his own investment bank specializing in media. Through a combination of luck (a fallen-through deal left him with a stake in a hit show called Seinfeld) and a knack for voicing outrage, Bannon remade himself as a minor luminary within the far edge of right-wing politics, writing and directing a slew of increasingly conservative…

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These are the alarming parallels between the views of Steve Bannon and those held by Islamist jihadis

Views which do not fit the ideas of Bannon and his entourage are considered by them from the devil and seen as an attack on the liberty of religion, though it are they who want to muzzle those who have an other opinion than they, and are aiming at restrictions in freedom of thought, freedom of religion, and many other liberties our forefathers fought for.

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To remember

  • enemy for Bannon = secularism = responsible for progressively diluting pure Christian ideals with all sorts of modern + postmodern ideologies
  • White House = Steve Bannon’s >Bannon world view > world is in the midst of an epic battle between good + evil,
  • force of pure good = Christian civilisation > Christian society = greatest civilisation known to man

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Preceding

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2

The Muslim Times

The enemy for Bannon is secularism. This, he believes, is responsible for progressively diluting pure Christian ideals with all sorts of modern and postmodern ideologies

At the time of Trump’s unexpected election victory, there was much speculation over who would really run the US Government, given the incoming President’s notorious lack of patience and attention to detail. Now that question has been answered: this White House is Steve Bannon’s.

The one element that unites every executive order and every speech the President has given since assuming office is theBannon world view. So if we are to understand the trajectory of this new American administration, we need to invest some time in trying to understand Bannon, his outlook, and where he plans to take us next.

Having studied radical Islamists for more than a decade, as I started to look into Bannon’s perspective and philosophies I started to…

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