Shalom, heretics! So, there’s a Rabbi, a priest and a Mormon blogger at HuffPost. I know that sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s the truth. Often, the triumvirate of meshugaas write pieces that conflict with all rational thought, and today we’re going to look at one such post.
This one is written by the Rabbi, and he wants us to know about three mistakes atheists often make. I know, you’re thinking, what a kibitzer! but before you drop your dreidel, let’s hear the fella out.
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie begins his schpiel by letting us know how much being wrong bores him:
The God Wars mostly bore me. In my younger days I enjoyed, at least for a while, the intellectual back-and-forth of the God debates. For me, these exchanges had a game-like quality, and it was fun to play the game.
Funny, because for me, “The God Wars” refers to something entirely different, much more firey, and more killy and it begins with Israel and ends with Palestine. It’s covered in children’s blood and the brutal, undeniable fact that your schmuck god ain’t there. That’s “The God Wars”. But perfectly fine for you to consider debating atheists a war. That doesn’t belittle the real wars fought over god at all… I could seriously just plotz.
When Richard Dawkins claims that biology and evolution demonstrate that God does not exist, I must take notice, even if his arguments do not work for me.
Feh! As much chutzpah as you imagine you might have saying that, you look like a shmendrik. Science doesn’t care whether the arguments work for you. They are still facts. These aren’t Dawkins’ arguments, so much as they are his knowledge based on centuries of accumulated scientific study and discovery. So, they don’t work for you? You can deny findings discovered in repeated controlled experiments and through observation all you want, but that doesn’t actually lessen their factuality. It just makes you a delusional goofball.
Eric the friendly Rabbi finishes up his kvetshy intro to this triad of infidel errors, by letting us know that these mistakes make us atheists sound defensive and desperate. This is, of course, a perfect exercise in projection. We say facts, and we are defensive and desperate. You say wild guesses based on zero evidence, and it’s Rabbinic wisdom. Gotcha. Oy Vey!
So, what are these mistakes we make, according to Mr. Yoffie? Let’s take a look:
1. They dismiss, often with contempt, the religious experience of other people.
Yes, of course we do. If we did not dismiss all of it, we would have to draw a line somewhere, wouldn’t we? Which religious experiences should be respected and which should not? Who determines where that line is drawn? There have been plenty of people in history who have clearly lost their minds in the throes of what they believe is some deep, religious experiences. Shall we look at a few examples?
Dora Tejada – Suffocated her 3-year-old daughter because God told her to. She shoved a flower down the tiny child’s throat, to exorcise the devil.
Boyce Singleton Jr. – Believed God ordered him to kill his girlfriend.
Thomas Hammer – Compelled by a higher power to attack a kid on a skateboard.
Victoria Soliz – Tried to drown her son in a puddle because Jesus told her.Levi Daniel Staver – Archangel Michael told him to stab his grandmother.
Rachel Armstrong – Beat her grandmother because she thought she was possessed.
Tammi Estep – Killed her husband because Jesus and Mary told her he was Satan’s spawn.
Marshall Applewhite – Convinced 39 people to take their own lives so they could party on Hale-Bopp.
Robert Pickton – Quite possibly the most prolific serial killer in all of modern history, asserted that he was put on Earth to rid people of their evil ways. Some who worked on his case estimate he may have killed upwards of 150 women.
This list is, of course, just a tiny sampling of all the people in history who have committed heinous acts because they had a religious experience. So where do we draw the line? Do we draw the line at violence? Conflicts in the Middle East certainly don’t reflect that notion. Should we draw the line at mutilation? Nope, that would put a wrench in the works for your next bris, wouldn’t it? Should we draw the line at discrimination? It doesn’t appear that the homophobic Christian right agrees with that. Do we draw the line at murder? Hatred? Torture? Where?
Let me take a stab at it: we’re supposed to draw the line at precisely the spot you tell us to, based on absolute bupkes, right? Or maybe it’s based on a tickle in your tuchus? Am I understanding correctly? Before you reach for your Torah, let me remind you of the story of Abraham, so eagerly willing to sacrifice his own son because God said so.
So, yes, Rabbi ridiculous, I will dismiss, with absolute and utmost contempt, the religious experiences of others because I have a moral code that doesn’t stand for violence, murder, discrimination or mutilation and your own holy book doesn’t even know where to draw the line.
2. They assert that since there are no valid religions but that religions do good things, the task of smart people is to create a religion without God — or, in other words, a religion without religion.
Maybe a handful of slower-thinking atheists assert such nonsense, but I am firmly with Hitch on his stance that religion poisons everything and every good thing done in the name of a religion can just as easily be done without religion. Lest we forget Hitchen’s challenge:
3. They see the world of belief in black and white, either/or terms.
I may be too goyish for you, but that ain’t kosher, buddy. You’re confusing seeing the world of belief as black and white, with having absolutely no use for the world of belief at all. There are plenty of knowable things out there that lead to a solid moral code. There exists plenty of observable phenomena in our world and the cosmos that lead to awe anchored in science and curiosity and wonder. We simply have no use for belief. We have reality on our side.
Rabbi, you appear to cling to the idea that these are mistakes so as to further your delusion about a magical man in the sky who sets all the rules. The thing is, none of these points applies to all atheists, just like not all Jewish people like to nosh gefilte fish. Your assertion that you are bored by these debates on the existence of God is a copout; the reality is you don’t have the chutzpah to address what we’re really saying and instead choose to argue against these cockamamie straw men. You might as well be arguing against a drek.
Next time you engage in a “God War”, my little kolboynick, I want you to keep these things I’ve said in mind because honestly, Rabbi, you sound rather desperate and perhaps even a little defensive.