Ben Avuyah

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Biased by the Blogosphere

It’s not that Dawkins did a bad job on the second half of his presentation about religion (thank you Mis-Nagid for finding it) “The Virus of Faith.” Rather, I think that I have become accustomed to so much more.

“Judaism has traditions”, says a nonplused Rabbi Herschel Gluck in response to Dawkins’ jab at Rabbinic six day creation, and then tilting his head to the other side, to indicate the shift of perspective, “Science has it’s traditions”.

Dawkins looks a bit flummoxed, and although I am sure he could have easily pointed out the holes in that comparison, his expression almost says, “Where do I begin here? How do I unravel a mind that is intractably calcified in such a backward position?”

Does it take an expert? That is to say, a specialist, doubly gifted by having the advantage of once being under the sway of such thoughts and then, with the act of breaking away, gaining the talent for seeing the light in all that darkness. Knowing by which strings the faith hangs most tenuously by, and which are most easily severed.

I think Saul Sanjfeld made a bigger dent in RYGB then Dawkins did with our good Rabbi. And in watching Rabbi Gluck offer pat, pre-rehearsed, cookie cutter, nonsensical answers to a basically nodding Dawkins, I couldn’t help wondering how much more finely honed the questions a garden variety J-blog skeptic would of raised, might have been; not to mention some of our resident experts.

I enjoyed the second segment more than the first because he did stick to some basic issues such as the indoctrination of the young with faith, and the inherent lack of morality from the bible. These two issues I think will impress people of mainstream affiliation.

He couldn’t help himself from brushing with the fundamentalists, of course, and in addition to Rabbi Gluck, he spoke with a preacher who indulged his urge for mass replication of the faith virus via something called “hell houses” where images of hell where impressed upon the target audience (twelve year olds) for such sins as abortion and homosexuality. The live plays depiction was graphic, and appreciably scary to a young mind. The fact that this is currently a protected practice in our country is more than a little frightening.

All in all, I enjoyed his presentation, but to me, all his punches seemed pulled. Well done J-bloggers, you have acclimated me to a higher, and more in depth level, of debate. Thank You.

19 Comments:

At 9:00 PM, Blogger The Jewish Freak said...

Nothing like a "yiddeshe kop" put to good use.

 
At 8:34 AM, Blogger Mis-nagid said...

I thought both parts stunk. Not only is a he a lousy interviewer, he chose terrible subjects. Worse, he came off as a not nice person.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

Hi JF, you are probably right we could of used a few more jewish skeptics on that show.

Hi Mis-nagid, I actually enjoyed the second half more, not all the subjects were terrible but they all could have been presented better...for example the moral contradictions in the bible. That should have been brought to light while he was sitting across from the pro "abortion doctor killer" preacher, who was happy to claim the the bible morality code was all he needed to go by in life.

He didn't force enough contradiction in his conversations with religious notables. Of course, had he done this he would of come off looking even worse...

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger Chana said...

I read this comic with you in mind. *smiles*

Hurrah for the blogosphere!

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger jewish philosopher said...

Dr. Ben,

You might be interested in my blog.
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

I checked out your blog, Jewish Philosopher, it is interesting...it is a variey of "proofs" for orthodoxy.

My suggestion is, keep on reading, not just artscroll, but biology, history and archeaology, and see how well those opinions hold up.

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

chana,

Very cute:-)

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger SS said...

Ben, I found your blog last week and really enjoy it. I actually had a weird dream that you were in, sort-of, that I blogged about. Thanks for the refreshing openness.

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

>>Ben, I found your blog last week and really enjoy it. I actually had a weird dream that you were in, sort-of, that I blogged about. Thanks for the refreshing openness.

My pleasure,
I recently had a dream I was talking with my rosh yeshiva. It was distinctly unpleasant.

I hope I didn't huant you too much...:-)

 
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