Sunday, August 20, 2006

How deep is your faith?

How deep is your faith
How deep is your faith
I really need to learn
Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be

I saw Munich last night. The movie confirmed everything I have been saying for years. You kill them, they kill us, and round and round it goes. You get rid of Black September, they are replaced by Hamas. Get rid of Hamas, you get Hizbollah. And round and round it goes. You bomb and kill 1,000 people in Lebanon, and that’s 5,000 orphans who will be suicide bombers in 2020.

I was learning in Israel when the first intifada started. I remember saying to my roommate that all we were achieving by killing the terrorists was that their children would grow up to be even worse terrorists. Where are the stone throwers from 1987? Probably not throwing stones anymore. But their children, or their orphans are the ones throwing the stones now. Or more likely firing Kassams.

We are shocked when this round of terrorists try and blow up a few large planes. Just wait, the next round will try and blow up a few large cities. You can’t win. Golda Meir’s plan was to kill the terrorists to teach them a lesson. Nowadays they blow themselves up willingly, to teach us a lesson. In fact, it's much worse now than it ever was. In the 70's Black September and the PLO were mostly secular, fighting for their land. Now the terrorists have found Faith, which makes them far more dangerous. There's nothing more evil than (misplaced) religious faith, since you can't even reason with such a thing.

Some might say, well, you have to trust in God, this land is our land. What, the same God that allowed the Holocaust? That one? And that’s if He exists, which no one can even say with any certainty.

And this is not even a skeptical position. Go the ‘frummest of the frum’, the Satmar, and they will tell you that we have no right to be in Israel until Moshiach comes. So Hirhurim has 20 posts full of pilpulim showing why Satmar are wrong. So what? Hirhurim could write 20 posts full of pilpulim showing what day Adam Horishon was born on. Nobody knows anything about God, and nobody knows if their religion is true. Anybody who says otherwise is confused or worse.

In the comment thread on this post, I argued with Chardal for 400+ comments. Chardal claims there are other ways of knowing things beside evidence and reason. That may be, but since evidence and reason are the only way we can verify what’s true or not, we can never know if he is right, can we? His faith might tell him that the Jewish God exists, but that’s no more credible than Nasrallah’s faith that Allah exists, and that we are all scum who deserve to die.

It's nice to have faith, it may even be neccessary, but don't go confusing faith for knowledge. And there's not a single fundamental religion which doesn't require huge doses of faith, ours included. Some people seem to think you can't prove God, but you can prove Torah Min Hashamayim. Of course that makes no sense at all. You can't prove either, nor does reason 'lead you to conclude' either, not by a long shot.

Deganev commented regarding faith, ‘You don't know, you assume, you have faith, you believe it to be true.’ Exactly right. You DON’T know. And when you don’t know, you better be damn careful what you do.

And it’s not just the Gedolim who don’t know, it’s everyone in every fundamentalist religion. And that includes Orthodoxy. It even includes Modern Orthodoxy. It even includes Left Wing Eidah loving Chovevei Torah Cardinal Meeting Women’s Hakafot Dancing Modern Orthodoxy. It even includes UTJ for goodness sake.

So what should we do? I don’t know, but if your basing your actions on unproven faith, you better be careful.

And probably humble too.

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