Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Powerful evidence for traditional Jewish theology

Our gracious Host, Mr. Bear, has pointed out that the defenders of what they consider to be "traditional Jewish theology" who post here don't typically provide evidence to support their positions, they merely engage in circular reasoning. (The Torah is God's word, because that's what's written in the Torah!") On the other hand, skeptics are alleged to have "mountains" of evidence for their views.

Well, in the "man bites dog" department, here's a case where a defender of traditional Jewish theology has brought forth such evidence. All hail halfnutcase!! though, to be fair, HNC isn't quite as guilty as someone like the Bray of baldface assertions about theological truth without any supporting evidence.

Anyway, without any further ado, here it is, promoted from the comments,brought forth by the wizardry of Haloscan:

I started the ball rolling with this fine piece of apikorsus in response to a comment by Gadfly:
Gadfly: The point of the burdensome mitzvas is to earn a reward. We do something to show G-d that we care, He shows his gratitude to us.

You must have joined the conversation late. I'm a deist, I don't believe that. God doesn't care how we perform mitzvas, we thought them up for our own benefit. What kind of "reward" did all thous massacred pious Jews over history get from God? And don't start on about Olam Haba. If the concept of reward and punishment in Olam Haba is true, it's prima facie evidence that God is an evil nasty SOB who doesn't deserve to be worshiped. I certainly prefer a God who doesn't care.

HNC responded:
the reward for a sin is a sin and the reward for a mitzvah is a mitzvah.

My finely-honed intellect realized HNC was on to something:
Um, yes, it is true that getting massacred al kiddush hashem is a mitzva. A nice reward for being a pious Jew. But what that means is that Orthodox Jewish theology has a bit of a marketing problem, no? On the other hand, you've just provided some pretty powerful evidence in favor of traditional Jewish theology.
HNC ends (for now) the exchange with a little humor:
just doing my duty sir.
This, of course, begs for further discussion. I wil also explain in somewhat more detail about why I believe that the presence of Olam Haba as currently conceived by the Orthodox (and the Christians, for that matter) would be very strong evidence that God is an evil SOB.

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