Fwd: [b-hebrew] Torah
MarianneLuban at aol.com
MarianneLuban at aol.com
Sat Aug 14 12:58:03 EDT 2004
In a message dated 8/14/2004 9:56:32 AM Pacific Daylight Time, MarianneLuban
> In a message dated 8/13/2004 7:58:27 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> dwashbur at nyx.net writes:
> >> On Friday 13 August 2004 19:31, MarianneLuban at aol.com wrote:
>> > In a message dated 8/13/2004 4:39:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
>> > rosewalk at concentric.net writes:
>> > > Who's confused? Not I.
>> > >
>> > > It's those who cannot bring themselves to believe in the Divine
>> > > Origin of Torah, who are confused.
>> > >
>> > > Shabbat Shalom - lighting candles (in NY) right now!
>> > Nothing wrong with lighting Shabbat candles. That is a lovely custom.
>> > this is a list for scholarly discourse--not fundamentalist insistences
>> > all who do not believe "as we do" must be confused.
>> The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive as you imply.
> Meaning what? If there are persons here who believe the HB is divinely
> inspired and others who view it as any other ANE text, those two views can
> certainly co-exist without difficulty--but not if one contingent insists the other
> is "confused".
>> > The Torah was written
>> > by humans. Like every other ANE text. Just because it contains great
>> > wisdom doesn't make it anything more than a product of a certain
>> > a superstitious time at that.
>> Puh-leeze. Superstition is in the eye of the beholder. The fact that they
>> believed in something beyond what we can see and touch does not make them
>> "superstitious" unless one arrogantly chooses to exclude such an idea a
>> priori and then proclaim that assumption "scholarly."
> This is not a forum, as I understand it, for the discussion of whether God
> exists or not. The ancients--all of them--were superstitious because they had
> no science. Everything that occurred for good or ill was at the whim of the
> gods. Everything that was beyond their comprehension was viewed as a
> "miracle". It is not from arrogance that I say this but from evidence that exists
> from every ancient culture. If you choose to believe that only monotheists
> were the "enlightened ones" and that their superstitions were not really so
> because one god can work miracles as opposed to many gods who cannot,
> then--fine--but do you include in that the single god of the first monotheist, the
> pharaoh, Akhenaten, who worshipped the sun? Akhenaten was right in a
> sense--there can be no life on earth without the sun and many blessings come from
> it--but is the sun capable of miracles? The Jews took monotheism one step further
> and conceded that their god cannot be defined. In one sense, they threw up
> their hands and admitted that nobody knows just who or what began the
> universe but--called it "God", anyway. That, to me, is certainly the most
> enlightened--and humble-- viewpoint, but regardless, the proto-Jews and Jews
> were still superstitious in that they still regarded their God (capitalized
> since capitals began to be used in writing) to be responsible for every
> phenomenon not understood by them. Illness was a punishment from this God for
> wrongdoing because no one understood about the microbes that cause various
> diseases. And, because they were only human, the Jews had to "personalize" this
> force behind the universe and claimed it was on their side--because they were
> "the true believers", the "Gott mit uns" philosophy. In other words, their
> ephemeral God was still afforded the very human attribute of being able to
> "take sides" and work wonders for the benefit of his Chosen People--those who
> understood him the best.
> And when God disappointed them, they attributed it to some transgression on
> their own part--anything rather than to concede that God does not meddle in
> or take interest in everything that happens to his followers. Yes, that is
> As C.S. Lewis said, no
> >> study of probabilities within a given framework will ever be able to tell
>> us whether the framework itself can be violated. You don't know whether
>> there was a "higher" being behind the creation of the Torah any more than
>> anyone else does, and "science" as currently defined can't say one way or the
>> other. In such a situation, it's best to avoid inflammatory terms such as
>> "superstitious" and "fundamentalist."
> Regardless of the existence of C.S. Lewis, superstitious people still exist.
> And those who give no quarter to those who do not exactly subscribe to
> their own beliefs.
>> > The Torah is a tribute to a very long memory
>> > and a need to preserve it--a remarkable achievement of a people and quite
>> > unprecedented in its thoroughness. Divine inspiration? Well--whatever
>> > is that inspires any great work. When I listen to Puccini, I don't think
>> > of God. I think of the capability for genius in the human race, a thing
>> > that is almost denegrated by attributing it to an ephemeral "higher
>> > Please, fundamentalists--go in peace. But do not try to divide this
>> > into "believers" and "unenlightened".
>> Um, you're the one doing that.
> Um--no. I advocated for the opposite. Religion and politics divide. If we
> can discuss Biblical matters without dogmatism--then that is the only way to
> have a peaceful list. People are going to have their personal beliefs--but
> if one who does not share the view of the other maintains the other must be
> "confused", then that is where scholarly discourse leaves off and dogmatism
> takes over.
> Shoshanna has been on this list for many years
>> now and has always treated other views with great respect, even while
>> disagreeing with them.
> Ah, I see. Invoking seniority. Yet I somehow cannot view the above
> statement from her as a sign of "respect" for the views of others.
> She has earned at least the same level of deference
>> and respect for her views. There's no need for her or anyone else to "go"
>> anywhere, in peace or otherwise.
> Telling someone to "go in peace" is not tantamount to telling them to "go
> "Go in peace" means "proceed in peace"--and tolerance. Let us discuss
> philology and history--but leave off condemning others for not sharing our
> religious beliefs and zeal.
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