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EMUNAH & BITACHON-----proofs not faith


Sim Posted - 06 July 2000 12:37


I have to agree with you on that. If you look at all the different things in the world, can you really say that a human being made all of this?? I think not..

I was once at a speech on the "Torah Codes". Before he got to the main stuff, he brought proofs that the Torah was from G-d.. I don't recall the exact way he did it but believe me it made a lot of sense... The Rambam also says that by looking at the creations and the world and just being amazed at what you see, that that by definition is showing your love for G-d! I'm just speaking for myself, but I find that that works for me.. At times I find myself just staring and looking and being amazed at what I see going on.. If that’s not proof enough what is??

akiv44 Posted - 06 July 2000 12:40

You proof proves that the torah is true. It doesn't do much for god. People have been debating the issue for 5000 years. I mean Neanderthals had religion I assume they also debated the truth of god existence:-)

No one has ever been able to prove it one way or the other.

But like I said before we have no choice but to believe

MODERATOR Posted - 06 July 2000 13:00


If you concede that we’ve proven the truth of the Torah because the episode of Kabbalas HaTorah could not have been fabricated (please see the thread “G-d”), then you have proven G-d’s existence as well.

It was G-d, wasn’t it, Who did speak to the entire nation at Har Sinai, right?

The fact that “it has been debated” for 5,000 years means nothing. There have been religions that believed in totem poles as gods. The truth has to be assessed by its own merits, not by popular vote.

When any of the 5,000 years worth of pagans and wishful thinkers can answer the hard evidence, then I will gladly agree with you.

But despite 5,000 years of debate nobody has been able to answer the proofs.

Oh, and don’t mix Judaism with “religions.” There is a fundamental difference that distinguishes Judaism as being unique among them.

ALL other religions that claim to know the word of G-d do so by claiming that G-d came to some guy and told him (the guy) that He (G-d) wants them (the people) to follow them (the guy and G-d both).

There are never any witnesses to the revelation, never, and for some odd reason, G-d, Who supposedly wants everyone in the world to follow some individual – Yeshua, Mohammed, David Coresh – never told this to any one of them except the one who they are supposed to follow.

So you either believe him or you don’t.

Torah is different. In the Torah, G-d Himself comes o the entire nation, millions of them, and says “I am Hashem. This is what I want you all to do . . .”

NO RELIGION IN THE WORLD CLAIMS THAT G-D HIMSELF REVEALED THE RELIGION TO THE MASSES. It’s always a prophet who is telling us that he “received” the word of G-d. That’s what “religion” is. It’s belief.

Torah is history and fact. Nobody had to believe anybody.

G-d Himself appeared to the entire nation and explained things to them. And the reason no religion can duplicate this story is because, as we said, it cannot be fabricated historically (see the “G-d” forum).

FEIVEL Posted - 07 July 2000 13:04

What does one say to a person who asks, "How then, with Torah being accepted as a nation, and GD being WITNESSED as a nation, were the people of other religions able to convince their children, and they their own children, of the existence and truth of a lie whose very basis in logic is faulty?"

MODERATOR Posted - 07 July 2000 13:25

Because nobody can confirm or deny their lies. Either G-d spoke to Mohammed or He did not. Who's to say? Except Mohammed. If you want to believe him, fine. Nobody can contradict him.

The Torah is the only story that cannot be fabricated.

Besides, the fact is that throughout history people have been convinced of the stupidest things, such as totem pole gods, scientology, and assorted nonsensical theologies.

It is no problem to convince people to believe a lie that cannot be contradicted by the listeners.

The impossibility is convincing people to believe a lie that can be contradicted by the masses.

akiv44 Posted - 11 July 2000 13:33

Judaism has its own version of god speaking to one person. The nevi'im.

Why should the kings in the Tanach believe the nevi'im?
The fact remains they should have believed the nevi'im.

So it might not be absurd that god ONLY spoke to Muhammad or that god ONLY spoke to Jesus.

Judaism has its own version of this

MODERATOR Posted - 11 July 2000 13:46

The point is that while all other religions COULD have been faked, Judaism COULD NOT have been faked.

And that only Judaism makes a claim that has to be true and all other religions - all - do not, even though it would be in their benefit to do so.

They - every single one of them without exception besides Judaism - chose an origin for their religion that cannot be proven.

Harmonypal Posted - 24 July 2000 22:20

I read somewhere that you don’t have to believe in G-d but if you do all that He has asked and you just be a good Jew, you will come to believe in G-d.

Also, my friend asked me "who created G-d" she says that every time she asks that question, she gets the same answer, which is "G-d is inhuman He can create Himself" however she just does not seem to want to believe that.

How do I give her an answer that is more concrete and more down to earth?

MODERATOR Posted - 24 July 2000 22:33

"G-d created Himself" makes no sense. The answer is that G-d was always here. He wasn't created.

G-d is above time and space. By definition, he has no end, nor beginning. His infiniteness extends not only throughout space, but time as well.

This is pretty easy to understand. After all, who created space? And what was here before that?

A backward existence into infinity has to exist even from a purely atheistic perspective.

Put G-d in the same category as whatever was before the world.

The Chazon Ish explains this simply: Not everything needs to be created. Who, for example, created the rule that the hypotenuse of a right triangle must be longer than either of its other 2 sides?

Once you establish that certain “things” – such as the rules of geometry – were not created but were always “here” simply because they are immutable facts, then we extend that to Hashem as well, Who is not a physical “thing” but rather beyond description, simply a “Truth”.

You do have to believe in G-d. Doing Mitzvos may provide siyata d’shmaya that will help against the Yetzer Horah that tells a person not to believe, but the statement that you do not have to believe in G-d is as wrong as wrong statements can get.

Believing in G-d is easier than one might think. There are so many proofs to G-d’s existence that all one needs is to be a little objective and honest, and put effort into investigating the truth.

mevaseret Posted - 27 July 2000 12:05

Moderator-to the contrary.

God could not possibly exist if one could prove God's existence, because there would be no free will in said case. Hakol biyedei shamaim chutz meyeriat shamaim.

But, since the existence of God can not be proven, there can be emunah, because for emunah/belief to exist, it implies the existence of safek / doubt.

I once asked a teacher (who is very brilliant, modest and a real eishet chail) if it was bad that one of the only reasons that I believed in God was that I could not fathom a world without God.

She replied and said: of course not, and what's more, Rabeinu Tam(I think it's him) asked a similar question centuries ago.

MODERATOR Posted - 27 July 2000 14:46

The ability to prove G-d's existence does not negate Bechirah.

People have a skillful ability to fool themselves into thinking what they want to.

How often do you see people doing wrong and rationalizing it away?

The choice of believing in G-d is choosing to be honest and objective rather than seeing what you want to see.

"Bribery blinds the eyes of the wise" the Torah says, and a vested interest would disqualify a potential juror since it may cloud his judgment such that he will not see the proof.

The choice of belief is not to allow your eyes to be blinded by the "bribery" of freedom from religious restrictions, and not to allow your personal desires to prevent you from seeing the proof.

There have therefore been big scientists who, when confronted with the proofs to G-d's existence, responded by saying that they cannot accept the proofs because if they do, they will have to believe in G-d!

The prohibition against not believing is "lo sasuru acharei levavchem" - Thou shalt not follow thy heart. Rav Elchonon Wasserman TL explains that we see from here it is the heart that does not believe, because the intellect, if it is working properly, cannot escape the conclusion that G-d exists.

The non-believer follows his heart - what he WANTS to believe - rather that objective truth.

Chazal say clearly that the existence of G-d can be proven. The "min" (non-believer) came to Rabi Akiva and asked him how he knows G-d made the world.

"Who made your shirt?", R Akiva replied.

"The tailor", said the "min".

"How do you know?" asked R. Akiva.

"How else could a shirt have been woven, spun, and cut perfectly into a shirt?" said the "min".

"So, too", said R. Akiva, the complex nature of the world, the plan and purpose in nature, clearly shows that it has a Creator.

Here's another, from Gemora Chulin 59a-60b:

"The Torah states, 'The camel is not kosher, even though IT chews its cud.' G-d said this, knowing that only the camel chews its cud but is still unkosher (has no split hooves). Therefore, the Torah specified it.

"Was Moshe an expert on animals? This refutes those who say the Torah was not given by G-d."

So far, thousands of years later, the camel is still the only animal in the world that chews its cud but is has no split hooves.

There is more. Check this out:

The Gemora in Rosh Hashanah 25a says that Raban Gamliel had it on the authority handed down generation to generation, that the new moon appears not less than every 29 1/2 days, 2/3 of an hour, and 73 parts (in Halachah the hour is divided into 1,080 parts) of an hour.

In other words, the time between two conjunctions of the moon and the sun (according to their mean motion) is 29 days, 12 hours, and 793 parts of the 13th hours. In other words, 29.53059 days. This is the length of the lunar month.

This tradition, thousands of years old, obviously did not have the benefit of science to provide such an exact figure. Yet after years of research based on calculations using satellites, hairline telescopes, laser beams and super computers, scientists at NASA have determined that the length of the "synodic month", i.e. the time between one new moon and the next is 29.530588 days!

There are tons of stuff like this. The Torah had access to information that nobody in the world could have had at the time. How?

I could go on forever, with example after example.

The question here is, to say that the existence of G-d cannot be proven, never mind that that is clearly declaring against chazal who say it can, but you will have to answer all the proofs to G-d.

So far, nobody has come close to doing that. I wish you luck.

mevaseret Posted - 28 July 2000 2:03

Moderator- I applaud your rhetoric. Since you can "prove" God's existence (of course using the laws of logic, for instance demonstrating that starting with the axiom God does not exist would lead to a contradiction, and therefore the negation of that would be true-God does exist), can you define God? Tell me exactly what you are talking about. If you can then your God is nothing but an image conjured in your brain. If you can't, then you can not prove God's existence because you can not prove anything you can not define, because all is rhetoric then.

danny Posted - 09 August 2000 13:25

The first of the 10 commandments is "I am Hashem your G-d." According to the Rambam this is the mitzvah to believe in G-d.

If there are absolute proofs that G-d exists, why is such a mitzvah necessary? then there would be no atheists or idolaters in the world. After all, Judaism is a faith. And what would that do to our free will?

The fact is that everyone has doubts from time to time, even very religious Jews and when we have doubts, we are obligated by the mitzvah mentioned above to ponder the matter and convince ourselves that G-d exists. While there are no absolute proofs, there are many compelling and convincing arguments and signs.

G-d makes it easy to believe, but you have to want to believe or at least be open-minded enough. However, atheists and agnostics do not accept anything short of absolute, irrefutable proofs, because they have already decided that G-d does not exist, and all the logic in the world will not alter their beliefs, or rather disbeliefs.

Why they don't accept logical arguments that G-d exists is because belief in G-d must result in belief in the Torah, and belief in the Torah means religious obligations, not their cup of tea.

Someone asked something about knowing G-d. What we know about G-d we know from the Torah, i.e., we know He created the world in 6 days, that He took us out of Egypt, that He gave us the Torah, etc.

MODERATOR Posted - 09 August 2000 15:12

Welcome, Danny.

“If there are absolute proofs that G-d exists, why is such a mitzvah necessary?
then there would be no atheists or idolaters in the world.”

There would, because not everyone allows themselves the objectivity to see the truths. "Bribery blinds the eyes of the wise", and the Mitzvah is not to take the bribe, to be objective. This is more difficult than it may sound.

“After all, Judaism is a faith.”

Where does it say this?

“ And what would that do to our free will? The fact is that everyone has doubts from time to time, even very religious Jews and when we have doubts, we are obligated by the mitzvah mentioned above to ponder the matter and convince ourselves that G-d exists.”

The Yismach Moshe says that any believer should not have the ability to do any aveirah since sin is so obviously a bad choice. However, he says, Hashem created a Yetzer Horah that causes people not to accept the truth. That is, Ain Adam choteh elah im kein nichnas bo ruach shtus. The war between the Yetzer Tov and Yetzer Horah is not merely whether to make the right or wrong decision, but rather, to make the rational decision or the irrational decision. People are motivated not only by logic, but by emotion and desire as well. The Mitzvah is for us to make sure that logic overcomes desire.

“ While there are no absolute proofs, there are many compelling and convincing arguments and signs. G-d makes it easy to believe, but you have to want to believe or at least be open-minded enough. ....”

The fallacy in the argument that demands "absolute proof" to G-d's existence is hat it is dishonest. In a court of law, twenty witnesses to a strangling and the defendant’s fingerprints all over the victim's throat, together with a signed confession would be enough for any jury to convict.

This means they would consider guilt proven "beyond a reasonable doubt". Yet the witnesses could be lying, the confession could be false, and there is no absolute proof that two people cannot have the same fingerprints. (It is merely assumed, that since there are so many possible combinations of prints, that the odds of two people having the same prints are astronomically low.)

There is no "absolute proof" that your dessert is not poisoned yet you eat it. there is no absolute proof that you will not get hit by a car when you cross the street, no matter how careful you are (you have no proof that your vision has suddenly not become faulty, or your memory of an oncoming vehicle has not malfunctioned), yet you risk your life based on the "odds".

We live our lives daily on the assumption that certain odds creates a certainty sufficient to risk our lives, send others to the gas chamber, and basically everything else we do, with confidence that we are not wrong.

The proofs to G-d's existence are equal to or greater than the proofs that are considered sufficiently reasonable to send someone to jail for life, or to risk your own life and limb.

....but not enough to refrain form eating pork??

If you're going to live your life based on the assumption that less than reasonable doubt is intellectually dismissible in everyday living, then why not apply that to religion as well?

Demanding "absolute proof" to G-d before willing to be religious is unmasked as dishonest hypocrisy by the fact that such a demand is not made by the same person regarding any other aspect of living.

danny Posted - 10 August 2000 3:58

“If there are absolute proofs that G-d exists, why is such a mitzvah necessary?
then there would be no atheists or idolaters in the world.”

There would, because not everyone allows themselves the objectivity to see the truths. "Bribery blinds the eyes of the wise", and the Mitzvah is not to take the bribe, to be objective. This is more difficult than it may sound.

If, for the sake of argument, we would have a videotape of matan Torah, and experts validated the tape, wouldn’t the most die hard atheist believe everything he has been denying up till now?

I believe Hashem intentionally allowed room for doubt for the purpose of observing the mitzvah of believing in G-d and also so that people could choose to disbelieve in Him. The Gemora in Avodah Zarah says that sometimes Hashem allows it to appear that idols have certain powers in order to convince its followers to believe in the idol. However, if we want to believe, He makes it easy to do so using the many convincing arguments that exist.

“After all, Judaism is a faith.”

Where does it say this?

The Rambam in his sefer HaMitzvos on the first mitzvah says the commandment to believe in G-d, that we should believe there is a creator& Also the Rambam compiled the 13 fundamentals of faith, the 13 ikkrim. Without faith in G-d, there is no religion. Thus Judaism is a faith

MODERATOR Posted - 10 August 2000 4:13

Hashem always balances out the objective evidence with a ruach shtus. Kol hagadol m'chaveiro yitzro godol mimeno. It once boggled my mind how, after talking to Hashem Himself, Yeravam ben Nevat can become the biggest rasha in the world (the Rambam uses him as the example of how low one ca sink: We can all be a tzadik as big as Moshe or a Rasha as big as Yeravam). But that explains it. In order to maintain a bechira-balance, Hashem "injects" a Yetzer Horah, an urge of ruach shtus sufficient to maintain bechirah between the rational choice and the temptation.

So you are correct that today, it seems to us that a movie of matan torah would convince people. But if that movie would really exist, people would not believe it, because the Yetzer Horah would have to balance that level of proof with an equal desire for denial. Just as the evidence of nature does not convince them, as compelling as it is.

A rich man once asked the Chofetz Chaim why, when he used to be poor, he wanted to give a lot of Tzedaka, but now that he is rich, he has become miserly. The Chofetz Chaim answered that when he was poor, the Yetzer Horah had no reason to exert much effort to prevent him from giving, since he didn't have anything to give anyway. But now that he does have, the Yetzer Horah puts more of an effort into making him want to not give.

Here, too, if we would have a video of Matan Torah, it seems to us now that we would all believe. But together with the video comes a Yetzer Horah that will work harder on putting us into denial.

Faith and Emunah are not exactly the same. Emunah means something like "steadfastness", as in "The hands of Moshe were emunah toward the heavens", or the word "Amen", from the same root, which means, "ditto that!". The word does not commit itself to whether that immovability is due to faith or reason.

MODERATOR Posted - 18 January 2001 0:32

I found an excellent article proving that the world was created by Hashem, based on the "clock the desert" proof:

pryvat25 Posted - 06 February 2001 23:52

One year in school I asked a question like how do we know our religion is more right than anyone else's and my teacher blew up.

She started screaming how we shouldn't doubt the torah and she called me an apikorsa.

Sometimes we can't help but have some doubts. what’s right in that situation?

MODERATOR Posted - 07 February 2001 1:01

Please see the "Asking Questions" forum in the "Hashkafa" section of this website. This is discussed at length there.

BenZvi Posted - 17 February 2002 18:48

I come from a family of scientists and was trained as an organic chemist. G-d and creation aren't anti-scientific concepts. They are outside the realm of science, which does not seek purpose or conscious direction in natural phenomena. From a strict scientific standpoint, everything in our human world is just the result of complex electrochemical reactions in our nervous systems. I have yet to meet a scientist who believes that, on a "kishka" level.

I recommend to everyone two books by Gerald Schroeder, a frum physicist with a Ph.D. from MIT. The universe originated in a "Big Bang" billions of years ago. That is, billions of years in our relativistic time frame. Schroeder shows that this could well translate to six 24-hour days in the time frame of the Big Bang itself.

Steven Weinberg is a Nobel-Prize-winning physicist who is a professed atheist. However he has calculated that the energy of the Big Bang is precisely that needed to allow the planet earth to have a temperature suitable for life. How precisely? To one part in ten to the 200th. That's a 1 with 200 zeroes after it. Carbon, element 6 in the periodic table, can only be formed from the fusion of a helium nucleus with a radioactive form of beryllium (2 + 4 = 6). However that beryllium isotope has a half-life of 0.0000000000000001 seconds. In that sliver of time helium must collide with beryllium at a precise energy level to produce the carbon necessary for life.

The probability of unrelated events is the multiple of the individual probabilities. For example, the probability of three coins coming up heads is one in eight: a half times a half times a half. If you multiply the probabilities of the Big Bang temperature, carbon generation, formation of DNA from inorganic molecules, and evolution of all life forms, you probably come up with one chance in ten to the thousandth. That's a 1 with a thousand zeroes after it.

If you've ever served on a jury, you know the concept of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". [Is there a similar concept in halacha?] What does that mean? Consider someone afraid to cross a street when the light is green. Why? There's a chance that a car stopped at the intersection will suddenly accelerate and hit him. We don't consider that a reasonable fear. In fact, such a person should seek psychiatric help to cure him of his irrational phobia. If you look at accident statistics, you can probably calculate that the chance of such an occurrence is perhaps one in ten or a hundred million.

Given the scientific odds, someone who thinks there is no purposeful Creator is a worse lunatic than the guy with the street phobia. Let's say he and I go to a magic show (of course, one permitted by halacha!) The magician appears to levitate his assistant six feet in the air. Our atheist assumes that the magician was simply very lucky. Statistical mechanics tells us that there is a very tiny but finite chance that the air molecules above will happen to move out of the way, at the same time those underneath push upwards. I say that's nonsense--the magician made the levitation happen by a conscious trick. Who's the rational skeptic, and who's the credulous fool?

Fine. There is a Creator who made the universe for some purpose. But how can we determine the purpose he has for each of us on earth? Various religions claim their scriptures and leaders reliably reflect the Creator's will. We say Hashem gave us the Torah, put words in the mouths of the neviim and gave ruach hakodesh to Chazal. Is it possible to prove it "beyond a reasonable doubt"?

That requires a bit of work. I was shomer shabbos for four years before I truly and completely believed in Torah misinai! It was after spending months in yeshiva learning chumash with Rashi. It didn't appear to me in a sudden flash of revelation. It simply became reasonable to me, true beyond a reasonable doubt.

It's very much like my response to relativity and quantum mechanics. How is that? Their conclusions are patently ridiculous. A twelve-inch ruler shrinks to six inches when it goes very fast? An electron spends half its time on one side of the nucleus, half on the other, but never is found in between? I never really believed these facts--on a "kishke" level--until I'd gone through the mathematical derivations and seen how they explain the actual behavior of particles and molecules. It became reasonable to me, just like Chumash became reasonable to me after months of study with Rashi as explained by a rabbi.

MODERATOR Posted - 17 February 2002 19:23

It's true, except non-locality still makes no intuitive sense to me, even after the mathematical equations, unless of course, you concede that the whole world is nothing but an expression of the Will of G-d, and two objects miles from each other can still be "in tandem" because they’re both merely expressions of the same Divine Will.

Whatever. There is no question that a look at the world proves Hashem's existence.

Take a poisonous snake for instance. Why doesn’t the poison inside it poison the snake itself?

Answer: The snake has some kinda protective sack that makes protects it from the poison.

Now, as the snake was developing (sic), which came first: The poison or the sack? If the poison, then snakes would have immediately become extinct, since they would have all poisoned itself. If the sack, then why would a sack develop and remain if there was no poison to protect it from?

Obviously the poison and the sack had to come at the same time. And that can only happen through Hashem.

That’s just one example out of literally millions in nature. The so-called scientists have yet to figure it out. They should get a life.

BenZvi Posted - 19 February 2002 15:27

"The so-called scientists have yet to figure it out. They should get a life."

Reb Moderator, scientists have a life, a very honorable one. They are engaged in the pursuit of truth, in discovery of the rules set down by G-d to govern his creation. Scientists are almost pathologically honest.

In other endeavors one profits from falsification. A scientist who is even suspected of tolerating falsification has ended his career.

The atheist Steven Weinberg didn't have to publish his calculation of the Big Bang's precise energy. He felt obliged to reveal a fact which devastates his extra-scientific nonsense about random evolution.

The snake poison sack is a very minor difficulty compared to cosmogenesis, biogenesis and the fossil record. Relativity is no longer a theory. It is as accepted as Newtonian mechanics. Evolution is very much a theory, and a very unsatisfactory one. As one British biologist put it, evolution doesn't explain anything, but the alternative is philosophically undesirable.

A better refutation of biogenesis is the chirality of organic molecules. Amino acids, proteins and of course DNA are not symmetrical. Like human hands, they cannot be superimposed on their mirror images. Alice wondered if looking-glass milk is good to drink. It is definitely not, since left-handed amino acids are indigestible or toxic.

If I want to synthesize an amino acid in the laboratory, I have to use a naturally occurring right-handed substance to resolve the mixture of right- and left-handed products. Anything that can happen on the right can just as easily happen on the left. The universe has no handedness, and neither to molecules in a reaction.

Someone complained in the New York Times that intelligent design theory only pushes the creation problem one step further--who created G-d? Well then, who created what existed before the Big Bang? There was literally nothing in the universe before that moment, and the very laws of physics did not apply. You can't have a law where there is no matter and no energy. Why did the Big Bang occur at a specific moment in time? Notice how these questions are the very ones addressed by certain important inyanim in Kabbala.

smile4me Posted - 20 February 2002 16:31

I wanna ask a question, I know its a bad question, & im probably not allowed 2 ask it, but I really want 2 understand!

If we never saw Hashem, how do we know that being Jewish is right?

Why do we believe all the meforshim & gedolim? we learn so many things, that the gedolim said that we learn something from here & now we have 2 keep 5 extra mitzvos. why can they do that?

The gedolim tell us we have 2 wear long socks, but it doesn’t say in the torah.

my teacher gave me a good answer, but I'm looking for something else.

She said that since the dor is getting worse, we need more mitzvos to protect ourselves. But I don’t get this, cuz if we cant follow the other mitzvos from the torah, how can we follow these halochos?

Also, this is going to sound really horrible, but sometimes I get scared & think that , what if hashem was pretending all along, & chas veshalom, He is really bad? this sounds horrible, I know, but im SO FUNCUSED! can you please explain?

MODERATOR Posted - 20 February 2002 16:43

If they are engaged in the pursuit of truth, the philosophical undesirability of a truthful conclusion should lead them to change their philosophy, not disregard the conclusion. Especially since scientists are not experts in philosophy, what they mean by this is, "We don’t like the conclusion because it means religion is true. So instead of becoming religious, we will make believe the truth doesn’t exist."

Scientists are involved in finding "scientific fact", which is not the same as "truth", or even plain "fact." This is because scientists - not science - have agreed to restrict "scientific proof" to things that fulfill their own self-imposed criteria, which limits the type of truth they will find. Example: If an experiment cannot be reproduced in the laboratory, it is not considered scientifically proven.

Now while I understand the need for such restrictions in order to weed out charlatans, it also weeds out much truth. So that if you have a miraculous event, witnessed by millions of people, such as Kabbalas HaTorah, and documented meticulously, that is still not considered "proof" to the scientists.

There are many methods of reaching truth that are not considered "scientific". Philosophical, logical, and intuitive thinking is not "scientific proof".

Consider the following example of confusing "scientific proof" with "truth."

You have 100 impeccable witnesses stating that the defendant stabbed his victim to death, his fingerprints are on the knife, there are 100 contradictions in his own testimony, and he has been convicted in the past of committing the exact same type of murders, 30 times.

None of that constitutes "scientific proof." So "scientifically", the defendant would be found "Not guilty".

Ironically, there is no scientific proof that the scientific method of proof is the most valid method of proof.

Science finds truth to an extent. But only to an extent. The problem is, that often, philosophy, logic, and intuition also play a role in the quest for truth. And there, scientists are not trained, and worse, they are trained not to be interested.

Science does not claim, really, to find "truth". It is based on theory and falsification thereof. That is not enough for "truth."

I agree that the snake problem is merely one of many proofs against evolution, but it is the simplest, and can be used by anyone confidently, and without any scientific knowledge, which is why I chose to post it here.

But see, evolution should have long been considered "falsified" by now, since the world could not have come by accident. And once you concede to design, and a Designer, evolution is no longer necessary. The fact that it has not been, merely shows that science is an incomplete method of seeking truth.

The person in the NY Times was mistaken. Not everything needs or has a creator. The rule that A^2+B^2=C^2 did not need a "creator". Facts do not need creators, only measurable "things" do. Hashem is more similar to a Law than He is to a physical item. In any case, it is an error to say that everything needs a creator. But nature definitely does.

MODERATOR Posted - 20 February 2002 16:45

I am going to start a new forum to answer your question, smile, called "Torah SheBaal Peh." Please check for it soon.

PS - You are allowed to ask anything you want. You are supposed to ask. As long as you are asking because you want to know the answer, it is a good thing to ask. And a bad thing to keep quiet. Lo HaBayshan Lomed.

BenZvi Posted - 21 February 2002 19:01

Sorry if I was misunderstood regarding "scientific truth".

Science does not pretend to answer questions beyond its scope, or address the truth of fundamental postulates.

The commutative rule of addition is a postulate. A mathematician named Lobachevsky once altered Euclid's fifth postulate to say there can be an infinity of parallels to a line through a point outside the line. He created Lobachevskian geometry, which is logically as correct as the Euclidean geometry regard as true, as governing physical reality.

Science accepts creation as a miracle beyond its grasp.

You cannot explain the creation of rules by the rules themselves.

Science cannot pose any danger to Torah, since Hashem violates the rules of the universe only in miracles, such as krias Yam Suf. Isn't there a medresh saying Hashem made a bris with the sea at the time of its creation, specifying that it had to part when the Jews crossed it?

G-d does not violate the laws of nature unnecessarily.

Scientism is a different matter. It's an attempt to make science into a system of belief, a religion. Most advocates of scientism are ignorant of science and its limitations.

When real scientists such as Steven Weinberg say they are agnostics, they understand it's an expression of belief, not scientific fact.

ken4kne Posted - 19 April 2002 15:57

Mod, you'll forgive my ignorance but is Yetzer Horah another name/word for the Devil?

MODERATOR Posted - 19 April 2002 16:09

Not really.

Judaism doesn’t believe in a "devil" the same way Christians do. There is a Satan, but, unlike the Christian concept of a war between the Satan and G-d, we know the Satan is G-d's loyal servant, more like a sparring partner who fights us savagely, but whose goal is for us to be able to knock him out. There is no force in the world that is not subject to G-d's will.

But the Satan is just one source of temptation. The fact the we are not only spiritual beings but also physical ones means that we have a natural inclination towards physical, material things.

Our natural inclination toward physicality, and the Satan's mission to tempt us are, in combination, what is referred to as the Yetzer Horah.

ken4kne Posted - 19 April 2002 17:40

Indulge if you would in a few more questions.

My understanding of this is somewhat infantile compared to posters on this board but Hey it did say "Anything" didn't it.

Is Yetzer Tov (I assume the contra of Yetzer Horah) synonymous with the Holy Spirit such as that placed Saul or David?

I can grasp "Satin" as being under the dominion of G-d as everything is but I don't understand how you perceive him as a "loyal" servant. Is that in the Torah? Didn't he try to usurp G-d's authority?

Since, Yetzer Horah is not Satin, is it you? I mean is it a sinful nature vs. your willpower?

MODERATOR Posted - 19 April 2002 17:54

Yetzer Tov is not "holy spirit." It is your soul, which tells you to do good. It is also your mind, which tells you to do good, since reason and logic always demand making the right decision.

Nothing can rebel against G-d unless it has free will. Only humans have free will. Rocks, trees, grass, planets, animals and angels do not. Only humans were given the gift of free will. Everything else are just tools that G-d animates and moves as He wishes. The rebellion story is a Christian myth (Note: It is a corrupted version of a Jewish tradition about Satan wanting to rule over the human soul, which is a long story, but a rebellion against G-d? Not possible.)

Only people can rebel against G-d.

The reason the Satan is a loyal servant of G-d, is because just like a fighter needs a good sparring partner to train him to fight well, so too humans need a good spiritual sparring partner and trainer to make them grow.

The Satan is our trainer. He gets into the ring with us and makes us fight him. We are fighting for good, he is fighting the other side. But his sole purpose is to train us to beat him. The stronger we get, like any good trainer, the more pressure he puts on us, the harder he tries to knock us down.

And sparring partners often knock down their students. But they get pleasure when the student knocks them out.

So too the Satan is there to train us. he often wins, but he is happy when we knock him out.

But even when we do, when we get up again, he will try harder to knock us down.

His goal is to develop our spiritual muscles to the point where he can be proud of us because, no matter how hard he fights, we can still lay him low.

Yetzer Horah has two parts, or, you can say, there are two Yetzer Horahs: (1) the sinful nature of a person (that is, the materialistic nature of a person), due to the physicality of his body which exerts a constant pressure on the soul to do "physical", not spiritual, things, and (2) the Satan, that sparring partner above, which is an "external" Yezter Horah, designed to keep us on our toes.

dave17 Posted - 08 May 2002 17:08

I just want to start by saying I am a full maamin and im not having any doubts.

I also always love hearing the proofs from the torah that help strengthen my emunah.

My only problem is ,if we found something in the world that was suddenly contradictory to one of these proofs, we would not throw the proof out. if we found another animal that was not listed in the torah that chewed its cud but did not have split hooves, I imagine we would come up with an answer that it didn’t include that part of the world or some answer to that extent.

We would definetily find a way out of the problem by taitching up the torah.

If so, how can we view this as a proof knowing that we would change our view if a problem arose?

MODERATOR Posted - 08 May 2002 18:45

You are confusing a proof "to" the Torah versus a proof "against" the Torah.

If one of our proofs would be undone by a discovery such as you describe, there indeed would be no proof. But because the Chazal (or whatever) can be legitimately reinterpreted according to Torah tradition, in a way that it will not contradict the facts, there is also no proof against the Chazal.

That is normal in an objective debate. But the point is, whereas we indeed can answer the atheists' questions, there always remain proofs that the atheists cannot similarly counter by re-interpreting their material.

We'll have just one less proof. If all the proofs to the Torah had to be reinterpreted, then indeed we would have none left.

But so long as the atheists are unable to answer them - even through a reinterpretation of their understanding - versus us, who can answer their "proofs" - then the Torah has legitimately been proven.

But it is interesting to note, that there are certain facts that we have by tradition from our Rishonim that are proofs, whereas other proofs cropped up later.

Those proofs that are traditional - such as the fact that ONLY Judaism claims millions of witnesses at its revelation - have never, in thousands of years ever been anything close to contradicted. It is only the "modern" proofs - like from the animals or the fish etc. - that ever get into such trouble.

And in the end, there are still bales of such proofs that remain unanswered by the atheists.

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