All Blog Posts Tagged 'Judaism' (43)

Remembering Bill Perlman

February 1 is the anniversary of the death of my father, Hyman William Perlman (1910-80). 

He was indirectly responsible for this blog – and in fact for all the secularism, skepticism, atheism, and humanism that have been the foundation of my intellectual life.  He was the first skeptic I ever met, and the effect was lasting.  Every time Mom would babble on about “God’s will,” he would snap back, “What’s God got to do with it?”

What indeed.  Things may happen for some reason or…

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Added by Alan Perlman on January 31, 2013 at 4:05pm — 1 Comment

Religion and Death: How Will I Behave at Mom’s Funeral?

“Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside.”

--George Bernard Shaw

 

“It’s an incredible con job, when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death.  Even corporations, with all their reward systems, don’t try to make it…

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Added by Alan Perlman on January 8, 2013 at 11:46am — 9 Comments

The choice of “nice” over “truth”

“Put on your yarmulke;

It’s time to celebrate Hanukkah…”

Adam Sandler, “The Hanukkah Song”

 

“Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of Jewish backwardness.”

Christopher Hitchens…

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Added by Alan Perlman on December 8, 2012 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

How Far Will Zionism Go?

"My question to these people has been simply to ask how far will you go? The bible clearly promises Abraham all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates. That represents an absolutely ludicrous amount of territory for Israel to conquer and the logical conclusion of a prophetically informed expansionist policy is to annex significant portions of Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Egypt. "

 …

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Added by John Remington on December 7, 2012 at 3:00am — 9 Comments

Religion, Evil and Insanity: Has God Been Talking to You?

“Men never do evil as completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

Blaise Pascal

 

“The religions of mankind must be classed among the mass-delusions of this kind.  No one, needless to say, who shares a religious delusion ever recognizes it as such.”

Sigmund Freud

 

Back in the day, the insane were considered evil, possessed.  You had to beat, torture or drown the demon within.  But the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on November 11, 2012 at 3:44pm — 10 Comments

Religion vs. Sex: The Battle Continues – Jewish men find novel way to rein in their savage lust

“The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.”

Malcolm Muggeridge, “Down with Sex” (1966)

 

”Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?”

William Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV (1597-8)

 

“The sex instinct is one of the three or four prime movers of all that we do and are and dream, both individually and collectively.”

Philip Wylie,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on November 8, 2012 at 5:00pm — 8 Comments

Happy Blasphemy Day! (They’re just WORDS, idiots!)

 “Impiety, n. Your irreverence toward my deity.”

 Ambrose Bierce

 

“Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.”

Mark Twain

 

Fuck Yahweh.

Fuck Shiva.

Fuck Mohammed.

Fuck Jesus

Fuck Zeus.

Fuck Allah.

Fuck Thor.

Fuck _____ (fill in the name of any deity, past or present).

 

There, that ought to do it.  I’m an equal…

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Added by Alan Perlman on September 30, 2012 at 3:30pm — 12 Comments

Jewish Atheist Fasts on Yom Kippur! (and other High Holiday thoughts)

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: he will set them above their betters.”

H.L. Mencken

“If this is your God, he is not very impressive. He has many psychological problems; he’s so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes.…

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Added by Alan Perlman on September 26, 2012 at 3:00pm — 4 Comments

Happy New Year!

[Note: The following was written when I was an adherent of Humanistic Judaism.  I have since left the movement and revised the post, but the basic ideas still apply.]

 

“Soon silence will have passed into legend.  Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increased noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.  Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and…

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Added by Alan Perlman on September 19, 2012 at 10:37pm — No Comments

When Should Atheists Keep Their Mouths Shut? (And When Not?)

“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable.  They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: He will set them above their betters.”

H.L. Mencken

 

“I find it necessary to wash my hands after I have come   into contact with religious people.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Recent A/N threads have generated much thoughtful…

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Added by Alan Perlman on August 25, 2012 at 5:02pm — 10 Comments

"An Atheist Reads the Torah" -- Why I Wrote It and Why You Might Want to Read It

(Several years ago, I undertook to read the Torah.  For specific reasons, see below.  But basically I wanted to find out, to my own satisfaction, just what it said, to the extent possible, given that it's such an ancient text that's been repeatedly copied and edited. 

To rabbis, thus to most Jews, it is a repository of priceless wisdom.   I set out to find it. 

What I found was both enlightening and disappointing. …

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 30, 2012 at 3:30pm — 11 Comments

Tisha B'Av and the Jewish History of Tragedy

“CLERGYMAN.,  n. A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs  as a method of bettering his temporal ones.”

Ambrose Bierce



We're just on the verge of a little known but very sad Jewish holiday, Tisha B'Av [the ninth day of the month of Av; July 27-8 this year], which commemorates the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, including, but not limited to, the destruction of the First and Second…

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 25, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Desperately Seeking Approval: Overt and Covert Reasons for the Adult Bar Mitzvah

"As a beautiful flower that is full of hue but lacks fragrance, even so fruitless is the well-spoken word of one who does not practice it."

The Dhammapada

 

Informed of a former colleague’s decision to have a bar mitzvah in middle age, I can’t help but look for reasons, since the ceremony is completely optional at this point in life.

For a complex variety of reasons, many of them personal, some Jewish adults genuinely want to reconnect with their…

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 18, 2012 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Religious Conversion: Who Goes Where? And Why?

Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.”

Ambrose Bierce

It would be great to have reliable numbers on religious migration: how many people change religions each year, how many become new adherents, how many drift away, never to return?

Increasing the ranks

Different religions have different ways of increasing their ranks: birth rate (e.g., all…

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Added by Alan Perlman on July 5, 2012 at 7:00pm — 6 Comments

RSVP to Carly's Bat Mitzvah Invitation (Not Sent)

The mailed invitation to the presumed induction of the daughter of my first cousin to Jewish adulthood read “We cordially invite you to celebrate with us on the occasion of the bat mitzvah of our daughter Carly Sarah on Saturday morning, the Twelfth of November, Two Thousand and Eleven at Nine Thirty in the morning. Congregation Adath Jeshrun…Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.” 

Apparently it’s more dignified to use no numbers and capitalize everything, as if it were 18th…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 21, 2012 at 12:02pm — 4 Comments

On Jewish bigotry

“Society attacks early, when the child is defenseless.”

B.F. Skinner

“Civilization will not attain to its perfection, until the last stone from the lst church falls on the last priest!”

Emile Zola

“…Jews are taught that the belief in one’s own religion or way of life does not in any way require the corollary that others are wrong. . . We do not seek to convince, convert, or oppress others,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 11, 2012 at 1:00pm — 7 Comments

The Ignorance of Religion

"Mystery [the divinity of Jesus Christ] is made a convenient Cover for absurdity."

John Adams

 

"Every other sect suppos[es] itself in possession of all truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong: like a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, tho' in…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 10, 2012 at 11:30am — 5 Comments

Jewish Atheist takes on sacred cow -- forgiveness

The latest eruption of forgiveness worship almost made my breakfast erupt from my stomach.  Dear Abby (Keene NH Sentinel, 3/7/12) printed DECIDE TO FORGIVE in its entirety, and to give the enemy his due, I will do the same:

Decide to forgive, for resentment is negative. Resentment diminishes and devours the self. Be the first to forgive, to smile, and take the first step And you will see the happiness bloom on the face of your human brother or sister. Be always the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 8, 2012 at 2:11pm — No Comments

Bible's undeserved respect goes on and on

“Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.”

H.L. Mencken

Infidel, n.  In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.”

Ambrose Bierce

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.’

Isaac Asimov

“Our Bible reveals to us the character of our God with minute and remorseless…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 7, 2012 at 8:29pm — 7 Comments

On Death and Christopher Hitchens

“If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.”

Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great

“There is nothing that is too obvious of an absurdity to be firmly planted in the human head as long as you begin to instill before the age of five by constantly repeating it with an air of great seriousness.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

“Hardest of deaths…

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Added by Alan Perlman on June 7, 2012 at 10:40am — 6 Comments

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