April 5, 2011 1:27 am at 1:27 am #778405April 5, 2011 6:11 am at 6:11 am #778406
tbt, Have you been able to reach any of the people mentioned?
Thanks! So far, I havent been able to come up with even one willing to make a call to the young adult in question. They all say the young adult has to approach them. Unfortunately, there’s the law of supply and demand, they are very hard to reach and be convinced to do anything other than what theyre accustomed to doing. They’re extremely sought after. They have no time to be creative for one person.April 5, 2011 6:52 am at 6:52 am #778407yacr85Participant
I must add my two sense.
Actually it is not my idea, I just happen to love it.
Reb Matisyahu once (or many times!) said, you will almost never find a boy that is learning, davening and enjoying his yiddishkeit, and one day he has some question OR problem, and goes off the derech.
You probably never met someone that stopped eating because they have ‘a kasha’
It all stems down to not enjoying yiddishkeit.
(yes, there are many problems etc, but if they are matzliach in their learning etc, they are usually can overcome the problem)
Therefore, says Reb Matisyahu, when we daven every day, we say “Veha’arev na hashem elokenu es diveray sorascha befinu, uvephiyos amcha beis yisroel”
Please HKB”H make the words of Torah sweet in our mouths and the mouths of ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.
If the words of Torah are sweet, we can overcome almost anything that gets thrown at us.
Reb Matisyahu ends off by saying we have the opportunity to daven for all of klal yisroel when we say this brochoh every morning.April 5, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am #778408hanibParticipant
can the young adult e-mail them and establish a relationship through that?April 5, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am #778409
chalilavchas: I’m so sorry to hear that. That must be so very difficult. Would the young adult ever agree to you setting up a debate? Is there another idea out there?
Maybe someone here has one (without just seeking to show us how their shitta… is correct).
May I pry? Is there something pulling this YA away, like a b/f-g/f, using them?April 5, 2011 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm #778410dancinggirlMember
Rabbi mecanic specifically speaks abt this in hi “conversation with holywood’ it amazing and entertainingApril 5, 2011 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #778411EmunahPshutaOrNoMemberApril 5, 2011 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #778412OfcourseMember
dancinggirl, Rabbi mecanic specifically speaks abt this in hi “conversation with holywood’ it amazing and entertaining
I agree, I watched it on torahanytime. Thats great for me and you, but for those who feel they’ve been let down by the frum world and the system, and the advantages of leaving it are greater than the disavantages, theyre not going to watch it. Like telling someone to apply hot compresses to a broken leg. They need intensive one-on-one attention. We really need a Hatzoloh for spiritual Refuohs. Books and tapes and Shiurim dont do the trick at some point.April 5, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm #778413EzratHashemMember
chalilavchas; Just want to send you my wishes for hatzlacha and koach. I have been in this parsha a long time and dealing with one who also can “shoot holes” through all of the arguments, until people are afraid to have a dialogue with him. I have been very disappointed in the results of all of our appeals to mechanhanchim and other leaders , but I think there is some truth that maturity will help. Hopefully they will arrive at a time when that “leap of faith” is no longer impossible to justify; they can give some slack on the demand for proof in a scientific way. Unfortunately, it can take years, and in the meantime those closest to these young adults are suffering right along with them. One point about following rules, in my experience these people can and do follow rules when the rules make sense to them, in their chosen career for example. But they definitely balk when the rules don’t make sense. I don’t mean to pry and you may not want to answer, but is your young adult academically gifted?April 5, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #778414
Ezrat, but is your young adult academically gifted?
Very academically gifted! Yours as well?April 6, 2011 1:48 am at 1:48 am #778415EzratHashemMember
Yes. The yeshivas have a long way to go in identifying and helping these kids, in the meantime it’s hard to keep them on the derech; also hard for parents and close ones to stay focused on their amazing talents and qualities while doing battle in their defense. Too bad we don’t have a way to speak privately.April 6, 2011 2:03 am at 2:03 am #778416sm29Participant
Rabbi Machanic is good with helping youth and answering questions, baruch Hashem.
Something that a friend and I learned while studying about space is that the universe would need a lot of mass to hold itself together, however most of the universe is made up of Dark energy and Dark matter. Therefore, there is only a small percert of regular mass, plus the universe is being pulled apart by dark energy. There has to be Something or Someone holding it together.
Another interesting point is that how is it possible that we Jews after being persecuted for many centuries are still here? Someone must be protecting usApril 6, 2011 2:37 am at 2:37 am #778417
those are comforting thoughts for those who already believe in Hashem, but easily disregarded by anyone with a little cynicism and a dash of creativity.
we are still here by chance.
and it’s not as though every scientist ever completely disregards that issue, I am sure they have many methods of dealing with it that the kiruv professional who gave you this “proof” left out. I have confidence in the principle of bechirah chofshi that Hashem provided a possible explanation for them.April 6, 2011 3:07 am at 3:07 am #778418RSRHMember
sm29: I have to second yid.period’s comment. There are many historical, sociological, and anthropological explanations for the Jewish people’s survival over the course of three millenia. Our survival is not a “proof,” it is merely an example of God’s guiding hand for those that already believe that hand is really there.
Also, there is not a single science-based “proof” that I have heard that cannot be explained away by someone that knows enough of the scientific literature. The problem with bringing “proofs” based on “secular” knowledge is the (1) that knowledge is always changing, so what is a “proof” today will be discredited tomorrow, and (2) the academic community is so large and diverse that for every conclusion and theory you find to support or “prove” God’s existence, you will find many other approaches that undermine that “proof” and tend to disprove God’s existence.
Thats why these kinds of proofs typically do not satisfy curious, critical, well-educated, academic minds.April 6, 2011 4:12 am at 4:12 am #778419
Again the shittos here.
(If however, this young adult is unfortunately feels upset at Yiddishkeit, it may speak to their brain, but not their heart. And its the heart that needs the jolt, when upset and hurt)April 6, 2011 4:19 am at 4:19 am #778420
That’s called the Sharpshooter’s Fallacy. One could apply the same reasoning to a devout Christian who prays to Jesus to win the lottery and then wins. Since winning the lottery is very improbable, it must be that that Jesus answered his prayers.
Or not — but at least now you see why it’s a fallacy.
The WolfApril 6, 2011 4:25 am at 4:25 am #778421
Truth be Told
Someone who does not already want to believe will cling to that minuscule possibility. That is the point. Improbable, yes, impossible, no.April 6, 2011 4:31 am at 4:31 am #778422
However, if not for our “win”, it would be over. We would, G-d forbid. And there were so so many attempts. Very very different.April 6, 2011 4:33 am at 4:33 am #778423
yid.period: That’s what i wrote in the parentheses at the end.
I once heard, Rav Yaakov Emden swears, that our continuous existence in exile, is greater than all the miracles of our exodus of Egypt.April 6, 2011 4:37 am at 4:37 am #778424
tbt, it’s so mathematically improbable for us to still be around
Huh? Just two people can bring about hundreds in a relatively short time. In thousands of years, despite persecution, millions easily come about from only two people. Kal V’chomer if we start out with way more than two. After thousands of years of reproducing, how would zero remain?April 6, 2011 4:46 am at 4:46 am #778425
No because it can be purely intellectual. There are many improbable things we believe in, or choose not to believe in.
One might be bold enough to ask you about a invisible, omniscient, eternal being(?) that has the powers to do anything and everything and create matter out of nothing. When have you ever encountered such a being before in your experiences? Ever seen anything like it before? It seems illogical to automatically come to that conclusion because you’re having difficulties explaining our existence otherwise.
It’s difficult, but to relate to these kids you need to try to step out of one’s personal biases they grew up with.April 6, 2011 4:47 am at 4:47 am #778426
However, if not for our “win”, it would be over. We would, G-d forbid. And there were so so many attempts. Very very different.
It’s not really different at all. There are plenty of cultures that have tried and failed too. The fact that we are the ones who survived is no different than the one who won the lottery.
The whole point is that you’re looking at something improbable and saying “it had to be because of X.” It doesn’t matter if it’s the survival of the Jewish people or a person winning the lottery. The fact is that improbable things do happen, and you can’t then use that as proof for a different cause. It’s all the same — it’s seeing an arrow stuck in a tree and painting a bulls-eye around it.
The WolfApril 6, 2011 5:18 am at 5:18 am #778427
yid.period: You’re now taking sm29’s words a lot further and deeper than he intended, and are asking questions on that. Let me quote him.
Another interesting point is that how is it possible that we Jews after being persecuted for many centuries are still here? Someone must be protecting us
Further discussions on new, but related topics, are just that. They don’t detract from this one.April 6, 2011 5:24 am at 5:24 am #778428
Please. What did it entail to build the World trade center? All the deskes, paintings, computors, fancy pens, etc etc etc. What did it take to destroy it, and how long?
Now imagine many missiles being fired at it, almost daily. Airplanes coasting at it, almost daily. Trucks with bombs entering the parking lot. etc etc.
If it would survive all that, for a very long time, you wouldn’t be able to intellectually call it chance. The odds of the WTC surviving all this, are greater than were our chances of survival throughout.April 6, 2011 5:30 am at 5:30 am #778429
Huh? Just two people can bring about hundreds in a relatively short time. In thousands of years, despite persecution, millions easily come about from only two people. Kal V’chomer if we start out with way more than two. After thousands of years of reproducing, how would zero remain?
Maybe zero wouldn’t remain. But as a nation? A nation without being able to be home (oh boy, did I start a new topic now), and still flourishing?
Where are all the other nations of fifteen hundred years ago and further. All gone.
I did not at all mean it as an attack on this young adult, or their family. Once this thread was pulled here, I added my two cents.April 6, 2011 5:59 am at 5:59 am #778430
Adding the word “Period” and speaking in a confident tone are not excuses for substance. It isn’t anymore intellectually farfetched (much less so) to conclude that Hashem exists (and all the wonderful non-qualities we attribute to him…) than to conclude a nation happened to survive persecution.
You may say there is no precedent?
Where is your precedent for Hashem?
Correct me if I’m wrong but I’ll make the assumption you’ve had a pretty sheltered upbringing, so you’ve never really discussed this with anybody who didnt already believe in Hashem? And if you did, you weren’t successful in your persuasion? Again, biases are hard to shed but try to do a cheshbon hanefesh to relate to these people. Otherwise a conversation with them will just turn them off more.
Just a seperate point (responders: please do NOT just respond to this last point… try to address what I’ve said above as well… I’ve noticed this is common practice to nitpick a point and ignore all other evidence) Isn’t there a axiom of bechirah chofshi? nisayon? schar? If everything was so clear cut, and farfetched otherwise, how would the world mesh with these principles?April 6, 2011 6:59 am at 6:59 am #778431
If it would survive all that, for a very long time, you wouldn’t be able to intellectually call it chance. The odds of the WTC surviving all this, are greater than were our chances of survival throughout.
Now you’re the one guilty of a false analogy.
The World Trade Center is in one place and therefore you only have to go to one place to destroy it. The Jewish people are not in one place. Had Hitler conquered all of Europe, he could not have succeeded in wiping out the Jews.
The World Trade Center cannot defend itself or run away. People can.
The World Trade Center cannot learn from previous attacks. People can.
But you’re still engaging in the Sharpshooter’s fallacy by stating that it is proof that God exists. By the same token, every single person on earth can make the same claim — after all, the odds of any one of the seven billion plus of us actually existing is infinitesimal — if any of our ancestors didn’t meet at the proper time, if any of the other of billions of sperm fertilized the eggs at *any* of those meetings, if any accident occurred to any of our ancestors before they had a chance to have kids, if any disease or accident might have sterilized them before they had children, and on and on. The odds against *you* existing are so remote that they are practically incalculable — and yet here you are. You may ascribe it to God — as do I. But that’s not proof, because anyone else can turn it around and attribute it to his or her deity.
The WolfApril 6, 2011 9:49 am at 9:49 am #778432
Correct me if I’m wrong but I’ll make the assumption you’ve had a pretty sheltered upbringing,
So you feel the way to disprove is through putting me down, based upon an assumption? Nice.
It still doesn’t add any validity to your argument, which is outside of the point sm29 made. I’ve answered you, and you haven’t addressed my answer.
Just a seperate point (responders: please do NOT just respond to this last point… try to address what I’ve said above as well… I’ve noticed this is common practice to nitpick a point and ignore all other evidence) Isn’t there a axiom of bechirah chofshi? nisayon? schar? If everything was so clear cut, and farfetched otherwise, how would the world mesh with these principles?
I still don’t understand why we didn’t open a new thread to discuss our shittah’s, rather than hijacking this one, which was intended on a very personal level.April 6, 2011 1:42 pm at 1:42 pm #778433overwhelmedMember
i know someone who had this issue. it turned out that it was all stemming from an issue of anxiety and deppression over something else and yiddishkeit was taking the fall for it. this person got help for the deppression and was given books by r aryeh kaplan to read. they loved the books (and they usually dont go for something lke that) once the anxiety and deppression were being handles everything else fell into place.April 6, 2011 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #778434
I didn’t think the reality of having a sheltered upbringing was an insult. Halevi’ I, and many others, had one as well. I apologize if you took it that way I’m just trying to demonstrate that your proofs are built off emotion which is inhibiting your objective analysis. The pashtus is, there are many who find these “proofs” unsatisfying because they have intellectual doubts regarding them. Not (Necessarily) anxiety and depression. But for someone who doesn’t already believe, the evidence must be that much more compelling.
My “argument”, is only that sm29’s “proofs” are not concrete. There are ways around them. I can’t give you a definitive answer how for the universe one, but I’m optimistic the scientists can. But personally, I haven’t taken the trouble to find out because that science question never bothered me.
I agree we are supposed to believe in the truth, but that does NOT mean that it is staring us in the faces. Our belief (underline) is based on emunah (underline). Not science. Not logic. Once you have that leap of faith though, then I consider it all to be completely logical and understandable.
Oh, and I believe I have addressed your point several times…
Someone who does not already want to believe will cling to that minuscule possibility. That is the point. Improbable, yes, impossible, no.
So while extraordinary and comforting for someone who believes in Hashem and the sacredness of Am Yisroel, someone who doesnt’ will have no problem disregarding these pieces of evidence.
I have mercy on the Mods so I’ll save the rest of what I want to write for later.April 6, 2011 3:06 pm at 3:06 pm #778435
tbt, telling a doubting intellectual person that Jews exist, despite not having a country of their own, because G-d is protecting them, isnt sufficient proof. How about American Indians?
My teineh is that we have many Kiruv experts, but we dont have people who are good at answering and discussing belief with those who want to give up Frumkeit and are willing to meet with them personally. The back and forth debate is crucial. This cant be accomplished with books. Ive been told that to save a Jewish Neshama youre allowed to be Mechalel Shabbos.
There exists a huge culture (intellectuals, not failures) of those who left Frumkeit and they are always looking to recruit others and tell them how happy they’ll be. If we dont plan accordingly, and do the best we can, it’s not good. If we are Maaminim, our job is to do more to combat these individuals. Throwing up our hands and blaming isnt what Hashem wants of us. I dont think so.April 6, 2011 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #778436
Let me try. Would help if you could get your friend to open a screen name here, or to post his questions and answers with a screen name so we can dialogue.
An atheist believes that if you take some mud and dirt, heat it up, pressurize it, then wait 15 billion years, out will emerge a 747.
Since many of us have trouble believing this, we therefore believe in G-d. Please relay to your friend.April 6, 2011 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #778437
PY: Not so simple.
Using the “sharpshooter’s fallacy” Wolf pointed out before, any changes in universal constants would have created a much different world than we have, if it would even have been possible to create life. Athiests will say the constants are random.
None the less, an athiest still needs to agree that those constants (whatever they may be) exist somehow without intervention of a being (which would be a god-like power which then is anti-athiest).
So an Athiest has to start even before the “ball of mud”, with how did the rules (whatever they may have been) come into existence?
Now, there is multiverse theory (idea?), but talk about completely unprovable! And that in of itself points to complexity, which points to a creator.April 6, 2011 4:48 pm at 4:48 pm #778438
This thread is actually indicative of a big problem in the kiruv world (both rechokim and kerovim). “If you don’t believe my answer, its because you are clinging to tiny improbably chance that it may not be true.”
This thread also shows that people don’t really understand the difference between correlation and causation. Never mind that revisionism is high up on many people’s lists nowadays.
However, one atheist (a non-Jewish woman, former Christian, who is very knowledgable and thought deeply before abandoning her faith) asked me this question which I couldn’t answer effectively “You expect me to believe that G-d created matter because otherwise where would matter come from. But if you can believe that G-d always was, is and always will be, why can’t I assume the same for matter?”April 6, 2011 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #778439
“You expect me to believe that G-d created matter because otherwise where would matter come from. But if you can believe that G-d always was, is and always will be, why can’t I assume the same for matter?”
I have been asked that question.
The proof is that since there must ultimately be something which was not created, it must be that that something is a supreme being. Since only a supreme being could exist having never been created.
Is she really comfortable thinking that matter had no creator?
I think that is rather compelling.April 6, 2011 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #778440
PY, then they switch gears and go off with: So suppose there is a G-d, how do we know He values keeping Kosher and Shabbos as translated and taught by Orthodox leaders, as the only option, and other such questions? There are many who believe that Orthodoxy translates the Torah, out of date. How do we know that we cant use a computer on Shabbos if there were no computers when the Torah was given…There are those who think we can drive on Shabbos for that reason. Cars and many other modern inventions arent mentioned in the Torah. This culture feels that G-d wants us to be good to fellow humans and thats our main goal in life. They despise racism and our feeling of superiority in the Frum community.
It’s a hard nut to crack, but great minds can if they are willing to put the time in.April 6, 2011 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #778441
Gavra, I did not mention anything about life in my post. I also did not say that we are fortunate to have special constants. I simply said, knowing what we know about matter, is there anything in our world that leads one to believe a 747 may self-assemble? Even if we are fortunate to have the best constants possible, are our constants good enough that a laptop PC may spontaneously form out of mud?April 6, 2011 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm #778442
You jump from “there must ultimately be something which was not created” to “it must be that something is a supreme being.”
Matter may be that which was not created.
(BTW I tried that argument with her)April 6, 2011 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #778443
Let me move onto argument #2.
Proving G-d exists is a rather complicated project, since we really can’t process the idea of an infinite being.
Let us try something much simpler. I will prove you have a soul. If I can convince you of that, then it follows there must be a G-d.
Claim: You feel pain, therefore you have a soul. If I take my laptop and bash it with a hammer, does it feel pain?April 6, 2011 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #778444
But if you can believe that G-d always was, is and always will be, why can’t I assume the same for matter?”
G-d is not “is and always will be” the way a five year old sings an Uncle Moishy song (Hashem is truly everywhere….then where is he? Invisible? How about my invisible friend Yankel?)
We had this idea recently. Take a look at Rambam Yesodei HaTorah second perek towards the end.April 6, 2011 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #778445
There was no “jump” in logic.
I posited that if there is something which existed without creation, we might be able to use logic to figure out what it was.
It makes no sense for matter to exist without creation.
It does make sense for a supreme being to exist without creation.
We might debate what makes sense and what doesn’t, but ultimately, I think everyone has to agree that it makes no sense for matter to exist without creation. So the question is what we could conceive might exist without creation.April 6, 2011 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #778446
PY: Infinite monkey theorem argument. And again, sharpshooter’s fallacy. If it produced an Airbus 320 would you be any less impressed?
Besides, a simple counter-argument is that we have no idea what 15 billion years can or can not do.April 6, 2011 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #778447YW Moderator-80Member
that question never “bothered” me, but i thought about it.
and i couldnt come up with an answer
there probably is no perfectly rigorous answer but what you said, though quite simple, is a good answer to me.April 6, 2011 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #778448
thanks 80. that made me smile.April 6, 2011 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #778449
Gavra what is the infinite monkey theorem argument? Is that the idea of a monkey typing Shakespeare if he bangs on random keys for enough time? I think that would require much more than 15 billion years.
Again, we probably cannot come up with a proof, because we don’t know what 15 billion years can do. However, the idea of anything self-assembling even in 15 trillion years is quite far-fetched.
As of this writing, we don’t even know how a single protein can self-assemble into its correct 3-D shape, EVEN GIVEN ALL THE ATOMS BONDED TOGETHER IN THE RIGHT ORDER (which is already 99.9999999999999% of the difficulty).April 6, 2011 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #778450
Mod80, that answer is good enough for me too. But its not “proof” which many people want.
Popa, are you saying matter could be a supreme being?April 6, 2011 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #778451
Popa, are you saying matter could be a supreme being?
I guess once we decide there is a supreme being, we will probably want to think about what form it might have. That sort of philosophy is way beyond me. There probably are rishonim who go down that road until concluding that it must have no form.April 6, 2011 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #778452YW Moderator-80Member
its not a matter of its being good for me
i dont need it at all
it is a reasonable answer that if a questioner had any honest interest in discovering the probable truth instead of finding a reason to reject any possible response to her desired answer of “there is no boss over me”, would be cause for deeper thought and investigation.
you cant “prove” anything to anyone. i have no proof that there is not a lion waiting just outdoor my house in the morning. but a reasonable person conducts her life by what is reasonable.April 6, 2011 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #778453
i have no proof that there is not a lion waiting just outdoor my house in the morning. but a reasonable person conducts her life by what is reasonable.
Check out my yiddish!April 6, 2011 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #778454
PY: No argument, but “we don’t know” never convinced someone who is an agnostic. And as long as you agree there is no “proof”, the agnostics will continue to be skeptical.
i have no proof that there is not a lion waiting just outdoor my house in the morning. but a reasonable person conducts her life by what is reasonable.
Where have I heard that exact argument before?
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