Jewish Atheist

An agnostic atheist perspective
from a once orthodox Jew.

Kefirah of the Week

Hey, this is a blog I started to write down the results several years of digging in to the origins of Judaism/Tanach.  The first post on the origins of Rosh Hashannah is up today.  I’d be grateful if you’d give a shout out.  -Fizzix


Some of you may already by familiar with Fizzix from some of his fantastic submissions. Well researched, cogent points, fucking good stuff! Definitely check out his blog. I’ve already added it to my list of favorites!

Sufi Holy Man Kills Follower To Prove He Can Bring Him Back To Life, Instead Gets Arrested For Murder

Very interesting and entertaining article.

It also obviously adds to the growing body of literature and examples in response to the question of faith: "What’s the harm?"

More interesting than that, for me, though is whether the holy man believed in his powers. It seems like he did, which is fascinating to me bc I definitely think many “spiritual leaders” know they’re peddling lies and don’t care, but there are many many spiritual leaders who are sincere. The rabbis, preists, imams that most of us come into contact with are probably very sincere as well. But sincerity isn’t a substitute for reason or reality. Your rabbi may be a super nice guy, but that doesn’t mean he’s right. Your rabbi may be considered extremely holy, but that doesn’t mean he has magical powers.

Lastly, this story is an interesting example of testing one faith. I don’t mean the act of volunteering to be killed; I mean, testing to see whether you faith can actually perform miracles. It can’t. As we see. But amazingly, people still believe in this guy’s holy powers. In other words, for at least some of his followers, failing the test  which we can actually verify - “nope, still dead” - isn’t a way to disqualify the person’s abilities. It was not a test that’s falsifiable, as science strives for. It could have been, but those performing the test aren’t willing to heed the results, so, in effect it isn’t. (For them. To me it just another clear example of how painfully wrong these kinds of beliefs are.) One can already imagine the rationalizations the followers might invent to get around facing the facts: Maybe the volunteer still didn’t believe enough, or maybe it was really ‘his time to die’ and it happened to coincide with getting killed for a spiritual experiment (that failed). The possible rationalizations are nearly endless.

And it seems obvious to us, those of us coming from a non-Sufi background, that these are obviously desperate rationalizations, and yet this is the same kind of ridiculous powers and ridiculous rationalizations I would see in Judaism and other religions. e.g. the chabad cult which thinks rabbi schneerson is still alive - while also visiting his tomb! 

It seems rather clear than any empirical tests of god and holy men have failed miserably. Yet the memes persist. What massive rationalizations humanity must be making for these holy memes to still exist! Just consider one basic question: When was the last time god clearly did anything?! No good answer for that, just rationalizations. And so the holy meme lives on another day… those who rely on the holy meme, well, it’s not as guaranteed.

Sia, Chandelier

Not related to anything. I was just so blown away by this song and music video it nearly brought me to tears!

Also, I’m in Seattle, so apologies if I don’t respond as quickly as usual.

Israel/Palestine: Shoot the Hostage

I don’t know who is “right”, Israel or the Palestinians. Maybe neither. Most people recognize that arab terrorists, even if fighting for a just cause (return of their perceived land), are using unjustifiable methods (i.e. terrorism). But lots of pro-israel supporters, it seems to me, don’t appreciate the fact that even if Israel’s actions are justified, they’re still pretty fucked up and horrific. Blowing up huge chunks of Gaza just to hopefully get the bad guys might be justified, but consider how it effects those who don’t deserve to be attacked, those people who are just civilians losing their homes, their farms, their schools, their lives. Try to appreciate their perspective and pain. 

It’s like when the U.S. dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. It might have been justified, but it was still extremely fucked up. We completely annihilated huge cities of civilians! Same idea here.

It kind of reminds me of the cliche movie scene where the bad guy grabs a hostage so the good guy can’t shoot him. In most movies this scene is a dilemma bc, obviously, the good guy doesn’t want to the hostage to get harmed. And so a tense scene ensues, until the good guy thinks of a way to get the hostage to safety, or the good guy takes an exceptionally good shot that only kills the bad guy and leaves the hostage safe, or the good guy even lets the bad guy just get away, so as not to risk the danger to the hostage.

But it feels like if Israel was the good guy in this movie, he’d just shoot straight through the hostage’s chest hoping it’ll kill the bad guy. And maybe it won’t kill the bad guy! And it could easily kill the hostage (even if the shot was done to minimize danger, eg through the shoulder). But hey, it’s a ballsy move, and frankly, an argument could be made to justify the action (e.g. ‘the bad guy is soooo bad, we had to do whatever was necessary’). But at the end of the day, you can’t shoot up whoever is there with no empathy for the hostages - in this metaphor, the civilians. Every one of these cliche movie scenes understands that to be the real good guys, you have to give a shit about the civilians, even if they’re not too keen about you. And if they get hurt, even if the action was justified, you gotta recognize and appreciate their pain. That’s being human and humane. 

Bravo to you for this great rebuttal. I think I wouldn’t have bother replying to the moron, because he called Charles Darwin, “Chuck”

haha, yeah, I had a similar reaction, but I want to do a series on some of the nonsense on his site. I actually specifically chose that darwin one to give readers an idea of the guy’s character, knowledge, and intellectual honesty - or lacks thereof.

but yeah, the guy is clearly an asshat.


Absolute Truth: “Darwin Nonsense”

So I started to look more at that website which was submitted recently. The Continental Drift article was wrong, but not profoundly stupid. Then I found his article on Evolution.

Buckle-up, we’re going on a trip through the Valley of Derrrp.

Darwin Nonsense

150 years ago Chuck Darwin wrote a book about his THEORY that Hashem [god] doesn’t exist and that everything is here, including all living things, by accident. 

An ad hominem and complete misrepresentation (likely a complete misunderstanding) of what evolution is about. I could almost end my rebuttal here with just quoting his first sentence.

But to spell it out:

1) "Theory" is not a light term in science (which I’d expect the OP to know since he worked in engineering). Just the opposite. A theory is reserved for an idea which marshals many disparate facts together and explains them under a single idea, which is not an easy thing to do. This is in contrast to how the word “theory”  is used colloquially, which is more like a guess. But the “theory of gravity” isn’t a guess. “Plate tectonic theory” isn’t a guess either. They use evidence to make sense of disparate facts - basically the exact opposite of what religion does.

2) “that hashem [god] doesn’t exist” - Evolution says nothing about god. Many even think that god may have used evolution. In fact, in The Origin of Species, god isn’t even mentioned except for a hat-tip to god at the end of the book. What evolution does do, however, in terms of religion, is completely destroy the argument from design. That’s not the same thing as destroying god - it’s just destroying a major argument used to support the god claim. Also, it disputes a literal interpretation of genesis - e.g. plants before the sun, women made from ribs, etc. But it’s not an attack on god. That’s just in the OPs head.

3) “…that everything is here, including all living things, by accident”. Actually, Darwinian evolution is only about living things. It’s not about cosmology. It’s not about the origin of life. It’s about the diversity of life. Secondly, “accident” is a fuzzy term. To clarify: Evolution purports that nature can create design as part of a physical process. That is, species don’t come into existence “by accident” - though they weren’t made with foresight or intent either.

But let’s move on from the many faults in the very first sentence…

  You may not think that was his actual purpose but knowing his colleagues that supported his effort and the popularity that he would gain from such an undertaking, I believe it was his foremost motive. 

4) So, you think that bc of the support he would later receive from some of his colleagues to publish his book (and that was in part bc Alfred Russel Wallace came up with the same idea and was starting to publish it!), and bc of the popularity he would gain after he published his book, that you can deduce the motivations he had while he researched it for twenty years prior to that, starting when he was fervently religious?!

5) Additionally, have you studied Darwin’s actual biography, or are you just casting aspersions based on laughably weak evidence? Did you know that Darwin originally wanted to be a minister?! Did you know that his wife was a very religious woman? Did you know that he never called himself an atheist, but only an agnostic, and that he himself was very uncomfortable with the tremendous theological implications of his work? (x) Probably not. Instead, you just make shit up like a gossipy girl in the schoolyard.

He came up with such wonderful expressions as natural selection, meaning that nature has some way to just, out of necessity, design itself. 

6) Natural selection isn’t just an expression, it’s a very helpful and descriptive term which aptly applies to his theory and is meant to contrast with human selection, aka selective breeding, which he discusses at length.

7) “…nature has some way to just, out of necessity, design itself” - Actually, that’s not what evolution says at all. Nothing is designing itself in evolution. Instead, the environment and natural laws give rise to biological designs, just as they give rise to other magnificent things like waterfalls and mountains. No-one is saying that waterfalls design themselves, and no-one is saying that species do either… that is, except for you, in mischaracterizing ideas you either don’t understand or don’t care to understand.

With the help of mutations that occur in nature, all the species of plants, animals and even human beings just happened.  Chuck stated that after about 100 years of gathering fossils, scientists would be able to document the links between the species proving the evolutionary pattern.  He also stated that he can explain everything except the eye.  The eye was way too complicated and sophisticated to have possibly evolved by natural selection. 

8) Darwin didn’t quite say that about the eye. See his words in full, in the section of the Origin titled “organs of extreme perfection and complication”, (Click Here). Furthermore, we now have a very good picture of how eyes have evolved (x), so whether Darwin himself knew doesn’t really matter to me at all. But I guess you’d like to tear down the theory of evolution because Darwin wasn’t able to cover every single aspect of biology, chemistry, and paleontology in his lifetime? Frankly, that’s idiotic. 

9) Furthermore, we have a fairly complete picture of how species are related to each-other and evolved over time, a picture developed through paleontology and later confirmed by genetics. (x,x ) And this picture is further fleshed out with new discoveries and studies all the time.

Well, here it is 150 years later and the only thing that has been proven is how stupid scientists, governments and the education system can be.  Let’s review what was proposed as a theory and what has actually been proven.  First of all, it is so convenient that just about none of Chuck’s theory can be proven.  To prove it evolved by accident instead of being created by a Source of infinite intelligence comes down to personal opinion – not scientific verification. 

10) As I wrote at the start, evolution doesn’t disprove god, just the argument from design. And creationism. And considering that 99% of species that ever existed went extinct, along with other facts about how and why different species survived, evolved, or died out, it does tend to make the idea of an intelligently created world seem a bit more absurd.

11) Furthermore, science tries to reduce unnecessary variables. If science has an explanation for how things can evolve, and it doesn’t require magic, why on earth would they insert magic into the explanation? The burden of proof is on you to prove that magic was involved if you actually think that.

But, let’s look at what Chuck told us to observe and what the outcome really was.   He said:  After about 100 years of fossil collection, we will see the connection.  Well, after 150 years of fossil collection we have seen no connection.  Even worse is the total lack of necessary intermediate stages that were needed to complete the picture. 

Yeah, that’s false. See point 9.

As an example, when did we go from cold blooded sea creatures to warm blooded land creatures?  Shouldn’t we find million of years of intermediate species making the transition? 

12) Not sure why you think this must be particularly difficult? Perhaps bc you don’t realize that there’s been a gradation of how species manage their temperature for a long time and amongst very diverse groups. (x) But in short, producing heat to stabilize our temperature is not terribly difficult. Our organs and cells produce heat from natural metabolic reactions. As for why some species do it more or less than others, it’s usually been suggested that it has to do with fluctuations of temperature in their environment (e.g., the sea is usually a relatively constant temperature, while temperature on land and in the air varies widely just throughout a single day), and bc temperature differences can affect performance in certain situations (i.e. increased heat increases chemical reactions).

Also, have you even bothered to look for articles on this subject? e.g. this one.

Another concern: when did we go from scales and fins to skin with hair?   Shouldn’t we find million of years of intermediate species making the transition? 

13) Um… yeahh… we do. Fish —> Lizards —> Mammals.

See also:

Again, did you do any research before writing your nonsense? Any at all?!

The biggest thing that was lacking was intelligence. 

In some cases, still lacking ;P

But seriously, intelligence has existed for a long time. Human intelligence, however, has existed as long as humans have. (duh!)

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"God" is such a retarded fucking explanation for the unexplained.

"Yeah, this being that can do anything did it."

Oh well there you go.

well put

(via yukithemeddler)


Katsushika Hokusai Electronic Circuit Board

I need this here for reasons.


Katsushika Hokusai Electronic Circuit Board

I need this here for reasons.





Telling quotes

A set of interesting quotes from popular atheists and evolutionary scientists. While they were speaking specifically against Christianity and creationism, in truth their words actually speak against atheism, uniformitarianism and evolutionary doctrine.

Really? Demonstrate how. In detail. 

rofl, OP is ridiculous! I’m literally laughing from it!


OP has exactly one post. A Poe, perhaps? 

hahah, one can only hope!

Anonymous asked: I like you.

I like you too, anon =]