Regarding Kabbalah (and other mystical religions)

Jewish tradition holds that Kabbalah is so powerful and complicated that only bonafide students may begin to approach it and then only after age 40. Among the elements of Kabbalah are mystical revelations drawn from holy books by recombination of letters and other signs” writes Associated Press.

Yeah, mystical revelations that you learn after age 40, like “There is no God! Gotcha! Hahaha…”.

I mean come on! How can I take seriously mysticism when it’s meant only for people “who can handle it”? It reminds me of Gentoo Linux. If a religion or tradition or whatever is not meant for everybody, then it holds no merit for me. It’s an ellitistic tradition, and these days it has become yet another way to take money off celebrities.

I mean no disrespect to the people who follow it, but myself as an atheist/agnostic, I have serious doubts about such things especially when I read that it’s selective (although it’s obviously less selective if you have money, otherwise Madonna wouldn’t make the cut — heck, even Britney was allowed to follow it). And reading wikipedia’s Kabbalah article on the explanation of what is God etc, it all sounds gibberish. I can’t believe that people still fall for that in the 21st Century.

However, of course, people should be free to believe and say whatever they like just like I do right now, exercising my right to write down my personal opinion and criticize religions (not just Kabbalah — I have nothing personal against it, in fact I much prefer it over Scientology). Richard Dawkins said it best though, about the right to criticize religion:

12 Comments »

RandomGuy wrote on September 17th, 2007 at 5:46 PM PST:

Come on, don’t be so hard on the Gentoo folks, you’ve gotta admit their documentation is a tad better 😉

Other than that I can only agree, Dawkins’ way of putting it is brilliant. Especially the whole “free pass” thing.

A few months ago I watched a documentary about a young guy who became a Muslim. In the end the reporter quoted a passage of the Koran somewhat like “and the atheists are even worse than the animals” and asked the young man what he thought about it.

He replied with a straight face:
“Yes, that’s how it is. What’s your problem?”
(My own rough translation, the documentary was in German)

That part scared the shit out of me.
He said things like, if he was in power, the Sharia would be the law – with a friendly smile on his face!

These retards don’t even try to hide what they want to achieve. They say it right in your face. If they were in charge, they’d kill or punish your family and friends in cruel ways if they didn’t kneel before their imaginary god.

In case I’m coming off as anti-Muslim, I’m not.
Some of my friends are Muslims.
What I am is anti-psychopath. We should put weirdos like the one in the documentary in mental institutions and not give them a free pass just because they claim that their madness is based on religion.

Anyway, rock on, my fellow Atheists.

PS:
I hope I’m not double posting, but the first post does not show up, so please excuse if I am.


l3v1 wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 2:52 AM PST:

“If a religion or tradition or whatever is not meant for everybody, then it holds no merit for me. It’s an ellitistic tradition”

I really don’t want to be harsh, so I’ll just say that the above is a generalization to such an extent that it scratches the border of silliness.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 2:54 AM PST:

Feel free to have your opinion, and I have mine. If something is silly is elitism itself.


Alastair Measures wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 2:58 AM PST:

The whole Kabbalah thing with its mystic hidden stuff seems to be empty self agrandising gnosticism. If they do it on their own time in their own space then that is liberty.

The young Muslim that randomguy mentions is quite frightening here in the west. In the Middle East Islamic countries his views are quite normal and serious. (If your sibling or offspring drop their Islamic “faith” (apostasy) then you expect to kill them.) This is a belief in ABSOLUTE truth; that welds together religion, judicial systems and politics in a single quantity. Even (especially) among the Islamic youth religion is a massive massive thing in a way westerners struggle and fail to comprehend.

Many practical Muslims practice religion as (we understand) religion and are happy to have separate judicial and political systems but by NO means all. This is probably the biggest struggle across the Islamic peoples.

Britain (and perhaps the US) has been gobsmackingly naive about how we absorb such people into our societies. Sharia courts already operate in many British cities – behind closed doors.

Developing a western branding on ‘ABSOLUTE TRUTH that must be thrust down everyones throat’ in the strident Dr Dawkins style is NOT progress.

(And, by the way, I do not buy into the nonsense about there being no mass-murder/ genocide in the name of atheism).


Thom Holwerda wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 6:14 AM PST:

Atheism has become a religion of itself.

Anyway, religion doesn’t cause pain, war and horror – people do.


Luis wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 11:05 AM PST:

>Atheism has become a religion of itself.

Yes, and you forget science. Science is the official religion of our time. It has become for average persons what religion was for average persons in the middle ages. And beware if you believe in something that’s outside the scientific canon!


mikesum32 wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 12:14 PM PST:

Science is not religion because it doesn’t require blind faith with no evidence. Science has evidence, that’s the difference.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 12:36 PM PST:

Science is not religion. It doesn’t require your faith. Science is simply science, the path of the more logical people.


Stefan wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 1:05 PM PST:

Personally, I do not see science and religion as opposite like people here in the west try to make them. The biggest mistake in my opinion is trying to explain one through another; for example use religion to “demonstrate” that dinosaurs roamed the earth 6000 years ago or explain the idea of God through science.
Both science and religion address different needs for us, humans. God didn’t interdict us to have a brain, you know 🙂 I consider myself a Christian, although I don’t remember last lime I went into a church; but I believe in what Christianity is all about, not what people did in the name of Christianity. There is a word in my country, says something like “do what the priest says, not what he does” 🙂


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 1:08 PM PST:

>but I believe in what Christianity is all about

I also believe in the actual word of Christianity and trying to live by that code, and this is why I call myself an agnostic most of the times and not a downright atheist. However, this doesn’t mean that I am “accepted” as Christian by the churches.


Stefan wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 1:17 PM PST:

“However, this doesn’t mean that I am “accepted” as Christian by the churches”

You’re right. I see organized religion much more as a problem these days than religion itself. There are two very different notions that should not be confused one for the other.


Luis wrote on September 18th, 2007 at 3:06 PM PST:

>Science is not religion because it doesn’t require blind faith with no evidence. Science has evidence, that’s the difference.

>Science is not religion. It doesn’t require your faith. Science is simply science, the path of the more logical people.

I have no problem with science itself. It’s something we need and it’s ok. But you see, people *believe* in science. Science is The Truth. And what’s not scientific is [silly, superstition, false, evil, fallacy, stupidity,…]

In 300 years from now kids will laugh in school when teachers tell them about the things we believed in the beginning of the 21st century. What science believes to be true today will be proved false eventually. So scientists should be humble enough to say: “This is what we can offer. It’s not the truth, it’s obviously false. But we can’t offer anything better for now”. No, instead they speak like Popes about they’re discoveries and people believe in it faithfully. And dismiss/marginalize/laugh at those who don’t believe in it or believe in something else (yeah, at east they don’t burn them alive, that’s something).

It’s the *attitude* what wrong about science. There’s nothing wrong with science being in its infancy. That’s fine. We’ll get there eventually. But as of today, any scientific truth should be taken with all the grains of salt in the Pacific ocean, since it’s no more than a joke.

Yet people believe in them, because “it has evidence” and because “it doesn’t require your faith”. Are you sure?


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