Thursday, August 28, 2008

27 ’Av 5768: Dream Day Quest and Jubilee

Greetings.

Worthy causes of the day: “Tell Dr. Lark to Stop Selling Squalane!” and “Support the PAW Act -- End Alaska's Aerial Hunting Program!”

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. “Leviticus traps”: David Benkof correctly notes that it pays to know what one is talking about when attacking someone else’s beliefs or practices. The particular case in question is that some object to the Orthodox Jewish views on homosexuality (prohibited according to Leviticus 18:22), and to attack they ask why Orthodox Jews do not practice various other things in the Torah. The attackers in the process display ignorance of 1) what the Torah actually says, missing context and getting details wrong, and 2) what Orthodox Jews actually believe and practice. An attack based on a false premise is, of course, invalid. Kudos to Benkof for his clear thinking.
  2. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer slaying church attendance among women, study claims”: The title is much funnier than the situation. To quote:
    The report claims more than 50,000 women a year have deserted their congregations over the past two decades because they feel the church is not relevant to their lives.

    It says that instead young women are becoming attracted to the pagan religion Wicca, where females play a central role, which has grown in popularity after being featured positively in films, TV shows and books.
    This is frankly illogical. When choosing a religion, whether deciding to stay with one’s own or to convert to another, the only relevant question is “is it true?” Now, we all live in the same objectively true reality, so whatever is true for one person is true for everyone. (Or if this belief is wrong and we each live in a different reality, my personal reality behaves like this, so I am still right.) Since we all inhabit the same reality, one’s sex is completely irrelevant to what is true. Choosing a religion based on what one gets to do in it is just plain childish, and I hope those abandoning Anglicanism for Wicca are doing it for much better reasons.
  3. “AZERBAIJAN: Threats and deportation 'to stop us talking about God'”: Yes, lots of people find Jehovah’s Witnesses annoying and irrational. That is not an excuse for how the government of Azerbaijan is treating them. Major rule: there is a huge difference between claiming to have freedom of religion and actually practicing it.
  4. “Dead Sea Scrolls go from parchment to the Internet”: Nothing wrong here. Making scholarly useful information easily available is always good.
Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “The Great Office War”.

Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron
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