Sunday, February 1, 2009

should OTD's get over themselves?

seriously.
It's kind of like those atheists who don't believe in G-d but are constantly talking about G-d.
If you don't want to be religious - then don't be!
I get that you've got gripes with the society you were raised in,
With your Rebbes and Morahs who tried to brainwash you,
With your parents who were too strict in trying to enforce religious rules on you.
But get over yourselves!
Move on!
Life is too short (especially if you don't believe in an afterlife)
To get angry
And blame other people
For all of your woes.
If you want to feel like you're liable to no one,
Then no one is responsible for you
And what you've become.
If you feel stifled
Or repressed
Or depressed
Being religious
Then no one is stopping you!
Move outside of your bubble,
Get a job in the real world
And stop complaining!

(fyi - OTD = off the Derech)
(fyi - FYI = for your information)

32 comments:

frum single female said...

i agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Who said OTD's lost their faith in g-d. Maybe they just lost their faith in the lifestyle and the people. Just a thought.

Tommy said...

she never said they lost their faith in G-d. she just thinks they should shut up!

Anonymous said...

perhaps you should consider how someone you see as an 'otd' feels as if their lives have been stolen from them: they cannot ever really live in the secular world, but they know that they cannot live in the frum world either. it is a pitiful situation, and you ought to be more sensitive.

Angel said...

FINALY someone just said it.
Thank you MM for just putting out there.These people just gotta get over themselves and live there damn life without bitching about their past.
Again, thank you

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

btw, I like your new font.

and I agree with you!

Anonymous said...

Well, I've got to say it. You frummies really piss me off. Maybe you should get over yourselves. There, I've said it. I will now make more of an effort to avoid your blogs. Sad to say but the Christian type blogs are way nicer then you guys. Sad, isn't? You should be ashamed of yourselves. This is why we lose more of the faith to the other side everyday. Because you FAIL to show any compassion or understanding.

Maidel said...

I do have compassion for those who are sincerely looking for help, to reestablish themselves outside of the frum community.

Have you read this post?: http://materialmaidel.blogspot.com/2008/12/footsteps.html

But maybe by 'hating the haters', you think that I've become one.

EsPes said...

yay! ive been saying this for a while, but didnt want to post abt it cuz maybe it would seem mean? hehe so im happy ur the mean one and not me! lol
but i also think that all the OTD ppl that spend all their time bashing GD and Judaism, really do believe, and are just pissed at everyone... b/c why else spend so much time hating something that doesnt exist?

Moshe said...

"they cannot ever really live in the secular world, but they know that they cannot live in the frum world either"

Why not and why not?

kisarita said...

OTD isn't something that ends, and can then be gotten over. If 10 years later your family still won't accept you? If you still can't fit in to another society whose culture is different? If you had to start from scratch to give yourself a normal education?
But still, most do get over the trauma. How? The same way every one else gets over trauma- by talking, talking, talking about it. The ones you meet are in the trama stage. You've met plenty more, I bet, that you don't even know.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

The difference between an OTD'er and a BT is very simple. The BT goes on, and on, and on, about his wonderful new lifestyle. Yes there's disillusionment about his past but he's now learning new things, gaining new spirituality, and it's exciting and enjoyable for him.
The OTD'er, on the other hand, has left a system of life and entered a world of anarchy. Nothing out there is going to replace the comprehensive system he's left behind so he drifts, seeking out materialistic thrills which are surprisingly far and few between. And in the absence of anything new, anything enoyable, all he has is his hatred of where he came from. It obsesses him. He's miserable but at least he's not deluded! And how dare those frum people remain deluded when he's figured out the truth? Why, they're purposefully deluding themselves and that's evil! So he lashes out because he has nothing better to do with his life anymore.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this post!
It drives me nuts how people go on and on and on, blaming this one and that one...if you're a thinking, responsible person, and you really don't believe whatever it is anymore, then just get on with your life. If you can't do that for some reason, then you're not being true to yourself about what you believe in.

Anonymous said...

I just dropped $2600 on a hair transplant to try and reverse the damage wearing a wig caused to my own hair. I'll "get over" myself when my hair grows back.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Golly. Why didn't you just keep the wig then?

Anonymous said...

Because it's hot and it's itchy and if, G-d willing, I ever have a realtionship with a man I don't want to have to explain it.

Freethinking Upstart said...

I found your post interesting and posted a response of my own.

Don't worry this isn't spam... I started writing a comment but it got WAY too long.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

"The OTD'er, on the other hand, has left a system of life and entered a world of anarchy."

Please explain.

"Nothing out there is going to replace the comprehensive system he's left behind"

Well it's hard. Realizing that the fundamental beliefs you have held dear are all wrong is a very miserable experience. Of course you can get over it and have a nice life, but it does take time, depending on how long you have cherished those false beliefs and how long you have cherished them.

"so he drifts, seeking out materialistic thrills which are surprisingly far and few between."

Actually I sought out Meditation, which really helps by the way. It gave me a peace of calm I have never experienced before.

"And in the absence of anything new, anything enoyable, all he has is his hatred of where he came from. It obsesses him."

And in the absence of logic and reason, all frum people have to do is get brainwashed and brainwash their children with pseudoscience and fallacious reasoning. It obsesses them.

See? Check that out! I can make baseless, ignorant, and childish categorizations of frum people just like you have done so with OTDers. It won't get anyone anywhere to make such categorizations, so please stop.

"He's miserable but at least he's not deluded!"

And you would rather be deluded than unhappy? Personally I think ignorance is bliss, but it's still ignorance.

"And how dare those frum people remain deluded when he's figured out the truth?"

You have every right to be deluded. But if you want to pass on your delusions in the scientific or philosophical arena, expect them to be met with heavy scrutiny and critique.

"Why, they're purposefully deluding themselves and that's evil!"

Purposefully deluding yourself is one thing, purposefully deluding someone else who is ignorant about certain disciplines of science and s honestly looking for guidance is completely different, and much worse.

"So he lashes out because he has nothing better to do with his life anymore."

Or maybe, just maybe, some of us want an intellectual discussion. Maybe, just maybe, both sides here may learn a thing or two.

The way you paint us all with one brush is very dishonest, as well as ignorant and childish of you in my humble opinion.

And the same thing goes to you MM. I realize your post may have been about one person rather than OTDers as a group, but the title of your post seems to indicate otherwise.

Off the Derech said...

YA:
Thanks for refuting Garnel for me. It's nice to see someone take him to task for a change.
Btw, guaranteed he won't respond to your points.

Leisha Camden said...

Maybe people should be allowed to do whatever feels right for them, whether or not you, Material Maidel, agree with them. Maybe people should be allowed to live their own lives in the way that they prefer.

How's about that for a solution to this problem you've invented??

Ariella said...

Hear hear!

French Press said...

I am with Leisha here! I consider myself to be OTD, but I just chose to live out of the community and take the minhagim and traditions i like and be conservative. Not all of us who leave are atheists.

I don't agree with you MM. if you do not like it, do not read it. But hey... I read this blog because i still like it. It's ok to disagree with an author you enjoy.

Garnel Ironheart said...

1) OTD, you're a moron. In the future, please remember that everything you're about to type, you've already types a dozen times before so what's the point.

As for YA

> Please explain.

The world of Torah provides an objective, external truth. Torah and halacha are right, irregardless of how a person feels about a particular rule or custom.
In the secular world, there is a sense of amorality. I cannot judge others and their values because who is to say that I'm right and they're wrong? There is no certainty to anyone's moral decisions.
Now this vacuum has been mostly replaced by the false religion of political correctness which has itself creates a series of "objective values" but that's just a new religion filling in the amorality left by the absence of the old.

> Well it's hard. Realizing that the fundamental beliefs you have held dear are all wrong is a very miserable experience.

Especially when it's just YOUR PERSONAL OPINION that they're wrong and you see lots of intelligent people who don't agree with you. Plus insisting the Torah is wrong goes against the amoral principle noted above: that you can't judge other people's values. Yet by dismissing the Torah you do just that.

> Of course you can get over it and have a nice life, but it does take time, depending on how long you have cherished those false beliefs and how long you have cherished them.

No, as OTD amply demonstrates, it depends on how much of a whinger your are. Some people say "Oh well, that sucked" and move on. Others sit at the periphery of where they came from and spend the rest of their lives throwing rocks back at it.

> Actually I sought out Meditation, which really helps by the way. It gave me a peace of calm I have never experienced before.

In other words, you sought out a new way to daven that appealed to you because no one ever taught you how to daven to God properly. (No, I'm not blaming you, just your teachers who missed out on a tremendous opportunity and caused you to have a void in your life). So again, you're just replacing Judaism with a new custom religion.

> And in the absence of logic and reason, all frum people have to do is get brainwashed and brainwash their children with pseudoscience and fallacious reasoning. It obsesses them.

You'd like to believe that because it justifies your rejection. Unfortunately other than some chasidic clans and yeshivos, that's simply not true. Rav Soloveitchik was brainwashed? Rav Aviner? Rav Lichtenstein? Men with more education that you could ever hope to achieve? All simpletons misled down the garden path? In truth, they have voluntarily and happily accepted Judaism with an open mind and open eyes but you can't believe that because it destroys your justification for leaving.

> See? Check that out! I can make baseless, ignorant, and childish categorizations of frum people just like you have done so with OTDers. It won't get anyone anywhere to make such categorizations, so please stop.

You paying attention OTD? He's talking to you to.

And you would rather be deluded than unhappy?

Ah, but I'm not deluded and I'm not unhappy. I believe you have the short stick on that one, being both deluded AND unhappy.

> But if you want to pass on your delusions in the scientific or philosophical arena, expect them to be met with heavy scrutiny and critique.

Well that heavy scrutiny and critique isn't coming from anywhere on the blogsphere I've been. Just the same old self-justifying "I'm right because I says I am" cliches.

> Purposefully deluding yourself is one thing, purposefully deluding someone else who is ignorant about certain disciplines of science and s honestly looking for guidance is completely different, and much worse.

Ah, well that's what I think Dickie Dawkins and Potty Mouth Hitchens are doing to guys like you.

But I'm wrong, right?

> Or maybe, just maybe, some of us want an intellectual discussion.

OTD can't spell the term, let along have one.

> The way you paint us all with one brush is very dishonest,

But that's not my point. My point is that you do the same thing but say that it's okay because we're deluded and ignorant.

And no, OTD, I don't care what you think.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Actually, OTD, it must be quite frustrating for you.
You've censored me off your blog so you can attack me with impunity (look it up, it's a grown-up word) but can't avoid me out here. And your "best buddies" can't protect you either, it seems.

Yeshivish Atheist said...

As for YA

> Please explain.

“The world of Torah provides an objective, external truth. Torah and halacha are right, irregardless of how a person feels about a particular rule or custom.”

Wonderful. Now exactly how do you know that claim is true?

“In the secular world, there is a sense of amorality. I cannot judge others and their values because who is to say that I'm right and they're wrong? There is no certainty to anyone's moral decisions. Now this vacuum has been mostly replaced by the false religion of political correctness which has itself creates a series of "objective values" but that's just a new religion filling in the amorality left by the absence of the old.”

Yes, and I have experienced this void. But the only reason I experienced it was because I had a false belief there to begin with. Had the beliefs I cherished not been torn apart by logic, or had I not had those beliefs to begin with, I probably would not have that void to begin with.

> Well it's hard. Realizing that the fundamental beliefs you have held dear are all wrong is a very miserable experience.

“Especially when it's just YOUR PERSONAL OPINION that they're wrong”

It‘s what my brain finds convincing. I don’t see evidence for the claims and I see contradictory evidence for the claims. I’m not talking about morals here. I’m talking about facts. My brain is not convinced of the claims the Torah makes.

“and you see lots of intelligent people who don't agree with you.”

Exactly what is the point here? Many intelligent Muslims believe in Allah. Many intelligent Christians believe in Jesus. This does not influence what by brain deduces to be true of false. Arguments stand on their own two feet. Not on the people making them.

“Plus insisting the Torah is wrong goes against the amoral principle noted above: that you can't judge other people's values. Yet by dismissing the Torah you do just that.”

I don’t dismiss the Torah because I disagree with it’s morality. I dismiss the torah because I don’t see evidence for it. I don’t see logic to back up its claims, and thus if it’s not backed up by reason, I have no reason to believe in it. I don’t care what kind of morality the Torah preaches, I care about if it is true or false.



“No, as OTD amply demonstrates, it depends on how much of a whinger your are. Some people say "Oh well, that sucked" and move on. Others sit at the periphery of where they came from and spend the rest of their lives throwing rocks back at it.”

People do this all the time not only depending on the person, but depending on how bad of an experience was. Different people react to bad experiences differently, and the experience is always different. For some people it’s much harder than others. So therefore what?

“In other words, you sought out a new way to daven that appealed to you because no one ever taught you how to daven to God properly.”

1) Meditation is not davening.
2) On what basis do you make the claim I was never taught to daven properly?
3) It appeals to me because it gives me a sense of peace and calm.

“(No, I'm not blaming you, just your teachers who missed out on a tremendous opportunity and caused you to have a void in your life).”

On what basis do you make the claim that my teachers failed to teach me? Do you know me? Do you know my teachers?

So again, you're just replacing Judaism with a new custom religion.

1) Meditation is not a religion, it’s a practice that simply puts your mind in a different state, and has been scientifically shown to produce many positive benefits, kind of like prayer with Christians and Jews, except I don’t believe anymore so it’s like talking to a wall for me, so that doesn’t work anymore.

> And in the absence of logic and reason, all frum people have to do is get brainwashed and brainwash their children with pseudoscience and fallacious reasoning. It obsesses them.

“You'd like to believe that because it justifies your rejection. Unfortunately other than some chasidic clans and yeshivos, that's simply not true. Rav Soloveitchik was brainwashed? Rav Aviner? Rav Lichtenstein? Men with more education that you could ever hope to achieve? All simpletons misled down the garden path? In truth, they have voluntarily and happily accepted Judaism with an open mind and open eyes but you can't believe that because it destroys your justification for leaving.”

1) Wow man. Way to quote mine me out of context. I actually specifically said it was a baseless statement, just like your statement that applies to all OTDers.
2) Again, even if it’s true that those people have more education than me, it still wouldn’t ruin my justification for leaving. Just like many educated Christians more intelligent than you could ever be won’t ruin your justification for being Jewish. Just like many intelligent atheists that exist won’t ruin a Christian’s reason for believing in Jesus. It’s not about that. Arguments stand on their own two feet, I don’t care who is making them. If a child says the earth is round, and a Harvard Professor says it’s flat, I will side with the child. It doesn’t matter how many intelligent people believe in something, its about WHY they believe in it.


“You paying attention OTD? He's talking to you to.”

And I’m also talking to you. By doing this you are no different than him. Your Categorical generalizations and ad hominem attacks here are very childish.

>And you would rather be deluded than unhappy?

“Ah, but I'm not deluded and I'm not unhappy. I believe you have the short stick on that one, being both deluded AND unhappy.”

Not really, I used to be depressed, but I have gotten over it and I am doing much better. And I don’t think I am delusional either. Even if my beliefs are false that doesn’t automatically make me delusional, since I am always open to new evidence wherever it presents itself. I was frum once and I don’t think I was delusional back then. In fact, I had tons of arguments to back up my belief in God. But I was also open to counter arguments, which put me in the place that I am in now. And I am still open to new arguments that would change my beliefs, as I always will be regardless of my beliefs, I will always base them on logic, science, and reason, and if new evidence presents itself that holds water I am more than willing to admit that I am wrong.


“Well that heavy scrutiny and critique isn't coming from anywhere on the blogsphere I've been. Just the same old self-justifying "I'm right because I says I am" cliches.”

Well perhaps you’re reading the wrong blogs then, or perhaps you’re getting into conversations with people coming from an emotional perspective rather than an intellectual one.

> Purposefully deluding yourself is one thing, purposefully deluding someone else who is ignorant about certain disciplines of science and s honestly looking for guidance is completely different, and much worse.

“Ah, well that's what I think Dickie Dawkins and Potty Mouth Hitchens are doing to guys like you.”

I don’t agree with everything Dawkins or Hitchens say Just like I don’t agree with pretty much anyone on any particular issue. I evaluate arguments with my own brain and my brain finds some arguments compelling and others not.



> Or maybe, just maybe, some of us want an intellectual discussion.

OTD can't spell the term, let along have one.

Why are you going back to one blogger, your post was about OTDers in general. Right now we are having a conversation. This is between you and me.

> The way you paint us all with one brush is very dishonest,

“But that's not my point. My point is that you do the same thing but say that it's okay because we're deluded and ignorant.”

No. I don’t. That in itself is a categorization of what all OTDers do. I am more than willing to acknowledge that some frum people are brilliant, (heck, I was frum once, so obviously some frum people must be brilliant) just like some atheists are brilliant. I am also more than willing to acknowledge that some atheists are delusional just like some frum people are.

My point was that you categorized all of us in a very intellectually dishonest way. You made a lot of false accusations about me as well as my rabbeim. You don’t know me, and you don’t know them. You don’t know the reasons why I left, yet you automatically claim my justification is ruined. Why do you do this? If someone becomes frum because of reason X, I won’t say reason X is invalid unless I know what reason X is. Automatically assuming someone is doing something because of motives or delusional thinking without actually examining his situation is silly.

Garnel Ironehart said...

This has gotten WAY too long.

> Wonderful. Now exactly how do you know that claim is true?

I dealt with this on my blog a while ago - the whole "faith vs reason" argument. I know this is true because of my faith that it is.

> Yes, and I have experienced this void. But the only reason I experienced it was because I had a false belief there to begin with.

No, you had A belief to begin with. You decided it false but you cannot honestly objective state it is. That would imply 100% certainty that you're right, something you could never prove. Now who's working on faith?

> It‘s what my brain finds convincing.

Right, your person opinion.

> I don’t see evidence for the claims and I see contradictory evidence for the claims.

Because you're looking selectively. How many people who have read Dickie Dawkins' book have read the refutations by scholars of equal standing?

Ah, but they'll say that no scholar is of equal standing to good ol' Dickie so there's no point.


> I’m not talking about morals here. I’m talking about facts.

Religion is about faith and morality. Science is about material facts. You cannot use one to understand the other.

> Exactly what is the point here? Many intelligent Muslims believe in Allah. Many intelligent Christians believe in Jesus.

True, but all by faith. There is both scientific logic and theological logic. Again, they are not compatible and one kind cannot be used to prove or disprove the other. But that's exactly what you're doing.

I can argue with a Muslim (but I won't if I'm smart) about whether or not Islam is logical but it would be based on faith and theology, not scientific or empiric facts. You're trying to bridge the divide - science and materialism don't support Torah, you believe in science and materialism, therefore you cannot believe in Torah, but your initial assumption is wrong, ruining your conclusion. But because you have already formed yoru personal opinion, you can't accept that so you dismiss it.

> Different people react to bad experiences differently, and the experience is always different. For some people it’s much harder than others. So therefore what?

Listen, in my practice I have lots of patients with chronic pain and they're divided into two lots. The first lot say "Well, that's the best I'll be, I'd better make the most of it." They find jobs they can handle and they get on with their lives. The second lot say "I used to not be in pain, I expect to one day be without pain so now while I'm in pain, my life's on holding and dammit, I not going anywhere until I'm pain free." Never mind that they'll never be pain free. They're quite happy to wait in misery until a magical cure is invented. Years of their lives go by and they realize they've wasted every minute of them which makes them feel worse but because they can't get over this "I must be pain free" attitude they suffer. It's dysfunctional and saying "Well, that's just the way it is" doesn't justify it.

1) Meditation is not davening.

No, but davening at its best IS meditation. Read Rav Soloveitchik's works on the subject.

> 2) On what basis do you make the claim I was never taught to daven properly?

Because you obviously never got anything out of it. Remember, I'm not blaming you or saying you're a bad person. I feel bad you missed out on this wonderful experience.

> 3) It appeals to me because it gives me a sense of peace and calm.

Precisely. That's what real davening is supposed to do.

> On what basis do you make the claim that my teachers failed to teach me?

See above.

> Do you know me?

Dude, you aren't shy about sharing yourself with the world via your blog.

> Do you know my teachers?

No, but obviously you never learned how to daven properly from them, otherwise you wouldn't have had to go look elsewhere for inner peace.

1) Meditation is not a religion,

No, but anti-Judaism is. Just like davening is a form of composing oneself spiritually and taking comfort in God's closeness in Judaism, you have created your own form of davening to reach the same end. You call it meditation but the purpose is the same.

> and has been scientifically shown to produce many positive benefits, kind of like prayer with Christians and Jews,

As I was saying...

> If a child says the earth is round, and a Harvard Professor says it’s flat, I will side with the child.

And when the Harvard professor provides the necessary documentation to prove he's right? (I'm not saying the Earth's flat, mind you)

> It doesn’t matter how many intelligent people believe in something, its about WHY they believe in it.

Right, it's based on faith, not reason.
“You paying attention OTD? He's talking to you to.”

And I’m also talking to you. By doing this you are no different than him. Your Categorical generalizations and ad hominem attacks here are very childish.

>And you would rather be deluded than unhappy?

“Ah, but I'm not deluded and I'm not unhappy. I believe you have the short stick on that one, being both deluded AND unhappy.”

Not really, I used to be depressed, but I have gotten over it and I am doing much better. And I don’t think I am delusional either. Even if my beliefs are false that doesn’t automatically make me delusional, since I am always open to new evidence wherever it presents itself. I was frum once and I don’t think I was delusional back then. In fact, I had tons of arguments to back up my belief in God. But I was also open to counter arguments, which put me in the place that I am in now. And I am still open to new arguments that would change my beliefs, as I always will be regardless of my beliefs, I will always base them on logic, science, and reason, and if new evidence presents itself that holds water I am more than willing to admit that I am wrong.


“Well that heavy scrutiny and critique isn't coming from anywhere on the blogsphere I've been. Just the same old self-justifying "I'm right because I says I am" cliches.”

Well perhaps you’re reading the wrong blogs then, or perhaps you’re getting into conversations with people coming from an emotional perspective rather than an intellectual one.

> Purposefully deluding yourself is one thing, purposefully deluding someone else who is ignorant about certain disciplines of science and s honestly looking for guidance is completely different, and much worse.

“Ah, well that's what I think Dickie Dawkins and Potty Mouth Hitchens are doing to guys like you.”

I don’t agree with everything Dawkins or Hitchens say Just like I don’t agree with pretty much anyone on any particular issue. I evaluate arguments with my own brain and my brain finds some arguments compelling and others not.



> Or maybe, just maybe, some of us want an intellectual discussion.

OTD can't spell the term, let along have one.

Why are you going back to one blogger, your post was about OTDers in general. Right now we are having a conversation. This is between you and me.

> The way you paint us all with one brush is very dishonest,

“But that's not my point. My point is that you do the same thing but say that it's okay because we're deluded and ignorant.”

No. I don’t. That in itself is a categorization of what all OTDers do. I am more than willing to acknowledge that some frum people are brilliant, (heck, I was frum once, so obviously some frum people must be brilliant) just like some atheists are brilliant. I am also more than willing to acknowledge that some atheists are delusional just like some frum people are.

My point was that you categorized all of us in a very intellectually dishonest way. You made a lot of false accusations about me as well as my rabbeim. You don’t know me, and you don’t know them. You don’t know the reasons why I left, yet you automatically claim my justification is ruined. Why do you do this? If someone becomes frum because of reason X, I won’t say reason X is invalid unless I know what reason X is. Automatically assuming someone is doing something because of motives or delusional thinking without actually examining his situation is silly.

Garnel Ironheart said...

This has gotten WAY too long.

> Wonderful. Now exactly how do you know that claim is true?

I dealt with this on my blog a while ago - the whole "faith vs reason" argument. I know this is true because of my faith that it is.

> Yes, and I have experienced this void. But the only reason I experienced it was because I had a false belief there to begin with.

No, you had A belief to begin with. You decided it false but you cannot honestly objective state it is. That would imply 100% certainty that you're right, something you could never prove. Now who's working on faith?

> It‘s what my brain finds convincing.

Right, your person opinion.

> I don’t see evidence for the claims and I see contradictory evidence for the claims.

Because you're looking selectively. How many people who have read Dickie Dawkins' book have read the refutations by scholars of equal standing?

Ah, but they'll say that no scholar is of equal standing to good ol' Dickie so there's no point.


> I’m not talking about morals here. I’m talking about facts.

Religion is about faith and morality. Science is about material facts. You cannot use one to understand the other.

> Exactly what is the point here? Many intelligent Muslims believe in Allah. Many intelligent Christians believe in Jesus.

True, but all by faith. There is both scientific logic and theological logic. Again, they are not compatible and one kind cannot be used to prove or disprove the other. But that's exactly what you're doing.

I can argue with a Muslim (but I won't if I'm smart) about whether or not Islam is logical but it would be based on faith and theology, not scientific or empiric facts. You're trying to bridge the divide - science and materialism don't support Torah, you believe in science and materialism, therefore you cannot believe in Torah, but your initial assumption is wrong, ruining your conclusion. But because you have already formed yoru personal opinion, you can't accept that so you dismiss it.

> Different people react to bad experiences differently, and the experience is always different. For some people it’s much harder than others. So therefore what?

Listen, in my practice I have lots of patients with chronic pain and they're divided into two lots. The first lot say "Well, that's the best I'll be, I'd better make the most of it." They find jobs they can handle and they get on with their lives. The second lot say "I used to not be in pain, I expect to one day be without pain so now while I'm in pain, my life's on holding and dammit, I not going anywhere until I'm pain free." Never mind that they'll never be pain free. They're quite happy to wait in misery until a magical cure is invented. Years of their lives go by and they realize they've wasted every minute of them which makes them feel worse but because they can't get over this "I must be pain free" attitude they suffer. It's dysfunctional and saying "Well, that's just the way it is" doesn't justify it.

1) Meditation is not davening.

No, but davening at its best IS meditation. Read Rav Soloveitchik's works on the subject.

> 2) On what basis do you make the claim I was never taught to daven properly?

Because you obviously never got anything out of it. Remember, I'm not blaming you or saying you're a bad person. I feel bad you missed out on this wonderful experience.

> 3) It appeals to me because it gives me a sense of peace and calm.

Precisely. That's what real davening is supposed to do.

> On what basis do you make the claim that my teachers failed to teach me?

See above.

> Do you know me?

Dude, you aren't shy about sharing yourself with the world via your blog.

> Do you know my teachers?

No, but obviously you never learned how to daven properly from them, otherwise you wouldn't have had to go look elsewhere for inner peace.

1) Meditation is not a religion,

No, but anti-Judaism is. Just like davening is a form of composing oneself spiritually and taking comfort in God's closeness in Judaism, you have created your own form of davening to reach the same end. You call it meditation but the purpose is the same.

> and has been scientifically shown to produce many positive benefits, kind of like prayer with Christians and Jews,

As I was saying...

> If a child says the earth is round, and a Harvard Professor says it’s flat, I will side with the child.

And when the Harvard professor provides the necessary documentation to prove he's right? (I'm not saying the Earth's flat, mind you)

> It doesn’t matter how many intelligent people believe in something, its about WHY they believe in it.

Right, it's based on faith, not reason.
“You paying attention OTD? He's talking to you to.”

And I’m also talking to you. By doing this you are no different than him. Your Categorical generalizations and ad hominem attacks here are very childish.

>And you would rather be deluded than unhappy?

“Ah, but I'm not deluded and I'm not unhappy. I believe you have the short stick on that one, being both deluded AND unhappy.”

Not really, I used to be depressed, but I have gotten over it and I am doing much better. And I don’t think I am delusional either. Even if my beliefs are false that doesn’t automatically make me delusional, since I am always open to new evidence wherever it presents itself. I was frum once and I don’t think I was delusional back then. In fact, I had tons of arguments to back up my belief in God. But I was also open to counter arguments, which put me in the place that I am in now. And I am still open to new arguments that would change my beliefs, as I always will be regardless of my beliefs, I will always base them on logic, science, and reason, and if new evidence presents itself that holds water I am more than willing to admit that I am wrong.


“Well that heavy scrutiny and critique isn't coming from anywhere on the blogsphere I've been. Just the same old self-justifying "I'm right because I says I am" cliches.”

Well perhaps you’re reading the wrong blogs then, or perhaps you’re getting into conversations with people coming from an emotional perspective rather than an intellectual one.

> Purposefully deluding yourself is one thing, purposefully deluding someone else who is ignorant about certain disciplines of science and s honestly looking for guidance is completely different, and much worse.

“Ah, well that's what I think Dickie Dawkins and Potty Mouth Hitchens are doing to guys like you.”

I don’t agree with everything Dawkins or Hitchens say Just like I don’t agree with pretty much anyone on any particular issue. I evaluate arguments with my own brain and my brain finds some arguments compelling and others not.



> Or maybe, just maybe, some of us want an intellectual discussion.

OTD can't spell the term, let along have one.

Why are you going back to one blogger, your post was about OTDers in general. Right now we are having a conversation. This is between you and me.

> The way you paint us all with one brush is very dishonest,

“But that's not my point. My point is that you do the same thing but say that it's okay because we're deluded and ignorant.”

No. I don’t. That in itself is a categorization of what all OTDers do. I am more than willing to acknowledge that some frum people are brilliant, (heck, I was frum once, so obviously some frum people must be brilliant) just like some atheists are brilliant. I am also more than willing to acknowledge that some atheists are delusional just like some frum people are.

My point was that you categorized all of us in a very intellectually dishonest way. You made a lot of false accusations about me as well as my rabbeim. You don’t know me, and you don’t know them. You don’t know the reasons why I left, yet you automatically claim my justification is ruined. Why do you do this? If someone becomes frum because of reason X, I won’t say reason X is invalid unless I know what reason X is. Automatically assuming someone is doing something because of motives or delusional thinking without actually examining his situation is silly.

Anonymous said...

Wow! There are some people here that have way too much time on their hands!

Yeshivish Atheist said...

"I dealt with this on my blog a while ago - the whole "faith vs reason" argument. I know this is true because of my faith that it is."

Please explain how just because you have faith that something is true makes it true.

1) Does this mean that if you have faith that evolution is false, evolution is false?
2) Does this mean that if I a christian has faith in jesus then Jesus is true?

> Yes, and I have experienced this void. But the only reason I experienced it was because I had a false belief there to begin with.

"No, you had A belief to begin with."

Correct.

"You decided it false"

Incorrect. I didn't decide anything. I don't flip mental switches in my brain and "decide" if things are true or not. If someone pointed a gun to my head and could read my thoughts, told me to believe in a tooth fairy, I would not be capable of believing in such a thing, even if it meant my life. I would try, but deep down I would know there's probably no tooth fairy.

"but you cannot honestly objective state it is."

Correct. But then again, I can't honestly objectively state an absolute that there is no tooth fairy either.

"That would imply 100% certainty that you're right, something you could never prove. Now who's working on faith?"

Sure, and I try not to make absolute statements like that. But I don't need to have 100% proof for my brain to find one side mroe convincing than the other.

For example, I am 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
Percent certain trains exist. Can I prove it objectively to 100%? No. But am I now going to jump in front of a train? Of course not. My brain sees that one side has a ton of evidence, and the other side probably has no evidence or lots of evidence contradicting it, so it makes a logical deduction and concludes a belief. We call that reason. You don't need to have 100% proof to logically assess data and come to a conclusion you are willing to live your life based on. To call this faith would just be semantics, It would also follow that concluding that trains exists takes faith, to conclude that the tooth fairy does not exist would take faith. Even if you want to set up a system like that, it would just mean that over >50% reason <50% faith is reasonable. Over 50% faith under 50% reason is not reasonable. Of course, that's if you feel comfortable with setting up a system like that. It's just semantics, it doesn't change anything.

> It‘s what my brain finds convincing.

Right, your person opinion.

By this logic, saying the tooth fairy does not exist is just your personal opinion too. Furthermore, by this logic there is no such thing as a factual statement. Everything said by anyone anywhere is just an opinion. Again, this is just semantics.

> I don’t see evidence for the claims and I see contradictory evidence for the claims.

"Because you're looking selectively. How many people who have read Dickie Dawkins' book have read the refutations by scholars of equal standing"

How do you know I am looking selectively, you just assume it because I don't share your views? FYI I actually haven't read a SINGLE book from Dawkins, the best I have ever done is skim some wiki article on the selfish gene. And yes, when I do read literature on a subject, I make it my business to see the refutation and how well it stands up. I did this back when I was frum as well, which is how I ended up like this. Your accusation is not only baseless, but also false.

"Ah, but they'll say that no scholar is of equal standing to good ol' Dickie so there's no point."

Again, another straw-man. It's not about the person making the argument, its about the soundness of the argument.

"Religion is about faith and morality. Science is about material facts. You cannot use one to understand the other."

1) Many of the things claimed by religion involve science, this is not secret.

2) If religion is about faith and morality, then what is faith and morality and how do we know they are true?

> Exactly what is the point here? Many intelligent Muslims believe in Allah. Many intelligent Christians believe in Jesus.

"True, but all by faith. There is both scientific logic and theological logic. Again, they are not compatible and one kind cannot be used to prove or disprove the other. But that's exactly what you're doing."

1) Many Rabbis will disagree with you on this one, and im not just talking about satmar or some other ultra-ultra-ultra orthodox sect either. I can't even begin to count the kiruv seminars I've been to that claimed they could scientifically prove Judaism.

2) Wonderful. I know it's faith. But why do you rely on something founded in only faith. Surely you would need to provide evidence to make it at least 50% plausable. So the leap of faith will be 50% or less. If not, then we could have faith in anything.

"I can argue with a Muslim (but I won't if I'm smart) about whether or not Islam is logical but it would be based on faith and theology, not scientific or empiric facts."

Well again, if you both base things on 100% faith and 0% reason, then you are both on equal footing.

"You're trying to bridge the divide - science and materialism don't support Torah, you believe in science and materialism"
, therefore you cannot believe in Torah"

I believed in Torah long before I believed in science.

"but your initial assumption is wrong, ruining your conclusion. But because you have already formed yoru personal opinion, you can't accept that so you dismiss it."

1) What internal assumption? That science is good? That's not internal, it can be shown to work. Look at this blog, look at the computer you are typing with. Look at the life expectancy over the years.

2) Once again, another baseless statement. If you can show me that 100% faith is useful or reasonable and you can show this logically then I am more than willing to accept it. But if we have no way of showing that faith is true, then why should we accept it? We could make up anything then, watch:

Person A: X is true.

Person B: We know X is true because we have pixieness that it is true.

A: But X has contradictory evidence.

B: You are mixing up the two, pixiness is not part of science of materialism. So you can't disprove it.

A: So how can I disprove it? And what is this pixiness you speak of?

B: Well you would have to disprove it with pixiness of course!

A: But why do you believe that pixiness is a reliable criterion in the first place?!? Can we make predictions with it? Can we test it? Or are you just making stuff up.

B: We know pixiness is a relyable criterion because we have pixiness that pixiness is a relyable criterion, just like you prove that physics is a reliable criterion with the physical.

A: But you could just make up anything with this logic! It doesn't stop with pixiness, it can be fairyness, it can be faith, it can be "X" it can be "Y", it can be qwertyuiop that is a valid criterion for truth. It's absurd!

B: No, because we have pixiness that only pixiness is a valid criterion, and all the other criteria for truth is false.

A: Oh brother...



> Different people react to bad experiences differently, and the experience is always different. For some people it’s much harder than others. So therefore what?

Listen, in my practice I have lots of patients with chronic pain and they're divided into two lots. The first lot say "Well, that's the best I'll be, I'd better make the most of it." They find jobs they can handle and they get on with their lives. The second lot say "I used to not be in pain, I expect to one day be without pain so now while I'm in pain, my life's on holding and dammit, I not going anywhere until I'm pain free." Never mind that they'll never be pain free. They're quite happy to wait in misery until a magical cure is invented. Years of their lives go by and they realize they've wasted every minute of them which makes them feel worse but because they can't get over this "I must be pain free" attitude they suffer. It's dysfunctional and saying "Well, that's just the way it is" doesn't justify it.

-And therefore what? So some people react differently to hard situations. For some people it's much harder to move on and they could end up dwelling on it too much. Therefore what? The only reason they end up dwelling in it was because it was harder for them to move on because of who they were, or because of the experience they faced.

1) Meditation is not davening.

No, but davening at its best IS meditation. Read Rav Soloveitchik's works on the subject.

Ok, even if what you say is true, Meditation is still not davening. Just because davening can have the same effects on the body doesn't mean they are the same thing.

> 2) On what basis do you make the claim I was never taught to daven properly?

"Because you obviously never got anything out of it."

You obviously haven't read my blog. I got more out of it then I could ever dream of.

"Remember, I'm not blaming you or saying you're a bad person. I feel bad you missed out on this wonderful experience."

I know it's a wonderful experience. I experienced it first hand! But the emotional experiences of Judaism without the belief in Judaism is like a flower without it's stem. It's good for a while, and then it slowly rots away.

> 3) It appeals to me because it gives me a sense of peace and calm.

"Precisely. That's what real davening is supposed to do."

Yeah, and I don't get that out of davening anymore since I don't believe anymore so I use this now. Therefore what?

> On what basis do you make the claim that my teachers failed to teach me?

"See above."

Your basis is false, see above. Question still stands.

> Do you know me?

"Dude, you aren't shy about sharing yourself with the world via your blog."

Apparently that didn't stop you from making false accusations about me and my rebbeim even though I specifically explained on my blog this was not the case. Obviously you're not a reader. And no, you don't know me even if you are a reader, most of my life has yet to be blogged about.

> Do you know my teachers?

"No, but obviously you never learned how to daven properly from them, otherwise you wouldn't have had to go look elsewhere for inner peace."

This is false, It worked for me when I believed, then I lost my emunah, then it slowly stopped working for me. So now I use meditation.

1) Meditation is not a religion,

No, but anti-Judaism is.

Huh? Judaism I(at least the good judaism, not satmar or stuff like that) is a wonderful religion, my only issue with it is it's truth.

Just like davening is a form of composing oneself spiritually and taking comfort in God's closeness in Judaism, you have created your own form of davening to reach the same end. You call it meditation but the purpose is the same.

No. I don't try to get close to any deity with meditation.

> and has been scientifically shown to produce many positive benefits, kind of like prayer with Christians and Jews,

As I was saying...

Again, same biological results =/= same thing.

> If a child says the earth is round, and a Harvard Professor says it’s flat, I will side with the child.

And when the Harvard professor provides the necessary documentation to prove he's right? (I'm not saying the Earth's flat, mind you)

If someone could "prove" the earth is flat, then yes, by definition it's flat. But he would have to prove it. Putting PHD after your name or putting Rabbi in front of your name means nothing to me when evaluating arguments.

> It doesn’t matter how many intelligent people believe in something, its about WHY they believe in it.

Right, it's based on faith, not reason.

And why do we view 100% faith as something we should rely on?

The rest of my points you have not responded to, so I have no comment on them.

Lion of Zion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lion of Zion said...

MAIDEL:

well OTDs do this because many people need to validate their own lifestyle choices by putting down others' choices. this is particularly true when one has made a dramatic lifestyle decision such as going from frum to OTD. but then again, *many* BTs do the exact same thing in relation to the lifestyle that they have left. it's very nice that they're frum now, but why do they always need to harp on about the negatives of secular (or less frum) lifestyles.

also, OTD and frum are not polar opposites and i think you are drawing a false dichotomy between the two. many people who have been labled OTD are not militant god-bashing secularists. just as there is a wide spectrum of frumkeit, there is a wide spectrum of OTDism, which is subjectively defined in relation to the level of frumkeit they have left and how far they have gone. (much like BT is also a subjective category depeding on the previous lifestyle and how far they've gone.) so there are many "OTDs" who are merely not as frum as their families/communities. these people have no desire to leave judaism completely, but they constantly find their lifestyles being attacked by intolerant people who are frumer than they are. so the attacks of these "OTDs" on the frum world are a defense mechanism.

and then of course there are the OTDs who gripe for purely mercenary motives (a la englander?)

John Shtarks said...

Lol. I am saddened seeing all of the QC (Queens College) guys who weren't hugged enough (or hugged by weird people?) and no longer wear kippas in school...but wear a kippa at home or in front of other people. Who are you kidding? Get over yourself! You're a big boy, stop crying please. Thanks. (I think this arty is like a year old but I figure I'll blurt out...) Also - should all those ''frum'' girls who go to seminary be called drama graduates? I call Girl sems in Israel Drama school...hand in hand with OTD in college.