Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Why are the anti-religious quick to criticize most religions but don't criticize Judaism?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) February 23rd, 2010

This came up in a religion course in college.

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101 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

If they are quick to criticize all religions, why would Judaism be excluded from “all”?

Grisaille's avatar

I do all the time. In fact, I generally hear atheists preface a diatribe with something like, “If you look at Christianity, Judaism or Islam-”

judochop's avatar

Ever here of a little group called the Skinheads? I’m pretty sure they don’t like the Jews. I don’t think those guys are very religious. Since they are hatin all the time.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Edited from “all” to “most”

NeoNazi’s hate based on ethnicity not religion.

dpworkin's avatar

Because Jews manage the money supply, and along with the Tri-Lateral Commission, foreign affairs. You’d better watch it, pal.

Grisaille's avatar

@dpworkin It’s a conspiracy, man!

ragingloli's avatar

Because unlike Christianity and Islam, they don’t try to impose their beliefs on the western world in the form of discriminatory laws.

Cruiser's avatar

Why is it both Jews and Muslims hate pork??

ninjacolin's avatar

It hasn’t been offensive enough.
They seem to stay out of people’s lives so no one has reason to complain about them.

lilikoi's avatar

@ninjacolin Perhaps. I’m thinking back, and I don’t recall a Jew ever trying to convert me…lost count of the Christians and Mormons who’ve tried, though.

Arisztid's avatar

I, for one, have never had a Jew try to convert me.

Even when I had a Jewish best friend in grade school, ate dinner and slept over at my friend’s house (as he did at mine), and all the rest that best pals do in grade school, never once did his parents try to convert me. If I was curious and asked questions, they answered them.

janbb's avatar

Are we all accepting that the premise of the question is true?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I had a 20-hour plane trip to China a couple of years ago seated next to an Orthodox Jew from NYC. We had a great discussion about religion in general and Judaism in particular for most of the way there. He was “pro”, I wasn’t…

marinelife's avatar

I don’t agree with the premise of the question.

Grisaille's avatar

I think the whole “I’ve never had a Jew try to convert me” is an augmented point on a moot premise.

Judaism is not free from scorn. No amount of isolation can free them from true, honest criticism.

Rarebear's avatar

@dpworkin Don’t forget the media, the movies, and the entertainment industry. We’re everywhere.

Arisztid's avatar

No religion is free from scorn and should not be criticized. I am just saying why Jews do not annoy me with their religion unlike some others. Individual Jews, of course, annoy me the same percentage as individual non Jews… with things other than religion.

Trying to shove a religion down my throat is a fastrack to my bad side.

TheBot's avatar

The main reason you guys did not get approached by Jews trying to convert you is that, when compared to Islam or Christianity, Judaism is a more “closed” religion. It is apparently very hard to become Jewish solely based on a sudden change of belief or an epiphany. You actually have to show some proof of lineage to join them.

TheBot's avatar

As for the question, I don’t know how it came up, but if you’re against religion, you’re against religion and that’s that. Judaism included.

janbb's avatar

@TheBot That’s actually not true. Anyone can convert but there is an extensive conversion process. But it is true that Judaism is not an evangelical religion; they are not searching for converts.

Arisztid's avatar

I guess I would not qualify as anti religious, then, rather being anti having something shoved down my throat.

I have a problem with Christianity because it is incorporated so much in daily American life but, if that were not so and people would stop trying to convert me, it would fall under the “I could not care less” department. Even with America being decided by so many to be a “Christian nation” it has fallen enough into the background that I usually forget about it.

TheBot's avatar

@janbb I had heard from a teacher that you needed to prove lineage…thanks for the precision ;-)

Yeah it is a very extensive process. Apparently the Torah requires rabbis to dissuade you every step of the way and any way they can, just to test your will. (The rabbis authorized to do conversions being themselves few and far between.) I am sure some of them give you hell, for lack of a better word ^^

ninjacolin's avatar

I agree with what i assume is the intended premise of the question: “People don’t seem to pick on Judaism very much. Why is that?”

I think it’s true that people don’t pick on Judaism very much.
And the reason, i think, isn’t because it is flawless. Rather, Judaism is simply not very interesting to talk about.

dpworkin's avatar

Does “pick on” include exterminate? Because that happens every so often.

Blackberry's avatar

Jewish people seem to keep to themselves, I agree with ragingloli’s answer as well. That is one of the myriad reasons why secular minded people have problems with christians and muslims….....they don’t keep to themselves.

Rarebear's avatar

I’m probably sensitive, but I see attacks on Judaism all the time on internet forums.

TheBot's avatar

@Blackberry But can you blame them? Spreading the word is one of the main driving forces for both these religions. In other words, those who do not spread the word are technically speaking not good Christians or not good Muslims.

DominicX's avatar

I have a few problems with this question.

First of all, a true “anti-religious” person is also against Judaism. They are anti-religious, so they are against all religions. Secondly, few people I know are “anti-religious”. Thirdly, what part of a religion is going to be attacked? Is someone who is opposed to religion in general just going to start attacking religion out of the blue? They’re probably going to need to be provoked first.

When I think of comparing Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, I treat Judaism a little bit differently. As people have said, Judaism doesn’t seem to impose itself on others as much as Christianity and Islam do. Think about this: how many Jewish extremists have you heard of? We all know of Christian extremists like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Fred Phelps, etc. We all know of Muslim extremists like Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, etc. But Jewish extremists? I’m having trouble naming any at all.

Not to mention there are around 2 billion Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims, and 13 million Jews. Of the adherents of the Abrahamic religions, about 55% are Christian, 43% are Muslim, and around 0.4% are Jewish. There are just far fewer Jews to begin with, so much less of a chance of encountering them in the first place and much less of a chance of being provoked by them.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think the non-proselytizing aspect is a major part of what keeps Judaism as a faith and belief system from being criticized. The culture that has come from it to today’s’ world is heavily criticized, though, isn’t it?

6rant6's avatar

Another factor: there are just 14 million Jews in the world. So they rank behind Juche and Spiritism. Can I get a huh?

Judaism is a major religion really only in the sense that it is an element of Christianity and Islam.

SeventhSense's avatar

They control the media and they’re just special. And you know they will just whine so bad you’ll eventually just be like . “Alright already do your schpiel…God forbid we stand in your way..eat your hammenschnutzel and your matzohs and we’ll be the goyem.” The Jews can find the victimization in a unfavorable interest rate that they are the beneficiary of so we don’t want to give them any other reason to kvetch. Oh no I just did

TheBot's avatar

You just did

TheBot's avatar

“Oh no you di -n’t!”
snap! snap! snap!

SeventhSense's avatar

@6rant6
Judaism is a major religion really only in the sense that it is an element of Christianity and Islam.
If the branch was independent of the tree but usually the foundation is what the house is built upon and Judaism preceded Christianity. Jesus was a rabbi. An independent no doubt but a rabbi nonetheless.

Blackberry's avatar

@TheBot Uhhmmmmm, that’s the problem….....why do we accept the open preaching?

Blackberry's avatar

And a lot of normal, cool christians are the ones that don’t follow the bible and command protocol, they simple believe jesus died for their sins and lead decent lives. They are the ones that keep to themselves. These people can spread their word as long as it doesn’t make it into politics….oh wait, nevermind : (

syz's avatar

I’m an equal opportunity criticizer.

Azazel's avatar

Jews are a small, unimportant target that don’t really seem to bother people. Christians are a large (physically and demographically) , annoying target with some members who bother everyone around them, including other Christians, with what irritating pricks they can be.

AstroChuck's avatar

Because of their cute little hats. Plus they can get it for you wholesale, which is nice.

TheBot's avatar

@Blackberry Well you know I don’t really know much about religion and politics in the US, because I am not American, but I’ll just say that I don’t really believe religion should be used as a political tool (in the “vote-seeking” sense). But there is a huge difference between having religion written in a country’s constitution for example and politics as a profession. The founding fathers were fervent believers and so part of their ideals for a perfect nation was to include God at its core. The point was not really to preach to anyone I think, or to spread the word. They were building their own country. I believe it was more a way for them to make their own commitment to religion an extremely formal one. Now it so happens many politicians nowadays use this to gain followers via religion, but I think it’s apples and oranges.

I was originally talking more about your average Christian on the block talking to his friends. I don’t know what you meant by “open preaching” (if it was just the political use of religion or not), but people are entitled to certain freedoms, including the freedom of speech, and of religion. From that moment on, you have to accept that part of what a Christian does is preach. On the other hand, if you think said Christian is suddenly too up in your face about religion, you also have the freedom to ask him to change subjects,... or the freedom to turn off the TV ;-)

SeventhSense's avatar

@Azazel
Jews are a small, unimportant target that don’t really seem to bother people
That’s not politically correct. That’s just ignorant.
I’m sorry but do you live on a different planet? No disrespect to anyone but this small unimportant target called Israel is surrounded by those who actually are quite strident in their passion to eliminate the state and all its inhabitants.

ragingloli's avatar

and then of course there is the fact that any criticisms towards Judaism and Jews will invariably result in accusations of antisemitism.

SeventhSense's avatar

We have a long way to go. We still can’t talk open about this topic which will invariably lead to escalating violence.

Blackberry's avatar

@TheBot Yeah I forgot about that whole freedom of speech thing, it’s just too bad some people don’t have a critical thinking cap on to filter the BS out, I can’t help that, unfortunately. Isn’t it scary how powerful words are? I used to think I would literally burn in hell if I did something bad…...when I was 8.

DarkScribe's avatar

Being anti Christian is enough – after all Christ was a Jew.

wundayatta's avatar

You can be an atheist and still be a Jew. You can be an atheist and be a part of a Jewish congregation. I think the open, intellectual nature of at least some Jewish traditions provides room for those who aren’t comfortable with magical thinking.

SeventhSense's avatar

And can anyone imagine this question being raised by any other than a Jew and not being thoroughly trounced? Talk about a religious monologue. It wasn’t even a question as much as a poll and completely against Fluther guidelines. I can’t even believe it got past the Mods. Actually I can because it’s the same old racist PC bullshit.

TheBot's avatar

@Blackberry

I now right? Personally, I don’t really mind people preaching to me, but I can certainly think of many other instances (people asking useless questions in class for instance) where I thought freedom of speech was more a pain than anything.

Can’t we simply take it away from just a few very objective time wasters? ^^

And yeah the words in the Bible are very strong. They sure get the message across! lol

SeventhSense's avatar

@wundayatta
Wait so now Judaism is not synonymous with Monotheism?
Can we add anything else to the bullshit PC on this thread?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Blackberry
What do you even mean allow open preaching? What do you propose in it’s place a Fascist State which squelches differing views?

Rarebear's avatar

@wundayatta I’m an atheist Jew. I see no conflict, actually. I’m even fairly observant as we keep Shabbat every Friday night and observe most of the holidays. I even built a Succah. I’ve talked to my rabbi about this, and he sees no conflict either. His comment to me was, “What does God care if you believe in him or not?”

As the famous story about Rabbi Hillel goes: When asked by a non-Jew to relate all the Torah had to say while standing on one foot, Hillel replied, “Do not unto your neighbor what you would not have him do until you; this is the whole Law; the rest is commentary.”

http://judaism.about.com/library/2_history/leaders/bldef-p_hillel.htm

Rarebear's avatar

@SeventhSense Lighten up. That question ended up being a bunch of pretty funny puns.

Azazel's avatar

@wundayatta I said “that don’t really seem to bother people”, not Arabs.

Rarebear's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy I just read the subheading of your question. What kind of religion course was it brought up and in what context?

ragingloli's avatar

@Azazel
So Arabs are not people?

Nullo's avatar

Because they don’t like to be told that they’re eternally damned and need salvation :\.
@ninjacolin One reason why pork might be considered unclean is that pigs’ll eat pretty much whatever they find. Which goes into the meat…

Azazel's avatar

@ragingloli That would appear to be what I was getting at.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Azazel
So you hate Jews and Arabs? Make up your mind.

Azazel's avatar

@SeventhSense Going from “Jews don’t bother me” to “I hate Jews” is quite the intuitive leap. But I must hate them, because “Jew” is a racial slur. For “Jew”. Or is it supposed to be Jewish-American? I know they’re not all Americans, but then neither are all Blacks African. Or American.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Azazel
True but going from Jews are a small, unimportant target that don’t really seem to bother people
to
this is a BLATANT LIE is not such a leap.

Response moderated
Response moderated
Qingu's avatar

I criticize the hell out of Judaism.

Ask my poor old Jewish grandpa… :(

No seriously, Judaism is barbaric mesopotamian mythology; the Hebrew Bible is the only religious text that supports genocide. Hannukah is a celebration of religious terrorists, akin to celebrating the Taliban’s victory against the Soviets (or America). The Talmud consists of fairy tales accreted onto the religion via a wholly intellectually dishonest tradition of Biblical interpretation. Hasidic Jewish culture encourages you to have ten kids and provide them with no education; it is also deeply misogynistic.

Perhaps the reason Judaism seems to “get off clean” compared to other religions, in addition to there not being many Jews, is because most Jews on Earth today do not remotely believe in their religion. Their God tends to be, at most, a Unitarian-style God; many are outright atheists. Judaism for them is an ethnic attribute, like “Irish” or “Cajun.” Many self-ID as Jewish simply to avoid offending or upsetting older family members.

I was one of these people when I realized that calling myself a “Jew” was probably just confusing. Especially considering my distaste for the actual content of the religion.

6rant6's avatar

@SeventhSense Yes, that’s the point I was making. Here, I can use more favorable language if you prefer, but it amounts to the same thing.

Judaism is not important because of the number of believers, (just 14 million worldwide) but because it is a core element from which Christianity and Islam developed.

Qingu's avatar

@Azazel, I’m an atheist… my problem with theists has nothing to do with their evangelism. It has to do with the content of their beliefs, not the fact that they try to spread them.

SeventhSense's avatar

@6rant6
That’s even worse.
You’re essentially saying that Judaism’s only importance is it’s contribution to Christianity. That’s like saying that the African Americans who started playing blues only have importance as to their later contribution to English Rock.

Response moderated
Azazel's avatar

@Qingu That’s a problem with theism, not theists. I’m sure even theists realize on some level just how absurd it is that they’re taking their fairy tales literally.

Generally, if you have a problem with the people, not their belief, it’s because they can’t keep their delusions to themselves.

loser's avatar

I’m not sure which one of these answers made me throw up, but I did.

Nullo's avatar

@Qingu
If destroying a culture as punishment for hideously evil practices is genocide, then genocide, like war, has its place.

@Azazel said: I’m sure even theists realize on some level just how absurd it is that they’re taking their fairy tales literally.
Your error here is in simply assuming that what you call fairy tales actually are just that.

dpworkin's avatar

@ragingloli I am a Jew who calls you an anti-Semite because I have been reading your posts on the subject for six months, and anyone familiar with your record knows you have a bug up your ass about Jews.

What is most interesting about this is that it may be a reaction formation to defend against the anxiety produced by your knowledge that within the lifetime of people who are still among us today, your State perpetrated the worst modern State-sponsored mechanized act of genocide in history, killing over six million Jews.

It is fascinating to me the way you defend your feelings of guilt by denying them. I may seem to be making a leap of logic here, but actually I am not. You are quite reasonable in almost every other area of interest, and difficult to disagree with as your opinions are usually very well informed. It is only on the subject of Jews, Israel and Judaism that you spout hate-filled nonsense and ugly accusations. One is forced to conclude that on this subject in particular you have formed a peculiar and unfortunate psychodynamic.

ucme's avatar

I think as in most instances the ability to laugh at oneself is important. Woody Allen mocks his jewish ancestry in an endearing, self depricating way which adds to his appeal.Long summer.

ragingloli's avatar

@dpworkin
Then you might want to reevaluate your interpretational skills because frankly, your conclusion is quite twisted.
I have no problems with Jews, their culture or religion (apart from the atrocities in the OT) or anything related and you would know that if you would look past your preconceptions in that regard. I did not make any hateful accusations against Jews, I do not claim that they poison wells, control the finance industry or governments or that they abduct children to brainwash them. I find those ridiculous in extremo. If I had problems with Jewish culture and Religion or bought in any of those conspiracies of a secret Jewish world dominance, then I would be an anti-semite. But I do not, so I am not.
I have a problem with the actions of the Israeli government, a modern secular government, actions that I and most of my fellow countrymen, being raised in a country that perpetrated these actions itself in the past, abhor, in the same way that I abhor the actions of the US government in their past treatment of the natives, their recent inclination toward war, their recent practice of torture, etc.
Yes, I do not talk much about other countries like Iran, China, etc. doing this, but that is because you come to expect that kind of behaviour from them. Not so from modern secular states. I expect them to adhere to the lessons we learned in WW2 and it is an embarrassment when they display the opposite.

thriftymaid's avatar

That is not my personal observation. I notice critical remarks intended to insult those who believe in God—not specific religions.

Scooby's avatar

I’m not religious I don’t pretend to be either, as far as I’m concerned you & anybody else can believe in whatever deity you like, just don’t preach to me about it, I’ll hate you for it wherever your coming from…… live & let live is my motto not hate! So please don’t push me in to a position, I prefer to find my own path thanks :-/

janbb's avatar

Well, I guess we’ve proven that the premise of the question is fallacious.

mattbrowne's avatar

In Germany it’s almost impossible to criticize Judaism. And it’s also problematic to publicly criticize the government of Israel, no matter what happened.

My personal opinion: criticizing the government of Israel for specific courses of action is not a form of antisemitism. Criticizing certain forms of Judaism is not antisemitism. Rejecting genocide endorsements in the Pentateuch is not a general form of criticizing Judaism.

LostInParadise's avatar

I am an equal opportunity criticizer of religions. My position regarding Judaism is similar to @Qingu. In addition to what he said, there is the fact that Judaism, in its Orthodox form, is centered on following a bunch of archaic rules. You do not hear much criticism of Buddhism or Hindu. My big argument against these two is their view regarding reincarnation, which assumes that life on earth is unpleasant and that salvation comes from not being forced to return.

dpworkin's avatar

@mattbrowne and @ragingloli I find the Israeli government’s actions in Palestine to be indefensible, and an extreme example of the worst type of hypocrisy in that they knowingly perpetrate upon others what was once regrettably perpetrated against Jews. I also dislike that it is usually the Right Wing coalitions that win, and that religious law has a place in what should be a secular state. It does not generally occur to me that criticisms of Israel are anti-Semitic.

On the other hand, a lack of support for the besieged Israeli state is also indefensible, since it is surrounded on all sides by implacable enemies and is the only functioning democracy in the region.

I do not expect that there be no criticism; I do expect that the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish State be unquestioned, and that proposals such as the right of return for Palestinians be rejected as their acceptance would be the de facto suicide of Israel as presently constituted.

ragingloli's avatar

@dpworkin
You see, I agree with all of those points, which only deepens the mystery.

dpworkin's avatar

I have seen you jump to attack quotidian diplomatic moves on the part of the Israeli government that wouldn’t raise the slightest squawk if they were part of the diplomatic repertoire of any other country.

ragingloli's avatar

Mind you, I do not actively search for those stories. It happened to be on the front page of the news.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m just sort of curious. Does anyone know what a religion is?

dpworkin's avatar

If I am mistaken, I apologize. I have long been confused about this, as I agree with you on virtually every other issue. Perhaps I have been too sensitive. I withdraw my remark as regards your anti-Semitism, at least provisionally.

ragingloli's avatar

I shall accept your provisional apology. Provisionally.

dpworkin's avatar

I think that is called a demarche.

mattbrowne's avatar

@dpworkin – I share both your views on the Israeli government (run by the hardliner Netanyahu) and the problem of the besieged Israeli surrounded on all sides by implacable enemies (with the exception of Jordan and Egypt perhaps). I’m also very critical about Hamas. I’ve said this before. Hamas created a fascist system. As did the Taliban or the Wahhabists in Saudi-Arabia.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. Terrorists are criminals. Short-term Israel has to act, like the police has to act when criminals start killing people. The world had to act when the Taliban allowed criminals to be trained so that they can eventually fly airplanes into buildings. But mid-term and long-term we need to complement the strategy and not just be the police. We want less criminals on our planet. The problem with islamist extremism is that new terrorists and future suicide bombers are born all the time. I’m very sympathetic when it comes to Palestinians getting their own country. They are allowed live in peace and must behave peacefully. Israel deserves to live in peace. You know that I’m a moderate liberal, looking for a balanced view. But what is really going on in Gaza?

Hamas represents an ideology of intolerance and hatred. In a way they represent a modern form of facism. Hamas, like Iran, denies Isreal the right to exist. They randomly fire rockets into residential areas. They don’t want to negotiate. They brainwash school children. They teach hatred. Hamas ideology is as perverse as that of the Taliban or Iran’s or Saudi Arabian ‘religious’ leaders. It’s really close to fascism or Nazism. The Hamas ideology wants to erase pluralistic societies. They want to introduce religious policing, like Saudi Arabia or Iran. Ultimately our free and tolerant societies are at stake. How can anyone in the civilized West be sympathetic with Hamas’ cause? I’m not. The civilian voters in Gaza made a big mistake voting for Hamas. They were voting for confrontation and hatred and death and suicide. Democracy is a responsibilty. Voting is a responsibility. Voters will get what they elect. The same is true of the Israeli voters. There won’t be any peace as long as Netanyahu is in charge.

janbb's avatar

I’m trying to award GAs for this discussion but there’s a bug this morning that won’t let me.

Many of us who are leftwing or radical Jews have long had bones to pick with Israel’s handling of the Palestinian refugees and militaristic incursions into other countries. Many of the problems go back to the occupation of the territories after the 1967 war. Not because of any moral superiority but because of their persecution during the Holocaust, I had hoped that Israel would be a more just nation than it has become, yet I recognize the complexities they are dealing with. It is an area of pain to me and I generally have moved away from an emotional engagement with Israel.

Blackberry's avatar

@ SeventhSense Sorry I didn’t get back in a timely manner. What I meant by ‘open preaching’ is the people that come up to me as I’m eating outside at an ice cream parlor and suggest that I should be in church (their church) instead of eating ice cream. The people that preach outside of church.

When I was stationed in Florida, someone allowed bible thumpers to come on the base so they could try to reel us in. I think it’s BS of course, but like someone else said, that’s their right, but the awesome thing is: I also have the right to tell those people that they themselves can go to hell since they think it’s real : )

Qingu's avatar

The way the word “antisemitism” is thrown around—both by Jews and gentiles—is absolutely infuriating. Criticizing Israel, its policies, or its existence, is not antisemitism. Criticizing the Bible or Jewish practice is not antisemitism. Antisemitism is a racist outlook, period. I hate how people hide from legitimate criticism by throwing the “antisemitism” slur around to stop discussion.

6rant6's avatar

@SeventhSense help me out here, you think Judaism is “important” because it’s old (like so many others) or because it’s got rich and powerful people among it’s members, or because it’s the true religion? I was trying to be nice. But now you gotta make your case.

dpworkin's avatar

@Qingu Who did that?

Qingu's avatar

Just venting in general. And looks like you and ragingloli have reconciled, so yeah.

SeventhSense's avatar

@6rant6
Judaism is important because many people find it an integral part of their lives like countless religions. It needs no other support, reason or validation. And yes it is the basis or foundation for other religion and that’s great. But when we start to value something based on its personal or societal efficacy to the larger population alone we tread a dangerous path.

6rant6's avatar

@SeventhSense Pretty sophomoric to say, “We tread a dangerous path” without offering any alternative. If you don’t think anything is more important than anything else…. then you’re seven.

You piped up for Judaism. Are you saying now it has no more merit that other religions? I say religions with more people in them are more important. Not RIGHTER for god’s sake. Or do you think every headcase with a story to tell and at least one follower is “Important” like countless others? I’ll stand up and say I don’t.

I might also say that religions that promote vilolence NOW become more important to study NOW. I sure as hell don’t think that makes them TRUE. But important, yes.

And just so yI don’t let you off the hook by not saying the obvious, yes, if there were a religion that actually brought peace to its followers and the plots of land they call home, and their unaffiliated neighbors then I’d think that was important too.

SeventhSense's avatar

@6rant6
You said:
I say religions with more people in them are more important.

No. I disagree with any sentiment that would assign importance based on group size unless of course we’re talking about a sinking ship or something. In fact our entire system of law is predicated upon an individual’s right to be presumed innocent even if the collective nation at large has already deemed him guilty. One against 300 million.
Furthermore I don’t know what you’re driving at by saying alternatives? We need only tolerate and accept ALL RELIGIONS except where their stated aim is the elimination or violence towards others. Society should never be partial. Leave that to individuals within their respective religions.
P.S.- If you’re trying to pigeonhole me into a box you’re not going to get anywhere. I believe in the value and contributions of all religions.

6rant6's avatar

@SeventhSense I’m sure you tolerate all religions as long as they look like yours. Do you support their right to bring weapons to school or to assign young girls to older men or to perform animal (or even human) sacrifice? Doubt it.

And what’s so difficult about saying that things that effect more people are more important? I’m not attacking Judaism (or Jews) by saying the practice of their religion is not as important as the practice of Christianity or Islam. I’m not saying I think that the individuals of one religion are more important than another. But dammit, a thousand people are more important than one person. That’s not the same as saying one person has no value. Nor is it the same thing as saying the thousand can morally do whatever they want to the one. But come, on, man, get real!

Your argument is pure sophistry. No I don’t agree without positing ANYTHING that would actually place more importance here than there. Is every religion as important as every other, or are just without the means to do ANY evaluation yourself?

SeventhSense's avatar

@6rant6
I’m not saying I think that the individuals of one religion are more important than another. But dammit, a thousand people are more important than one person.
What does this mean in the context of criticism or apologetics in reference to the question being asked?

Your argument is pure sophistry.
My argument is sophistry? Pray tell towards what end? I am trying to deceive you towards what end?

No I don’t agree without positing ANYTHING that would actually place more importance here than there.
Whatchutalkingboutwillis?

And what’s so difficult about saying that things that effect more people are more important?
No one is questioning that that.

6rant6's avatar

@SeventhSense Judaism draws less criticism because it is a small religion. There is less (antagonizing) conversion pressure in part because it is a small religion. That’s what it has to do with the question.

You wrote, “If the branch was independent of the tree but usually the foundation is what the house is built upon and Judaism preceded Christianity. Jesus was a rabbi. An independent no doubt but a rabbi nonetheless.” What, are you going to start quoting parables next? Your attempt to bring in irrelevant details as if they proved your point is sophistry.

SeventhSense's avatar

@6rant6
I have no point nor axe to grind I just take issue with your generalizations. Maybe you could share with me your point because you obviously have one. I just can’t figure out what it is other than a generalized mistrust of mine. Which again I have no idea what that might be because I have no agenda. Or better still what do you imagine my point is so I can determine what exactly you’re attacking so vociferously?

Ron_C's avatar

Christianity and Islam are structured to spread their beliefs. When the opportunity exists, they will use the sword to spread their belief. If one of their belief decides he’s an agnostic he is subject to grave penalties, up to and including death.

Judaism is a philosophy for some, religion for others, ethnic group for the rest. They have a wide range of belief from the radical Jew to the reformed Jew. They manage to have these splits without killing each other. Further, they do not evangelize, you have to prove that you want to accept their religion and go through rigorous training to become a Jew.

I suspect that the Christians and Muslims are a bit jealous because people aren’t threatened with death of ostracism if they decide not to be Jewish.

By the way, I am not a member of any of the above mentioned religions. These are the observations of a neutral observer.

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