Monday, October 10, 2005

Hashkafa Update

During my recent travels (3,000+ miles in the past month), I reconnected with a rabbi I always admired and laid out my case against Judaism (jeez, that sounds harsh). In retrospect, I am not sure why I bothered, I knew what his answers would be in advance (Watchmaker, learn Tanya, don't eat chalav akum (I don't)). Here is my case in brief:

Even if you accept that God put all this stuff here to begin with (ex nihilo), that doesn't support the myth that God formed Adam out of sand. The rabbi's argument was that if God could have put this stuff here in the first place, than clearly it is in his power to form Adam out of sand. That is all well and good, but the only reason why I accepted arguendo God as First Cause, is because the evidence suggests it (although not really, because God is not the answer, just a copout), but there is no evidence of God creating Adam from sand and a mountain of data suggesting that evolution might have played some part in it. At this point, someone like GH would tell me to get over Genesis-as-literal-truth, but since the rabbi is UO, that is not an option.

But Genesis-as-metaphor is such a ridiculous concept, I am not sure how critical thinkers can accept it. The book was not written as metaphor. It was not accepted as metaphor. It was not even considered metaphor until it was clear that its teachings do not match reality. Then a whole line of clever apologists start reading in new things into it to reconcile the writings with reality. Here's a question- if the Torah contains the secrets of the Universe, would it have killed it to tell us about penicillin?

I think I am going to have to save the rest for another time, since I am working my way back into my old routines and have a lot of mileage to cover.