Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Some Rants and Raves

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Edit: Just so its clear this is not an attack on anyone. I'm not saying this blogger is bad or this blogger is good. All I'm doing is expressing my thoughts about two Weltanschauungs coming into conflict and the ensuing frustration. I have no interest in starting any ad hominem debates. That said prepare for some whining.

A certain Fictional Fantasy Character (henceforth known as FFC) called me irrelevant on his blog. Interestingly enough a Rabbi once called me the same thing. In both instances I had to wonder "irrelevant to what"?

Why does FFC bother me so much? Apparently I bother him enough to warrant a shout out on his blog. What bothers me is his confident dismissal of skepticism. He just sort of casually says things like "There are no issues with TMS all of Bible scholarship is just complete rubbish!" and "You skeptics are just a bunch of whining babies"

Imagine you go to an astronaut and say "being an astronaut is nothing! It's probably the easiest thing to do in the world!" How do you think the astronaut will feel? This man probably spent years and years training and retraining to prepare to go into space and some schmuck just comes up and thinks it's not a big deal!

I didn't wake up one day, stretch my arms, and say triumphantly "I don't really believe in Orthodox Judaism!" I went through years of emotional turmoil trying to find answers to my questions. Searching for something, anything to alleviate my doubts and bring me back to emuna peshuta (simple belief).

After a while I gave up. Not because I was lazy or arrogant but because after a while I realized that I knew enough to know that there was nothing that could help me go back to my childhood naivety.

When FFC just cavalierly strides into the blogosphere and says "You don't have any big questions! These are stupid, unimportant issues. I can answer all your questions!" It just makes my blood boil over. Does he not realize that I've gone through this already? Does he not get how much I tried to believe but in the end just couldn't.

Truth be told, I guess I understand where FFC is coming from. I guess all people are arrogantly sure that they are right about certain things. I guess my arrogance against TMS sort of annoys FFC. Who do I think I am just throwing out TMS like that!? Everyone is arrogant and sure of themselves in certain fields. When two people are sure of opposite things a natural conflict ensues. 

I really shouldn't get so annoyed but at the end of the day I just read FFC's comments and I can't help getting mad. I really need to remind myself that I once like him also.

Another thing: On the the comments of FFC's blog someone basically said "Why do all these skeptic bloggers have to keep whining just leave frumkeit and shut up already"

Okay, first things first, leaving frumkeit ain't a walk in the park. Some people have done it. Good for them. Others haven't. Personally I don't have, excuse the obscenity, the balls to do it. I really should but I have enough problems on my plate without having to declare myself OTD.

Second thing why am I blogging? Good question! Main reason: Because I like to. I like getting my thoughts organized and spelling them  out. I also like ranting and raving with fellow skeptics. I think the best way to deal with one's issues is by self expression. Just getting everything out there! A blog is a great way of doing that.

I have a few topics I discuss on my humble little blog:

1. Charedi bashing

I'm not saying Charedism is bad so Judaism is bad. Not at all. I happen to think Modern Orthodoxy is infinitely better than Chareidism. But since I spent a lot of time in Chareidi yeshivot I like to rant and rave about how stupid certain elements of Chareidism are.

2. Skepticism

I like discussing my doubts about Judaism in general. I'm not trying to proselytize anyone. Don't read any posts that pose emuna threats to you. When I argue with believers I'm not trying to win them over. I just like arguing. Ze Hu! And another thing! I only comment on "believer blogs" when

A. I'm not saying anything "kefiradick"
B. That blogger comments on MY blog thus showing they're not afraid of my "kefira"
C. They ask me to comment on their blog (which one blogger did)

If you don't want me commenting on your blog just say so.

3. Judaism

I like discussing Judaism once in a while from a less skeptical vantage point. These posts I hope even believers can enjoy. 

Please! If my blog offends you feel free to not read it! I'm not out to convert believers to disbelief. I'm not on any sort of mission. I just want to muse, criticize, and argue because I like doing it.


OTD said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who can't stand Garhell. I agree it's beyond frustrating when he casually dismisses our viewpoints and opinions, especially when they were very difficult to come by.

This is why I hate him more than JP. JP simply calls us "sex addicts". Garnel writes eloquent essays condemning us for using our brains, and actually gives us the impression that he's willing to approach the discussion rationally, before diving into never-ending streams of sophistry and slander. The only thing worse than an enemy is an enemy who pretends he's your friend.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

1)You forgot to link to my blog while attacking me. It's standard blogosphore etiquette. Thought you should know. OTD often forgets to do that but he often forgets to take his pills as well.
2) Actually, I didn't say any of the things you accuse me of. I agree you have big important questions. I never offered to answer all of your big important questions. Not sure why you need to both bash me and misrepresent me.
3) Consider you've been going around to other blogs badmouthing me I don't think you're in a position to get upset over some negative feedback.

Shilton HaSechel said...


I didn't want to turn this into a vendetta where we quote each others blogs that is why I didn't link you and didn't use your moniker. But fine if you prefer it I'll link you in the future. (Actually I probably won't mention you again sorry)

I have badmouthed you AFAIK in one place in the blogosphere (http://offthed.blogspot.com/2010/06/consequences.html#comments) and only to point out that you're not as bad as JP.

>Not sure why you need to both bash me and misrepresent me.

You often misrepresent me so forgive me for my oversight.

This post was not meant to bash you for the sake of bashing. I was just expressing my (negative) feelings about you. I would have actually preferred that you never read it. I have no interest in getting into a fight.

Shilton HaSechel said...

No more arguing on THIS thread. I have spoken!

J said...

"I have badmouthed you AFAIK in one place in the blogosphere (http://offthed.blogspot.com/2010/06/consequences.html#comments) and only to point out that you're not as bad as JP."

Check out "Holocaust Denial and Sinai Denial", listed as the fourth item in the "Essential Reading of Garnel Ironheart" sidebar.

Shilton HaSechel said...

His best post yet! ;)

OTD said...

If Garnel only practiced what he preached, we'd all be a lot happier.

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