Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ann Druyan at Beyond Belief

No explanation for this one, just watch it.



14 comments:

happywithhislot said...

hmmm.
cant win!
sin if you do, sin if you dont! (all from relative perspective)

Anonymous said...

OP, touching. No rebuttal?

Anonymous said...

so what does this mean to you?
Orthoprax??

Orthoprax said...

I definitely see Druyan's point (or her grandfather's point) but virtually my whole blog is an argument against the supposition of her statement.

I would agree that it is poor state to be observant just in order to pretend to be a believer. But that isn't me. I am observant for my own reasons which vary from using traditional acts as spiritual aids, to celebration of my heritage to the fact that I just plain like doing it.

So I am not pretending.

However, at the same time, I am not publicizing my skepticism to all of my friends and acquaintances, nor even to my family. Is this wrong?

Am I presenting a false image of myself, even though it is in fact a true image of myself, if I don't specifically announce my disagreement?

Rabban Gamliel said...

There's a story of two Chassidic Rebbes. One says to the other that he never tells a lie. The other one then asks him about what happens if it will cause trouble and the Rebbe who never lies said that he would instead say nothing. Everything varies according to the individuals you are dealing with but if you are able to be upfront and honest then you should be. Nowadays you can wear a yarmulka and tzitzes and not have people think necessarily you are Orthodox.Being upfront with others also helps you be more objective too because you can see what you really think and not what you have the luxury of thinking because your thoughts are basically under wraps from others. It's like the person who says they approve of intermarriage but they are raising their little kids in such a way that they don't think they will do it. Easy to say while the kiddies are young and so are you.

dbs said...

Orthoprax,

I understand your answer. Also, this works better as a statement of love and acceptance than as a moral prinicple.

And no, it's not your problem if your family and friends assume that you are a frum believer. It's not your job to make sure that everyone in the world has the absolute correct interpretation of your ideology.

'Orthopraxy' doesn't work for me personally. It is a sad reality that many people who are firm non-believers are locked into the need to appear religious in order to preserve the order of their lives. I am not judging them, and I certainly understand what they are facing, but I feel sorry for the bondage which they suffer.

Anonymous said...

Orthoprax,

The premise of this discussion, both here and on other blogs, seems to be that religion has to be about belief. Why is that so? We have very many cultural practiced such as, for example, eating Turkey on thanksgiving and watching fireworks on the 4th of July that do not relate to a belief in anything, but our expressions of our culture and heritage. I see no reason one can not practice orthodoxy on the same grounds. It is a very rich heritage.

Also, whatever happened to ein balua yotzei mikli likli ele al yiday rotev? I suppose we'll have to assume that the story is talking about a wet hot fork. Still, I thought neitzah bikarka only applied to knives.

resh lakish said...

I agree with DBS that AD's grandfather may have meant this more in the spirit of reconciliation and love than as a philosophical statement.

Anyway, I don't buy the premise that you can only practice the Jewish mesorah if you fully believe in the factual veracity of its underlying narratives. The mesorah is not the property of any one authority.

Also, whatever happened to ein balua yotzei mikli likli ele al yiday rotev? I suppose we'll have to assume that the story is talking about a wet hot fork. Still, I thought neitzah bikarka only applied to knives.

That's the difference between mimetic Jewish observance and book learnin'. One interesting thing is that with regard to kashrut, the mimetic practises of the Jewish home were in many instances stricter than the laws of the Shulhan Aruch.

alex said...

If I were the grandfather, and I had the gift of 20-20 hindsight, I think I would've answered: "The only sin is to not continue to investigate whether perhaps you're mistaken." Not as poetic as what Ann's grandfather said, but oh well.

Also, can you imagine a BT breaking the news to his father, "Dad, I think your atheism is a bunch of bulls#!t," especially right after the father had just gone through a very special moment?

Oh, thanks for sharing the meaningful video.

resh lakish said...

Also, can you imagine a BT breaking the news to his father, "Dad, I think your atheism is a bunch of bulls#!t," especially right after the father had just gone through a very special moment?

Funnily enough, I do know of cases where it happened in a very similar manner (without the swearing, of course...)

I do think that, from the sounds of it, the way Druyan's father did it was a bit insensitive. The grandfather sounds like a very special individual. The fact that he reacted with love and acceptance seems to be what saved the relationship. I've seen in many cases (both with kids "freiing out" and "flipping out/becoming hozer be'tshuva") that a dismissive or hostile attitude from the parents can set the child against them and rupture the relationship, potentially irreperably.

resh lakish said...

Also, can you imagine a BT breaking the news to his father, "Dad, I think your atheism is a bunch of bulls#!t," especially right after the father had just gone through a very special moment?

Also, I think that saying "Mom I won't eat in your house any more" or "Dad, I won't set foot in your synagogue anymore" is also pretty hurtful, albeit not (normally) intended to be so.

Anonymous said...

wow, that was some video, thanks for sharing

alex said...

"Also, I think that saying "Mom I won't eat in your house any more" or "Dad, I won't set foot in your synagogue anymore"

True, but that's hardly ever how it's worded.

Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read this post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read more soon.

Truly yours