Matthew F.
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  • Old Bridge, NJ
  • United States
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jlaz commented on Matthew F.'s group Jewish Atheists
"Thanks Grinning Cat, that review on Amazon by the Rabbi was I thought worth the read.  Haven't checked out the book itself.http://www.amazon.com/review/R22PGGCUEVOYZJ/44 of 44 people found the following review helpful5.0 out of 5 stars…"
Sep 25
Grinning Cat commented on Matthew F.'s group Jewish Atheists
""I don't have a problem with religions when they make the lives of people better" A few years ago the New York Times had an article, "More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops", which, among other things, quoted and pictured…"
Sep 25
Grinning Cat commented on Matthew F.'s group Jewish Atheists
"Natalie, I'm rereading your post and will heartily second "I don't have a problem with religions when they make the lives of people better". (With a note of caution that we don't want to encourage magical thinking and blind…"
Sep 23
Freethinker31 commented on Matthew F.'s group Jewish Atheists
"Natalie....After  reading  your  post  again, I realized what you were trying  to covey to me...As an Atheist Jew, I can now  pick and choose what parts  of our  culture I can live with and not care  what…"
Aug 18
Natalie A Sera commented on Matthew F.'s group Jewish Atheists
"Even if it turns out that there was no slavery in Egypt, and no Exodus, there is something to be learned from that story, and the fact that it has been passed on for SO long tells me that it has its own internal validity, even if it didn't…"
Aug 18
Freethinker31 commented on Matthew F.'s group Jewish Atheists
"Thank you Grinning Cat and Natalie.....I am proud  of  my heritage,and was taken aback by those  who tried  to undermine it...I do realize the Old Testament  got   the dates  wrong, but many  of the stories…"
Aug 18
Grinning Cat commented on Matthew F.'s group Jewish Atheists
"Of note: secular humanistic rabbi Judith Seid's book God-Optional Judaism (which I recommend, btw) got a thoughtful, positive five-star Amazon review, which I just discovered, from a (theistic) Hasidic rabbi! "Seid has given a lot of…"
Aug 18
Natalie A Sera commented on Matthew F.'s group Jewish Atheists
"Freethinker, the Tanach ( a better word than Old Testament, which implies that there really is a god who made a covenant with the Jews, and then threw them overboard when he made his New Testament documenting his new covenant with the Christians) is…"
Aug 18

Matthew F.'s Blog

How the future will see us?

Posted on July 25, 2009 at 4:15pm 3 Comments

Hypothetical.



There is a massive catastrophe that wipes out much of the human race. 10,000 years in the future humans are abundant again in the world and have achieved the level of technology we have today. One major difference. There is no religion just science and reason.



By some odd chance archeologists will find the 7 Harry Potter books in every dig of every residence. And only the 7 harry potter books. All other books were destroyed.



What will they think of… Continue

Morality - Where does it come from?

Posted on May 4, 2009 at 1:00pm 4 Comments

Years back I posed the following question to a Rabbi at my children's Sunday school.



"Christians have the fear of hell to keep them in line.. What do Jews have?"



His answer without any hesitation was



"That's what Jewish Mothers are for!"



I laughed and agreed.. To those who do not understand.. There is a cultural joke about Jewish mothers and their propensity to give the gift of guilt that lasts lifetimes. Years later after I became an Atheist I… Continue

New blog post. http://tinyurl.com/caroc2

Posted on May 3, 2009 at 3:30pm 3 Comments

New blog post. http://tinyurl.com/caroc2

Morality - Where does it come from? A personal take on morality

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At 2:28am on December 16, 2009, Nathan Phillips said…
If one wants a reason to celebrate Jewish holidays, one needs only to look at the suite that Jewish culture contains. Yes, there have been groups of Christians and Muslims who have celebrated education and learning, but they have been islands among vast seas. The Jewish culture has fostered some of the best aspects of western society. That is not saying that Judaism is without superstition and undue emotional strain, but it combines a certain level of rationality and practicality with a cultural cohesion that atheistic movements have not yet gained.
At 2:21am on December 16, 2009, Nathan Phillips said…
I am an atheist from a Christian background who would like to join your Jewish Atheists group. I realize that it is for atheists who have come from a Jewish background, but I do not see an Atheist Jews and Friends group. I'm fully atheistic, yet I am attracted to Jewish culture. I have been lighting candles in my menora this Chanukka, and I hope to be able to chat with like minded individuals. Few have sympathy for an atheist who wishes to be Jewish.
At 12:15am on July 26, 2009, Loren ɟɟןoʍ said…
'Social Justice.. Charity(Tzedakah).. Equality/Tolerance.. Life long learning.' These are not values intrinsic just to being a Jew, you can be an atheist or Christian and feel strongly and partake in these aspects. And that is what I call cherry picking. Those items won't include God. Just as believers cherry pick from the bible and leave out things that don't quite apply in our modern civilized world. But most of the Jewish traditions are wholely myths and superstitious beliefs with God the central figure. Look at Pesach (very God related ie Ten Plagues) and Yom Kippur (an omniscient god looking out for you). You cannot, in my view be Jewish and an atheist. Like saying you can be a Christian Atheist. Most 'orthodox' Jews partake in these traditions because it's a time the family comes together same time, same place, every year and it fulfills a sense of togetherness and community that is evolutionary in human beings.
At 2:33am on July 17, 2009, Loren ɟɟןoʍ said…
I often ask, how can an atheist Jew be both an atheist and take part in the traditional part of Jewish life? To me that does not reconcile. Something smacks of guilt coming in from somewhere from somebody? Traditional observances are all about GOD and centre around what God has done/created etc. That is why I have abandoned the lot and am relieved to be rid of all the myths and superstition involved in Judaism. Jewish tradition = God. I could not bring myself to go to a Seder or Shul again- ever even as a Reform/Conservative as I was.
At 11:06am on August 10, 2008, Richard said…
Matthew,
Thanks for writing me back.
I'm not totally sure where you are in your journey which presumably has paralleled mine to a degree. Might I ask (for one thing) how old you are?
Unlike you, I can't look at the bar mitzvah as simply a rite of passage. Of course it is, anthropologically; but some of the rationale for the bar mitzvah, traditionally, is that it means the young man is ready to take his place in the community of adult worshippers. Therefore, at least part of it is undermined, to my eyes, if you remove God. Similarly for Passover, which celebrates God's freeing the Jews from their bondage in Egypt.
Which brings me to another question: What branch of Judaism were you brought up in? I was raised in a Conservative synagogue, of which my grandfather--a very observant Jew--was one of the founders. My father, on the other hand, came from German Jewish parents who were, of course, quite assimilated. I was compelled (resulting in my rebellion) to go to religious school (etc., etc.): my father's stand was, "I want you to have what I never did."
Anyway, it's only been as an adult that I've come to realize that so much of Judaism is very much a matter of an individual rabbi's interpretation.
Well, anyway, by now I certainly feel no gap or hole in my life left by abandoning the Jewish holidays, etc. I've been a non-believer for maybe 50 years now. A few years ago I had to go to a synagogue service--for I think the second time in 30 years--when my grand nephew had his bar mitzvah. I'd even forgotten that you open the prayerbook from the wrong side! ... and the conrinual standing up and sitting down makes no sense to me. And this a Reform synagogue, where the rabbi (this apparently is an open secret) is a lesbian.
At 11:13am on August 9, 2008, Richard said…
Hi. I come from Judaism, too. For quite a while I was trying to find a way to reconcile Judaism with my rejection of theism. Maybe you can identify with this.
Probably you know of Rabbi Sherwin Wine and his book Judaism without God. Their group has a synagogue in the Chicago area (Beth Or), and I went there to a service twice. To me, though, it is the form without the substance, and I felt that is not what I need or want.
I got very excited when I discovered a group called Chicagoland Secular Humanist Jews. Then, a member asked the leader, "How are we different from Beth Or?" and he replied, "We are not, at all."
Also, I found their raison d'etre to be fallacious: they claim they celebrate Jewish observances such as Bar Mitzvah as simply "the seasons of a person's life." Well, they celebrate a New Year twice in 12 months, so I think that gives the lie to that rationalization.
Anyway, bottom line: I became very, very disappointed in this group and not only had to conclude it was not what I was looking for, but it made me give up my "quest" as futile.
I'd love to read any comments.
 
 
 

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