Alan Perlman's Blog Posts Tagged 'Judaism' (31)

The Battle for Zachary's Brain, IX; "Can I show that to Daddy?"

There is nothing that is too obvious of an absurdity to be firmly planted in the human head as long as you begin to instill before the age of five by constantly repeating it with an air of great seriousness.

– Arthur Schopenhauer

Followers of the riveting “Zachary’s Brain” series of posts will know that the narrative is not a Gothic horror tale…but something that is just as disturbing: resisting the religious programming of a child.

His step-mother,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on May 16, 2014 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Happy Easter, Bloody Easter

“In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,

You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade…

On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue, photographers will snap us

And you’ll find that you’re in the rotogravure…”

Irving Berlin

“They tried to nail him down, but he got away.”

Marquee outside church in Massachusetts

Well, it’s that day again, and our Greek Orthodox friends, as well as our Roman…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 19, 2014 at 7:00pm — 9 Comments

Another Passover, another celebration of non-deliverance; on not being a jerk

Imagine the religious principles which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded that they are anything but sick men’s dreams.”



David Hume

Psrt I: The Non-Event

Another Passover is upon us. I’ve said just about all I can say about this holiday when Jews celebrate their founding myth, the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 18, 2014 at 7:30pm — 4 Comments

The Battle for Zachary's Brain, VII: Counter-Church/The Absurdity of Jonah

There is nothing that is too obvious of an absurdity to be firmly planted in the human head as long as you begin to instill before the age of five by constantly repeating it with an air of great seriousness.

– Arthur Schopenhauer

Followers of the riveting “Zachary’s Brain” series of posts will know that the narrative is not a Gothic horror tale…but something that is just as disturbing: resisting the religious programming of a child.

His…

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Added by Alan Perlman on April 14, 2014 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

Say NO to "Noah"

Back in the day, a trip to my grandparents' row home in South Philly, for Passover or the Jewish New Year, was preceded by a family movie in Center City.  The theaters were huge and ornate -- not at all like your bare-bones cineplex; the movies were usually Biblical and always accompanied by chocolate covered cherries.

Of course, we saw Charlton Heston as Moses.  I think Ben-Hur got sneaked in there, as well as Israeli-themed movies like the heart-rending Exodus,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on March 22, 2014 at 2:23pm — 19 Comments

Happy Hanukkah -- sort of

"If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities."

 

Voltaire

“Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of tribal Jewish backwardness.”

Christopher Hitchens

“Hanukkah is…the Feast of Lights. Instead of one day, we got eight CRAZY…

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Added by Alan Perlman on December 1, 2013 at 7:30pm — 5 Comments

Jewish Atheist spreads reason and heresy on the Net

I was contacted by www.askimo.com , a new internet portal featuring video interviews of experts talking on their field of expertise.  I decided that my field of expertise would be “what the Torah really says” (since I am one of the few laypeople who has actually bothered to find out), along with related questions about atheism, blasphemy and the “clear alternative to the Torah” (It's SCIENCE!). 

The questions were partly supplied by me, generally…

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Added by Alan Perlman on May 8, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Q&A: Jewish Atheist replies to Christian Atheist

In an email exchange, an old friend and fellow English-prof colleague wrote this:

"I know you're 'the Jewish atheist,' but don't you feel a strong sense of identification with the Jewish ethos, aside from religion? You've sought out Jewish wives, and friends to some degree could be, the way I might seek out writers as friends. I think of my former Catholicism not angrily but gratefully. When I grew up, I decided on my own that I didn't believe. But my Catholic education was excellent;…

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Added by Alan Perlman on May 2, 2013 at 12:23pm — 7 Comments

Let my people go!

“Men create the gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regards to their mode of life.”

Aristotle



I have been hearing from people who have had to sit at Seders year after year, uncomfortably, stifling their inner thoughts about what nonsense this is, how tedious, what’s the point?  Early in her adulthood, my wife decided that THIS was the year she was going to stand up at a family Seder (with two rabbis present, mind you) and…

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Added by Alan Perlman on March 30, 2013 at 10:10am — 2 Comments

Reply to Matthew's Bar Mitzvah Invitation (not sent)

I recently received an invitation to the bar mitzvah of the grandson of my first cousin; this ceremony is, as you may know, the induction of the youngster into Jewish adulthood. 

The invitation itself was colorful and cheery, produced, no doubt, with invitation-creation software and thus exhibiting neither coherence nor originality but just an electronic mad mix of fonts, patterns, and such, chosen from among an infinity of alternatives.

Strangely, the trifold invitation had a…

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Added by Alan Perlman on March 17, 2013 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

A Pious Jewish Prick (updated)

“I find it necessary to wash my hands after I have come into contact with religious people.”

Friedrich Nietzsche



True story:

A Jewish American young man, baby boomer generation, grows up and gets married in the New York area. His wife is a nice Jewish girl. They live on Long Island.  They apparently believed themselves unable to have children, because they adopted a child, sort of through a gray market, but they got a Caucasian child, a daughter, whom they…

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Added by Alan Perlman on March 10, 2013 at 8:00pm — 24 Comments

The Battle for Zachary’s Brain V: Tears on His Pillow; The Consequences of Unbelief

“Do you know that many people believe in God?

They think God made the world and runs the universe.

Some people grow up and learn that God is JUST PRETEND like Santa.

But some people still believe God is real. . .

Some people believe in a god who gives rewards to favorite people.

They imagine a place called Heaven with gold and crowns and music and no pain or work.

Some people believe in a god…

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Added by Alan Perlman on February 9, 2013 at 7:23pm — No Comments

Remembering Bill Perlman

February 1 is the anniversary of the death of my father, Hyman William Perlman (1910-80). 

He was indirectly responsible for this blog – and in fact for all the secularism, skepticism, atheism, and humanism that have been the foundation of my intellectual life.  He was the first skeptic I ever met, and the effect was lasting.  Every time Mom would babble on about “God’s will,” he would snap back, “What’s God got to do with it?”

What indeed.  Things may happen for some reason or…

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Added by Alan Perlman on January 31, 2013 at 4:05pm — 1 Comment

Religion and Death: How Will I Behave at Mom’s Funeral?

“Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside.”

--George Bernard Shaw

 

“It’s an incredible con job, when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death.  Even corporations, with all their reward systems, don’t try to make it…

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Added by Alan Perlman on January 8, 2013 at 11:46am — 9 Comments

The choice of “nice” over “truth”

“Put on your yarmulke;

It’s time to celebrate Hanukkah…”

Adam Sandler, “The Hanukkah Song”

 

“Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of Jewish backwardness.”

Christopher Hitchens…

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Added by Alan Perlman on December 8, 2012 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Religion, Evil and Insanity: Has God Been Talking to You?

“Men never do evil as completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

Blaise Pascal

 

“The religions of mankind must be classed among the mass-delusions of this kind.  No one, needless to say, who shares a religious delusion ever recognizes it as such.”

Sigmund Freud

 

Back in the day, the insane were considered evil, possessed.  You had to beat, torture or drown the demon within.  But the…

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Added by Alan Perlman on November 11, 2012 at 3:44pm — 10 Comments

Religion vs. Sex: The Battle Continues – Jewish men find novel way to rein in their savage lust

“The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.”

Malcolm Muggeridge, “Down with Sex” (1966)

 

”Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?”

William Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV (1597-8)

 

“The sex instinct is one of the three or four prime movers of all that we do and are and dream, both individually and collectively.”

Philip Wylie,…

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Added by Alan Perlman on November 8, 2012 at 5:00pm — 8 Comments

Happy Blasphemy Day! (They’re just WORDS, idiots!)

 “Impiety, n. Your irreverence toward my deity.”

 Ambrose Bierce

 

“Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.”

Mark Twain

 

Fuck Yahweh.

Fuck Shiva.

Fuck Mohammed.

Fuck Jesus

Fuck Zeus.

Fuck Allah.

Fuck Thor.

Fuck _____ (fill in the name of any deity, past or present).

 

There, that ought to do it.  I’m an equal…

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Added by Alan Perlman on September 30, 2012 at 3:30pm — 12 Comments

Jewish Atheist Fasts on Yom Kippur! (and other High Holiday thoughts)

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: he will set them above their betters.”

H.L. Mencken

“If this is your God, he is not very impressive. He has many psychological problems; he’s so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes.…

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Added by Alan Perlman on September 26, 2012 at 3:00pm — 4 Comments

Happy New Year!

[Note: The following was written when I was an adherent of Humanistic Judaism.  I have since left the movement and revised the post, but the basic ideas still apply.]

 

“Soon silence will have passed into legend.  Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increased noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.  Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and…

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Added by Alan Perlman on September 19, 2012 at 10:37pm — No Comments

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