Drug dealing – the question

When I wrote my article about rape according to the seven laws, I got a complaint.

“What was the point in doing that? Isn’t it obvious that rape is wrong? Do you really need to find it in the seven laws for it to be wrong?”

Yeah, I’m the lonely legalist, the dude quarreling with himself about minutia, trifling matters, the unlearned figuring out his own way in his corner of the dark, the ignoramus thinking himself better than the trusted experts.

Man, why do I do this to myself?

Anyway, that person missed the point. I, as a Gentile, know within myself that rape is wrong. But unless an internal feeling corresponds with an objective standard, it’s just an opinion as good as any other, even unpalatable ones. And there are some modern rabbis (or most of them that I’ve read) that say it’s within one of the core seven laws, and then there’s a prominent rabbi amongst “noahides” who says rape is not among the core laws.

For some, it doesn’t matter; rape is wrong, no matter what. Therefore, for them, it’s a meaningless topic. Me, I choose to figure out which of my teachers I listen to and why. The “why” is important to me. If I were in a community with a righteous court, a court that actually upheld the seven laws, would the death penalty be on the table for a person convicted of rape?

Actually, thinking about it, would prison even be an option in such a community? Of the possible punishments or recompenses or rectifications, would prison or jail/goal be a real option?

Anyway, that’s another question for another time.

Anyway, I think about different subjects to do with the seven laws and morality. It may seem trifling to some, but it’s what I’m into. If it ain’t spiritual or meaningful … Well, the internet is like a marketplace of ideas, plenty of offers for different tastes.

Anyway, today, whole watching the movie “American Gangster,” I think to myself about how a community, a community that was morally good enough to set up judges and courts that upheld the seven laws, would view and deal with a drug dealer? How would those that deal with drugs?

Drugs, now that’s a wide topic. And defining that, who would that include? If I were to define drugs based on harm, would I include the American FDA as drug pushers? What about the local pharmacist? People who sell cigarettes or alcohol?

Also, is this issue even covered under the seven laws? If so, which law? Depending on the effect of the drug, would it be a case about murder? If the drug doesn’t kill, but it harms, would be classed under “injury?” Injury isn’t classed as murder directly, and the question would therefore follow if the issue of injury is linked to murder, as in something approaching the loss of life, damaging a life? Or would it be considered linked to theft, a loss of value or something that needs compensation?

Since some people think God actually obligates a Gentile to obey those who claim rulership of him, those accepted by the majority of his community as his ruler/owner, that God obligates this through the law concerning Justice, then would such people believe that this issue is covered by the law of Justice or linked to it?

But considering I’m not one of those people, that shouldn’t matter … Well, even if I don’t agree with their conclusion, I could still learn from their thought processes and ratiocinations. So … I should not shoot down such people.

The fact is that issues with different drugs can be so variegated that it could be covered by or linked to more that one of the seven laws, even if it’s not directly covered. And even if it was not in the seven laws, the scope of morality, of issues of right and wrong for Gentiles, is wider than the seven. Although the divine laws for Gentiles have a good amount of breadth, they are not exhaustive or all-inclusive regarding human morality and conduct.

What muddies the water with regards to this issue is that different communities and individuals currently hold conflicting views about different drugs. Marijuana … Isn’t that a weirdly named word? The “j” sounds like a “w”. Imagine asking someone if they want a shot of Jisky? Or is it Juisky? Is it the “u” with the “j” that … Wow, English is weird, isn’t it?

And I’ve just lost track again, haven’t I?

*Grin* Sorry.

Anyway, marijuana is a contentious issue. Accepted by some, rejected by others, arguments are made on both sides about its permissibility. Tabacco and alcohol have been accepted by governments, but there is hefty evidence of their damaging and sometimes life-threatening properties. There are drugs approved by governments and their agencies, but their side effects are so potent that it can be questioned whether it’s a help or a hindrance or a harm? Even in this mixed up, messed world, a drug may be made illegal in one country while being legal in another, so all a person can do, if it is within their means, is travel somewhere else for a locally forbidden treatment or to get a ruler-forbidden high.

This doesn’t seem to be a simple issue at all in some senses.

But it’s something to ponder.

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Why I’m not an anarchist/voluntaryist – Further thoughts

This is a follow-on from my previous article.

So I drew the conclusion that I couldn’t be a philosophical anarchist, at least a philosophically consistent one, with the following reasoning.

  • Anarchism comes from two Greek particles, “an-” meaning “no, not, without,” a negation, and “archos” meaning “a ruler.” So it means no rulers.
  • God is the ultimate ruler of everything and everyone, being our Creator.
  • Ergo, accepting God’s truth, I can’t be an anarchist.

So I settled for the joyous mouthful “antiestablishmentarianism.” YEAH! *Grin* Isn’t it beautiful? And that title is very true for me, seeing the societal and political systems around me as fundamentally corrupt. Being such a glorious word, I ain’t getting rid of it any time soon.

But recently I listened to a podcast from AnarchoChristian where he confronted the challenge of whether anarchism was compatible with christianity. As you may expect, I’m not gonna touch the christianity bit with a barge pole. But some of his reasoning made sense to me, seemed compelling and seemed applicable to my current stance on governments.

In order to show I understand the reasoning, once again I’ll phrase it in my own words.

All humans are created equal. Anarchy, the philosophy that there are no legitimate rulers, could be seen not as some universal absolute, but rather as a limited statement about inter-human relations. It’s about how humans deal with each other as conscious responsible beings. This would exclude animals, which humans can own. And, most importantly, it would exclude God since his relationship with humanity and the creation is wholly different to that between human and human.

Taken this way, God, as creator, possessor and owner of the universe obviously controls everything in it. He can be the ruler whilst, apart from his say-so, there can be no legitimate human ruler.

Now, of course, because statism is a religion older than most religions, and more subtle and insidious, people are gonna believe and have faith that they are, in effect, owned by and subject to their rulers, or at least submit to the greater force they hold. But objectively, there’s no factual evidence of the legitimacy of authority, only greater force/power, which a person can deal with as they choose. In other words, apart from God, there’s no such thing as authority, a right to rule, only the existence of a person or group who can amass the power to hurt others. The rest is faith.

So the question is this: based on this other understanding of philosophical anarchism, the stance that there are no human rulers, no people who can say “in effect, I own you,” am I an anarchist? Would I fit the definition?

I’ll tell you this. When I was advised to distinguish between fact and opinion, and that was applied to government, some of the seeds of rebellion were planted. When I started to apply the seven laws to government, more seeds … were … more see … hmmm … I should swap those sentences, shouldn’t I? That would better lead into my point. Man, if I planned and structured these articles rather than just talking them out in my head … But I’m a flow-guy, not a structure …

Why am I talking to myself while I’m posting?

Heh!

Anyway, seeds planted, seven laws applied, distinguish between fact and opinion/interpretation. Ok! So let the point continue.

So it’s plain to me that the government isn’t simply imperfect or in need of work. It works evil, undermines the seven laws, plain and simple. It hurts people, plain and simple. But, to me, what is government? Not just what people say it is, not what Jews say it is, but looking at it, stripping away opinion, what do I see? What do I experience?

They are just a group of people. That’s it. But they think they can force compliance from me, and take my money regardless of my consent with a threat of violence.

That’s mainly it. Yeah, they do the wars, they use the money they take from me and others to do what they want. They claim to represent me but are strangers to me, claim to represent other people who don’t agree with me, stand for and do things I oppose. They kill and cause harm but try to curry public favour. They lie and are swayed by benefits and gifts.

But they’re still a bunch of people.

So, in these godless countries, in the godless country I live in, why should I obey them? They don’t say God gave me or anyone else to them as property. And no other man or group owns me in order to give me or anyone else to them. They’re not my parents. So who are they to me that they should get my obedience?

I know of no divine law that commands me to obey them. It would be a scary world if there was such a command as these people are immoral.

Apart from the fear of their power, which is no different to a bully or mafia, having the means to hurt me, there is nothing at all that they claim to have that gives them authority over me, the right to own me.

So they’re just a bunch of bullies. Nothing more, probably less.

In that light, do I see myself as having a ruler over me (or over anyone else) without God’s command? Nope.

Therefore I fit the description of an anarchist.

Now please don’t. Please don’t make some sickening label for me like “noahide anarchist.” God, please no! I recently heard of someone actually claiming to be a “noahide libertarian.” God, I can’t unread that! How nauseating!

I’ve grown to detest the term “noahide” with people even now talking about a person becoming a noahide as if some religious conversion had taken place. Sure, a few people use it to just mean “non-Jew” or “Gentile.” But that is too few. I hate the term and never or rarely willingly self-identify as one. I’m just a Gentile, a human being not of Israel.

And I don’t fully self-identify as an anarchist. I just fit a description not respecting anybody called a ruler or accepting a person as such, especially in this day and age. Oh, I definitely embrace, wait for it, antiestablishmentarianism (YEAH!). But some part of me is unsure. Not sure why. Always something to ponder.

Before I continue, I do have personal moral issues with the concept of rulership. I don’t think it’s right to bully innocent people. That’s government, right there! I oppose the taking of an innocent person’s property without their consent. I’m against theft, robbery and extortion. But once again, that’s the epitome of government. I’ve seen and heard of the violence of government, the violence inherent in the system, and for all the gifts they give to curry favour, I won’t let go of the horror that is an innate part of government.

Someone defined government as the legitimised territorial monopoly of force and violence. I wholly agree with it. It’s not simply people coming together for a cause. It’s not organising of people. It’s not eloquence. It’s not rational. It’s violence, even when it is claimed that it does an apparent good deed. It’s violence.

And, if I may be so bold, I think Israel was stupid in asking for a king like the other nations to which to enslave itself. Samuel’s warning about the tyranny of kings was ignored and foolishly so. The fact that God is gonna use a future king to do something good, the fact he can turn foolishness into something good, doesn’t detract from the monumental error that helped further solidify their course to destruction. As God said, the people had rejected God!

That leads naturally to the objections I’m gonna get about my stance.

“But doesn’t the Jewish Bible teach that God sets up and brings down kings. Surely that means that he uses and approves of national government.”

Ah. Now setting up and taking down definitely shows “use”. Yes, God uses the things. But that he approves, as if it’s a good thing, nobody’s shown me that. If a rogue and evil suicide bomber destroys my enemies, I’m not all of a sudden gonna glorify suicide bombing or think God approves of it. I know God can use any aspect of his creation, but there would have to be some conclusive evidence that God approves of that whole machine called government.

In fact, I was shown something about “kingdom” and “govt” in the Jewish Bible. The first kingdom in the Jewish Bible is linked to Nimrod, the great hunter (against God), and that “wonderful” place, Babel. Oh, Hirsch’s commentary on Nimrod and government, the way how Nimrod captured men and how the collectivism valued the bricks more than the lives of men, … My God, how fitting!

“Doesn’t the fact that God uses kingdoms and governments, and the fact I can see nation states in the future in the messianic age, mean that nations and states are supposed to be here?”

As if they’re a good thing? No. As far as I understand, the messianic age is not a time of perfection. So no, the continued existence of such systems doesn’t tell me: firstly, about how I’m to view governments now; secondly, that governments are some eternal good.

“Governments can be good. They just need work.”

Ah, in my ears, I just here “legitimised violence is good; it just needs work.” My response? You can work on violence far away from me. My reading of history tells me about the “goodness” of legitimised violence. And it’s still based on theft and bullying.

“But the seven laws do teach that you have to obey government.”

That claim to me, especially based on the governments around me now, is an obligation to ensure the undermining of the seven laws, which would be a self-defeating law. Pigs and mercenaries (police and army) are commanded to uphold immoral laws, like wars and asset forfeiture. Once again, God’s law can’t be so immoral! The amount of evil governments there’s been, I’m surprised people, people who claim to cherish good, bring up such a disgusting idea.

“Courts are government, and the seven laws command courts. Therefore, part of the seven laws is government.”

Courts are not government. Courts deal with arbitration over wrongs, find guilt, and act accordingly. Governments, when there is no wrong, steps in and makes innocent into potential victims of its violence. When there is no crime, it makes demands and threats. Courts are not government.

“But we need government.”

Speak for yourself!

“Doesn’t the Talmud teach that we should pray for government because without it men will eat each other?”

Ad nauseum. That’s how many times I face that argument.

Let me be blunt. Government guarantees violence especially against the innocent. Figuratively, government ensures that men will devour and kill one another. You can pray all you want. I’ll avoid this piece of advice. It’s mainly Jews advising themselves anyway.

“You’re only nitpicking at flaws.”

Flaws? Nitpicking? That implies that I’ve mentioned a small problem. Violence, wars, robbery and much more, these are not small issues. They cause suffering and loss of life, both of which are significant issues. They’re systemic. If you see these are small flaws, then that’s a worrying sign about the state of your morality.

I remember talking to a guy, a slave/citizen of the United Socialist State of America (heh!), an American, a self-professed “noahide,” who was so unable to see the historical and present innocent victims of his government, the group of people he accepted as his lords (of course not in those words), he chose to ask me who the innocent victims of his government were. When hardly a day goes by when someone isn’t attacked or killed by the agents of his government, when his government are involved in so many wars, when a president he voted for is overseeing the dropping of more bombs than any president before him or is at least heading that way, when the unborn aren’t safe from murder in the womb of their mothers thanks to government protection, when many are robbed by the cops under the protection of asset forfeiture, when Japanese Americans were incarcerated in concentration camps after Pearl Harbour, when Roosevelt threatened people not to keep their own gold with hefty fines and long prison time, when people were forced to part with portions of their income when the income tax law was past, when a man is killed ultimately for not putting his kids into state-run schools, when one president passes a sedition act, … Wow, how much have I missed? Loads. WMD’s come to mind. When stuff like this happens or has happened and such a person can question the existence of innocent victims … I’m just flabberghasted!

Anyway, the nitpicking argument is … Hmmm … Words liked “demented” and “infernal” come to mind. The person may not be infernal, but the argument is, and the power to blind the eyes to the nature of such actions, that’s infernal.

I’m sure there are more objections, but they aren’t going to change the nature of the beast. Oh wait, there’s one more argument that a person used to try to justify the core nature of the state.

“But you get stuff. If the government takes property, it’s to fund public services. If they demand compliance, it’s to ensure the safety of and protect the rights of the citizens.”

This is one of the saddest arguments one of the most intelligent of my old colleagues gave me. It’s sad in that it’s disappointing and sad in that it’s pathetic. Let me tell you why.

A guy rapes a woman who has wanted to have a baby. She gets pregnant, gets infected with AIDS and gets a paraplegic baby.

According to the logic of my colleague and many others, the fact that the woman wanted a baby and got the baby makes the rape ok.

I remember teaching my son this. Now what was the gist or flow of the convo?

Is it wrong for someone to take your stuff without asking? Yes, it’s wrong. Why? Because it’s mine and I never gave my permission. What if they bring back a sandwich? Does that make the stealing ok? No! What if they buy you a bike? Is the theft ok now? No! What if you wanted the bike? Is the theft ok now? No! What if they gave you anything after that? Does that make the taking of your property without your permission ok? No!

You see, it doesn’t matter what is given after, the first act was wrong, immoral!

Some may complain that my analogy was overly negative with the contracting of AIDS and the significantly disabled kid. But because of the nature of the acts of government, it normally has a negative impact on something good. For example, the forceful redistribution of wealth and the welfare state. Forceful redistribution of wealth refers to taking the property of one set of people regardless of consent and therefore, many times, without permission, under the threat of violence, normally called robbery but statists call it tax, in order to give to other people. The welfare state refers, in part, to giving benefits and money to those below a certain income, classed as relatively poor. This is not charity. But although it helps maintain some to a degree (although many times it necessitates the relinquishing of personal data and often sudden recalculations can throw household finances into upheaval), it becomes like a drug where people choose to survive long term on the welfare, failure is, in effect, rewarded and maintained, increasing national debt and eventually requiring the extracting more funds from the cowed tax cattle. It creates a vicious circle unending. The government keeps its job of plunderer, more people go on welfare, the debt increases, the tax cattle are ridden. Downward spiral.

As many observe, whatever the government touches turns to crap!

It doesn’t matter how I look at it, the first act is evil, and I don’t believe the ends justify immoral means.

Also, understand the nature of the transaction for these “services.” The state steal my money, and then they give me stuff I neither wanted or asked for and then pretend we have some voluntary interaction and therefore think I owe them … What? Gratitude? Lysander Spooner said it best. At least a robber takes your stuff and leaves you alone. The government rob me and keep coming back as if I owe them. Does anyone see the deluded nature of the relationship? It’s like a rapist repeatedly going back to his victim because he sees himself as graciously giving women the chance to have babies.

I’m surprised people feel the government protects rights. Firstly, rights don’t exist. And secondly, government is the main violator of property “rights,” in that it must first steal and bully to then “protect,” which it has a bad historical track record of doing. I’ve already given ample evidence of that, and that’s just the American government. Worldwide, hundreds of millions have died at the hands of their own government in the 20th century alone, and that doesn’t include those that have died by other governments, and all those who have received other damages and robberies.

The argument, as I said, is disappointing and morally pathetic. Imagine if the same argument was used for murder: “I murdered. But people got stuff. So it’s all good.” Morally pathetic.

Again, I’m sure people will have many ways of justifying the state as either good or a necessary evil. Of course, I would omit the word “necessary.” But what I see are people with the same nature as me, strangers to me, and they and others say they own me, have a right (not just power) to tell me what to do and control me regardless of my consent, people who threaten me and my family, unwanted associates, self-righteous (deluded) robbers and bullies, strangers who claim to know what’s good for me while at the same time rejecting God and his law and common decency and morality.

I have no reason to see them as rulers or even as decent people. I would question if good people would seek to do that to others. Ah, as the saying goes, the state makes good people do evil.

Anyways, in a certain sense, I fall under the definition of an anarchist.

That’s nothing really bad or indicting considering the nature and acts of my enemy.

Now, for me, there’s more meaning to the Rastafarian statement, “bun Babylon!” (Translation: Let Babylon burn!)

Saved by faith

A commenter on my blog helped further open my eyes to the position of Rambam on how a Gentile gets a place in the world to come. I’ll quote a translation of Rambam’s words here, then I’ll tell you how I used to view it and then the view that seems to be more compelling that the commenter highlighted.

The quote is taken from the Mishneh Torah, Book of Judges, Kings and Wars, Chapter 8, law 11. This version is from sefaria.org.

Anyone who accepts upon himself and carefully observes the Seven Commandments is of the Righteous [the hebrew word “chassid” not “tzaddiq” – DD] of the Nations of the World and has a portion in the World to Come. This is as long as he accepts and performs them because (he truly believes that) it was the Holy One, Blessed Be He, Who commanded them in the Torah, and that is was through Moses our Teacher we were informed that the Sons of Noah had already been commanded to observe them. But if he observes them because he convinced himself logically (footnote 81, by his own intellect and conscience but he does not agree that they were commanded by G-d), then he is not considered a Resident Convert and is not of the Righteous of the Nations of the World, but merely one of their wise.

So how did I previously view this passage?

I used to understand this passage to mean that the … ooooh, I was gonna go Hebrew there, and I tend to dislike adding Hebrew to my posts. But I may have to. Ok, I’ll give a brief explanation.

The above translation translates the Hebrew word “chassid” as “righteous” when it is better understood in English as “pious, God-fearing, devoted,” maybe even “kind.” The Hebrew word “tzaddiq” is better understood in English as “righteous, just.” For the sake of what I perceive as clarity and avoiding ambiguity, I’m going to change the term “Righteous of the nations …” into “pious of the nation …” Why? Because I conclude there is a significant enough difference between the semantics of the Hebrew words and their English translations in this context (and many others).

Ok, so where was I?

Oh yeah!

I used to understand Rambam’s passage to mean that the pious of the nations who accept the divine origin of the Torah (written and oral) definitely get a place in the world to come, but, because Rambam never clearly stated that the people who keep the seven laws for other reasons, the wise of the nations, do not get such a place, then whether they get a place or not is up in the air, they may or they may not. I was reading the last part about the wise Gentiles as if their fate was open-ended and uncertain. Again, Rambam did not say about the wise Gentiles, “and these do not get a place in the world to come,” which is what I previously expected for Rambam to properly seal the deal and properly shut out the wise Gentiles from the world to come.

So that’s how I used to see it: pious Gentiles definitely get in but the fate of wise Gentiles is uncertain.

What is my new view because of the input of the commenter?

Before I answer that, I will say that the majority of rabbis (not all) that had referred to this section of Rambam shared the same conclusion as the commenter. But the Gentile commenter helped me see it now. It could just be a cumulative effect, all of those statements building up and the commenter was just the final straw, the icing on the cake. Or it could be that I’m in a different mental state now that makes me more responsive. It could be the way he said it. There could be so many reasons for the change. But, lo and behold, we’re here.

So, the commenter helped me focus on this phrase from Rambam.

Anyone who accepts upon himself and carefully observes the Seven Commandments is of the pious of the nations of the world and has a portion in the World to Come. This is as long as he accepts and performs them because (he truly believes that) it was the Holy One …

That highlighted bit, the commenter put it like this:

“is considered one of ‘the pious among the gentiles’ and will merit a share in the world to come. This applies _only_ when he accepts them and fulfills them _because_ the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded them …”

His translation was taken from the translation of the Mishneh Torah at chabad.org.

For me, this made it much clearer that the fate of the wise Gentile is not uncertain according to Rambam. Being a pious Gentile and getting a place in the world to come only applies if a person has a specific faith stance, acknowledgement or acceptance about God, Moshe and the oral tradition. The “and” and “only” necessarily excludes the wise Gentile. Therefore there may be no need for a clarifying “and a wise Gentile has no place in the world to come.” The statement that “he is not a pious Gentile” may be enough.

So I can now see that Rambam excludes the wise Gentile from the world to come.

Now I am making it plain that Rambam does this. Although it is claimed that he gets this idea from one (yes, only one) previous source, Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer, doubt is thrown on this by rabbi Jonathan Sacks who quotes this previous source. In his article, “A Clash of Civilisations? Judaic Sources on Co-existance in a World of Differences,” he says the following.

The question naturally arises as to whether, according to Maimonides, the “sage” has a share in the world to come. One midrash (Mishnat Rabbi Eliezer) discovered in the twentieth century has been taken by some scholars as Maimonides’ source:

“When does this apply? When [gentiles] keep [the seven Noahide laws] and say [that they do so] because G-d thus commanded our ancestor Noah. However, if they keep them, saying, we do so because we heard it from someone else, or because that is what reason dictates . . . they receive their reward only in this world [not the next].” [28]41

According to this, gentile “sages” do not have a share in the world to come. However, the dating and authenticity of this midrash is a matter of conjecture. It may be the source of Maimonides’ ruling. It may however be the contrary – the midrash may be later than, and derivative of, Maimonides’ code.

So I’m taking the statement, the innovative and novel statement of Rambam, according to rabbi Sacks, on its own. I have no Talmudic evidence that it came before Rambam. And although I do see some logic in this stance, I also see some problems.

Alan Cecil made a statement in his book, Secular by Design, which I previously did not accept until the commenter clarified my view.

There are many who believe that the teaching of keeping the Noahide Law “by chance” (such as having current secular laws approximating Torah concepts [or having personal moral codes that approximate the Seven Laws – DD])42 should not be pursued. This teaching, that one must accept that the Torah was given to Moshe at Sinai as a prerequisite for accepting the Noahide Law,43 is a teaching that, as the one about the focus of the Noahide Law being “salvation in the World to Come,” is based on the Mishna Torah: “If he [the Noahide] fulfills [the Seven Laws] out of intellectual conviction, he is not…of ‘the pious among the gentiles,’ nor of their wise men.”44 The Hebrew of the Vilna text reads “nor of their wise men,” but the Yemenite version of the Mishna Torah (which was not subject to Christian censors) reads “but rather, of their wise men.”45 (pg 411 of Secular by Design)

And

Most Noahides who have come out of organized religion (particularly Christianity) have problems letting go of the theology, complaining about having to study “dry legalism” instead of “spirituality,” and that the prime motivation is for “fellowship” and “worship” rather than the moral and legal stipulations of the Seven Laws. The non-observant or Reform Noahide, much like his Reform Jewish counterpart, is the Noahide who believes the Noahide Law constitutes a “religion,” and focuses on the ceremonial and religious aspects of the Torah while ignoring the halakha of the Seven Laws. The observant Noahide, on the other hand, focuses on his or her obligation to observe the halakha of the Seven Laws. This is no doubt one of the major factors in the non-observant Noahide’s exclusivity in basing the Noahide Law on Maimonides, and his focus on keeping the Noahide Law (as well as other non-obligatory mitzvot) for “rewards” and “everlasting life” in Olam haBah, the World to Come.13 (pg 417, ibid.)

The footnote for this, footnote 13, goes hand in hand with my problem with Rambam’s position.

Maimonides begins his section in the Mishna Torah on the Noahide Law with the statement that “anyone who accepts upon himself the fulfillment of these seven mitzvot and is precise in their observance is considered one of ‘the pious among the gentiles’ and will merit a share in the world to come…this applies only when he accepts them and fulfills them because the Holy One…commanded them.” (Yad, Hilchot Melechim 8:11). This has had the unfortunate effect of making correct beliefs more important than correct behavior as well as putting the Seven Laws into a “religious” context; many ex-Christians who have embraced the Noahide Laws focus on the “salvation” aspect of the Noahide Law. The problem is that, according to Ramban’s commentary to Bereishis 34:13, the Seven Laws are not simply an individual means of salvation, but a communal one. “Apart from other serious questions that we have noted concerning the proviso, it should be obvious to persons familiar with Christian dogma that the proviso injected by Maimonides into the doctrine of the Noahide laws disturbingly looks very much like justification by faith…the Noahide laws are consistent with the ethical essence of Judaism…there is no positive commandment to believe in any dogma.” Konvitz, Torah & Constitution, 107. (pg 417-418, ibid.)

“Saved by faith,” that’s the religion I left behind. In that religion, the vast majority of the world was doomed, normally out of pure ignorance, to live and die in this life. The reason for their doom wasn’t a deed. Some people may have been the best in their community, sometimes choosing to do what they felt as right, not following the crowd. But even that person is doomed. And why? It was simply the fact that they didn’t believe in Jesus as their personal saviour.

Now the person who “converted” and “became a noahide” under Rambam’s teaching, how do they view the fate of people who do good but did not believe as Rambam specified? Well, it didn’t matter if a person had never met a Jew, throughout history, even before the translation of the original Septuagint, they were doomed because they did not have the right faith. A Gentile without the guidance of a Jew, without the knowledge of Sinai, without faith in God or Moshe, such a Gentile, no matter what they do, is without hope. Why? Because a place in the world to come only happens if they truly believe that God gave the Torah to Moshe at Sinai.

So to accept this, I’d still have to accept “salvation (entrance to the afterlife) by faith.” … Oh, should I say “emunah” and not faith? For me it makes little difference conceptually in this context.

I remember, when I would conversate or argue with Alan Cecil, disagreeing with him on this point. I was sure that Rambam could be read and understood in a more open way, that there wasn’t this doctrine of “justification by faith” in his work. It seems now that I was wrong. Shame he’s not around to see me admit that. Would he have chuckled to himself?

It doesn’t sit right with me that even a Gentile who does the best he can in his situation who doesn’t have access to the Torah revelation, and that has be to both oral and written, not just the written, such a person, for all his good deeds or avoiding the bad ones, is judged on what he doesn’t have access to. Does that seem right? Not to me, apparently.

And, believe me, I’ve seen the comments that some have made. Some, mainly disciples of Rambam or a rabbi that follows him, will say that that’s just the way it is. Rambam said it, so it’s like God said it, and that’s it! But I question Rambam and don’t see that stance as clearly evidenced. So the declaration doesn’t mean anything to me. To link with a previous article, isn’t Rambam like an ancient version of rabbi Moshe Weiner and his “Divine Code?” People simply take his word for it, and that’s it. I’m not at that place. I’m still in the world of “two Jews, three opinions.”

Other people, a good few, not only the commenter who inspired this post, see it as inconceivable that people would want to “follow” (whatever that means) the Seven Laws or their general prohibitions without believing God and Torah.

Now I don’t see the seven laws as some set formulation that a person must see and knowingly take on board in that strict formulation. I think more in terms of RambaN’s (Nachmanides) understanding of “righteous” where it simply means innocent of committing the crime. So Abram, pre-Genesis 12:1, he would become innocent of idolatry because he reasoned his way out of accepting false gods (not accepting the truth of God’s existence, which is not one of the seven laws according to the Talmud, not even according to Rambam!). I’ve known atheists (who therefore don’t commit idolatry) reason that abortion is wrong, that it’s murder. If they are heterosexual, they most likely would not have committed homosexuality. Lots of people see adultery as wrong without God.

A place where certain “noahides” mess up is their view of “cursing God.” This is a specific act where a person essentially vocalises a wish for God to act against or hurt or end himself. It is not simply speaking against or opposing God. And many don’t commit the specific “legal” act of cursing God’s name using one of his names.

Imagine the idolator, the apparent idolator, who is indifferent to “the gods,” no longer accepting them as powers or gods. Even according to the Divine Code and Rambam, without that acceptance, they are not culpable. I can provide the evidence if asked.

Now these people may not even know the specific formulation of the seven laws. But personally, they may be “righteous” in the RambaN sense, not having actually done the acts prohibited in the seven.

If I don’t accept Rambam’s salvation by faith, then how do I understand the Talmudically derived statement, “the righteous (not pious) of the nations of the world have a place in the world to come?” It would be about deed and effort, rather than “believe this!”

But as I said before, I do see the logic that a person who accepts the God who is beyond this life, who gives life, would possibly have access to the next life, and those that reject that God would only get reward in this life. It makes sense. But that is general theism, a theism accessible by reasoning by (m)any Gentile (like that of Abram), not Rambam’s oral-Torah-specific monotheism.

Look, God is sovereign. He could easily create humans, set them in a place and time where they don’t have any adequate access to the Torah tradition and/or revelation, and just have them live this life and that’s it. Regardless of their struggles or pleasures in this life, it’s God’s to do as he wants, and I don’t think I can call it unjust.

But something doesn’t sit right with me about “salvation by specific faith.” Maybe it’s a skepticism that comes from the rejection of the religion I once held dear. Maybe there’s some religious humanism in my psyche. Or maybe, just maybe, there is something wrong with that “salvation by faith” position.

It’s something for me to ponder on.

The cult of the book; lacking trust

When I left Christianity, I left the idolatrous elevation of a man, whether it be Jesus or Paul. I wanted to obey God and his primary revelation in the Jewish Bible, the Torah. Throughout the path from there to where I am now, I developed a lot of skepticism. I looked for the foundation of claims and found many of them to be severely lacking. From science to politics, I saw less truth. Even recent betrayals in interpersonal relationships become the basis of distrust in people in general.

I’m damaged goods. (Aren’t we all, David? Most of us, maybe.)

So in this seven laws gig, I’m more or less adrift, floating around, seeing different things around me.

One trend I’m seeing that causes me to check myself is the reliance on the Divine Code, the study and writings of rabbi Moshe Weiner. He did a great thing, a service to Gentiles and Jews. He wrote a massive work, compiling all sorts of teachings for Gentiles from the Torah sources. It was translated by other good men and then we get the Divine Code. It’s become recommended study for everyone and it would make sense. Such endeavour and study to give easy access to … to … to the Seven Laws? No, a wider set of teachings with the seven laws interspersed, the Noahide Code.

With the inaccessible nature of a lot of its sources, inaccessible to most Gentiles, it was inevitable that the Divine Code would be seen as an ultimate source of its own, that it would become the standard of a Gentile’s knowledge of the seven laws. Having an argument with someone about government and courts, when I asked for evidence of a certain argument, I was simply pointed to the Divine Code, that I should obtain a copy and read it there.

“Go learn at rabbi Moshe Weiner’s feet.”

It was as if the standard of study was the Divine Code. It’s the main source circulated amongst the groups I’m a part of.

I wonder to myself if this is what happened to Rambam and the other ancient rabbis. They write a studied book and become a standard. Part of me recoils at such a notion, being at the behest of someone else. They dictate and I must obey. He is the authority, the better learned and I’m just an ignoramus.

But what else is there? God did not give the Torah to Israel directly. He gave it mostly to Moses. And that’s the written and oral tradition! They had to trust him. And God didn’t give the Torah to the Gentiles and the Seven Laws have been lost from amongst us. So I would have to trust Israel.

But how do you do that with statements like “two Jews, three opinions?” Weiner has the loudest voice. Is that the right voice in all things? People disagree with him, rabbis, and it’s sometimes mentioned in his book. It’s been mentioned in a book written by another rabbi. But I can still see that it is his voice that is followed, not the “dissenters’.”

Some people advised me to just follow one rabbi, let that rabbi be my authority. Again, it becomes blatantly obvious that that would be the easier path. And why can’t I just bend and do that?

Because I won’t! It has to be that simple. Because I won’t be told what to do and how things are and simply accept it. I don’t give any person the authority over me, the right to rule and control me, even an expert. I don’t trust enough. Another person can have a view, a stance, a declaration and position, and then they can give their reasoning or basis. It’s for me to them judge and then act, not vice versa. That person isn’t God; I ain’t Israel; and this ain’t Sinai! It’s no different for a rabbi and I won’t act any other way!

It’s blunt! It may not sound nice. But that’s me looking at myself and seeing what I see.

I already know that there are places where I don’t agree with the Divine Code and find better stances with its “opposition.” So I can’t have it as an authority. As a resource, sure! Not an authority. I don’t think rabbis have any God-given authority over non-Jews anyway.

I guess I just have to be honest with myself.

Are the Seven Laws simply a system for personal behaviour?

When reading some of my posts, some have been startled or surprised by the position I take with regards to the application of the seven laws for humanity. When I judge governments, cops, political systems and the such by those divine laws, when I keep putting the laws forward as the proper basis for international law, they get images of storm troopers or tyrants, putting an oppressive thumb upon a scared and cowed populace. In sharp contrast, they hold the view that the seven laws are just a private belief, a moral code and teaching for oneself and those that agree, whilst the rest of the world does its own thing: international law is decided by whichever political system is in place at the time, whether it be democracy, republic, monarchy, whichever. The seven laws simply become religious and personal maxims equated to Hillel’s teaching, “whatever your neighbour doesn’t like, don’t do it; the rest is commentary.”

What is the basis of my broader application of the seven laws? Does it negate the personal view? Do I want some “Seven Laws Empire” conquering the current world systems and forcing compliance upon a resisting people?

Broader application

Upon the descendants of Noah were enjoined seven commandments. (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin, 56a)

Who were given the obligation to keep the Seven Laws? The descendants of Noah! That means all humans. Even when the children of Israel were given their own set of laws, the rest of humanity still had this obligation to keep the Seven Laws.

What details do the seven laws include?

The very first law listed in the Talmud is a Hebrew or Aramaic word that is interpreted a variety of ways, including laws, civil laws, judgements, equity, courts of judgement, courts, justice. Despite the variety of English words that cover the Hebrew or Aramaic, the scope of the meaning is quite clear. This primary law is talking about the arbitration or adjudication of people in a legal setting. The two most accessible understandings of this law, Maimonides and Nachmanides, speak clearly of courts upholding the seven laws and establishing civil law similar to that of Israel.

When the Jewish teachers discuss various parts of this law, judges, witnesses and capital punishment are also discussed.

So with the first law listed in the Talmud, it became clear to me that the seven laws aren’t just a private morality but rather a community wide, a worldwide, standard. The description of the seven laws being enjoined on all humanity shows that it is worldwide and public in scope rather than only and simply a personal code of conduct.

Does this global or communitywide view of the Seven Laws negate the personal view? Hell no! It never could. All humanity is obligated, each person. In order for it to be obligatory on the world, it must be obligated upon the individuals. So they must also be a personal code of conduct. That’s why they can still stand or exist even though much of the world doesn’t know them (consciously) or the governments and the courts ignore or undermine them.

But isn’t the only way for the seven laws to be implemented by force and oppression? Mustn’t some power shove them involuntarily down peoples throats? The systems right now stand opposed to parts of the seven laws and their source. Who nowadays would want laws that limit freedom of religions, or freedom of speech? How much of the world is for the woman’s right to choose (to murder their unborn children)? Governments take too much pleasure or see too much benefit in seizing (stealing) the property or children of their serfs. And how many who worship democracy are happy with (ignorant) juries, manipulative lawyers and God-complexed judges?

To give an example of western justice, I recently heard of a case where two guys walked into a pork shop (police station) carrying guns and were promptly arrested. They pointed their guns at no one, made no threat, did not even hold the guns in their hands. But the “manly” and “brave” cops screamed for them to get on the floor, which they obeyed, and disarmed and arrested them. They hadn’t done anything immoral or illegal, but, as usual with police many times, charges can be created.

So these men were set before a certain judge. The problem for the prosecution was that the judge was too open, dismissing charges and listening to arguments from the defendants. The prosecuting lawyers couldn’t have that. So they changed the judge to one they knew to be anti-gun (not really anti-gun but wanting the great mass murderer, government, to have and control all guns). This new judge brought back the previously dismissed charges, didn’t allow the defendants to present certain evidence, made sure to “instruct” the jury and, in essence, made sure that, for the legal act of walking into a police station armed, the men will spend between nine months to 5 years in jail!

That’s western justice! Or at least the epitome of it! That’s western morality! And I am certain that many will say, “well, the men shouldn’t have done it.” Many have said that they deserve to get what they got. But it still proves that the citizens’ freedom and life is in the hands of the state, ergo, they are all its slaves.

Anyway, I digress.

Sorry. Back to the point.

Oh yes. How can the Seven Laws be implemented without conquest? Aren’t I promoting the Seven Laws Dark Empire?

The problem with this question, with the way of thinking behind this question, is that it shows faith in political power (conquest) as opposed to moral power (persuasion and change from the inside, volitional).

I had the pleasure (God, thank you for technology) of listening to a podcast from essentiallibertarianism.com about the difference between moral power and political power. Very eye-opening. It came from somebody in the 19th century.

Now let me make it positively and absolutely clear: NO PART OF THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS FOR HUMANITY DEMANDS OR TEACHES CONQUEST AS A MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION! And I don’t promote such an idea either.

Lasting and positive change can only come from a volitional change, a commitment and a conviction. I can only put forward what I myself can do. That is to share, to converse, to be a good example and teach my children. That’s what’s in my power. I’m not the sort to preach conquest which is not in my power. I’m not the sort to say, “this should happen,” or “that should take place,” when it’s out of my reach or span of power or control.

For the seven laws for humanity to become what they should be, international law, there would need to be a worldwide change in opinion or point of view. I can’t do that, and it’s not my job to do that. How God, the only one who can do this, does it is in his hands. Maybe it’s for the “last days” of this age. Maybe it’s for the coming world or the next world. But it’s not for me.

So no, I don’t want conquest and tyranny (like the deluded secular society of today). All I can do is try to spark grassroots change in my extremely local environment, or even just keep the conversation going amongst better able Gentiles who embrace the seven laws.

Should I stay or should I go?

I had waned in a way, grown colder. I had had a number of negative reactions and had begun to wonder about my place on social media. Why was I even there? It felt like many had closed their ears to me and I was shouting into the wind. When my wife said she had stopped paying attention to my posts, that switched me off in a way. It’s not as if she agrees with me on a lot to do with an opposition towards political systems, or Torah, or how one should view the Christian figurehead, Jesus. But in a way, at least she was there. Or at least I thought she was.

But no she wasn’t. She’s not!

Why was I even there? Why put my voice out there, my thoughts out there, my content?

I stepped aside. She wasn’t there. Not many people seemed to be there. My strength was being poured out into a void, into the wind. I thought it best to just quit!

But I had and remembered a dream! A good dream!

This is odd because normally I don’t remember dreams of the night. I awake as if I had simply closed my eyes the night before. And the few times I remember a dream, it usually involved me getting killed or being chased and threatened with death in a way that scared me.

But this time, I remembered. And it went something like this.

I was in a big room, like a university library, but there was a good amount of people there. My wife was there. A few people are used to know from church were there and many others who were strangers. It was all informal. I was giving a talk that I was getting into.

I asked the crowd if those with foreign passports would stand. A significant minority rose from their seats. They sat again at my request. I then asked those who had British passports the same, and the majority got up. Again, they soon returned to being seated at my request.

I asked the foreigners to stand again and said something like the following:

“Understand that some people are gonna think you don’t belong here, that you’re here to steal jobs, benefits and resources. Because of the passport the government of your land gave you, you’re gonna be looked down upon, a sign of your affiliation.”

They sit again.

I tell the natives, the Brits, to stand and give a similar but contrasting message.

“Understand that because of the passport the government of your land gave you, a sign of your affiliation or culture, people are gonna think you’re privileged, decadent and lazy. You’ve been given stuff, luxuries that you don’t deserve and feel entitled.”

Again they sit down.

As some form of conclusion I told them all something like this.

“It doesn’t matter about the government granted document. It doesn’t matter about colour of skin. What matters are the choices you make, the effort you put in, your work ethic. What matters is your attempt to make a positive difference in the world.”

The people seem to like what I was saying. In the midst of the speech, my youngest daughter, the young runner of the family (two years old) seemed to escape her mother and ran to me during the talk and I carried her as I continued.

During the talk, it seemed longer than I thought, I felt my throat getting sore and my voice weakening. But I was enjoying giving the message.

Then I woke up! Oddly enough, for the first hour after I woke, my voice was hoarse as if I had really been giving a talk.

I spoke to a work colleague some time later in the day. We spoke of the potential of dreams and my choice to walk away from a certain aspect of social media.

Just as an aside, I am not a believer in the idea that all dreams have deep or prophetic meaning. But I am also not a believer in the idea that normally none of them do. I’m not a naturalist or a reductionist who limits dreams to just the spewing out of the subconscious, the human mind simply processing things. Dreams are a mystery to me and based on experience I think there is more to them than simple psychology, just like there’s more to the world than matter and energy.

Anyway, through our discussion, a few things became a bit clearer to me.

I do like “speaking” out, expressing myself publicly to some extent. That’s just a passion within me. Bubbling within on a topic, for me, for the sake of some satisfactions, requires airtime. Music and songwriting and playing musical instruments is one outlet that seems to be linked to this trait of mine to outflow. And I don’t write and express myself musically for a fan base or glory or recognition. It’s just a part of me. That seems to be the same for my writing. Even though it feels like, at times, I’m talking to myself or raging and shouting at or about a storm I cannot quell, it’s just something I like doing.

Also, to be honest with myself, there are people that see my work and the tweets and get something out of it. It may not be a agreement, but it’s a chance for them to mentally chew on and digest stuff related to the seven laws from a different perspective. Whether I’m right or wrong, a few souls see a continuing conversation and something within them joins in what I believe to be a beneficial or important discussion. They may not agree with or go as far as the inner anarchist (thanks, humble Alex) I have, but they speak to their own inner person and hopefully as well to God. Everything towards him, right?

Being the antisocial jerk that I am and can be, social media is one of my only outlets. It can’t be just about my wife. Some paths I must take alone. And there is no real benefit in closing myself off.

And as selfish as I can be, I can show a bit of love to my readers by being as available as I can be. It’s a bit like that story about a girl, a young girl, throwing shells back into the ocean. There were many many shells. And it seemed like the task was too big for just her on her own. And when somebody challenged her with that observation, she said that at least to each one that she threw back in, it made a difference to just that one. And she may not be able to throw many back, but at least she can do her best with what she can do.

I may not have thousands or hundreds or millions of subscribers or readers, but whatever God blesses me with, I’ll do my best with that.

Talking to that work colleague, he used terms that don’t seem to be a part of me, about the idea that the dream could express my vision and ambition in life. I’ve met very few people, if any, that lack vision and ambition as much as me. The majority of my vision is locked into the prison of the “now,” and, as I have revealed before, I don’t have much drive for life or living. But if there is something I have passion for, then it’s God’s truth, law, morality and justice. And if all I can do about them, in the world, is speak and write about them, then hell, I’m going to do it!

So I returned. With God’s help, I pray it’s for the good!

Philosophical Idolatry

Let me make this clear from the very start. This article is not about the legal command not to serve idols. For a Gentile, there is no prohibition against “philosophical idolatry” which would bring about the death-penalty. That means this is not a core prohibition amongst the 7 laws.

But as I’m sure you may know, I don’t believe the seven laws are the exhaustive list of moral principles for Gentiles. A Gentile does not get the death-penalty for lying but it is still a moral obligation for decency not to lie.

Somebody rightfully asked me what I mean by philosophical idolatry. It’s something that I mention every now and again and I think that if I understand the term I should be able to explain it for anyone reading. It is as much for my benefit as for those who happened to be reading this. As I say, it’s important for me to understand what I believe in and what standards I live by.

To put it very simply to begin with, it is based on the principle that a person should not put anything above God, in his place. It is like the command to the Jews, “you shall have no other gods before me.” God, as the ultimate source of existence, should have the highest place in our lives … Should I speak for myself? It’s safer, right? I speak for myself and if a person sees truth in what I say, then that’s for them too.

Ok, so God, being the source of all existence should have the highest place in my life. His law and teaching should be the final word in my life and my worldview should be built around him and him alone.

The concept of idolatry, not the law, but the concept of idolatry is putting something in the place of God.

Hmmm … Is this the sort of place where I should add a quote from some rabbi to back me up, to show I’m not just creating things from my own head? That sort of thing would give me cred, right? Or is the power of my argumentation enough? Hmmm … I’m not a Torah-studied Jew or Gentile. So should I therefore do what is natural and flow? Or should I interrupt it and add something?

Hmmm … Well, I may need the evidence later.

So I claimed that the concept of idolatry is to put something in the place of God. The book, the Divine Code, by rabbi Moshe Weiner, page 134, says the following:

1. The Master of the universe commanded Adam in the prohibition against serving idols, as it says, “And the Lord God commanded [upon] Adam …,” meaning that God commanded Adam to submit to His Divinity. The Sages explained that there are three meanings in this:

“I am God; do not exchange Me” – to rebel and replace Me with another god, which is the prohibition of idolatry.

He comes to a similar conclusion to me, but look at the actual quote from the Talmud which I highlighted. The actual quote itself from the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 56b, talks about exchanging God, i.e., removing him from his place and putting something else there.

Legally, that would point to the core law of the seven. Conceptually and morally, it is wider.

So naturally, as I said before, God should be one’s highest priority, the ultimate authority. His laws should be the litmus test for all human laws, his truth being the standard, the plumb line and anvil for every relevant philosophy and lifestyle.

Now the word “relevant” is very important here. Why? Because there are areas of life where there may not be a direct and clear revelation or guide from God and we have to use the tools at hand to do the best we can. When learning maths, just because a person relies on his maths teacher to get the right answers for a test, it’s not as if God has spoken the right answers to the student and by listening to a teacher, he’s put someone in the place of God. If a patient must rely on his doctor’s guidance for the treatment of a tummy bug, then once again, this is not putting someone in the place of God. There’s no blind and unjustified obedience. It’s not as if God has said one thing and the patient chooses to obey the doctor instead. So the word “relevant” is very important.

If God is the standard of absolute truth, and then a person says either “there is no absolute truth” or “I’ll get my standard for absolute truth from man’s statements,” then, in both cases, yes both, God has been removed from his place and something else has taken his place, and in both cases, a human has taken God’s place. “I am God! Don’t exchange me!” It’s a form of idolatry, but it has to do with a person’s philosophy, way of thinking, not an action of divine worship. A human court can only deal with actions of worship, but it is my stance that the morality of this truth, “don’t exchange me,” is wider than the legality.

When another philosophy or authority figure takes the place of God, when another way of thinking becomes the litmus test for truth or morality, knowledge or law, where God has stated his place clearly, where it pertains to how a person thinks or their lifestyle, then that is what I call “philosophical idolatry.”

Philosophical idolatry can come in different forms: peer pressure; a desire to please one’s spouse; the dedication one gives to sports (rather than Torah or truth); the statements of scientists or supposed experts on certain topics; and many others.

The concrete example I’ve used a good amount of times on my blog, a subject that I harp on about a lot, is law and government, “society,” if you will. There are truths and laws that he has given, even ones that are universally recognised without him, that places each person, each Gentile, each Jew, at a junction of decision. And the choice is there. Do you put God on his throne, do you recognise his rule in a place he has designated? Or do you place man on that throne?

Did God prohibit literal idolatry, the active worship of other gods, and murder and male homosexuality? He did prohibit literal idolatry. That’s his bedrock base standard for Gentiles, an obligation on each and every one of us. The governments of man say idolatry is not only permissible, it is protected legally under the idea of freedom of religion. Sure, it makes things easier for the Torah observant in society as well, but God has a bedrock basic law, don’t go below here! Do you support … No. You deal with you. Let me deal with me in this article. No point in pointing a finger if all the others point back at me, right? Do I support a government that rebels against and opposes God’s standard? Who has the throne on that point?

An apparently universally accepted law is a prohibition against murder. Phrasing it my way, no human shall kill or indirectly cause the death of another human without the excuse of self-defence where no other means of defence was possible, or unless he has transgressed a capital crime as expressed in God’s law whereby a court-appointed executioner can kill the guilty human. Hmmm … Is that accurate enough? Let me know. I’ll ponder it.

The issue here is that humans are being killed, innocent ones, and their “crime” is being in the womb and not being wanted. They’re still human. And governments make it a legally protected act to kill that defenceless innocent human. God said it’s prohibited post 40 days after conception. No politician in his right mind (“right mind” meaning wanting popularity to get power) would create a law prohibiting such killings in the western world!

So government says such killing is fine. God’s bedrock basic law says no! Human law protects what God’s law forbids. Do I put my will and choice behind such a government as a murder protecting one? Who has the throne with that choice?

The male homosexuality argument will go the same way, so I won’t be tedious and repeat the flow.

Now I can hear the cry of the democracy-worshipper (a possible other philosophical idol right there), “I don’t support that law, or that part of the system. I support the other part, the good part.” I respect the good intentions of the state-supporter, but I don’t agree with its outcome. It’s like feeding a dog you know kills kids. It has its cuteness. It guards your house every now and again. It scares away some robbers. But it kills kids. If I couldn’t kill it myself, I would get it as far away from me and my children as possible.

When a statist supports the state by voting or volitionally giving time and effort towards it, or selling one of its actors, like how people promote Trump or Obama or other political cretins on their social media or in conversation, then it’s the whole state package that is acted out on the people, good and bad. So if a person supports Trump for his foreign policy, whether you like it or not, that person is still also supporting the ongoing legal protection of idolatry, the ongoing legalisation of murder and other acts that contradict morality and God’s bedrock basic laws.

And in this political system, the system of western culture, the state approval and protection of acts that go below our basic standards as Gentiles happens without fail!

Just to add, it doesn’t matter if a person votes for the losing candidate. This is because he still legitimises the system, the political system, the “might makes right” system, even the winning candidate, by his action of voting.

And the choice at hand when it comes to acting in support of a contra-7M-system is this: what has the highest priority when it comes to the law of the la … Hell no! “Law of the land” is a misnomer and a deceptive phrase. So let me stop myself. So the question is: what has the highest priority when it comes to how a community is governed? Faithfulness to the law of God? Or faithfulness to a system of man which contradicts the laws of God? Who has the throne? Statism? Or God’s moral legislation?

Now whether you disagree with my example or you agree, I hope at least you get an idea of what I mean by philosophical idolatry and why I use it with regards to the way people are faithful to the State to one extent or another.

I hope I’ve explained myself clearly enough.

Personal opinion: I must never forget…

This doesn’t have anything to do with the Seven Laws for Gentiles. But I felt strongly about recording my present thoughts.

———-

I must never forget that government schools are still a form of forceful control. For all the good people, the well-meaning people, that may work there, I still send my children there under threat of violence or punishment. They make sure to remind me of this with every letter they send. They make sure to remind me of this at every parents evening. Every time my child is sick and cannot attend, it is reinforced with the warnings and and the requirement upon me to give a good reason for their not attending.

If they can control the movements of my children, that only reinforces the idea that my children don’t belong to me but the state.

Despite the positives that may come from my child attending those government indoctrination camps, they are still government indoctrination camps. They don’t teach my child to become a good person, but rather a good citizen (“slave”). Whether my child gets a good grade or not in terms of results of tests, the aim is to teach my child that obedience to govt authority being good and disobedience to such an authority is being bad.

They only send the good looking sheep, the meek and sincere ones, in front to hide the murderous shepherd behind. The nature of the state is to turn good people into weapons of evil.

Never forget, David!

Don’t you ever forget!

The Secular Society – Part 3: Justice

Now a secular society, a group that aims to be secular, must reject, yes, reject claims about God’s truth, his law and morality. At the very least, such ideas must be promoted as just being for private, within one’s home or just an individual subjective thing. While these thoughts are shoved into corners or actual irrelevance, values that the State wants to push are encapsulated in law, in media, in education.

But what is law based on? What are those state-favoured values based on? Well, there is no objective truth or morality in a godless/secular society. So who writes the laws and pushes the values? Just some stranger(s) with a subjective agenda, nothing more, nothing less. Just human opinion.

And when someone is accused of breaking this opinion called “law,” it is acted upon by people, like the cops, who may or may not use their own opinion and judgment to impose upon the alleged transgressor a punishment. They may send the alleged transgressor to a judge and a court who will then use its/his opinion and judgment to do whatever to the alleged transgressor.

Now there is absolutely no part of this system that is objective in terms of morality or truth. The law, by its very nature and application, cannot be the absolute as people can do the exact act prohibited and be absolved whilst others can do nothing prohibited and be prosecuted. One person can I have no one and be fined or imprisoned and (translate as “robbed or kidnapped”) and another can harm or kill many or cause their harm or deaths and walk around as “free” as you or me.

Because evil and greedy people are attracted to power and the masses are somewhat gullible, immorality necessarily becomes part of the system. “Power corrupts” is a truism when dealing with the “justice” system, or, more properly, the penal system, whether it be the arrogant judge who is treated as God of his courtroom, or the well-meaning one who sincerely believes the laws are good and necessary, and penalises people with laws that are actually unjust.

Power corrupts!

It could be said that in a secular society there is no justice, just the battle of wills. How you are treated is the “luck of the draw,” depending on the mood and agenda of the individual(s) holding the power. It’s all just subjectivity and hope-normally-delusional. It’s not some overarching solid objective law or standard, but playing a game in a crooked system.

In another way, it could be said there is justice in a secular society, but it’s not defined as objective and balanced, but rather arbitrary, capricious, schizophrenic, suffering from mega-multiple personality disorder.

If someone were to say to me, “there is more justice in a secular society than in a religious one,” then scrutinising that claim will highlight its inherent flaws.

1) The ubiquity of evidence of injustice by doing a cursory YouTube search. The capricious and whimsical nature of cop, lawyer, judge, politician, etc is more than evident and seems to appear much more than any other type or nature. The innocent are treated as bad as the guilty.

2) The fact that a secular society has no objective means to measure itself as being better than a(nother) religious one rather than simply being different.

3) The hidden claim that man’s rule is better than God’s, which is arrogance and blatant delusion in the face of the history of how people treat one another. Even just thinking rationally, perfection and beyond versus what? 6000 years of bloodshed, robbery and theft and worse? Man’s rule better than God’s??? Don’t make me laugh!

Both fundamentally and evidentially, the idea of the society of the religion of secularism having more justice than a society of another religion/worldview such as christianity or islam is patently false. A century of wars and hundreds of millions killed for non-“religious” reasons should be ample evidence of that!

But then here comes the defences.

“Don’t people in culture X do so and so particular nasty act??? We don’t do that!”

The examples I can think of which are normally presented are Muslims killing gays and Christians. And others talk about the Christian inquisitions. Now I’m not going to highlight the myths that have been linked to these examples, for example, the Inquisition versus Galileo. And I’m not even going to condone the acts. Because on a certain level or two (and I’m not being exhaustive), these arguments are weak and useless.

Firstly, for every act of injustice they claim, it is so so easy to find one that occurred in secular societies. “Oh no! They threw a gay person off a building for being gay!” Well, a policeman shot an innocent seven-year-old girl in the head while she was sleeping and in effect got away with it in a secular society. “Oh no! They chase and harass Christians out of the country.” But in a secular society, they threw a female journalist, a Christian, out of a secular country for racism when she did no racist act, and they bar other non-violent Christians just for what they preach.

“But… But they…” Just stop! It’ll just be a tennis match of accusations, a subjective one at that. Secular societies are just as guilty of injustice and war crimes. The death toll of wars in the last century (20th) and the continuing ones in this century by secular societies for secular reasons and not religious ones should tell you that.

This leads to the second point. Those who support their secular society above others tend to apply their morals unjustly in that they apply secular cultural norms to other cultures as if those secular norms are objectively true even though they have no basis in objectivity. Also, their morals a lot of the time come from government and the political system, which is their God and the giver of their moral values, therefore they’re just imperialists who want to force their system on others, just as arrogantly as the British Empire of old.

Again, this shows the arrogance and injustice of those praising their secular system: arrogance, because they think they’re morally superior even though the philosophical basis of the society means there is no real “better;” and injustice, because it is unfair to condemn another’s society and circumstance based on one’s own when the standards of one’s own system are inevitably relativistic or subjective. It’s like an apple complaining about the lack of apple-greenness of an orange.

So to summarise,

1) In order to be consistent with its own standards, the secular society has no superiority over other societies.

2) A secular society is still a religious one and thus is not different to other religious societies in this way; there is still a ruling worldview/philosophy and the state is its God.

3) Justice in a secular society is not consistent but rather is arbitrary and capricious.

4) Corruption is close to, if not an inextricable part of, the secular state. The truism “power corrupts” has been shown multiple times to find a natural home in such a society. The lies, war-mongering, bribery, corporatism and other wickednesses of the secular state is as natural and plentiful as air.

So the idea that a secular society is more just or fair than societies of the other worldviews is fundamentally and evidentially without merit.

Made a new enemy

I’m going to try something new with this one. I’m just going to flow, meaning that I’m just going to talk out this article and see how it goes. The amazing thing about having an iPhone is that its speech to text functionality is really quite easy to use. So here goes.

So yes, it looks like I found myself a new enemy! Okay, maybe that’s a bit more dramatic than it really is. But at least I can say that it seems like some of my recent articles has antagonised somebody. I can guess that someone is reading this article is thinking, “surprise surprise, you antagonise just about everybody.” That person may have a point.

So I wrote an article a few weeks ago criticising British values. I then wrote following articles that would be seen as being directed towards British society. Because somebody didn’t like that, they have used their power on Facebook to kick me out of a number of groups and delete all of my recent articles from those groups.

Now in my defence, I have tried to communicate with that person. I’ve sent messages querying the exact nature of my wrongdoing. But, alas, the only response I have received so far is silence. It seems that my evil is so deep and insidious and malicious that I have been formally excommunicated out of this person’s group of acceptable acquaintances. And not only that, but he wants to make sure that I am evicted from any place where he is if he has the power to do so. No one that he knows is supposed to hear what I have to say.

Now my wrong could not be personally attacking someone else in my articles. It should be clear that in my articles I go more after points and ideas rather than individuals. Even the article about the hypocrisy of some noahide did not dwell on her identity but the self-defeating claims against me. So again, my focus was on ideas, not on individuals.

So, the fact that this person is British, the person that has tried to kick me out of the various groups on Facebook, and combined with the fact that I’ve been criticising British society and its political system, leads me to the conclusion that this person may hold “Britain” on some pedestal, treasuring some aspect of this wicked system that I have condemned.

[I understand that this is only a conclusion based on circumstantial evidence, and therefore it can only be tentative. But it’s all that I have right now since my antagonist chooses to hide behind silence.]

Every now and again on my blog, I’m sure I record the fact that I’ve been kicked out of various Facebook groups, that I’ve lost a number of friends. I know sometimes it can happen because I can be very harsh and blunt. But I know the other times it is because my way of thinking conflicts with something that somebody else treasures.

The main thing that comes across my mind right now is that just because somebody claims to uphold and respect seven laws, that does not make them a good person. Just because somebody claims to honour and worship God, that does not mean that they still don’t have idols in their closet. Today’s idols are a lot more subtle and insidious. They don’t have to look like a stone graven image. They don’t need a literal temple or church that advertises the fact that here you worship this idol as a god. It can just be an idea or ideology that you give too much adoration, focus, or even attention. Today’s idols are a lot more easier to smuggle into your psyche like a form of syncretism, where you have the worship of God combined with your own preferred or chosen ideology. It happens so often nowadays.

But let’s be blunt. If it’s easy to have opposing philosophies sink into a Torah-loving mind, then how the hell can I act as if I’m immune, as if I’m the pure pointing out the stains? What an arrogant stance to take!

But it’s scary. It’s disconcerting. To look at oneself with a question, where are my issues? Where have I messed up? It’s easy to shout from the rooftops when you’re certain about what you’re standing on. But what if you look down? What if I look down and find I missed a crack? A missing layer? What if I’m standing on nothing but lies? What I’m guilty of what I condemn?

So I made an enemy, an antagonist. Maybe he’s just trying to do his best and due to his well-intentioned choices, he finds himself standing opposite to me, opposing my stance. I can be irritated at how he chooses to act. But I won’t shoot him down too much yet. He can stay in relative anonymity until he really goes on the attack.

Despite all of this, it’s always important that I check myself the best I can. Yes, syncretism is bad. The philosophical idols are bad. But the only person I can change is myself, so I should always beware to look in the mirror and check myself.

It’s like my wife said a few times,

Who is the judge? The judge is God. How is He judge? Because he decides whether I win or lose, not my opponent. Who is your opponent? He doesn’t exist. Why does he not exist? Because he is just a mere dissenting voice …

As a friend pointed out, my worst enemy, my enemy, could be me!

If it seems like someone is opposing me, it’s very important that I check myself. There may be something I need to learn … Actually, there’s always something I need to learn.

Wow, that didn’t turn out how I expected.