You look ridiculous, but you can only be true to yourself
After facing ridicule for some of my views by respected colleagues, friends and even a rabbi I respect, I decided to do the introspective thing again. This decision was also encouraged by the fact that people say that to share my view with my own children is child abuse. The politicians in the country that I live in have banned the teaching of views such as mine in schools. When such a view is spoken of in public, views ranging from heckling and laughing to disbelief and shock and anger can be readily seen. Online video after online video imply that a sign of gross stupidity or a sign of the decline of standards of education is the teachings of views similar to mine in schools.
Those who would have read through a good number of my posts on this blog should see that I reject the societally praised story of the history of our universe, that of universal expansion over billions of years, naturalistic formation of galaxies, stars and planets, the naturalistic animation of dead matter, life from non-life, and the grand story of the diversification of life from molecules to every form of life there is, including man, over billions of years of life and death, birth and expiration, the mutation and natural selection of genes that found a way to increase their own information, as if with dust and morse code and mindless forces, the outer casing of a mobile phone with its electronics can be formed as well as a fully functional operating system, like Android or iOS or Windows 10 for Mobile. I reject both the story and the time-scales paraded.
Such views as mine are deemed stupid, nonsensical. I mean, to reject the edicts of people called scientists, the story that is fed into every young mind that goes to government schools for over 12 years of their lives … How preposterous.
And think about it. It’s not only the fact that I hold such views. Not only do I look moronic and idiotic, I may be driving away people who may otherwise be interested in the Seven Laws, but who take a look at my unconventional stance, lump it together with anyone who keeps or teaches the Seven Laws and therefore throw the baby out with the bathwater. I mean, if a total fruitloop like me could hold to something like the laws of Noah, maybe the laws of Noah are also “fruitloop-ish.” If I could be so terribly wrong about the history of the universe and life, maybe I’m wrong about everything in my life, such as the seven laws of Noah.
But I have to wonder what the alternative is to be. If I personally find the naturalistic story unrealistic, having no truth value, and mainly a vehicle of scientism or philosophical humanism and secularism, even if others try to add Torah to it to give it the appearance of authenticity, then am I to speak as if I’m in agreement with it? Am I to stay silent if I see it as a travesty, an undercutting and undermining of logic, as a tool in the arsenal of indoctrination against the populace? Should I shut up because I’m against the culturally accepted creation myth?
Being blunt, my objections against what the majority of society seems to accept are not only a minority amongst the people around me in general, but seem to be in the minority amongst people who knowingly accept the laws of Noah.
I don’t know how it is for you. But for me, throughout my life, I’ve tried to challenge myself and my conclusions. I don’t rest on my laurels, not for long anyway. In the past I challenged myself when it came to christianity and the doctrines within it, to the existence of God, the trinity, the sacred names, the oral law, the truth of the Jewish Bible, Sabbath, so much. I either tried to break up my views and see if they can be put back together cohesively, or I’ll go to an apparent expert on a topic who holds the opposing view to me or a person who holds views opposing me and ask them to explain their conclusions. I sometimes am upfront and ask simply for such a person to tell me where I’m going wrong. So I didn’t reach my conclusions with ease and thoughtlessly.
So if I reach a conclusion about important topic, I aim to do so conscientiously and to embrace it unless I’m shown to be wrong. I won’t talk as if I’m unsure. I will speak with the freedom and boldness of those that oppose me. l believe it’s important, vital, to live according to one’s convictions that are based on earnest study and focused thought, even if it’s against the norm.
And let’s be blunt: upholding the seven laws knowingly is a minority view. Gentiles studying the Torah traditions held by the Jews in order to fulfill God’s precept is a minority activity. Acknowledging the God of the Torah as a non-Jew is a minority view, all least where I live. In fact even mentioning that acknowledgement can lead to scoffing, jokes. “Who in their right mind would put faith in some old guy in the sky? Loving God is a joke. Talking about the Jewish Bible and the Torah as if one were to take them seriously, as God’s revelation, that is a joke to so many. Even in the media it is publicly put to shame.
But should I stay silent about the seven laws, about Torah and Torah standards? Just to please those who prefer not to hear about it?
Well I won’t! Even if I come across like a tin foil hat wearing kook, I’m gonna express what I see as correct.
You see, I’ve talked to university professors, rabbis who accept the grand model of evolution, friends of mine who are more learned than me, to work colleagues and managers. Before that I’ll think to myself, “David, look, you are a nobody. And there are so many, so many who hold a view opposite to you. Surely you must have something wrong in your thinking.”
So, even with regards to evolution, I’ll ask these people, where do you see me going wrong? What facts show your story to be of such fact, such truth, that you’d call the notion of a six day creation thousand of years ago false and in need of reinterpretation to match “science,” and you’d hold fast to the stories of some of those called scientists? I’ll ask that with sincerity.
But each time I’m faced with what is put forward by those who are supposed to know better is faulty logic, inadequate statements of supposed evidence, words that smack of a certain worldview the Torah is at odds with, namely forms of atheism, like naturalism and scientism, views that say that truth can be found by the study of matter and energy alone. I get this even from the mouths of those I know to uphold Torah and love God.
And the apparently unconscious philosophical inconsistency in loving Torah yet espousing the outflowing of anti-Torah philosophies is, in hindsight, infuriating. But it’s unsurprising. We live in a culture where people are not taught the difference between fact and opinion or where the line between both are blurred, the line between an observed fact, something we all experience, and the interpretation of circumstantial evidence. These days, science is worshipped as the arbiter of truth, true truth. Yet this confounding of fact and interpretation happens freely amongst scientists. And if this stuff happens to them, being the generators of the most respected information in this day and age, it should be of no surprise that people in general make the same mistake.
For example, the statement that the earth is approximately 4.6 billion years is, objectively speaking, a statement of opinion, not fact. There are different ways I could prove that. I could bring up the fact that since the time of Chuck Darwin … hmmm … I like that, the double-entendre in that … Anyway, around the time of Chuck Darwin, people like James Hutton were saying the world was 80,000 years old. Later it was brought up to 20 million. In the early 1900s it was 1 billion. After a number of decades, it was 3 billion and now we have something like 4.6 billion. Now think about this with me. If we were dealing with fact, would it change so much? Or would it still be subject to change? Do facts change like that? I know I can change an opinion, but I shouldn’t be able to change a fact.
Look, James Hutton had an opinion. Those that came after him had their opinion. And today, the date they give is still an opinion. It doesn’t matter if they mix their presuppositions with circumstantial evidence, plug them into contrived mathematical equations and come out with a number (didn’t they do that for all the other guesses?). It doesn’t miraculously become true truth fact! It’s still an opinion. Because that’s the issue with scientists: they are always dealing with incomplete info. And thus what they come out with, especially when it comes to a history they can never experience, outside of what any human has and can experience, it can only be an opinion.
But did you know that people will hold up that number as fact, as truth, and deem people stupid, ignorant and unthinking if they choose to reject it, especially when those people have considered the issues? That’s the world we live in, where fact and opinion, hard evidence and interpretation, are blurred into one and the same thing.
Another short example is dating methods. They make it seem as if they can measure age. They can’t! All they can do is take the composition of a feature of nature that changes over the course of time, like radioactive substances, and measure its composition right now, in the present; determine the rate of change as it is today. That’s all they have when it comes to facts. Then they plug in assumptions and presuppositions to get a number. So on the fact side of the equation, they just have what something looks like today. On the interpretation or opinion side of the equations, they have their presuppositions on how nature is ALWAYS supposed to have worked (even though they can’t verify this). They they come up with a number, a so-called “age,” that is wholly dependent on their opinions about a past they cannot experience. So it’s just another example of opinions that get paraded as fact!
Now although I’ve focused on the evolution issue, this is just one of the many issues I can look ridiculous about. This is one of the things where I have to stand with a ridiculed minority. But must I shut myself up because I think differently to others? If my way of thinking leads me to another conclusion and, despite me asking, I’m given inadequate evidence or even authoritative dictates that I must believe in what others believe, should I not stand for what I see to be true? And not only stand but also speak out for it?
I know people, even those who love Torah, will mock and laugh at my views, my conclusions, despite the logical, Torah or hard evidence I put forward for them. But I don’t live for these people. Hell, I don’t even live for the few that may agree with me or at least give me a reasoning ear or who haven’t made a choice one way or the other. I have to be true to myself and live in obedience to God’s law!
Look, I’m not gonna pretend that it doesn’t perturb me when a friend of mine keeps poking fun at me because of one of my conclusions or another, or that people deem me as a threat to society and a laughing stock. If it didn’t bother me at all, I probably wouldn’t write this to myself. But in this life I’m gonna have to deal with disagreement.
Either way, I may look like a fool to you, but I conscientiously and purposely choose to continue to learn and to consider, to listen and also to critique based on what I’ve learnt about Torah and truth. I conscientiously and purposely choose, at the right time, to stand up and speak out against what is wrong and do my best to uphold what it right based on what I’ve learnt about God’s principles. I will do my best.
And if someone demands that I do differently or disparages me for doing my best, I’ll be prepared for that challenge and, with God’s help, I will overcome it.