Various thoughts; Part 3 – Alone

As far as I know, with regards to the conscious adherence to the laws God gave to humanity, in the town I live in, I’m on my own. It’s not like I can go down the road to a friend’s house, chill there whilst eating and drinking, and argue out our understanding of the seven laws, or study them. There is no one, no point of contact I can call upon to have a private discussion on my Torah.

But then again, for a good portion of my life, I’ve lived out a line of one of my songs, “Never stopped singing yet the stranger’s song, in the midst of many people, and yet alone.” It’s been that way before I had even had any clue about the seven Gentile laws. My siblings remind me that even when I was young, I used to ask if i was adopted because of this “outcast” or “odd one out” feeling I had. And then adopting the outlandish views I held then and now concretised that “odd one out” status.

While I was a Christian, I took the bible seriously which led me to question the bible study books the church would use. I began to wonder why all the songs in the hymnal were so focused on Jesus when he was supposed to point to “the Father.” I rejected the Christian holidays, the Trinity. In personal life, I didn’t have a typical social life. No nightclubs, no pubs, no hanging out with friends at a shopping centre, no youth clubs.

And then after leaving Christianity because Jesus failed the criteria to be Israel’s promised anointed king (and not because claims of similarity to the stories of idolators), I was set further adrift. Some of those who had left Christianity that I had met online left Torah and the Jewish Bible completely, but I couldn’t see any firm logic in their reasoning, only too much faith in people who had the title of scientist or archaeologist. I found myself amongst Karaites online, but I couldn’t agree with some of their stance, especially the idea that a non-Jew must convert to get close to God, which those I communicated with espoused. I saw in the Jewish Bible too much evidence of a way of righteousness for those not of Israel.

So eventually, thanks to the assistance and patience of Dr. Schulman from Asknoah Intl., I was shown the necessity of the oral Torah and through that I embraced the truth of the seven laws.

But that got me into the “noahide” crowd.

Now, from now on, when I use the word “noahide” in this article, I’m only referring to a religious group of Gentiles that link themselves with Judaism or claim to be part of Judaism, a group that distinguishes itself from other religions like Christianity or atheism or Hinduism, etc. Their group is limited to people who keep the seven commandments because the God of Israel, the First Cause of everything, commanded it to Moses.

So after a time of interacting with noahides and seeing some of them voice their grievances about the seven laws system, I heard, quite often, a desire for a noahide community, not just an online group, a virtual one, but a real one, almost like a lost Christian looking for a church (the group, not the building). It was a choice of loneliness, craving interaction and belonging with people who think similarly to oneself. I even made a few attempts to join a noahide group.

Through all my experiences with noahides and the Jews that teach them, good and bad experiences, especially with some recent ruckuses that I caused, I’ve come to a not-so-shocking conclusion: It’s best that I stay away from noahide groups! There’s not even a great need to become part of one.

For some who have either read this blog, or who have seen my experiences online, this conclusion is like me saying, “I’ve come to a conclusion: Living humans breathe.” Maybe I just need to write this to help me stop fooling myself. Maybe.

And for others, this is great news. I mean, who would want a rebellious person like me in a group?

Anyway, what are the reasons for my staying away from noahide groups?

Firstly, I’m not a nice guy. Yes, again, a “living humans breathe” reason. I prefer honesty and bluntness to politeness. And that bluntness can come across in such a way that people take personally. I’ve had multiple occasions where, because of the sheer bluntness of my words and the way I disagreed with their stance, someone took offence and quickly disassociated with me, a person that I had had contact with for some time. The amount of groups I’ve either been kicked out of or felt it best to leave, the amount of “friends” who have left me, and the amount of strangers who have blocked me, it becomes obvious that I’m not some innocent. I’m just not a nice guy, and I can be sharp in my disagreement to such an extent, people can take offence. This personal character trait is even hard to deal with one-on-one, much less a whole group. I’m sure people are surprised I’m married.

Although online shenanigans only capture a small fraction of my personality, since most noahide stuff I see is online, I don’t think my online persona is suited for groups and rabbis.

Secondly, the positions and beliefs of these noahide groups tend to conflict with my own.

The vast majority of them and the rabbis or people that teach them are statist, having some extent of respect for the state, some being patriotic/nationalistic, respecting voting and democracy, speaking respectfully of political parasites (I’m referring to every politician on all levels) and their thugs, defending cops and judges, seeing value in bodies of law and constitutions that oppose the principles of the 7 laws, all things which I deeply condemn and stand against.

Loads of noahides and some of their rabbis embrace forms of scientism and naturalism, accepting atheistic creation myths, believing science can tell the truth about things humans have never experienced, think that the theories of scientists are at such a level of Truth, Divine Truth, that such theories can be used to reinterpret the Jewish Bible. And some do this under the guise or banner of being “rational” or “rationalist” as if the other approach is not rational or less so … Or maybe the other approach doesn’t subscribe to the philosophy of rationalism, the notion that, in effect, even the miracles of God must be limited and comprehensible to reason and natural science, the humanly quantified “laws” of nature, the understood limits of matter and energy. Again, I find the expression of such devotion, such an nigh-idolatrous exaltation of man’s intellect (or nature), to be nauseating and repulsive.

The religious nature of this “noahidism”, a disappointing term, also is a point of contention for me. It gets to the point where, while the sanctity of the Jewish laws is respected amongst Jews and noahides, there are a good number of accepted reconstructions of the seven laws that aren’t even the seven laws. The prohibitions get inverted and erased and only positive suggestions are promoted. “Believe in the One God.” Not one of the seven laws. “Respect the sanctity of life.” Not one of the seven laws. “Respect God and Praise Him.” Not one of the seven laws. “Respect Others’ Rights and Property.” Not one of the seven laws. “Don’t Deny God.” Damn!

And I’ve already experienced what a good number of noahides will say to defend such listings. “Oh, but that’s what the seven laws, in effect, will lead to.” “Well, some people prefer a positive message to a list of ‘no-no’s’.” “That’s what the rabbis taught me so it’s got to be fine.” Sure, sure. The Jewish commands are somewhat respected, but the seven Gentile laws have to be refitted and remodeled for this, the modern age.

Give me a break!

And that’s not all. The religion based on the Torah, Judaism, there is an attraction to its rites and mysticism seems to be attractive. Kashrut, Shabbat, Jewish holy days, siddurs, things that have nothing to do with a Gentile’s obedience to God, too often find their way into the noahides to some extent, or just in the regular conversation. It’s hard to embrace being a Gentile when being taught Judaism (specifically referring to the religion of the Jews) by rabbis rather than just the seven laws and human decency.

Linked to that, my distaste for Hebraisms has reached new levels as well. You see, I realise that I’m English. I understand English. I’m not planning to become a Jew. And yeah, I appreciate that the seven laws are in the Jewish tradition. But whole swathes of Hebrew texts have been wholly translated into English, it’s very hard to find educated noahides who can converse about the seven laws in English. Gotta learn the “halacha”, improve the “middot”. Just can’t do it in a person’s native language if they aren’t Jewish. Is that a modern thing?
All this stuff is just off-putting.

That’s all the “secondly”.

Thirdly, there’s the lack of commonality. There are whole countries with laws, and people that know of or study those laws. But those citizens/serfs who have that law don’t, all of a sudden, because of a common law or ruler, become able to associate and learn with or even stand each other. Maybe I’m just an anti-social freak who’s just meant to enjoy his family, the few friends he has, and leave the noahides to do what they do. As I’ll still be learning about the seven laws, I’ll still write stuff and talk to the people who can tolerate me. I think we could all be happy with that, right?

Fourthly, I don’t follow modern rabbis. No, that’s not the only thing. I don’t see rabbis as having authority over Gentiles, whether they call themselves “noahide” or not. This makes it especially difficult when noahide groups tend to want rabbis to tell them what to do.

Take the Divine Code, for instance, where a rabbi not only communicates the teachings about the seven laws, but he also says things are “forbidden” and “allowed” that are not part of the seven laws. Yet, for many a noahide group, his word is the authority! His book is taught by other rabbis, I believe uncritically, to noahides. Many know the Divine Code much better than the words of Rambam on the Seven Laws, or tractate Sanhedrin 56a-60b. If the Talmud says that only prohibitions are counted as part of the seven laws, but rabbi Weiner states that the seven laws are made up of active commands as well as prohibitions, the Divine Code noahides will follow the authority of Weiner out of deference to his greater knowledge. That’s just an example of the authority noahides give to modern rabbis.

Now although some would say rabbis logically have the knowledge over any Gentile and therefore they would reasonably have authority to make “rulings” about what noahides can and can’t do, there is no inevitable or necessary link between expertise and authority (the ability to rule or making rulings upon another person). Added to that, Torah doesn’t give the judges of Israel, the rabbis, any authority over Gentiles, peoples of other lands. Regardless of the disagreement between me and them, that reliance on rabbis becomes another point of contention.

I could add a point about an experience I had that I would call, “The oddness of Noahide “worship”.” It would still be linked with my earlier points about their religiosity (desire for rites and ceremony) and the issue about Hebraisms. So there’s little point in labouring the point.

The fact is that, when it comes to interactions with noahide groups, it’s better that I let them do their thing. Amazingly, on an individual level, I could have these differences with an individual and get along fine with them. I have one-on-one friendships with people who disagree with me significantly on several of these issues, and we remain friends. Some of my friends think science has so many answers that I think are total fiction. Another friend of mine highly respects a rabbi. And by some miracle, … I have one friend where we’ve had several significant disagreements, and yet … I don’t know how … he’s there for me, and I hope he sees that I’m there for him too. I thank God for them. But on the group level, the level sometimes where a rabbinical ego leads the group, then it just doesn’t work out. It can’t work out.

Now there’s a very good chance that I’ve burnt some bridges with this post. Some (more) people may cut me loose and find offence in what I’ve said to such an extent that they will tolerate me no further. And you know what? There’s a very good chance that I’m gonna lose more friends along the way. But I’ve resigned myself to a few more conclusions:

1) I’m gonna die some time, I will fizzle out of existence alone, and all of my words, thoughts and opinions will wither into nothing. I expect little more than that.

2) The concrete people in my life, my wife and children and my family and those in my real reach, not just my computer virtual one, my main goal should be to take care of them as best I can.

God is my king. I’ve been alone with that for most of my life now. Passion for his truth has been with me for so much of my existence. I hope that he will see that and that it will be acceptable in his sight, even if I distance myself from the label of “noahide” and I keep some separation from the groups. It will be a terrible thing for no one if I don’t see a “noahide community” in my lifetime. I think, if one were ever created, they wouldn’t want to see me either. Personally, I would not want to see one. I’d be much happier just seeing non-Jews in general, Gentiles, get closer to God’s truth or his standard of behaviour.

But I have my doubts.

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21 Comments

  1. I do say you are challenging, especially me. We may have our differences and that is ok. I do understand the issue of Noahide groups. I am alone also except for some online people that have similar beliefs. To me the idea of the group thing is baggage that has been from being a part of religions like Christianity.

    From being brought to a stop in my personal life, I have a very different world view of humanity.

    I have come to the Seven Laws from a different direction than most, I studied for Orthodox Jewish conversion for 6+ years; so I have somewhat a Jewish understanding of things. Even when I do see a prohibition I also see the positive of it as well, and visa-versa. I have for a long time try to see both sides of the coin so to speak.

    For the spiritual person the Seven is only the beginning. I wonder if all those attracted to the ceremonial rites and mystical side of Judaism know and keep all the sub-rulings of the Seven? I mean, you can know kabbalah and keep Shabbat but if you are treating another human with any disdain, then all your knowing and keeping is rubbish. (my opinion)

    Your explanation to me about being between Abraham and the fullness of the Canaanites spoke volumes to me and it helped me see where we are at in the scheme of things.

    Not to put a feather in your cap, I do tell folks about our friendship and how you always challenge me.

    If I could cross this great pond and sit and talk with you I would.

    • ET, you are one of the highlights of my life. You’re not a reason to boast selfishly, but a reason to give God thanks for people with broad and seeing hearts, like yourself. We challenge each other, and you make me aspire to have your character.

      With my wife’s permission, you’ve got an invite to my house. I’ll save up some money so we can go to the pub or to a pool place to chill and have some relaxed convo. GRIN!

      BUT I definitely agree, decency before rite, ESPECIALLY for a person from the non-Jewish nations.

  2. Hrvatski Noahid

    I am a Divine Code noahide, so here goes: Every person by nature is very influenced by his friends and surroundings, and by nature he is drawn after those around him, to also act in their ways. Therefore everyone must befriend good people to learn from their worthy actions, and distance themselves from bad people in order not to learn from their bad actions. It is prohibited to fraternize closely with deviant believers and apostates, since they may lead one astray after their ways (the Divine Code by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, Ask Noah International, 2011, p 123, 147-148).

    I am happy to meet Noahides who visit or live in Zagreb, Croatia.

    Online communication is not a perfect solution. Since mankind is not perfect, it does not deserve perfect solutions. But I am thankful for my online friends. With some I have intellectual discussions. With others I have a true brotherhood.

    • Firstly, HRV, you’re invited too. With the agreement of my wife, it would be great for us to have a meal and a time to chat … But we could do some bowling too, if you’re into that.

      I know how you view the Divine Code as you know how I view it. That is why it is groovy that we’re still friends.

      The principle that rabbi Weiner shared in the Divine Code is, to me, only advice. So, living in the community I live in, I wouldn’t take his prohibition as if it had any authority. It’s good advice but not a prohibition he had any authority to make.

      Thanks for always being there to try to stop me, and always there to help me.

  3. Hrvatski Noahid

    No problem bro. Thanks for the invitation! I hope to visit you someday.

  4. Helen

    I really appreciate you David. I just want to say I love your posts and can relate to what you are conveying. Looking forward to your next instalment.
    Helen

    • I deeply and genuinely thank you for saying that, Helen. All the best to you and yours

  5. Noahide law does not prohibit taking sides on political issues. Short of violent revolution, it’s the only means at our disposal for making changes. Taking political action against abortion, for example, does not make one a statist. Some governments are better than others. You have to work with what you have. We aren’t starting from scratch. Gradual change might be the best we can manage.

    Noahide law does not prohibit examining the indermediary causes between G-d and our world via the scientific method. Your blog often asserts that there’s no obligation to believe in G-d. Why, then, is there an obligation to ignore scientific discoveries? There are Orthodox Jews who accept big bang cosmology & evolutionary biology. (One of the Sages estimated that the universe was 15 billion years old!) Entertaining scientific hypotheses doesn’t commit one to naturalism or scientism.

    In any group of intelligent people there will be disagreements on just about everything. The one commonality amongst Noahides is a moral and legal code and its basis. It would be astounding if we all agreed on anything beyond that. There is nothing offensive about disagreements or eccentricity. And they’re not prohibited by Noahide law. ;0)

    • For something to be a straw man, it has to be irrelevant to the point. In this case, you said several things that aren’t prohibited by the seven laws. Now for that point to be relevant, I would have had to say those things WERE prohibited by the seven laws. I didn’t. So those points are straw men, irrelevant.

      You said there is nothing offensive about disagreements or eccentricity. That is an erroneous statement as it ignores the nature of the disagreement or eccentricity.

      As I said in the article, the commonality of just accepting the seven laws is inadequate for a person to stay with a group. I believe you read the article, but your comments show that you missed a lot of what was said.

      You said that taking sides on a political issue is the only means at YOUR disposal to make changes (when you mention “our disposal”, so as I’m not part of this “our” you must be speaking about some group that you’re part of that is a lot smaller than the totality of humanity). When a mind is trapped in such collectivist thinking, where I must force my view on others by means of the irresponsible ballot box and the coercion that is government in the “might makes right” fiasco called democracy, I feel sorry for such a mind. Feel free to continue such a tyrannical way of thinking. “it’s not prohibited by the seven laws,” right? But then again, neither is lying in general. (I’m talking about the seven commandments, not some rabbinically expanded “noahide code”)

      “Taking political action against abortion … doesn’t make one a statist.”

      This statement shows you don’t understand what a statist is. When I use the term “statist”, I’m referring specifically to those who use the state (political action) to force their views on others. In effect you’ve said “being a statist doesn’t make one a statist.” Statism doesn’t mean “big government.” It means the sort of faith in political action and political means as you’ve demonstrated quite well (“the state [political means] is the ONLY means to change”).

      “Some governments are better than others.”
      Some forms of forcing yourself on others are better than others. I prefer sexual assault to rape, right? No, I’m not sold on the concept.

      “Why is there an obligation to ignore scientific discoveries?”
      This question is based on a lie. The lie is in the question: The presumption that I said at any time that there is an obligation to ignore scientific discoveries.

      But, I’m going to set aside the word “science” as it’s becoming like one of those “untranslatable” Hebrew words that irritate me, that gain an air of mystery and gets redefined. I’ll try to explain myself concisely, in other, hopefully simpler, terms.

      Knowledge is at its strongest when it is rooted in deductive reasoning, reasoning between known limits, and rooted in what humans have experienced. It still isn’t infallible but it’s at its strongest. The further outside of human experience you go, the more you rely on inductive reasoning, the further you move yourself from known limits, the more your claims become speculation, having no truth content.

      Modern science is only, at maximum, 500 years. Clearly recorded and intelligible and detailed human communication may be several thousands of years old. Those are the known limits. When you or anyone tries to tell me about stuff that no human has experienced, that is multitudes of times outside of human experienced, that is terribly bound to presuppositions and biases and inductive reasoning, then you’re not giving me knowledge statements. You’re not talking about “discoveries.” You’re only talking about speculation. Slapping the name “science” or “scientific” on it, simply adjusting the label, will not make those claims any more true, anything more than just loads of human creativity foisted onto circumstantial evidence.

      Look, you can have as much faith as you want in the armchair gods, the lab-coated idols of today. Hey look, I’m sure they “discovered” an earth like planet just a few billion light years around the corner. I’m sure they recently found a fossil that was dated some billions of years ago. Enjoy those “discoveries.” Go tell it on the mountain! Glory be to human reasoning for breaking the chains of our limitations, and letting our minds drift to different galaxies or experience such “real” time travel that I’m walking with dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Listen to the sermons of the armchair gods and their acolytes. “You see, space is like a balloon, and as you blow it up, the points get further and further apart.” Then I’ll sing “I stand amazed in the presence of such intellectual majesty.” Imagination merged with reality … Isn’t that a description of idolatry?

      I don’t ignore any of these “discoveries.” I just know the difference between human experience and flights of imagination.

      Oh yeah, “well some orthodox rabbis accept a mega-old universe and evolutionary biology.” Yes, and there are some that don’t. Well, it was quite easy to counter that argument. I’m guessing that there are some orthodox rabbis who sin. So maybe we all should. Wait, there are some orthodox rabbis who teach the seven laws are abolished. Well, I guess they’re abolished then. Some rabbis think that it’s forbidden for Gentiles to drink blood, that this is one of God’s commandments upon us. Well, I guess if some do, then it’s ok. So if some orthodox rabbis committed suicide, then that would be ok too, right? Come on, why even bring up such an argument???

      “Entertaining scientific hypotheses doesn’t commit one to naturalism or scientism.”
      Another strawman. I never spoke of simply “entertaining”. And the noahides and rabbis I’m seen don’t just entertain it.

  6. The intent of my post was to advocate a Big Tent approach for Noahides, one that welcomes the politically active and anarchists alike; one open to young earth creationists and others. You’re overreacting.

    I’m not forcing MY views on others by voting against abortion; I’m enforcing G-d’s views. Tell me how YOU take action.

    You don’t see any difference between the governments of Iceland and North Korea, eh? ALL government is evil! Should we just wait for a Noahide theocracy to descend? This extreme position is easy to espouse because it ignores the complexities of the world.

    I’m not sure you understand what science is. It’s a method, not an oracle. Quantum physics, for instance, is the most precise intellectual achievement of man. It’s neither deductive nor something you can directly experience. Should we therefore dismiss it as a flight of imagination?

    Are you seriously comparing the acceptance of modern cosmology to suicide? My point was that Noahides have elbow room regarding their scientific beliefs.

    “There is nothing offensive about disagreements or eccentricity. And they’re not prohibited by Noahide law. ;0)”

    This humorously referred to YOUR disagreements and (admirable) eccentricity. I’m sorry you misunderstood it.

    • I don’t embrace the label of “noahide”. That’s part of the reason that I distance myself from the “noahides” in this and many other articles. I appreciate the attempt to think “big tent” for your group. I’m not inclined to be a part of it. I prefer to keep the base idea of the children of Noah referring to Gentiles on a whole.

      “You’re overreacting.”
      Zzzzzz … What, was that a point? Hey, you subjectively think that. I don’t. Nothing really substantial about the statement.

      It’s sad that you don’t know what democracy is, what the government is, what the effect of voting in the current system is. Ah, you’re enjoying enforcing God’s view on the world using top-down tyranny in a system that rejects the seven laws. So you sustain the seven-law breaking system to push “God’s view” on a single point on people using the force of a coercive monopoly, i.e., the state. Talk about self-defeating. “enforcing”, my foot!

      “Tell me how you take action!” Oh, I like demands. How statist of you! I’ll acquiesce. Firstly, I try not to uphold injustice and the breaking of God’s laws. So, as much as possible, I don’t support a government that fundamentally undermines the seven laws. That way I uphold the negative side of the law of Dinim. Then I do the little I can do by spreading the word about the evil of the government you support in order to push the single point of God’s law you want to “enforce”. I don’t try the top-down tyrannizing of (one aspect of one law of) the seven laws. I just sow the small seeds I can. I know, it may be argued that several aspects of different laws may be upheld by the current tyrant, but that’s not the point. A righteous court is not one that keeps some of the laws and ignores the rest.

      Of course there’s a difference between the govts of Iceland and North Korea: they are different people, possibly different structure and in different places. So to say I don’t see ANY difference is a strawman. But all human governments, all modern governments are legitimised monopolies on threat, aggression and coercion. In that respect, all governments are the same.

      “Should we just wait for a Noahide theocracy to descend?”
      Depends what you mean by “noahide.” If you’re talking about the religion that I defined in my article, then God forbid. Even I would want to rocket launcher that thing out of existence. I don’t want another religion. And even you by “noahide theocracy” you simply meant “a gentile system of courts based on God’s seven laws,” then I’m not saying that “we” should do anything. I do my best to speak for myself. I won’t be a tyrant. I won’t be a busybody/voter/mini-tyrant. I’ll uphold my individual responsibility. There’s nothing “waiting” about that. I’m doing what I have to do without trying to ram things down someone else’s throat by force of government as if I’m “God’s enforcer” in a world that has rejected his law.

      “This extreme position is easy to espouse …” Since you don’t hold it, I’ll put it down to your ignorance that you consider such a position “easy.” Or I can put it down to your capacity in your responses so far to construct oversimplified straw men.

      “it ignores the complexities of the world.”
      Another straw man. It’s actually because of the complexities of the world and the knowledge that tyranny (via democracy, republicanism or whatever form of dictatorship) won’t fix it.

      You gave the example of quantum physics, something neither deductive nor something you can directly experience. So that means, just like with any theory of science, it’s not the truth, just an approximation of possibilities based on presuppositions and incomplete evidence. If a person says, it’s the TRUTH, then I can say that such a position is a flight of imagination.

      Yes, science is a method. And its limitations means that the notion of evolutionary biology and 15 billion years must be at best speculations, nothing that can be used to reinterpret the seven days of creation or the flood or the plagues of Egypt.

      “Are you seriously comparing the acceptance of modern cosmology to suicide?”
      Your argument was “some orthodox rabbis accept/do it.” So no I wasn’t comparing the acceptance of modern human speculations about things beyond their grasp to suicide. I was showing that the argument that “some orthodox rabbis accept it” is inherently weak and flawed. Just because some people do something or accept something, that gives it no credibility based on that weak argument.

      If your point was that your group, the noahides, have elbow room regarding their beliefs, then saying “some orthodox jews accept it” didn’t help.

      “This humorously referred to YOUR disagreements and (admirable) eccentricity. I’m sorry you misunderstood it.”
      I accept your apology. Please, next time, be clearer.

      Look, I may be sharp with my words, but you have your view and I have mine. Many of my friends are statists and evolutionists and adhere to some aspects of scientism and naturalism. My wife is a christian. I can be friends with someone without agreeing with them. But in a group where I’ve got to have what I see as trash preached or teached at me and the vast majority of the group pats the trash on the back and swallow it, I can distance myself from the group.

  7. “So you sustain the seven-law breaking system to push “G-d’s view” on a single point on people using the force of a coercive monopoly”

    The “single point” has killed 60,000,000 human beings in my country since 1973. Yes, I support a “coercive monopoly” to stop it. On the one hand, we have your illusory, unjustifiable principle that all governments are illegitimate. On the other, we have the cold-blooded murder of 60,000,000. You’ll need to justify your idealism with philosophical arguments, not condescension and insults. You say it’s wrong to support the government. PROVE IT. Boilerplate libertarian gibberish has no place outside of a dormitory pot party. By their nature, any court system will be “coercive.”

    “Since you don’t hold it, I’ll put it down to your ignorance that you consider such a position ‘easy.’ Or I can put it down to your capacity in your responses so far to construct oversimplified straw men.”

    I’m a recovering Libertarian. I know the philosophy inside and out. That’s why I reject it. The anti-government position is intrinsically incompatible with the command to establish courts. You want a government-free country? Move to Somalia.

    “A righteous court is not one that keeps some of the laws and ignores the rest.”

    Now who’s making strawmen. We have laws against theft, cruelty to animals, and murder. We’re not consistently applying the latter regarding abortion and our foreign policy. This could be changed with political action. Are you asserting that no court at all is better than one that isn’t perfect? According to what standard? We have to fight for every inch of progress we make. We recently failed horrendously with the legalization of gay “marriage.” This didn’t have to happen. Voters made the wrong choice between Evil and incompetence.

    “You gave the example of quantum physics, something neither deductive nor something you can directly experience. So that means, just like with any theory of science, it’s not the truth, just an approximation of possibilities based on presuppositions and incomplete evidence.”

    Your cherry-picked epistemological standards can be equally applied to the Revelation at Sinai and most of the Biblical narrative. It can’t be proven with deductive logic and none of us were there. The Kuzari argument is based on abductive reasoning: arguments to the best explanation, the same reasoning science often uses. By your “logic” Sinai can be attacked as a “flight of imagination.” The same can be said of your anti-statist principles. There are no axioms of deductive logic that support them. They’re based largely on your emotions.

    Beyond the Cosmological arguments for G-d’s existence, deductive logic can’t prove any part of the theology we share. Are you sure this is your Absolute Standard of Truth? A wily skeptic could clobber this position.

    Please see this site for a nuanced “anti-statist” analysis: https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/MURDER.HTM Notice how his conclusion is not the abolition of government. It’s not an all or nothing position.

    • Thanks for your response. I have a better idea what I’m dealing with now. Someone who claims to know libertarianism inside and out, yet makes a poor argument like “Somalia” which shows he doesn’t. Someone who knows my thoughts and my heart so well that he can tell me what my views are based when he dictates to me that my views are based on emotion. Someone who conflates the limits of science, one field of knowledge, with that of divine revelation when he thinks the principles I use to judge the worth of statements about billions of years should be used on divine revelation.

      I understand, you already know the Truth, and you’re here to educate me. Since you know me better than myself, I’m sure you can do that.

      If we were friends, then maybe we would have a chat about this without assuming psychic abilities or claiming COMPLETE knowledge of things. But with more demands that I do what you say (PROVE IT), I just don’t feel like acquiescing any longer. Hey, call it an emotional response.

      I’m not going to try to convince you. I won’t pretend to know you. I’ll just leave your comment up for anyone to view, and leave this “conversation”.

      Oh, and just to be clear, some may conclude that I can’t answer your points which is why I’m stopping. They are free to coincide what they like, as are you. But I’m ok, for the sake of peace, with just walking away.

  8. Who you’re dealing with is someone who won’t back down from lazy ad hominems, which your prior post contained.

    “Somalia” was a thoughtless meme (though not nearly as callous as referring to abortion as a “single point.”) I stand by everything else I wrote.

    • Pointing to a person’s actions, which I did, is not “ad hominem”.

      Bye.

    • By the way, thanks for disagreeing with me. I’ll think about some of your points.

  9. Noachides are iconoclasts by nature. The position requires it. How does one go through life convinced that 99% of mankind are simply wrong about it’s meaning, about Who’s in charge? “Am I the sane guy in a nuthouse or some latter-day Don Quixote?” is a question that arises. Persistence takes the right stuff.

    This “right stuff” includes the capacity to disagree with everyone all the time and it can be hard to turn it off. I speak from experience. Maybe this explains some of the collisions in the Noachide community? What happens when you put rebels together? They don’t sing kumbaya.

    “It’s best that I stay away from noahide groups!”

    I might feel the same way. Why the heck am I debating someone who agrees with me on the essentials? Shouldn’t I focus on the other 99%? It’s almost weird to encounter kindred spirits. If I don’t disagree about something I’ll go into withdrawals.

    Maybe I should have started with this post!

    • Well, as we’re talking nice, let me say I hate you personally and eternally because you started a sentence with the word “maybe”. I think that’s a great reason to hate, right? Grin! GRIN!

      Plus you forced me into a dictionary against my will…

      Enemies, forever?

      Thanks, man. I’m still considering your points. Thanks for challenging me and not belittling me with being patronising at all.

  10. We blew a golden opportunity. I should have emailed you before posting:

    “Here’s a great plan for promoting your book. We’ll have a World Wrestling Federation brawl on your blog. Readers will come in droves. You can’t find better advertisement. This is how we sell stuff in America. After the seventh post, Hrvatski Noahid will jump in and hit me in the head with a chair. But eventually we double-team you. Then the referee jumps in with your book.”

    Which looks great, BTW. And you’re a good writer. I wouldn’t read your blog or post responses if I thought otherwise. Blogging is like pulling teeth in rush hour traffic. Yours are consistently interesting and you have your finger on the PULSE. Someone overreacting (if I did) to one of your posts is a sign it’s doing what it’s supposed to do: awaken us from dogmatic slumbers.

    My angry denunciation of Libertarian views is me debating an earlier version of myself. What if his position wasn’t so bad? Here’s a few quick points from him:

    Somalia is an example of why Communism sucks. They had one of the worst and it imploded. It’s not fair to point to the result and call it “libertarian.”

    If you had to choose between supporting Hitler or Stalin, where do you stand? There are numerous instances in history where not supporting any of the options was the right thing to do, where millions had to make that call. NOW is one of those times. You’re living in Nineveh with nukes.

    I’m sympathetic to this position, but not because of any Objective libertarian principles. It’s situationally contingent. (You could raise the point that I shouldn’t be using my situational optimism as a general principle. I don’t think I am. But that’s the shot I’d take at me.) The non-aggression foundation of Libertarian thought is Noachid-ish. It’s just incomplete. The question is: Does the command to establish courts that prohibit theft & murder obligate a Noachide to take or refrain from any political action? This dialogue will outlive us both. (Alan Cecil’s opus is an important side of it. I’m re-reading Secular By Design.)

    This next issue is too controversial for any blog anywhere. The only candidates who might be sympathetic to following most of Noachide Law would be Muslim. That’s awkward. Should I root for the home team for cultural reasons or the non-idolatrous, pro 7 Law candidate? My knee-jerk response is that the devil I know is better than the one I don’t. If I have to choose between two false religions I go with the one that gave us Beethoven, no disrespect to al Ghazali.

    ***

    I encourage every Noachide reading this blog to study the arguments for Theism and the Kuzari Principle: https://www.reddit.com/r/Noachide/wiki/resources These are the right philosophic positions to hold. You don’t need “faith.”

    • I was laughing and clapping as I read your WWE/WWF scene. ROTFL! If only all debates could be like this, where we try to kill each other through laughter before getting to the meaty stuff.

      My stance against modern government is partly due to the prohibitive side of the law of Justice. You’ve heard this before, but I’ll say it again, if that’s ok. There is a prohibition against injustice. A just court upholds the seven, an unjust one does not. A government, which is supposed to generate laws, is unjust if it opposes the seven. For me, it’s wrong to support injustice. Despite the numerical insignificance of voting, the actual act of supporting an unjust system, govt or political party is wrong in my eyes. Although, pragmatically speaking, I can understand the “gradual” approach, and the need to protect the defenceless, such as the unborn, getting the best of a mess that you can, I’m more for principle. Therefore – I’m sure you know this argument – supporting the lesser of two evils causes good men to choose evil. I refuse to do it.

      This isn’t my complete antiestablishmentarian stance, but it’s some of it.

      I disagree with the notion that Muslims would be most sympathetic to following most of the seven laws. I think I wrote an article about this … let me check. It may be my series on the sharia law. I know there may be some similarity between the seven laws and the muslim way of life, but I believe that to be superficial. It reminds me how I like to watch muslims tear christian doctrines to shreds with ease just by asking questions, but as soon as they touch the Jewish Bible, they turn into idiots. Their obedience to Mohammad creates a system that still, on many levels, contradicts the seven. It’s a bit like how there are many parts of the seven laws that christians would agree with too.

      I’ve gonna recommend that link you shared.

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