I’m most disturbed by the quiet agreement between many Jewish atheists and most Orthodox Rabbis as if they are having incomparable worldviews. I don’t believe that for a moment. I understand that Jewish Atheists don’t want to be pushed toward Judaism. I understand Rabbis being confident that whatever they do and believe, it’s not Atheism. But I’m just not sure.
Atheists, nowadays, have good reasons not to believe in God. And I don’t mean that they are right not trusting anything or Anything that cannot be proven. But I think that most of the time, Atheists are not so much put off by the concept of a God but rather by how many religious people behave. They see and say: no, not like that.
All the sexism, the homophobia, the rejection of science. And a refusal to stop thinking by oneself and just follow what others say.
Good for you!
I have no need for a God I never see or hear.
I don’t want to talk to Someone Who never answers.
Good for you!
I like a lot of what a religious upbringing teaches.
But I don’t want to suffer with little in return.
Good for you!
If there would exist this God that the Jewish Tradition talks about, God would be very proud of you.
God would not want you to be a sexist, a homophobe, to reject science and stop thinking for yourself and just follow what others say.
Don’t steal. It’ll make you less holy. And God, your Soul, will see, of course.
I case you don’t know what our Soul is, neither do I. I know it’s not part of the human body. Take all the parts apart and you won’t find a Soul part. But neither will you find a Life molecule or a Smart piece.
This is nothing mysterious. When you build a shelter from bricks and wood, there will be no shelter part. The building blocks created a safe space but safety is not a characteristic of the individual building materials.
We should never reject reality. Science tells us of its findings. To embrace them until they are replaced by something newer and better. Especially, if you learned science, it’s disgusting to see how religious leaders dispute Geology and Evolution Theory while they don’t know what they are talking about. Of course, you want no part in this!
God has no need for people with blind faith who never see or hear. But if you listen to your Intuition and your Soul, you’re listening to God.
Don’t be intimidated by these traditional Jews who parade around as if they talk to God face-to-face every day. They don’t.
At most, they, but anyone really, can talk to God all the time until they see God in everything. You do that for two years and you have that too.
Nor does God need our prayers. Prayer is for the one who prays.
And God doesn’t want you to be a hypocrite to just pretend to be religious.
And to have a sleepy religious routine with unchecked customs is dumb.
God doesn’t want you to suffer with little in return. The Sages say that God’s original plan was to give followers the best life — no less.
God — if God exists — made people independent agents. With Free Will. With a need for autonomy. With their own viewpoint and own mindset.
Each unique and priceless.
And God doesn’t need to be worshipped, praised, obeyed. He’s not an idol!
So what’s with all the praises for God that religions prescribe and all the bowing?
Let me suggest that all this began as a concession to human weakness, to help most people transition from idol worship to being close to God.
To say: Don’t bow to an idol; bow to God.
But we went up in rockets and walked on the Moon. There is no God up in the Heavens. Not even beyond the Universe. If God were so beyond, why take God into account at all? Beyond is beyond.
Let me suggest that snippets of God really live in all of us (Exodus 25:8, 28:46) as our Souls, our deepest Selves.
And that we’re all interconnected because our Souls are part of a larger Whole: God. Human conflicts are never between our Souls.
This would solve the problem of why God says that it’s not good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He was with God — how alone could that be? Well, if God was Adam’s Soul, so indeed, on his own, he was alone.
I would not limit God to being the sum total of our Souls. There could be more to God and since God is unlimited, there probably is. But, I’ll be pleased if we could agree that God is at least all our Souls combined.
There is no difference between obeying God and obeying the Human Soul. That’s how the first Jews, our Matriarchs and Patriarchs, followed all the Commandments, by just being outstanding people.
You can hear God when you listen to your conscience. Just make sure it’s not the voice of a stern confusing message that was perpetrated upon you early in life.
There is no tension between serving Man and serving God.
You don’t need to believe in an external God to be holy, not to do Evil.
Evil is simply the perpetration of more overall hurt than the minimum.
Maybe an old wise religious tradition can help you figure out faster which are the ways to inflict as little as possible overall hurt, but never give up on your own checking if this works out.
People often are unwise about ‘believing’ in God as if that should be just a naive leap of faith. Naive people may live calmer but they are also in more danger. I believe that traditional Jewish belief in God is this: “You do all you can. Outside of that, you give it over to God.” That means that you take no shortcuts. But while you did your best within reason, you also don’t worry. Call it having Trust, call it being a realist. Nothing an Atheist can’t do.
You don’t need religious leaders to tell you to be friendly, humble, peace-loving, a proud (but humble) Jew, etc.
Atheism is the best religion there is because it refuses to do idol worship or anything that looks like that!
But, I’m too weak and confused for that.
I like the wisdom of ages and to check it for accuracy now. I don’t know how to bow to God without putting God above me. I don’t want to start from scratch. It could take me a lifetime to figure out that giving money to a heroin addict is murder, not charity. That just being fair to a parent is not enough awe and gratitude. I value the character traits the Jews cultivated.
But if you’re strong and sensitive enough, be religious without tradition.
You see, Atheism is incorporated in Judaism. No wonder, there are so many Buddhist Jews. Buddhism certainly doesn’t have all of Judaism (nobody has anything like the Talmud) but it certainly has the essence.
However, I’m not certain about any of the above. What do you think?
This post has been further expanded and edited for clarity on April 6.