2 02, 2014

Religion in the military

By |2014-02-02T07:33:57-07:00February 2nd, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                            Religion in the Military                                                                            By                                                                 Israel Drazin   One of the concerns of the founders of our country, and probably one of the most important, was the protection of personal liberties, and of these, the right to practice one’s religion as one sees fit was one of their greatest [...]

19 07, 2013

Definition of religion tells us much

By |2013-07-19T05:26:36-07:00July 19th, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                By Israel Drazin   Merriam Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion, states “religion” derives from Middle English, religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, and Latin religio: supernatural constraint, sanction; or the Latin religare, to bind, restrain, tie back, secure. The same root yields the word “ligament.” The first known use is as late as the 13th century.[1] This concept of [...]

5 05, 2013

The Faults of Religions

By |2013-05-05T07:34:31-07:00May 5th, 2013|Jewish Books, Thoughts|

  In his 2013 book The Essence of Religions, Christophor Coppes tells why he is convinced that people are able glimpse heaven in near-death experiences (NDEs) and that they are true events even though people report them differently. He feels that most religions have inklings of NDE truths, but the religious teachings are overloaded with [...]

4 07, 2012

Religious experiences are figments of the immagination

By |2012-07-04T05:04:23-07:00July 4th, 2012|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   Science has proven beyond doubt that when people think they are having a religious, spiritual, or mystic encounter, or a feeling of sensing God, they are really not doing so, they only think they are. Ralph D. Mecklenburger, in his 2012 book, Our Religious Brains, describes the scientific findings of how the [...]

28 05, 2012

Religion or Science? And Can we be Rational?

By |2012-05-28T06:02:48-07:00May 28th, 2012|Thoughts|

                                                                                                                                             By Israel Drazin   A very knowledgeable reader of my writings wrote to me asking two questions. The first was: do I think religious people should study philosophy or science? The question was prompted by my use of the word philosophy frequently.   I understand that the great Greek and Jewish philosophers Aristotle [...]

29 12, 2011

The Lonely Man of Faith

By |2011-12-29T05:51:26-07:00December 29th, 2011|Book Reviews|

The Lonely Man of Faith By Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Maggid Books and OU Press, 2012, 79 pages     Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993) was a highly respected rabbi and teacher and the mentor of over 2,000 rabbis. He had a PhD from the University of Berlin, wrote his doctoral dissertation on the philosopher [...]

5 12, 2011

Missunderstanding rabbinic literature

By |2011-12-05T05:15:47-07:00December 5th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   I think that the greatest difficulty that people have in understanding rabbinic literature is that it is hard for them to see what prompted the rabbi to say what he said. I’ll focus on one point.   Very soon after the Five Books of Moses was canonized, probably during the time [...]

1 12, 2011

Why listen to clergy?

By |2011-12-01T03:59:06-07:00December 1st, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   Why do people feel that they should listen to their clergy? There is nothing in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, or Koran that says that its adherents must obey rabbis, priests, and imams. In fact, Judaism didn’t have rabbis until around the year 70 of the Common Era, after the second [...]

25 11, 2011

Religious people do not follow their Bibles

By |2011-11-25T05:06:52-07:00November 25th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin There is no religion today where its adherents do exactly what is in their Bible. Let's look at Judaism as an example.                                           Ask many Orthodox and Conservative Jews about the origin of the oral law and they will tell you that God revealed both the written and oral Torah to the [...]

23 11, 2011

Should we have faith?

By |2011-11-23T05:15:16-07:00November 23rd, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   The humorist Ambrose Bierce wrote in his The Devil’s Dictionary that faith is: “Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.” Unlike most people, I agree with Bierce. I am convinced that religion should be based on reason, not faith. People should [...]

27 10, 2011

Does it Matter Whether God Exists?

By |2011-10-27T08:52:07-07:00October 27th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   I dislike and reject the notion of “faith,” which is the acceptance that an idea is true even though the idea is clearly shown to be false by science, the use of our five senses, or reasoning. I accept as true only facts that are rational. I am not an atheist [...]

8 07, 2011

A portrayal of Maimonides’ controvertial views

By |2011-07-29T05:01:46-07:00July 8th, 2011|Book Reviews|

Maimonides the Rationalist By Herbert A. Davidson The Littman Library, 2011, 318 pages     Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) criticized most people in his monumental Guide of the Perplexed 3:51 when he wrote that “He who thinks about God and talks about him at length without scientific knowledge…does not truly talk about God and think about [...]