Mankind: Astronomically Insignificant

 

It is a common observation that man is profoundly insignificant in the universe – a mere mote of a speck living on a rock far from where the real action must surely be going on. It thus follows that our lives are similarly unimportant. We must be, therefore, ultimately powerless.

This is the view of many atheists, scientists, and others who measure the world using a physical yardstick. Their view is, in some ways, an echo of that of standard nature-worshippers: the deities are manifested in their natural forces: a sea god, and a sun god, and a god who controls the rain or the wind. No man can stand against a tornado or an earthquake. It therefore follows that mankind is nothing as compared to the forces of nature, let alone those of the galaxy.

They would not be wrong, of course, if the only data we had available is what can be measured or perceived using our instruments. But of course, there is a whole world that is not in the physical realm, but is no less available to our consciousnesses: ideas like love and fidelity and liberty. Our tribes and associations, relationships and rivalries all may have no physical manifestations whatsoever, but they are no less real for it.

I would go even further than this: we may be physically insignificant in the universe. But while we can detect galaxies and quasars and countless other things that are immeasurably larger than we are, we have yet to see any sign of actual intellect off-planet. And on planet Earth, it is our intellect, our ability to think, that has made our relative physical weakness against animals and even the elements a mere footnote. We can – and have – made ourselves highly resistant to the elements: housing, clothes, heat, air conditioning, food. Our modern world has even eliminated nature-caused famine. It is what lies between our ears, not any specific physical prowess, that has made this possible.

It is no accident that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah, a collection of nothing more than words, the ultimate lack of physical manifestation. The Jewish people have no ancient buildings, no colossus or cathedrals, not even a single enduring institution. Our religion lives only in our hearts and minds, constantly nurtured by the words of the Torah.

But that is not true for most people. So when the Torah talks of the plagues G-d levied on Egypt, those plagues are all physical attacks of one kind or another. The plagues were to show physical superiority over each of the Egyptian pantheon of gods, ending with Pharaoh himself. But in all of these cases, the audience was NOT the Jewish people at all – the audience for the plagues were the Egyptians themselves, and any other peoples who were paying attention.

For the Jewish audience, the message was only one of words: “G-d is going to fulfill the promise to your forefathers.” It is a message of hope, with no direct physical deliverance until the splitting of the sea, a one-time-only event. From then on, G-d’s hand is always far more subtle, found primarily and most importantly in the words and the text itself. In any way we can measure, G-d works most often through people: inspiring them to love and care, to seek and grow relationships with each other and with the divine. These are all inspired by words, in the text of the Torah, or in the words we use with each other.

So the world has no shortage of physical power: both within nature and even through the might of armies or construction teams, we can blast and build on a scale never imagined in the ancient world.

But what matters continues to be the power of ideas. Hope and freedom and love motivate mankind, the things for which we are willing to lay down our lives if we must. Mankind is also capable of being motivated by evil ideas: think of honor killings or wars of supremacy or scientifically-inspired eugenics. Either way, though, it remains true that the real power in this world is not, after all, found in natural forces. Real power is found in the ideas that inspire and guide us.

The Torah is consistent about this. Think back to the Garden of Eden. It is not merely that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit: they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They ate the fruit and gained the power to reason, to think, to assess, and to judge. It is amazing to me that while mankind may be physically insignificant on a galactic scale, our intellect has yet to find something in the physical realm that we are unable to probe, challenge, and eventually understand. Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil made us capable of understanding everything we direct our inquiries toward. They achieved the potential to become full partners with G-d.

Note that G-d then expelled mankind before we could eat from the Tree of Life: the fruit that would have made us immortal, to similarly stand above nature. The text says that if we had eaten both fruit then we would have been similar to G-d Himself! This tells us that eating the one fruit brought us halfway to a divine level: we are not immortal, but we possess the mental powers that allow us to comprehend everything that G-d has made and all the ideas that He has given us.

Without the fruit of the tree of life, mankind remains limited by one key natural limit: death itself. We cannot fully ignore nature. But neither must we be enslaved to it like primitive pagans. The difference comes down to our ability to discern. And that ability stems directly from eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

So mankind, even primitive mankind, has the ability to listen, to think, and to know. This is why G-d’s interactions with Avraham, Isaac, and Jacob were verbal. If G-d performed miracles for them, these interferences in the physical realm remained subtle, arguable, in the same way that there is no ironclad physical argument for the existence of G-d today – if there were, then we would have no intelligent atheists.

A non-corporeal deity is not easy to wrap one’s head around. Primitives cannot get there: for them, power IS reality. Pharaoh could argue that the god of an enslaved people must not be very powerful, and a deity who does not have his own physical manifestation does not, in any measurable way, even exist.

It is similarly no surprise that every primitive society is racist and sexist. After all, if we measure everything by their force and size, then larger/faster/stronger men are indeed superior to women, and different races can be usefully compared and judged. Not until the modern world and the technology unlocked by our mental efforts, did the physical differences between people become perishingly unimportant.

The basis of the Torah and Western Civilization alike are founded on the idea not that a person is valued because of their strength or beauty, speed or color or sex, but that each person is endowed by their Creator with a soul. And on that basis, we are all equal in the eyes of G-d. When we use that soul, and our ability to think, then there is rightly no hierarchy between people based on their physical characteristics.

In the physical world, mankind is indeed insignificant. But in the realm of ideas, we appear to have been gifted unrivaled capabilities, able to understand, communicate, and grow together with the Creator of the world.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    iWe: It is amazing to me that while mankind may be physically insignificant on a galactic scale, our intellect has yet to find something in the physical realm that we are unable to probe, challenge, and eventually understand.

    Avocado toast. Gotcha!

    Just kidding, iWe. This is an excellent post.

    (I still don’t understand avocado toast. It defies explanation.)

    • #1
  2. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    iWe:

     

    It is no accident that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah, a collection of nothing more than words, the ultimate lack of physical manifestation. The Jewish people have no ancient buildings, no colossus or cathedrals, not even a single enduring institution. Our religion lives only in our hearts and minds, constantly nurtured by the words of the Torah.

     

    iWe, I love the above paragraph.

    • #2
  3. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    The quasars, galaxies, nebulae, etc. are all utterly insignificant and meaningless without a mind to perceive, enjoy and understand them. Thanks for the essay. 

    • #3
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Yes, certainly. I have always believed that we are the only intelligent species, and perhaps the only life in the Universe, because if there were others, they would have found and eliminated us already. If there is another intelligent species, we should not waste effort on finding them, they will come to us.

    • #4
  5. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    iWe: It is a common observation that man is profoundly insignificant in the universe – a mere mote of a speck living on a rock far from where the real action must surely be going on.

    I have been told (I am not smart enough to know for myself) that were we closer to where the real action of the universe were happening we would not be able to observe nearly as well what is happening. Being where we are in the universe allows us to make the observations about the universe that we do make. 

    • #5
  6. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    iWe: It is a common observation that man is profoundly insignificant in the universe – a mere mote of a speck living on a rock far from where the real action must surely be going on.

    I have been told (I am not smart enough to know for myself) that were we closer to where the real action of the universe were happening we would not be able to observe nearly as well what is happening. Being where we are in the universe allows us to make the observations about the universe that we do make.

    Interesting paper by a group of Oxford professors suggests that it is highly unlikely that there is intelligent life on other planets.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/all-alone-oxford-study-says-chance-of-intelligent-life-elsewhere-extremely-rare

    • #6
  7. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    Wonderful reflection iWe.

    • #7
  8. Sisyphus Inactive
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    iWe: It is a common observation that man is profoundly insignificant in the universe – a mere mote of a speck living on a rock far from where the real action must surely be going on.

    I have been told (I am not smart enough to know for myself) that were we closer to where the real action of the universe were happening we would not be able to observe nearly as well what is happening. Being where we are in the universe allows us to make the observations about the universe that we do make.

    This is true in more ways than one. The ambient radiation closer to the galactic center and giant black hole that lies there is far too high to support carbon based life forms. Even where we are now, in a relatively quiet spiral arm with a relatively peaceful sun, one of the greatest challenges to a manned visit to Mars is protecting the crew from the radiation. The average level of exposure would be bad enough, but a solar flare in the wrong direction can quickly multiply the overall exposure from the trip. Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars does a magnificent job dramatizing this, when as a passenger on an interplanetary liner a solar storm results in the passengers and crew spending time in core cabin with the water supply between them and the Sun in hopes of surviving the storm.

    As for the OP, I am often struck by all the ways God finds to create and nurture by His word, including the role of scripture in forming the minds and souls of humankind. Struck, and thankful.

    • #8
  9. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    iWe: It is a common observation that man is profoundly insignificant in the universe – a mere mote of a speck living on a rock far from where the real action must surely be going on.

    I have been told (I am not smart enough to know for myself) that were we closer to where the real action of the universe were happening we would not be able to observe nearly as well what is happening. Being where we are in the universe allows us to make the observations about the universe that we do make.

    This is true in more ways than one. The ambient radiation closer to the galactic center and giant black hole that lies there is far too high to support carbon based life forms. Even where we are now, in a relatively quiet spiral arm with a relatively peaceful sun, one of the greatest challenges to a manned visit to Mars is protecting the crew from the radiation. The average level of exposure would be bad enough, but a solar flare in the wrong direction can quickly multiply the overall exposure from the trip. Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars does a magnificent job dramatizing this, when as a passenger on an interplanetary liner a solar storm results in the passengers and crew spending time in core cabin with the water supply between them and the Sun in hopes of surviving the storm.

    As for the OP, I am often struck by all the ways God finds to create and nurture by His word, including the role of scripture in forming the minds and souls of humankind. Struck, and thankful.

    The part of your reply I emboldened is simply a recounting of what it is like to live in California 2017-2021.

     

    • #9
  10. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    iWe: It is a common observation that man is profoundly insignificant in the universe – a mere mote of a speck living on a rock far from where the real action must surely be going on.

    I have been told (I am not smart enough to know for myself) that were we closer to where the real action of the universe were happening we would not be able to observe nearly as well what is happening. Being where we are in the universe allows us to make the observations about the universe that we do make.

    Interesting paper by a group of Oxford professors suggests that it is highly unlikely that there is intelligent life on other planets.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/all-alone-oxford-study-says-chance-of-intelligent-life-elsewhere-extremely-rare

    Here’s a piece I wrote on this very topic last year. Oh, and start reading Salvo regularly: Far & Away Above Average by John D. Martin – Salvo Magazine

     

    • #10
  11. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    iWe: In the physical world, mankind is indeed insignificant. But in the realm of ideas, we appear to have been gifted unrivaled capabilities, able to understand, communicate, and grow together with the Creator of the world.

    Mankind is insignificant only in a secular worldview. A sunset on Mars might be very beautiful, but until there is a human eye there to see it, and human brain there to turn that experience into art – the sunset and Mars has no meaning. So in more spiritual world view mankind is very important, because we give the physical worlds around us meaning. Without us, the universe (as we know it) is just a waste of space. Meaningless.

    • #11
  12. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Modern “science” tells us that that consciousness of good and evil, that ability to think and reason, is but an illusion (see Daniel Denntt, Consciousness Explained). That view of course negates all of Western Civilization originating in the Torah. No longer should we mere humans give credence to our own capacities, as we are now told that they are non-existent. Except of course, we are to listen to the Scientists and Experts as if they were oracles of that non-existent G-d. 

    For myself, I chose to worship the One who “…sustains the Universe through the WORD of his power.” If we share anything with that being, as suggested above, then by faith alone, if we have as much as a mustard seed, we can tell the mountain to move hence and it will move. Oh, me of little faith!

    To that end, it is clear from “science” that the idea that Human Consciousness is an illusion is a fiction of the scientists, who deny their own science. The most advanced understanding of that science says that human consciousness interacts DIRECTLY with the Quantum Realm (see Schrodinger’s cat). It was due to that phenomenon that Richard Feynman said that “..no one understands Quantum Mechanics.” For Consciousness to interact directly with physical processes, it must be something physical. Such is an inescapable conclusion of Quantum Theory, though Quantum physicists, chief among them Niels Bohr, have inveighed against, and largely banned, the discussion of Quantum/Consciousness interaction. Bell’s Theorem, to the extent tested, nevertheless, has confirmed that interaction. Consciousness cannot be the illusion that Dennett claims. Of course Dennett starts from the hypothesis that consciousness cannot exist and winds up with the conclusion that consciousness does not exist. Fraud, as far as science and reason go. 

    Human Consciousness is far more than this author grasps. Something beyond what is permissible to discuss in our society. Something material. Something that may affect the world and the cosmos far beyond our wildest imagination. And indeed, as this author concludes, to collaborate with the Creator of the world in the Quantum evolution of the cosmos. We are not only not insignificant. We are critical to the evolution of the cosmos. The Universe was made for Man, not Man for the Universe. 

    • #12
  13. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    I do agree that the Torah contains a partial revelation of the wisdom of God, completed in Christ. The founders of our civilization were those who followed Christ, not those who rejected Christ.

    I do not write this to denigrate the Torah specifically, nor the Old Testament generally. I believe that they are an important part of God’s revelation of Himself to humanity, and that they are true.

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):
    Of course Dennett starts from the hypothesis that consciousness cannot exist and winds up with the conclusion that consciousness does not exist. Fraud, as far as science and reason go. 

    Now now, Nanocelt.* Starting out where you intend to end up is efficient.


    * Gosh, that was a lot of fun to say in my head.

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    I do agree that the Torah contains a partial revelation of the wisdom of God, completed in Christ. The founders of our civilization were those who followed Christ, not those who rejected Christ.

    I do not write this to denigrate the Torah specifically, nor the Old Testament generally. I believe that they are an important part of God’s revelation of Himself to humanity, and that they are true.

    Okay, I’ll bite. I have never heard Western Civilization was called Christian Civilization. Who called it that, and when? Also, I have always heard it called Judeo-Christian, therefore giving credit to the origins of Christianity. Many of the Founders refer to the Bible but I believe it was mostly Old Testament. And I think that the Founders would find your making a distinction between those who followed Christ and those who “rejected Christ” unacceptable. Did any of the Founders even refer to Jesus?

    And thank you for giving us partial credit for our part, Jerry. After all, as Percival says, Jesus was a Jew, and many of his ideas come out of Judaism.

    • #16
  17. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    … who is a Jew.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    … who is a Jew.

    Yup. You got me.

    • #18
  19. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    I do agree that the Torah contains a partial revelation of the wisdom of God, completed in Christ. The founders of our civilization were those who followed Christ, not those who rejected Christ.

    I do not write this to denigrate the Torah specifically, nor the Old Testament generally. I believe that they are an important part of God’s revelation of Himself to humanity, and that they are true.

    Okay, I’ll bite. I have never heard Western Civilization was called Christian Civilization. Who called it that, and when? Also, I have always heard it called Judeo-Christian, therefore giving credit to the origins of Christianity. Many of the Founders refer to the Bible but I believe it was mostly Old Testament. And I think that the Founders would find your making a distinction between those who followed Christ and those who “rejected Christ” unacceptable. Did any of the Founders even refer to Jesus?

    And thank you for giving us partial credit for our part, Jerry. After all, as Percival says, Jesus was a Jew, and many of his ideas come out of Judaism.

    I think that we are taught a lot of misleading propaganda on these issues.

    I’m not an expert on etymology. I’m not sure how far back the use of the term “Christian Civilization” reaches. The older term was “Christendom.” I do have a few notable examples.

    1. Winston Churchill’s speech on June 18, 1940 — “Their Finest Hour.” His concluding paragraph began: “What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization.” You can read it here, and there is an audio clip of Churchill saying these lines in his own voice.
    2. FDR’s Labor Day radio address, September 1, 1941, began: “On this day—this American holiday- we are celebrating the rights of free laboring men and women. The preservation of these rights is vitally important now, not only to us who enjoy them—but to the whole future of Christian civilization.” You can read it here, and you can listen to it in FDR’s own voice here.
    3. Teddy Roosevelt reportedly said, in 1909: “I believe that the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism.” Here is a book link reporting the quote.
    4. In what was apparently his final public speech, in 1923, Woodrow Wilson reportedly said: “By justice the lawyer generally means the prompt, fair, and open application of impartial rules; but we call ours a Christian civilization, and a Christian conception of justice must be much higher.” Reported here.

    [Cont’d]

     

    • #19
  20. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    There are others, though I get concerned about the accuracy of quotes found online.

    William Jennings Bryan reportedly used the term “Christian civilization” in a speech in 1906 (here). I’m not sure if people will be familiar with Bryan. He was a Congressman, served as Secretary of State in the Wilson administration, and was the Democratic nominee for President in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

    Malcolm Muggeridge reportedly has a famous quote: “Marx and Freud are the two great destroyers of Christian civilization, the first replacing the gospel of love by the gospel of hate, the other undermining the essential concept of human responsibility.” (Here.)

    These are a few examples. I wasn’t around back in the late 19th and early 20th Century, so I’m not sure how widespread the use of “Christian civilization” might have been.

    Here is an Atlantic article from last year, contending that the use of “Judeo-Christian” was largely an explicitly political project in the mid-20th Century. Given the source, take it with a grain of salt. The author is identified as a professor of Jewish history.

    • #20
  21. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    No kidding. And He actually gave the commandments to Moses, as He is part of the Godhead.

    But our civilization is not founded on the Torah. It is founded on Christ. He was quite critical of the Jewish authorities of His time.

    • #21
  22. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But our civilization is not founded on the Torah. It is founded on Christ. He was quite critical of the Jewish authorities of His time.

    Please don’t conflate the Torah with Jewish authorities at that – or any – time.

    • #22
  23. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    No kidding. And He actually gave the commandments to Moses, as He is part of the Godhead.

    But our civilization is not founded on the Torah. It is founded on Christ. He was quite critical of the Jewish authorities of His time.

    It would be hard not to be critical of the Jewish authorities of this time. Were they not collaborators with the Roman occupation of Judea?

    • #23
  24. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    No kidding. And He actually gave the commandments to Moses, as He is part of the Godhead.

    But our civilization is not founded on the Torah. It is founded on Christ. He was quite critical of the Jewish authorities of His time.

    It would be hard not to be critical of the Jewish authorities of this time. Were they not collaborators with the Roman occupation of Judea?

    It’s not like the Romans would have given them much choice. Think of them as Democrats, except slightly less militaristic and with better water management.

    • #24
  25. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Percival (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    No kidding. And He actually gave the commandments to Moses, as He is part of the Godhead.

    But our civilization is not founded on the Torah. It is founded on Christ. He was quite critical of the Jewish authorities of His time.

    It would be hard not to be critical of the Jewish authorities of this time. Were they not collaborators with the Roman occupation of Judea?

    It’s not like the Romans would have given them much choice. Think of them as Democrats, except slightly less militaristic and with better water management.

    That’s giving the democrats too much on both ends of the spectrum. I was thinking they’re like Vichy France.

    • #25
  26. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    No kidding. And He actually gave the commandments to Moses, as He is part of the Godhead.

    But our civilization is not founded on the Torah. It is founded on Christ. He was quite critical of the Jewish authorities of His time.

    It would be hard not to be critical of the Jewish authorities of this time. Were they not collaborators with the Roman occupation of Judea?

    That’s not the reason that Jesus was critical of them. It was their interpretation of the Scriptures, and some financial corruption.

    • #26
  27. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    No kidding. And He actually gave the commandments to Moses, as He is part of the Godhead.

    But our civilization is not founded on the Torah. It is founded on Christ. He was quite critical of the Jewish authorities of His time.

    It would be hard not to be critical of the Jewish authorities of this time. Were they not collaborators with the Roman occupation of Judea?

    That’s not the reason that Jesus was critical of them. It was their interpretation of the Scriptures, and some financial corruption.

    Isnt that true of all corruption? Reading the text of law or scripture in such away as to make what they want to do kosher. (Is kosher the right context?) I see why you’d see them like democrats, they had a living bible, while the democrats have a living constitution.

    • #27
  28. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    Is my friend. And always will be. 

    • #28
  29. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Percival (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I do not think that Western Civilization is founded on the Torah. It used to be called Christian Civilization, and it was founded on the teachings of Christ.

    … who was a Jew.

    … who is a Jew.

    Yup. You got me.

    I should have scrolled down before commenting. Nodding Kirk GIF agrees. 

    • #29
  30. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    iWe (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    But our civilization is not founded on the Torah. It is founded on Christ. He was quite critical of the Jewish authorities of His time.

    Please don’t conflate the Torah with Jewish authorities at that – or any – time.

    Precisely. And note that Jesus’ arguments with the other Pharisees- by the definition of the day he fit in that party- were largely about their hypocrisy in the application of Torah. “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law (Torah) for I have come not to abolish it but to fulfil it”- Matthew 5:17. The entire “woe to you” section in Matthew 23 is about failure to follow Torah consistently and making adherence to the literal meaning superior to duties of compassion and mercy. He quotes Hosea and Isaiah both on this point more than once. Jesus the Messiah was and is the living fulfilment of Torah, so, yes western civilization is only rightly referred to as Judeo-Christian. 

    • #30