Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Believing In Them Just Encourages Them

From Monsieur l'IOZ, one of the few other atheists on the Intertoobz I can read anymore without (most of the time) nausea:
As for the argument from popularity, an odd conceit of a man plainly much-steeped in democracy, that Truth proceeds from the number of voters pulling the Yes lever, it would certainly dismay the early Christians scratching their little fishies in the sand. It did remind me of a good story the rabbi at my parents' synagogue told when I recently joined them at services for my brother's Yahrtzeit. Two orthodox rebbeim are debating the coming of the Moshiach. The first says, "I believe we must study Torah and observe the laws and traditions of our ancestors and not think too much of worldly things, for after all, when the Moshiach comes, many worldly things will pass away."

The second rebbe says, "I agree, we must read Torah and observe the laws and traditions, but should we not also work and pray for a better world for ourselves and our children and grandchildren? For after all, we do not know when the Moshiach will come. We do not even know if the Moshiach will come!"

"My friend!" cries the first rebbe. "How can you say such a thing? Does not Hashem promise that our Moshiach will come? Do you doubt the word of the Lord?"

"Hmmm," muses the first Rebbe. "Perhaps, perhaps."

"Aha!" the first rebbe calls out. "Then you do not believe in God!"

"Oh," the second replies. "Nonsense. I am a Jew. I believe in God. I just don't trust him."