Apikorsus

For at least a decade, I felt like I had a problem that had to be fixed. I desperately wanted to find some rav, some teaching, or even some segula that would cure me of my apikorsus. I spoke to countless rabbanim and frum scholars, and I would get some answers that made sense at the time. But later, when I realized those answers had holes, the questions just came back stronger. After many years of this psychological limbo, I finally had a turning point when I discovered that I actually had no problem at all. I realized it’s actually a good thing that I don’t believe claims that go against what we know today from science, philosophy, and modern Biblical scholarship, and that if anyone has a problem that needs fixing, it is those who make such claims, not I.

–Shloimie

3 replies
  1. Bob Butler
    Bob Butler says:

    Dear Shloimie,

    For a start see the article on Pascal’s Wager: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_wager

    An excerpt: “Warren Buffett has written that climate change “bears a similarity to Pascal’s Wager on the Existence of God. Pascal, it may be recalled, argued that if there were only a tiny probability that God truly existed, it made sense to behave as if He did because the rewards could be infinite whereas the lack of belief risked eternal misery.”

    Then, R. Daniel Mechanic et al. argues Judaism tops all other religions, by far, in terms of the credibility of their account of revelation. Once you know to a high degree of probability that it is better to believe in a religion and that Judaism is that religion, then the many problems and holes in our religion become matters to be dealt with if not always solved.

    I hope this beginning helps somewhat,
    Bob

    P.S. I’m a long-time BT, not a Rabbi, so I’ve thought about this a lot. And, no, I don’t have perfect emuna, but Pascal’s Wager gets me through the bad days.

    Reply
      • Bob Butler
        Bob Butler says:

        The first article gives a 404 error. I’m not watching videos; low information density. I read “Pascal’s Wager, or The Futility of False Dichotomies” (I am Acher) and there is a lot in it, mostly wrong. 1st off, I said that Judaism is the most rational religion, so there goes most of his argument. Should one act as though one believes before they do come to belief? Judaism teaches yes. His quote of Isaiah 1:13-14 completely misconstrues the meaning. Isaiah is saying performing deeds with negative intent is abominable. Pascal’s wager is discussing doing deeds with neutral intent. Pascal, and those who take him seriously, understand that ‘acting as though one believes’ means trying one’s best and not resentfully going through the motions. Finally, Pascal’s Wager is a means of last resort. I never had a problem believing in God, but I think a sincere person can do it. Believing in the divine Torah is hard, I don’t judge people who can’t do it, but I believe many people can do it.

        Reply

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