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Comments (36)

(25) Anonymous, March 31, 2013 3:36 PM

Indeed, there are very few atheists (is it possible to prove that God doesn't exist?).

You suffer from a typical logical fallacy. You put the burden of disproof on the non-believer. The burden of proof is on the believer. It's also impossible to prove that Bigfoot and Harry Potter don't exist, that there are no purple creatures with three horns living in the center of the planet Venus, etc...

(24) Steve Skeete, August 29, 2012 3:49 AM

Believing in atheists.

I used to like and respect atheists. That kind of person who when you told them you believed in a "creator" God wished you luck and politely asked you to pass the salt shaker. Then the "Neo" atheist came along, the one who while not believing in gods, "sky fairies" nor "imaginary friends" still screams and shakes his/her fist heavenward, and makes lots of money giving lectures and writing books about someone/something who/which does not exist. Mind you, I still like atheists, mostly of the old variety that is, but now I don't believe in them anymore.

(23) Michael, March 21, 2012 12:16 PM

Road safety

Beverly's story reminds me of the time I stayed stopped (at a green light) just before a truck came through the other way (crashed a red light) with a house on the back.

(22) Beverly Kurtin, March 8, 2012 5:14 AM

What about His angels?

While driving from Dallas to Abilene, a voice ordered me to pull over and stop. I did. Then I saw an 18-wheeler go across the median and cross into the highway EXACTLY where I would have been had I not obeyed the voice. I was shaken, but drove to the truck to make certain that the driver needed help He told me that he normally doesn't wear his seat belt but he heard a voice tell him to pull over, stop, and put on his belt. He was, thankfully, uninjured. I don't believe in coincidences. We waited together until the highway patrol showed up. He said that he was having lunch when he heard a voice telling him that an accident was about to happen and the area flashed before his eyes. A few years prior to that, I won a defensive driving school from a radio station. As I was driving in what is known as the mixmaster in downtown Dallas a Pepsi truck suddenly jackknifed in front of me. There was no way that I could have stopped. I remembered what to do in a situation like that and did exactly the opposite of what most people would have done: I put the accelerator all the way to the floor. The next thing I knew, I was seeing the truck in my rear view mirror. When I won the course, I never thought that I would become a travelling salesperson; I'm sure glad that Hashem knew, the course saved me from being decapitated. One night in Houston I was mugged...or at least the guy thought he was going to mug me. I recalled King David acting the part of a fool. I dropped down on all fours and started barking at the would-be mugger. Like David Melech Yisrael, the guy thought I was nuts and ran away. Now try to tell me there is no G-d. Actually, in Psalm 14:1 it says that there is no G-d. It continues, however with the words, "the fool has said in his heart." I don't think I am a fool.

janice, March 28, 2015 4:14 PM

Hashem prevented death

Wouldn't it have been better if Hashem prevented the accident altogether? I love it when a person gets sick, and is cured, and people thank God for the cure. I wonder why God doesn't prevent the sickness altogether. Plenty of people have been killed in horrendous accidents, including innocent children. Where was God then?

(21) Wassim, March 7, 2012 2:41 PM

Oxford school of comedy :-)

Hello Mr. Dawkins, An individual's perception will always depend on *their* individual perspective, but "a Truth" (let alone THE Truth or THE WHOLE TRUTH) is neither here nor there. A scientist is *conditioned* to judge and draw conclusions ONLY from evidence that he IS ABLE TO PERCEIVE AT THAT POINT IN TIME, and to that I say suit yourself my friend. If you are content, then I suppose you have the right to remain so, and it's your *individual* prerogative whether you're interested in expanding your perception further (you do believe in self-determination right?). Either way, I wish you good health and peace of mind. Shalom.

(20) Joanne, March 2, 2012 4:30 AM

where the evidence leads?

The problem with Dawkins is that he does not go where the evidence leads - he has a mindset that he sticks to no matter what.

(19) Sneeral, February 29, 2012 11:35 PM

Pointless article

Surely the rabbi can't be so obtuse as to be unaware that the same argument can be turned on those who have faith and believe in God with no proof. Just as God can't be disproved, the existence of a deity can't be proved either - at least not to the satisfaction of an intelligent, rational person. Therefore, using the same logic, those who believe without doubt must be ignorant. Whether or not some Supreme Power/Creative Force exists immaterially and eternally is possible. What absolutely does not exist is the type of God described in religious teachings that is concerned with things like morality. That is for meddlesome fools only.

Alex, March 2, 2012 4:45 AM

pls watch mr. nice guy

http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/rational-judaism/

Ary, March 5, 2012 11:49 PM

Check out: http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/proof-torah-true/

(18) A different Ilan, February 29, 2012 2:21 PM

Wrong

I find myself agreeing with the other Ilan - Dawkins is an agnostic precisely because he's a scientist and is willing to follow the evidence wherever it goes. He is in fact "actively examining the evidence and weighing both sides of the debate." The evidence, as he has repeatedly opined, proves the lack of a God, though this proof is constrained by the fact that you cannot prove a negative. He has also repeatedly said he is technically an agnostic on Zeus and other gods, since you can't disprove their existence either. The other Ilan said it best: "Perhaps Shraga should be an agnostic too"

(17) Leo Sarini, February 29, 2012 1:00 PM

AGNOSTIC?

I disagree with the formulation. He states he doesnt know who created the world or how it was created. Obviously it was created, but from this to a god, is a huge difference. I love science, it takes observation and reason, and humble enough to say: we were wrong, lets take another way. Religion is authoritarian, rigid, inflexible.

(16) Dennis Tate, February 29, 2012 12:10 PM

I posted this to his Facebook discussion forum.

Shalom Rabbi: I just wanted to let you know that I loved your article and posted the link into it to Dr. Richard Dawkins Facebook discussion forum. Why should atheists call themselves agnostic? https://apps.facebook.com/forumforpages/8798180154/745dd94d-0cf3-4387-a1b6-2d55d73ce8e1/0

(15) Leon Zacharowicz MD, February 29, 2012 1:58 AM

What a story!

Simply amazing.

(14) David, February 29, 2012 1:42 AM

Dawkins hasn't changed his mind

He said the Same thing a Long time ago- he can't know for sure that G-d does Not exist. But for all practical intents and purposes, he does not believe that there is a God.

(13) Michelle, February 28, 2012 6:23 PM

very uplifting

and a delight to read... thankyou... for sharing and G-d bless you

(12) ilan, February 28, 2012 5:36 PM

a more accurate account of Dawkins's position..

can be found here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9102740/Richard-Dawkins-I-cant-be-sure-God-does-not-exist.html

(11) ilan, February 28, 2012 5:21 PM

No! and yes!

This article is misleading. Dawkins hasn't changed his position about the matter. Shraga suggests that the agnostic thinks there is something close to a 50/50 chance that God exists - a common notion. That is not true: Just because you don’t know what made that noise last night doesn’t mean there’s a 50/50 chance it was an alien from Venus. Just because we don’t know who will win the World Series this year doesn’t mean there’s a 50/50 chance it will be the Chicago Cubs. Just because we don’t know who will win the 2012 Presidential Election doesn’t mean there’s a 50/50 chance it will be Lady Gaga (although her chances may be improving.) I hope Shraga wlll portray those he writes about more accurately in the future. Furthermore, there is proof against the existence of God. Multiple proofs, actually. That Shraga isn't aware of these arguments means, I surmise, that he himself isn't "willing to pursue the evidence, wherever it may lead." In any case, we should all, regardless of our current beliefs and positions, be open to new evidence and to reconsider old evidence. That is how we grow. Perhaps Shraga should be an agnostic too.

Rabbi Shraga Simmons, February 28, 2012 11:37 PM

Clarification

The article didn't discuss percentages. Rather the point is that however you place the odds -- whether 50-50, or as Dawkins said 6.9-out-of-7, there is a big difference between being closed vs. being open to other possibilities.

(10) David Altschuler, February 28, 2012 5:14 PM

Careful about that concluding sentence

This article ends dangerously: "...when you are sincere with God your prayers are answered." Answered; sure. But clearly answered they way you want (which fortunately happened in this article); often not. This concluding sentence is naive, and worse, can dishearten and confuse naive readers.

andrew, February 28, 2012 9:08 PM

Excellent, yiu are rigth!

Tzipporah, February 28, 2012 9:37 PM

Sometimes the answer is "No."

I agree that realizing that G-d exists and answers our prayers does not mean all our "dreams" will come true, and that some people don't get that, but what we really must learn is that whatever answer G-d gives us, whether it's a yes or a no or a "Not exactly," it's for the best. We may not recognize that what we want is not what's always in our ultimate best interest, but we must learn to defer to His wisdom. Then we're far less likely to feel disheartened, and more likely to appreciate what we have.

Daniel Greenwald, February 28, 2012 10:46 PM

an agnostic believes the existence of G-d is unprovable

One definition of an agnostic is that he is someone who has not yet decided whether G-d exists. The other definition is that agnosticism is the belief that the existence or non-existence of G-d can never be proven. The reason is that if there is a G-d He (She) exists beyond human powers to observe with our senses and beyond human powers of reasoning or logic. By this definition, there is no need to go on thinking about whether G-d exists or not.

(9) Damien Leung, February 28, 2012 5:07 PM

Good for Jeff!

Great story. I am happy that Jeff has found God! It goes to show that whoever has an open mind, will find God! As for Dawkins, I think "ignorant" is a more suitable label. Maybe it will just take him a little bit longer.

(8) Frank Adam, February 28, 2012 5:04 PM

Good answer to a different question

It is a regular practice of the God Squad to tell miracle stories to divert the many from fundamental questioners which is not to say this is not a lovely story and I hope the newly weds will be happy. I too am agnostic about the Deity but NOT about the Jewish People, the Bible and the Land of Israel. They are all a very interesting history, sociology and much else and remembering Churchill's comments on Maxwell Fyffe "Of course the man is an idiot but he is our idiot;" it is all my history, sociology, culture - and my family. Nevertheless given astronomical and psychological knowledge of our times while admitting the self evident obviousness of creation in the universe I am not willing to take the average religious version of God existant on a direct line. That is how GW Bushed Iraq and the same can be said of Charles I and Cromwell and others. It simply defies possibility that a being can keep tabs on 6000 million individuals on this planet, and given the billions of stars above and the possibility that quite a few of them also have a Goldilocks Planet with several thousand milion "people" the traditional concepts sent up in the Don Camillo books of yester year need rewording. Theology is Christian because of their Trinitarian complexity. Judaism is about doing something here on Earth which is why the Talmudic rabbis were so succesful all 3000 of them were craftsmen, farmers, professionals or commercial and as such had a good sense of the practical and earthly when giving advice within their time's technology. This is missing nowadays just because the religious and the haredim particularly by putting religious practice and Hebrew on a pedestal are not keeping it connected to practical purposes, which is why so many walk away. Lay off the obsessional and be broader about asking how Halachic attitudes can be applied to the modern rather than how to practice Halacha in spite of or "against" the modern.

(7) Abraham Seiman, February 28, 2012 5:01 PM

We may not be able to prove that God exists, but, do you have any scientific prove that He or She does not? If not ,without proof, either way, I wouldn't take any chances.

Anon, February 28, 2012 7:57 PM

Ah Pascal's Wager. Bravo. Why are you not covering yourself with any other gods? Why are you backing this one horse? What a non-argument you have put forward. You deluded, deluded man.

(6) David, February 28, 2012 4:40 PM

Ignorant?

"In the absence of this, 'ignorant' is a more accurate term than 'agnostic.'" Very loaded term, rabbi. How is one who looks at the evidence and finds it unpersuasive any more ignorant than one who looks at it and decides to form a (faith-based) belief? One person's sudden flash of inspiration is just that-- and not a sound basis for another person's belief. The agnostic admits he's ignorant-- the believer pretends he's not.

Daniel, February 29, 2012 5:12 PM

The athiest is ignorant

I believe that he is saying the athiest is ignorant not the agnostic, as the agnostic does ask questions about G-d, The athiest totally rejects it.

(5) Mack, February 28, 2012 4:26 PM

Hineni

In Genisis 22 "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am." Without Avraham (formerly Avram) acknowledging G-d by literally saying "Hey G-d..I'm paying attention", the connection between he and Ha Shem would never have happened! Atheists turn their backs to even the possibility that G-d exists. That kind of behaviour is both ignorant and arrogant in the extreme prevents enlightenment. Agnostics turn part way towards the truth and the Faithful turn to face the Divine connection and are embraced by those "Everlasting Arms". Teshuvah or "turning back" expresses the above sentiment and indicates repentance. We are the ones who must respond, not the other way around!

(4) Malgorzata, February 28, 2012 4:04 PM

Please, if you want to comment on Richard Dawkins attitude to religion and God, it would be nice if you first made yourself acquainted with it. As a scientist Dawkins never say that he has a 100% surety about anything. The same words, about being 6,9 agnostic in the matter of God's existence, are printed in his book "God delusion". Here is a link to Dawkins' article from 26 February explaining why it is so hilarious when people suddenly discover that he is an "agnostic": http://richarddawkins.net/articles/645108-no-blood-on-the-carpet-how-disappointing

(3) Anonymous, February 28, 2012 3:54 PM

You are agnostic by your definition

By your definition you too are agnostic because you can't prove god exists either.

(2) Pete James, February 28, 2012 3:34 PM

Perception is given, it is Received within us.

What do we perceive and how is it coming to us? Our consciousness of the creation and The Creator is given from Somewhere by Some One beyond our comprehension. Atheists and agnostics ask the hard questions that the religious too often take for granted. The Creator of the mind is always revealing, unveiling and amazing those of us that are willing pay some reverent attention to Whom it is due.

Carl Rachel, February 28, 2012 5:45 PM

Do I believe in God?

Late one night, while I looked up at a billion stars, it struck me: How funny is this? Do I believe in God? Isn't a better question, "Does God believe in me?" I could swear those stars twinkled like a winking eye.

(1) very inspiring indeed, February 28, 2012 3:19 PM

I love this story.

Beth, March 1, 2012 2:32 AM

"Indeed, there are very few atheists (is it possible to prove that God doesn't exist?)" It isn't possible to prove that God exists, but it also isn't possible to prove God does exist.

 

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