The world is a pretty confusing place. Considering the diverse nature of mankind’s varied belief systems, that’s not surprising. But that doesn’t explain the depths of man’s seeming inability to make sense of things. It’s one thing to be confronted with opposing computer Operating Systems that are obviously incompatible. Apple, Unix and Windows, each are obviously different. Yet each promises the user that they can make sense of the data stream we experience each day. And in reality, they can each reach the same result. One may be faster, another may be able to carry the answer out to a greater decimal accuracy. And another may be so cheap that, related to the task at hand, makes it impossible not to choose it.
When it comes to human Operating Systems, we have a problem not encountered in the computer world. Just like in the computer world, there are a multiplicity of religious/philosophical Operating Systems. Unlike computer systems, they can’t all produce the same answer. In the computer world, all answers are ruled by one law, the law of mathematics. But in the human world, each OS is governed by its own law. The law of self-interest. There are billions of versions of them. And all these laws are all antithetical to each other. Which is why we have wars, of course. No one fights for Apple or Unix or (especially) Windows. But it seems everyone will fight for their religious OS.
Yet when it comes to religion, it’s obvious all Operating Systems cannot be right. Only one system, at most, can truly represent reality. Just like math. Only one system really works. And so, given the conflicting nature of the religious OS-world before us, one must make a choice about which OS to embrace. It’s a choice that really matters. That is, if you want to know the truth. Sadly, it seems not many people do.
The differences in religious Operating Systems continue to exist, and that leads to the continual confusion of Man. Surely each religious OS can crunch the same data. Each OS can spit out an analysis. The question is, are you prepared to accept the differing analysis any of these competing religious Operating Systems produces? One system says data-x points towards felicity. Another system says data-x portends calamity. Another says ‘meh’. The last simply says ‘namaste’ to whatever you say. How is one to choose? How can we know? Which is reality? Judaism? Christianity? Islam? Hinduism? These are the Big Four. Let’s ignore the rest for now. Let’s ask ourselves if there is a simple test that can tell us if one of these four is the one that gets us where we want to go.
The first question, then, is where the Hell do you want to go? Hell? Hell no! Does anybody want to go there? Most would say no. But there is a significant (and growing) number that would accept this destination as a first choice. These kind think going to the Burning Man festival is cool. Let’s ignore these idiots for now too, OK? We can deal with them later. Instead, let’s focus on the choice most folks would make. Let’s think of a Heaven, of some type. The -question then is, how do we interpret the daily data stream in a way that leads us to our desired end? What kind of Heaven do we desire? And do we even desire it?
If that was all there was to the problem, then the problem would be rather simple. Just compare the relevant offers of Nirvana with the relative cost of attaining it. Who makes the best offer at the best price? I’ll take Door Number Two please.
Well, it ain’t that easy, is it? Now why is it so hard to compare these obviously different Operating Systems, with very obviously different prices? Forget the hardware costs, that’s already covered. You’re the CPU. Forget for a minute how you came to be. The only real question then is, what OS do you prefer to allow to occupy your motherboard? What will it get you? Why should this be so hard? Well, it wouldn’t be, if that was all there was to the problem. No, there is more to this test than meets the eye. There is so much more. Let’s look at the whole problem
Let’s forget for a minute about where we want to go. The first thing any acceptable religious OS must explain is, where did we come from? And then, it must adequately explain where we currently are. Only then can we logically decide where we want to go. And that’s when you have to decide where each of these competitor leads you.
One of the things that led me to write my book was my desire to reduce this OS-comparison to a logical approach. And that led to my desire to answer five basic questions I had about any one of them. You might have more (or fewer) areas of curiosity. But here are my five, which I asked in succession about each of these systems, and the resulting analysis I reached on each of them.
Hindu Won’t Do
I immediately disqualified the Hindu OS, as it could not explain, rationally or otherwise, where we came from, nor where we will go. In the first place, Hindus, like Dawkins and his ilk, can no more agree on the origins than the Irish can agree on anything. And each version of the Hindu tale neglects to mention, like Dawkins, where original matter came from. Further, in the same vein, neither can Hinudism explain where we go. Beyond the eternal-cycle explanation. Which means, practically speaking in this OS, that we’re going nowhere. Life, death, re-birth. Repeat. Sorry, that won’t satisfy my rationality. I want finality, not repetition.
We’re down to the other three. Here are my questions that the Hindu couldn’t answer;
- Does this OS have an ancient historical (vs. mythical) document or record?
- Does it have a history of accurate predictions or prophecy? Any big miracles?
- Does it promise me (or anyone) anything of great value or reward? Any mercy?
- Does it have an unbroken line of priestly and/or kingly succession unto today?
- Does it have a believable and desirable Messiah (and destination)?
Those are my markers. They are the things that I needed to have answered in a positive way before I could cast my lot. Who/what drove me to this need to decipher the past (and thus, the future)? It was that guy named Blaise Pascal. You may have heard of him. The father of Gaming Theory. He formulated his thoughts (Pensees) on this same need that I had. The need to make the most informed bet possible.
A bet? That’s what life is all about. Making the bet. Why? Because you’ll never gain complete knowledge in this life. Without that, no choice is more than just a bet. Ultimately, you’re betting on what you want. After all, this place is so marvelously constructed that you can’t truly tell whether we are the result of chance or design. Bark all you want, Weiner-Dog. You can’t prove it, either way. Don’t bother bloviating. I ain’t listening. You can’t prove it. Nobody can. At least, not to the other guy. Maybe to yourself. But let’s not kid ourselves. You can’t even convince yourself. So, you place the bet.
Weiner-Dogs is my name for Academic Obscurantists, who, like the mutant dog-strain known as the Weiner-Dog, constantly bark at anyone who reaches a relatively certain conclusion, about anything. Academics today are paid only for the purpose of preserving the Reign of Relativism. That is the state whereby you are reduced to making all decisions in light of your immediate (academic) surroundings, totally removed from all concern for absolutes of any type. Weiner-Dogs are only capable of barking. They are not true dogs. Nor are they true academics.
We need to make a choice, yet we cannot know with certainty our true origins or destination. If any. Why do we need to make a choice? Because no choice means no reward. And a bad choice also equals no desired reward. Ergo, the need for faith. Faith in something. Anything. But since you’re going to have to make a choice now (because the clock is ticking, whether you hear it or not), you’d better get as much info as possible before you put that chip on the roulette board. Before the wheel is spun and the ball is dropped.
Pascal perceived the nature of our dilemma. We are finite beings, all of us. Therefore, if we are to make any choice in life (about death), then we have to do it before the clock stops ticking. Can you hear it? Good. That means you’re still alive. And one day closer to death. Pascal also understood the paradoxical nature of nature, that it cannot be fully known, with finality, in the here and now, by midgets like us. That’s what we are. We have no absolute vantage point of reference with which to evaluate it. We cannot view it outside of time and space. We cannot know if one theory (Galileo’s) or it’s inverse (Ptolemy’s) is the absolute truth.
That’s the point of this post: to gather as much real information as one can, to counteract the lies we have been fed during our lives, so that we can make the right bet. Remember, the one who lies to us doesn’t really care if we choose his slot on the roulette wheel. All he cares about is keeping you from choosing the winning slot. Any other slot suits his needs. Even the choice not to make a bet suits him as well. Because as any casino operator will tell you, no bets means no winners.
Pascal wagered that it is better to bet a finite sum (your life) in hopes of an infinite payout (eternity, in heaven, of some sort) than to forgo any bet at all. In other words, what have you got to lose, when you’re gonna lose your life anyway if you don’t bet?
Let’s look at the remaining Big Three, and what they have to offer (and examine). Remember, I’m totally condensing what I researched and found as I wrote my book. This is a very condensed version. Sort of a Reader’s Digest condensed book version, if you’re old enough to know what that means. Let’s take Team 1: Judaism.
1. Got a historical document? Oh yeah! The Old Testament. Heard of it? Chock full of verifiable people, names, places and dates. And given the nature of mankind’s recorded history (no, the geologic column doesn’t count), it’s pretty un-assailable. Go ahead, read it, and add up all the ages of people in Genesis and Exodus (I’ve done it). Jibes pretty close with actual known history. So what if the Egyptians don’t want to talk about the Ten Plagues? Why would they? Same with the Babylonians. Oh wait, they aren’t around anymore, are they? But the Jews are. So much for Empire.
Sure, there’s plenty of Weiner-Dog ‘historians’ who question the Old Testament. And they all have the same Darwinist pedigree. So what. They never prove anything. They only cast doubt on everything found outside Origin of Species. Which is to say, any competing religious OS. The Jews, at least, have 6,000 years of pedigree. Score one for the Jews. Score it big.
2. Got any accurate predictions or prophecy, any big miracles? Yes, the Jews score hugely, again. Tons of stuff. Start with the Flood. And Abraham becoming the Father of Many Nations. (Ask Mohammed about this). Then the prophesied captivity in Egypt. Then the Exodus, and the Promised Land. How about the fall of Jericho? How about David and Goliath? Or my favorites, the four anti-miracles, like when Alexander the Great approached Jerusalem and failed to capture it (read my book). How about Sodom and Gomorrah? Whoops, we can’t talk about that today, can we? How about 40 years in the desert? Have you calculated what it took, for food and drink, to keep 2,000,000+ people alive for that long? I have. Astounding. But the Jews still exist today. Somebody must have fed them. How did they do it? How did He do it? But more importantly, Why did He do it? That I can’t figure out. Neither can they, evidently.
The list of miracles is so long that the only way to encapsulate it is to point out the astoundingly obvious fact that this record of prophecy and miracles has been sufficient to mold the Jewish nation into an insular group that has resisted all outside pressure to assimilate for the past 4,000 years. Show me anything like that in anybody else’s past (and present). Show me!
Again, I acknowledge that the Weiner-Dog ‘historians’ continue to bark. They deny everything, and propose that it has all been a hoax. A Jewish hoax. And that they, the academic gods, amongst all men upon the earth, are the only ones wise enough to have figured that out. Meanwhile, they’ve bought every real hoax, from Piltdown Man to Nebraska Man to Margaret Meade. When you’ve already made up your mind (un)religiously, everything else is believable. Science is what you want it to be. Anyway, score another for Team 1. Score it big!
3. Does it promise me any worthwhile reward? Any mercy? Well, yes. And no. The promised reward is very generous, and astoundingly merciful. But rather limited. Which is to say, it’s reservations only. Jews only. Otherwise, you’re toast. Gentiles can forget it. Well, maybe they can be bus-boys. But that’s it. As they say in the ‘hood, who’s yo momma? She’d better be Jewish.
But yes, there is a truly desirable Heaven awaiting the faithful Jew. Eternal life, in communion with God, face to face. Totally enraptured with the divine glory. Forever. What more could anyone desire? Well, maybe crushing everyone who has ever shown them contempt? Sounds good, but that means nothing to me, as a Goyim. Or, likely, to you. So, what’s that tell us? That God is an Anti-Gentile? Or, is it just the Jews themselves that are this way? My research says this wasn’t part of His plan. From my perspective, this round’s a draw. Lots of mercy, but only for the few. And I ain’t a Jew.
4. Does it have an unbroken line of kingly or priestly succession, even unto today? Well, here’s where the wheels come off the bus because the answer is to this question is a resounding no. No, things ground to a halt in 70 AD, with the fall of Jerusalem. And then Masada too in 74 AD. Mass suicides tell you something about any group’s future.
You can make the case that the continued existence of Judaism says my concern over the unbroken nature of kingship and/or priesthood is petty. My reply is that your dismissal of my concern misses the point, which is this. Torah Judaism died no later than 74 AD. Its counterfeit replacement, Talmudic Judaism, is what we have from that time until today. The defining characteristic of it is that there is, by definition, no King or Priest over all of Israel. In fact, it’s every man for himself. For the people themselves are the Messiah. Everyone is free to select either side of the Talmudic debate, with the assumption that every Jew (but seven) will go to heaven. Can you guess the name of one of those seven?
This requirement of an overall King and High Priest was so thoroughly woven into the original Mosaic brand of Judaism that it seems insane to imagine that those who profess to be Jewish today can make any religious claim to that original label. Jesus was killed for claiming to be that same King and High Priest. Yet the religious leaders of His day replied that they had no King but Caesar. Now if that isn’t blasphemy (on the part of the faithless Levites), I don’t know what is. Just like being in the desert for forty years, the faithless ones of that day died off before their children could enter the Promised Land. Let’s see, 33 AD plus 40 equals…?
To me, this requirement of unbroken Kingship and Priesthood is not just one that should matter to me. It should matter to every Jew alive today. If they were really Jewish, that is. Which is to say, if they still believed Moses. But no, they’ll believe anyone but him. Hillel, Shammai, Woody Allen, Einstein, Weinstein, Feinstein, Frankenstein. It’s all good, as they say.
There are about 40,000 Karaites still living today, and they totally reject the Talmudic way. But they are still deprived of their own ruler, and their own priesthood, not to mention their Temple. So, they are the sterile exception that proves my rule.
Bottom line, no points on this point. The second half has been a shut-out.
5. Does it have a believable and desirable Messiah (and destination)? Sure, as long as you’re referencing the One mentioned and prophesied a million times in the Torah. But just wait till He shows up. Then it’s ‘meh’. That’s neither here nor there, from my perspective, because I’m only interested in the original brand of Judaism. The knock-off brand is just that, a fake. The original version was very believable. And very desirable. Especially from the perspective of the little-guy Jew up to the time of Jesus.
After all, every prophesy of His coming referenced something wonderful or awe-inspiring. That He would be like David who crushed Goliath (every Jew wanted that!). That he would be fabulously wise, better than Solomon. That he would be totally merciful. To the Jews, that is. I’m OK with that, as long as the Gentiles had been properly proselytized and given a chance to convert. Which they weren’t, of course. And which was one of the big reasons the big-shot Jews (Priests, Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees) were weighed in the balance and found wanting. And that their kingdom would be given to another. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.
Bottom line, original and true Judaism scores totally off the charts on this point. I could write a hundred pages about the people’s expectations of the long-awaited Messiah, and the Heavenly life He would bring without end. All of the prophecies that foretold His coming reign were totally congruent, in spite of the fact that they were uttered and written over a period of several thousand years. Except, of course, those ones which foretold His suffering and death. Everyone ignored those. It became crystal clear to those at the time of Jesus that He had indeed fulfilled all of those prophesies as well. And that He had gone one step further by rising from the dead. And promising that same result to everyone who, like Moses, believed in Him.
Here is where the problem becomes insoluble for Team 1. Because, by rejecting the One who was obviously the fulfillment of their own Book, the Jews lost their kingdom, their priesthood, their nation and their heaven. So it doesn’t matter if their Book was right if they won’t bother to read (and follow) it. Team 1 could have won the raffle, but they wouldn’t show up to claim the prize. ‘Must be present to win’, as it said on the ticket.
Now let’s examine their next competitors, the Crazy Suicidal Jews, also known as the Christians. Team 2, here we go….next time.