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Debate Between a Jew and an Ex-Jew

Debate Between a Jew and an Ex-Jew

Steve Miller
Here’s a three hour debate that I had today with an orthodox Jew:
Jew: How can you not believe in God? Do you think that your father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc. were all liars?
Me: No. I think that they sincerely believed that Judaism is true but somewhere along the lineage, one of my grandparents were duped, just like cult leaders do to people today.
Jew: What are you talking about? Cults are nothing. They don’t last.
Me: What about Mormonism? It started less than 200 years ago and it grew into a religion of over 14 million followers. Judaism could have started the same way. It could have started 2,000 years ago, with just a few people and then grew bigger over time. After all, it was much easier to deceive people 2,000 years ago, than it is today.
Jew: When do you think that it started? If someone would claim that they have a sacred script that was given to their parents at Mount Sinai, nobody would believe it. Everyone would ask, “why didn’t I hear about this from my parents?” Nobody would accept it.

Me: Well, In the era of Ezra Hasofer, the Jews have supposedly forgotten the Torah and didn’t follow the Jewish law for many years. Ezra Hasofer was the one who brought it back to them. Couldn’t he have just made it up and told them that this is a long forgotten script that their parents abandoned many years ago and that’s the reason why they didn’t hear it from their parents?
Jew: Why would he make it up?
Me: Perhaps, for the same reason why cult leaders make up things.
Let me ask you something. Every religion claims that they have amazing miracle stories, all of them claim that their prayers are answered, all of them have proof and strong arguments to support their faith and all of them are equally certain that their religion is the one and only true one. According to you, all the others are believing in false religions, yet, they can still believe lies with such certainty. If they can believe lies with such confidence, then why can’t it be that perhaps Judaism is a lie too?
Jew: What do I care what others believe? Let them believe what they want.
Me: You didn’t answer the question. The fact that others support their religious beliefs the same way as you do, and they are wrong, that should prove that these types of argument are completely useless. So tell me why you believe in Judaism.
Jew: I have personally experienced God. Many miracles happened to me and God saved me. Also all my kids have seen open miracle stories. There must be a God. (Here he spends 45 minutes telling me all the miracle stories).
Me: Firstly, even if there was a God, who says that I need to worship Him? You still have to prove which religion is the right one. Secondly, people in every religion claim that they are experiencing God and miracles. Would you say that they can use it to supports their religion?
Jew: (cuts me off before I get to my third point) What do I care what other religious people experience?
Me: The fact that they’re experiencing God and miracles, should prove that this cannot be used as support for one religion over the other.
Jew: (changes the discussion) The Torah is full of hidden codes. It even predicts Kennedy’s assassination and some other amazing stuff. It cannot have been written by a human. It must be divine.
Me: The Quran is also full of codes. Do you believe that the Quran is divine?
Jew: No. Show me codes in the Quran.
(I pulled up a webpage full of codes of the Quran)
Jew: We have many many more codes and the quality of our codes are much better.
Me: Firstly, we need to fact check this to find out if it is in fact true. But even if it were true that the Torah has more codes than the Quran, it doesn’t mean anything. The fact that the Quran can have codes (even just a few) should prove that a book written by man can have codes and predictions about the future. Another point, the Torah commands that we learn every spare minute that we have. Torah is much older than the Quran. Combine the the age of the Torah and the many many more hours that Jews spend on it, the result would be that we’ll discover more codes. Nothing divine about it.
Jew: You know that there’s only one Torah. It never changed since it was given to us at Mount Sinai. Show me one book that has never changed in 3,000 years. There aren’t even any other versions. It must be divine.
Me: Firstly, it’s simply not true. Go to the British museum and you’ll find other versions of the Torah. Second, The Talmud states that a certain word is the center of the Torah. If you fact check it, it turns out that it’s over one hundred words off. So we don’t have the same “exact” Torah than what they had in the times of the Talmud. It is either missing words on one side or someone added words on the other side. Third, the fact that the Torah hasn’t changed is not divine at all. There’s a law that if you find a mistake in even one letter in the Torah, the Torah can’t be used until corrected. With such a strict rule, it is only natural that the Torah has never changed. Nothing divine about it.
Jew: You know, the Torah says that the sun has a holster. Scientists in every generation were wondering what God meant by a holster and we just recently discovered that the sun does indeed have a holster. Tell me, how could a man have known this, 3,000 years ago? It must have been written by a divine being.
Me: Well, what do you say about where the Torah says that the world has four corners and that the sky has windows? I’m sure you’re gonna say that that’s just metaphor. How convenient. Whatever turns out to be true, you’ll accept literally and whatever not, you’ll just consider it metaphor. If we would have never discovered that the sun has a holster, you would also deem it as metaphor. I guess, I could also write a Torah. Whatever is wrong, just accept it as metaphor.
Jew: (changing the topic again) A believer, of any kind, no matter the religion, I look at them as a better person because they have moral values.
Me: Firstly, what does that have anything to do with whether the religion is true or not. Because the religion offers benefits, doesn’t mean that it’s true, especially when the false religions offer the same benefits. Secondly, it’s not even true. Atheists are generally Humanitarian and they’re usually more concerned about humanity regardless of gender, race, etc. Third, on the contrary, religion is actually harmful. My grandfather cut off ties with me because I’m not religious. Families have been torn apart because people are upset at their kids for not following their religion. Kids have been torn away from their irreligious parents just because they might have an influence on them. Are they really better?
Jew: You’re just looking for reasons not to believe. Why can’t you just follow in the footsteps of your ancestors? They were so good to you. How can you do this to your parents?
Me: I don’t believe in Judaism so why should I believe? I asked you a question earlier why you believe at all, despite the other religions that claim that they’re the right one and you haven’t answered me.
Jew: What do I have with other religions? I know that Judaism is true.
Me: But “I” don’t know it. You can believe all you want but you have to convince me. You haven’t given me an answer on my question as of yet.
Jew: You know that every minute that you’re not religious, you’re stabbing your parents and grandparents in their backs. How can you do this? You have no respect for them?
Me: I have the utmost respect for them. I love them and I’d go out of my way to serve them but I can’t live my life for other people. It’s unhealthy. I can’t be a happy person if I live my life the way others want me to be. And… I’m not stabbing them in the back. I’m simply living life the way I see fit and they have to learn how to deal with the pain. They shouldn’t even be demanding of me to live my life a specific way.
Jew: Okay, I gotta run now. We’ll catch up another time.

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