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Why do you believe G-d cares about you?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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Question:

You seem to only think what you are told. I.e. your teacher told you to believe the bible, and the bible told you to believe (in) G-d. So all you can do is say in the bible G-d said this and G-d said that. But how do you know there really is a G-d, or that He actually cares about you? SallySue

Answer:

Your question was transferred to me because I don't know things because I was told. I don't believe what I am told. I ask questions.

I am a skeptic, and I don't believe things until it can be backed up.

Do I need to see everything?

No!

I don't need to see everything because some things can't be seen (like feelings, radio waves, objects far away, or things of the past), and even what can be seen, I don't necessarily have the time or desire to look for it.

So how is it backed up?

Scientifically.

In science when you want to test the authenticity of something you subject it to variances. The more variances it withstands the more likely it is to be correct.

So if you have a theory, for example, that smoking causes long cancer, you apply (or observe) smoke in a variety of lungs.

If you only test the lungs of white males between the ages of 20 and 30 you can't be sure that smoke is causing the cancer, it might be something else about whites, males, or 20 to 30 year olds etc.

But when you observe smoke in the lungs of multiple races, both genders and a wide variety of ages, you can be pretty sure with the results of your test.

It is this method of variances that I use to back any thing up.

If you tell me a certain car is a good car, I want to know it what conditions you tested it. If you tell me a certain computer is good, I want to know how many programs you tried with it. I also want more than just your opinion. How many other people share this view?

And if you tell me something happened, I want to know how many people witnessed it, what type of people, and are they all telling the same story.

When I inquired about Jewish history I found a most phenomenal factor. The same exact story has been told by millions of people, throughout thousands of years, in cities on every continent, and by people of various classes and interest.

They say two Jews three opinions. I can barely get the same story from CNN and NBC. Yet here are millions of Jews (and non-Jews) relating the same exact story.

And the key here is that the story is a story about the experiences of millions of people. It is not a story about the experiences or claims of an individual.

If millions of people told me a story about an individual (who made a claim) I would believe the millions of people (that he made the claim), but I would not necessarily believe the individual (that his claim is true). But here is a story being told by millions of people about millions of people.

It is practically impossible for millions of different people to make up the same story about millions of people. Proof: there is no other story like this!

So I decided to believe this story.

And the story is about an Exodus from harsh slavery, a splitting of a sea, a distribution of Manna and a G-dly revelation/communication at Sinai.

All experienced by millions of people.

So I came to the conclusion that G-d cares about me. He cares enough to take me out of bondage, and cares enough to ask me to do things for Him.


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COMMENTS

Good G-d

Posted by: Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY, 11219 on Jul 02, 2008

Lichvod,

Wondering: How would you react to the following thought process? Would you consider it sacrilegious? How do I know G-d cares for me? Well...I am cared for. I am nurtured with goodness, food, beauty, ability, thought, etc. etc. and even the wonder of being able to ask questions of a Rabbi somewhere over the rainbow while I am dozing off on my recliner. (Yes, and even with pain, doubt, etc) I don't have to believe that. I see it. Now, where do these abundant blessings come from? I certainly didn't create them myself. Well, whatever the source of all that, let us call it G-D. There, now I believe G-d cares for me.

Editor's Comment

That is a very valid answer, and in many ways more powerful than the answer in the above article. However, that answer is only powerful, and only acceptable, for someone who is feeling it. It is an emotional, personal, and/or experiential answer. The above article, on the other hand, addresses the issue from an intellectual point of view for the benefit of those who do not feel G-d personally, and/or seek a rational explanation.

Proof of the existence of Gd

Posted by: Anonymous on Jul 04, 2008

The answer provided by AskMoses to the question of the existence of Gd is total nonsense.

The author of the answer begins by stating that science is used to back up his beliefs. He gives an example of using science to disprove that smoking is related to incidence of lung cancer as opposed to membership in a certain age group or race by using evidence of smoke in the lungs of people of multiple races.

BUT when it comes to showing scientific evidence of the existence of Gd, the author relies entirely on the telling and re-telling, by presumably millions of people, of a single story, the Exodus,

Telling and re-telling of a story by millions of people is NOT scientific proof. If it were, we'd all be obligated to believe stories such as these which have been told and re-told by millions of people: that the earth is flat, that Jane Fonda handed over notes from US POWs to the Vietcong, that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, that the NT and Koran are the word of Gd.

Editor's Comment

You are correct. When millions of people tell a story it has no intrinsic merit. Furthermore, the world being flat is not a story, it is an idea, or a belief, and millions of people sharing an idea or belief has even less intrinsic merit. This article, however, makes a very different argument. The article is speaking of a detailed historical testimony being told by millions of people ABOUT millions of people - their ancestors. It is not a story about Jane Fonda; it is a story about Vietcong. Think about it: Why did people listen to Jane Fonda when she protested the war; who said there ever was a war in the first place? Did you test the war in a lab? No, you heard about it and saw it on TV. But maybe the TV clip was produced in Hollywood? Maybe, but you believed it either because you were there yourself, or because you heard the same story from thousands of people who knew thousands of people that were there. And that's the way you believe history, because that is the way history is recorded.

Exodus

Posted by: Anonymous, Israel on Jul 27, 2008

Millions of terrorists teach their children that the jewish nation is the devil and that jews are not worthy of anything. A child born into this may ask may terrorists and they will all say the same thing, "A Jew is the devil". So should that child believe this story? If millions of terrorits tell him that?

Editor's Comment

It is not a story. It is an idea. Big difference.

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Exodus
1. The miraculous departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage in 1312 BCE. 2. The second of the Five Books of Moses. This book describes the aforementioned Exodus, the giving of the Torah, and the erection of the Tabernacle.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.