Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:43 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
krogoth wrote:Yeah this is a problem, if you start with the axiom "book is perfectly good", then ask a question "is book sexist" the answer will always be 'no' to you no matter what evidence is provided. There is no point debating this way of thinking.

1: Adam accepts several axioms.
2: Ben points out several contradictions that are created by accepting those axioms.
3: Adam analyzes Ben's questions and attempts to resolve them.
4: Adam and Ben debate over these contradictions; Adam trying to resolve them and Ben trying to defend them.
The above situation looks like a reasonable way for a logical debate to start. I accepted the axioms that 'the Torah is perfect' and 'sexism is bad'. It is quite easy to derive from this 'the Torah is not sexist'. You (I am speaking about any particular person) are trying to find evidence that contradicts this conclusion; which is followed by me trying to resolve your objections.

What he's saying is that you're using a transparently circular argument -- that if you take, as a given, that the Torah is perfect, it kind of cuts your reliability off at the knees in a discussion of whether the Torah is perfect.

The argument I am trying to make is that for an Orthodox Jew (or anyone) to request they change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to people of the opposite sex is consistent with the rules and morals of modern, Western society. For society to lower someone's social standing even though they violate no standards set by itself is hypocritical.

The argument you seem to be using, if I'm understanding it correctly, amounts to "modern society has rules, therefore they have to respect non-modern society's rules". But that's essentially arguing that no progress can be made ever, and totally ignores the reason it has those rules.

The main thing people are trying to communicate here is that modern society's rules are ideally focused on primarizing consent and equality, and that the behavior you're asking for directly violates those two goals. Your argument for why modern society should accept is is totally ignorant of the criteria modern society uses to accept anything.

If a person requests a lawyer when they are arrested and are denied, their rights have been violated.

Well, you don't "request" a lawyer. You demand it, because as you said, it is your right.

There is actually a petition to do something very similar to this. The petition asks airlines to offer tickets that costs a little extra, but will not be placed next to someone of the opposite sex. IMO that would solve the problem perfectly. The petition actually says that two separate sections, one for each gender, be made for passengers who pay to sit there. I think that a better idea is that the computer that assigns seats be programmed so that passengers who buy these special tickets are not next to passengers of the opposite sex.

I feel that that's really unlikely to ever pass, unless the target demographic can show they are willing to pay a lot extra, not just a little. I think you're underestimating how much cost a simple minute extra of boarding results in in the long-run, and how much it would cost to get the seating all arranged. Plus, what happens if the "segregated seating" customers don't appear in equal numbers, necessitating empty seats to keep a barrier between them? Airlines need to make sure every seat is filled just to keep above bankruptcy, these days.

That is strange and definitely sexist; but read it carefully. It is talking about a Belz community. Just because what they did was sexist does not mean Judaism as a whole is sexist; to do that you would need to prove that something much more fundamental sexist.

I don't think that anyone here has said that Judaism as a whole is sexist. If they have (I guess maybe you could read what LaserGuy said as that?), please correct me, but I'm fairly certain that's not the question under discussion.

We actually had a discussion earlier about why all the reports are about men who wish to change seats. It started about ¾ of the way down on page 2.

Like I said, I don't see you as having given a satisfactory answer for the question at any point.

Are you retracting your claim that there is any symmetry to the segregation? Or do you have evidence to provide that there is symmetry?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Azrael » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:12 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:What a second. You just said that morals change; which means that morality is relative, not absolute. That is a fairly big claim to make. You simple cannot casually drop something like that into a conversation.

Moral relativism is a several thousand year old concept. Yes, you can casually drop that into conversation. He even gives a perfectly relevant example demonstrating that modern society holds some previously 'moral' actions to be immoral (slavery). The more typical response is to point out the 'immoral' things that we now find moral (like homosexuality), although an argument from the current state doesn't stand up to the "but God says" rebuttal. However, his example does. God said slaves were fine. We now (almost universally) say otherwise, both in secular and religious structures. Morals have clearly changed, whether or not they're sanctioned in writing by original source texts (clearly they aren't).

That someone from a rigorously orthodox sect doesn't hold with moral relativism isn't surprising. I mean, moral absolutism is the raison d'être for orthodoxy. But you're back to having to explain away slavery. Which you've been steadfastly refusing to do, but it keeps popping back up as a salient inconsistency.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby almach » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:53 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:What a second. You just said that morals change; which means that morality is relative, not absolute. That is a fairly big claim to make. You simple cannot casually drop something like that into a conversation.

Moral relativism is a several thousand year old concept. Yes, you can casually drop that into conversation. He even gives a perfectly relevant example demonstrating that modern society holds some previously 'moral' actions to be immoral (slavery). The more typical response is to point out the 'immoral' things that we now find moral (like homosexuality), although an argument from the current state doesn't stand up to the "but God says" rebuttal. However, his example does. God said slaves were fine. We now (almost universally) say otherwise, both in secular and religious structures. Morals have clearly changed, whether or not they're sanctioned in writing by original source texts (clearly they aren't).


Here I think you are equivocating on "morals". What society thinks is moral obviously changes. Whether what society thinks is moral determines what is moral is a different story. Evidently jewish_scientist objects to the latter being taken for granted as true.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:02 pm UTC

almach wrote:Here I think you are equivocating on "morals". What society thinks is moral obviously changes. Whether what society thinks is moral determines what is moral is a different story. Evidently jewish_scientist objects to the latter being taken for granted as true.

Fortunately, "what society thinks is moral" is what was actually being talked about in the post JS replied to, so there's no need for us to go chase after a red herring.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby ucim » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:What a second. You just said that morals change; which means that morality is relative, not absolute. That is a fairly big claim to make. You simple cannot casually drop something like that into a conversation...
Wait a second. You just said that morals are absolute, not relative. That's also a fairly big claim to make, and you casually dropped that into a conversation.

Sexism is a moral stance. The idea that the world should accomodate the beliefs of a tiny religious sect is a moral stance. And the idea that this tiny religious sect is right because an old book says so, is a moral stance, which you are arguing from.

jewish_scientist wrote:I accepted the axioms that 'the Torah is perfect' and 'sexism is bad'. It is quite easy to derive from this 'the Torah is not sexist'.
... and when shown the Torah is sexist, one must conclude that either the Torah is not perfect, or that sexism is not bad. It's fairly evident that the Torah is sexist, in the usual definitions of the words. But the definitions of the word "sexist" and the word "bad" can be fiddlefudged around in disingenuous ways in order to defend the first conclusion (that the Torah is not "sexist"). That is what is happening here.

If it could be shown that the Torah is not perfect, your entire argument falls apart. Therefore, it is quite reaonsable to bring up the idea of slavery, which is not only sanctioned by the Torah, but clearly regulated as an ordinary thing. Now, either slavery is immoral (and thus the Torah is imperfect), or slavery is not immoral.

Choose.

Then we can go back to your original axiomatic argument.

unnumbered, jewish_scientist wrote:The argument I am trying to make is that (1) for an Orthodox Jew (or anyone) to request they change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to people of the opposite sex is consistent with the rules and morals of modern, Western society. (2) For society to lower someone's social standing even though they violate no standards set by itself is hypocritical. (3) Therefore, society must admit it is being hypocritical or have neutral, or positive, reactions to a person requesting to change seats. The people on this thread (not talking about anyone in particular) are arguing that (4)requests of this nature are sexist; therefore, (5) they violate a rule set by society. (6) This gives society the right to punish people who make such requests.


(1) Change "opposite sex" to "another race" and how does it sound? The thinking that goes into that answer should illuminate whether or not this kind of question is actually consistent with modern Western society.

(2) I have no idea what this means, or how it applies.

(3) Non-sequitor, pending (2)

(4) Not so much that the request is sexist, but that the thinking behind the requeset is sexist. And should the request turn into a demand, that would also be sexist.
Spoiler:
Further, the (Orthodox Jewish) thinking behind the request actually objectifies women by making them into sexual objects that must be avoided. It also objectifies men by making them into sexual predators that must be kept at bay. It prevents men and women from interacting as people. Instead, they must interact as sexual objects inside of societal protective shells, if they interact at all.
(5) Okay...

(6) No. However it gives society the right to refuse (and perhaps even ridicule) such a request.

jewish_scientist wrote:If a person requests a lawyer when they are arrested and are denied, their rights have been violated.
... but it is not the request for a lawyer that generates the right. That right is pre-existing (in American society). The right to not sit next to a person of the opposite sex (or race) does not exist.

jewish_scientist wrote:If someone buys a car requesting that it be painted purple and is given a car painted green, they can declare the deal null and void.
This is false. However, if the contract that both agreed to specifies that the car be painted purple, that is another thing. Buying the car requires a contract (written or otherwise), and that requires a meeting of the minds. A request is not a meeting of the minds.

jewish_scientist wrote:The petition asks airlines to offer tickets that costs a little extra, but will not be placed next to someone of the opposite sex.
On the surface I'm ok with this, but it perpetrates a destructive attitude in society. Change "sex" to "race" to see what I mean. Would you support a "whites-only" seating section, even if tickets cost a little extra? edit: Upon further thought, I am not ok with this, because it enshrines and perpetuates destructive attitudes in society.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:57 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It isn't really a request unless you're willing to accept a "no".

I disagree. If a person requests a lawyer when they are arrested and are denied, their rights have been violated. They do not have to accept this. At the trial, they can demand various things because the request was answered in the negative. Another example: If someone buys a car requesting that it be painted purple and is given a car painted green, they can declare the deal null and void.


The request of a lawyer is a request with respect to the lawyer. Not any given lawyer has to accept your business.

With regards to government, it is a right.

Confusing these two things is...troubling. These relationships are very different. And not every request has a right associated with it. Obviously.

Just because you request an exchange of seats does not mean you have a right to exchanging seats.

Tyndmyr wrote:
SDK wrote:Whoa, whoa, who said anything about legal enforcement? Did I miss that part? If so, I definitely agree that's over the line.

The obstructing travel thing might just be overblown though - I can certainly see a Jewish person calling out to the plane for anyone to switch being a hassle, maybe even delaying take-off for a minute in an extreme case, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were unwilling to get off if it came down to it.


The segregated transport falls into a legal battle, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2009/dec/16/israel-buses-gender-segregation-orthodox (linked off the original article that the OP intended to "refute"). If you're segregating public transport, you're essentially foisting your religious belief on those who do not share it.

Now, in fairness, the pro-segregation viewpoint definitely appears to be a minority, but...still.

After Shabbat services in my Orthodox temple, everyone joins around three tables to have a nice meal. There is no particular reason (that I am aware of) that every group of people that share room are required to be split into two groups.


This is irrelevant. Saying "we don't ALWAYS enforce segregation" does not negate the fact that you are pushing for segregation in some instances.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:38 pm UTC

I think we're being too kind in analogizing the sex thing with race. Let's hit this head on.

JS, per your argument:
The argument I am trying to make is that (1) for an Orthodox Jew (or anyone) to request they change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to people of the opposite sex is consistent with the rules and morals of modern, Western society. (2) For society to lower someone's social standing even though they violate no standards set by itself is hypocritical. (3) Therefore, society must admit it is being hypocritical or have neutral, or positive, reactions to a person requesting to change seats. The people on this thread (not talking about anyone in particular) are arguing that (4)requests of this nature are sexist; therefore, (5) they violate a rule set by society. (6) This gives society the right to punish people who make such requests.


You seem to be giving the go ahead for non-Jews to request that they or an Orthodox Jew change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to them, and that it would be verboten to shame someone for this request -- that instead, the Orthodox Jew should have a neutral or positive reaction to this request.

Is this really a paradigm you're comfortable supporting?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby krogoth » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:55 am UTC

Azrael & KrytenKoro Have countered your arguments very well, so I won't repeat those bits.

But I will correct your statement
jewish_scientist wrote:1: Adam accepts several axioms.
2: Ben points out several contradictions that are created by accepting those axioms.
3: Adam analyzes Ben's questions and attempts to resolve them.
4: Adam and Ben debate over these contradictions; Adam trying to resolve them and Ben trying to defend them.
The above situation looks like a reasonable way for a logical debate to start. I accepted the axioms that 'the Torah is perfect' and 'sexism is bad'. It is quite easy to derive from this 'the Torah is not sexist'. You (I am speaking about any particular person) are trying to find evidence that contradicts this conclusion; which is followed by me trying to resolve your objections.


Or Adam accepts them and/or you end up accepting the evidence/objections.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:27 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:What a second. You just said that morals change; which means that morality is relative, not absolute. That is a fairly big claim to make. You simple cannot casually drop something like that into a conversation.

Moral relativism is a several thousand year old concept. Yes, you can casually drop that into conversation. He even gives a perfectly relevant example demonstrating that modern society holds some previously 'moral' actions to be immoral (slavery). The more typical response is to point out the 'immoral' things that we now find moral (like homosexuality), although an argument from the current state doesn't stand up to the "but God says" rebuttal. However, his example does. God said slaves were fine. We now (almost universally) say otherwise, both in secular and religious structures. Morals have clearly changed, whether or not they're sanctioned in writing by original source texts (clearly they aren't).

That someone from a rigorously orthodox sect doesn't hold with moral relativism isn't surprising. I mean, moral absolutism is the raison d'être for orthodoxy. But you're back to having to explain away slavery. Which you've been steadfastly refusing to do, but it keeps popping back up as a salient inconsistency.

It's interesting, because I don't consider myself a moral relativist, and I've obviously been on the other side of this argument from the beginning. I mean, social conventions are certainly important, but you can still say that regardless of convention, there are ways of getting along in the world that work better or worse than others. But the facts of the world have a bearing on how best to get along there. I'd dare say that the importance of lines of parentage and the absence of reliable methods of birth control could well have meant that there were objectively significant moral weights to things relating to sex and sexuality in the iron age that don't have the same significance here and now.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:45 pm UTC

Consequentialist here. Morals are based on whatever the best outcome is, and we as humans decide what the definition of "best outcome" is.

If "what is best for humanity" leads you to morals that are in a religion (as most religions claim would happen), the religion is unnecessary for morality. If it does not, the religion is evil.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:09 pm UTC

Spoilered since it's somewhat off-topic:
Spoiler:
CorruptUser wrote:If "what is best for humanity" leads you to morals that are in a religion (as most religions claim would happen), the religion is unnecessary for morality.

Assuming that Religion A has those perfect morals, they could argue that (1) the religion exists to make sure people are aware of them, or if teaching isn't necessary, that (2) following those morals is equivalent to participating in that religion.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:If "what is best for humanity" leads you to morals that are in a religion (as most religions claim would happen), the religion is unnecessary for morality. If it does not, the religion is evil.


Basically this.

Merely talking about relativistic morals is not sufficient to cop out of this. Moral relativity is not an obscure concept, so it's reasonable to just bring up in conversation.

And even if you do not pursue relative morality, you can still disagree with Judaism on this subject(as many do). So, moral relativism isn't the boogyman here without which we'd accept your argument.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby krogoth » Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:10 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
PAstrychef wrote:Well, you could consider it something of a disability. I would probably relocate for someone in a wheelchair.


That's a stretch. It's a belief, not something they are unable to do.


Getting a little OT
Spoiler:
I remember a youtube video where they could tell if a person was likely to be religious by doing a brain scan, I can't remember if it was CT scan or what exactly.

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/04/this_is ... of_belief/
Is a really interesting read I found while looking for a related article.

The best that can be done is to inform or ask why they think their reality is more true than everyone, and why they are special over the other 10000 religions in the world.


Edited. Don't be a dick.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:59 pm UTC

I'm neither religious nor disabled, but I suspect that considering Orthodox Judaism something of a disability would be seen as extremely insulting both by Orthodox Jews and by people with real disabilities alike.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:23 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I'm neither religious nor disabled, but I suspect that considering Orthodox Judaism something of a disability would be seen as extremely insulting both by Orthodox Jews and by people with real disabilities alike.


Indeed.

And people have decided to join/leave religions. Yes, people are creatures of habit, and they often do not...but the fact that they can and sometimes do is a significant difference, whereas someone cannot simply decide to have perfect eyesight again or the like.

So, it's a really tenuous comparison on a factual basis AND it's unlikely to be considered reasonable by...pretty much anybody.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby mosc » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:59 am UTC

Please try to refer to this nonsense as "Haredi Judaism" or "strict orthodoxy judaism" or some other form of the phrase that truly captures how fringe these beliefs are to the vast majority of people who call themselves "Jewish". Even what I would call "Modern Orthodox" is not anything like this and not structurally bigoted and intolerant.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Azrael » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:06 am UTC

Let's play a game where we address a religion's shortcomings rationally, rather than writing it off as mental illness or disability.

'Cause holy fuck, y'all. I shouldn't have to say that.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:05 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Please try to refer to this nonsense as "Haredi Judaism" or "strict orthodoxy judaism" or some other form of the phrase that truly captures how fringe these beliefs are to the vast majority of people who call themselves "Jewish". Even what I would call "Modern Orthodox" is not anything like this and not structurally bigoted and intolerant.

Thanks


Haredim make up 13% of the total Jewish population, and that doesn't include the Chassidim. They are not "fringe".

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:23 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:
krogoth wrote:Yeah this is a problem, if you start with the axiom "book is perfectly good", then ask a question "is book sexist" the answer will always be 'no' to you no matter what evidence is provided. There is no point debating this way of thinking.

1: Adam accepts several axioms.
2: Ben points out several contradictions that are created by accepting those axioms.
3: Adam analyzes Ben's questions and attempts to resolve them.
4: Adam and Ben debate over these contradictions; Adam trying to resolve them and Ben trying to defend them.
The above situation looks like a reasonable way for a logical debate to start. I accepted the axioms that 'the Torah is perfect' and 'sexism is bad'. It is quite easy to derive from this 'the Torah is not sexist'. You (I am speaking about any particular person) are trying to find evidence that contradicts this conclusion; which is followed by me trying to resolve your objections.

What he's saying is that you're using a transparently circular argument -- that if you take, as a given, that the Torah is perfect, it kind of cuts your reliability off at the knees in a discussion of whether the Torah is perfect.

Please watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAEtX-ywBxg&safe=active
I am not using circular logic. I am saying is accepting the two axioms above are internally consistent. Your part would now be to try and find an inconsistency, which I would then try to resolve.

KrytenKoro wrote:
The argument I am trying to make is that for an Orthodox Jew (or anyone) to request they change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to people of the opposite sex is consistent with the rules and morals of modern, Western society. For society to lower someone's social standing even though they violate no standards set by itself is hypocritical.

The argument you seem to be using, if I'm understanding it correctly, amounts to "modern society has rules, therefore they have to respect non-modern society's rules". But that's essentially arguing that no progress can be made ever, and totally ignores the reason it has those rules.

That is as the exact opposite of what I am saying. I will try to frame this as I did above. Society has several rules and standards; the most relevant one being the Sexual Revolution. Society also punishes people who ask to be moved on airplanes because they are uncomfortable sitting next to someone the opposite gender. I am saying that these two axioms are internally inconsistent. Therefore, one of the two has to change.

KrytenKoro wrote:
There is actually a petition to do something very similar to this. The petition asks airlines to offer tickets that costs a little extra, but will not be placed next to someone of the opposite sex. IMO that would solve the problem perfectly. The petition actually says that two separate sections, one for each gender, be made for passengers who pay to sit there. I think that a better idea is that the computer that assigns seats be programmed so that passengers who buy these special tickets are not next to passengers of the opposite sex.

I feel that that's really unlikely to ever pass, unless the target demographic can show they are willing to pay a lot extra, not just a little. I think you're underestimating how much cost a simple minute extra of boarding results in in the long-run, and how much it would cost to get the seating all arranged. Plus, what happens if the "segregated seating" customers don't appear in equal numbers, necessitating empty seats to keep a barrier between them? Airlines need to make sure every seat is filled just to keep above bankruptcy, these days.

Italicized Ms and Fs mean people who want to not sit next to people of the other sex and normal Ms and Fs mean people who have no problem. The aisles are -. 0 are people of any gender.

If the number of M or F is a multiple of three, no problems happen.
000-000
MMM-FFF
000-000

If the number is not a multiple of 3, there is still no problem as long as at least one M and F.
000-000
MM0-FF0
000-000

000-000
MMM-FFF
000-000

If the seats are not assigned, it should not be too hard to find someone willing to switch seats. If the seats were assigned beforehand, the computer that make decides where everyone will sit can just be told not to seat people of opposite genders next to each other if someone bought that kind of ticket. It would work in a way similar to how people can book window seats. You make your request and then a computer works out the logistics of the request so the you receive a seat that is satisfactory.

KrytenKoro wrote:
We actually had a discussion earlier about why all the reports are about men who wish to change seats. It started about ¾ of the way down on page 2.

Like I said, I don't see you as having given a satisfactory answer for the question at any point.

Are you retracting your claim that there is any symmetry to the segregation? Or do you have evidence to provide that there is symmetry?


Every report about these kinds of incidents has been about Orthodox men. I believe that Orthodox women make this request just as often as Orthodox men; however the media only reports about men who make the request. I have two theories why this is.

1) Most Orthodox men wear a characteristic suit and have a beard; this means that it is possible for someone to determine if a man is Orthodox by sight. Orthodox women wear nice dresses that other women would were; this means that it is not possible for someone to determine if a woman is Orthodox by sight. When men make the request to change seats, people realize that it has a religious motivation and a big scene sometimes happens, the kind that would get reported in a newspaper. When women make a request to change seats, people do not know her reason and comply without a second thought.

2) When a man make a request to switch seats because he does not want to sit near a strange woman, people assume that he is sexist and behave negatively towards him. This causes a dramatic scene, which media will happily run stories on. When a woman makes a request to switch seats because she does not want to sit near a strange man, people view this as an understandable request (for reasons that are probably sexist). Nothing dramatic or sensational happens, so the media does not care.

KrytenKoro wrote:
That is strange and definitely sexist; but read it carefully. It is talking about a Belz community. Just because what they did was sexist does not mean Judaism as a whole is sexist; to do that you would need to prove that something much more fundamental sexist.

I don't think that anyone here has said that Judaism as a whole is sexist. If they have (I guess maybe you could read what LaserGuy said as that?), please correct me, but I'm fairly certain that's not the question under discussion.


Thank you for pointing this out to me. I went and changed my post so that it said 'Orthodox Judaism'.

ucim wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:What a second. You just said that morals change; which means that morality is relative, not absolute. That is a fairly big claim to make. You simple cannot casually drop something like that into a conversation...
Wait a second. You just said that morals are absolute, not relative. That's also a fairly big claim to make, and you casually dropped that into a conversation.

The argument he presented in that post was entirely dependent on morality being relative. My argument can apply whether morality is relative or absolute.

ucim wrote:It's fairly evident that the Torah is sexist, in the usual definitions of the words.

I do not think that the Torah is sexist, so maybe you should give examples and evidence instead of just saying that your position is, "fairly evident."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~To a Couple of People about Slavery~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Remember, 'slave' is a translated word and therefore inherently less accurate. Servant or contracted worker is a better translation. If a man is found guilty of theft and does not have enough money to pay the victim of the crime for what was stolen, he is required to work for the victim. The maximum amount of time he is required to be a servant is 6 years. There are requirements about how a master and his family may treat the servant and his family.

-The servant may not perform demining work, such as carrying items for the master in the bathhouse or tying the master's shoes on.
-If the servant is hit and suffers a significant injury, he may sue for his freedom. The example usually given is that a tooth is knocked out.
-His master may not assign cruel work to him. If the master said, "Dig some holes while I go get the seeds from the storage area," then the servant could sue for his freedom. When someone has a goal, they have an objective to work towards. This motivates them and gives them hope that soon the work will be finished. It is cruel to deny a worker this. Because the servant does not know if he will be digging for 5 minutes or 5 hours, he has no goal to work towards. Therefore, the servant may sue for his freedom.
-If only white bread (high quality) and black bread (low quality) are available to eat, the master must give the white bread to the servant.
-If there are only two beds available, one made with a mattress (high quality) and one made with straw (low quality), the master must sleep on the straw while the servant sleeps on the mattress.
-During meals, the servant eats at the same table as the master and his family.
-The servant must rest on Shabbat and holidays.
-The last four also apply to the servant's family.
-At anytime, the servant or his family can pay off the rest of the dept. If they do, the servant is granted his freedom.
-If the servant had a profession before he committed the crime, he should continue to do that form of work.
-When the servant's term has ended, he is given gifts and supplies. I do not know how much is required to be given, but it is enough that the servant can start a business and make an honest living.

I light of this information, do you still wish to hold the position that the 'slavery' described in the Torah is immoral.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

KrytenKoro wrote:I think we're being too kind in analogizing the sex thing with race. Let's hit this head on.

JS, per your argument:
The argument I am trying to make is that (1) for an Orthodox Jew (or anyone) to request they change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to people of the opposite sex is consistent with the rules and morals of modern, Western society. (2) For society to lower someone's social standing even though they violate no standards set by itself is hypocritical. (3) Therefore, society must admit it is being hypocritical or have neutral, or positive, reactions to a person requesting to change seats. The people on this thread (not talking about anyone in particular) are arguing that (4)requests of this nature are sexist; therefore, (5) they violate a rule set by society. (6) This gives society the right to punish people who make such requests.


You seem to be giving the go ahead for non-Jews to request that they or an Orthodox Jew change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to them, and that it would be verboten to shame someone for this request -- that instead, the Orthodox Jew should have a neutral or positive reaction to this request.

Is this really a paradigm you're comfortable supporting?


The request that someone switch seats because they are Jewish is anti-Semitic. Modern society does not allow anti-Semitism. Reread number 1 above.
(1) for an Orthodox Jew (or anyone) to request they change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to people of the opposite sex is consistent with the rules and morals of modern, Western society.


Because anti-Semitism is not consistent with the rules and morals set by society, society can punish someone for making a request that is motivated by anti-Semitism. The two requests are not comparable for this reason; therefore, I can support one without supporting the other. The same logic applies to some asking a person of a different race to move.

krogoth wrote:But I will correct your statement
jewish_scientist wrote:1: Adam accepts several axioms.
2: Ben points out several contradictions that are created by accepting those axioms.
3: Adam analyzes Ben's questions and attempts to resolve them.
4: Adam and Ben debate over these contradictions; Adam trying to resolve them and Ben trying to defend them.
The above situation looks like a reasonable way for a logical debate to start. I accepted the axioms that 'the Torah is perfect' and 'sexism is bad'. It is quite easy to derive from this 'the Torah is not sexist'. You (I am speaking about any particular person) are trying to find evidence that contradicts this conclusion; which is followed by me trying to resolve your objections.


Or Adam accepts them and/or you end up accepting the evidence/objections.


When one side of the debate admits that the opposing side is correct, they have lost the debate. If Adam accepts that the contradictions presented by Ben are irresolvable, then he has lost and Ben has won. Similarly, if Ben accepts that all of the contradictions he presented have been resolved, he has lost and Adam has won. Your 'correction' is simply stating the win conditions for Ben.

Copper Bezel wrote:It's interesting, because I don't consider myself a moral relativist, and I've obviously been on the other side of this argument from the beginning. I mean, social conventions are certainly important, but you can still say that regardless of convention, there are ways of getting along in the world that work better or worse than others. But the facts of the world have a bearing on how best to get along there. I'd dare say that the importance of lines of parentage and the absence of reliable methods of birth control could well have meant that there were objectively significant moral weights to things relating to sex and sexuality in the iron age that don't have the same significance here and now.

I am not entirely sure what you are saying. Could you please repeat yourself?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby KrytenKoro » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:06 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I am not using circular logic. I am saying is accepting the two axioms above are internally consistent. Your part would now be to try and find an inconsistency, which I would then try to resolve.

It would be a fine axiom if the question wasn't about whether the Torah was good or not. Taking the question under discussion as an axiom is a textbook circular argument.

That is as the exact opposite of what I am saying. I will try to frame this as I did above. Society has several rules and standards; the most relevant one being the Sexual Revolution. Society also punishes people who ask to be moved on airplanes because they are uncomfortable sitting next to someone the opposite gender. I am saying that these two axioms are internally inconsistent. Therefore, one of the two has to change.

You've misunderstood the fundamental basis of Society's rules about the Sexual Revolution, then, which is one of primatizing consent. It's not about arbitrarily deciding which acts are "okay", it's about stating that individuals do not have the right to interfere with other individuals without good cause.

There is nothing contradictory with stating "you do not have the privilege, nor the right, to interfere with the sexual conduct of others" and "you are allowed to think ill of others for their sexual conduct", even if you define gender segregation as sexual conduct. People can judge the hell out of Haredi for this tradition right now, and it is absolutely not interfering with their actual ability to abide by it.

Your proposal of enforcing a gender segregation, or requiring people to move if they do not desire to, is inherently at odds with this. It's not a matter of not respecting sexual mores, it's a matter of respecting individual freedom.

If the seats are not assigned, it should not be too hard to find someone willing to switch seats.

Which takes extra time. That small amount of delay can balloon into longer delays because airlines run on tight schedules.

If the seats were assigned beforehand, the computer that make decides where everyone will sit can just be told not to seat people of opposite genders next to each other if someone bought that kind of ticket.

"The computer that decides where everyone will sit" literally assigns them randomly. You're asking for subroutines that will now take into account who's willing to sit next to who. Limiting it to gender is ridiculous -- if you open the door for gender segregated seating, there's no justification for forbidding race or weight based seating. In fact, given how airlines work, weight-based seating would be massively more justifiable than gender-based. These kinds of arrangement calculations are non-trivial.

You make your request and then a computer works out the logistics of the request so the you receive a seat that is satisfactory.

Computers are not magic. Identifying a solution to multiple competing demands is not easy. This Adventure Time episode is, honestly, an extremely pertinent thing to watch to understand what you're really requesting here.

Every report about these kinds of incidents has been about Orthodox men. I believe that Orthodox women make this request just as often as Orthodox men; however the media only reports about men who make the request. I have two theories why this is.

So, to put it shortly, you completely lack evidence of symmetry. The honest thing to do would be to retract this claim.

Remember, 'slave' is a translated word and therefore inherently less accurate. Servant or contracted worker is a better translation. If a man is found guilty of theft and does not have enough money to pay the victim of the crime for what was stolen, he is required to work for the victim. The maximum amount of time he is required to be a servant is 6 years. There are requirements about how a master and his family may treat the servant and his family.

-The servant may not perform demining work, such as carrying items for the master in the bathhouse or tying the master's shoes on.
-If the servant is hit and suffers a significant injury, he may sue for his freedom. The example usually given is that a tooth is knocked out.
-His master may not assign cruel work to him. If the master said, "Dig some holes while I go get the seeds from the storage area," then the servant could sue for his freedom. When someone has a goal, they have an objective to work towards. This motivates them and gives them hope that soon the work will be finished. It is cruel to deny a worker this. Because the servant does not know if he will be digging for 5 minutes or 5 hours, he has no goal to work towards. Therefore, the servant may sue for his freedom.
-If only white bread (high quality) and black bread (low quality) are available to eat, the master must give the white bread to the servant.
-If there are only two beds available, one made with a mattress (high quality) and one made with straw (low quality), the master must sleep on the straw while the servant sleeps on the mattress.
-During meals, the servant eats at the same table as the master and his family.
-The servant must rest on Shabbat and holidays.
-The last four also apply to the servant's family.
-At anytime, the servant or his family can pay off the rest of the dept. If they do, the servant is granted his freedom.
-If the servant had a profession before he committed the crime, he should continue to do that form of work.
-When the servant's term has ended, he is given gifts and supplies. I do not know how much is required to be given, but it is enough that the servant can start a business and make an honest living.

I light of this information, do you still wish to hold the position that the 'slavery' described in the Torah is immoral.

Can you provide any historical documentation or evidence to demonstrate that this is how the laws were actually enforced?

The request that someone switch seats because they are Jewish is anti-Semitic. Modern society does not allow anti-Semitism. Reread number 1 above.

Modern society "does not allow" gender segregation (proudly encourage, really, it "allows" both this and anti-Semitism), either, but you're demanding that they do. What modern society allows is completely irrelevant to your actual argument. Yes or no, are you comfortable with that paradigm, or would you like to attempt to demonstrate how your argument doesn't allow it to be made?

Because anti-Semitism is not consistent with the rules and morals set by society, society can punish someone for making a request that is motivated by anti-Semitism. The two requests are not comparable for this reason; therefore, I can support one without supporting the other. The same logic applies to some asking a person of a different race to move.

Anti-feminism is not consistent with the rules and morals set by society. You are being totally disingenuous here, and refusing to actually answer the question.

again: Justify your proposal in a way that does not simultaneously justify anti-semitism. Or, don't, and admit that your argument would find it acceptable. Whether that makes it a good or bad argument is up to you; personally, I would be much happier to have to rub shoulders with women than to ostracize the Jewish again.

When one side of the debate admits that the opposing side is correct, they have lost the debate. If Adam accepts that the contradictions presented by Ben are irresolvable, then he has lost and Ben has won. Similarly, if Ben accepts that all of the contradictions he presented have been resolved, he has lost and Adam has won. Your 'correction' is simply stating the win conditions for Ben.

The purpose of debate is to mutually discover truth, not to bludgeon the other participants into submission.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:30 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:That is as the exact opposite of what I am saying. I will try to frame this as I did above. Society has several rules and standards; the most relevant one being the Sexual Revolution. Society also punishes people who ask to be moved on airplanes because they are uncomfortable sitting next to someone the opposite gender. I am saying that these two axioms are internally inconsistent. Therefore, one of the two has to change.


I don't understand why you think that there is anything inconsistent about these two. There is no obligation for society at large to care about your comfort or discomfort. That is your problem. The extent to which people feel obliged to accommodate you is their choice.

If the seats are not assigned, it should not be too hard to find someone willing to switch seats. If the seats were assigned beforehand, the computer that make decides where everyone will sit can just be told not to seat people of opposite genders next to each other if someone bought that kind of ticket. It would work in a way similar to how people can book window seats. You make your request and then a computer works out the logistics of the request so the you receive a seat that is satisfactory.


The person who has this discomfort could also just buy two seats--the window and the middle. If they sit in the window and leave the middle open, then the problem sort of resolves itself. I'm not sure whether the airline could try to slip someone in on standby, but I'd think that there probably would be some way that you could purchase two seats for the expressed purpose of keeping one of them empty. The person in the aisle seat, regardless of gender, would probably appreciate your generosity for having the extra space available. On many airlines, especially long-haul international flights, first class seats are individual "pods" where you are probably separated enough from your neighbours to minimize this sort of problem as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~To a Couple of People about Slavery~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Don't most of these prohibitions only apply to Jewish slaves (and, in particular, Jewish slaves in the pre-Talmudic era)? Debt slavery is one kind of slavery that was permitted by the Torah, but the evidence strongly suggests that the vast majority of slaves owned by the ancient Israelites were non-Jews captured in times of war, or foreigners in any event, and wouldn't be subject to such rules. Out of curiosity, do members of your religious community still practice the type of slavery you say is fine? And if not, why not?

The request that someone switch seats because they are Jewish is anti-Semitic. Modern society does not allow anti-Semitism. Reread number 1 above.

(1) for an Orthodox Jew (or anyone) to request they change seats because they feel uncomfortable sitting next to people of the opposite sex is consistent with the rules and morals of modern, Western society.


Because anti-Semitism is not consistent with the rules and morals set by society, society can punish someone for making a request that is motivated by anti-Semitism. The two requests are not comparable for this reason; therefore, I can support one without supporting the other. The same logic applies to some asking a person of a different race to move.


Sexism is not consistent with the rules and morals set by society, which is the reason why these situations are exactly parallel. The fact that you can see this for race and religion (or cultural group if you prefer) but not gender is kind of baffling. That your religion permits (at least in theory) women to discriminate against men on the basis of gender as well does not make the practices any less sexist. It just means that some people discriminate against men and others discriminate against women. That said, society does certainly permit you to request to change seats because the person next to them is black or a Hasedic Jew, or whatever. It's just that the request will probably be turned down, and you will probably (rightly) be censured for it by the other people on the plane. It's a great example precisely because the parallel is quite exact.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby 44 stone lions » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:20 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~To a Couple of People about Slavery~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Remember, 'slave' is a translated word and therefore inherently less accurate. Servant or contracted worker is a better translation. If a man is found guilty of theft and does not have enough money to pay the victim of the crime for what was stolen, he is required to work for the victim. The maximum amount of time he is required to be a servant is 6 years. There are requirements about how a master and his family may treat the servant and his family.

-The servant may not perform demining work, such as carrying items for the master in the bathhouse or tying the master's shoes on.
-If the servant is hit and suffers a significant injury, he may sue for his freedom. The example usually given is that a tooth is knocked out.
-His master may not assign cruel work to him. If the master said, "Dig some holes while I go get the seeds from the storage area," then the servant could sue for his freedom. When someone has a goal, they have an objective to work towards. This motivates them and gives them hope that soon the work will be finished. It is cruel to deny a worker this. Because the servant does not know if he will be digging for 5 minutes or 5 hours, he has no goal to work towards. Therefore, the servant may sue for his freedom.
-If only white bread (high quality) and black bread (low quality) are available to eat, the master must give the white bread to the servant.
-If there are only two beds available, one made with a mattress (high quality) and one made with straw (low quality), the master must sleep on the straw while the servant sleeps on the mattress.
-During meals, the servant eats at the same table as the master and his family.
-The servant must rest on Shabbat and holidays.
-The last four also apply to the servant's family.
-At anytime, the servant or his family can pay off the rest of the dept. If they do, the servant is granted his freedom.
-If the servant had a profession before he committed the crime, he should continue to do that form of work.
-When the servant's term has ended, he is given gifts and supplies. I do not know how much is required to be given, but it is enough that the servant can start a business and make an honest living.

I light of this information, do you still wish to hold the position that the 'slavery' described in the Torah is immoral.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Whilst not exactly the same this does sound quite a lot like Indentured Servitude, which is generally handled by the same laws as slavery and human trafficking by international law and the laws of most countries, and, at least in my opinion is as immoral as slavery. You can add what ever benefits and niceties to it that you want, the scope for exploitation is still present and at a level that I would deem to be immoral.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:59 pm UTC

The argument that 'slave' only applies to indentured laborers is a very tenuous one, given how frequently the ancient Israelites go to war with other peoples, win, and enslave them all.

Many of the rules for dealing with your slaves were also hilariously lacking - whilst you were encouraged to not damage a slaves eyes or teeth, the prohibition of beating your slaves was only such that you couldn't incapacitate them for more than days (Exodus 21:20)

Slaves were only emancipated after 6 years of servitude if they were Jewish.

Women slaves, irrespective of their religion, if sold by their fathers, were slaves forever. Male Jewish Slaves could be bought back at the Jubilee year, which occurred every 50 years.

Here's some gems, trigger warning -

Spoiler:
Female slaves could be raped with impunity, though if the rapist was engaged or wed, he had to sacrifice an animal as penance.

Any female prisoners of war were considered slaves, and the only prohibition on how to treat them is that they cannot be resold as a slave


So.. Yeah.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby SDK » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:04 pm UTC

That's obviously not a quote from the Torah. Where's that from and what's their source?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:10 pm UTC

Sorry, it was meant to be in spoilers due to being potentially triggering.
Here's where it appears in the Torah
Spoiler:
Raping Slaves: Being property, female slaves could be required to engage in sexual intercourse and become pregnant against their will. The perpetrator could be their owner, or anyone that their owner designates:
bullet Genesis 16:1-2: "Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai."
bullet Genesis 30:3-4: "And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her."
bullet Genesis 30:9-10: "When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son."

Enslaving Women Captives: In a foreign war, an Israelite could take any woman as a slave-wife, even if it were against her will. He would put her through what could be regarded as a period of ritual abuse. If he later dislikes her, he can grant her freedom, but cannot sell her to another slave owner.
bullet Deuteronomy 21:10-14: "When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her [i.e. rape her or engage in consensual sex], and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her."

Sexual Activity with an Engaged Female Slave: A man who rapes or engages in consensual sex with a female slave who is engaged to be married to another man must sacrifice an animal in the temple in order to obtain God's forgiveness. The female slave would be whipped. There is apparently no punishment or ritual animal killing required if the female slave were not engaged; men could rape such slaves with impunity.
bullet Leviticus 19:20-22: "And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him."


I just googled 'old testament on slavery' and this stuff came up. I'm sure there's a lot more.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby mosc » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:17 pm UTC

Not even Haredi Jews believe much of Deuteronomy. They'll make up some shit that links it to the temple in Jerusalem and say it's not applicable since they have no central temple (even though there is archaeological proof that the second temple itself wasn't built on the exact location of the first one and they could certainly build a third in another spot). That said how somebody could be so fanatically literalist about parts of something and not even consistently dogmatic about it never sat well. The best argument I ever heard against literalism were the inevitable contradictions, impossible to follow edicts, and things even a literalist would find immoral. Not that these things were true when it was written down, just that times change.

For instance, there is a passage that talks about the blue color of a tallit (Numbers 15:37-41). It is believed to be made from a sea snail that likely went extinct at least a thousand years ago (we do have archaeological finds of old tallit dyed in this biblical color but no such species exists today). Though literalists have tried to make blue dye from a variety of snails in the region, the simple truth is that passage made perfect sense thousands of years ago but can't be followed today. The text was either not meant to be literally followed or directly contradicts the modern world we live in.

Similarly, they will leave out observances of very detailed rules on care for leprosy and other diseases which would be abhorrent given current medical knowledge. Animal sacrifice somewhere between archaic and cruel. Or the simple fact that so much of the later books refers to practices of priests and worshipers at a great temple that simply no longer exists. Being a literalist about this stuff is not rational.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:22 pm UTC

mosc wrote:For instance, there is a passage that talks about the blue color of a tallit (Numbers 15:37-41). It is believed to be made from a sea snail that likely went extinct at least a thousand years ago (we do have archaeological finds of old tallit dyed in this biblical color but no such species exists today). Though literalists have tried to make blue dye from a variety of snails in the region, the simple truth is that passage made perfect sense thousands of years ago but can't be followed today. The text was either not meant to be literally followed or directly contradicts the modern world we live in.
Actually, because I did my undergrad capstone project on this snail (well, a related one, that produced something like the purple toxin...), behold -

Tyrian Purple, legend has it, was discovered by Hercules himself when he was walking his dog along the coast and the dog, munching on mollusks, had foamy purple saliva. The stuff's fairly toxic if it makes its way into the circulatory system, even to mammals.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby ucim » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:12 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:The argument [krogoth] presented in that post was entirely dependent on morality being relative. My argument can apply whether morality is relative or absolute.
I'm not clear any more on just what "your argument" is. As far as I can tell, it's
(1) The torah is perfect.
(2) Sexism is bad (thus imperfect).
(3) Therefore the torah is not sexist.

But statement 1 depends on or implies morality being absolute.

jewish_scientist wrote:I do not think that the Torah is sexist, so maybe you should give examples and evidence instead of just saying that your position is, "fairly evident."
Ok, but first let's clear up what I mean by "sexist" (and its derived words). I'll compare with "racist" for illustration sometimes. I'll use the word "sex" to mean the designation of male/female, unless explicitly indicated.

1: Sexism involves making sex an important factor in decisionmaking, especially when the reasoning is gratuitous, and especially when doing so disadvantages a particular sex. Although it is not sexist to make decisions in that manner when the differences are inherent (not putting urinals in women's rooms), even there one must be careful that these differences are actually real and inherent (not teaching math to girls, not letting girls in the army) and not just preserving existing stereotypes. There's no sharp dividing line, because males and females are different. Just not so different as some would like us all to presume. You can easily switch "Sex" for "Race" in the above and get an equally valid statement.

2: Sexism involves objectifying people; thinking of them as "members of a specific sex" above thinking of them as individuals. While it can be true that "this person is a girl", sexism involves "therefore we should relate to her in this manner because she is a girl". And while sex may be an important component coloring one's personality, objectifying them in that manner makes this paramount in your relationship with that person. It's no longer "Amy" (who happens to be female) walking down the street, but "a pair of tits" (who happens to be Amy) walking down the street. Not only is it demeaning, it stunts personal growth. Again, you can switch "race" for "sex" (along with appropriate cosmetic changes) and get an equally valid statement.

3: Because the drive to engage in the act of sex is strong enough to keep the species going, it can sometimes interfere with other thoughts, activities, and underlying relationships. To be well adjusted involves being able to balance this drive; being able to engage in social intercourse without being driven to sexual intercourse. Sexism turns this upside down, making the sexual aspect primary in ones perception of a person. This can happen in both ways: either by promoting the idea that it should be primary ("Come on baby, you know you want it!"), or by promoting the fear that it would take over ("I mustn't talk to you else I go mad with desire. Prithee take thy leave at once!")

4: "Separate but equal" is also sexist, for the reasons above. When applied to race, in the US it has been found racist and struck down. It evokes the social evil of thinking of people as just {members of race/sex} rather than as whole people, and it has the practical effect of amplifying the power differences between the groups. In practice, "... but equal" is anything but.

Now, I'm not an expert in the Torah so I won't presume to argue theological roots. I do see the results however.

A: When a man and woman marry in the Jewish faith, the Ketubah is asymmetric, but not for any reasons that have to do with sex. Divorce is only permitted if the man permits it, and grants a Get. This is sexist.

B: Mandatory separation of men and women in the ordinary course of events just because they are of different sex objectifies people by making them think of their sex first, and their personality second. It preserves the idea that people cannot overcome their "animal nature" and need this heavy armor. In doing so, people are prevented from actually growing and maturing into well adjusted men and women who can relate to each other as friends without automatically having lustful thoughts. This is sexist.

B1: (I am not referring to certain ritual separations such as occur in a Jewish wedding; though technically sexist I see them as harmless pagentry)

C: Laws that may have once been suggested by biology and ignorance but are now better understood and easily mitigated, including rules about engaging in sexual intercourse during certain times of the month, are sexist.

At least to the extent that any of this derives from the Torah, the Torah is sexist.

jewish_scientist wrote:Remember, 'slave' is a translated word and therefore inherently less accurate. Servant or contracted worker is a better translation...
Okay... but my understanding is that there are many types of "slervants", with different rules applied to them. The ones you quoted apply to Jewish slaves, as I understand it. Those conquered and captured are "enslervituded" under different, less benign terms. And the terms given are not really all that benign. The slervant is still property.

However, if things are actually as depicted, then perhaps it's not so immoral as I had thought. For the Jewish slaves. But (and it's a big "but" - perhaps I should say "however") while you give a list of what is prohibited, I don't know what sorts of things (which I would consider immoral) are still permitted, and thus condoned by the Torah. While there are certainly abuses in the modern capitalistic workplace, these are not sanctioned by a book deemed "perfect". This "slervitude" is, thus has a higher bar.

mosc wrote:Not even Haredi Jews believe much of Deuteronomy.
This would seem to undermine jewish_scientist's claim that

(1) The Torah is perfect.

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Re: How can I express logical arguments?

Postby 44 stone lions » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:43 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote: Without writing several papers that are worthy of being published in a respected journal, I simple cannot explain the word [unclean]. This is what is meant when people say, "Lost in translation."


Well I thought about this and decided to have search for some journals, and guess what some have already been written :) eg Yanay & Rapoport (1997) And to be fair to you it does seem that they have a hard time trying to nail the concept down. Although whether this is due to it genuinely being a difficult concept or they are trying to skirt around the fact that it is fundamentally sexist is another thing… To be honest I haven’t had enough time to read it as thoroughly as I’d like.

So the whole concept is this thing called Niddah, which is the time in which a woman is actually bleeding, plus seven “clean days” where the woman has to regularly swab her vagina to make sure there is no blood present. These seven days must then be followed by a ritual bath ”Mikvah”, before she can be considered not to be in Niddah anymore. So this is the reason for the whole two weeks.

There’s loads of rules governing how she must do the swabbing, a guide to what to do on finding different sizes and colours of stains, etc etc etc.

Someone asked a while back if there is any time when a man is considered “unclean” and the answer is yes in fact there is, this answer is provided for us by Leviticus Chapter 15, with 17 points addressing male uncleanliness versus 14 points addressing female uncleanliness.

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9916/jewish/Chapter-15.htm

All of the female ones are related to menstruation. Three of the male one are related to discharges of semen (which I guess is fair enough, it can be pretty messy stuff) the remaining 14 for men are regarding “discharges of the flesh” which I am pretty sure is referring to skin diseases.

Now you can argue definitions and translations of the word unclean, but from my point of view, comparing a woman menstruating to a man with a skin disease is pretty sexist. With the similarities of washing things after they’ve been touched as if menstruation is some sort of infection that contaminates all.

Yanay, N & Rapoport, T. 1997. Ritual Impurity and Religious Discourse on Women and Nationality. Women’s Studies International Forum. Volume: 20. Issue: 5/6, pp. 651-663
Last edited by 44 stone lions on Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:04 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:23 am UTC

Can we step back a moment and remember that we're claiming that a woman, while she menstruates, is to be kept away from men... the exact definition of 'unclean' is actually quite irrelevant here... This whole argument smacks of 'separate but equal', and is a load of theological horse shit.

Attempting to holy text gymnastics your interpretations to fit modern, more enlightened morality or knowledge is exactly the sort of obnoxious drivel Creationists get up to.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:56 am UTC

Also there are passages on what to do if you have Gonorrhea or something with a "foul discharge" from your genitals, around the same place that mentioned that menstruation made women unclean. If the Torah was perfect, it'd tell you about antibiotics instead.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby ucim » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:19 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Also there are passages on what to do if you have Gonorrhea or something with a "foul discharge" from your genitals, around the same place that mentioned that menstruation made women unclean. If the Torah was perfect, it'd tell you about antibiotics instead.


This.

My impression of this whole thing is that it's all about rules for their own sake. And rules on top of rules to get around the rules for their own sake. And rules on top of those rules to settle the edge cases when people try to use the rules on top of rules to get around the rules for their own sake. And the green grass grows all around.

In this discussion, the defense of the Torah as non-sexist focuses on very fine points of these rules. It misses the point that sexism isn't in the fine points. It's in the broad strokes. The fine points don't erase it.

And the fine points miss very broad big points, as pointed out above.

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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby krogoth » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:04 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:What he's saying is that you're using a transparently circular argument -- that if you take, as a given, that the Torah is perfect, it kind of cuts your reliability off at the knees in a discussion of whether the Torah is perfect.

Please watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAEtX-ywBxg&safe=active
I am not using circular logic. I am saying is accepting the two axioms above are internally consistent. Your part would now be to try and find an inconsistency, which I would then try to resolve.

Can we agree they aren't Axioms if they aren't agreed upon?
"An axiom or postulate is a premise or starting point of reasoning. As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy."

Your position can still be that it's not sexist, but not that it is _accepted as perfect_ as an axiom.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby mosc » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Also there are passages on what to do if you have Gonorrhea or something with a "foul discharge" from your genitals, around the same place that mentioned that menstruation made women unclean. If the Torah was perfect, it'd tell you about antibiotics instead.

I think the Torah was sound medical advice... 2,000 years ago. Today's medical advice will also sound utterly absurd in 2,000 years. The MOST absurd thing though is the belief that there is specific value in ancient medical advice other than, you know, that you should heed medical advice as a general concept. See what I did there? Significant non-literal value, little if any literal value. The majority of people who call themselves "Jews" hold to that basic principle.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:49 pm UTC

mosc wrote:The majority of people who call themselves "Jews" hold to that basic principle.
Yes, but this is not a thread discussing the views of the majority of Jews, it is as you can see from the title, a thread discussing the views of Orthodox Jews.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby mosc » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:54 pm UTC

I think that's clear to you maybe but I am not seeing the differentiation. I actually find some of this stuff quite offensive since it's basically applying that some of these extremely archaic beliefs (whither or not there are modern nut-job followers) have much to do with the term Judaism.

I mean it's not like people post 1000 year old papal edicts as the word of god. If they did, they're nut jobs too.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:00 pm UTC

I think it's a point worth clarifying, that 'Orthodox Judaism' is not representative of most Jews, but discussing the beliefs, and indeed, the sexism, prevalent in Orthodox Judaism isn't/shouldn't be something that offends most Jews.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:50 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I think that's clear to you maybe but I am not seeing the differentiation.
...it's literally in the thread title?
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:35 am UTC

The big reminder of this, for me, has been the people who regularly pop in and announce themselves as Jews, or even Orthodox Jews, and comment that JS is off his rocker. I do not believe that his arguments are representative even of Orthodox Judaism, from what I'm seeing.
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Re: Orthodox Judaism & Sexism [Title Change]

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:42 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:The big reminder of this, for me, has been the people who regularly pop in and announce themselves as Jews, or even Orthodox Jews, and comment that JS is off his rocker. I do not believe that his arguments are representative even of Orthodox Judaism, from what I'm seeing.
Which views? I think his desire to interpret the tenets of Orthodox Judaism as modernly morally appropriate may be... not 'wrong', but demonstrative or at least similar to the justification used by just about every extreme religious group to justify extreme views.

Of course, not all Orthodox Jews are sexist slave owners. But trying to justify what's actually written in the Torah as 'well the word *slave* is simply a product of the times!' is pretty old hat.
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