Religious Patriarchy (or not)

Yes, that’s exactly what I meant.
All the Abrahamic religions have fundamentalists of that ilk, possibly because the root Semitic religion was itself inherently patriarchal (as distinct from other religions in the region who worshipped a mother Goddess, even if a rather two-faced one like Cybele or Astarte.)


That may be the fashionable opinion but rabbinical scholars analysis of the source text of Genesis 2 concluded that God created a being of both genders unified and later separated the two by their nature.

Traditional Torah Judaism, the root Semitic religion, doesn’t see either gender as superior.

That is begging the question because, AFAIK, Torah is not the root Semitic religion.


Oh do tell! I’m looking forward to this :joy:


Even if one considers the folks writing BoingBoing headlines to be prone to “hyperbole and misframing,” a fault they don’t have is waltzing into houses of worship, claiming membership, and then loudly crabbing about how much they hate the clergy and the parishioners and the congregation’s political attitudes every time they open their mouths. Really, what kind of jerk would join a community and do that…?

[quote=“Enkita, post:50, topic:102120, full:true”]
All the Abrahamic religions have fundamentalists of that ilk[/quote]

Hey, they provide a valuable service by picking and choosing and “re-interpreting” passages from their holy books (and the supplements … always the supplements) as is expedient and convenient to those who have power in the religion. One might think that adding or subtracting things to myths and legends and fairy tales is easy, but it takes talent and imagination to do it convincingly and with style.

[the preceding, by the way, is an example of something I wouldn’t say out loud if I found myself a guest in someone’s Evangelical fundie church today]


I’m really not sure why. From experience you will simply cite Orthodox Jewish sources as if they were totally reliable, while ignoring anything else. Arguing with you is a waste of time because our fundamental assumptions are different. There is nothing to argue about because you’re going to quote an early Iron Age sourcebook and commentaries by people who believe that sourcebook, whereas I regard it as merely an interesting document in the history of religion and theology.


redacted some stuff

Since this thread got split, I’m done. Enjoy.

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And language. After all, Abraham didn’t just start speaking Aramaic the moment he switched from idols to El.

Easier for fundies to Bravely Run Away when faced with such discussions, though.


@Israel_B-- if you’re not going to quote the entire statement at least put ellipsis so the reader can know something is being left out. in the case the left out parts are the context that puts the lie to your “ad hominem” designation. it also puts the lie to your categorical assertion that they “got nothin.”


I trust that people can either read a thread or click the little arrow to see what someone is responding to. Perhaps I’m wrong.

I challenged a statement, the other person didn’t come back with anything but saying something about me rather than backing up their claim. So be it.

If people want to flag me for that, again so be it. I’m well aware that I hold unpopular opinions.

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i haven’t flagged you. i chided you for misusing the term “ad hominem” because the riposte enkita made wasn’t about you, it was about the nature of your arguments which is a perfectly valid argument to make in an intellectual discussion. unless you completely identify with your own arguments to the point at which those are inseparable it would have been more appropriate to either bolster your implied claim that judaism represents the earliest of the semitic religions or provide evidence establishing that the earlier root religions were not patriarchal. far from attacking you as an individual, enkita made the case that you have established a pattern of argument with well known flaws to which you, rather reflexively, lashed out by categorizing the response as having no content and misidentified it as “ad hominem.”

i’m not sure which logical fallacy your response represents but it certainly doesn’t carry your argument forward. in effect you have conceded the strength of enkita’s argument by failing to respond to it. in a more formalized debating situation than a discussion in an online forum you would have lost the debate at that point. here you have the opportunity to come back and write something responsive but you seem more interested in continuing to thrash about than in doing something useful.

again, i haven’t flagged you. i didn’t reply to you because i consider your views expressed in this thread as unpopular, i’m not even sure if popularity is even applicable to the patriarchal/non-patriarchal status of early semitic religions. i replied to you because you were attempting to get away with misidentifying an argument as an “ad hominem” and misquoting your interlocutor’s statement by divorcing the front of enkita’s sentence from the context of the main idea of the rest of the sentence. having participated in competitive debate and having studied logic and the art of rational discourse i find your course of argument deplorable bordering on offensive.


There are probably a lot of semantic hairs that can be split here, between “Semitic” often being used to describe language groups, ethnic groups, and an umbrella term to describe things pertaining to Judaism. I am certainly not claiming to have any special insight in any of these areas. I do find the histories of cultures and beliefs of the near east to be very interesting. But I am aware that few proponents of contemporary Abrahamic monotheism claim lineage from or express interest in the ancient Canaanite polytheistic traditions.

Since they went in a patriarchal direction over time, I think it’s fair to suppose that the culture embodied those tendencies to a degree. But since there have been pantheon of gods as well as goddesses, I am not confident in supposing that it was inherently patriarchal. They did have a relatively recent mother goddess in Asherah:

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They didn’t “conclude” anything, you know. I like that interpretation, but I’m fairly sure it’s a minority position. Does Rabbinic Judaism ever end the conversation?

Speaking of which, I didn’t even realize this was a debate until it was far too late. I should have known; this is the internet.

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You make some good points there. I never trained in debate besides one required class in high school and wouldnt ever put myself forward as a public advocate. Fortunately for me anyway, this isnt that kind of situation, its just the BB BBS. Nonetheless, please accept my apology for offending your own area of knowledge. I’ve certainly felt similar on certain topics where I am well trained.

OTOH I am familiar with selective quotation and misquotation and quoting in a way that seeks to reframe the other person’s statement and in fact after looking back, I didnt do any of those things.

However I’m not persuaded that telling another person that discussing with them is a waste of time, even on a specific subject, is not in fact essentially personal. To my understanding, that is frowned upon within the BB BBS context.

Minority position amongst the Orthodox? Hardly. Allow me to qualify that the Zohar referenced there may not be 100% an accepted source, the other sources are 100% accepted.

In any case OU is hardly in the habit of presenting oddball positions and Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky is considered a respected writer.

I can only give you the most Jewish answer there is: it depends…


Jews love to argue. We can run into a friend we havent seen for years and pick up an argument in place the last time we saw that friend. The Talmud can be seen as 63 books of back and forth conversation. Even the “losing” arguments are preserved and studied generation after generation.

There is of course the authoritative concluding part of the conversation but the conversation about the conversation may or may not end. Or it might just pause for a few hundred years and get picked up again. Some things are just left undecided until the arrival of the Messiah who will know the answer.


which is one of the things i was chiding you about because, despite your denial–

it is what you did do by leaving off the rest of the sentence which puts the initial declaration in context. which leads me to–[quote=“Israel_B, post:14, topic:102140”]
However I’m not persuaded that telling another person that discussing with them is a waste of time, even on a specific subject, is not in fact essentially personal.

if i tell you that further discussion is pointless because you have a well-established history of arguing a particular point a particular way which makes further discussion futile then that statement represents a diverging pathway, one fork leads to agreement that further discussion is futile the other fork leads to you refuting the categorical by offering a way out of the obstacle and onward to further discussion. admittedly the latter path requires you to put in abeyance one or more premises with which you have grounded previous discussions which led to the obstacle but you have to accept responsibility for the logic and rhetoric you have, for your part, maintained which leads there.

if i tell you that further discussion is pointless because of your previous history of discussing the topic i am recognizing the objective reality of the state of the discussion . that is not the same as telling you i refuse to talk to you because of your ethnicity, your education level, your nationality, your clothes, your gender, your sexual orientation, your clothes, your marital status, or your your religious beliefs. i am pointing to nothing personal to you except your prior history of discussions around this topic. this is not a personal attack based on your personal characteristics. you have three choices-- accept the point and agree that further discussion is futile, find some way to demonstrate that further discussion may be productive, or cry foul and collaterally cast doubt on your arguments.

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There’s another choice. Dont engage further.

What I like about this one is it reduces the possibility of hurting the other person’s feelings.

Despite all the logic and fine rhetoric, we’ve all got feelings.

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It isn’t a semantic hair; using “Semitic” to mean “Jewish” is one of those errors - perhaps even a category error - that really annoys me. Semitic > Abrahamic > Jewish > Orthodoxy.

The comments on my remarks, in fact, seem to derive from things I didn’t write but people seem to have assumed that I wrote. Outside universities - and I include some of those in Israel itself - things are very contentious because people are invested in a particular view of the world. But really near Eastern scholarship has been quite well established since the end of the 19th century - again, a remark that is contentious if you are a religious fundamentalist but not otherwise.
The origins of the Abrahamic religions and the actual dates and sources of the texts seem to be about as uncontroversial inside academia as is AGW - and as hotly opposed outside.

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