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2010-08-16

Look guys, Iím really trying to keep this comic fresh and witty, but itís seriously difficult with such terrible source material. Godís blessings are apparently courtesy of a broken LPóthe same over and over and over again.

So, does God keep his promise to make an unfathomable number of Jews? Well, hereís a fun way to find out. Step 1: make a list of every single person you know (if youíre on Facebook, this is a snap). Step 2: put a check mark next to each person who is at least 50% Jewish. Step 3: Compare the number of Jews you know, to the number of non-Jews you know. Step 4: Realize that God is a big fat smelly liar.

Despite what the antisemities and anti-Zionists would have you believe, the Jewish people make up a very small percentage of the global population. There are roughly 13 million Jews in the world, thatís just slightly higher than the number of people living in Illinois. Compare that to the number of the largest ethic group in the world, the Han Chinese, who total 1.3 billion! That means, for every 1 Jew in the world, there are about 100 Han Chinese. Unless the biblical patriarchs were secretly Han, God messed up something fierce.

 

Comments

Monty writes:

 

Can I skip step 4? I already knew that.

Tmowlee writes:

 

Did god really need the whole glowing ladder to heaven to tell him that. He definitly got along fine without it the last dozen or so times. I hope Jacob is someone who appreciates theatrics.

Maju writes:

 

"Despite what the antisemities and anti-Zionists would have you believe"...

Hey. Antizionism has nothing to do with antisemitism! It is opposition to (essentially) European colonialism, apartheid and genocide in Palestine.

"... the Jewish people make up a very small percentage of the global population".

I am Antizionist and I knew that!

"Iím really trying to keep this comic fresh and witty, but itís seriously difficult with such terrible source material".

I agree. You should start skipping repetitive chapters, shuras or whatever they are called.

"That means, for every 1 Jew in the world, there are about 100 Han Chinese".

But... it's spiritual (I presume) and you are not counting all the Christians and Muslims, who are also Jewish by religion (actually I think modern Jews are not the direct descendants of ancient Jews either but essentially converts... but that is another story). And you are not counting all the more or less genuine Jews that converted to other religions or plain atheism through the ages, either by grade or force.

You need to revise this argument. ;)

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Maju: I realize that you don't have to be an antisemitie to be an anti-Zionist, but it sure helps. This is a political issue, so I'll acquiesce to keep the topic on religion.

Trying to get accurate numbers for the Jewish population is difficult because it's viewed both as a culture and a religion. For example, if my mother were a Jew and I denounced Judaism and became an atheist, the Jews would still count me among their members, even though I'm no longer a Jew by religion. Also, those fringe Jews like Madonna, who don't even remotely embody the Jewish religion, may still be added to the tally. Obviously, I can't question everyone on Earth about their views regarding the Tanakh, I have to trust other people to give me accurate numbers. The number I used comes from the 2007 estimate of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, though I'll admit that I have no idea how they came to their conclusion.

However, the crux of my argument still stands. Jews make up a very small percentage of the Earth's population, but God said their number would be like stars in the sky or dust on Earth. Therefore, God is a liar.

Maju writes:

 

No way: most antizionists are also antisemitic, while one well can say that zionists are the antisemites here because they are promoting and executing the genocide of Palestinian Arabs, who are by the way very much semitic (in fact Arab was virtually the only Semitic language alive until Hebrew was resuscitated with Israel - ok, there are a few speakers of Aramean but that's it).

"However, the crux of my argument still stands. Jews make up a very small percentage of the Earth's population, but God said their number would be like stars in the sky or dust on Earth. Therefore, God is a liar".

But what if he actually meant Muslims, Christians or Muslims and Christians and standard Jews together? I.e. all those who consider Abraham and Moses the founders of their faith and Yaveh the god they worship (by various names)? Part of my argument is that modern Jews are most likely not direct descendants of ancient Jews for the most part (well, surely ancient Jews were not descendants of Abraham, etc. - that's a mythical ancestor, different from a real one but well) but from converts of Hellenistic, Roman and Early Medieval times, when Judaism was in fact very actively proselytist (cf. Yemeni Jewish kingdom, Berber Jews, Kurdish Jewish kingdom, Khazaria, Christianity, Islam...). I'd put a link for short but HTML is disabled (probably for good reason).

Briefly, that as most (or at least many) ancient Jews converted to other sects (specially Christianism and Islam, which are Judaistic offshoots in any case) and many ancient non-Jews converted to Rabbinic Judaism, as well as to other related Yahvistic sects, we cannot know easily how many descendants Abraham and heirs had after all. And in the spiritual sense they are indeed many anyhow (though sure: Chinese and Indians are also many).

Anyhow, I'm just poking (rationally and truthfully) at your argument. I couldn't care less and I agree that, if Yaveh exists not as concept but as real being (extremely unlikely, IMO), he's a liar and an authoritarian freak... and a parrot too. :)

Thanks for a great comic. Keep it up.

Maju writes:

 

^ Erratum: "most antizionists are also antisemitic" should read "most antizionists are also anti-antisemitic", i.e. anti-racist. That's what antizionism is about: about ending apartheid and racist colonialism.

Maju writes:

 

In fact I know a lot of Jews who are antizionists. Maybe not so many in the past but they are opening their eyes. (And I know of many fascists who are pro-Zionist, not just now when Israel has become a cause celebre for European fascists because of rampant islamophobia but even at the very creation of Israel).

(Sorry for multiple posting)

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Maju: I'm not going address the anti-Zionist argument since I'm obviously out of my league. I'll read more about the movement and make changes if I find them to be necessary. However, I will continue to talk about God's promise.

Since I don't believe in gods, I can't really argue what I think Yahweh "meant" to say with the Tanakh, but I can argue what I think the male Hebrew authors meant to say in his stead.

Using that as a base, I highly doubt the writers meant to be inclusive to Jewish offshoots. The Tanakh is very egotistic and self-centered towards the followers of Yahweh. Likewise, since those people would force their beliefs on their children (a tradition which, sadly, is followed with most religions), I have to assume that they were talking about their religion/culture, and not about their genetic lineage. The only religion/culture today who even attempts to embody the Tanakh, and -only- the Tanakh, is Judaism.

Muslims and Christians have both adopted new gods with new scriptures that contradict the Tanakh. Their roots may have involved the Abraham legend, but neither even attempts to live according to the Tanakh anymore. I can't imagine the God of the Tanakh counting them amongst his members.

That said, I still believe the quantity of Jews is a testament to the unfulfilled promise of Yahweh in Genesis.

And I do appreciate having holes poked in my arguments! That's how I learn. ;-)

Izzy writes:

 

Too bad about the source material, but this one made me laugh aloud.

Chris writes:

 

BUT, I bet if that one jew took on 100 chinese.... he'd kick their asses

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Chris: I don't know... Jackie Chan!

Maju writes:

 

"The only religion/culture today who even attempts to embody the Tanakh, and -only- the Tanakh, is Judaism.
Muslims and Christians have both adopted new gods with new scriptures that contradict the Tanakh".

I understand that Rabbinic Judaism is in fact based not just on the Tanakh (OT) but specially on a large array of Rabbinic literature known as the Talmud(s).

I also understand that both Christians and Muslims worship Yaveh, even if they may use other names such as 'God' or 'Allah'. In particular, Christianism is a clear case of sect within classical Judaism (which was not monolithic, btw), with a Jewish prophet-messiah (also 'God' in trinitarian variants but not in monophysitic ones, which are the tradional churches of West Asia and North Africa) and Jewish apostles. That it "fished" among gentiles should not surprise anyone because that was already a common practice in Hellenistic era Judaism (all sects) and persisted until Christianity and Islam became as dominant as to make it impossible for Rabbinic Judaism to continue with proselytism.

I have also read a Jewish convert to Islam who claims that Islam is more truthful and more or a direct descendant to ancient Judaism that the Rabbinic form. So it's not so simple.

"And I do appreciate having holes poked in my arguments! That's how I learn. ;-)"

Thanks for your benevolence. :)

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Maju: Indeed, the Jews have written volumes around the Tanakh, but the Talmud is a commentary to the Tanakh, not a replacement.

Christianity, especially Western Christianity, is very different from early-Judaism. The God of the New Testament is nothing at all like the god of the Old, and most modern Christians live with the belief that the bulk of the Old Testament was nullified by Jesus' sacrifice. And while early Judaism was henotheistic, that does not mean they would approve of Trinity. Eastern Christianity is also still a long way away from the laws of the Tanakh.

As for Islam, I confess I still have little knowledge on how close they are to early Judaism. I'll admit that Muslims may be more Jewish than Jews, but conversion anecdotes won't persuade me. I'd have to see the results of a point-by-point comparison of modern Jews and Muslims to the early Hebrew religions.

By the way Maju, what is your background? You're surprisingly well-versed on the history of the Abrahamic religions.

Maju writes:

 

"By the way Maju, what is your background? You're surprisingly well-versed on the history of the Abrahamic religions".

Nothing special: Catholic raising, atheist at 14, now more like Pantheist (specially because that way I can call holy-text-fanatics "idolatrists" and have interesting conversations "in their language" that they are not ready to defend from). That and interest in history, anthropology, current affairs... Well read, I guess. Judaism is very important in the history of Western Eurasia but specially because Christianism and Islam are such powerful historical forces, so we cannot ignore all this network of Judaic religions - because for many centuries there has been nothing else, strongly shaping the Western culture.

Whatever you think about the (surely somewhat real) OT/NT dichotomy, there's probably more divergence when you use the Greco-Romanized interpretation of the NT than between the NT itself, which is essentially Judaistic (though of a dissident sect if you wish). When Jesus, who seems to be the last person known of the line of David, is received as King of the Jews in Jerusalem, he is received by Jews not Gentiles; when he doubts about healing the Syrian, who is compared to a dog, he is showing off typical Jewish xenophobia, not universalism, when the apostles and Paul preach they essentially preach to Jews, even if they seem to go more and more open-minded about admitting gentiles and such, specially about admitting them in equal footing with Jews.

Issues such as circumcision, eating pork, the status of Mary or the divinity of Jesus, veneration of saints (to patch European polytheism) etc. are not really NT matters but doctrines established, often at the expense of schisms, in councils since the 4th century on, when Christianism was becoming the dominant force in the Roman Empire. Also is probable that to really understand what the NT means you have to understand the esoteric (secretive) language cues of Essenians and such.

Not all ancient Judaism was Malachite. Still I'm not that well versed, I do get lost in the many sects, often obscure, that seem to have existed in that period. Also Judaism itself must have sucked from other religions such as Sumerian (very clear in the Genesis), some Egyptian sects (probably Yaveh's creation is a modified version of Ptah's creation) and later Zoroastrianism (monotheism: transition from elohim to El) - among others. So it's very complicated: Judaism did not exist in a bubble, even if it's arguably particularly freaky (I often think of them as the Mormons of the Bronze Age or something like that).

Bluecheetos writes:

 

I don't think it matters who is considered Jewish or not. Every person on the planet is not equal to the amount of dust.

KimC writes:

 

"God is a parrot"???? I read a book that concludes that God is a sponge. Sponges are immortal.


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