Thursday, August 29, 2013

Evidence of the Divine Origin of the Torah 2.0

Evidence of the Divine Origin of the Torah
We will now take a break from our analysis and refutation of Zeligman's attacks and focus on what is the rational basis of belief in Judaism. We will resume our refutation of Zeligman at a later date.

The purpose of this essay is to provide evidence that G-d gave the Jewish people the Torah at Sinai approximately 3300 years ago. I will not attempt to provide absolute proof for this, since absolute proof is almost impossible to find for most historical occurrences. We believe historical occurrences if the evidence suggests that it is likely true. Is anyone today 100% certain that Lewis and Clark discovered much territory in the western US? Perhaps they made it up or embellished their experiences? Yet we believe in Lewis and Clark’s expedition because the evidence suggests that this is so.
Nor do we use absolute proof for most of our life’s decisions, such as choosing a mate, buying a house, or choosing a university. So too, when choosing whether to believe and/or follow a divine Torah, what is required is strong evidence that it is G-d given. If the evidence is there, it is likely true.  
In general, people who require absolute proof are either intellectually immature or trying to shut down a conversation. We cannot even be sure that we are who we perceive ourselves to be. Perhaps we are hallucinating and in reality we are someone else? But the truth is that we make life’s decisions based on what is most likely true and what seems to be factually correct.
The Nature of the Evidence Being Presented
I will attempt to provide pieces of evidence which, if taken by themselves, will not necessarily convince anyone of the divine origin of Torah. The strength of these arguments is not in each individual piece of evidence, but in the totality of the evidence being presented. That is, if you take all of the points being made altogether, you will see that they present a strong case for the divine origin of the Torah. While a skeptic can poke holes in each argument by itself, or say that there are other possibilities as to how they could have occurred, an honest observer will be impressed by the totality of the evidence.
What I will attempt to do is bring each piece of evidence and explain it concisely. I may cite an objection to the evidence from atheist/skeptic sources, and then explain why their objections are invalid.