Thursday, May 6, 2010

The wall of death

Hearing some atheists speak on religion makes one smile (or puff in indignation, depending on one’s character) at the naivete. For them, everything is simple. Religion does not make sense; G-d cannot possibly care what we eat or drink, could not have possibly commanded us something; end of story.

The same is true, by the way, of religious fanatics. For them too everything is simple. The world is black and white.

Time and again, however, one is reminded that not everything is so simple in this here world. Take, for instance, as Patrick Suskind puts it, the “so-called laws of falling bodies, discovered already almost four hundred years ago by an Italian scientist Galileo but still acting even today”. Seemingly, the law is simple: objects fall down. Even if one brings a vulgar example of a helium balloon that does not, on most occasions, fall down, the explanation is simple: the air is heavier than the old balloon. The air particles, as a result, fall down around the balloon, pushing the balloon itself up. (The same can be observed by watching a bubble of air or carbon dioxide rise in a glass of water. The water particles are heavier than the air; they fall around the air, pushing the bubble up.)

So, even though the above example is already an illustration that not everything is simple, and not everything is how it looks, it does not, in and of itself, defy the force of gravitation. Even though the example below does not either, it is a good illustration that things that you thought were simple and “surely not!” (or “surely yes!”, depending on the occassion) oftentimes turn out a bit more complicated.


The video is frumkeit-friendly (except the massive bittul zman). And watch until the end (or until the middle, really).



Until the very last moment, I had no idea what the fellow was doing with the car. Surely, my brain was telling me, the car was not going to do the same feat. Well, the good old cranium turned out to be wrong again.

By the way, in the poll on the right, out of 19 people, only a single person gave the correct answer.

13 comments:

The Real Shliach said...

A massive bitul zman? I wouldn't go that far.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Riding around a wall on your motorcycle doesn’t sound like bittul zman to you? These people could spend all this time doing something productive. Like learning about Noahide Laws.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh, I thought you meant watching the video was bittul zman.

However, I'd have to disagree with you there. Man was born to toil and sweat- these people are making an honest living, isn't that the purpose of their creation?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

But what of the people around them?

The Real Shliach said...

Takeh.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Also, I wonder if it’s muttar for non-Jews to endanger their lives.

The Real Shliach said...

What's the danger here?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Good point.

e said...

so what's the right answer? one or three? and why?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

The correct answer is 1, because you can't promise someone not to break promises. It's just ridiculous.

e said...

One can make a neder not to break his neder at Mt. Sinai to keep the Torah. My can't one make an analogous neder to one's wife?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

One can make a lot of things that would be true al pi Halacha but make no logical sense. For example, divorce one’s wife or free a slave. But it doesn’t mean that one can do illogical things in areas of life not governed by Halacha.

e said...

So then all answers are right! False hypotheses imply any conclusion! Since the hypothesis "Joe made to his wife two promises..." can never be true, one can without conpunction proceed to any conclusion.