Burning Questions, Burning Bush (S1E18a)

We open up with some extended housekeeping which will excite any Global Zionist Conspiracy theorist. We explain our long hiatus, technical problems, and adventures with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard; we digress about the crash of 2008, Icelandic bankers, and German poo; and we speculate about doing episodes on profanity, on law, and on rabbis. We also celebrate Tzvi’s new job at Proggio! Then, remarking on how we’re the anti-religious religious guys, we smoothly transition into our main topic (brought to you by Holy Madness community member Yonadav!): BURNING QUESTIONS.

… a topic which makes Meir-Simchah insecure and defensive because the fire of his burning questions has faded. Instead he has hypotheses.

Tzvi then discusses growing up in black hat Brooklyn and how teenagers who asked theological questions were considered troubled… which was true, but not for the reasons their rabbis and parents thought. Questions burn, Tzvi suggests, when they hang your sense of self in the balance; and in contrast with Meir-Simchah, when Tzvi found he was no longer burned by his questions, he felt like he’d gotten somewhere in life. (Did he? He isn’t sure.)

We then stumble over a proof that the Torah was authored by God.

Turns out Meir-Simchah’s burning questions in high school were the cutting-edge of the post-modernism against which the “Intellectual Dark Web” has mobilized (we mention metaphor-meister Eric Weinstein, Jordan Peterson, and Bari Weiss). Tzvi remarks that both Social Justice Warriors and the Intellectual Dark Web religify politics converting what could be essentially pragmatic or philosophic matters into burning questions where the self hangs in the balance. Masculinity pops up.

These strange appetizers flow into a meaty dialectic. What’s with the weird opposition of Culture vs. Technology, Philosophers vs. Technologists, Ends vs. Means, The Meaning of Life vs. cancer drugs… Not to mention, the Spirituality of Doing Science vs. AI Takeover Dystopias, and Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. Tzvi’s impersonation of Mr. Universe. Then suddenly Meir-Simchah appears to be a closet Marxist!

Tzvi reviews Neil Postman’s Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology, and quotes a section in which Postman reviews—and mocks—a New York Times article by Daniel Goleman. This leads into a discussion of how, lately, some public intellectuals try to convert moral questions into technological questions, whether the Talmud does that (it doesn’t), the Naturalistic Fallacy (cf. the Is-Ought Problem), and gay pigeons in Hume’s Guillotine (no gay pigeons were harmed in the production of this episode… cisgender pigeons however are Nazis according to Antifa).

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