Grama really only helps you for rabbinically prohibited actions. (i.e. man made law, man made loophole). Not law that is considered biblical in nature.
Most people who wonder about all the "loopholes" don't realize that its talking about what jews considered rabbinic law.
to make an analogy, congress can't legislate a loophole around the constitution, they can legislate loopholes around their own laws.
At least start that timer the day before.
Maybe if your oven just turned itself on randomly and you quickly ran to put the pot in... It would probably be served a lot better by a digital assistant that you could tell to do things, as long as that's not considered a "slave".
This just feels like a "trick". As it stands today you turn on one device instead of another. And you certainly do the "work" part of the "you shall not do any work".
I mean breaking this commandment in particular is punishable by death. So I guess there isn't much choice if the religion is to have any followers.
But I'm waiting for the first person that, after consulting with expert clergy, comes at the conclusion that all they did was press the trigger. The gun and projectile did the rest, with great assistance from the target who decided to be in the line of sight :).
Well what do you think Oracle is ;) ?
Frankly, I don't buy it. If we have a problem with detaching from technology, then, stopping all usage of it only one day a week is maybe 90% as unhealthy.
It would be like saying you have a healthy relationship with smoking because you don't smoke at all for one day a week, but after that you can chain smoke 24/6.
Now, I definitely don't think that social media/technology/<modern_thing> is nearly as bad as smoking. But if we accept the premise that maybe we're using it too much, then I think it's delusional to believe that stopping it for just one day a week is going to do anything substantial.
> It would be like saying you have a healthy relationship with smoking because you don't smoke at all for one day a week, but after that you can chain smoke 24/6.
I don't buy this at all (sidenote: interesting that you decided to use a throwaway for this comment?) - taking a vacation from distractions and a smartphone even for a week helps me for months afterwards because it allows me to realize that the pull isn't important - daily use builds up the idea, being able to not use it without consequences stops the FOMO.
However if there's a magic rope round the town you can carry things outside?
And your point about taking breaks is valid.
But I agree with the parent's about not using a break as a magic elixir. You need to detach once in a while AND put reasonable regular limitations.
It's possible that both being connected and disconnected are happy, functional states for humans, and finding the right balance is the topic under discussion.
I think you're letting the perfect become the enemy of the good.
Also, very intentionally keeping a day per week free of technology may help cultivate the skills necessary to keep it under control for the other six days. It would certainly keep it from becoming an all-consuming habit by providing regular opportunities to re-evaluate.
I'm reminded of a story a landlord told me: he didn't typically offer his tenants yearly leases. Instead he'd provide a six-month lease that would allow them to continue month-to-month without any extra fees. Why did he do this? Because the ritual of regularly renewing a lease prompted his tenants to reflect on if they wanted to continue to live in his building at all, and many would leave for places that suited them better. Removing that ritual encouraged his tenants to coast and stagnate, so he had to do much less work less to keep is building full and the rent checks flowing.
So, even if your point -- that disconnecting one day a week is still 90% as bad as disconnecting all the time -- were to be true, it's also moot because that's not an option.
If your point is conditioned upon technology, rather than work, I would ask you to determine how to disentangle the two. It's not like working into the weekend is a new phenomenon (since, as we know, the concept of a weekend was only recently won).
I'm Jewish too, and was never religious.
The parent is not selling anything, simply describing a recurring experience in a lovely way. It's not an argument or a pitch. To each his or her own.
I thought that if one did not observe certain tenants of Judaism that they were longer Jewish?
If you're "Christianed" or "Baptised" CofE and Catholics will both mostly consider you Christian even if you're an atheist by confession.
The issue is that religious actions become cultural actions. And that religious leaders claim people as their own.
People who live in Thisistan are Chrewslims; or people whose parents were Chrewslims are also that. Silly.
It is weird how culture and religion become decoupled and religious actions become cultural markers.
I am not qualified to offer an opinion on Judaism specifically, but people have been "converting" to different ethnicities for all of recorded history.
I personally have a Scottish last name; but that branch of my family is catholic, which is a little unusual, but not impossible. Tracing back the paperwork, my "Scottish' ancestor arrived in America on a boat that came from Ireland during the famous famine in the mid 1800s. Now... maybe it was a Scottish person who just happened to be living in Ireland... but it seems a lot more likely to me that it was an irish dude who looked around, saw the difference in how people were treated, and gave his landlord's name to the immigration agent. I'm imagining the guy running around new york hamming up a brogue James Doohan style. But, I mean, today? I get to claim I'm as Scottish-American as anyone else, and there's not a lot you can say otherwise.
But there are countless stories like that where a person integrates themselves into another ethnicity to the point where they are accepted and they (or their children) become indistinguishable from other members of that ethnicity.
This is one of those major problems of racialism; most people define ethnicity by "looks like X" which often doesn't really line up with, well, anything.
Anyway, lying and converting seem different. Assuming an identity as a Jew and being a Jew are surely different.
Functionally, there is what ethnicity you say you are, and what ethnicity other people see you as.
I don't have a complete picture of my genealogy, and even if I did, even if I could say I was descended from some ur-scott and you could say the same of all of my other ancestors, you're still just pushing the problem back in time. People migrate. People have been migrating for as long as people have been people; You could, with enough work, figure out that some of my ancestors were in country X at time Y... but I don't think that is going to line up with your common definition of ethnicity.
If I think I'm ethnicity X and if most people perceive me as ethnicity X... well, then I very clearly am ethnicity X... regardless of what my great great grandparents may or may not have been.
It's more complex if I think I'm X but others perceive me as Y... but it's still all about perception, as far as I can tell.
EDIT: Downvotes? For stating a fact about Jewish ethnicity and religion? OK, I guess.
Alright man. It is, though. I am not sure how this is confusing to you. You're the first person I've ever met who has this problem.
You need food, but you can overeat.
You need exercise, but you can do too much.
It's not an irrational argument to indicate we need a day off, moreover, it's not irrational to suggest we do it at the same time.
FYI - have a look at your activity logs. Whatever business you're in, I'll bet a lot that it's down on Sunday. All our charts show a huge drop them. So we already are a little bit conditioned for this behaviour. It's worth considering nudging in a given direction.
Exercise is good, if we get our rest in between rather than do it to excess in which case we burn out and grow weaker.
Eating is good, if it supplies us nutrients and we don't overdo it in which case we become obese and suffer health problems.
Sleep is good, if we use it to function in the world well rested and don't spend all our time in bed or it can develop into slothfulness and depression.
Leisure can be good, if we don't do it all the time otherwise we likely become parasites on others doing all the work.
Stress can be good, if its in healthy amounts that stimulate rather than destroy us.
Even using smoking as in your example. Lets accept it as bad.
Lets pretend we have a friend and he's managed to cut back to smoking less than he use to.
We have two attitudes we can take:
- Berrate him as a failure because he hasn't managed to quit (saracasm: I'm sure that will be very productive and helpful)
- Congratulate him on making an improvement and support him in his decision and effort.
No, a recovery period can make a bigger difference. By the same token the recent advice on alcohol is to avoid it at least 2 days out of 7.
"When it comes to policy recommendations, it is notable that the authors recommend public health measures to reduce total consumption at a population level, such as “excise taxes on alcohol, controlling the physical availability of alcohol and the hours of sale, and controlling alcohol advertising”. There is no mention of information campaigns or targeting heavy drinkers, which may be less effective ways of reducing average consumption."
The risks they found are actually very small.
"Let’s consider one drink a day (10g, 1.25 UK units) compared to none, for which the authors estimated an extra 4 (918–914) in 100,000 people would experience a (serious) alcohol-related condition.
That means, to experience one extra problem, 25,000 people need to drink 10g alcohol a day for a year, that’s 3,650g a year each.
To put this in perspective, a standard 70cl bottle of gin contains 224 g of alcohol, so 3,650g a year is equivalent to around 16 bottles of gin per person. That’s a total of 400,000 bottles of gin among 25,000 people, being associated with one extra health problem. Which indicates a rather low level of harm in these occasional drinkers."
Disclaimer: Not a smoker, dated smokers.
I assume it's not the case that your entire day is consumed by worship/ceremony/Judaism? Do you spend any time pursuing hobbies? Are there gray areas, where it is open to interpretation whether or not an activity constitutes work?
Perhaps you unplug completely and do no computing or telecommunication for the entire sabbath, but is that universal?
Part of the time is spent with worship (usually about ~45 mins Friday evening, ~2 hours Saturday morning, and ~15 minutes Saturday evening). It is traditional to have a large meal with family/friends for dinner Friday night and Saturday lunch, and often these meals can go on for 3-4 hours (as a side note, meals without phones with everyone fully engaged in the conversation are great, my wife and I instituted a no phones at meals initiative outside of Sabbath as well).
As for Saturday afternoon, I personally get a lot of reading done and when it's nice I'll go for walks with family/friends or hang out with friends indoors. Lots of my friends get together for board game groups as well. Because those who observe Sabbath don't drive, everyone in the community lives within walking distance of the synagogue and therefore walking distance of each other as well.
This was especially great in middle/high school -- most of my closest friends are still my friends from my neighborhood growing up. We spent so many hours on Sabbath together talking and hanging out without the distractions of phones or movies or video games and grew so close over that time spent together.
Edit to clarify the electricity comment: you can leave stuff such as lights on or use a timer set beforehand, so you're not stuck in the literal dark for a lot of the time :p
If you, as an owner, decide that you want to open 7 days a week, and you have staff that are happy to do 6 days and want/desire the 7th day off, what do you do in relation to those staff? Sack them? Employ others for that 7th day who are willing to work on that day and keep the others on for the other 6 days? Pay penalty rates for the privilege of having your business open 7 days a week?
I have come across many owners that would have no problems just straight up sacking people who are not interested in killing themselves for the business owner. They expect you to work under all and every condition that the business owner puts in place - seeing that since they have given someone a job then that employee is owned by the owner. I have even worked for some such people.
As the business owner, are you willing to work 7 days a week in your own business at the expense of your family life, health, relaxation, etc? These questions need to be carefully considered in a very personal way for there are much broader consequences than you may think.
In fact perhaps having a mandatory closed holiday may mean that many people wouldn't have the jobs they have now.
In terms of a mandatory closed day, how does the historical information align with the current information in relation to unemployment or under-employment?
Irrespective of any laws that are in place, there are still many owners who will threaten sackings if people do not obey the owner's whim and decisions as to the hours the employee is to work. If that means that the employees are expected to be there 7 days a week then there are many owners who will sack their staff for only wanting to work 5 or 6 days a week. There are many employees who do not feel that they have any control over this and simply comply because they feel powerless and locked in. But that is a side issue here.
I'm not sure it's so cut and dry to assume that the individualist "free" "market" approach is always optimal. What are we optimizing for? If we're optimizing for freedom, freedom for who to do what? Freedom from what?
Government should be limited in what it can control. Let the people and social norms make the decisions. The problems with government are worse than those of the free market in the long run, because they create friction and power imbalance between what people want and what another entity tells them is OK.
If your core value is the Government is too strong a force to be allowed to do much anything, then this makes sense. (Personally, it makes some sense to me -- limit the power of the gov't then the worst thing a Trump administration can do is deadlock. Imagine if he had more power?)
You get used to it. It's not like French people can't buy stuff the other 6 days of the week.
> It should be the choice of the business owner and the consumer what they’d like to do.
Not that simple as there are several externalities. Suppose you're a business owner and your competitor opens on Sunday. You suddenly have no other choice than opening on Sunday as well.
I appreciate the convenience of shops being open all the time when I travel to the US or Asia. But I believe it makes a lot of people miserable and it's not a necessity.
It's basically just big shops that close. Anachronistic practice that makes no sense.
Go to Jerusalem on a Saturday and you'll see what "not working" means. Still plenty of people working though.
This was how it was in the UK when I was growing up in the 70s and early 80s. Not much traffic on the roads and a noticeably slower pace of life.
I don't want to go back to that, because with hindsight there were downsides to it, but as an adult I miss that simplicity for myself and my children.
When my daughter was younger, and got her own phone we made a point of telling her (and observing) that there should never be a phone out while you are eating with people. And that it was rude to ignore people and be on your phone when in company.
She's now in her early 20s, and is hardly glued to her phone at all. She'll arrive a a persons house (or back to our house) and just dump it and her keys etc. on a table and ignore it unless it sounds a notification. It's so refreshing to see that when you know that most 20-somethings are welded to their phones 24/7.
Everything you teach kids shapes their view of the world going forward. Make Sunday a quiet day again. Create quality family time. Your kids may protest now, but they'll thank you when you are older.
NB. Also from UK, and I too miss the quiet Sundays we used to have.
We kind of do. Saturday has emerged as the "getting things done around the house" day, and for individual stuff. Then we eat together in the evening (something that isn't always possible Monday to Friday) and play board games or watch a film together. We try to make Sunday a day for family, go out somewhere or do things together at home. Doesn't always work out that way - children's homework, the weather, internet distractions, etc. But I agree that it is important to try.
It seems like mindfulness of what you are doing is more important than the means by which you do it.
In terms of hobbies, this is interesting a point of debate with many Adventists. Some are more 'conservative' where they won't do anything close to resembling work or hobbies (similar to some Orthodox Jews), and you have the other spectrum of people who more liberal in a sense where they will still do their hobbies (like going to movies, playing sports etc).
I think it is a personal thing to each person, but the overarching themes is really taking a day out of the week to disconnect from the trials of the world and spend a day for a mental reset however you choose to accomplish this.
My friends had a whole spectrum of things that were acceptable to do on Sabbath, but the common thread was connection. I miss that intensely, living in the Bay Area.
> Are there gray areas, where it is open to interpretation whether or not an activity constitutes work?
Yes, but humorously (IMO) there are those who go to great lengths to create devices or methods that dodge the rules.
This way you could set the oven friday morning, and then use it all day long on the Sabbath, without having done anything that fits their definition of work. Then just turn it off once the Sabbath is over.
How do Jews justify wasting so much energy to get around a daft religious rule? If they don't want to observe it, don't observe it, don't just pretend.
I find it a fascinating view of ethics. Christians usual try to reason about why a law was made, and see their thoughts and intents as the primary means of wrongdoing, but while Jews appear to be much more beholden to the letter of the law. Basically Christians believe that sin comes from within and Jews believe sin comes from the outside world through their actions. As I understand it.
There are many things you can do on Shabbat. You can go on a walk, have a family meal, play board games (I only play board games on Shabbat), take a nap, read a book, etc. There are some gray areas, such as if you can carry something outside. Most people figured out a way to do it. No computing and telecommunication is universal with exception for life critical activities like with doctors and fire fighters.
I'm not certain how we fix this but we need to make it okay to step away from work, for vacations... and to let the mind relax and recharge over weekends. We need to disallow the ability to hire yourself out for 24 hour on call - nobody actually needs to do that, your company could just hire more people and spread that responsibility around. And, lastly, we need to kill overtime dead, it's stupid, it hurts productivity, it hurts your body, it's never efficient... If your workday lasts for more than ten hours realize that a nice meal, some downtime and a good night's sleep will make you more efficient and make sure your boss knows that as well.
But, to do this, we don't need to revive a religious holiday, we need to empower people to feel like they can say no and disconnect from work and let them recover their leisure time. And just to be clear, it is theoretically possible that I could get a phone call at any hour to deal with a critical issue, but I don't watch anything when I'm off the clock, I don't let worrying enter my mind.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianic_Judaism for people who are interested in a summary.
The gig economy has dangers in it. There's a liberating aspect in that people "can choose their own hours," but then that means that they have to work more to keep up with someone else who is working a few extra hours to get ahead in their own lives. It seems like the world of labor has a tragedy of the commons aspect to it, where it's in everyone's immediate individual interest to work just a little bit longer, but the end result is that everyone has to work more for the same reward. A bit like the two-income trap: some benefits, some liberation, but there's also a cost.
I do wish, though, that the article fully grappled with the issue of the 'shabbos goy.' It praises the virtues of having everyone able to participate in a time of separation from work, but then there's this practice where the conveniences of life are still indulged in by having an outsider labor for you.
I'd say the traditional Christian concept of the sabbath is looser and doesn't really require this kind of thing.
In effect I'd say that it is an attitude more concerned with the spirit and less with the letter of the law (so, for instance, I don't think turning on the light is an issue, and putting money on the table for someone to take isn't actually adhering to the prohibition on commerce).
In effect I'd say that it is an attitude more
concerned with the spirit and less with the
letter of the law (so, for instance, I don't
think turning on the light is an issue, and
putting money on the table for someone to
take isn't actually adhering to the
prohibition on commerce).
For the kids, there are non-electrical devices made to look like hand-held video games.
"Many poskim ground their prohibition of operating electrical appliances in this melakha."
There was one of those at a hotel I stayed at by the Dead Sea, but in general their elevator situation was different than the ones I've seen in the US and Europe: I encountered multiple elevators in Israel where you selected a floor at a central panel outside the elevator, then the elevator itself would arrive and take you to the floor, rather than having the buttons on the inside. I wasn't able to figure out (nor can I find online) whether that design was related to not doing something on the sabbath.
Never in Israel though.
It's apparently more efficient.
While that is a very common feeling, Christianity at it's core, is supposed to be an admission of inadequacy. "As a human, there is nothing I can ever do that will be good enough."
The corollary to this is that you want to do good because of your love for Jesus.
I can understand and agree with the moral and humanist teachings of Christianity, but the premise of "salvation through faith" always seemed fishy to me, pun only slightly intended.
No matter how much good a person does, or how much they try to lead a moral life, they're destined for an eternity of suffering because of humanity's innately sinful nature, because nothing imperfect can stand before God.
However, if they "believe in Jesus", then no matter how much they sin afterwards, they're good for Heaven, scot free?
If a secular system of law and order operated under these conditions it would be considered barbaric and corrupt.
I think many people on HN would agree that the point of prison is not revenge, but a mixture of punishment and rehabilitation that will hopefully deter the crimes of others and prevent future crimes by the convicted. We can't see into people's hearts and minds, so we must have standardized penalties. If we could really see into people's hearts and minds, and were sure we couldn't be deceived, we wouldn't let them out of prison until they were no longer the wicked person who would commit crimes, and we wouldn't keep them in prison once they had really changed.
In that case, the person who committed the crime is gone, and a law abiding, contributing citizen is there instead. We can't change the past, we can only change the future. This person is better in society than in prison. I think if we had the ability to successfully enact this system we would do it and it would be better than what we have now.
So the idea is God can really see into people's hearts, and doesn't want to just punish evil. He wants to redeem it, make what was evil good instead. So the story of Jesus is the story of how God made it possible for evil people to actually become really good, and once they have done so they can be in God's presence. And while they are still living on Earth, they will do good not because they are trying hard to follow the rules, but because they just want to.
With regards your second last paragraph, I'd recommend reading Romans, particularly chapter 8. You are right that those who believe in Jesus get off "scot free" but this is only because atonement is substitutionary. A Christian's sin is imputed to Jesus while Jesus' righteousness is imputed to him/her.
"believe in Jesus"
There must also be an entrusting of one's self to him, a yoking, whereby you give up "rule" over yourself and submit to his rule instead. To believe in Jesus but refuse to submit to him is rebellion. That's the state of demons and why demons are not saved even though they believe.
It is, unfortunately, the same state that many humans are in.
In addition to a trusting belief an attitude and acts of repentance must be present. Repentance is turning away from sin to God. This is a continual war for the genuinely saved because their sin nature is still present. They desire to serve God faithfully, but their nature has not yet been fully redeemed, so there is a constant battle going on to live to the Spirit and not the sinful nature (aka the flesh, see Galatians 5:16ff).
This is why most Christians really are hypocrites, with some being worse than others. They know the right way to live but do not do so perfectly themselves. Even the apostle Paul struggled with this:
"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me" (Romans 7:15-20).
However, if they "believe in Jesus", then no matter
how much they sin afterwards, they're good for Heaven,
Also, as another commenter noted, it's not "scot free." Jesus suffered the punishment for all those who would come to believe. That is, God put their sin on Jesus and is now satisfied with the payment Jesus made. This idea is known as propitiatory atonement if you want to read more about the logic/justification behind it.
The only way to do things good enough is to, for lack of a better term, seek after Jesus. And then he works in your life, and that's the only way to "do the will of the Father". There are specific verses for all that, but to keep it short (and encouraging), just look up a few verses to Matthew 7:7-8  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find"
One of my favorite things about Christianity is that even in this time with all of our knowledge and access to everything it is so widely misunderstood, in almost all of its principles people have almost the opposite conclusion from what was intended. It's fun to explain it, if I can assume I understood it correctly ;)
The Orthodox Jewish teachings are extra biblical and but re often confused as biblical. Not to different from how the Pope creates extra rules for Catholics.
If everyone is working more, more value is being created in total. So it's not zero-sum. You might then say "Yes, sure, but is working more hours to buy more things really better than a culture where we work less and spend more time eating dinner with our families?", which I would agree with, but is more of a cultural comment than an economic comment.
That's often false. It's very easy to create negative value, and it becomes easier the less you rest. It's also hard to measure when additional work starts creating negative value, so you can easily end up in a downward spiral of productivity as people compete for not just illusory but counterproductive gains.
That's not necessarily true, and more importantly, even if it is, most of that value is not going to the people doing the actual work.
Exactly. My sunday starts at 0300, when I relieve someone who worked the graveyard shift from saturday. I'll sit at a desk in a darkened room all day just in case a phone rings. I'll probably be on HN commenting on some article, but I have to be at that desk. Cops have to be at work too. All the nurses and care providers, airline pilots and air traffic people, all the hotel operators ... the only reason anyone can safely stay home on a sunday is because legions of other people do not. I'm fine with the concept of a day off, but we shouldn't attach religious meaning to something not available to everyone.
It may be important for you, Dan, but it's not important for me. Please, don't try to impose any more "formal societal taboos" on me. I've really had a bellyful of them. It seems like everyday there's a new one.
There is nothing stopping you from choosing a path in life that allows you plenty of time for "contemplation and separation from the bustle of the world." So go ahead and choose your own path, and let me choose mine.
But of course, if houses cost 50% less and everyone worked 50% less I could afford the same house and work half as much, leaving more time to do what I want.
Suddenly it seems like the decisions we make have an impact on other people. So how can you choose your path without impacting on my path, and vice versa?
Uh, no, I would say that I really, truly, seriously, do not care what you choose to do with the 24 hours in each of the days of your life. So please, don't try to tell me what I should or should not do with mine. I'm sick and tired of busybodies and crybabies who pine for new "societal taboos" for the rest of us to observe.
The majority of people on HN are not like that, but a sizable portion are. And I'm more than happy to incur the inevitable downvotes to call them out on it.
You also seem to imply that you're entitled to afford the kind of house you want in the area you want, and that should impose some obligation on me to modify my behavior so you won't have to work as hard or as long to get what you want out of life.
The person I originally responded actually used the phrase "formal societal taboo." This is the secular version of religious busybodies wagging their fingers at other people who aren't behaving in a manner that suits them.
It would be a lot easier if it were much, much easier to negotiate work-life balance while negotiating compensation. Unfortunately, I’ve never found this to be practical. Management has certain expectations set by company social norms. Any employee found violating those norms is punished in one way or another.
There are definitely times when it's tough. A tight deadline is coming up at work and Friday's sundown is just hours away. But I plan around those things and I find that on the whole, having a day (completely) off of work relaxes me a ton.
These days, technology is literally built to be addictive. I'm sure there are people who resist checking their phones, writing emails at 2am and reading hacker news better than I do, but I think the majority of people would benefit from an occasional day away from these things.
This is very true and a lot of companies make as much use of it as they can.  I think it can be dealt with with some diligence from ourselves though. I would find it impossible to disconnect completely during weekends, since I have many close friends in different countries, and the internet is the only way I have to keep in touch with them. So what I do is disable all mail/notifications from every app that is not the apps I use to talk to them. It's liberating. And most importantly: Disable notifications from the #random channel in the company Slack. That goes for the whole week :p
> It's why the stories and practice of them have survived so long (because the practitioners survived more frequently and/or saw the value in repeating/practicing them).
Yes. That's a hypothesis... another hypothesis that has a lot more backing in history is that the practitioners literally killed people who disagreed with them.
Religions didn't survive because of minor health benefits or great mental advantages of regular praying. They survived because they where the mafia of yesterday who administered justice without regards for morals or popular opinion because they claimed to act in the name of gods.
There are benefits to being a member of a religious group, such as participating in the group's organized social events. People in groups will often favor others from the same groups, so for example if you are in the same church as the plumber you call to fix your broken toilet he might not try to run up the costs as much as he would if you were totally unfamiliar to him.
People who do not actually believe the religion might pretend in order to get those benefits. The book had a nice illustration showing a man eating a hamburger at a church picnic and his thought balloon said "I can pretend to love Jesus for a free burger!".
Religious rituals like wearing a ridiculous spaghetti strainer or not using a phone on weekends impose a cost on membership.
For the person who actually believes the religion and follows it they believe their reward for membership will be eternal life in heaven or avoidance of eternal damnation in hell or something big like that along with the earthly membership benefits like free burgers at church social events and only getting mildly ripped off when they need a toilet fixed. The benefits still greatly outweigh the cost of the silly, stupid, or annoying rituals.
For the non-believer who believes that membership benefits will only be a few more social events to attend with occasional free burgers and the milder toilet fixing rip off it not be worth wearing the stupid hat or foregoing using their phone.
It seems like you could make your point without going out of your way to insult people. You don’t have to believe in anything, but wouldn’t it be considered “hate speech” to essentially besmirch those that believe in God? If we said something about an ethnicity’s cultural traditions, would that be acceptable on HN? Of course not. But somehow making fun of someone’s religion, provided it’s Judeo-Christian, seems to be acceptable.
Just because someone doesn't believe in the existence of a god doesn't mean they "believe in nothing".
I believe in all sorts of things. I believe in a naturalistic universe, that came about, and operates, in a naturalistic fashion. This is not the absence of belief.
Religion hasn't been killing people in order to spread, or stay spread ( except in certain mid-east countries), for hundreds of years, it would only take a short time after stopping the killing for the religion to die, and why would anyone care enough to kill someone, if there wasn't something there?
You "worship" - "attributing great value"/"worth-ship" to a spagetti monster, because you see the value in winning the argument, and you think it helps you win. However, the value is only transferred from the person you're arguing with. My value comes from God, and you maybe are arguing because you want some value, but in a competive way, not a creative way. Through God, a person can infinitely feel value, and that feels good, and that spills into their life, and they're able to treat people better around them, and everyone wins. In your scenario, you have to be like a vampire, and you only feel value based on your proximity to someone you feel is dumber than you ( based on your knowledge of their beliefs, which is a straw man at best ).
Read the new testament, at least then you can win a steelman argument, rather than one without a heart.
(and if you want to reply again with more rage, first ask yourself, "am I taking this position, because it would be a lot of work to read the New Testament, and I'm lazy, but if I'm outraged, that can be my excuse?" -- because I warn you, it is more work than you can currently imagine, all the implications that will come up, and the work of real change [ transformation hurts like death on a cross, but every butterfly does it ] )
Ask any kid who gets laughed at if he feels good about it. Some kids run out of insults and only need to laugh to torment.
Life is not absurd - "wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate." Life is such an appropriate choice that most people choose to keep living every day. It's logical, at least the kind of logic that arises out of chaos- civilization out of nature. In chaos lies death. Like the chaos of war. We spend our days organizing nature to promote a more just and productive society, to make life easier. Life is not unreasonable, it provides you much time for reason. Death is unreasonable, in that it can't be bargained with. People need a reason to truly live, a purpose, IE life and reason are very similar. So life is basically the opposite of absurd.
Again, though, the stories should be taken with salt. They thought the earth was flat, but human brains were largely the same. If situations were occurring then, and they still occur today, you can learn a bit about the inner workings of the mind, society, and such.
You might want to look at the ‘they thought the earth was flat’ thing. There is quite a lot of data to show that a lot of people didn’t think that.
I don't see us headed in that direction though. It's it's becoming more and more common for businesses which had long been closed on Sunday to cave and begin opening on Sunday (it seems like it often coincides with when the children of a business owner take over). With the share of practicing Mormons in the state less than half (and falling) there is just too much missed opportunity.
Also, my own impression is that the younger generation of practicing Mormons don't seem to follow the older generations sabbath restrictions nearly as strictly. My siblings and Mormon friends almost all seem to not keep the sabbath quite as holy as our parents did.
I do wonder though if I would have spent nearly as much time as a kid dinking around on the computer and learning what became my career if my parents had let me play with friends on Sunday.
Another tradition I value is the monthly single-day fast. There are contemplative, compassionate, and health benefits to fasting.
But traditions don't require you to know all of the benefits before you start doing them--they just give you the program and ask/cajole you to get with it. IMO, a memeplex that comes with "arbitrary traditions bundled with turns-out-to-have-good-reasons traditions" is better than arriving in life with a zero vector for direction--i.e. no tradition at all.
I think everyone, religious or not, can benefit from having one day a week to truly separate themselves from both the daily grind and from what usually occupies their headspace.
I used to believe Mormons don't have TVs at all and that felt admirable.
In practice, to me it just feels really annoying and limiting. Means I basically have to plan any larger shopping trips for Saturday, even if that doesn't work well for my schedule. I get that they want to make sure workers have enough time off, but you could mandate days off for each worker without banning Sunday for everyone.
Not to mention that it being Sunday very obviously favors Christianity over other religions that might have a different holy day. The integration of church and state here turned out to be more than expected.
As a Canadian who's spent time in Germany and France, I found it 'annoying' for about 3 months and then I got used to it. When I came back to Canada ... I found the noise and business to be crazy.
I've come to the conclusion that the 'annoyance' of limitation is better than the hustle and bustle of noise and business on Sunday and I prefer the Franco/Germanic model.
You can buy anything on Internet on Sunday, electricity and water are available on Sunday, telecommunications are available on Sunday, our cars work on Sunday. If we use all those (for those of us who don't observe religious laws), it makes sense to keep going the entire economy 24h/7, IMHO. Automation may help to have 100% uptime availability on more services, but it is definitely better when things are available on Sundays too.
Not having to plan for a day to go shopping is a cognitive burden freed from our mind. However I agree we should use automation to achieve that level of reliability, rather than make people work on Sunday.
"A common day of rest" depends on a portion of society doing their jobs on that day of rest, not to mention the ability to do the stuff they need to do the rest of the week.
I don't even think it makes sense to have a common day of rest - perhaps save a few (3-4) holidays a year. I don't see the issue with someone wanting to not miss work for the doctor and go on Sunday afternoon instead. Nor should it be odd for a family to get together on a Wednesday afternoon. Just make sure folks have the flexibility to do these things. The individual should definitely get days off, but that doesn't mean society should stop one day a week.
Pretty sure two out of three of those aren't really resting. You think hospitals stop working or trains stop running?
> it makes sense to have a common day of rest
Eh, nah. I'm mostly a social democrat, and I'd be all for better worker protections in general in the US, but I haven't heard any socialists or labor advocates pushing for "oh yeah, let's pick one day and force everyone to have it off". If nothing else, in the US this would be seen as a pretty gross abrogation of separation of church and state to make it Sunday (and every other day of the week would be even less practical).
People should absolutely have time off, but I think being more flexible is generally preferable.
"Increasingly, however, people are looking for individual time off when it is individually convenient. But personal flexibility can be a double-edged sword, the researchers found.
"Time flexibility is good for an individual, but it is bad for groups," Young said. "To make the most of modern life, we should search for temporal coordination – to work at the same times, and have time off together."
No. It's as cultural as it is religious, and there are 0 'Social Democrats' against the notion of Sundays off on religious grounds.
"People should absolutely have time off, but I think being more flexible is generally preferable."
And no, there is generally no movement for this nor will there be.
The last thing we need is everything happening 24/7/365.
Totally, utterly wrong. If you tried to mandate Sundays off anywhere in the US, the entirety of the left would oppose it. If you don't realize this, you may not know much about US politics. The left there is very concerned about any signs of state-sponsored religious favoritism, and this would very obviously qualify.
Here in Norway that is exactly what happens. Those who do not need round the clock treatment or monitoring go home for the weekend and the hospital runs with a very much reduced staff. I know this from painful first hand experience over the last three years and it works very well.
It's painful but works very well?
If you are living in a small town, you can always move to a bigger city at any time to get the benefits of longer opening hours.
> When you can't plan your week around this, you have other problems that won't be solved by abolishing Sunday laws.
Oh look, we got a logistical badass over here. Because you never ever need or want anything spur of the moment on a Sunday, right?
Look, it's not an enormous deal. But it does kind of suck. It's a decent sized decrease to convenience and a slight decrease to overall quality of life. Convenience is nice.
> If you are living in a small town, you can always move to a bigger city at any time to get the benefits of longer opening hours.
...Munich is the third largest city in the country. And I can't really just move, not a ton of Google-level jobs around. You sound like US conservatives: "don't like [insanely regressive policy]?? Why not just leave the country?!" Maybe because even if I don't like something, there's more than a single variable that I use to determine where I live?
You are thinking very egoistically. Maybe try working shifts for half a year with only getting to know the schedule 2 weeks before, before you demand that everybody should jump to serve you. Or try to raise a child that has school Mon-Fri while you have to work Sat and Sun from 1pm to 10pm.
Berlin has supermarkets open sometimes even beginning from 6am, and a lot of "Kiosks". It also has a huge demand for programmers and other IT specialists. There is little reason not to move there if being able to buy whatever you like on a Sunday is so important for you. The rent is a lot cheaper, too. If Berlin is not enough, there is also Hamburg with offices from Adobe, Microsoft, Google, etc.
It is not about individual working hours. Those are restricted by other laws.
It is about having the same hours off as (most of) your family and friends, so you can spend time with them.
I strongly believe that people's work times should be as desynchronised as possible which would not only make it easier for everybody to handle administrative stuff without having to take off-time from work, but would also help reducing congestion.
What is it about we Engineers that we want to put everything in such mechanical terms, like 'handling admin' and 'congestion'?
There are considerable advantages in having most people off on the same time, not the least of bit the inherent deeper relaxation of knowing the rest of the world is off. It's completely another experience when everyone else is down, than when 'just you' are down.
I think a better solution to 'handling administrative stuff' would be to have days for this, and for some things to maybe be open a little later/earlier.
And if congestion is a problem with people on normal hours than this has to be dealt with.
I have this terrible feeling that if we let the cultural secularists at it, we'll all be waking and sleeping at different times, and everything will be 24/7 - after all, 'hey minimal congestion if 1/4 of us are rising at 11pm and going to bed at 2pm!'. Consider the great opportunity for GDP growth!
I think it might be a lifestyle thing ... from 18-34 I too would have felt limited with everything closed Sundays, but now I prefer it. Ironically it was living in France (outside Paris) that made me a 'believer'. It changed my whole view of living.
What I see is a three hour congestion in front of my appartement in the morning and a four hour one in the evening. People easily spend 2 hours trying to move about 4 kilometres.
Then you have the admninistration. If you come as late as 15 minutes after opening time, you better have a very flexible work time or have taken a half day off because you will be waiting for at least an hour or two.
I don’t think that opening “a little” sooner or later would help. They need to either be open when people can get there or eliminate the reasons why people need to be there in the first place.
It's stressful and not relaxing.
If not, what do the Germans think of this?
Most people I know here seem to think it's annoying, but I work at Google, so we got people from all over, I don't think Germans are even a majority of the devs.
edit: apparently 61% of Germans think stores should be able to decide themselves whether to open on Sundays: http://m.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/service/einzelhandel-mehrheit...
Anecdotally, that question complicates it for quite a few people, despite probably being the fairer change.
I am a certified German and most people very much enjoy the six day week (de-facto five day week if you're in an office or unionized), though some people inexplicably want to do "sunday shopping".
Sunday having a protected status is actually part of the Grundgesetz (~constitution).
Lol. All of that existed in the torahic economy. It never ceases to amaze me at the things people will forget to idealize the past. And from a history professor no less.
But on the point of the article: I'm against all laws that force others to participate in your religion, including preventing people from working on days your religion says are sacred. It's anti-freedom and pro-religion... if you want to force your religion on others, go live in a theocracy.
"It is unknown if these radical commandments were ever followed to the letter."
The "Torahic economy" as referenced by the author in this context is clearly the _idea_ of an economy that does follow the ideals of the Torah. The way things played out in reality could more accurately be referenced as the "Hebrew economy" or something like that.
If a torahic economy is only an idea... then why use it as an example at all. We know that's not how it played out in practice.. He holds the current economy to reality, but the torahic economy only to an idea. We aren't striving for violence and murder either... they exist, just like they would exist in a torahic economy too.
I think you are reading something into the article that is not there.
It starts off with a little background wherein we learn that the author's first exposure to strict observation of the Sabbath was when his dad was hired because their family was not Jewish. I don't think it's likely he wants to force "his" religion on others considering it's not even his religion.
It also says, "It is time for us, whatever our religious beliefs, to see the Sabbatarian laws ... as the liberatory statements they were meant to be." Two interesting things about that sentence: (1) the "whatever our religious beliefs" and (2) the shift from "laws" to "statements".
One of the themes of the article was that the sabbath idea was probably incorporated into the religion because it was founded by former slaves. I think that's significant. Two different ways to view the ideas contained within a religion are (1) they originate from god and are revealed to humans and (2) they originate from man as cultural elements and get promoted to religion. The first (downward flow of ideas) is more of an insider, true believer way of looking at it, and the second (upward) is more of an outsider, religions-are-just-part-of-culture view. This article definitely gave me the impression that the author leans more toward the second, which in turn suggests they see the idea as separable from religion.
My advice: read it with the understanding that it's not for you (or me), and that it offers a perspective you might not have gotten if it targeted a more general audience.
Seneca might have been writing to his boyfriend Lucilius in his famous letters, but anyone who's read them will agree they got something out of it despite not being the target audience.
I didn't get that at all. I think the author was trying to explain that the concept of the Sabbath (ie take a day of rest) has important psychological and societal value, irrespective of its religious origins.
It was a radical act when introduced. The very religion that inspired it was radical and counter-intuitive. It's fun to see people rediscover that every few years.
edit: the article was way too informed about religious history to be anything other than a snow job by a religious society. Indeed, at the bottom it states that the article was funded by the Templeton Religion Trust.
 quote below for reference:
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?
He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.
Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.
If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’[a] you would not have condemned the innocent.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” - Matthew 12
I guess I'd also add that in the general Christian view, the specific, older-testament-era laws around the sabbath had a meaning, but they were really pointers to higher laws and concepts rather than, or possibly in addition to, being materially meaningful standalone practices. And as you rightfully point out, those "little laws and practices" were also subject to a higher law. I remember when I lived in Japan, I was working outside as very hungry young missionary one day and a kind old woman grabbed some fruit and a bag of chips off of her family altar and gave them to me, demanding that I eat. This had similar significance to me and is an experience that's very close to my heart.
IMO sabbath observance a great practice. There are few things like the feeling of a day that is uninterrupted by work concerns. And going beyond the limitation to what we _don't do_ on that day, it's also a day that's set aside for meditation, big-picture thinking about life, spirituality, and connection with the universal. In the past I let it slide a lot more than I do now, but in the past I was also a much less-healthy workaholic.
It's important to distinguish Rabbinical law from biblical laws in this case. There are very few biblical laws about how to keep the sabbath.
At first, I thought it was ridiculous.
But only after a few months did I come to appreciate it very much. People are with their families, doing 'whatever'.
When 'everyone else is off' there's so much less pressure. It's kind of like being disconnected.
Living in, Germany there are many holidays wherein it felt like this as well - quiet.
After experiencing 'Quiet Sundays' as an adult, think the economic case for 'Sunday Shopping' is overstated, and I actually wish we'd roll that one back.
It's a difficult argument to make in a 'GDP-driven and culturally secular world' ... but it makes sense in ways that are just a little too nuanced to make a public case for.
Wages have stagnated and organizations are trying to squeeze more work out of each worker. All that while simultaneously reducing the organization's full-time staff or just cut the total amount of employees.
At some point people will snap or breakdown from working two 12 hour shift jobs each day. I'm joking obviously but it seems like that's what people have to work just to barely survive.
Keeping sabbath is possible, though sometimes difficult.
Coming from a fairly conservative presbyterian background, the hardest part for me was on-call responsibilities. There are exemptions for emergencies (for doctors, police, fire fighters, etc), but in some software jobs "emergencies" happen nearly every day and it didn't seem like that was adhering to the spirit of the rule.
But outside of that it just means you need to be better about planning to make sure you get work done on Saturday, or early Monday morning.
Once you get in the habit of disconnecting its totally worth it though.
Perhaps in some cases we (managers? developers? customers?) ought to reconsider what constitutes an "emergency".
Or perhaps the software concerned is particularly poor.
I'd also be curious what the Sabbath would be. Sundown Friday to sundown Saturday? Saturday only? I believe the Christian conflation of church day with the Sabbath is a misapprehension of scripture, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
As an aside, we observe a day of fasting (atonement) every year, so my kids all know what it's like to be really hungry, but they also aren't afraid of it either. There's real life skills and strength gained from this.
I realise this article is for American readers, and I'm not sure how to compare the holiness, but the EU Working Time Directive includes the right to a day off. It's more flexible than a simple day off, and has other rights.
Enforcement against the gig economy companies might need to be improved, but otherwise seems to work fine.
If you embrace it, then you must accept that no one works on saturday. You can't go to the store. There are no kids entertainment. Restaurants. Theaters. There is no public transportation because drivers need their rest too.
I've found that since I've started in software engineering I have much more trouble calming my mind down and thinking deeply. I'm trying getting up early in the morning, getting some exercise, food, and reading the Bible, which tends to get me into a more contemplative state. I just started, it's brightened my outlook and made me feel like I have more time in the day, though I can't tell if my work is benefiting yet.
> National Sunday law is a conspiracy theory which alleges that the United States government is on the verge of enacting a national blue law that would make Sunday a day of rest and worship. The theory is based on the idea that the Pope is the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast is worshipped on Sunday. Sinister forces (read: the Vatican) are conspiring to enact a national Sunday law in the United States, which would be the trigger that unleashes the fulfilment of the prophecies found in the Biblical books of Daniel and Revelation. In addition, this law would outlaw worshipping on Saturday, thus beginning a period of persecution of those who worship on Saturday, or Sabbath.
> This idea originated within Seventh-day Adventism (which considers the Sabbath to be Saturday), and some on the fringes of the SDA church have taken a handful of failed Congressional bills and Papal writings and inflated them into the trigger of the apocalypse. This is quite ironic considering that you would think blue law opposition would come from more secular groups.
I joke, but barely: Making any day a day of rest would play into religious persecution, and fears of same, in a nasty, nasty way.
Just an anecdote but you don't have to go back to the truly distant past to find the vast majority of stores closed on Sunday.
> all franchised Chick-fil-A Operators and their Restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so
I think some good came with those, but also a lot of inconvenience for people who don't work 5x8.
Is tending to your home, family, or garden considered work?
There's a funny story about a guy in court being taken to task, but he said he didn't work, but his son did, and shenanigans ensued. Evidently it was a sign of protest against the king to work on thanksgiving days. Mainly because the king would declare them for his own purposes...
So if we eliminated Saturday and Sunday, we could work all year round. 73 weeks of fun-filled, delicious work each year!