To summarize

I think average righteousness/holiness (what's the different) should correlate positively with number of prophet and negatively with violent rate. I am not seeing that correlation. We have far less violent rate and also far less prophets compared to our ancestors.

According to an answer here:

Is Cain a prophet?

We generally have a broad intellectual awareness of Hashem and His greatness, which should lead us to righteousness, but does not because there is a block between our minds and our hearts, between our knowledge and the roots of our actions, and the knowledge is not firmly entrenched. This is what is called טמטום הלב. When the yetzer hara wants to entice us, it just has to get us to "ignore" our awareness of Hashem and convince ourselves that it isn't really bad, or isn't so bad. The earlier generations did not have such a disconnect. Their vast awareness directly impacted their way of life. When the yetzer hara enticed them, its only option was to give them an incredible desire for the sin. Like when we want something even when we know it is wrong, it looks good and you have a desire for it even with the knowledge that it is bad, the earlier generations were like that for all temptations - it was an act of giving in, not an act of self-deception.

That answer seems to suggest that God grant prophecy automatically based on holiness level instead of arbitrarily based on unknown criteria.

So basically we all have potential to be prophets. Yet evil inclination get us away from it.

Now let's compare current generations with biblical generations

  1. Murder/Genocide rate per 1000 population is lower. During Cain era, it's around 250 (25%) guys killed per 1000 population. Now, it's less than 1 I think.
  2. Robbery rate is lower. In fact, robbery comes from the word robe which means taking people's rob. Which lead to another issue
  3. We're more prosper than our ancestors. So swords do turn into plow figuratively now
  4. We must have far more awareness of Hashem now than before. We got internet, miyodeya, bible translations to various different languages, hermeneutics. Torah is copied electronically without error whatsoever. That is a rate far faster than ancient Torah copying.
  5. Our justice system is more just because of DNA analysis, forensic science, trial by jury.

Yet, despite all those

We have far less prophets. We have none now.

Ugh, why?

I thought holier is like IQ. The higher the average IQ, the higher the number of super geniuses. This explains why many nobel prizes are won by jews. That's because jews have higher IQ average, and hence higher number of people that break say 150 tress hold.

The same way, the higher the average holiness of people the higher chance one is a prophet. It's like bell curves. If people are holier and holier the percentage that reach the outlier of "super holy" will be higher too.

Yet humans nowadays are holier than their ancestors. Less murder. Less robbery. More economic productivity. Less war. More awareness of everything, including Hashem, due to internet. Yet, less prophet.

  • 3
    The function Sinx/x has an amplitude that shrinks as x grows. Gladiators died regularly as part of entertainment in Rome. Then people enjoyed watching jousting, where there was a serious risk of death. Now people draw the line at boxing, minimal risk of death, but plenty of violence. We are not more righteous. We are at a higher value of x, where x = generation #. we are capable of lower heights, and shallower depths than our predecessors. Our amplitude shrank below prophecy around the Second temple period. In a relative sense, we are the same. Sinx always oscillates between 1 and -1. – Baby Seal Apr 10 '14 at 2:57
  • I don't understand the downvotes. – Baby Seal Apr 10 '14 at 20:48
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    @BabySeal I can't speak for everyone, but mine was because of gross misunderstandings of cited sources, logical leaps, and copious questionable assumptions stated as definitive facts. – Y     e     z Apr 10 '14 at 21:45
  • @YEZ i though the Op made it clear that he wasn't really sure he had the right idea. He's asking a question, based on his knowledge, which as far as we believe is faulty,yes, but I mean, that's why he's asking! – Baby Seal Apr 11 '14 at 0:23
  • Baby Seal, I don't understand the downvote either. Do you have asperger symptom like me? So we have this variable called "average holyness". That variable should correlate positively with both percentage of prophets and lower violent rate. I am not seeing that correlation. I observe the opposite. Something is wrong. That's assuming this whole God theory is true in the first place. – user4951 Apr 13 '14 at 12:30

There are 3 mistakes that form this question.

The first is a misunderstanding of the intent of R' Dessler that I quoted in the cited answer. The point of his idea is exactly that - knowledge alone does not lead directly to piety, and no matter how much one knows, we don't relate to that knowledge the same way. As you quoted from my answer there, despite our broad intellectual awareness we have a block between that being in our mind and being in our hearts. A Bar Ilan CD contains TONS of Torah knowledge, but it has no impact on the character of the Bar Ilan CD. We are all like that - we may have great intellectual awareness, but it remains disconnected from becoming internalized into our hearts and our decisions. In short, IQ != holiness.

The second mistake is that Rav Dessler was describing qualifications for prophecy. Rav Dessler was only explaining how prophecy could come to someone who had just committed a severe crime. He was not saying that therefore he was a prophet, rather that his sin did not detract from his prophet qualification because of immediate and complete repentance.

The third mistake is that our knowledge is greater than that of the earlier generations. I seriously doubt our knowledge, even with Mi Yodeya, comes close to those who spent their entire lives solely focused on understanding Torah. With all of our gadgets and amassed wealth, we have less time, not more. This is combined with an ever-more broken chain of tradition. Note that when we want to know the will of Hashem, we turn to the words of earlier generations and attempt to discern their opinions. If we have a greater body of Torah material to turn to, it is more the result of less clarity than anything else. We may be the beneficiaries of more Torah to learn, but this is not a sign of greater Torah knowledge.

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  • But answer from other question says that Hashem is more interested that people live peacefully rather than having more knowledge of him. That's why he sent Jonah to Niniveh to presumably lower crime rates, rather than to any other cities that don't even worship the right God. – user4951 Apr 12 '14 at 0:43
  • It's not just intellectual awareness. It's holiness measured by lower crime rate/murder rate, etc. We're a much nicer guys now than our ancestors. God don't like that? – user4951 Apr 12 '14 at 0:44
  • And you think God cares that people are atheists more than worshiping others' God? Jonah trip to Niniveh doesn't seem to suggest that at all. You mean God care that gay people marry each other than heterosexual men killing each other? This should be another question. – user4951 Apr 13 '14 at 12:16
  • I thought average righteousness/holyness (what's the different) should correlate positively with number of prophet and negatively with violent rate. I am not seeing that correlation. – user4951 Apr 13 '14 at 12:36
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    +1 if only for "even with Mi Yodeya". – Scimonster Dec 21 '14 at 22:09

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