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Sat Mar 21, 2015, 01:19 PM

Did religious beliefs play a part in fire that killed 7 kids in NYC?

A "hot plate" keeping food warm in a kitchen overnight apparently started a fire that killed seven children in two-story house in Brooklyn early Saturday, New York City's fire commissioner said.

The four boys and three girls, siblings ranging in age from 5 to 15, were in upstairs bedrooms when the fire swept up from the first floor shortly after midnight in Brooklyn's south-central Midwood section, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The children's 45-year-old mother and one of her daughters -- a 14-year-old, police say -- also were upstairs but jumped out of windows to escape; they were in critical condition at a hospital, being treated for burns and smoke inhalation, Nigro said.

--snip--

Nigro was asked why food was being warmed overnight.

"I believe it's the Sabbath, and people keep food warm that way. They don't have to operate a stove," Nigro answered.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/21/us/brooklyn-fire-children-killed/index.html


So very, very sad. And preventable.

21 replies, 1588 views

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Reply Did religious beliefs play a part in fire that killed 7 kids in NYC? (Original post)
cleanhippie Mar 2015 OP
AtheistCrusader Mar 2015 #1
Warren Stupidity Mar 2015 #3
Unvanguard Mar 2015 #5
AtheistCrusader Mar 2015 #7
Unvanguard Mar 2015 #8
AtheistCrusader Mar 2015 #10
Unvanguard Mar 2015 #11
okasha Mar 2015 #13
AtheistCrusader Mar 2015 #14
okasha Mar 2015 #16
AtheistCrusader Mar 2015 #17
okasha Mar 2015 #19
dgibby Mar 2015 #2
Warren Stupidity Mar 2015 #4
Unvanguard Mar 2015 #6
AtheistCrusader Mar 2015 #9
okasha Mar 2015 #15
AtheistCrusader Mar 2015 #18
okasha Mar 2015 #20
AtheistCrusader Mar 2015 #21
Revanchist Mar 2015 #12

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:17 PM

1. What kind of fucking nitwit would view a hotplate and a stove as mechanically different enough

that operating one on the Sabbath would not piss off their invisible lunatic friend, but the other would?

They're the same fucking things, one is just bigger.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:24 PM

3. You wind a long string that extends down the street and back up the other

 

side of the block and in the window and loops around the hot plate and that cordons it off, and then you leave it on before sundown on friday and that way god won't see you.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:37 PM

5. That's not the difference at issue here.

It's the difference between heating something up during the Sabbath (which involves initiating a use of electricity, or igniting a flame if it's a gas stove) and keeping something warm during the Sabbath (you can turn on the hot plate beforehand and just keep it on). Does sound risky to me. Though I don't know how often things like this happen.

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Response to Unvanguard (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:47 PM

7. What in the HELL is the difference between

turning on a hot plate and leaving it on
and
turning on a stove and leaving it on

A hot plate is just a single-burner electric stove. Some hotplates don't go as high as the output on your burner, but most do.

They are fundamentally indistinguishable.

This is an induction hotplate that gets just as hot, if not hotter, than your average kitchen stove.
http://www.amazon.com/1800-Watt-Portable-Induction-Countertop-8100MC/dp/B0045QEPYM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1426974398&sr=8-4&keywords=hotplate

There's no difference here.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:48 PM

8. There's no difference between those two.

That's why I said it wasn't the difference at issue here. (Depending on the design, it might be different in particular cases, for safety or other reasons. But it doesn't go to the religious rule at issue here.)

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Response to Unvanguard (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:51 PM

10. So they, in fact, could have done the same dance with their stove instead

and most likely, it would not have caught fire. Turn it on low the night before, and leave it on. Yes?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:55 PM

11. Yes, I think so, at least in principle. n/t

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 08:45 PM

13. "There's no difference here."

You, two posts above.

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Response to okasha (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 08:49 PM

14. Yeah, was just clarifying that poster's position.

We seem to be in agreement. Did you have a question/concern?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #14)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 08:54 PM

16. You seem to be saying

that using the stove rather than a hot plate would have been safer, which contradicts your assertion of "no difference."

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Response to okasha (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 10:00 PM

17. Oh, no I meant no difference from the religious 'no work' observance thing.

Stoves are safer than hot plates due to their fixed nature and more extensive UL testing. Also a fixed stove can't wander into the sink, or over underneath the drapery, or get knocked over by some fatass cat. Usually people pay attention to what sort of material a stove is installed on, but a hot plate can be set on anything.

But I doubt a UL rating means anything to a god. They operate the same. Input energy, output heat. A hot plate is just a small, portable, and in some cases, inherently dangerous stove.

The proscription is against working, so the operation of the two devices is the issue. They operate identically.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 10:08 PM

19. Exactly.

Thanks for the clarification.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:17 PM

2. No.

The lack of working smoke detectors (and perhaps a faulty hot plate) would more likely be the culprits. If religious beliefs played a part, then it wouldn't one have to fault religion for every accident that caused a death when one was going to or from church? Along those same lines, would religion be a causative agent for deaths which occur when places of worship are bombed, attacked, etc? I think not, but that's just my opinion.

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Response to dgibby (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:25 PM

4. no actually this would have been a specific religious rule (sabbath observance)

 

that resulted in acrobatics to keep food warm. So there is a direct connection here.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 05:41 PM

6. How would you prevent it?

What do you think we should say to families like this that you think will get them to change their religious beliefs?

(There are other ways of preventing tragedies like this, of course, like safer hot plates, or better fire safety mechanisms, or alternatives for keeping food warm.)

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 08:52 PM

15. That's not the issue.

The Shabbos rule has to do with when the device is turned on, not its design.

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Response to okasha (Reply #15)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 10:03 PM

18. Right. And from an operation stand point, they are identical.

That's why I'm offering comparisons between the two devices from an operations standpoint. (Granted , an induction stove is high-end, but I'm making no assumptions about their income/affluence, they could have a $10,000 configurable-burner induction surface for all I know.)

(My oven has a configurable digital 'sabbath' lockout. WTF. It would be nice if I could engage the oven door lock for other config reasons, as a child safety feature, but no. Just Sabbath stuff.)

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 10:11 PM

20. I wonder if the family had a gas stove, though.

I think I might consider the hot plate more likely to be safe in that case.

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Response to okasha (Reply #20)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 10:31 PM

21. Hmm.

My guess would be 'cheaper' in that case. Keeping a gas burner on 'low' is pretty safe, depending on the antiquity of the stove. But it could be expensive in fuel.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2015, 08:24 PM

12. I was going to say that the family could of used a Shabbos Goy

but after doing some reading on the types of tasks they are allowed to perform I think I'm mistaken. It's more complex than I originally thought.

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