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3.5.17

Seeking a balance between Reason and Faith is clearly the approach of the Rambam and the Gra.

I mean to religious fanaticism has not impressed me much, nor the opposite of "science-ism"--the belief that only what science says is true.  So I definitely go with the medieval approach of seeking a balance between reason and Faith. But I can not do that with the medieval approach alone without the insights of Kant and Hegel.

I mean anyone will be struck with the fact that the medieval approach assumes axioms that do not seem valid, though the logic is always rock solid. Later philosophers tend to circular reasoning.
So Kant and Hegel seem quite necessary for the project the Rambam was considering.  

29.4.17

With Hegel there is a connection between areas of value. Even in the same area he says"content is itself the Idea as the unity of the Notion and reality."
With the Kant Fries School of Dr Kelley Ross the areas of value are independent.
So with Hegel the living with balance makes more sense. That is devoting let's say one hour of time to Gemara and another hour to Physics, and another to Music, etc until in one day you have covered all the areas of value. But with Dr Kelley Ross, it would make more sense to concentrate on the one area of value you need the most the whole day.

There is great value in the Kant Fries School of Thought. Still there are a few problem areas. One is implanted knowledge. There does not seem  to be any reason to believe that implanted knowledge corresponds to truth in any sense. And it does not does not seem to be the approach of the Rambam either. True that even natural law needs to be revealed but once it is reveled the veil of perception is taken away and then reason perceives it. Also the whole approach of Kant is absolute based on Hume  and Hume never showed that reason only can perceive contradictions as Dr Bryan Caplan makes clear.

Still there are aspects that the Kant Friesian School seems better. Personally There was a kind of area of value that opened up for me when I was in Israel in Safed that is the אור אין סוף  [the infinite light of God] as the Ari likes to put it. And that kind thing is hard to see or understand in Hegel while the Kant Friesian School seem to do a lot better with that. I mean -to put it bluntly--how do you come to that kind of thing by means of a dialectical process??? But maybe it is? After all the Rambam gives the approach towards God as being through a many stages, and the Ari also.

28.4.17

 True the West is in crisis. Christianity also. Yet the demise of Christianity has been predicted so many times already that I lost count. The trouble I see with Christianity is the divide between reason and faith. During the Middle Ages there was considerable effort to mend that divide and later also. Notably Hegel and Aquinas. And nowadays there are people into Aquinas like Dr Feser in California. Maybe smart Christians are just not so talkative? True that the USA for teh last 30 years or more now has been highly hostile towards family and traditional values. Still I am optimistic after seeing the USA vote for Trump. That is like a lighting strike in the middle of the darkest night. My own recommendations towards Christianity if there was anyone to listen would be the Clementine Documents,–i.e Peterine Christianity instead of Pauline.



"Do you see this as arising from the exoteric/esoteric divide that Evola mentioned?" 

I was thinking more along the lines of the book of Job when his friends asked him "Is not your fear, your stupidity?". That is I see when faith is separated from reason it becomes stupid. This had a long history in Christianity and with Saadia Gaon and Maimonides it had a long history. Aquinas came up with a pretty good system based on his trying to get faith and reason to go along together. Before him Christians were going with the Neo Platonic school. Then came Hegel trying to do the exact same thing a Aquinas but with making full use of people that came before him--just like Aquinas also did. 

The reason all that stopped I think came from a few sources. The first would be Luther, but the Enlightenment philosophers also. My view of this is that it is sad. I tend to look at people trying to bridge that divide between reason and faith in a positive light.

The best anti reason people I think were Hamann and Joseph De Maistre [If I am spelling that right.] and they had some good points. Still I prefer this kind of balanced approach that I think had its beginning with Philo and later with Saadia Gaon. I should mention Dr Kelley Ross whose has done an amazing amount of work in this direction also but coming from Kant and Fries, not Hegel.





22.4.17

"Around and around go the wicked." (Psalms) You go from one thing to the other. You find Torah and then some group comes along and says yes keep Torah but if you join us you will do it do much better. And then one  goes and joins that cult.And then find it to be  a cult and finds some other  group or ideal and around and around he or she goes for years on end.

The way to be saved from this kelipa is by trust in God. To believe where you are --physically and spiritually--is where you are supposed to be. What is is what ought to be.

American Destiny.

But in the conflict between Athens and Sparta I think a lot could have been gained if they had joined together. --in the way the Romans did. I never learned that part of their history very well but my impression was the Patricians versus the Plebeians came to a great resolution with the Roman Constitution. The Tribune who was immune from all hurt or lawsuits and whose person and property were sacrosanct had has his job nothing more or less than the protection of the Plebeians. And if this can be transferred to the USA then there is great hope. In my mind these last 20 years of really evil people as president will be in the future just a bad dream and a temporary interruption of American Destiny.

18.4.17

Europe is complicated. It is hard to say that the Vikings were altruistic until Christianity made its way into them. And during most of the history of Europe from the fall of Rome until about 1900, Europe was doing OK. Maybe even doing great. WWI and WWII changed all that. 

17.4.17

obstacle(s) to learning Torah

I seem to have trouble when it comes to learning Torah. It is as if there is some hidden obstacle(s).
The last day of Pesach was when a rosh yeshiva was having the last meal before the end of Pesach and I did not attend. That blew my chance of marrying his daughter. Then getting back to Israel finding myself thrown out of every yeshiva that I attempted to sit and learn in got me to wonder myself if it is really worth it to learn?
Something strange is going on. So to some degree I found a kind of compromise by going with the opinion of the Rambam who advocates a four fold path of learning Torah (Oral and Written), Physics and Metaphysics. [The Polytechnic Institute of NYU I went to and majored in Physics]
Still something strange is going on. It is almost as if, even when I manage to get my hands on a book of Torah, that it does not take long until I lose it, or something happens in some way that I can not use it. Maybe I just do not have the merit to learn. Something always happens. So cherish every word of Torah that I can learn being aware that it can easily be taken away from me in the blink of an eye.

Maybe it is just some kind of test? But who knows?

14.4.17

I was outside thinking about the Rambam and it occurred to me that what I had written to answer a question in the Rambam was not well thought out. The wife in Ketubot page 9 is not going מפטור לפטור. She is saying one thing along--that she was a virgin. That has nothing to do with the sugia [subject] I brought up about מפטור לפטור. It is a simple case of a Migo. My  question is simple. Let's believe her when she says she was a virgin because she could have said משארסתמי נאנסתי. To answer this has not to do with that Rambam about a lender that changes his statement from I never borrowed to I borrowed but paid back. So why do we not believe her? She has a חזקה, חזקת הגוף שבתולה הייתה and a migo. He has two חזקות, חזקת ממון וחזקה אין אדם טורח הסעודה ומפסידה. So one חזקה cancels the other. And we are left with a מיגו against a חזקה, ואין אומרים מיגו להוציא מחזקת ממון. So teh only question here is to תוספות in בבא מציעא ק''י ע''א to one מאן דאמר that a מיגו can take out from a חזקה 

12.4.17

Sadly I no longer have any book of Torah [not the Avi Ezri or the Rambam or any Gemara] that I can use to look up anything. Still with what I recall vaguely, I wanted to answer a question on the Rambam. [I hope I am not forgetting anything.] In short, I simply want to say that I think Rav Shach supports the law in the Rambam in טוען ונטען פרק ו' בלכה ג by means of several factors. From what I recall each factor by itself would not be enough.
Therefore when the Rambam writes down the law of that we believe the husband when he says the wife he just married was not a virgin. The reason is simple. We can not say she was not מדקדק [careful in her words] when she is coming to ask for money. But we can say a person that is getting out of  a debt we can say he is not careful in his words.

That is all I have to say about this. But just to make myself a little more clear let me just add some background. The Rambam ch 6 law 3 of Laws of Pleas says: "A person comes to court and says you owe me 100 zuz. The other says in court להד''ם, I did not borrow. Then two witnesses come and say he borrowed and paid back. He must pay the 100 zuz because כל האומר לא לוויתי כאומר לא פרעתי "Anyone who says 'I dd not borrow' is as if he said 'I did not pay back.'" And the other needs no oath because teh borrower is already considered a liar." To defend this law Rav Shach needs R. Akiva Eigger, the Ketzot, the Netivot, the Ri MiGash and maybe some more people that I have already forgotten about.
How to condense this right now I am not sure of. But to be as short as possible let me just say he needs that "Anyone who says 'I dd not borrow' is as if he said 'I did not pay back.'" is not an open confession. It is simply a statement that implies the result. [As the Rashbam says about a different case in Bava Batra 34]. But in order to say that it does not imply the result automatically it is necessary to say he was not careful in his words as the Netivot says about the law one can go מפטור לפטור. [That is the exact same law except that the borrower changed his plea before the witnesses came]. But we can only say that he was not careful when he is trying to get out of an obligation, not when he is asking for money. How do we know this? Because of the fact that the Rambam Laws of Loans when the lender is not believed by a migo when he changes his plea from it is a good document to the document was forged but I had a real document and it was lost. I am  forgetting a lot here. Still I think the point is clear. So when he comes and says פ''פ I found an open opening, he is believed even though she has a migo that she could have said משאירסתני נאנסתי. But why should we not believe her. Do we not say a migo?  And a person can go from פטור לפטור. The reason is she is not going from פטור לפטור but asking for the whole Ketubah.


Maybe I will be able to look this up someday I hope.