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17.3.12

The truths of Being and Value, Bloom's "humanizing questions."

Why learning Torah and Talmud is important? The truths of Being and Value, Bloom's "humanizing questions.

Though I think orthodox Judaism is highly problematic I do agree with a basic premise of the system. That Torah and Talmud are important. Divine Law is important. Torah is important because it is Divinely inspired. Talmud is important because it is a rigorous logical understanding of Torah. Rambam is important because you need a logical basis for faith. Without that basis you end up with hasidut which rejects the philosophy of the Rambam. Systems without a logical and moral basis often end up badly. My impression of Hasidut is that the first mitzvah is fraud. The first thought when a chasid wakes up in the morning is how can he fool some gullible reform Jew into giving him a lot of money.

But a new magnet for intellectuals is emerging: radical Islam. It's not that intellectuals are likely to embrace radical Islam themselves anytime soon - for one thing, the requirement of believing in God would deter many of them. But what they can do is obstruct efforts to combat radical Islam and terrorism, undermine support for Israel, stress the "legitimate grievances" of radical Islamists, and lend moral support to the "legitimacy" of radical Islamic movements.


Most people have a tendency to forgive excesses committed in the name of some cause they support. They either regard them as unfortunate misdeeds by aberrant individuals, or as necessary evils in the name of some higher good. That is, of course, if they admit them at all. Very few things were more bizarre than the spectacle of free-love advocates in the Sixties extolling the virtues of Marxism
Denying the mass murders of Marxist regimes is on exactly the same intellectual level as denying the Holocaust,
To quote Allen bloom, "Positivism and ordinary language analysis have long dominated, although they are on the decline and evidently being replaced by nothing. These are simply methods of a sort, and they repel students who come with the humanizing questions. Professors of these schools simply would not and could not talk about anything important, and they themselves do not represent a philosophic life for the students. [p.378, boldface added]
Neither a living presence nor the mere inertial continuation of classics speaks well for the state of academic philosophy. What was the worst about all this stuff was the aim of much of it to justify why the philosophers involved were no longer seriously interested in metaphysics or ethics -- the truths of Being and Value, Bloom's "humanizing questions." If metaphysics and ethics are either meaningless or just not matters of knowledge, then philosophy doesn't have to worry about them.

In his late period [I might say, even in his late period, ed.], Wittgenstein, like Carnap, continued to pursue his former positivist aim of showing that metaphysical sentences are nonsense.