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16.6.12

I want to mention a serious problem with package deals.

I want to mention serious problems with package deals. One major problem with package deals is that one rejects things that are good because they are part of some package that has some flaw. A good example of this is the Talmud. The Talmud can be taken as one package, and then rejected because it has some areas which it is flawed in. Or it can be accepted as one package and then one accepts doctrines which are in fact "not very good" as my dad would have put it. The usual example of a part of the Talmud which is not so great is the attitude towards gentiles. However if we look at the Muslims that are devolving, we can see at least a little of the point of the Talmud. Clearly the human race is breaking up into two distant parts--Western civilization (the Judeao-Christian West) and the Muslims on the other side (with some nations like China and Japan being part of the Western part because of their orientation.)
The problem is that obviously gentiles from Christian nations are not the worshipers of the stars [Akum] of the Talmud. They are not idol worshipers in any sense of the word because to be qualified as an idolater, one has to be worship a different god than the God of the Old Testament. Christians simply do not qualify because their God is the God of the Old Testament, even if they worship him in a different way than we would consider kosher.


Further examples are numerous. Christians also taking the New Testament as a package deal get bogged down in the quagmire of internal contradictions.

However there are times that one should take a package deal and just try to sort out stuff after he has bought the product. I got born into a great package deal--the home of my parents. This was--it is true a Jewish home-but it was also much more. It was a home that had too much love that is possible to describe. The powerful principles that was there are not possible to put now on paper. They can not be described. Torah was a part of our home' and so was Physics and the other natural sciences. Classical music was important there even though my brothers listened to modern stuff that shall remain nameless. But all this was external. There was something about the very essence of our family which made it one package deal that I can not describe.

At any rate, some package deals are pretty good.

()  Let me just say that the Talmud is great package deal if you decide to just accept the good things which are three basic things. One is rigorous evaluation of individual laws of the Torah, second is the structure of the laws--how they all fit together; third is the rigorous evaluation of verses.
Of course people that say they are taking one whole book as a package deal are never really doing so. They are taking some issue- usually a completely trivial issue that has little of nothing to do with the basic message of the book and elevating this trivial issue to Divine status. [However it does seem to me that some people in fact do get close to the basic message]

Of course sometimes Talmudic scholars are not very good examples of  Jews. In fact often they do not provide good examples. This is to be expected as the prophets themselves cursed the Jewish people with the curse of having bad leaders. When we did not accept true prophets we were cursed with accepting false prophets and following them.

Even today the the group known as Na Nach  assume that any famous rabbi is a wicked person by definition. They can be a little extreme in this but it is often quite true. ("Arrogance of office" as Shakespeare put it.)




() Another example of a package deal is racism. Sometimes based on game theory this can be justified.
I quote: Geoff's Blog (Geoffrey Falk):" For example: Kirsten Brydum was traveling across the country with an Amtrak pass and an old bicycle. She was meeting with fellow Marxists around the country and campaigning for Obama. Fresh from protesting the RNC National Convention, she arrived in New Orleans by train. While bicycling around New Orleans’ all black 9th ward ghetto to campaign for Obama, she was shot in the head. Residents would not even call the police to notify them that a dead white girl was laying on the sidewalk. Her body laid in the streets for hours until a construction crew drove by and noticed her.

Even the New Orleans police issued a statement saying “robbery does not appear to be the motivation.” All evidence suggests that she was murdered simply because she was white.

That girl would still be alive today, if only she had believed the “racist” stereotypes about black violence.

We have no qualms about being treated as “numbers in actuarial tables” when it comes to paying for health insurance, split down by [the different life-expectancy of] men vs. women, or by smokers vs. non-smokers … and we certainly don’t consider the (actuarial tables) practice itself to be the least bit immoral … yet if you judge others by their membership in, say, a high-crime group (e.g., poor blacks), you’re guilty not merely of judging individuals based on the characteristics of their group, but of a moral fallacy (and a moral failing).

If racism and sexism are morally wrong (for judging people by the characteristics of their group), then group-characteristic-based insurance must be equally morally wrong. And so are all other forms of mechanical prediction, even though they work better (i.e., “as well as or better,” which on average is better) than the “clinical method” of treating people as individuals.

That is, the most-efficient way of doing things, which causes the least total suffering, and the greatest benefit for the greatest number, is also morally wrong.

Actuarial tables are “formal, statistical stereotypes,” based on simple things like sex, smoking, diet, race, etc. They provide more-accurate (and thus more fair) judgments about the individuals they represent, on average, than do one-on-one, individual evaluations of the same people. What makes you think the same thing wouldn’t be true for other characteristics, outside of life expectancy? And if it would, what makes you think that that superficially unfair approach wouldn’t be the best way we have available to minimize suffering (or alternatively, create the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people)?"