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28.7.12

I think that Nietzsche is not a bad guy.Dress up anything as science, and Americans will believe it. Psychology is the best example of this.

I think that Nietzsche is not a bad guy. He might be my opponent. He might be wrong. But that does not make him bad or have some kind of evil heart. I do think that his critique against morality has some very important points. You might say that I see his critique on morality as actually being pretty astute. I see him kind of like I see Kant in his critique on pure reason. Kant saw the limits of reason, and Nietzsche saw the limits of morality. So today, any defense of Jewish-Christian morality of the Bible definitely needs to take into account the Nietzsche critique if it is to have any validity at all. Otherwise, it is like you are giving a class in the Talmud and someone asks a question and that you can not answer, but you decide to ignore it, or to put down the questioner as if he is too stupid to understand you. Obviously, all your credibility is gone in an instant.

Now I first would like to deal with the issue of logical fallacies in his thought. The fact that people did not create themselves does not contradict the existence of free will. The idea of Nietzsche was that since we are not self created (which he would call being free agents) then we have no free will. In spite of the powerful rhetoric behind his words, this does not logically follow.

This is just one example but the logical fallacies in his thought are numerous. [It is possible to prove that moral relativism is false.] [Actually it is possible to prove relativism itself is false. Not just moral relativism See the essay of John Searle from Berkley.] Rather I would like to mention some of the good points he makes. First he holds that morality is in general a weapon used against others, not a tool of self improvement. In fact, it obvious that this is what he does not like about it. If he would be in fact against morality, then why would this bother him? If it is a lie used by the powerful to subdue their enemies, then what could be wrong with that? If Nietzsche would be against morality, then he should welcome this.-- The point it he hold from Jewish-Christian morality, but he hates how it is misused. I can only agree with him in this.

He is right that people are different. But this is not an argument against morality. I boil milk and broil steak. Milk and steak are different. But this does not make how I cook them to be arbitrary or non objective. Again Nietzsche has a great point, but the logical conclusion is different from what he thinks. [He is of course knocking Kant that wanted to place all morality on one universal principle--much like the ancient Greeks wanted also.]


This I think is relevant for today, since I think it is the Nietzsche critique against morality which is the basic foundation of the Democratic Party in America today. People don't really think too deeply into morals, but they hear that they don't need to be moral and they like what they hear. Especially since psychology has becomes dressed with an air of science and is basically saying the same thing--it gives extra power to this. [To real scientists it has become clear that psychology is a pseudo science and that is why it has been rigorously excluded from the natural sciences.]
No wonder America is slipping.

Mainstream America loves to hallucinate, believing pseudo science. Dress up anything as science, and Americans will believe it. Psychology is the best example of this. Most Americans, for example, believe that financial details don't really matter as long as the spending party continues. (In the last four years, the national debt has risen 17 trillion dollars. That is real money.) Americans believe that you can get something for nothing if you just manage to fool enough people.
I was swamped with scams in the mail when I lived in New York--even Reader's Digest which you would expect to have some standards of decency.


But this I repeat does not make Nietzsche wrong. It just means that someone has to figure out a way of dealing with the issue of morality that takes into account the Nietzsche critique. This is a harder job than it may seem. It does not mean simply refuting his arguments. It means we have to reexamine the entire structure of Christan-Jewish ethics and figure out where and if it is wrong or might need correction.

I have a little more time on the Internet today so let me just at this point at least present my own basic approach to morality. Moral values are objective. They really exist, and are independent of observers.
2. Moral knowledge is an example of universals.
But in this case I go with Maimonides and Aristotle that universals are not independent of particulars --but that they exist.
I know many people will think this strange. After all, you do not bump into moral values as you walk down the street. But on the other hand, you don't often bump into the number two as you walk down the street either.
[Also to prove universals exists: (1) Yellow is a color. (2) The truth of statement (1) depends on the fact that yellow exists . Yellow is a universal. Therefore universals exist. QED]]



This brings me to the idea of argument from authority which is a logical fallacy. The trouble with Orthodox Judaism  as it relates to this topic is that the major issue which is all consuming  is who is the biggest rabbi --yours or mine. Logic and material evidence are not even considered as evidence. and how do you determine this all important question who is the biggest rabbi? By stories.
The trouble with this is that stories are not evidence. They can be helpful inspiration for what you know already by reason, but they can't cancel out reason or logic.

Now the importance of the Talmud for Christians is simple. I should preface my remarks that I am not saying the Talmud is divine. [It never claims such a thing. This is an orthodox invention.] The importance of the Talmud is simply to understand the basic question it deals with: What do the laws of the Old Testament mean? This is the area that the Talmud excels. To go looking for dumb statements in the Talmud, and thereby disparage the whole thing makes no more sense than doing the same thing with Shakespeare, Hegel or Nietzsche which have plenty of more outrageous and self contradictory statements than the Talmud. Shakespeare if you did not know lionized Brutus- -the murderer of Caesar. I forget which play that was in but the last line (I think maybe it was the play about Mark Anthony) was something like: "Here was a real man"--about Brutus! Oy Veehs Mir!

This is relevant for today's news:
Cathy told the Baptist Press that the company, which puts faith ahead of profits by closing on Sundays, was “guilty as charged” for backing the “biblical definition of a family.”

He later ratcheted up the rhetoric in a radio interview, saying: “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.”

Christians don't need to accept the Talmud. But with a little knowledge of what it is about, all this would not even be an issue.
In fact, you could even just look at the Mishna (the short version written by R Yehuda HaNasi) in Tractate Kritot and see the general rule about what is considered strict and what is considered minor in the Torah. [In short the 36 types of things that one gets the death penalty for are considered strict. You might say.]

26.7.12

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The basic sources of information concerning Nietzsche: The statement “consciousness is a surface.” And the fact that he gets this from  Leibniz. [If Leibniz actually meant this is hard to say. He said, “consciousness
(Bewusstheit) is merely an accident of representation"] The there is a debate nowadays between Mattia Riccardi and Paul Katsafanas about some important questions about the meaning of Nietzsche.
She holds of conscious causation, while Paul thinks Nietzsche changed his mind about it, and the other thing that Nietzsche says about consciousness is consciousness  is “basically superfluous”. [When it comes to understanding of people, I prefer to go to the original thinkers instead of to the pseudo science of psychology which is just a business of lunatics by lunatics and for lunatics that shall never be divided, while at least Nietzsche had real insights.]


The entire structure of the Eitz Chaim of Isaac Luria --the entire universe and all the higher spiritual worlds and lower depths are all in the human heart. the other place is where is specifically states that what we call the self is the nefesh--the soul--or rather the upper layer of the soul.--the surface layer.plus the fact that he sees the souse of evil extending from the lowest level of simple animal desires up to the it root in holiness== fallen angel in one unbroken string or linkage, .i.e. after the simple animal desires there is a specific spirit that inspires people to do things that have zero desire or please. The sole motivation of this evil inclination is to do wrong because it is wrong. And there is the general middle levels where the sin has some pleasure but the main motivation is because it is evil and the level where people believe they are doing a great mitzvah. The Satan dresses himself up in Mitzvas. There is a level also where one does mitzvas for honor, power, and sex (to get a shiduch marriage opportunity) etc.
OK I hope I have not exhausted your patience with me as I get to my point--which is this: For  Torah, free will is important.  And for Torah, morality is objective.
[How could it not be objective? It could be like if someone says "Redness is not objective because whether a thing is red depends on the nature of the observer and not just on the nature of the object. Saying" Morality is objective" here means: there is some actual state of the world that corresponds to a value judgment.
To prove it is objective I offer this point by Michael Huemer: Moral objectivism (like objectivism in general) seems to be entailed by the law of excluded middle and the correspondence theory of truth, along with a couple of what seem equally obvious observations about morality:

(1) There are moral propositions.
(2) So they are each either true or false. (by law of excluded middle) (3) And it's not that they're all false. Surely it is true, rather than false, that Josef Stalin's activities were bad. (Although some communists would disagree, we needn't take their view seriously, and moreover, even they would admit some moral judgement, such as, "Stalin was good.")
(4) So some moral judgements correspond to reality. (from 2,3, and the correspondence theory of truth)
(5) So moral values are part of reality. (which is objectivism"

Another refutation of relativism. You can't even state moral relativism without denying it. Suppose you say
1. All moral truth is relative to the interests and perspective of the person
making the truth claim [like Nietzsche]. or 2. There are no universally valid moral truths. or
3. There are no absolute truths. It looks like in each case you have to exempt the claim itself from the scope of its application. But then you have given up the claim, for the claim was supposed to be universal in in its application. Or else there is one exception to the claim. If there is one why not more?]

The result of there being free will is that consciousness has to be the major battlefield between good and evil. For Nietzsche, the consciousness is superfluous because he does not hold there is any function of the conscious to choose. (Now if Nietzsche holds from free will at all I am not sure, since he might hold of such a thing for the higher man though he denies it in general.] But clearly the place of the choosing is in the deeper layers of the subconscious.
 He apparently felt he was waging battles on higher planes of existence. But the place where the final discretion lays is this physical world.





It is interesting to compare all this to Kant in which it seems most of what is going on is on the surface level where reason organizes sensory input into it categories. One would be justified in asking, "Where do this structures of reason come from?"


To both there are independent objective values that the self recognizes




And of course, last but not least, it is very important to understand how all this relates to John Locke and his (and his teacher's (the Earl of Shaftsberry)) idea of the self which in turn is the basis for his type of government.
John Locke's self as is known is the enlightened self [what some people call the bourgeois]. And much as the Left despises this, it is the basis for the American Democracy. The question here is simple. What is wrong with Socialism and Marx and Lenin and Nazism [all based on the concept of the general will of Rosseau and Hegel and as basically setting the pattern for the deeper aspects of the self and ignoring John Locke], and why is this government of superficial, selfish, unenlightened, bourgeois selves of America so successful? [In the ways that it is. I am not claiming there was nothing good about the USSR.]
Nietzsche. To Nietzsche, conscious falsifies

Another subject that is related is the desire to be part of a community which seems to be the direct opposite of the desire to be an individual. And in my opinion the desire to be part of a community is the most fundamental of human desires.--not the enlightened self interest of John Locke. So the question is how does this play out here.   With Nietzsche also this is a difficult issue. He was pitted against Democracy which he despised.


This is simply false/ here is one good example of a pure state of state of innocent human life as it is before contaminated by TV and McDonald's; Yanomamo men have two great sports--hunting and war. The patterns of their warfare bear a strange resemblance to those of the langur.
Yanomamo men sneak up on a neighboring village and attack. If they are successful, they kill or chase away the men. They leave the
sexually-capable young women unharmed. But they move methodically through the lean-to-like homes, grabbing babies from the
screaming captives. Like the langurs, the Yanomamo men beat these infants against the ground, bash their brains out on the rocks, and
make the footpaths wet with babies' blood.]

25.7.12

SDI

On the "Life in Israel" blog: there is a comment: "Star Wars(SDI strategic Defense Initiative). I seem to remember that a large part of how Ronald Reagan brought the Soviets to the knees in the '80s was via the Star Wars program. An arms race was created in which the United States and the Soviet union competed to see who could spend more money than the other on weaponry, satellites, and the like. Eventually, the US was able to out-buy the Soviets, and essentially bankrupted the Soviets into collapse."


My comment: "It was not just money. This was battle of Talent. There was a whole sub layer of events concerning Star Wars. First of all it is important to understand that Star Wars was being developed by the USSR and the USA long before either announced it. In fact after the Russians already had a head start with sputnik they leaped ahead with star wars right in the beginning of the 1960's. at that point they had more technology and even more of the mathematics necessary for such a program. America got wind of this and gave subcontracts to private firms like TRW and Hycon to develop a USA Star Wars. These corporations went t to my Dad and hired him to build a laser communication system between satellites so that the Russians could not monitor our communications.(the trouble with radio waves is that they spread. That means the Russian can eavesdrop. Lasers lack that drawback.) By the time Reagan announced it. we had caught up with the Russians and had gone beyond them.


One Russian told me it was battle between the American Jewish scientists and the Russian Jewish scientists.

“In order to overthrow a nation its people must first be disarmed” ~ Karl Marx

The basic idea I had in mind was to go through the development of the idea of Constitution government and especially John Locke's two treaties on government which provided the basis of the USA Constitution. then I wanted to show from treatise two section 214 how the USA government today in not constitutional because it has nullified the rule of law --i.e. the Constitution itself. This it does by the fact that the Supreme Court says that whatever they say is what the Constitution says. this is a downright straightforward lie and is the opposite of the idea of the rule of law. And this is not just in theory. The USA government has pitted itself against the American father, and made women depend on government and not their husbands. This is no accident but contrived. I hold that therefore the government of the USA should be overthrown--or else vote in a president who will uphold the Constitution.

I am sure the next major step of the illegitimate American government will be to try to disarm everyone with a gun.

"ISN’T IT AMAZING that whenever a drunk driver kills people on our streets and highways, the media and all others NEVER point their fingers at the CAR being the CAUSE of the carnage but at the PERSON RESPONSIBLE…..then whenever a GUN is employed in killings, it is the GUN that is the “problem”! ~ Crazy, huh?!!!

Bottom Line: “In order to overthrow a nation its people must first be disarmed” ~ Karl Marx (Notice that Marx mentions nothing about taking motor vehicles away from the people!)"
http://www.propublica.org/

notes on bava metzia page 61

I want to mention here two important points about Tosphot (the first on the page that starts with the words im aino inyan). The major question I see here is that the Maharsha seems to say that Rashi agrees with Tosphot, after Rashi has abandoned the idea of the hava amina ["I would have said"]. But looking at Rashi in the conclusion of the Gemara it seems Rashi is not saying the same thing.
To Tosphot, "Don't take neshech (interest) for money and food" is enough to tell us not to take neshech for money and food. Then the word "neshech" is extra in order to tell you that for "increase" food and money are forbidden. But Rashi says both times the word "neshch" is used it is telling you about the increase because neither are needed for neshach (interest). "Lo tashich" was enough for that.
[i.e. to Tosphot one word interest is to tell you about increase and the other is for a gezera shava.]


But then Rashi is stuck that nothing is left over for a gezera shava. But that is, I think, the exact point of Rashi. You don't need an extra word for a gezra shava. You just need similar words in two places. And this is exactly why Ravina can come along to say we don't need it (until he also uses it at some point later). He could not say that if the word was extra. While to Tosphot the only one word "neshach" is needed for increase (ribit), and the other one for the gezrea shava.
[Rashi would be unable to explain here why you need a verse for the lender at all.(I.e. the verse in Leviticus is not needed. All it should say is to the lender, "Don't take interest," and just use the word "neshech" and that will be enough to make a gezera shava (gezera shava means if the same word is used in two places that means you take the laws of one place and apply them to the other place.) To him you learn all the laws for the borrower and then apply them to the lender by the gezera shava. All you would need for the lender would be to say, "Don't take ribit." But to Tosphot this makes perfect sense since ribit (increase) is written only for money is devarim. So you need the verse in Leviticus to bring in ribit for food for a lender also.]



According to Tosphot one word "neshech" is needed for ribit and the other for a gezera shava. But then you have question, "Why is the verse for the lender [in Leviticus] written at all?" For the lender all you should need is a verse telling you not to take interest and then you can learn all the laws from the borrower. The answer is that "neshech" written by the borrower [in Deuteronomy 23] that refers to ribit is written only for money. This is why Tosphot made a point that the gezera shava is open at both ends [it goes in two directions]. So that you will learn ribit for money from the borrower to the lender and learn ribit for food from the lender to the borrower.


However the question on this is that both words food and money for the borrower are needed for neshach (interest). We don't know which one is to be applied to ribit. All we have to include ribit by a borrower is one word "neshech". We could just as easily say it applies only for food just like it applies only for food for a lender.
The answer to this is that after you have the gezera shava, you do not need the word "food" for interest. So though you could learn from "lo tashich food and money" from the borrower to the lender you only need the word food. The word money then can only come to tell you about ribit. So from the gezera shava you learn ribit food from lender to borrower and ribit money from borrower to lender.

I should mention that the way the Talmud here deal with interest as different from increase it does not look to me that it holds from the previous paragraph about both being the same thing, and the only difference between them is that there are two prohibitions--. This seems to me to be forced. After all there is not lashes for interest so who cares how many prohibitions there are. As Tosphot makes clear on this same page that the only time the Torah will add prohibitions to something is when it makes a difference in the punishment. So I would have to say that that Rashi means only to the opinion [the tana kama of R. Nechemiah and R. Elazar ben Yaakov] on page 62 that there is lashes for taking interest. This seems simple to me even thought I have not seen anyone mention it.

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ב''מ ס''א ע''א
I want to mention here two important points about תוספות ד''ה אם אינו עניין The major question I see here is that the מהרש''א seems to say that רש''י  agrees with תוספות, after רש''י  has abandoned the idea of the הווא אמינא  . But looking at רש''י in the conclusion of the גמרא it seems רש''י  is not saying the same thing.
To תוספות, the verse לא תקח נשך כסף ואוכל is enough to tell us not to take נשך for כסך and אוכל. Then the word נשך is extra in order to tell you that for ריבית food and money are forbidden. But רש''י  says both times the word נשך is used it is telling you about the ריבית because neither are needed for נשך interest. לא תשיך was enough for that.
I.e. to תוספות one word נשך is to tell you about ריבית and the other is for a גזרה שווה.


But then רש''י is stuck that nothing is left over for a גזרה שווה. But that is, I think, the exact point  of רש''י. You don't need an extra word for a גזרה שווה. You just need similar words in two places. And this is exactly why רבינא can come along to say we don't need it,  until he also uses it at some point later. He could not say that if the word was extra. While to תוספות the only one word נשך is needed for increase ריבית, and the other one for the גזרה שווה.  I think רש''י would be unable to explain here why you need a verse for the מלווה at all. I.e. the פסוק in ספר ויקרא is not needed. All it should say is to the מלווה,  a פסוק saying לא תקח נשך and just use the word נשך and that will be enough to make a  גזרה שווה. That means if the same word is used in two places that means you take the laws of one place and apply them to the other place. To him you learn all the laws for the לווה and then apply them to the מלווה by the גזרה שווה. All you would need for the מלווה would be to say, לא תקח ריבית. But to תוספות this makes perfect sense since ריבית  is written only for money  בספר דברים. So you need the verse in ספר ויקרא to bring in ריבית for food for a מלווה  also.



According to תוספות one word נשך is needed for ריבית and the other for a גזרה שווה. But then you have question why is the verse for the lender in ספר ויקרא written at all?" For the lender all you should need is a verse telling you not to take נשך and then you can learn all the laws from the borrower. The answer is that נשך written by the לווה in ספר דברים 23 that refers to ריבית is written only for כסף. This is why תוספות made a point that the גזרה שווה is open at both ends, it goes in two directions. So that you will learn ריבית for כסף from the לווה to the מלווה and learn ריבית for אוכל from the מלווה to the לווה.


However the question on this is that both words אוכל and כסף for the לווה  are needed for נשך interest. We don't know which one is to be applied to ריבית. All we have to include ריבית by a לווה is one word נשך. We could just as easily say it applies only for אוכל just like it applies only for אוכל for a מלווה.
The answer to this is that after you have the גזרה שווה, you do not need the word אוכל for ריבית interest. So though you could learn from לא תשיך אוכל וכסף  from the לווה to the מלווה you only need the word אוכל The word כסף then can only come to tell you about ריבית. So from the גזרה שווה you learn ריבית for אוכל from מלווה to לווה and ריבית money from לווה to מלווה.

I should mention that the way the תלמוד here deal with interest as different from increase it does not look to me that it holds from the previous paragraph about both being the same thing, and the only difference between them is that there are two לאווין. This seems to me to be דוחק. After all there is not מלקות for ריבית so who cares how many prohibitions there are? As תוספות makes clear on this same page that the only time the תורה will add prohibitions to something is when it makes a difference in the punishment. So I would have to say that that רש''י means only to the opinion [the תנא קמא of רבי נחמיה and רבי אלעזר בן יעקב on page 62 that there is מלקות for taking interest. This seems simple to me even thought I have not seen anyone mention it.

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 ב''מ. גמרא: סא. אם אינו ענין. המהרש''א משמע שרש''י ותוספות לא חולקים אחרי שרש''י עזב את ההווא אמינא. אבל כשאני הסתכלתי בסוף הגמרא, היה נראה לי שרש''י ותוספות לא אומרים אותו דבר. לדעת התוספות "לא תשיך נשך אוכל  נשך כסף" מלמדת אותנו שלא לקחת נשך אוכל או כסף. ומילת "נשך" השניה היא מיותרת לומר שגם בשביל מרבית אוכל וכסף אסורים. אבל רש''י אומר ששתי הפעמים שמילת "נשך" מוזכרת, הן להגיד לנו הדין לגבי מרבית,- בגלל שהן לא נצרכות להגיד הדין של נשך. היה מספיק בשביל זה המילים, "לא תשיך".
אבל רש''י צריך לתרץ הקושיא שאין שום דבר מיותרת לגזרה שווה. אבל נראה לי  שרש''י כשיטה  לא צריכים מילה מיותרת בשביל גזרה שווה. צריכים רק אותה מילה בשני מקומות. [יש מחלוקת בזה. יש אומרים שגזרה שווה צריכה להיות מופנה מצד אחד ויש אומרים שהיא צריכה להיות מופנה משני הצדדים.]
וזה בדיוק הסיבה שרבינא יכול לבא ולהגיד שלא צריכים את הגזרה שווה. הוא לא היה יכול להגיד את זה אם המילה היתה מיותרת.
אבל לתוספות, רק מילת נשך אחת  נצרכת לריבית [מרבית], ונשך השניה היא באה בשביל הגזרה שווה.
אגב, לרש''י כאן יש קושיא, למה צריכים שום פסוק בשביל הלווה? לרש''י לומדים את כל הדינים של הלווה, ואז אומרים שהם שייכים למלווה גם כן. לא היה צורך להגיד בשביל הלווה שום דבר חוץ מן "לא תקח ריבית".
אבל לתוספות אין קושיא בגלל שריבית נכתבה בשביל כסף לבד (בספר דברים). ולכן צריכים את הפסוק בספר ויקרא להביא ריבית בשביל אוכל בשביל לווה גם כן




24.7.12

I want to mention here a thought I had about the Talmud

I want to mention here a thought I had about the Talmud Bava Metzia. Actually I would prefer to write this in Hebrew first but I can't do that right now so. So here it is in English.
I basically want to say that there is an argument between Rashi and Tosphot on Bava Metzia page 61a [first Tosphot on the page] and that I think it comes out a draw between them. The reason is that Rashi can explain Ravina better but Tosphot can answer the question, "Why do you need a verse for the lender?" [The verse for the lender in in Leviticus] Perhaps in this case it would be easier to start with toshot because he is a lot more simple than Rashi. To Tophot: you know interest for money and food by the words "Don't take interest for money and food" [lo tashich]. Simple. Then there is an extra word "interest" that you don't need. So you use it for increase (ribit). Then there is another extra word "interest" that you don't need. So you use it for a gezara shava from the borrower to the lender.
So far so good. But then you could ask on Tosphot, "You have only one word for learning to increase. So how do we know that it applies to both money and food?" The answer is elegant. Because this is why Tophot made sure to emphasize that the gezra shava is open at both ends. So that you learn increase in money from the borrower to the lender and increase in food from the lender to the borrower.
So Tosphot comes out perfect as usual. No surprise here.
The question is with Rashi. In spite of the fact that the Maharsha says that Rashi and Tosphot do not disagree in the conclusion of the Braita-- clearly they do. Rashi uses both words interest [neshach] for ribit. [The Maharsha means Rashi does agree with Tosphot that "lo tashich" was enough to tell us interest]. So to Rashi, I ask, why do you need any verse for the lender besides just saying to the lender "Don't take interest." Why do you need to go on to mention increase in food and interest in money for if you learn everything from the lender?

But I started this essay saying that Rashi and Topshot is a draw, because Rashi can explain Ravina. Ravina says you don't need the gezera shava and learns out everything for the lender from the verse about the lender. This is fine if there is no extra word. But if one extra word exists-- interest by the borrowers--as it does for Tosphot, then how can Ravina disagree with it?

______________________________________________________________________________

בבא מציעא ס''א ע''א

I basically want to say that there is an argument between רש''י and תוספות on בבא מציעא ס''א ע''א,  first תוספות on the page, and that I think it comes out a draw between them. The reason is that רש''י can explain רבינא better but תוספות can answer the question, "Why do you need a verse for the מלווה?" The פסוק for the מלווה in in ויקרא .Perhaps in this case it would be easier to start with תוספות because he is a lot more simple than רש''י. To תוספות: you know נשך for כסף and אוכל by the words "Don't take ריבית for money and food" [לא תשיך].  Then there is an extra word "ריבית" that you don't need. So you use it for ריבית. Then there is another extra word "נשך" that you don't need. So you use it for a גזרה שווה from the לווה to the מלווה.
So far so good. But then you could ask on תוספות, "You have only one word for learning to ריבית. So how do we know that it applies to both כסף  and אוכל?"  Because this is why תוספות made sure to emphasize that the גזרה שווה is open at both ends. So that you learn ריבית in money from the borrower to the lender and ריבית in food from the lender to the borrower.
So תוספות comes out perfect as usual. No surprise here.
The question is with .  רש''י . We have רש''י that uses both words  נשך for ריבית. . So to רש''י I ask, why do you need any פסוק for the מלווה besides just saying to the מלווה "Don't take ריבית." Why do you need to go on to mention ריבית in אוכל and נשך in כסף for if you learn everything from the מלווה?

  רש''י can explain רבינא. We have that רבינא says you don't need the גזרה שווה and learns out everything for the מלווה from the verse about the מלווה. This is fine if there is no extra word. But if one extra word exists "ריבית" by the לווה as it does for תוספות, then how can רבינא disagree with it?


בבא מציעא ס''א ע''א

יש ויכוח בין רש''י ואת תוספות על בבא מציעא ס''א ע''א, תוספות הראשון בדף. רש''י יכול להסביר רבינא טוב אבל תוספות יכול לענות על השאלה, "למה אתה צריך פסוק עבור המלווה?" הפסוק עבור המלווה הוא  בויקרא. להערכת תוספות אתה יודע נשך עבור כסף ואוכל על ידי המילים "אל תיקח ריבית עבור כסף ומזון" לא תשיך. אז יש מילה נוספת "ריבית"  שאתה לא צריך. אז אתה משתמש בו עבור ריבית. ואז יש עוד מילה אחת מיותרת "נשך" שאתה לא צריך. אז אתה משתמש בו עבור גזרה שווה מן הלווה אל המלווה.
 אבל אז אתה יכול לשאול על תוספות, "יש לך רק מילה אחת ללימוד ריבית. אז איך אנחנו יודעים שזה חל על הכסף ואוכל?" בגלל זה הוא מדוע תוספות טרחה להדגיש כי הגזרה השווה פתוחה בשני קצותיו. אז יש לך ללמוד ריבית בכסף מהלווה למלווה וריבית במזון מן המלווה ללווה.
השאלה היא עם רש''י. יש לנו את שרש''י משתמש  במילת נשך עבור ריבית. אז  לרש''י למה אתה צריך כל פסוק עבור מלווה לבד. רק תאמר אל מלווה "אל תיקח ריבית." למה אתה צריך ללכת על להזכיר הריבית באוכל ונשך בכסף  אם אתה לומד כל דבר מן המלווה?

  רש''י יכול להסביר רבינא. יש לנו את זה שרבינא אומר שאתה לא צריך את הגזרה השווה ולומד את הכל עבור המלווה מהפסוק של המלווה. זה בסדר אם אין מילה אחת מיותרת. אבל אם מילה נוספת קיימת כזו "ריבית" על  ללווה אז איך זה יכול להיות שרבינא לא מסכים עם זה.








21.7.12

the movement that does everything according to the rulings of Eliyahu from Vilnius known as the Villna Geon.)

Rav Zilverman (the movement that does everything according to the rulings of Eliyahu from Vilnius known as the Villna Geon.) was invited to join the newest lunatic Sanhedrin. 

Rav Elyashiv said, "No." So you see a little sane leadership is a good thing. I am sure there must have been other good things. It seems to me that the Litvaks (Lithuanian type of Jews) do learn Torah. OK maybe not as much as I would like--but neither do I learn as much as I would like. Basically it seems to me Rav Elyashiv was a kosher leader, even if there are specific areas I disagree with him--like the issue of IDF.
Rav Zilverman also asked me what I thought of it. I said a short answer but it was based on the fact that the Rambam says to make a Sanhedrin you need to gather all the wise of Israel and they confer semicha (ordination) on someone to start a new semicha. So my answer was short and simple, "First they need to be wise." {The implication is that I was saying they are a bunch of idiots so he should not join them.}
The nice thing about basic Lithuanian type of Judaism is that it is authentic. 

19.7.12

Soviet Socialist States of America

If we consider government to be a kind of messenger  as the Rashbam  רשב''ם says in Bava Batra, then certainly it would be null and void if the person does not keep his word. [note 1] This in fact gives me great doubt about the validity of the American government at present. What makes it worse is not the lies of the politicians, but the very nullification of the American Constitution. The government found a way to overcome the problem of division of powers that was supposed to limit government. They decided they would all act as one monolithic body. So it has became a government against the people, not for the people. [That was just step one. Then the media became an arm of government against the people.]
In John Locke's Two Treaties of Government, we find a clarification of when it is morally permissible to make a revolution and overturn the government. Based on those two treatises, I would have to say that the American government is long overdue for a revolution. There is unbelievable abuse of power. The government assumes everyone and everything belongs to it, your money, your children, your body. According to the American government, you never accomplished a damn thing in your entire life. Anything good you ever did is because of an African president, the Savior. It has become the Soviet Socialist States of America. [I admit here the word "soviet" might not be proper. That would be an insult to the USSR. There are really no "soviets" per say --advisory bodies that I know of.  A better way of saying this is, The Union of Socialist States of America.

The system of comprehensive government planning of economic affairs in America creating tyranny. With all production, employment, and distribution of output completely under the control of the State, the fate and fortune of every individual is at the mercy of the Black House.

[note 1] See Bava Metzia and Gitin for details. The main idea here is that when you appoint a messenger to do something, and he changes from what he was told, the messenger-ship is void. That is: let's says he was appointed to do kidushin [קידושין] (marriage) of a woman in a certain place for the sake of a friend, and he did it in a different place, then the kidushin (marriage) is null and void. The Rashbam explains the authority of government comes from messenger-ship in his comment on the law of the country is the law. (In  tractate Bava Batra) John Locke said the same thing in his most famous book Two Treaties of Government. In spite of the cool temper of John Locke and the seemingly innocuous title of the book, it is a recipe for revolution when a government abuses its power as is the case in the USA


The question of an electric light on Shabat

The question of an electric light on Shabat.


While it does look clear that an electric light that produces heat would be forbidden by the Torah according to the Rambam, it is hard to see why building/ (בניין) would apply to electricity. (And the Rambam seems to be a minority opinion here. Besides that why is not then a glass you use to focus sun rays also forbidden. And we know it is not except derabanan.) We do find that putting together a bed or menorah in a way that it could not be taken apart except by an artisan would be forbidden because of tikun mana תיקון מנא, but it is hard to see why electricity would be like that. The way the Chazon Ish understood the idea (closing a circuit) can perhaps be squeezed into the the Gemara. But it is not general way that binyan בנין or tikun mana תיקון מנא were understood by the commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch.
[The reason I always put binyan/building (בניין) and tikun mana/תיקון מנא fixing a vessel together is that the Gemara says they are the same work melacha except that one is for something attached to the ground and the other is not]
I heard from Rav Nelkenbaum (at Mir N.Y.) that he heard from a great man אדם גדול that the Chazon Ish does not actually fit into the Gemara. This might be true, but  I have not heard why.
To me it seems like the Chazon Ish went to great length to show how his idea of building/ binyan could be fit into the Gemara.---the bed and menorah are not possible to use until they are finished. The electric circuit is not finished until it is lit. In theory this seems to work.  The problem is: How does you understand electricity? Is it like water you pour from a tea pot? Or is it a part of the tea pot? I mean the teapot is useless until you pour water into it and then pour it out. Is now it forbidden to open the lid and pour out the tea?
But I admit that the Chazon Ish is an impressive book.

There are some interesting side topics here like a Rambam in laws of vessels  and the end of chapter 9 in Bava Metzia. But they don't change the law

I asked Reb Nelkenbaum to tell me the name of that "great man" but he refused to tell me. And I think he probably would not tell anyone else either because I think he was sworn to secrecy.
So if anyone has the time the only thing to do now is to open up that Chazon Ish and try to get to the bottom of this.
 I saw once that Rav Elizer Menachem Shach had a piece on this in his book the Avi Ezri. And that would be worthwhile looking at. I seem to remember his basing himself on the Rambam. This was about twenty years ago I glanced at it while at the Mirrer Yeshiva.  I think he was concentrating on the Rambam about any heat producing process in terms of making coals.

I think in the long run the reason I am thinking that electricity is OK is the Gemara at the end of chapter 3 in Shabat: about cooking stuff on hot pavement  (or perhaps with a magnifying glass) תולדות החמה. To me that seems to indicate that any heat producing process is  not the same thing as fire.
I think the Chazon Ish realized how absurd it is to think any heat producing process is fire. So he went in another direction-building בניין. And he was thinking that he could get a lot farther with building than he could with just fixing a vessel because building even less than an atom is still liableבנין בכל שהוא חייב . It is probably that distinction between building and fixing that the Chazon Ish is trying to use to get to his idea of forbidding electricity.

As far as what Rav Shach mentions in the Avi Ezri about coals-- clearly the Rambam that he brings there is going like Rabbi Yehudah that a מלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה is liable. But we don't follow this ruling. We go by the idea that מלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה is not liable. [In any case the whole issue of coals is from fire, not תולדות החמה or any other kind of heat making process.]

So there it is. Maybe someone will come up with some other reason to forbid it. But the reasons that have been given are ridiculous. בורר might be the next suggestion. One is choosing the good electrons from the bad ones by means of a vessel. So it is like choosing the good from the bad with a vessel which is liable from the Torah. But if someone wants to use this idea it might take another few hundred years to show why it is not correct.

I should add that the idea of keeping the Torah strictly is a good idea. Even a great idea. But it is not a good idea to make up prohibitions out of thin air. It is better to keep what the Torah says without adding prohibitions or subtracting them. There is in fact a prohibition in the Torah not to add prohibitions. It is called "לא תוסיף" "Don't add."

Instead of making up prohibitions my suggestion is to be strict about keeping the Ten Commandments.

 אור החשמל ביום שבת. השאלה של אור חשמל ביום שבת. למרות שזה נראה כי אור החשמל שמייצר חום יהיה אסור מן התורה על פי רמב''ם, קשה לראות מדוע בניין יחול על חשמל. ואת  רמב''ם נראה כדעת מיעוט כאן. חוץ מזה,  זכוכית  שאתה משתמש בה למקד קרני השמש גם תהיה אסורה. ואנחנו יודעים שזה אסור רק דרבנן. אנחנו מוצאים להרכיב מיטה או מנורה בצורה כזו שהיא לא יכולה להיות מפורקת למעט ידי אומן ייאסר בגלל תיקון מנא, אבל זה קשה לראות מדוע חשמל יהיה ככה. האופן שבו החזון איש הבין את הרעיון, סגירת מעגל, יכול אולי להידחק בגמרא. אבל זה לא האופן הכללי  שבניין או תיקון מנא הובנו על ידי הראשונים. הסיבה ששמתי בניין ותיקון מנא (תיקון כלי) יחד היא כי הגמרא אומרת שהם זהים, הם אותה מלאכה, פרט לעובדה שהאחד הוא במשהו מחובר לאדמה והשני לא. לי נראה שהחזון איש הלך באריכות כדי להראות עד כמה הרעיון שלו של הבניין יכול להיות מתיאם לגמרא. המיטה והמנורה הם לא ניתנו להשתמש עד שהעבודה הסתיימה. המעגל החשמלי לא נגמר עד שמדליקים. בתיאוריה זה נראה נכון. הבעיה היא: איך אתה באמת מבין בו חשמל? האם זה כמו מים שמוזג מקנקן תה? או שזה חלק של הסיר של תה? כוונתי שהקנקן הוא חסר תועלת עד שאתה לשופך את התה מתוכו לכוס. האם עכשיו זה אסור לפתוח את המכסה לצוק את התה? ישנם כמה נושאים צדדים מעניין זה כמו רמב''ם בהלכות טומאת כלים ועוד בסוף פרק תשעה בבבא מציעא. אבל הם לא משנים את החוק. אני חושב כי חשמל הוא מותר בגלל הגמרא בסוף הפרק השלישי בשבת: על בישול דברים על מדרכות לוהטות, או אולי עם זכוכית מגדלת שהם תולדות החמה. לי זה נראה בבירור כי כל תהליך ייצור חום הוא לא אותו דבר כמו אש. אני חושב שהחזון איש הבין עד כמה אבסורדי זה לחשוב כל תהליך ייצור חום הוא אש. אז הוא הלך בכיוון אחר, בניית בניין. והוא חשב שהוא יכול לקבל יותר עם בניין ממה שהוא יכול עם תיקון כלי מכיוון שבנייה אפילו פחות מאטום הוא עדיין  בנין בכל שהוא שחייב. זה כנראה ההבחנה בין בנייה ותיקון מנא שהחזון איש מנסה להשתמש בה כדי להגיע למושג לאסור חשמל. ככל מה רב שך מזכיר גחלים ברמב''ם, ברור שהרמב''ם הולך כמו ר.יהודה כי מלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה חייב. אבל אנחנו לא הולכים לפי פסיקה זו. הולכים לפי הדין מלאכה שאינה צריכה לגופה אינה חייבת. בכל מקרה את כל נושא גחלים הוא מאש, לא תולדות החמה או כל סוג אחר של תהליך קבלת חום

18.7.12

In one story of Nachman there is a utopia. But there is this evil king from a foreign country that wants to destroy that utopia. So he sends in his slaves to ruin it. This they do by immigrating into the country and then then they bring it down it moral level by vulgar talk and suing people all the time. By this method, the foreign king thinks he will be able to conquer and destroy utopia. If this story is not a direct prediction of what is happening to America then I don't know what else it could be.It was said circa 1800

One of my great heroes is Socrates.
I had a few comments about Socrates. In his creation of the ideal state, he puts learning Mathematics (in his day this included Geometry in two and three dimensions and Arithmetic) in the list of things his future leaders should learn. The reason is he see this as means of connecting ones soul to the world of truth and unchanging substances. Gymnastics and music are also there. But he is careful about what specific music he wants his future leaders to learn. This many people find offensive. Socrates is a censor of music and literature.

If you look at his state and the state of utopia that Nachman describes in his thirteen stories, you can see a similar thread. Neither want people in the state that will bring down the morality of the people.
In one story of  Nachman there is a utopia. But there is this evil king from a foreign country that wants to destroy that utopia. So he sends in his slaves to ruin it. This they do by immigrating into the country and then then they bring it down it moral level by vulgar talk and suing people all the time. By this method, the foreign king thinks he will be able to conquer and destroy utopia. If this story is not a direct prediction of what is happening to America, then I don't know what else it could be. How much simpler  Nachman could have said it?

Despite differences between  Nachman and Socrates I consider both to be valuable sources of information. This I base on an idea that in life it is important to find out, "Who is wise?"(who knows what they are talking about versus who is faking it.) I assume that my own wisdom is limited in street wisdom and in other areas. So I think it is important to find a criteria for "who knows what they are talking about ?" After that that I will listen to what they have to say. And it will not bother me if there are disagreements between wise people. (I assume there have to be disagreements between wise people.) But the main thing is to avoid the non-wise and especially to avoid the non-wise that pretend to be wise.
Liberals often that is they construct some fantasy meta-reality where the data might be acknowledged, but its significance is spun in weird ways. They have no need to fear or deny data because they have no intention of letting it rock their world-views.
Liberals deny social phenomena, using buzzwords like "blaming the victim," "false consciousness," or "correlation is not causation." And they believe that, since some stupid people are conservative, liberals, by definition, cannot be stupid. This does not follow.

16.7.12

in praise of Capitalism:For me Socialism and slavery have no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.

Socialized medicine. Contra Socialism and in praise of Capitalism.

A professor in the university in Uman in Ukraine knew that most people do what ever they can to go to a clinic in Kiev for gynecology. [The reason is that most doctors in the USSR were competent for external things. But when it comes to internal things like operations they simply were not very meticulous. It so happened that the head gynecologist in Uman was a acquaintance of this professor. So he did not want to insult his feelings and let him take care of the case of his daughter. she was pregnant. But she was thin and there was some type of problem I did not exactly understand. at any rate the gynecologist operated on the daughter and she lost her baby and the ability to ever have children.
[2] The wife of another fellow--her water broke. But it was towards the evening so the hospital shift did not want to deal with it until the next day so they gave the woman drugs to stop her from having contractions. But they gave too much so two days later (after the water had broken) they gave her more drugs to start the contractions!!! Oy VEH!!
[3] This is not a horror story but a simple statement of fact why a leading doctor in a hospital close to Uman--(a regional hospital that dealt with newly born children from zero to six months) simply refused the job of head of the hospital. Not because it deals with money and management--but rather because it deals with having to come up with new schemes how to make money by fraud and scams.

I have two acid tests to decide if any system is just. First I ask what is its concept of utopia. Next I ask what is its concept of human nature. I assume when given power they will act on their assumptions.

I start with the assumption of Socrates that people are different and that the essence of a just society is for people to mind their own business and to do what they are good at.

I have two acid tests to decide if any system is just. First I ask, "What is its concept of Utopia?" If its concept of Utopia is to murder millions of Jews and Christians, then I assume it is not just. I don't ask if they say they will do it- because some probably don't really know, and if the system demands murder, then there will always be found people more than willing to do. So I just look at what is their idea of an ideal society, and if this is it, then I assume when given power, they will act on their assumptions. I think the twentieth century has given us plenty of experience that it is dangerous to ignore what people say they will do.






The next test is to see what is their idea of nature --or human nature and the state of nature. If it is that  some elite group is good and everyone else are created to serve them, then I assume there is something a bit off in their world view. [Unless there is evidence to support their view. See the book the Bell Curve. I.e. statistical evidence can be use to show some group  is intellectually superior and or less prone to crime] And I look at their deeds to see if this is really what they believe and act on. If their actions contradicts their words, then I assume the actions are what shows what they are  thinking.
So though the Talmud is a source of value and information, it is not the only source. And people that claim that it is do not actually believe it. What they know is they have comfortable existence which they gained by convincing naive Reform Jews to support them and they don't want their comfortable existence threatened. Truth and Justice has nothing to do with anything in their minds.
If you claim to have an ethical system then one must look at the consequences of the system and see if they seem right.

To give an example [which I picked up from professor Bryan Caplan], the French economist Frederic Bastiat noted that many people thought that labor-saving machinery was bad because it destroyed jobs. He suggested that it would therefore be a wise policy to destroy all machinery, and thereby create even more jobs. See how this works. We have an axiom and a conclusion. The conclusion no one accepts. Therefore the axiom must be wrong.
Starting with a decent axiom is important.
Sure, you can be "logical" in reasoning clearly from utterly misled premises (cf. Thomas Aquinas, or even Isaac Newton's writings on theology, etc.), but don't  tell me there's any value in that except as an academic "practice exercise"? It doesn't count in real, reality-tested life. And it sure doesn't count as being a "rational human being" when the most-cherished ideas, upon which one builds his psychologist world-view, are derived from fairy tales and Grecian myths.

15.7.12

But I tend to agree with Isaac Luria that people are souls.-not selves

Soul is a difficult concept. But I tend to agree with Isaac Luria that people are souls. The modern self seems to me to not have succeeded very well as an explanation of what people are about. So far I have not heard a rational account of the self. Though John Locke used the part of the self that he needed to create a just society but he did not deny the deeper aspects of the soul.


The thing which i need to figure out is the idea of Socrates of a third element of the soul. the first two are the well known rational part and the desire part. (Kabalah divides both of these into ten.) But to Socrates there is a third element--the spirit or passion. and as usual he proves it it is not desire and usually opposed to desire. So what is this third part?\




E. Spodek: The soul is a rider that can steer when given the chance, when she calls out. Only through this world can she attain her true perfection. Although the soul initially loathes the body, it can transform it to receive the soul's full-potency, which will come at the time the soul re-enters the body at the level of Adam before the sin.

A. Rosenblum: That seems like the scheme of the Ramchal (Moshe Chaim Lutzato) which is a development of the Ari (Isaac Luria). That is an Okay scheme, but I still am not sure it is satisfactory. To me it seems there is a definite conflict between the concept of soul and the concepts of self and I am at this point not ready to accept either one. To me it seems that the soul is in the realm of the "thing in itself" (Dinge als sich alein) that is simply not open to human understanding--and that trying to use reason to understand it generates contradictions.

E. Spodek: One cannot grasp the infinite nature of the soul. It is only through our emotions, thoughts, and feelings that we have a hint of our souls.
That is why the soul is like a different entity. It exists outside of the self, but it is inside of oneself and definitely has influence on the self. It is the real understanding of being a "servant of G-d", not for reward. It's all about kindness for your soul. She's going to live on and take part of a most awesome regeneration. Whether it will be with you, or be with your re-incarnation, there is a fixing of soul that will take place. We're all in it together. G-d is ultimately leading everything towards perfection. It's a matter of how you want your name remembered. It's a matter of self-respect.

13.7.12

Natural Law and the Ninth Amendment of the USA Constitution.Here I defend the idea that there is natural moral law. The result of this is that the social so called "safety net" in the USA is theft. Just because you can use your numbers and voting power to take money from others does not give you the right to do so.

Here I defend the idea that there is natural moral law.
I need to go into the issue of natural law and the ninth amendment of the USA Constitution.
In short: Natural rights come from the concept of natural law-which in turn comes from the idea that human beings can perceive objective morality.]

To defend the idea that there is natural law is a two fold project. I need to prove that universals exist and (2) that moral laws are universals that are perceived by reason. [This fact is what caused Kant to try to find one a priori universal rule for morality.] I will quote Huemer to add me in this project.
"What is a universal? I have here two white pieces of paper. They are not the same piece of paper, but they have something in common: they are both white. What there are two of are called "particulars" - the pieces of paper are particulars. What is or can be common to multiple particulars are called "universals" - whiteness is a universal.
First: Universals exist necessarily. For instance, yellow is a universal. It is something that lemons, the sun, and school buses, among other things, all have in common. Yellow is 'abstract' in the sense that it is not a particular object with a particular location; you will not bump into yellow, just sitting there by itself, on the street. Nevertheless, yellow certainly exists.
Here is an argument for that:
1. The following statement is true: (Y) Yellow is a color. 2. The truth of (Y) requires that yellow exist. 3. Therefore, yellow exists. Therefore universals exist.
The reason this needs to be proven is because scientism is the primary ideology of our age. It is the belief that only atoms and their properties exist. "It hardly need be pointed out that the illusions scientism engenders are so pervasive and so insidious that it is practically impossible to get anyone who is subject to them to consider the possibility that they might be illusions." (Peter van Inwagen)
"It would be very difficult to actually argue that the discoveries of modern science show that there is no such subject as ethics. Exactly what experimental result does or could possibly lend support to such a conclusion is hard to say." (Huemer)
Some of the problem about the existence moral values comes from Hume and the "is- ought" problem. [You can't derive a ought from a "is".]: However this is wrong. I can derive the value judgment that Hitler was evil from the fact that he had eleven million people murdered.

Now let me show that reason perceives moral values.
Let me give some examples of things that reason perceives. "1+1=2" and "the shortest path between any two points is a straight line". A metaphysical intuition, "The number of planets in the solar system is a contingent matter." As physical intuitions, try "Forces cause motion" and "Physical causes are local; there is no action at a distance." Finally, as a moral intuition, consider "Torturing people just for the fun of it is wrong."
It seems to many people that moral values are strange. They don't exist in any particular place. We don't bump into them as we walk down the street. But the same could be said for the number "2." Saying that ethical (or mathematical) statements are true or false does not imply that there exist some ethereal substances that are values (or numbers). Rather that some things have quantities (for mathematics) or some things are good or bad (for ethics).


The reason that many people have not noticed that stealing (welfare) is forbidden in the Torah is that what radical ideologues are most interested in is political power. This means that people will continue to be used as the necessary bait to bring about the "changes" that radical ideologues deem important for power.

An essay about the United States must deal with the problem of disinformation -- a formidable and perhaps Sisyphean task of persuasion, since the disinformation in question is not the result of pardonable, correctable mistakes, but rather of a profound psychological need. This is why you never hear of the basic principles that the U.S.A. was founded on and why these principles are ignored today by the very government elected to safeguard them.

In sum: Universals exist. Moral principles are universals that are perceived by reason. Natural rights are a negative way of saying the Ten Commandments of the Torah. One of them is "Thou shalt not steal." (These are called negative rights just like "Thou shalt not steal" is called a negative commandment.--a "Thou shalt not" is a negative commandment. In the Torah there are many of these. But there are also positive commandments like, "Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother."  The Bill of Rights is a like a negative commandment. It is a limitation on the government not to interfere with peoples' lives- and not to steal their property. An example of something forbidden by the Constitution of the U.S.A. is to promise a sector of voters free money in return for their votes. This would be considered stealing by the Torah and the Constitution. Thus Welfare is against the Constitution. [See the Federal Papers for more information.]

The way people are duped into voting for the Democratic party which is the main source of this type of theft is the fact that people want to be nice guys. They think by voting to give other people's money away makes them nice. In the Jewish world this has a common name. It is called being frum (religious) at someones else's expense. This is very wide concept in the Jewish world. It can refer to a whole range of behavior like praying so loud in synagogue that it makes other people unable to concentrate on their own prayers. Or learning Talmud until late at night and then coming into your dorm room and waking up other people. But this is a great example of this type of behavior --in the worst way possible. If you want to be nice then give your own money away. You don't give other peoples money away, and then consider yourself generous.

11.7.12

There is no such thing as a right to receive money, goods, or services from anyone else. Social benefits and health care are charities, not rights. (Steven Dutch) The Communists teach an ideal state of humanity, but in fact are no less bloodthirsty than the Nazis. But the liberals were the most dangerous of all modern ideologies. Ready to do battle with Fascism, the liberals are blind to the (true nature of communism) Ben Zion Wacholder

[1] In defense of limited government.
To show that the Democratic Party in the USA is problematic it is necessary to bring together these ideas:
(1) The contrast between "positive" freedom, the right to exercise political power, from "negative" freedom, the right to be left alone by others exercising political power.
I need to show that John Locke idea of the State of Nature not only does not depend on his empiricism, but in fact contradicts it. In terms of the State of Nature, John Locke is a thoroughbred rationalist. Laws of reason exist for him in the state of nature.
(The state of nature and the reality of people wanting to preserve their life and property is not a imaginary state, but rather the state of every person that gets up in the morning as they race to get their first bowl of cereal.)
I don't need to refute Rousseau's State of Nature and the basic Noble Savage paradigm. A simple visit to Somalia will do that for anyone in doubt. [From Doubt to Danger.]
[The reason why the State of Nature is ignored by intellectuals today is because their "State of Nature" (benign ) turned out to be false. So instead of accepting the truth of John Locke, they ignore the idea completely.]


[2] John Locke admits a Torah government is different. So after we get the John Locke democracy, we still have to deal with Torah law for Jews. John Locke admits this. Right now I am simply trying to get to John Locke. Locke says: "The Jewish commonwealth to which the laws of Moses were issued was an absolute theocracy, in which the magistrate—the chief legislator—was God. So there was there no distinction
between religious law and civil law; there could be capital punishment for religious offenses because the latter were also civil offenses. This doesn't hold for any Christian commonwealth.)(Toleration. Section 7)

The way I deal with this is Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai-- (that is dorshin taama dekra--). He holds that we use the reason for the verse the determine how the verse is applied. I.e. an early version of natural law. (note [1])
--in this area I need to deal with the fact that natural law is not the same as Kant's moral autonomy (John Locke's natural law is heteronomous; Kant's is autonomous.); plus the issues involved in the fact that freedom which I am defending here has nothing to do with democracy at all; and even less to do with equality. Freedom and equality are exact opposites. I am going to have to work this out later. This will take some time.--In fact today I skipped learning Talmud in the morning because I wanted to start this long process already.


[3] One challenge to Liberal Democracy comes from Muslims. Personally I spent years living in an Arab village and was friendly with the two muftis [sheiks] and their children. One of their children had gotten a law degree from the University of Cairo and with him I discussed politics and religion at length, (every day over a few years.) So you could say I understand something about the danger and threat of Islam to Western Civilization and all humanity.
I know about what Muslims actually do, not just what they say In America most people know what Muslims say. That is not the same as what they do.

John Locke: "An evil that is less visible but more dangerous to the
commonwealth occurs when men [i.e. Muslims] claim for themselves and
their co-religionists some special prerogative that does in fact
conflict with the civil right of the community but is covered
over with a glittery show of deceitful words. For example: a
sect that teaches explicitly and openly that men aren’t obliged to keep their promises (to infidels)." I might add that Islam holds that a all non Islamic governments should be overthrown by force. They hold there is no crime in murder of Jews and Christians.
These beliefs are threats to civil society. According to John Locke people with such beliefs should not be tolerated.

[4] I need also to defend John Locke democracy from the challenges from Nietzsche and Freud. That is: I need to refute Nietzsche and moral relativism.
(He held there are no objective moral values. You make your own values)
Moral objectivity is proven by Professor  Michael Huemer thus:
Moral objectivity (like objectivism in general) is entailed by the law of excluded middle and the correspondence theory of truth, along with a couple of what seem equally obvious observations about morality:

(1) There are moral propositions.
(2) So they are each either true or false. (by law of excluded middle) (3) And it's not that they're all false. Surely it is true, rather than false, that Josef Stalin's activities were bad. (Although some communists would disagree, we needn't take their view seriously, and moreover, even they would admit some moral judgement, such as, "Stalin was good.")
(4) So some moral judgments correspond to reality. (from 2,3, and the correspondence theory of truth)
(5) So moral values are part of reality. (which is objectivism)
Also the basic claims of the Democrats is that: (1) all truth is relative to the interests and perspective of the person. (2) There are no universally valid truths.
(3) There are no absolute truths.
It looks like in each case you have to exempt the claim itself from the scope
of its application. But then you have given up the claim, for the
claim was supposed to be universal in in its application.

As for Freud. There is no reason to challenge him because everything he says is pure pseudo science. There is no conceivable observation that could refute him. He can explain everything with his theory. Therefore it is the very essence of pseudo science.


[5] Also I need to refute the idea that perception determines reality.
People who profess "perception determines reality" don't actually believe it or act on it. We never hear "George W. Bush has his reality about the Iraq War which is is valid in its own way as my own," we hear "George W. Bush lied about the Iraq War." If perception really determined reality, the easiest route to social justice would be to condition disadvantaged groups to perceive their realities differently.


[6] I also need to refute legal positivism as opposed to natural law--against Mill.
Now Mill claims the principle of utility to be the first principle of morality and itself not in need of proof. But if the principle that we ought to promote happiness is acceptable as a first principle--if, that is, it does not require to be proved--then why the principles of justice (we ought not to steal, to break agreements, to punish the innocent, etc.) should not equally be accepted as first principles becomes obscure. Why does the utilitarian feel that just action needs to be justified while benevolent action does not?

[7] To see how the principle of limited government of John Locke was incorporated in the Constitution of the USA, you need to see the Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
That means the USA government can not take more power that that which is given to it by the constitution.


Dr. Kelly Ross writes: "This (the Tenth Amendment) was regarded by ..[many] involved in the writing of the Constitution as the capstone of the whole project, affirming that the federal government had only limited and enumerated powers. It was the ultimate principle preventing the United States government from acquiring absolute and unlimited powers. It is thus the ultimate nightmare to the partisans of tyranny, of statism, of absolute power, of a police state, of socialism and communism, of social engineering (whether secular or religious), or of those who simply want to be able to do anything to buy their way into power and pay off their friends."

[8] The basic concept of natural rights is written in the Constitution in the 9th amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Dr Ross writes: "Here it is obvious that just because a right is not listed in the Constitution, that does not mean that it does not exist. Indeed, it cannot even be argued that rights listed in the Constitution are more important than the ones not listed, for this would be to "disparage" the others."

Many Jews sadly feel that rights are granted by government.It is just the opposite. Rights are inherent. Just that because people want to live in a civil society they give up certain rights --like the right to punish criminals--in order to form a perfect society.they do not give up any rights or powers to the government except what they have stated. This makes me wonder what most Jews did during American History class.

[9] I will also have to show the reason can perceive values. In this I will have to deal with the apparent conflict between Kant and Michael Huemer. But for a long time I have held this is really no conflict. Kant had been stuck in a concept from Hume that reason can perceive only contradictions. This is clearly not true--since as Kant noticed right away--we have synthetic a priori knowledge. So Kant made structures in perception.  But the basic approach of Hegel Michele Huemer and Brian Caplan is with Kant himself--that reason perceives a lot of stuff besides contradictions!!
Just with Kant reason places structure on what it perceives.





[10] "Natural rights"
Dr. Kelly Ross: Another recent conception of "positive" liberty, which gets confused with the "natural rights" advocated by Locke and Jefferson, are "welfare rights" such as a right to a job, a right to medical care, a right to adequate housing, a right to disability payments, a right to child support (from the government in default of a "deadbeat" parent), a right to be cared for in retirement, etc. The problem with "welfare rights" as positive "liberties" is that, while they might enable the beneficiary to do what he wants, they must be applied by the threat or the use of force against the freedom and/or property of others. A "right to a job" means that somebody else must be required to provide the job. A "right to medical care" means that somebody else, doctors and nurses, must be required to provide that care. These kinds of rights thus will either effect "involuntary servitude" on the part of employers, doctors, nurses, etc."

[11] The use of force is not a natural right in the state of nature. Sorry it took me this whole essay to get to that one simple point. In the state of nature you have the right to protect your life and your possessions from the force of others. And you can use force to protect yourself and your possessions. But you can't use force to get the possession of others. And that is why the Democratic party in the USA is Satanic. It uses force or the threat of force to get possessions of people to redistribute them. And do so in the name of Justice. This is pure Marxist Socialism.
In the state of nature to get possession one has to work--not use force applied against others.



note [1] Natural rights come from the concept of natural law- which in turn comes from the idea that human beings can perceive objective morality.]



Bibliography
Von Mises
Kant
John Locke, Two Treaties and Toleration.
Hobbes
Professor Kelly Ross
Professor Brian Caplan
Professor Micheael Huemer.
Professor Searle
Habermass.
Professor Steven Dutch
Isaiah Berlin

10.7.12

Negative liberty of John Locke.

The 9th amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

This affirms that the federal government had only limited and enumerated powers. The principles of civil rights have now been corrupted as part of the process by which, as Jefferson said, the power of government is expanded. 

In both cases, the corruption is effected with specious principles that confuse the role of government with that of private individuals: that private individuals may be identified instead of government as adversaries of civil rights.
Forcing others to provide benefits is a behavior merely directed against the negative freedom of classical liberty, the basic right to be left alone

 I think it would be a good idea for me to go into the important subject of the basic principles of negative rights that are enumerated in the Constitution of the USA.
They are based on the State of Nature and the reality of people wanting to preserve their life and property. This is not a imaginary state but rather a state that every person that gets up in the morning as they race to get their first bowl of cereal. This is opposed to the imaginary scheme proposed by Rawls. But Habermas already blew Rawls clear out of the sky with his critique.

9.7.12

My impression is that there are too many books. I think the minute a person has finished shas (talmud) with rashi then he is fit to be a rav.

(1) My impression is that there are too many books. I think the minute a person has finished Shas (Talmud) with Rashi then he is fit to be a rav. (no pseudo semicha needed. In fact anyone with semicha is by definition a fraud since semicha itself is a pretense. Everyone know the type of semicha recognized in the Talmud is no longer in existence. So people that get the title rabbi today are people that do willful fraud.)
All the other books don't add much to this.
often the other books give people the feeling that they know halacha because they learned in the Shulchan Aruch how to kill animals and to salt them. This goes for the other books also.
I don't mean to belittle the greatness of the Shulchan Aruch but without shas it seems to do little for people.
(2) But then you could ask what about Halacha and Hashkafa [kosher world view]? What about modern issues in keeping Shabat etc? I plead like the Maharshal- better a wrong halacha based on Shas than a right halacha based on the poskim-authorities.
[3] After Shas I think people should
learn the two basic halacha books, Rambam and Shulchan Aruch with the Beer heiTeiv straight from beginning to end-from the first page to the last. And then start again.

Do like Maimonides said- learn Aristotle and Kant for hashkafa. And Modern Physics for what the Rambam called Physics. Though to the Rambam, Chemistry would also fit into what he called Physics.
[] Kabalah I would drop. True that philosophy does not get anyone very far (Modern philosophy is a desert.) but that probably better than Kabalah. Despite the great insights of people like the Ari-Isaac Luria, kabalah has one basic drawback- the Zohar. Not only do people that learn it consistently start to believe that they are the messiah.--but also the basic words "im kol da" show it is a medieval forgery.
A little real spirituality that is true is better than a lot that is based on a lie.

[] All this brings me to a good question: what would a Judaism based on Talmud be --if after all I claim that orthodox Judaism is not it. I would have to admit that conservative Judaism is much closer to what I think Talmudic Judaism would be. They have a lot of basic points that I think are necessary for a true to Talmud Judaism, e.g. support for Israel, Monotheism, an application of the delicate dance between Talmud and reason. I am sorry to say it but there is nothing from the Talmud I can see in the insane religious world  today. It all looks to me like one sick fraud.

7.7.12

Arizona Mom Faces Child Abuse Charges After Arrest for Pouring Beer Into Her 2-Year-Old's Sippy Cup If we understand tyranny in this way we can see how America has collapsed in to tyranny.

If you think I am exaggerating take a look at these headlines  I saw after  I wrote this small essay here: Arizona Mom Faces Child Abuse Charges After Arrest for Pouring Beer Into Her 2-Year-Old's Sippy Cup


Though I am aware of the KGB spending a lot of time and effort on subverting American universities during the 60's and 70's. still it occurred to me that the pervasive culture of suspicion and suing and lack of understanding what human rights are in America really comes as a result of the very essence of democracy. I am not absolving the KGB entirely because they certainly tried to give American a push in the wrong direction--a direction it is taking now. But still as my KGB friend said when I asked about the student movements of the 1960's: I don't think the KGB had the resources to be able to have that kind of influence. I.e he said and still thinks until this day that the KGB simply could not have done the job on its own unless a lot of the emotion and direction was indigenous. As i think about it now i must admit that from what i remember the atmosphere of the 1960 was extremely pervasive. I think i will have to limit my idea that it must have simple been in the higher areas of education that the KGB was trying to convince the top echelons of the schools of philosophy and education of their approach. In that I think we can see there were successful

Which brings me to one of my favorite heroes- Socrates. He was not much for democracy. He saw it as a final step of deterioration before tyranny.and he was not stupid. He knew that democracies are about those two magic words "freedom" and "equality". But just wait a minute--he says also that having a king is the best form of government. Today we tend to think of a king and a tyrant as being synonymous. Socrates sees democracy and tyranny as being close to synonymous and the king on the exact opposite end of the spectrum. My way of explaining this is that a king allows no political freedom but allows total economical and personal freedom. a tyrant allows no economical or personal freedom. If we understand tyranny in this way we can see how America has collapsed in to tyranny.

5.7.12

What is bad about Modern is exactly that "Modern" defines them. Not right and wrong. . If psychology is the in thing then they make a psychology school. Even though is is pseudo science. [First: there is no conceivable observation that could disprove  psychology -therefore it is pseudo science. Second: Freud was an idiot. The human mind is not a steam engine with pressures and steam outlets. Not all human phenomena are results of turning one kind of heat energy into mechanical energy or sexual energy into civilization. Only an idiot could think to reduce all human motivation to the one that he saw in himself. There are more wheels
and balances in this clock than are easily imagined. I image in the time of Freud when the steam engine was new, this must have seemed progressive. It is like people today try to explain human thinking like computer programs. It sounds classy and new and plausible. But in a hundred years from now it will sound like Freud explaining human thinking by showing how we are like steam engines.
sublimation --turning one kind of energy into another. talking to reduce pressure. Every so called great insight of Freud he got from steam engines. And to believe that people believed this nonsense?!
And these were the same people that thought Kabalah was crazy!  Sorry but the show they put on the wrong foot. Psychologist are crazy and insane for even believing such idiocy about human beings in the first place.



The one thing Torah is supposed to give to people is a sense of the difference between right and wrong and true and falsehood. Nothing in the modern orthodox world indicates that they got that lesson. At least in the charedi world they have a guide post--Torah and Talmud.

3.7.12

  talking  with God as a friend talks with another friend and pouring out ones' heart and problems to him.


Talking  with God as a friend talks with another friend and pouring out ones' heart and problems to him.


 I can suggest a general approach towards attachment with God. Talking with him in an informal setting. Let me just say I am not the first person to think of this. It looks a lot  like what King David was doing. .

People should do this all day from the morning  until evening. People should pack a lunch and a bottle of water and go out into the forest and talk with God all day long.