Translate

13.2.13

militant atheism

The issue of the militant atheism was brought up today in my Talmud session.


I was encouraged by my Rabbi Freifeld to learn secular studies. in this context I learned Sartre. Even though I had read some Existentialist literature in Beverly Hills  High School, then that I first tackled the thick volume of philosophy of Sartre.
 I had a small degree of philosophical knowledge already which I had accumulated by my studies of Spinoza and Plato in high school. So Sartre seemed pretty second rate to me. I had already been exposed to the Greats.
Sartre came up because he was the first that tried to disprove the existence of God. Before him there were people that did not believe but did not evangelize for that. [With my learning partner I went through the different schools of Greek thought but I can't do that here.]

Also mentioned in this conversation that my essay in which I drew a distinction between monotheism and the pantheism was inspired by Brad Scott and his essay. He had been  part of a Hindu sect and became Christian. And he noticed that in Medieval Christian theology the distinction between monotheism and pantheism was clear.

Basically it was the Christians  that paved the path to a clear understanding of Monotheism starting with Pseudo Dionysus. It is my opinion that when the Rambam borrows from Pseudo Dionysus [specifically the negative theology of the Rambam which is a distinctive Dionysus doctrine] and other Christian sources he does not mention his sources, but when he draws from Muslim sources, he does mention his sources. [The Physics of Aristotle is the obvious source for the Rambam's treatment of monotheism, but I think he also borrowed from Boethius. This would be worth  certain amount of effort to go into if anyone out there would be willing to spend the time and effort.]
Be that as it may. The type of faith that we Jews recognize as Monotheism was formulated very well by Maimonides.

Now I wanted finally to go into Godel and his formulation of  proof of Anselm.To my learning partner I just mentioned that I felt that mathematical logic was such a deep field that it would be for me like the Talmud. I would have to be involved in it for 30 years before I felt qualified to say anything intelligent about it. However from far away I can see a few things that can perhaps protect the proof of Godel from some of major critics. The compactness theorem for one.
[The Torah puts Monotheism as the foremost principle. That is the reason for the Rambam's approach.