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30.6.16

Art at its best in to capture something transcendent in Nature.

Art at its best in to capture something transcendent in Nature. It is not to copy it, but to capture its essence. Schopenhauer went into this in . 



The idea is that the transcendent numinous reality has existence that depends not on the subject nor object. But it can be perceived by intention. [I do not know if that is how Dr Ross would put it.


Early medieval Europe.

Early medieval Europe. There was something definitely special going on then. The question then is how to deal with the problem that such an society entailed. How to combine it with the better aspects of the Enlightenment? My suggestion is at least a re-emphasis on the great books of the time.

 Also classical education which was the basic books of Aristotle on Logic plus the few others books from late Rome--plotinus.

Personally I feel there is a lot to gain from both the Mediaeval period and the Renaissance.

Jewish people are already aware of the importance of the Rishonim, the Rambam and Tosphot in particular.
For Jewish people education was already spelled out by the Rambam: Torah, Physics, Metaphysics. By the last two he was referring to two large sets of books by Aristotle. Today I would have to say modern Physics would have to be in place of Aristotle's Physics.


I should mention that this kind of education is not too far away from what I was doing anyway in high school. I was certainly interested in the mediaeval period though my time was limited because of school work.

Authentic Lithuanian Yeshiva.

A healthy yeshiva operates through no universal methods, but several general principles, and these become adapted in many specific ways. One way is culling. Any successful yeshiva has internal gatekeepers who drive out the people of lower moral standards, ability and behavior or those who are merely genetically incompatible. The sane form of this is exile; the insane form is  not doing it.

There is a side idea: Don't join a group of crazy people even if their doctrines sound nice.

29.6.16

r90 slightly edited. This probably needs a lot of editing but  if I do not put it here I can easily just forget about it. And unless God grants to me some kind of inspiration I have no idea how to edit it.

Musar is the glue

I realize my life and the meaning of my life is fragmented. If I look at all the pieces of the puzzle some are more well put together than others. But the whole thing is like pieces of a puzzle when you open the box. It looks like one big mess.
It is like when I was following the path of Musar of Reb Israel Salanter which in a nut shell is the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule then all the pieces fit together. That is Fear of God and working on having good character (as the Torah defines good character) --as like the mortar for the bricks, the cement, the glue.


The problem was accepting a different "meme" unit of social information. The Torah is explicit about what matters and what does not. The trouble is that as long as I was part of the Mir Yeshiva in NY there was a kind of glue that held things together. Learn Gemara and Musar. Though I think Reb Nachman was a great tzadik, but getting involved in the group that supposedly follows him was exchanging the meme of the Torah for an alternative meme.
Besides that it had the problem of ignoring the signature of the Gra on the second excommunication.


What this means for people that are not in the Mir yeshiva is simple. No matter where you are you can work on the exact same things: (1) Fear of God (2) Good Character. These are available at all times to everyone.

The best ways to go about however is not clear to me. But the goal is clear.

I am not saying the books of Musar are perfect. Rather what I am saying is that without Musar it is all too easy to get the meaning of life and of Torah mixed up.

 Sparta. It is hard to know why Plato thought it was so great. Perhaps he was thinking of the fact that Athens at the time was under Spartan rule and was doing fairly well.

Perhaps he was thinking of a kind of synergy between Athens and Sparta? After all that is what existed in his time and it was the time that he and  Aristotle wrote and many other advances came about.


[To see a thorough account of the affinity Plato had for Sparta see Karl Popper's, The Open Society and its Enemies]

28.6.16

Allen Bloom called tendency to self destruct "the crisis of the Enlightenment." He also noted the anti Enlightenment began almost as soon as the Enlightenment itself. He was thinking along the lines of the Republic of Plato a being the solution. That seems to indicate Sparta. Not that Sparta was all that much like the Republic but that is certainly where the sympathies of Plato were.
If the goal is to save Western Civilization then it is important to focus on the principles involved, not on who is saying them. If S. Miller [an advisory to Trump] helps in this regard then he should be complimented. What people ought to do is focus on the prize--the presidency-- because you can be assured that the Left is extremely focused on that. If the right will not concentrate to the same degree we are likely to lose everything. Civilization itself.
The intellectual basis of the Left is the group--Rousseau's "general will." This was meant to replace religion and the rule of kings and princes. This is opposed to John Locke's individual rights. The issue is where is the center of gravity? The individual, or the super-organism.  In John Locke, the individual gives up some rights in order to form a community. In Rousseau the community is the source of rights. The French Revolution as founded on the ideas of Rousseau, and the American revolution was founded on John Locke.  This blog  amerika. noticed that both seem to have limitations.
I there suggest a kind of return to the Middle Ages where both the Torah and Kings had a kind of balance of Power.



[You have to read between the lines of John Locke to see his approach. He does not come out and say this openly.]


What I think is missing here is the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. There is no liberty without the Law of God.

In any case what is missing is not just the law of God, but also Hobbes--civil society. That is the area that government is meant to protect-- but not interfere with.
It seems to me the area of Torah is in this area of civil society where people accept voluntary acceptance of  the Laws of the Torah.


27.6.16

See the history of Spain and the Martyrs of Cordoba.

When Muslims get over a  certain % things go downhill quickly. Below a certain % they are the best mannered. Then people think well of them. Then the % grows and jihad starts with the youth  and the parents saying "we can't control our children. They are doing these violent acts on their own."  Then the % grows and you have a Muslim country. This is a common thread of how they took over many countries. See the history of Spain and the Martyrs of Cordoba.

Marriage is the most delicate of human affairs.

Very often women need help with household chores. It is a good, an important thing to help anyone that needs help. But making her think the chores are the man's responsibility, begins a slippery slope towards a shifting of roles.

Marriage is the most delicate of human affairs. When religious people stick their noses into it, they only spoil it.

The most dangerous to marriage and happiness are religious teachers. There is little they touch that they do not ruin.

25.6.16

I have a problem with twisting the ideas of medieval scholars to make them fit with modern conceptions.  With no new evidence all that matters is how rigorous ones logic is. And in moral affairs there can not be new evidence. You can not derive an "ought" from an "is." Moral proposition requires moral principles that can not be derived by empirical evidence.
And when it comes to rigorous logic,  people have been denying the validity of reason or using circular reasoning since the end of the Middle Ages. They simply can not compare with intellectual giants. This is in the Jewish world also in terms of whom we call "Rishonim" medieval Authorities.) However where you can criticize medieval people is in the axioms.  Sometimes they use beginning principles that are self evident. That is the only place where they are sometimes weak. But even there if one is willing to dig deep he can find the kernel of truth in what they wrote.

I heard this idea of the importance of Rishonim from Motti Friefeld [the son of Shelomo Friefeld] and from what I have seen later it makes sense. It is the general approach of Authentic Litvak Yeshivas and by examination of Rishonim as compared to achronim it is easy to see that this approach is correct. [However some achronim are useful in order to help understand the Rishonim.  Personally I have always loved using the Maharsha in that way, and in later years I found Rav Shach's Avi Ezri to be very helpful in that way.

A nice video that applies to yeshiva

The yeshivas know this. You don't learn a vocation producing something that people need.
What you are saying when you go to yeshiva is I want to world to create  a job for me.

Th reason yeshivas are opening up is the bosses are saying if you can get the money out of these stupid kids parents and out of the State of Israel, then come and teach here. All you will do at the best if you get hired is to re-teach stupid "vorts" [stupid homilies] on the Parsha and tell everyone how they need to support you because it is the greatest mitzvah to support yeshivas. [Which it is not. To be paid for learning Torah is against the Torah].
And they will sell you out for a dime when it come time you need their help.
If they are willing to sell out the Torah,  why do you think they will refrain from selling you out?


And what will you learn? You will learn to blame the goyim and the State of Israel for your lack of success in life.
And you are going to want them to pay you for their supposed guilt. If you are baal teshuva and you believe them when they make believe they are your friends you are dork.

All religious teachers do is lie in order to get other people's hard earned money. And then claim that is what the Torah says.

If we would be talking about places that learn Torah for its own sake then none of this would apply. But the reality is they are about using Torah for a vocation even the kollel's. After all they are getting paid for learning -- are they not?

Religion is virtue Olympics

Religion is virtue Olympics. First one has to prove how strict he is in rituals. They he gets the scepter to rule over everyone else. The religious teachers are the equivalent of of the taskmasters that were set over the Jews in Egypt. The only difference is the religious teachers claim the authority of the Law of Moses to enslave the Jews. And the only way one can tell this is a deception is by knowing the Law oneself.

So learning Torah has two advantages. One is to know and to fulfill the law of Moses. The other is so that one can not be "taken for a ride" by fraudsters that claim to know it and interpret it in such a way that basically means everyone should be their slaves.

Stand against Tyrants and Tyranny!

Just to be clear I hold from the Oral and Written Law of Moses very highly, but I do not think the people that claim to teach it are honest. And the proof is in the pudding. Just compare their actions -not their words with the Law of the Torah and you will see there is no correspondence.

Of course if we were talking about the great Litvak Yeshivas, like Ponovitch or Brisk I would not say this. But the real authentic yeshivas are the exceptions not the rule. In the authentic yeshivas people certainly learn true virtue.--at least to the degree that virtue is teachable.

24.6.16

r87 g minor This might need a lot of work. I had to finish it fast because of all the crazy interruptions in the place I am staying. I was afraid if I do not finish it fast, it would not get finished at all. Still it seems to have some merit and I hope God grants to me some idea of how to edit it.

Pick your friends wisely. Pick your enemies even wiser.

Pick your friends wisely. Pick your enemies even wiser.

Falling into some group is not something that just happens on its own. One makes a choice. And then discovers it is easier to fall into something than it is to all out of it.

A good deal of my own enemies,  chose to be enemies for reasons unknown to me. I did not choose them. They hurt me and my family in secret as much and as often as they could all the time pretending to be my friends.

Some kinds of evil are easy to identify. Muslims clearly want to kill all infidels.  But there are other groups whose evil is harder to identify as they pretend to be friends. [I have found religious teachers to fit into this later category.]


Winston Churchill once said, "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a positive reference to the Devil in the House of Commons." The logic of this should be obvious. Churchill recognized (rightly) that maintaining Britain's liberal order was worth allying with the devil. No one went to war with the Nazis just because of the tactics they used. They primarily did it because they couldn't stand the idea of living under a Nazi regime. I can't stand the thought of living under the "quasi-totalitarian"  regime of religious teachers. They have shown themselves to be predictable as enemies towards moral and normal Jews. They think their black clothes gives them some kind of air of superiority. 

 Their opening gambit is to throw normal Jews  under the bus, so the enemy will appreciate the fact that they have shown themselves to be  reasonable fellows who follow principles.


The kinds of damage religious teachers did to me and my family were because we were not aware of them as enemies. If we had been aware they never could have succeeded in inflicting the kinds of damage that they did.

What sincere people that love the Law of Moses, the Oral and Written Law could do would be to make  a clear distinction between themselves and religious teachers. I have said this over before to people but my suggestion was ignored until now. If people understood my point they would make a clear difference between religious teachers and the Litvak Yeshiva World (good - as long as they keep the religious teachers out.)







23.6.16

Some people have suggested that there is a kind of war against man by the Dark Side. The Sitra Achra סיטרא אחרא and this seems a reasonable assumption. But then the question is how to identify what aspects of my own life are results of enslavement to the Dark Side?

Where can you see the influence of the Samech Mem? [Satan]?


So how to avoid the Satan is an important question. How to identify what there is in one's life that comes from the Dark Side. People can be working for the Dark Side and not know it. But they can be made aware of it when they see problems in their life. Problems one has are often reflections of what one is doing wrong.


Often one lets the Satan into his own life because he buys into some pre prepared package.  For example he buys into the 
religious narrative and thus accepts everything that is accepted in that society though some aspects of the Sitra Achra have penetrated it.  But he does not pay attention because he thinks by buying into it he will have a shiduch and a living. So he does not question.

The trouble with the religious world is that it is one thing to have a shaman. A schizoid personality type that is admired. It is another thing to put a schizo-typal personality in charge. 


I mean to say the best ideal of control of a community is as Aristotle said an Aristocracy--the rule of the best. What you have in the religious orld is the rule of the schizo typal personalities and the rule of the stupid.

So I do not hold by going to graves of tzadikim mainly because of the Ten Commandments. Monotheism. That is I am trying to get to a basic kind of keeping of the Law without adding on things or subtracting things  that  are not part of the Law

22.6.16

Men have been abused and hurt

Men have been abused and hurt. They created the manosphere. But along with the complaints about how they have been treated by women, they attempt to see the larger picture and see to the roots of the problems. Thus Democracy itself comes under attack. Maybe someone saw this before, but I think Allen Bloom was the ignition key. So what is going on is in fact a larger critique on the entire Enlightenment project. This is where Allen Bloom traced the problems to and also Brett Stevens.  So it does look, in fact, like a kind of revolution--in a good way. And Trump seems to have concentrated the energy in himself and been able to focus it.

So what we have is an unpredictable future.

Now the ideas of the Constitution of the USA are certainly compatible with the an aristocracy and that approach was, in fact, the final position of Aristotle. And it is likely we would still have this kind of government in not for the constant attempts to destroy it by the Supreme Court. I also believe the KGB at least infiltrated the Humanities and Social studies departments, as Bezmenov said. But they certainly would not have accomplished all the destruction that they did if not help from the basic weakening of the values of the Law of Moses. In any case, it is time to take back the narrative.

the Five Books of Moses.

My basic approach is based on the Five Books of Moses.  I take the Talmud mainly to be an explanation of the Law of Moses. But it stands or falls based on how rigorous and logical and approach it is.  No one in the Talmud says believe me because I am divinely inspired. One person tried it and was put into excommunication.

There are some laws which are called Halacha LeMoshe MiSinai. But they are about a million of a percent of the laws and discussions in the Talmud. Mainly whoever reasons best wins the argument.

Uman. The city where Reb Nachman was buried.


I really have little to do with the area over there and try to avoid it. Recently there was a shooting. There are a lot of sephardim from Morocco and they tend to be hot heads. So one shot a Ukrainian shop keeper. The police came and all the cult people  ganged up against the cops. It was only one police car. In any case there are enough problems with the people that hang out there, for me to say I would rather not be anywhere near that area. For people that come to Uman, there is  a beautiful hotel near sofia park. But its owners are not Jewish

I have nothing but good things to say about Reb Nachman himself, but the area there has been taken over by a cult.


I have noticed the anti democracy ideas on a few blogs in the mano sphere. Some ideas are pretty good. But my feeling is that the problems about democracy were what the founding fathers were trying to avoid by creating a republic. It can be abused but every four years there is a chance to change things. What system can' be abused? At least the American Republic can be corrected when it goes off the path. This year the USA is being given a chance to vote for Trump. What  more can you ask for?

21.6.16

Here is my note on Dalrock:
There can be good parents. My Mom and Dad were prime examples. I tried to describe this a few times on my blog but most people know intuitively what good parents are. So I do not see any reason to elaborate on it here. I just mean to point out there were such people in the world.
But here I think it makes sense to go into the idea of being good parents in some detail. Mainly it means being a mensch and teaching that to your children. That is to act "right." And no one needs to be taught what acting "right" is. Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule

the meaning of the Law of Moses.

It is a great privilege to be able to get on the Internet and speak about the greatness of the law of Moses. I would like to take this undeserved opportunity to discuss it. I see there is some confusion about the meaning of the Law of Moses.

Shimshon Refael Hirsh I think did the best job of putting the basic ideas into modern understandable form. The Musar Movement of Reb Israel Salanter was working  in the same vein but I think Rav Hirsh did a little better job simply because his approach does not lend itself so easily to be misused. Musar can be sidetracked easily.

Mainly what I would like to defend here  is (1) the idea that the Talmud is connected with the Law of Moses. Also  I would like to defend the idea that  (2) it has not been nullified. And third that (3) it should not be used as  prop for idol worship. That might be too much for one short blog entry.
 The best living examples I saw of how to live according to the Law of Moses were my own parents.
And they were not as strict in ritual observance as in the more important parts of the Law. But they did not deny the importance of all aspects of the holy Law of Moses. So while admitting that there were certain aspects of the Law that they might not have been doing with ultimate perfection still I think it makes sense to describe their approach.
My parents were Reform Jews, so they did see religious fanaticism as a bad thing and in most cases a kind of mental illness. But also they were quite aware that keeping the Torah as it was given, not more nor less, is very very important.

So they saw the Ten Commandments as the core. Not to lie and not to steal and to worship only God alone.

The validity of the Talmud depends on Reason. While at the core there is a basic assumption of the meaning of the Law of Moses, but in deriving the details there is no claimed authority except logical rigor. Who ever thinks more logically wins the debate

Reform Judaism has gotten off track with the adoption of social justice as a goal instead of the law of Moses. But at least they are Jewish. No Jew would every join the religious world thar worships human beings.








19.6.16


At least I would like to take the opportunity to mention the Musar of Reb Israel Salanter.  I found this very helpful in understanding the basic approach of the Torah. I mean one could learn the Tenach [Old Testament] and the whole Oral law and still not have  very clear idea of the basic values of Torah.

One thing you see in Torah that is important is Fear of God. "What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear HIM?" That is pretty open and plain. And what way is there to come to fear God except by Musar--that is the books of ethics  written during the Middle Ages that explain the basic approach of the Torah.


I grew up in an area that was John Birch Society and never encountered any problem. I see American Nationalism and wholesome Judaic - Christian values as important. There is much I disagree with in Christianity but I do not see it as a threat. I see the Left however as a very serious threat to me to the USA and to mankind. It is my impression the Left does whatever possible to hurt the Jewish people while pretending to be freinds and to turn the USA into an African 3rd world country
I deleted that blog entry about religious teachers. I would rather not talk about such things. It is really because I am trying to warn  about a truth that I know to be true and have never seen an exception to that I decided to write about it. But I still am upset because I know there are people that learn Torah for its own sake in Litvak yeshivas and I do not want to be critical of them. religious teachers when ever they could cause damage to me and my family never hesitated. All the while claiming to be pro family. religious teachers here means people that are paid to do rabbinical duties. It does not refer to a different class of people that are occupied with learning Torah for its own sake.
Introduction: You have a lender and a borrower. The borrower had a field at the time of the loan and bought another field later. There are two buyers of the fields. The lender does not pay. He defaults.
The lender gets his loan paid by the first field and the buyer of the first field gets his קרן (the amount he paid) paid back by the second field. Tosphot asks: Why is there a second field? The second answer of Tosphot is the first was made a guarantee for the loan. The old Tosphot answered because the lender already collected his שיעבוד ("Obligation.)" That is to say at the time the loan was collected there was no second field. The borrower bought it after part of the loan was collected. The old Tosphot holds the lender at that point can not keep on collecting any and all property until the loan is paid


The idea here is that the lender gets paid back by property that the borrower owns at the time of the loan. That is even if the borrower sold the property. This has an equivalent in modern day law. You look when you buy a home to make sure there are no previous obligations on the home. You hire someone to do a background check.

But furthermore in the document of the loan usually it is written "all property that I will buy in the future will be subject to this loan---to pay it back in a case of default." [What if this was not written? That a different subject.]

Why I bring up this subject here is simply because the first answer of Tosphot holds the lender must go after the first field. So in terms of this law we have a מחלקת ראשונים and argument--which field must the lender go after? [In my notes  I wrote the possibility that this is related to an issue of when one borrows and then borrows again from someone else and then buys a field]
The older version of Tosphot is brought in the Maharsha. It comes from something called "תוספות ישנים" which is an older version of Tosphot before the editing process began the the 1200's. We do not have  a lot of these. You can find them mainly in Yevamot. But the Maharasha found one that applies to our case.


________________________________________________________________________________



 בבא מציעא י''ד ע''ב.  There is a difference between the answer of תוספות about אפותיקי and the version of the תוספות ישנים that says there is a second field because the lender already took his שיעבוד. The answer of  תוספות ישנים is that there is a second field because there was only one field at the time the loan was collected. Then the lender bought another field. Then the first buyer collects from the second field. According to this if there had been a second field that was bought later the lender would have had to have gone after it. That is the exact same idea as the second answer of תוספות about the אפותיקי. There also the only reason the lender went after the first field was because it was made a guarantee for the loan.
Therefore in terms of law about which field the lender must go after the second answer of  תוספות and the  תוספות ישנים hold the lender must go after the second field, if he can. But the second answer of תוספות and the  תוספות ישנים will differ in the case that the lender has already collected part of his loan. The  תוספות ישנים holds once he has collected any part of his loan according to the circumstances at the time, then he can not collect again. The second answer of תוספות about the אפותיקי holds he could continue to collect.


 בבא מציעא י''ד ע''ב. יש הבדל בין התשובה של תוספות על אפותיקי ואת הגרסה של התוספות הישנות שאומרת יש שדה שני כי המלווה כבר לקח את השיעבוד שלו. התשובה של תוספות הישנות היא כי יש שדה שני כי לא היה רק שדה אחד בזמן ההלוואה נאספה. אז מלווה רכש עוד שדה. ואז הקונה הראשון אוסף מהשדה השני. לפי זה אם היה שדה שני אשר נרכש מאוחר יותר המלווה היה צריך ללכת אחריו. זהו הרעיון בדיוק כמו התשובה השנייה של תוספות על אפותיקי. שם הסיבה היחידה שהמלווה הלך אחרי השדה הראשון היה כי הוא בוצע ערבות להלוואה. לכן מבחינת החוק, התשובה השנייה של תוספות ואת התוספות הישנות מחזיקות  שהמלווה חייב ללכת לאחר השדה השני, אם הוא יכול. אבל התשובה השנייה של תוספות ואת התוספות הישנות תהיינה שונות במקרה שהמלווה אסף כבר חלק ההלוואה שלו. התוספות הישנות מחזיקות שאם  פעם אחת המלווה אסף  חלק של ההלוואה שלו בהתאם לנסיבות באותה העת, ואז הוא לא יכול לאסוף שוב. התשובה השנייה של תוספות על אפותיקי מחזיקה שיוכל להמשיך לאסוף.



18.6.16

The Mediaeval approach

The Mediaeval approach was to see the glory of God in his creation. This at least I saw a lot in the mediaeval books of Musar like the Obligations of the Heart.

To me it sounded like they were saying to learn Natural Science but did not want to actually come out and say so. But it was close enough to bother me. I was in yeshiva when I was seeing this and that was not a message I wanted to see. It would have meant that my parents were right all along that wanted me to go into Math and Physics.[Of course they never said anything even remotely like that.They were not about to try to use their influence in that way. But when they saw my interest in those areas they were very encouraging.]

17.6.16

events events in Uman

I do not have a lot to say about events events in Uman. Mainly my idea is that the excommunication that the Gra signed is still valid. People ignore it at their own risk.

The main thing about it --if you want to get a better idea of what it [ a חרם (excommunication)] means is to look in the laws of shavuot [oaths] of the Rambam in the commentaries there is brought the debate about what kind of force a חרם has. It ends up being a מחלוקת ראשונים[debate among mediaeval authorities]. No surprise there. The basic idea that comes out that is relevant for us is that it is a kind of איסר נדר (prohibition due to a vow). That is when one says "This loaf of bread is a קרבן (sacrifice) to me" that makes the loaf of bread forbidden to him to eat or even to sell and use the money.

I know this might seem silly to people and I admit to me also it would not make much sense if not for the falsification in the pudding. Not the proof in the pudding but the disproof. An increase in bad character traits indicates not only no spiritual benefit but even a negative effect.
 Did you ever see a pigeon beat up another pigeon because the poor pigeon was getting more pizza crumbs than the aggressor? I saw this in Uman. You would not see such a thing in Uman years ago. On the contrary, even the cats and dogs and chickens got along fine. Something changed. 

16.6.16

I was asked about Numinous reality. Or Holy reality


 The major idea comes from Kant. Kant was trying to answer a few problems. Mainly the problem that both the empiricist and the rationalist both had good points. Thus he came up with the Gothic Structure of the Critique.

The problems in the critique were noted by later people. One approach to iron out the difficulties was this idea of non intuitive immediate knowledge. Things we know not by reason and not by senses.
What is known by kind of thought we can call non intuitive immediate knowledge but it really is a kind of Reason that recognizes or know things beyond detecting contradictions.

So this idea is in some way expanding the areas that reason perceives. One area is numinous reality. Pure content and no form.

Part of the idea comes from Socrates. When he questioned the slave if he knew the answer to a certain problem in geometry. The slave said no. Socrates then asked him a series of questions until at the end the slave came up with the right answer. There are therefore things we know but we do not know that we know. Another aspect of Socrates was to ask people questions about things they thought they knew. There was a series of question until the person contradicted himself and thus showing there are things we think we now that we do not know.

The way I approach Numinous Reality: The Giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) was a beginning of a new kind of thing. That is there have been times when God wanted to bring something important and special into the world, and one such time was  Matan Torah. I really would need to go into this in more detail based on the Rambam in his Guide for the Perplexed.

So to come to Torah"-- an Iyun (in depth session) Shiur in Torah should be in one of several books Avi Ezri, Reb Chaim Soloveitchik's Chidushei HaRambam, Baruch Ber a disciple of Reb Chaim Soloveitchik, Shimon Shkop another disciple of Reb Chaim. Or you can take one Tosphot and just do it every day until it becomes clear, The fast session should be to get through the entire Oral Law with Rashi and Tosphot.


That is to say I recognize the Law of Moses as a kind of wake up call for humanity. Thus one should go though the Oral and Written Law. That is simple.The most one needs to do a entire half page of Gemara Rashi and Tosphot [an Amud] is 30 minutes.Add the Maharsha and Maharam with that and you have 40 minutes. So to get through the whole Oral and written Law is simple and short. Ten minutes of the Old Testament and 40 on the Talmud.That is easy as apple pie.


[I am aware of different levels. I know some people have not gone through the whole Old Testament yet in Hebrew so for them it might be a good idea to spend more than ten minutes on this. The best thing is for beginners is to get a Hebrew English Dictionary, Forget the commentaries. They are not worth the time and mostly are very unhelpful.


To tell the difference between numinous reality from the realm of holiness and as opposed to the Dark Side is by character traits. This was an idea of Hegel and it makes sense to me. That there is a strong correlation between holiness and good character.

You see this idea also in Dante. And it comes up in Musar of Reb Israel Salanter very often.


That is in the disciples of Reb Israel Salanter the idea of "midot" character as being primary comes up often. You see in in the Rambam also in the Guide concerning the reasons for the commandments of the Torah











15.6.16

Islam promotes violence against non-Muslims and subversion in non-Islamic countries. Muslims should never have been allowed access to any Western nation. It might be impractical – not to say illegal under American law – to round up all known Muslims within our borders and deport them.

Once a nation admits Muslims, they will proliferate like cockroaches. Shortly after that, the violent fraction among them will use the numbers of those otherwise inclined for shelter, concealment, and support, as their religion dictates. And every terrorist act will be swiftly followed by pleas for “tolerance” and demands for concessions to their creed, by both private and public institutions.
There have been times in my life when I have “pushed my luck” and eventually suffered the consequences. Life has a way of giving you a painful “reality check”. A friend of mine used to call it the “cosmic NO”, when the universe tells you that you need to rethink your approach.
The thirty-year-old graduate student with no prospect of tenure; the thirty-year-old unmarried woman whose youth is starting to leave her; the worker whose career is a string of angry confrontations: there are plenty of people who will likely hit the wall one day. Or, as we used to say, they are “riding for a fall”.

I should mention I was in NY during times when there was extreme pressure and criticism on the police there. If this kind of pressure has expanded into other areas in the USA, then the caution of the police becomes understandable. If the atmosphere  has become  anti police, then there is little motivation for an officer to stick his neck out.

to learn Talmud

The way I found best to learn Talmud was to get the large picture by going through the whole set word for word from beginning to end. But also to be in a Litvak Yeshiva at the same time when you can hear classes on in depth learning to understand how to go into any given subject in depth with Tosphot and Rav Akiva Eigger and Reb Chaim Soloveitchik.
But then after you get the big picture, it is the proper way to concentrate on one Tosphot for as long as it takes.

Similarly in Physics I found this same process. It helps to get the big picture, and also at the same time to hear classes from the professors that know the material well. But then after that, to concentrate on one small subject at a time. When I had only a text I would take one small subject let's say generalized coordinates, or the Beta Function and just keep on going through it word for word for forty days in a row. 

14.6.16

Kabalah as a negative thing

I see some people see Kabalah as a negative thing. They seem to group it together with attempts of things like the New Age cults and such. This was never my impression, but I think this opinion should still be considered.  After all how is it that it got to be so widely and wildly  accepted in the religious world? I am not sure how to answer this? From what I can tell there might be some reason to think the entire acceptance of it as a legitimate part of Judaism might have been a mistake.

In any case it is hard to see any good that comes out of it.


However sometimes it seems  people that were good  did learn the Zohar and the Ari. And that does not seem like a bad thing. After all the Ari is just developing a modification of a neo- platonic system and using it to explain the Torah. Still you have to wonder is there perhaps some kind of bad energy mixed up with the whole thing? Based on what we have seen for the last centuries as Kabalah became popular we certainly did not see people improving in any way because of learning it.


What might be going on is that people are putting anything that smacks of the Dark Side all in one trash basket and throwing it all out without inspecting the particulars of each case. Thus they would be putting the cult that the Gra signed the  excommunication on and Cabala and new age and Hinduism all together and saying that it is underneath all the same dark side.




In other words, some people are instead of focusing on the positive aspects of their beliefs system are focusing on avoiding the Dark Side in all and every manifestation of it. This is probably a good approach. The reason is that it is easy to be distracted and to swallow the bait. I think people are the most interested in avoiding the Dark Side are probably thinking correctly. The question is how to identify the dark side? But they are not concerned with that. They simply dismiss anything that smells even slightly off.


Now I have never done that myself, and I am probably at fault for this. As I look over things I have read I see I have studied in great depth and detail systems that were pretty obviously from the Dark Side. Maybe I did not care, or maybe I thought it would not effect me. Maybe I thought I was immune?


I have talked about kabalah in particular is some other essay. But just for now let me mention that Im Kal Da  עם כל דא [even though] which comes up all the time in the Zohar is a translation of Im Kal Ze עם כל זה [even though in Hebrew]. It was a phrase invented by the Ibn Tibon family during the Middle Ages.. Therefore not one word of the Zohar can be from R. Shimon Ben Yochai. QED.

In the time of Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai for although one said אף על פי or אף על גב



Interest on loans

In Bava Metzia there is the היתר עיסקא. I forget the exact arrangement.From what I recall in Bava Metzia ch 8 it is you give  a fellow a certain amount of money to buy goods and to sell at a profit. Half is a loan that must be paid back.The other half is a partnership. if a loss is incurred both share the loss. If profit then both share the profit.

Where there are Muslims. you can expect they will kill infidels pretty much on a continuous basis.

I tend to be not surprised when I hear abut a Muslim killing people. In the USA this was unknown expect in international terror incidents that were in the news.There were not Muslims except for Iranians fleeing  from the Islamic revolution over there. But then I was in a country where there were Muslims. Then it was common to hear about Muslims blowing up buses all the time. At least a few times per week. To I got used to hearing about this. I guess it was  a shock to me the first times I heard about it but eventually i got used to the idea. Where there are Muslims. you can expect they will kill infidels pretty much on a continuous basis. No surprises here. 

Dark Side [the Sitra Achra סטרא אחרא]

There has been a tendency in academia to deny numinous reality.
This can be traced to different sources. I could go through a list, but that would not be helpful.
The problem that I see is that numinous reality has two sides to it. The closer and more seductive Dark Side [the Sitra Achra סטרא אחרא]which mimics holiness. This is what people fall into without being aware of it when they get involved in mystical practices.

The best solution to this problem was decided a long time ago by Lithuanian yeshivas. Learn Ethics and the Oral Law and avoid any and all mystical business. The idea here is that (1) There is numinous reality. (2) The Dark Side is close. (3) Therefore anything beyond learning the Law of Moses,the Oral and written Law is fraught with danger and thus should be avoided.

This is not to say there were no people that by means of their fasting and personal service towards God were able to get a close connection to numinous reality from the side of holiness. Rather it is considered that it is so dangerous as to not be worth it.

In some groups, they think that their sanctioned leader was able to get beyond the danger zone. These are usually the people that are the most deep into the Dark Side.

"Whom the gods would destroy, first they make insane." The first step of the Dark Side is to set up sanctioned accepted leaders that people think are holy.






13.6.16

Mind Body Problem. Beyond the Veil of Perception.


. But my own impression is "empirical realism" excludes a simulation. But your question has lots of different aspects to it. And I am not sure how to condense a simple answer. Mainly we know reality even on the most physical plane is radically different than what we see.  We have intellect that enables us to survive, not to perceive reality. So we have to deduce it. On the quantum level things in fact are just possibilities until perceived. So there is no preferred frame of reference. Schopenhauer put it in the best way: representation is half subject and half object. So the simulation is a bit too simplistic. What is going on is the observer depends for his character on the observed, and the observed depends for its character on how it is observed or measured.


Evolution of the mind came about because of the need for reproduction and survival. The mind is good at that. It would not be good if what it perceived was unrelated to what is really there. In any case your question is along the lines of two things: How do we know things? What is really there?
These are objects of discussion in Plato. And in fact he has two areas of reality like Kant. What are called the "world ideas." To Kant that is called unconditioned reality. Still there is a connection.


I would like to take the liberty of  of quoting the PhD thesis of Dr Ross (ch 3 sec 4):
"Since Descartes it has been a serious dilemma why a representation caused by an external object need bear any resemblance to the object or tell us anything about it. Any cause is only sufficient to its effect, and sensations as effects conceivably could have any number of possible causes, including God, the deceiving demon, etc. Kant sought to circumvent this problem by proposing that the forms of objectivity of external objects are not conveyed to us causally from without but are actually imposed by the subject from within. This "Copernican Revolution"[76] stood the traditional relation on its head. "  He finds this unsatisfactory and thus comes up with a new system.  One great advantage of this is he is quite aware of Quantum Mechanics and yet has not fallen into scientism.  His answer is  knowledge that we know not by thought and not by sensation. 


eruditeknight.


I should admit I am personally involved in the answer to this. I felt deeply in Israel that there was some kind of coming into being of a new level of consciousness into the world. I found the world not ready for it so I pushed it away from my self. Probably a mistake. But i was not able to go back and correct it later.





Evil is contagious. Do not hang out with the wrong crowd.

An example of how there are hidden influences from one person to another  is purely biologicl temrs is a woman's period.


Sapolsky {Stanford} says people girls can make their periods simultaneous.

That is  when girls live at home they have a certain time frame when they do not see and then a time frame in which seeing blood is possible.  anywhere from 30 to 40 days.

When they live together one girl can affect the others so that their periods coincide.  This is so well known to biology students that he heard one girl bragging to another that in the summer camp she was at she had all the girls synchronized with her after a very short time.

If you have listened to Sapolsky a little you would know where he is going with this.
That there are lots of hidden biological things that affect people and cause them to act in certain ways.
So what you learn is you have to be very careful with whom you hang out.
If you hang out with bad people or insane people be sure this will get into you eventually.

That is to say evil is contagious.

Kant

I spent a good deal of time in philosophical and religious searching. The thing I settled on  as representing the most accurate picture of reality is the Kant school . That is in terms of question like "How do we know things?"  and in terms of questions on meaning and in terms of the ultimate nature of things. Mainly this was  process of excluding nonviable options. That is going through a lot of different thinkers and trying to evaluate if what they said made sense to me.

So I do not take a religious fanatic approach to Torah. Hard to explain what that means. Mainly that only sanctioned religious leaders have the truth. That seemed to me to be utterly false. But on the other hand I felt there is  a deep truth in the Law of Moses and in the Oral Law. So I needed some way of making sense of things.

I could go through the whole list of philosophers and thinkers that I went through but their names would not mean much. [Some more thoroughly than others.]

A lot of philosophers hit on some deep aspect of truth.  But in many of their systems I found flaws. So that is my basic approach in terms of the question of meaning.


How did I go about this? Here are some of the factors I used: Observation of people, assuming there is some connection between what people do and their world view. Internal observation. Common sense. A good deal of learning in depth so as not to dismiss off hand anything just because at first it seems problematic. A good deal of Physics and Math and Torah.

Appendix: I like the critics of Kant very much because of the light they shed on Kant.
The intuitionists, Prichard, Michael Huemer, G.E Moore have some great ideas but in the long run I think they did not try hard enough to understand Kant. I have a great deal of respect for John Locke and the empiricists and the rationalists, but in each there are serious flaws. Both in each individual school of thought and also as general approaches. Of course Plato and Aristotle are  great but still I had to find some approach that made sense to me. I was not able to just depend on ancient thinkers that were dealing with different issues.

Some critiques on Kant simply miss the point and do not understand the issues between the rationalists and the empiricists which lead him to his conclusions. A lot of modern philosophers are simply innocent when it comes to Physics, so what they say in that area and conclusions they draw by what they think they know are usually "off." Some have been overly awed by science. Some have "Physics envy." I do not want to go into it all right now. My point is my approach comes mainly came from eliminating other possibilities






12.6.16

Another terrorist incident? You can bet the mainstream media will say that Islam had nothing to do with it. They will blame it on guns.

Who has that authority to interpret Torah?

I had a blog a few years ago where dealt with different ways of interpreting the Torah
But I did not deal with the question who has that authority?

Mainly I considered the question settled by the approach I saw in the yeshiva of Rav Freifeld in Far Rockaway. That was Shar Yashuv. Later at the Mir Yeshiva in NY I saw the approach was the same so I did not think much about it afterwards.

The idea is mainly that we depend on "סברא" logic along with the Oral Law. That is in order of precedence: The two Talmuds, Rishonim[mediaeval authorities], Achronim [authorities after Rav Joseph Karo].

There is a mixture of faith mixed in with this. That is though the Gemara does not claim Divine inspiration  we give it more authority than if it would be simply a product if human minds. We assume it is inspired to a lesser degree than the Bible, but still that it is inspired.

This is a settled question--or it should be. Recently I have seen many people to grab authority from the Talmud and claim it themselves. Usually-with intention to legitimize some kind of idolatry of some individual.

Appendix: I imagine an expanded essay on this might be in order. Mainly because of the amount of confusion I have seen on this issue. The actual Oral Law is  the two Talmuds. But they do not actually state a legal decision except rarely. Also it is sometimes hard to resolve contradictions. So we go by rishonim, Rif, Rambam, Rabbainu Tam, all the authors of Tosphot, etc. There is an assumption that rishonim are never wrong on any point of logic. This is always in fact the case. Achronim can be wrong and often are. Especially on points of logic. But in any case, they do not have the authority of a rishon except for the Gra. The main use of achronim is to understand the rishonim.

As far as Halacha goes achronim have no authority except in so far as they can help understand the rishonim.


The achronim that wrote on the Shuclchan Aruch [Shach, Taz, Ketzot, etc.] are very valuable if you have learned the subject in the actual Gemara Rashi and Tosphot.
The Achronim that wrote on Shas like Rabbi Akiva Eiger are great --but again -only because they shed light on rishonim.









.






Music for the Glory of God

"Torah with Derech Eretz."Shimshon Refael Hirsch and Rav Cook.

When I have doubts in life about the proper path it helps me to look back to the basic approach of my parents. This path was what could be called "Torah with Derech Eretz." Which means the Law of Moses along with learning a vocation and good character traits.  The way I try to go about this is to have small sessions daily in each area of value. That is a little music, a little Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot, and Musar, a little Physics. etc. That is I strive for balance. I strive for the center.

I admit this is limited in so far as when  some doubt about a specific issue arises, there still is no advice but to go  to God directly in prayer.

This Torah with Derech Eretz was is in the Mishna, Pirkei Avot and the Rambam was decided the halacha like this.  This path became known as the path of Shimshon Refael Hirsch and also of Rav Cook. But Rav Cook had a extra emphasis on the Land of Israel also.

There have been times when I experimented with different kinds of review in learning. I can not say what works best for everyone. But I wanted to mention something that I found helpful. I a have mentioned that the Gemara in Avoda Zara has this idea  of one should just say the words and go on.  And I think that is right. But a few years ago with a text in Quantum Physics I did a slightest variation on this. I would get to the end of  a chapter,  and then instead of gong on to the next chapter, I would go back over the last one in reverse order, section by section. This I think can be helpful for others, so I thought to mention it here. The idea is let's say chapter 2 has ten sections. I would (after reading the whole chapter straight),  go back to section ten. Then nine, then eight. etc.

You could do this with the Gemara itself. When I was in Yeshiva in NY the emphasis there was how many times you finished a chapter. There was one store-owner I remember who did chapter three of one tractate a whole bunch of times.

Communism, socialism and labor theory of value.

I do not like Communism nor socialism. While I am no expert but I am slightly familiar with some of the relevant books [Marx et al. ] and societies that were operating on socialist principles. I was in Israel during the time the Socialist Labor party was in power. The money there at that time had a half life of about four months. If you loaned someone $100 worth of shekels at the end of the year they repaid you what was then 1/10 of the original value. This is my major observation about socialism. It is a way to get power by making people think they will rob the rich. But then society under those principles does not work very well.

Just for the record I might mention what is wrong with communism-it is the labor theory of value. The idea that labor makes something valuable. It is from this that Marx can derive the theory of exploitation and the power differences of class. If  more physical labor makes it more valuable then why do not the workers get all the benefits? Exploitation. But if you start in the opposite direction something has worth according to how much people want it then it does not matter how much labor went into making it. What matters is getting it to the people that want it. And that is the organizers and managers. and thus there is no exploitation and And thus communism falls away as false theory.
Sapolsky makes a point that to lock away dangerous criminals does not depend on their having free will.
He is obviously coming from a chemical aspect so you would expect him to see things in the light of his own field. Still the point should be well taken. Maybe someone's genes and DNA comes from some Muslim or Tartar background. So they think theft and murder are nice and pleasant things in one's free time or for recreation. Or as he suggest Toxo-plasmosis. Like he says who know how many more things are out there like that that take over one's mind.
[See his ideas on stress]


The whole concept of courts trying to determine if one is responsible for his actions makes no sens e to Saplosky. You stay away from crocodiles even if you do not think their are morally culpable for their actions.

And we can go further to put equate evil with death as the Torah itself does in Deuteronomy.
Thus Adam and Eve did not need to have free will in order to do evil. And they could not have known what they were doing was evil.

The most important ideas on Adam and Eve are  Rambam and Avot Deravi Natan.
Mainly we have from Rambam (Maimonides) the allegory idea plus the sin of not going after the tree of life which was knowledge of truth as opposed to falsehood and instead went to the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

 Avot DeRavi Natan  says one should not make a fence for his words as Adam did.  And it refers to this  as a debate between the sages of the Misha. Some said one should make  a fence.Others said one should not. And it compares the fence of Adam to the fences make as rabbinical decrees. That is to say that some sages did not agree with the idea of making rabbinical decrees at all. I have not mentioned this on my blog here much. But it does give you an idea of why I look mainly to fulfill the commandments of the Torah and not to add or subtract.

11.6.16

PhD thesis of Dr Kelley Ross
in these two sentences. [in chapter 3 of his thesis.]



"A less powerful version of that is just the notion of "initially credible" belief.[86] But both these alternatives are unacceptable both on the general Platonic principle that the "regress of reasons"[87] must end in knowledge which is different in kind from "true belief"[88] and on the specific Friesian doctrine that, apart from analytic propositions of logic, the regress of reasons must end with immediate knowledge, which is similarly different in kind from belief states (which are mediate representations)."

While these are points important for philosophers, to me it seems  the differences also are in terms of practical matters and application.


Mainly I was going through a kind of crisis in faith--and still am. I found that the ideas of Kelley Ross based on Kant helped provide me with a defense of faith.

9.6.16

When someone with grace invites you into their home and asks nothing in return and you do not find the accommodations to your taste what do you do? Muslims have invented a new way to deal with this kind of frustration. Burn down the house.

German police arrest 6 refugees after blaze at Dusseldorf asylum home
Police have detained six men, all residents of a large refugee home that went up in flames in Dusseldorf on Tuesday, the Local reports. The cause of the massive fire at the 5,000sq-meter refugee center is still being investigated. Some 130 people were evacuated, while another 30 refugees and rescue workers were left suffering from smoke intoxication. The six men, who were living at the home, have been taken into questioning over the fire, Dusseldorf police said on Wednesday. The Express newspaper reported that one of the men under investigation had boasted about starting the fire, saying it was out of frustration with the circumstances of the accommodation.

It is possible to defend objective morality. Same essay as before but a drop simplified


It is possible to defend objective morality.  This would be in two steps. One would be to show universals exist. Then to show moral principles are universals. Next to show they are known or can be known by reason.  Yellow is a universal. Yellow is a color. It is not an idea. It is something yellow things have in common. It does exist. For the sentence "Yellow is a color" to be true, yellow must exist. Therefore universals exist. There are many kinds of universals. Moral principles are an example of universals. To know the existence of  a universal you do not need a reason. You can recognize its truth.

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. A universal is capable of being present in multiple instances, as whiteness is present in many different pieces of paper. A particular doesn't have 'instances' and can only be present in one place at a time (distinct parts of it can be in different locations though), and particulars are not 'present in' things.

A universal is a predicable: that is, it is the kind of thing that can be predicated of something. A particular can not be predicated of anything. For instance, whiteness can be predicated of things: you can attribute to things the property of being white (as in "This paper is white"). A piece of paper can't be predicated of something; you can't attribute the piece of paper as a property (or action or relation) to something else. The piece of paper can only be a subject of judgements;



WHAT IS "A PRIORI"? AND WHAT IS EMPIRICAL KNOWLEDGE?

By an item of "empirical knowledge" I mean something that is known that either is an observation or else is justified by observations. A priori knowledge is that which is not empirical - i.e., an item of knowledge which is not an observation and which is not justified by observations.

EXAMPLES OF  UNIVERSALS

LOGIC IS A PRIORI

By "the principles of logic" in this argument, I will mean exclusively principles of inference: that is, principles stating what is and is not a valid or cogent argument. For example, "Modus ponens is valid" is a principle of logic, and it's one that we know. How do we know these things?
(1) Principles of logic are not observations.
You do not perceive, by the senses, the logical relation between two propositions. You may be able to perceive that A is true, and you may be able to perceive that B is true; but what you can not perceive is that B follows from A. You can also, perhaps, observe by introspection (I take introspection to be empirical knowledge) that you actually infer B from A. But again, you do not thereby observe that it was valid to do so.
Validity is not something literally visible, audible, tangible, etc.

(2) The principles of logic can not in general be known by inference.


MATHEMATICS IS A PRIORI

Consider the proposition
(B) 1 + 1 = 2,
which I know to be true. Is this proposition based on any observations? If so, what observations?


In order to learn the concept '2', I probably had to make some observations. I might have been shown a pair of oranges and told, "This is two oranges." I might then have been shown two fingers and told, "Here are two fingers." And so on. This might have spurred me to form the concept 'two'. And if not for the observations of the oranges, the fingers, etc., I might never have been able to form that concept.
I mention this, however, only to explain why it is irrelevant. As I previously explained, the issue is not whether observations were necessary in my coming to understand the equation (B) but whether any observation justifies the proposition, i.e., provides evidence of its truth.
How about this, then: I see one orange, over here. Then I see another orange, over there. I put the two oranges together. I count them, and get the result "2". I therefore conclude that 1 orange plus 1 orange = 2 oranges. Perhaps by doing this experiment with a lot of different kinds of objects, I eventually conclude (inductively) that 1 + 1 = 2, regardless of what type of objects are being counted. Thus, observation has confirmed (B). Perhaps by also confirming a lot of other equations, I might also be able to inductively support the axioms of arithmetic.
This idea, of course, involves a confusion about the nature of addition. Addition is not a physical operation. It is not the operation of physically or spatially bringing groups together, and the equation (B) does not assert that when you physically unite two distinct objects, you will wind up with two distinct objects at the end. Indeed, if it did, the equation would be wrong. It is possible, for example, to pour 1 liter of a substance and 1 liter of another substance together, and wind up with less than 2 liters total. (This happens because the liquids are partially miscible.) This does not refute arithmetic.
Addition is solely a mental operation, sc. the mental operation of taking two groups and considering them as one group. Thus, I can take a group of ten people, and another group of seven people that I have identified, and decide to mentally group all of them together. The result is a group of 17 people. That is what it means to say "10 + 7 = 17." I do not physically alter the people in any way.



ETHICS IS A PRIORI

That knowledge of moral principles is also a priori follows from the following two theses:
(1) Moral principles are not observations. The content of every observation is descriptive.
That is, you do not literally see, touch, hear, etc. moral value.

 Moral principles can not be inferred from descriptive premises. This principle is just an instance of the general fact that you cannot derive a conclusion within one subject matter from premises in a different subject matter. Just as you cannot expect to derive a geometrical conclusion from premises in economics, or derive a conclusion about birds from premises that don't say anything about birds, you should not expect to derive a conclusion about morality from non-moral premises.


Universals are synthetic a priori knowledge






HUME


Part of the problem comes from Hume. It is possible to sum up Hume's vital
assumptions about reasoning in a single proposition: Reason does nothing except locate the presence or absence of contradictions. Whenever Hume wants to show that reasoning cannot support something, he uses the same argument: the alternative is not a
contradiction.

TO SHOW HUME'S IDEA OF REASON IS CONTRADICTS ITSELF AND IS THUS INCHOHEENT

An Alternative Conception of Reason. Consider the claim: Circular arguments are invalid.  Think about it for a while.  You can see that it is true, but how?  Even
though Hume himself uses this principle in his argument, we could never justify it on his principles.  The denial is not a contradiction. We can at least conceive that "Some circular arguments are valid" is true. At this point it will be useful to summon  different levels or modes of necessity.


So what we have is we know things that are not known by observation nor by induction nor deduction. But we know them to be true. That is by reason. Hume made a terrible mistake that has eroded the foundations of morality. For the way we know morality is by reason.
Hume wants to show only we can have only empirical knowledge. But that is false. There are well known counter examples and he gives some himself. One example is nothing can be yellow and blue in the same place at the same time. There are many examples. But then he resorts to a trick to claim knowledge not based on observation  is meaningless unless it is the kind he claims.


REASON RECOGNIZES UNIVERSALS. AND UNIVERSALS HAVE DIFFERENT DEGREES OF NECESSITY.




What I am saying here is that there are degrees of necessity known by reason. "Ought" can not be derived from an "is" but it is a universal and is one mode of necessity.
Non sensed and not thought knowledge recognizes modes of necessity.

The last paragraph. What I am saying is certain universals are given to be taken up by the mind to make synthesis. This is the basic idea of Kant. The elements of universals have to come from outside. Objects of cognition is I think how he would put it.






Appendix:
 I have to apologize for this essay. It would not even have occurred to me to write it if not for the fact that in most USA universities they teach the opposite to freshmen, people not really prepared well to defend traditional Torah  values from  onslaught and attack.
(2) Kant  wants that morality should have formal rules. That it is suggestive that he uses the idea of a universal rule. He is trying to capture the essence of a universal and apply it to morality. Morality is the same as the laws of physics but you just replace the "equals" sign with "ought."
But formal rules miss something about content.
Schopenhauer  wants to lose the formal aspect of it and get down to essence.
The Rambam has both these areas interacting.

That is to say: universals have a problem that they are content free. And pure content has another problem that it is individual, not a universal. The Rambam links the two. The rules flow from the content.

Morality is rules  but rules that flow from an area not open to human cognition.

I acknowledge my debt to Dr Michael Huemer Bryan Caplan and others for this essay. I am just putting their ideas into simple form. The only thing original is the end of the essay about reason and modes of necessity, I might try to work into this the argument of John Searle about the incoherence of theories about truth being relative. 
r74  r72

8.6.16

 Even to get to write the ideas on just two chapters of Bava Metzia has taken a long time and tremendous efforts. What I hope  to encourage every person to spend the time and efforts on the Avi Ezri and on even just one Tosphot in Shas to start to see the depths of the holy Torah. To write s detailed analysis of every Topshot in Shas I do not expect. But if one could make it a long term goal to write a detailed rigorous analysis of even just one chapter in Gemara I would be very happy. The idea is not to look for new ideas. The idea is to learn just one Tosphot every day for weeks and months until the basic questions and issues become clear. This is like a person that discovered an enormous number of comets. He was just an amateur. But he discovered comets that had been missed by the greatest experts. They asked him how he did this. He said he did not look for comets. He only looked to know the sky as well as possible. By doing that, when something was out of place, he noticed it.


That is the Litvak Gedolim like Rav Shach concentrated on the Rambam. The achronim commentaries before them were not dealing with the kinds of issues that I am dealing with. They all had important things to say. Maybe they thought the simple explanation of Tosphot was so obvious that they did not need to say anything. But I find that there are often questions in the simple understanding of Tosphot that achronim do not deal with and no one I ever ask knows the answer to.Most people simply skim over Tosphot if they bother with him at all. So what I see is most people are simply faking it. They pretend to be experts in halacha without even understanding the most simple things about Tosphot. The so called "learning" is mostly  one big charade--except in the few authentic Litvak yeshivas like Ponovitch or Brisk.

To raise a child to become a "mensch" decent human

The problem is simple. It takes a woman to raise a child to become a "mensch" (decent human being). There is nothing quite like a woman's touch when it comes to that. And because women have given up on this as being an ideal of prime importance therefore people and civilization is decaying exponentially.. The idea here is that a child does not automatically become a mensch (decent person). It takes a tremendous amount of effort on his part and his parents to accomplish this.  Since this no longer has value in people's eyes, so the results are apparent. Since when is raising a child less important than shuffling papers at an office? And the point is this is by no means easy or trivial. It takes an amazing amount of talents to accomplish this.

7.6.16

to defend objective morality

It is possible to defend objective morality. I think I did so on my blog a long time ago. The main way I would do so would be to shorten the version of Dr Michael Huemer, Bryan Caplan or Dr John Searle. This would be in two steps one would be to show universals exist. Then to show moral principles are universals. Next to show they are known or can be known by reason. I never know when I am about to be interrupted so I am nervous about how long this letter can be.  God willing I will write a short defense.  Yellow is a universal. Yellow is a color. It is not an idea. It is something yellow things have in common. It does exist. for the sentence "Yellow is a color" to be true, yellow must exist. Therefore universals exist. There are many kinds of universals. Moral principles are an example of universals. To know the existence of  a universal you do not need a reason. You can recognize its truth prima facie. I will expand on this in a minute  bli neder.
Part of the problem comes from Hume. It is possible to sum up David Hume's vital
assumptions about reasoning in a single proposition: Reason does NOTHING except locate the presence or absence of contradictions. Whenever Hume wants to show that reasoning cannot support something, he uses the same argument: the alternative is not a  
contradiction.  An Alternative Conception of Reason. Consider the claim: Circular arguments are invalid.  Think about it for a while.  You can see that it is true -- but how?  Even  
though Hume himself uses this principle in his argument, we could never justify it on his principles.  The denial is not a contradiction. We can at least conceive that "Some circular arguments are valid" is true. At this point it will be useful to summon Kelley Ross's argument for different levels or modes of necessity. But I am trying to be short here. I am not sure which steps I can skip in order to present a whole argument.

So what we have is we know things that are not known by observation nor by induction nor deduction. But we know them to be true. That is by reason. Hume made a terrible mistake that has eroded the foundations of morality. For the way we know morality is by reason.
Hume wants to show only we can have only empirical knowledge. But that is false. There are well known counter examples and he gives some himself. One example is nothing can be yellow and blue in the same place at the same time. There are many examples. But then he resorts to a trick to claim a priori knowledge is meaningless unless it is the kind he claims.
What I am saying here is that there are degrees of necessity known by reason. "Ought" can not be derived from an "is" but it is a universal and is one mode of necessity. Kelley Ross has eight in all. 
For the people that this jargon might make sense: what I am saying is non intuitive immediate knowledge recognizes modes of necessity. 
I am calling this "reason" which Kelley Ross would not do because as he puts it "we realize that we are dealing with processes that cannot possibly belong to consciousness." when referring to Kant's idea of synthesis. And he goes into the reasons in chapter 3 of his PhD thesis sec 4. But I think is is there mainly going into the reasons for treating this kind of reason as something not thought nor sensed but known. "Kant thus says that we possess "sensible intuition" rather than the active intellectual [non sensuous] intuition ." This point became the center of a   debate between Kant and Fichte.  by Marcus Willaschek
See this link by Michael Kolkman

In spite of this point being central to Kant it does not effect my argument. How reason perceives universals is not the issue. The point is: it does.


The last paragraph. What I am saying is certain universals are given to be taken up by the mind to make synthesis. This is the basic idea of Kant. The universals have to come fro outside. Objects of cognition is I think how he would put it. 



Appendix:
(1) I have to apologize for this essay. It would not even have occurred to me to write it if not for the fact that in most USA universities they teach the opposite to freshmen, people not really prepared well to defend traditional Torah values from  onslaught and attack.
(2) Kant is along the lines that morality should have formal rules. That it is suggestive that he uses the idea of a universal rule. He is trying to capture the essence of a universal and apply it to morality. Morality is the same as the laws of physics but you just replace the = sign with "ought."
But formal rules miss something about content.
Schopenhauer  wants to lose the formal aspect of it and get down to essence.
The Rambam has both these areas interacting.

[That is to say: universals have a problem that they are content free. And pure content has another problem that it is individual, not a universal. The Rambam links the two. The rules flow from the content.]

Morality is rules  but rules that flow from an area not open to human cognition.
________________________________________________________________________________

It is possible to defend objective morality.  This would be in two steps. One would be to show universals exist. Then to show moral principles are universals. Next to show they are known or can be known by reason.  Yellow is a universal. Yellow is a color. It is not an idea. It is something yellow things have in common. It does exist. For the sentence "Yellow is a color" to be true, yellow must exist. Therefore universals exist. There are many kinds of universals. Moral principles are an example of universals. To know the existence of  a universal you do not need a reason. You can recognize its truth prima facie. 


Part of the problem comes from Hume. It is possible to sum up David Hume's vital
assumptions about reasoning in a single proposition: Reason does nothing except locate the presence or absence of contradictions. Whenever Hume wants to show that reasoning cannot support something, he uses the same argument: the alternative is not a  
contradiction.  An Alternative Conception of Reason. Consider the claim: Circular arguments are invalid.  Think about it for a while.  You can see that it is true, but how?  Even  
though Hume himself uses this principle in his argument, we could never justify it on his principles.  The denial is not a contradiction. We can at least conceive that "Some circular arguments are valid" is true. At this point it will be useful to summon  different levels or modes of necessity. 


So what we have is we know things that are not known by observation nor by induction nor deduction. But we know them to be true. That is by reason. Hume made a terrible mistake that has eroded the foundations of morality. For the way we know morality is by reason.
Hume wants to show only we can have only empirical knowledge. But that is false. There are well known counter examples and he gives some himself. One example is nothing can be yellow and blue in the same place at the same time. There are many examples. But then he resorts to a trick to claim a priori knowledge is meaningless unless it is the kind he claims.
What I am saying here is that there are degrees of necessity known by reason. "Ought" can not be derived from an "is" but it is a universal and is one mode of necessity. Kelley Ross has eight in all. 
For the people that this jargon might make sense: what I am saying is non intuitive immediate knowledge recognizes modes of necessity. 
I am calling this "reason" which Kelley Ross would not do because as he puts it "we realize that we are dealing with processes that cannot possibly belong to consciousness." when referring to Kant's idea of synthesis. And he goes into the reasons in chapter 3 of his PhD thesis sec 4. But I think is is there mainly going into the reasons for treating this kind of reason as something not thought nor sensed but known. "Kant thus says that we possess "sensible intuition" rather than the active intellectual [non sensuous] intuition ." This point became the center of a   debate between Kant and Fichte.  by Marcus Willaschek
See this link by Michael Kolkman

In spite of this point being central to Kant it does not effect my argument. How reason perceives universals is not the issue. The point is: it does.


The last paragraph. What I am saying is certain universals are given to be taken up by the mind to make synthesis. This is the basic idea of Kant. The universals have to come fro outside. Objects of cognition is I think how he would put it. 


Appendix:
 I have to apologize for this essay. It would not even have occurred to me to write it if not for the fact that in most USA universities they teach the opposite to freshmen, people not really prepared well to defend traditional Torah or Christian values from  onslaught and attack.
(2) Kant  wants that morality should have formal rules. That it is suggestive that he uses the idea of a universal rule. He is trying to capture the essence of a universal and apply it to morality. Morality is the same as the laws of physics but you just replace the "equals" sign with "ought."
But formal rules miss something about content.
Schopenhauer  wants to lose the formal aspect of it and get down to essence.
The רמב''ם has both these areas interacting.

That is to say: universals have a problem that they are content free. And pure content has another problem that it is individual, not a universal. The רמב''ם links the two. The rules flow from the content.

Morality is rules  but rules that flow from an area not open to human cognition.