Showing posts with label a priori values. Show all posts
Showing posts with label a priori values. Show all posts


Sanhedrin 61a in Tosphot. I have asked on Tosphot that in his approach he is expanding the area of prohibition of bowing (Deuteronomy 17) to include the way of the idol not in a way of honor[quadrant IV]. And yet we see in the Gemara itself that it does a similar thing. It says we would know from "bowing" to absolve a way of dishonor to idols that one usually sacrifices to[quadrant III]. But we would not know to absolve service in a way of dishonor towards idols one worships in a different way of dishonor. So we need "How do they serve.?"to absolve that.
So we clearly are expanding some kind of prohibition into quadrant III.What could it be? It is not going the be "how do they serve?" because that is what we are about to use to tell us not to expand the the prohibition there.

That is to say we might think such and such a thing so we have a verse to exclude it. But I am wondering on the Gemara itself why would we think to expand it? Well the Gemara itself gives a reason. What is it with exposing oneself to Peor is liable, so also all types of service that are not honorable are liable. But how does that reasoning help to expand bowing to serve that is dishonorable that is its way that Tosphot requires in order to answer his question?

Actually I dont think this last answer is right, and rather the real reason we would have expanded the prohibition into quadrant III is just because idolatry is forbidden. i.e from the verse "least he will go and serve"


But seems that numinous value can slip very easily from holiness into its opposite. It would be nice if there was some kind of test for this

 Numinous value.   Over-excitement in the service of God.

Also we do find that the world of Kabalah deals with a different planes of existence than the Oral Law.

This we can see right away in the Zohar itself. The Zohar takes mitzvot and applies them to areas that are clearly not legal parts of that mitzvah. That means that sometimes a person gets connected with what can be described as higher spiritual worlds. The idea would be that while a person is still in his physical body his spirit gets embedded in some kind of higher plane of existence.

But people looking for numinous value can find this kind of value in the Sitra Achara {the Dark Side} [a phrase made famous by Star wars movies but comes directly from the Kabalah].

Regardless of the problems with this area of value still there are people that interested in numinosity and they will get their thirst satisfied by someone illegitimate of they if they are lucky find someone or something legitimate.

But seems that numinous value can slip very easily from holiness into its opposite. It would be nice if there was some kind of test for this.


Philosophy at its best is vertical.

Philosophy at its best is vertical.
To explain what this means let me give an example. Take the Pre Socratics. The whole progression of thought from Parmenides until Plato was one long answer to the question of Parmenides, "How is change possible?"

In this case people today have had to look at the vertical progression of ideas and not concentrate overly much on any one particular philosopher. But in academic philosophy today even at its best almost has to take one particular philosopher and concentrate on him or at best on the small range of commentaries on him.

Sometimes this results in high quality work. You can find courses and books in Israel on Aristotle or Nietzsche or books devoted to Hegel which are of great quality.

But what is lacking here is the vertical chain of ideas.

To understand philosophy today you have to start with Spinoza and Leibniz and not learn them alone but also Locke and Hume. Only then can you get a good grasp on the debate between them and then you can see how Kant answers this debate in a very elegant way. But then to understand Kant you have several branches and side paths that lead nowhere. You need a strong sense of direction and also a highly developed analytical sense to be able to tell when post Kant thinkers doing their normal thing of circular logic.
You need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff also as in Frege.

It also is helpful to know Math and Physics in order to see when people talking in pseudo Physics terms to sound profound but in fact have no idea what they are talking about.
In fact you could say the major problem in philosophy today is that they suffer from physics envy.
The problem with Linguistic Analytic Philosophy or Post modernism is that once one has touched it he  can never regain his sanity ever again.

What Kelly Ross is good at is the big picture or the vertical line of thought . Also he felt under no pressure to get a job fast but took his time to digest what people were saying. So he could pinpoint the fallacious in Hume and later thinkers even while making note of their valid ideas.

So what comes out is that we get  a train of thought that starts with the argument between the empirical school and the rationalists until Kant. Then we see Kant's answer to this debate.
But we also see that his solution was a bit too much ad hoc. So we come to Hegel that Reason by some process gets into the dinge an sich


Socrates: And if, I said, the male and female sex appear to differ in their fitness for any art or pursuit, we should say that such pursuit or art ought to be assigned to one or the other of them; but if the difference consists only in women bearing and men begetting children, this does not amount to a proof that a woman differs from a man in respect of the sort of education she should receive; and we shall therefore continue to maintain that our guardians and their wives ought to have the same pursuits.

What Socrates is saying here in plain English is that we don't start out thinking men and women are different in ability. We give them exactly the same education. But when and if an individual begins to show more aptitude or interest in one specific area then we concentrate on that.

As an introduction let me just say that I have liked woman from day one. It is only bitches that I don't approve of.

The Republic by Plato:

"Let us further suppose the birth and education of our women to be subject to similar or nearly similar regulations; then we shall see whether the result accords with our design.

"What do you mean?"

"What I mean may be put into the form of a question, I said: Are dogs divided into hes and shes, or do they both share equally in hunting and in keeping watch and in the other duties of dogs? or do we entrust to the males the entire and exclusive care of the flocks, while we leave the females at home, under the idea that the bearing and suckling their puppies is labour enough for them?"

"No, he said, they share alike; the only difference between them is that the males are stronger and the females weaker."

"But can you use different animals for the same purpose, unless they are bred and fed in the same way?"

"You cannot."

"Then, if women are to have the same duties as men, they must have the same nurture and education?"


(The education which was assigned to the men was music and gymnastic.)


Then women must be taught music and gymnastic and also the art of war, which they must practice like the men?

That is the inference, I suppose.

I should rather expect, I said, that several of our proposals, if they are carried out, being unusual, may appear ridiculous.

No doubt of it.

Yes, and the most ridiculous thing of all will be the sight of women naked in the palaestra, exercising with the men, especially when they are no longer young; they certainly will not be a vision of beauty, any more than the enthusiastic old men who in spite of wrinkles and ugliness continue to frequent the gymnasia.

Yes, indeed, he said: according to present notions the proposal would be thought ridiculous.

But then, I said, as we have determined to speak our minds, we must not fear the jests of the wits which will be directed against this sort of innovation; how they will talk of women's attainments both in music and gymnastic, and above all about their wearing armour and riding upon horseback!

Very true, he replied.

Yet having begun we must go forward to the rough places of the law; at the same time begging of these gentlemen for once in their life to be serious. Not long ago, as we shall remind them, the Hellenes were of the opinion, which is still generally received among the barbarians, that the sight of a naked man was ridiculous and improper; and when first the Cretans and then the Lacedaemonians introduced the custom, the wits of that day might equally have ridiculed the innovation.

No doubt.

But when experience showed that to let all things be uncovered was far better than to cover them up, and the ludicrous effect to the outward eye vanished before the better principle which reason asserted, then the man was perceived to be a fool who directs the shafts of his ridicule at any other sight but that of folly and vice, or seriously inclines to weigh the beautiful by any other standard but that of the good.

Very true, he replied.

First, then, whether the question is to be put in jest or in earnest, let us come to an understanding about the nature of woman: Is she capable of sharing either wholly or partially in the actions of men, or not at all? And is the art of war one of those arts in which she can or can not share? That will be the best way of commencing the enquiry, and will probably lead to the fairest conclusion.

That will be much the best way.

Shall we take the other side first and begin by arguing against ourselves; in this manner the adversary's position will not be undefended.

Why not? he said.

Then let us put a speech into the mouths of our opponents. They will say: 'Socrates and Glaucon, no adversary need convict you, for you yourselves, at the first foundation of the State, admitted the principle that everybody was to do the one work suited to his own nature.' And certainly, if I am not mistaken, such an admission was made by us. 'And do not the natures of men and women differ very much indeed?' And we shall reply: Of course they do. Then we shall be asked, 'Whether the tasks assigned to men and to women should not be different, and such as are agreeable to their different natures?' Certainly they should. 'But if so, have you not fallen into a serious inconsistency in saying that men and women, whose natures are so entirely different, ought to perform the same actions?'—What defense will you make for us, my good Sir, against any one who offers these objections?"


a priori values

A priori values. Freedom and Reason. Sometimes there comes a person into the world whose purpose is to reveal some a priori value.
Or President Kennedy bringing the idea of jogging into national consciousness.
The Rambam also discovered the value of the fusion of Torah with reason.
But with every value that is revealed there is a false value which surrounds it. And there are "chevra mans" that pretend to be supporting the true value but enforce the false value.
(Just like the idea of freedom got perverted in America to mean the welfare state--the right not be to be insulted the right to feel good etc.)
the truth be told we need a process by which good values can be separated from bad values.
to reveal the combination of all good values can't happen until one discovers the process by which bad values can be sifted out.
I believe that there is a minimum requirement for a moral value system--that it should be logically deducible from it that murder rape and torture of 10 million people is wrong.  Neither does Islam fulfill that requirement. But if you would take the Talmud along with Maimonides who says that the mitzvoth have a priori rational basis under them that determines how the halacha is applied then Torah and Talmud could be part of a moral system. But only in connection with this idea of Maimonides. with him the Torah is as vicious and evil as Islam