reason can perceive universals

To me it seems reason can perceive universals. I tend to go with Michael Huemer on this and Hegel also. The idea that there is some upper limit to reason Hegel answered by means of a dialectical approach.  [That is Hegel does not really hold of what is called intellectual intuition and is like Kant on that score. But he holds by thinking reason penetrates into the ding an sich by a dialectical process.]

As Bryan Caplan pointed out Kant is based on Hume and Hume assumes that all reason can do is perceive contradictions. He never proves this but just accepts it as an axiom. But clearly Reason does much more. It recognizes general principles.  Thus the whole basis of Kant falls away. Still there is much in the Intuitionist school of Michael Huemer that seems like quietism and does not address the issues raised by Kant--like how does reason go further? For this we need Hegel.

That is the Intuitionists deals with Kant's question how can reason perceive synthetic a priori like this: It just does. Period. clearly Huemer is more subtle than that and goes with probability. He is an amazing writer but still things there that needs critique. 

[I would rather not go into this, but just look up Hegel and Huemer's writings  Prichard's, John Searle, and the Rambam's Guide for the Perplexed.  You will see with this background what I mean.] [When the Rambam says to learn Metaphysics, I think that though he meant the set of books of Aristotle by that name, this should be applied to Kant and Hegel.]

[I should mention I have tried hard to defend the Kant/Fries school of Kelley Ross, but in the end I have had to go with Hegel. It is not necessarily one particular problem. Kelley Ross is an amazing thinker, but to me Hegel just makes a lot more sense.]

There is a Jewish mother blog "Mother in Israel" that suggested on her blog Hegel a long time ago that I ignored because I had found some important insights on Kelley Ross's Kant Fries site.  The thing I think that got me most interested in Hegel was when I realized his jargon was philosophical an that statements taken out of context or poorly understood did not constitute a true critique. Also just seeing  some of the problems in Kant that simply are not well answered brought me around to seeing the importance of Hegel. That is in a nut shell: The critiques on Hegel I thought were not accurate.

It occurs to me I was never very impressed with implanted knowledge especially since it can't be falsified-not with any of the things Kant though were unconditioned, but even things like Math.   Still all in all Dr Kelley Ross is an amazingly thorough thinker. I still have to go with Hegel.

Hegel as opposed to Leftism

I think the left made its progress by taking the name of Hegel in vain and misappropriating some of his slogans and and misunderstanding him (maybe on purpose) to fit. That is,-- if all they had was Rousseau, that would not have been enough.

So one step in the right direction I believe is to retake the battle field. They have got Hegel? Then take him back. Show how he was opposite to everything the left is about. 
And after all is said and done even the real intellectuals of the Left were aware they had to repudiate Hegel.  Just for an example with Hegel morals are real and objective and can be perceived by reason, though not directly. Hegel is a plain rebuke to Hume who limits reason to perceiving contradictions.


to learn Torah and trust in God

My own set of convictions [core principles] while in the Mir in NY were to learn Torah and trust in God that He would take care of everything else.  If my test was to stick with that set of principles, then I failed.  Adding principles add subtracting got me into  one mess after the other.

The basic order of events was interest in Rav Shick's ideas which appealed to me because it was the closest thing I saw to the Litvak path that just seemed to add some other important principles. It did not occur to me the problem of what is called "fly paper" where the fly smelling something of beauty and wonder lands on the fly paper but then can't get up again. Some refer to it as a "consciousness trap" = a way to capture people's mind.
So the real first step away from Torah was in my own faulty decision making process. I did decide to go to Israel mainly based on Navardok's idea when there is a command in the Torah to do something  then by definition it is possible. You do not look at if it is possible and then decide whether to do it or not. But I did not do much learning Gemara in Israel and when I decided to take a break from the problems in Israel and got home to Los Angeles the people that supposedly are there to learn Torah made it their job to destroy my family. Thanks a lot.
So as William James put it, "The difference has to make a difference." So for me the charlatans made my own desire to learn Torah much less since I saw they could learn Torah and still be evil.  Still that is more of a question on the way people that are using Torah to make a living  can get away with their fraud and no one is the wiser rather than a question on the Torah which in any case they are not listening to. But it also shows how a general rule is fulfilled. Once one walks away from Torah, then he can't get back and even the supposed supporters of Torah join together to keep him away.

So I today I try to learn Torah as best I can. What is Torah in this context? That is the Oral, Written Torah, and Musar. [I include the Rambam's idea of adding to this also Physics and Metaphysics for many reasons.  Part because of the Rambam, another reason is my parents and the basic Torah with Dersch Eretz approach. But I do regret not just sitting and learning Gemara when I had the chance. A far as I can see if one accepts just to sit and learn Torah and not budge, then מעבירים ממנו עול מלכות ועול דרך ארץ the yoke of government and the way of the world are removed from him.]
I can not be a advocate of just sitting and learning Torah since I failed in that test, but I can honestly say that if one chooses Torah at all cost, the Torah will stand by him and he will never regret it. 
Normally I would say the best thing is to sit and learn the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach straight. The thing is that in spite of its amazing clarity still I think a certain familiarity with the actual Gemaras that he bring are sometimes necessary. Sometimes on the other hand he brings all the necessary information right in the page. There are times I realize that without having the Gemara in front of me, it is not always clear what he means.
It might be possible I imagine to restart the whole Narvardok thing with the combination of Trust in God plus learning Torah. That I would think is  a good thing. But I also imagine it would have to be every person on his own. You cant really depend in others in this endeavor. 
The biggest obstacle to Torah is the phony evil disgusting people that pretend to keep Torah and are really demons from the Dark Side sent on earth to keep people from Torah by their pretense of keeping it will in fact doing everything they can to destroy it.


core principles. super-organism

Identification with one's group or super-organism is the central theme of Howard Bloom in his Lucifer Principle. He also shows how super-organisms are always based on some social meme - set of principles. And at the very end he makes a value judgment that the USA is superior to all other nations because of its social meme. So to my way of thinking the Fabian School or what is more well known as the Frankfurt School were really undermining the very essence of the USA. The basic infiltration of communist ideas into the USA I see as very bad. 

 It is not just the super-organism but also the individual I believe is usually centered around some social meme or core principles.

The thing to do is to make a conscious decision to make sure your core principles are right and moral. They might change with time as one gains experience and realizes that some of his core principles did not really correspond to reality.

[The best approach in my judgment is  that of the Rambam which is learning of Physics, Metaphysics, the entire Oral Law [the two Talmuds], and the entire Written Law in Hebrew [Old Testament]. And avoid cults at all cost. Especially those that claim to teach Torah. Better to learn Torah at home than to be involved in the religious world which is mainly built on lies. {Reb Nachman pointed this out many times in his Magnum Opus and called these kinds of teachers "Torah scholars that are demons," with the implication  that he meant it seriously and literally and not as an exaggeration.} However I admit there might be one or two places in the religious world that are OK like Ponovitch or Merkaz HaRav of Rav Kook (Religious Zionism). Or there might be individual  synagogues built on the straight Torah model of Ponovitch or the Mir in NY. The best thing to do to stop the cults is to pull away their funding. Get the State of Israel to stop the endless flow of money into the cults, and I predict they will all vanish overnight.]


When Torah is used for money as in kollel, this tends to cause what is known as Chilul Hashem.חילול השם desecration of the Divine Name.

This idea was not stated as such by the Rambam who simply said it is forbidden to use the Torah to make money or even to accept charity for learning.
Still the basic effect seems clear. When yeshivas are run to make money, they chase away all sincere people, and that leaves just the dregs.
This leaves great doubts about the Torah itself in the minds of many people that see this.

I myself have experienced this kind of thing,-- as I am sure many others have also. If you try to sit in a yeshiva and just learn Torah (as they claim to be doing), you will as a rule be thrown out unless they think they can make money off of you.

"תורתו אומנתו" does not mean to use the Torah as a means to make a living. {The permission not to pray is for a person whose Torah is his occupation.} The  yeshiva world as a rule purposely confuses this issue to make simple Jews think they ought to give them money. Maybe they should as some scholars thought like the Beit Yoseph. And maybe they should not as the Rambam thought. But one way or the other, that does not give permission to pervert the meaning of statements of the Chazal (Sages) in order to trick people.
[שכר בטלה means שכר הניכר. That is also a flimsy excuse. You can pay a person to judge a case if h is occupied in a job. You pay him the same amount that he was making. Not what he would have been making if had a job. plus שכר בטלה is for a judge and has nothing to do with our subject here.]

Still, in any case, I always  depend on lenient opinions when I find myself in need (which is all the time). So I can not blame people for depending on the Beit Yoseph. [In fact I have told people to stay in their kollels in Israel because of my being aware of their situations.] All I am saying is: the effect of this in the long run seems to cause something which is a sin to all opinions-- Chilul Hashem.

That being said I should admit that I was very impressed with a few Litvak yeshivas in NY and Ponovitch in Bnei Brak. But that is about it. Everything else seems to be  a scam. THEY LEARN Gemara in order to impress people. Not because of any real love of the holy Torah.

Branches of Ponovitch or places that were started by those that learned in Ponovitch also seems very good. I have to mention Shar Yashuv which is a place with no reputation, but to me it seemed to be the most sincere and also had an amazing level of learning, not just for a baal teshuva yeshiva but even the best of yeshivas. You might think I am being silly but to me it seemed that the Mir in NY was a step down from Shar Yashuv. [Being in Israel I think was a major step up but it seems to me today that for that to have been permanent I would have had to be learning Torah in some kind of Litvak environment.]

kollels were never right in the first place. They were invented by Reb Israel Salanter and were only because of the need of the hour. But since then the whole concept has deteriorated into using the Torah to make  a living.

Muslim immigrants

Many Jews and myself included felt like Walt Disney "It's a small world after all," and we are all brothers, until dealing with people from other countries and nations and being treated in the most unbrotherly fashion imaginable (up to and  attempted murder) convinced me we are not all brothers. We are tribes. And as Hegel noted some tribes and some states are more devoted towards justice and goodness than others. I mean the social meme is different. Some people will just do anything to hurt white people or Jews, no matter how much it hurts themselves.

The Muslim immigrants as far as I could see did not contribute anything. The USA when I was growing up was much more wholesome and lovely. I grew up in a totally Wasp area [Orange County, Newport Beach] which and things were very nice.  But we moved, and since then I have have to deal with all kinds of immigrants [not Jews] and they always use whatever power or positions they have to hurt Jews and Wasps. Always. I think Jews knew this, but thought that, "If we are nice to them, they will be nice back." But it never worked that way. Wasps I think went along with it because that was more or less the message they were getting in church.

More or less this is what I experienced in Israel with Sepharim that say openly the rights words, "We are all brothers," but if an Ashkenazic Jew is stupid enough to move into their neighborhood, he will soon find out otherwise. There will always be at least one or more that will take upon themselves the holy mission of getting rid of the Ashkenazic Jew no matter how long it takes and no matter the risk to himself. [Of course a Sephardi in an Ashkenazic neighborhood tries to behave better, until the number of Sephardim rises above a certain percent. It is thye same with Muslims. The soft jihad starts at around 15% and when their numbers get to around 30% then hard jihad begins. I learned this because I learned the history of Spain. in the Middle Ages  and I have alwayys been facinated with the history of Europe in a real power way. If I see a book on Roman or any nation from Europe's history I feel  a tremendous urge to grap it and learn it.]