Wednesday, July 19, 2006

ID, Anthropocentrism, Rambam and Rav Kook

(later I'd like to tie this to degrees and manners of Providence, Tzelem Elokim, etc)
Rav Kook on the relevance of the Copernican Revolution for the Torah (emphasis mine);

"We are beholden to Maimonides for elucidating [in Moreh Nevukhim III: 12-13] the Torah's independence of the opinion that man is the nucleus of Creation. Atheism proliferated with the Copernican revolution's challenge of the anthropocentric perception, and the modern cosmography's galactic perspective wherein the Earth is but a tiny point within infinite space. This appeared to demolish the religious viewpoint. It was Maimonides who redeemed religion, Torah and theology from the confines of the anthropocentric paradigm".
Z. Yavets, Toldot Yisrael, Vol. XII (Tel Aviv 1935), pp.211-219

Lest we see in this clarification of the physical mechanisms of the universe some implications for the spiritual circumstances of mankind;

"The human soul's cosmic centrality that glows with infinite truth and poetry, is undiminished by the apparently fortuitous revolutions of the galaxies and the ever emerging nebulae. The timeless and boundless actually intensifies the grandeur of this spectacle [makes me think of R. Berkovits on the primary role of the encounter in adjuring the Created nature of the cosmos; one must first be Told of Nature's nature before one can see in it's processes a Biblical Creator, where here would be a valuing of evidence against "obvious" Design]. Senseless and superficial is the representation of the new cosmology as undermining religion and the human spirit's centrality, Indeed, religion remains unaffected even within the opponenets of the anthropocentric doctrine, e.g., Maimonides and his followers. Atheism's protestations are evidently groundless...The mystical perception whose religious impact had grown in recent times, is fortified by the novel discoveries that highlight our moral responsibilty and invigorate the human spirit..." (ibid; both quotes from Philosophy of Rabbi Kook, Zvi Yaron, English version by Avner Tomaschoff)

The authors of the "Obvious Proof" book and website I linked to above seem oblivious to Kubrick and (more importantly) Clarke's atheism-leaning agnosticism...also the main song from the film is actually inspired from a book by Atheist Friederich Nietzsche!

From R. Gil Student's blog (emphasis mine);

"R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, The Emergence of Ethical Man, p. 6:

Our task now is to investigate the cogency of the almost dogmatic assertion that the Bible proclaimed the separateness of man from nature and his otherness. It is certain that the fathers of the Church and also the Jewish medieval scholars believed that the Bible preached this doctrine. Medieval and even modern Jewish moralists have almost canonized this viewpoint and attributed to it apodictic validity. Yet the consensus of many, however great and distinguished, does not prove the truth or falseness of a particular belief. I have always felt that due to some erroneous conception, we have actually misunderstood the Judaic anthropology and read into the Biblical texts ideas which stem from an alien source. This feeling becomes more pronounced when we try to read the Bible not as an isolated literary text but as a manifestation of a grand tradition rooted in the very essence of our God-consciousness that transcends the bounds of the standardized and fixed text and fans out into every aspect of our existential experience. The sooner Biblical texts are placed in their proper setting - namely, the Oral Tradition with its almost endless religious awareness - the clearer and more certain I am that Judaism does not accent unreservedly the theory of man's isolationism and separatism within the natural order of things."

This is especially pointed, considering the vast predominance of christians among Intelligent Design thinkers - and R. Nosson Slifkin's recentish indictments (1, 2), of the related problems with attempts to 'kasher' ID.

[r. eliezer berkovits on the necessity of revelation for seeing the 'obvious' Source of the universe]


At 7/25/2006 3:59 PM, Blogger sixline said...

I'm no logician nor philosopher, but I do think that there's more to the soul than meets me the eye. I wish I could be as eloquent about it as others... Seems like the bigger the word, the more the people there are who think you're a genius. :)

At 8/09/2006 8:16 AM, Blogger David Guttmann said...

I have the full text of the letter to Yavetz in Hebrew. If you are intersted email me and i will send it to you.

At 4/23/2007 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting site... Geography online degrees Caribbean caribbean cruise royal Mature wifes fucking Panasonic cordless phone headset tadalafil Search engine marketing pukapuka how to format a harddrive hello folks ed chevrolet holyoke ma. Topamax weight loss click here Comparison sildenafil2c tadalafil2c vardenafil Undelete server 2 internet software cheap moving companies lcd tvs with hd tuners built in blonde Thomas betts circuit breakers How to program a multicode gate opener stanley home mortgages aston martin tysons


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>