Friday, September 13, 2013

Fact-Checking -- Heisenberg and Torah

I know what you’re thinking.

You think I’m a crazy woman for telling you to start your own blog and post ideas that disagree with me.

That’s not the point.  I want you to blog things that are your own ideas, not the urban legends you believed up to now.

That’s what the Internet is for.

I used to have a website called QUESTION AUTHORITY.  I believe that authority has to be questioned.  It creates and passes along urban legends that stifle individual thought.

That’s what Rene Descartes was trying to destroy when he wrote his Discours sur la Methode in the 1600s.

He realized that the Classical authors taught to him in school never really solved anything.  Their conclusions had no practical results.  Scholars just kept chewing over the same dried out old 20 century-old gristle.

What makes the Bible different?

The Torah, for the last 2500-3500 years, has been the basis of the law and the culture of Judaism.

Where you have laws, you have a judicial system.

That judicial system runs the culture.

To run the culture, the judicial system has to help solve problems and resolve disagreements among the people in that culture.

If it doesn’t, the culture breaks down.

The fact that the Jewish culture has been around for 2500-3500 years shows that its judicial system works, a practical result not achieved by any of the Greek or Latin classical authors that Descartes was taught in school.

There are people even now who are authorities in Torah, and also in the collections of material that accumulated to document how the Jewish system ran its courts – rules of procedure, legal decisions, sometimes the facts of the cases, and conversations between the judges that illustrate their points of view. 

These Jewish classics take up possibly 30,000 pages of material, maybe more.

I don’t expect you to learn all that.

I expect to teach you how to use it to answer your questions.

There’s an old Yiddish saying that goes “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat; teach a man to fish and he’ll never go hungry.”

I’m going to try to teach you to fish.

You may decide, eventually, that you don’t like my technique.  Fine.  Develop your own.

You may decide you don’t like rod fishing, you want to use a net.  Fine.  If you like the results but not the method, try another method and see if it gets you the same results.

It probably won’t.  The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applies to knowledge in general: the answers you get depend on what experiment you’re running.  Netting your fish will have a different result than rod fishing.  Worm fishing and fly fishing also give different results.

And that’s part of my point, too.  You’ve been fishing in Torah via the urban legends you already know.  If you're here because you're not happy with the results, you know what I'm talking about already.

Stick with me and look for the instructions on how to fish.

You can still go out and write your own blog regardless of whether you read mine or not.

And I still win, because your blog will QUESTION AUTHORITY.

If you don't have a Bible and don't read Hebrew, you can go here and get a copy in English.

You can learn about fallacies and how to find them here.

Hebrew language: (two parts)

Aramaic language (for Talmud):

Jewish Bible read out loud (mostly in Hebrew):

Babylonian Talmud audio and text

Jerusalem Talmud audio

Tannakh, Talmuds, Midrash Halakhah 
Midrash Aggadah                              
Talmud in PDF                                                    

There are audio lectures at the following sites which use a medieval commentary, famous among Jews, by Rabbi Shelomo ben Yitschaq, AKA Rashi. – find Rabbi Yehoshua Gordon’s Torah video lessons – find R. David Grossman’s Torah audio lessons

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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