Friday, June 23, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Ginsberg's Theorem

It seemed pretty obvious to parallel SWLT with the laws of thermodynamics.  Now I’ll summarize.
Rule 1 says, in a way, that cultures can’t operate without expression, but they sometimes get trapped in a no-win situation by how they express things.  Because “he” was the default pronoun, it took centuries for women to obtain equal rights under the law.
Rule 2 says that it’s impossible to use a language without understanding the grammar, which has to control your behavior as well as your words.  Words alone won’t get you to the table. 
Rule 3 says nothing means anything in isolation from the rest of it.  You can’t get out of the culture and still fully understand the language or the material that uses the language.
There’s an old joke about the laws of thermodynamics called Ginsberg’s Theorem that this reminds me of:
1.  You can't win. (restatement of first law of thermodynamics)
2.  You can't break even. (restatement of second law of thermodynamics)
3.  You can't even get out of the game. (restatement of third law of thermodynamics)
As far as the zeroth law, maybe there should be an amendment to Ginsberg’s Theorem that says that there are no wild cards and no draws; you have to play the hand that you are dealt.  That would equate to my zeroth law of SWLT; you have either written communications or oral communication. 
I said you can’t redefine words and you also can’t pick meanings out of the dictionary that suit what you want to say, you have to use the words according to their meaning in the given context.
But that means using the words in the language of the source document, in the meaning they had for the people who operated based on that document and transmitted it to posterity, as evidenced by the entire context of the culture using that source document. I’ll discuss another dimension to “draws” in another post.
You can’t prove anything from translations or commentaries because they are so error-prone.
You can’t prove anything if there are fallacies in your claims.
Memorize these last two issues.  They are the basis of the rest of this blog.

One last post before I change subjects.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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