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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
The Kuzari - The Principle and the Formalism Yust, David Feb 09, 2007
8. You make an odd statement:

"The main premise of the Jewish argument lies in the fact that by their very own superstitions and rules they have insured the reliability of their information unlike any other religious group before or since. The penalty for falsely relating information about any event involving their Creator Being was death..."

This statement is so inconsistent with facts that I simply fail to see what kind of reality you try to attribute it to. As I have already mentioned, even in the first century CE the Jewish thought was not yet unified. In fact, even in later, post-Talmudic times (exactly the same as today) this unification was not compete, even though a dominant branch of Judaism was in evidence. Still, where and when was a unified Jewish community in a position to impose a death penalty on those who misrepresented religious information? I am afraid that you have once again invented a myth that is more or less equivalent to the KP and equally remote from historical reality.
9. No less interesting are your thoughts on morality -- whether absolute or not. Even the Jewish Orthodox morality of today not only does not require adherence to truth, but, on the contrary, openly advocates reliance on apologetic dogmas. It defines truth as anything that fosters faith, and lie as anything that undermines that faith. In days of old, morality was even less devoted to truth. I believe that in this regard, the Jews were no different from the followers of other religions, but that has no particular relevance in this case. What is important is that morality has always been guided by considerations of collective expediency, and that does not sit all that well with empirical truth. Where transmission of tradition is concerned, morality is a flexible proposition.
Related Articles: The Kuzari - The Principle and the Formalism

Title Author Date
The Kuzari - The Principle and the Formalism Yust, David Feb 09, 2007
10. Finally, for the key point. You write:

"Did ancient Hebrews in the desert see something improvable by science?"

Essentially, you propose to take it on faith that the ancient Hebrews actually wandered through the desert, where they may have encountered supernatural phenomena of one kind or another. However, accepting this thesis (which is a verbatim quote from the notorious Kuzari) is tantamount to accepting the KP. Thus, while making your task of defending the KP significantly easier, you nevertheless push yourself into the proverbial vicious circle. However, modern science rightly (for exclusively empirical reasons) holds the very account of Exodus and the Hebrews' sojourn in the desert to be a myth. You may not be obligated to agree with it (although you are obligated to refute its reasoning), but that does not mean you have the right to hold up the opposite as an axiom. You want the Hebrews to wander though the desert? Find the proof.
11. In conclusion, I have two questions. First, do you actually believe that the Orthodox version of Jewish history corresponds to reality? Second, do you actually believe the KP to be true? Neither of the two is made explicitly clear in your letter.

Best regards,

Related Articles: The Kuzari - The Principle and the Formalism