Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Q&A

Alright, so now is the part where readers have a few days to ask questions. Please comment here with your questions. I will close the comments section at some point Saturday night and then we will answer your questions in separate posts.

--Baruch

7 comments:

  1. Dovid Kornreich:

    If you go down that road, you have to explain why the overwhelming majority of Haredi gedolim have disagreed with your views, and have stated unequivocally that anyone who doesn't think the world is 5771 years old is a heretic. You're trapped - either you detract from their authority as Torah scholars, or you're machria your da'as and undermine Torah.

    It's also worth noting that the third incarnation of your views is just as bad - it means that when Hazal wrote Seder Olam Rabba, they didn't know what they were talking about.

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  2. Dovid Kornreich:

    You stated this in your opening comments

    "But when you are informed from a trustworthy source that this is in fact the will of the Creator of the Universe, you are morally bound to obey. No-one can demand of G-d that he must be allowed to continue living. What moral imperative can claim a free-undeserved gift? G-d can insist—at any moment-- that the time of the free gift of life that He has been generously providing is up. Our rational conclusion against the morality of human sacrifice must be temporarily put aside in favor of the truth of the situation at hand."

    Your assumption is that G-d is the foundation of morality.

    If that was the case then G-d could command anything and then that would be moral. G-d could command people to eat humans alive, rape children, torture kittens and worship idols and then that according to your assumption would be moral. The absurdity in this is clear.

    If you object to say that G-d could not say that then how so? You can't say because G-d is good and wouldn't command people to do evil things because that would mean G-d would be bound by a certain morality. If morality comes from G-d then G-d must be able to say all of the above commands and then they must be morally right. If that is not the case then G-ds commands are not the foundation of morality.

    Thus I would question this statement in particular "No-one can demand of G-d that he must be allowed to continue living". Why not? No ones life is dependant on outside beings determination. Life has intrinsic worth, which is why things life murder and torture are wrong. G-d has no more right to take a life than anyone else.

    If you can take a quick look at the G-d type character in this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqi5F5MqqTQ

    Would you agree with his determination that he can do no wrong? If not then how could you say that all of G-ds commands are inherently moral?

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  3. DK:

    To my above comment if I may:

    Would it not be better to say that G-d is a reflection of moral values rather than the creator of moral values? G-d can't make something right just by saying it is right, but rather G-d is always good which means that G-d will never command anything immoral.

    This can be compared to what is written in Devarim 13 "2. If there will arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 3. and the sign or the wonder of which he spoke to you happens, [and he] says, "Let us go after other gods which you have not known, and let us worship them,""

    Even if there is information from a trustworthy source, so trustworthy that it makes accurate predictions and performs open miracles we still will reject it on the basis that it contradicts what G-d would ever ask for. Thus if we can determine that G-d would never ask for a child sacrifice since G-d is good and would never ask for something evil, such as a child sacrifice, then regardless of the convincing evidence produced by the trustworthy source aren't we compelled to reject that source?

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  4. So, now that Dovid specifically said he is not confined to believe that the world is only 5771 years old are you going to debate a new topic? Also, I am happy to hear that Dovid retracted from the view that Homosexuals should "theoretically" (whatever that means in this context) commit suicide. This is clearly contradicted by many sources explicitly.

    Ok, so I am assuming you guys are going to start over or at least focus on things that can actually be debated.

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  5. Rabbi Kornreich, I am very disappointed. I thought that you were going to be defending Torah Judaism against a mumar. And now you are saying that the universe "could be anywhere between 5771 and billions of years old"??!! What about the very clear mesorah on that? What about the dating on all the Gittin and shtaros? What about Shabbos, which we keep every week, to attest to the week of creation - we don't keep Shabbos every few million years! What about the unequivocal position of our Gedolei Torah? What about the Torah itself, which says that there was evening and morning six times during creation?

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  6. Interested ObserverOctober 28, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    For Rabbi Kornreich:

    This may be a very ignorant question, and if so, I apologize. It is my understanding that your Rebbe was strongly against Rabbi Slifkin's books and the views he promoted there, specifically at least one of them being the 'age of the universe' question. Is that so, or was I misinformed?

    Does your Rebbe accept Rabbi Slifkin's approach to the age of the universe as an acceptable one?

    If it is true that your Rebbe was opposed to Rabbi Slifkin on that view, I am very surprised now to hear your explanation of your Rebbe's approach to that question. It sounds an awful lot like Rabbi Slifkin's view. Can you please explain the difference?

    And even if it's not exactly the same view, it's hard to believe that someone with that view could call Rabbi Slifkin's view heresy. Did your rebbe call it heresy? Did he call anything related to Rabbi Slifkin's work heretical? If so, please explain what precisely he referred to and why. (Again, I apologize if this has been rehashed already and I'm uninformed. Pointing me to relevant links or citations is also helpful if that's more convenient for you).

    Thanks

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  7. http://www.toriah.com/pdf/R.Feldman-On-Slifkin.pdf


    Yes, Reb D. Please explain how you reconcile with the pronouncements of the Gedolim.

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