Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rationalist Judaism: The Movie

In today's live video e-shiur, the topic will be Rationalist Judaism: Its Nature, Decline and Rebirth. It will be an overview of the entire topic, and I highly recommend it, if this topic interests you! To register, click here. If you can't make it to the class, you can purchase a recording of it afterwards.

15 comments:

  1. and what qualifies you to give a shiur in this topic?

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  2. Ummmm... that I've spent several years studying it?

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  3. What is there to say... other than I don't blame you for harboring the occasional doubt about blogging!

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  4. Would you feel that someone is qualified to give a lecture about physics on the basis of having "spent several years studying it"? Or do you think formal academic training is necessary before people should take one's ideas seriously?

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  5. is it the science and Torah class this is under what do i do after i have registered

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  6. Issac, let's suppose you are correct that I have no formal academic training (which happens not to be true). What on earth are you trying to say? Are you approaching this from a traditionalist perspective? If so, then why is academic training important for you? Are you approaching this from an academic perspective? If so, surely you realize that in academia, material is judged based on its content, not based on the qualifications of those delivering it.

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  7. >>"let's suppose you are correct that I have no formal academic training (which happens not to be true)."

    If you are claiming it, please substantiate it:
    In which academy, or under the mentor-ship of which academician, have you studied the history of rationalist Judaism?
    (I hope we can agree that reading up on it in a library does not count as formal academic training...)


    >>"What on earth are you trying to say?"

    I am not trying to state any opinion of my own.

    I am trying to ascertain what credentials YOU BELIEVE can qualify a person to give a lecture on a topic and expect people to take him seriously.
    You said "spending several years studying" a topic qualifies, and I am wondering why you think so.

    I think this is a fair to ask this question to someone who has consistently dismissed the opinions of many people solely on the basis of not having received formal academic training in the field they have opined about.


    >>"Are you approaching this from an academic perspective? If so, surely you realize that in academia, material is judged based on its content, not based on the qualifications of those delivering it."

    I think you are being either naive or disingenuous here.

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  8. I think this is a fair to ask this question to someone who has consistently dismissed the opinions of many people solely on the basis of not having received formal academic training in the field they have opined about.

    Ah, now I see where this is coming from.

    As I have explained previously: Ideally, in the rationalist approach, one judges ideas based on their merits. However, in many fields, one simply lacks the expertise to be able to do so. In such cases, one relies on experts.

    In my field, I expect people to evaluate my material based on its merits. And I think that my audience is capable of doing so.

    But when it comes to, say, global warming, I think it is impossible for a non-specialist to be able to form a meaningful opinion.

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  9. Isaac, you're completely off base. Dan Rabinowitz of the Seforim blog has been lecturing on TiM recently. Why? Because he knows his topic. He didn't go to the Advanced Institute for Hebrew Bibliophilia. He knows what he is talking about, and it is obvious that he knows what he is talking about, and that's why he is qualified. You can draw the analogy. If you have arguments which show that Slifkin doesn't know the history of Jewish rationalism, make them.

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  10. When a topic is defined, one can have a level of expertise in that topic. Jewish Rationalism, is an invented topic, one needs a serious level of academic achievement before any supposition they put forth is to be considered.

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  11. >>"Isaac, you're completely off base. Dan Rabinowitz of the Seforim blog has been lecturing on TiM recently. Why? Because he knows his topic. He didn't go to the Advanced Institute for Hebrew Bibliophilia. He knows what he is talking about, and it is obvious that he knows what he is talking about, and that's why he is qualified. You can draw the analogy."

    Obvious to whom?
    I imagine you mean its obvious to experts in the field.
    At least that's something to go on. Not "I've spent several years studying it".

    Rabbi Slifkin:
    >>"However, in many fields, one simply lacks the expertise to be able to do so. In such cases, one relies on experts."

    Your distinction is somewhat arbitrary and self-serving. Please explain why it is justified.

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  12. I was listening to your Shiur on astronomy. In the Talmud, Rebbi says that we see that the gentiles were right from the steam of the well springs of Tiberas only coming out at at night. If the World is Round then this should not happen either. Does this mean that Rebbi conceded to their model of the motion of the stars but not the idea that the world is round?

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  13. "in my field, I expect people to evaluate my material based on its merits. And I think that my audience is capable of doing so.

    But when it comes to, say, global warming, I think it is impossible for a non-specialist to be able to form a meaningful opinion."

    I have to strongly dissagree with you here.

    When it comes to topics of history and especially history of thought, only experts can know if you are picking and choosing your sources, or if your sources are a good sampling in the field. Laymen have no method to discern if the merits of what you are saying are good or not.

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  14. How can we get an mp3 of this lecture? Torah in Motion has still not posted that lecture in its mp3 store. (I suspect it's because the lecture occurred after Dec 16... I don't see anything for sale after Dec 16). My email to TiM regarding this has gone unanswered.

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  15. How can we get an mp3 of this lecture? Torah in Motion has still not posted that lecture in its mp3 store. (I suspect it's because the lecture occurred after Dec 16... I don't see anything for sale after Dec 16). My email to TiM regarding this has gone unanswered.

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