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Will there be a repair cycle? (25/10/20 15:32:50) Reply
    Lots need to be repaired because they have lapsed from somewhat functional into completely broken. Some other large systems seem to need complete reconstruction. So where to start?

    In pharmacology, which used to be my real-world calling, and which gave me 40 years of salary plus a wife and a decent pension, there is a rule of thumb: Start low; go slow.
    First thing to be done is identifying those who have already started - low profile, organic growth, minimal hype, and see what can be learnt. Jimmy Wales, of Wikipedia fame, said in a recent interview that he did not succeed in having investor support in the early phase. So he had no chance of becoming Facebook - and now he is happy that he didn't.

    I think we need to look into background culture. We have millions and millions of people who shamelessly declare themselves believers in supernatural powers, resurrection of decomposed bodies, and an almighty creator who did not think about air and did not inform of micro-organisms, and who believed that there is a body of water above the sky that once was continuous with that of the oceans. There are millions and millions of people who are made to or forced to producing more descendants than the earth can carry, and who do not shy away from killing people who think otherwise. How can such people be expected to behave rationally?

    At best, getting rid of Trumo will be only a start. But many on the same level - in other countries - will need to share his fate and go to prison if the evil spell is going to break.

    The legacy that Spinoza founded, deserves to be defended.

What is Spinoza's legacy? (n/t) (04/11/20 17:17:08) Reply

Re: What is Spinoza's legacy? (07/11/20 20:04:13) Reply
    Being the first to document that the Bible was inconsistent and unlikely in places. By this he indicated that the Bible could not have been written in collaboration with an all-knowing creator God. Miracles would either be natural phenomena consistent with nature's laws, or superstition.

Re: Re: You are mistaken sir (12/11/20 17:52:56) Reply
    The things you mention are attributed to another jew, a few hundred of years earlier.
    Try "The Guide for the Perplexed" for a deep run in [to/with] the above and with our old friend Aristotle.

Maybe.  (14/11/20 19:11:59) Reply
    "... the physical structure of the universe, as seen by Maimonides. The world-view asserted in the work is essentially Aristotelian, with a spherical earth in the centre, surrounded by concentric Heavenly Spheres. " (Wikipedia)

    Spinoza made a living from grinding lenses,

    "Huygens studied spherical lenses from a theoretical point of view in 1652–3, obtaining results that remained unpublished until Isaac Barrow (1669). His aim was to understand telescopes.[37] He began grinding his own lenses in 1655, collaborating with his brother Constantijn.[38] He designed in 1662 what is now called the Huygenian eyepiece, with two lenses, as a telescope ocular.[39][40] Lenses were also a common interest through which Huygens could meet socially in the 1660s with Baruch Spinoza, who ground them professionally. They had rather different outlooks on science, Spinoza being the more committed Cartesian, and some of their discussion survives in correspondence.[41] He encountered the work of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, another lens grinder, in the field of microscopy which interested his father."

    So Spinoza had a scientific background together with his background as a Jewish scholar. I think it shows. In my interpretation he made a pioneer effort in looking at Jewish scripture through his knowledge of logic and natural laws - and the old scriptures failed. So he was excommunicated - and remains so AFAIK.

Tangential (28/11/20 12:25:36) Reply
    You are losing sight of the essential, if I dare say so.

    "For many years now scholars have debated the extent of Maimonides’s influence on Spinoza.
    Indeed, Spinoza is known to have read and studied Maimonides, and Maimonides is certain to have played a large part in Spinoza’s philosophical development.
    Most scholars agree, however, that Spinoza was not a Maimonidean, even though they often disagree about what specifically distinguishes the two thinkers.
    Joshua Parens takes aim at those scholars who, he considers, “too readily assimilate Maimonides to Spinoza, and vice versa” (15).
    He aims to explain the difference between Maimonides and Spinoza and to prove once and for all that Maimonides was a medieval and Spinoza a modern.
    In each of the six chapters making up the body of this book, Parens identifies and compares central concepts in the works of Maimonides and Spinoza.
    For Spinoza, these concepts are conatus, equality, laws of nature, determinism, imagined ideals, and imagination.
    Parens finds comparisons, respectively, with desire (and spiritedness), veneration, forms, freedom, teleology, and prudence in Maimonides’s works.
    Parens’s arguments for the centrality of these concepts and the correspondence between them are likely to arouse controversy.
    Indeed, the concepts of the second set are not usually considered the central topics of any of Maimonides’s works, but have evidently been selected with a view to their counterparts in Spinoza.
    Yet, issues normally considered central to Maimonides are covered under the rubrics of Parens’s central concepts.
    Thus, for example, God’s incorporeality is discussed in connection with veneration and form, providence in connection with [human] freedom, creation in connection with teleology, and prophecy in connection with prudence.
    The Maimonidean concepts Parens identifies are first and foremost Aristotelian concepts.
    Parens’s main argument is that Maimonides adopts the Aristotelian philosophical worldview and adapts it to the Jewish context, cleverly reinterpreting Biblical and Rabbinic views to accommodate Aristotle.
    Consequently, according to Parens, when Spinoza refutes and undermines Aristotle and Aristotelianism, he also refutes and undermines Maimonides"

    Personally I do not see conflicting views as some present them. I see continuity and evolution.
    Maimonides "guide" is a "tough-read". It is messy and prone to bad translations. And yes, Aristotelian. Reflects the times he lived in.
    Spinoza is geometry. Order. Precision. Also reflects the times.
    However, I would say that Spinoza could not have written "Ethics" without being acquainted with the guide or other writings of the sort.
    Surely, as a jew, he had access to the guide and other ancient writings.
    As they say, standing on the shoulder of... well, others.

    Maimonides already tore down the holly scriptures.
    He demonstrated that there is very little of god in them and that all the rituals, commandments and miracles have very little to do with god.
    Maimonides also came absurdly close to what Spinoza did in ethics, castrate god.
    He reduced god to an intangible god with absolutely no attributes (or infinity of) and no physical magical intervention powers in his own creation as religious people often believe.

    Now that's having BALLS!

    Mind you, the real distinction between the two is probably their attitude toward the purpose of the scriptures and much less on the nature of god. (god is the reason/god is god, regardless)
    Maimonides saw the religious rituals as an aid to personal growth and coming closer to the divine, the miracles as metaphors etc...
    So I think that Maimonides took the first step. The scriptures were a manual for personal growth and not holy and certainly not meant to be taken literally.
    To my knowledge Spinoza did not share such views.

    "Spinoza's doctrine of immortality was strikingly similar. But Spinoza teaches that the way to attain the knowledge which confers immortality is the progress from sense-knowledge through scientific knowledge to philosophical intuition of all things sub specie æternitatis, while Maimonides holds that the road to perfection and immortality is the path of duty as described in the Torah and the rabbinic understanding of the oral law." - from Wikipedia entry on Maimonides.

    There are far better sources (books!) on the subject. Just type Maimonides and Spinoza into all mighty google.

    5780 years of trying to kill god and somehow IT still "lives".

    Ask google about "princess alice experiment"

    Also recommended, Derren Brown's Miracle

    My two cents, have a good week.

Re: Tangential (02/12/20 22:18:16) Reply
    I think it is much a question of attitudes. But I also believe the times we live(d) in should be commented on in more detail. There was a time when it was acutely dangerous to give any utterance of doubt about the existence of a deity as described in the scriptures. In some countries it still is - and there is a large country in North America where such doubts seem to be severely career limiting for some professions - not only theologists. I have seen evidence that this applied to Spinoza; I do not know about Maimonides. AFAIK Aristoteles was far less controversial than telescopes.

    Attitudes: To me the old philosophies are boring, and I consider most if not all a waste of my time. Philosophy, IMO, to be useful for today, needs to be rewritten to accomodate current scientific knowledge. Satellites passing the outer planets are incompatible with the world view given us in church ceilings, where fat little angels are looking down at us, partly hidden by clouds, just made visible by the artist.

    In these days we have religious people who do not take precautions against the Covid infection because they believe their deity decides whether they will live or die, and that precautions therefore are unnecessary.

    There is some historical precedent

    "In spite of their differences, Ibn Khaldun continued to correspond with Ibn al-Khatib, and several of these letters are cited in his Autobiography. He also tried to save his friend when, largely as a result of court intrigue, Ibn al-Khatib was brought to trial, accused of heresy for contradicting the ‘ulama, the religious authorities, by insisting that the plague was a communicable disease. His situation can be compared with that of Galileo nearly three centuries later, but with a less happy outcome: Ibn al-Khatib was strangled in prison at Fez in the late spring of 1375."


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