Friday, June 10, 2005

Denial & Delusion Theory

The Rebetzin Hador has a very good policy for dealing with unpleasant truths; she calls it ‘Denial and Delusion’. In other words, just ignore the problems, pretend they don’t exist and they magically disappear. Of course it can always come back to bite you later, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the D&D policy for dealing with worn-out break pads. But, it can come in useful, especially for dealing with unpleasant realities which are never going to change, for example a husband who doesn’t like to do laundry.

This policy is actually a variant of HaRav Dovid Adam’s (zt”l) famous vort 'Somebody Elses Problem' (HHGTTG Chelek Shlishi), so kudos to the Rebbetzin for being mechaven to such gadlus.

I was reminded of this on reading Gil’s latest post on Yetzias Mitzrayim. This post really surprised me, and not just because he linked to me. (Yay ! Gil linked to me.) He brings up quite a serious problem, that of the historicity of Yetzias Mitzrayim. In some ways, this issue is worse than the Breishis questions, which can be explained in a variety of ways.

Frumteens, as is typical of fundamentalists, provides a misleading and inaccurate answer. Gil thinks it’s better to be honest and say there is no good answer. I have mixed feelings on this, but it strikes me that here we have another approach to dealing with all those Science and Torah issues: It’s the Denial and Delusion Theory.

Basically, this theory works as follows. Firstly, deny there are any questions. Quote bogus scientists, or simply make things up. Pretend that many scientists do agree with the Torah’s account. Then add a good dose of delusion. Say that Scientists, Archeologists and Historians are always changing their minds anyway, so who knows ? Maybe in the future they will all agree with the Torah’s account.

Its the Denial and Delusion Theory for Life the Universe and Everything !And if that doesn't work, just try changing the topic. A discussion of fish and chairs seems to work quite well.