Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Why Gosseleib doesn’t work

I’m not sure everyone gets why Gosseleib is so wrong. Let me try and explain one more time.

Gosseleib starts from a position that he can convince any reasonable person of the truths of Judaism. He has a long, well researched essay where he shows that given the evidence of the claim of Sinai, plus the history of the Jewish people, any reasonable person will conclude that the Sinai claim is the most reasonable hypothesis.

In other words, his methodology is that a reasonable person, looking at reasonable evidence, will reasonably conclude that the evidence is good.

Yet, when it comes to Scientific evidence, which at the very least is certainly as strong as the evidence for Sinai, and really anyone reasonable will agree it is significantly stronger than the evidence for Sinai, suddenly he claims that’s no evidence, because its trumped by a literal reading of Breishis. So he invents this ‘Nes-Nisayon’ theory (or rather copies it from a Christian. I assure you that this theory has NO solid source in traditional Judaism).

So really, what we have is two sets of conflicting evidence. One set, for Sinai, and one set for Science. Reconciliationists like me do not find these two sets to be in conflict, and we can come up with some reasonable answers. But according to Gosseleib, it’s impossible that both sets are actually true. So he trumps Science with Sinai, and comes up with his wacky peshat that the scientific evidence is all fakery.

But if we can discount the very reasonable scientific evidence as fakery, in order to preserve the Torah, why not discount the Torah as fakery, to preserve the Science? If anything, that is a much more reasonable approach, since the Scientific evidence is so much stronger. And you can’t claim that the Torah must be true, because that’s the very thing he sets out to prove in the first place!

It makes no sense, and a supposed ‘logician’ as he claims to be should be ashamed to spout such nonsense. I still maintain that he’s just not that stupid, so it’s a shame that the power of the extremists is so strong, and his moral fiber so weak, that he caved in. It’s really quite pathetic, and a rather sad reflection on the state of things today in the frum world.

How can we answer the claims of the skeptics and disaffected BT’s when some of the supposed Kiruv Experts show themselves to be so foolish? What a bizzayon. Not only have I lost confidence in the Gedolim, but also in the ‘stars’ of the Kiruv Industry.

Is there no one out there with any sechel? (and still frum?)