Monday, December 05, 2005

Defense of the Ban - II

I'm not in favor of the ban. In today's day and age I think we gain a lot more by debating ideas on the merits, incorporating truth where it is found and using it to help fulfill our religious lives. By placing trust in people we empower them. Ask anyone who has taught a class or tutored a student, ask anyone who is a parent, what they have learned. Everyone has a different perspective, a different way of thinking. By limiting ourselves we limit the perspectives brought to Torah, we limit the amount being learned, and we lower the level that we, both individually and collectively are at.

Ok, that sounded really mushy. But I am against the ban. Nonetheless, I will attempt to undertake a defense, one which I disagree with, but which I think is tenable.

I don't think the ban is about the interplay of science and Torah. Obviously, Torah is true. And if Science is true as well, then the two must reconcile. There's no choice in the matter.

It seems obvious that some statements of Chazal with regards to science don't fit with modern scientific observations. I'm pretty convinced that the Sun doesn't circle the Earth, and I don't plan on waiting for a new scientific theory to say otherwise. Ah, so Chazal erred on a scientific matter? Ok, so what? We even have korbanos when the entire klal does something based on an incorrect psak. If errors are impossible, those pesukim might be rendered superfluous.

Yes, some say that nature has changed (or, if you'd prefer, evolved). Medicines don't work because people are no longer the same. Possible? Sure, anything is. Other bloggers have written on this subject, and I have no desire to rehash it.

to be continued...

P.S. I have final exams coming up next week, so blogging will be light. I do plan on finishing this series, but it might take some time.