Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Beating on Bray

Bray, you're an idiot and I hate you. The reason is this:
The Ba’al Hablog implying that Khazal are a group of no-nothing, myth-making and believing ahistorical morons.
In this one ugly sentence you reveal that:

1) You can't spell. (maybe its contagious)
2) You don't know what a myth is
3) You don't know what aggadah is
4) You don't understand the difference between our epistemology and the epistemology of the ancients.
5) You think chazal were perfect, all knowing, and infallible.
6) You're under the misapprehension that I would ever use the word "moron" to describe chazal. (I wouldn't and haven't)

All of this is perfectly inexcusable, not least because it shows you haven't really been reading the blog you've been fouling with senseless, unwanted comments for almost two years. So for, please God, the last time, LISTEN THE HELL UP

1) CHazal. KNOW-nothing.

2) A myth (per answers.com, and their definition is as good as any, plus its ready-made) "is a kind of story or rudimentary narrative sequence, normally traditional and anonymous, through which a given culture ratifies its social customs or accounts for the origins of human and natural phenomena, usually in supernatural or boldly imaginative terms." A myth might, in some shape, be true. A myth might be entirely false. That, however, is besides the point. Calling something a "myth" is not an insult, nor is it the same as saying something is a lie.

3) Aggadah, per essentially every great Jewish thinker until very recently, is NOT HISTORY and is NOT LITERAL. You've already seen the long list of famous Geonim and Rishonim who say that we're free to understand the aggadot as we think best, and that no harm will come to one who discounts them entirely. Please do something about your sieve-like memory so that I don't have to keep telling you this. IT IS GETTING ANNOYING.

4) WE are skeptical. Ancients were not. WE demand high standards of proof. Ancients did not. WE (usually) do not rely exclusively on received wisdom. This was not true of the ancients: received wisdom was often all they had. Aristotle, famously, was wrong about the number of teeth women have in their mouths. How could this be? Why didn't he ever check? BECAUSE THE ANCIENTS HAD A DIFFERENT EPISTEMOLOGY. Please make a note of this.

5) Chazal could not have been perfect, all knowing, and infallible because THEY FREQUENTLY DISAGREED WITH EACH OTHER ON QUESTIONS OF FACT. Moreover, a fair amount of their science and medicine has been debunked; moreover, several prominent Rishonim have already told us that Chazal are not to be relied upon for anything but halacha. They were jurists, not historians or scientists. Acknowledging this irrefutable fact is no insult and serves in no way to diminish their greatness. YOU (and to a greater extent Ed) are NOT honoring them or their memory when you offer buffoon-like defenses of their every statement. L'hefech. Please, try to wrap you feeble mind around this. Its important.

6) I never have and never will disaprage a great man with the word "moron." YOU, on the other hand, are a card carrying member of Morons Are Us.

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