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The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."



 

Wisdom of Prof. Paul Eidelberg: Three Articles on God and Morality

 

 

Obamagnosis: A Sickness unto Death

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg, President

The Israel-America Renaissance Institute

 

A Muslim extremist shoots up a U.S. military base and it's called "workplace violence." It’s called "workplace violence" by those suffering from an extreme case of "agnosis," a mental or moral inability to recognize certain human acts as downright evil. Since this ignorance is quite prevalent in the pronouncements and policies of the Obama Administration, we may reasonably say his Administration is suffering from "Obamagnosis." Let’s see where this agnosis lead us, beginning on the surface and proceeding step-by-step to the profound cause of this mental and moral disorder. 

If a Muslim employee of the House of Representatives or of the Senate—or better yet, of the White House—was to shoot up some Representatives or some Senators or members of the President's staff—Aha! this would be nothing more than "workplace violence" or manifestations of Obamagnosis!

Let’s probe more deeply. Obamagnosis is not merely a diagnosis of a flawed human being in the White House. Tens of millions of Americans voted for this man in the 2008 presidential election. Their massive agnosis is mind-boggling. They voted for this man even though he displayed utter contempt for the America! Even while campaigning for the Presidency, he had audacity—or should I say mental vacuity—to disparage America's most revered foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution. This Obamagnosis is without parallel in the history of politics. What has happened to American Exceptionalism? What is the root cause of this sickness unto death that afflicts tens of millions of Americans? 

To begin with, we must ask, "Who are the educators of the educators of the tens of millions of Americans who have been rendered so morally and intellectually vacuous by Obamagnosis that a Muslim terrorist attack on a U.S. military base can be called "working place violence" without causing a national uproar? Can it be the legions of academics who, for more than 100 years, have dominated American colleges and universities? Or am I am painting with too broad a brush? 

I know it’s not de rigueur to name names, but America’s critical situation compels me to do so. The academics I am alluding to comprise the multitude of "post-American" intellectuals who, influenced by the crypto-Marxism and historical relativism exemplified in the 1913 publications of Charles Beard and Carl Becker—the former on the Constitution, the latter on the Declaration—rendered these once venerable and foundational documents of the American Republic intellectually obsolete; indeed, decade after decade they have been relegated to the trash heap of history. As a consequence, their principles were nothing to be very proud of, let alone worth fighting and dying for. They no longer even allow us to identify and vehemently denounce America’s existential enemy—the military ideology that precipitated that Muslim’s terrorist attack on a U.S. military base. 

Now let us focus on the crypto-Marxism of Charles Beard’s Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. This book has had so many printings that it has become an icon of the countless historians and political scientists who reduce the ideas and statesmanship of America’s Founding Fathers to their economic interests. This simplistic piece of crypto-Marxism took academia by storm. Indeed, it is still cited uncritically by scholars. It seems never to have occurred to these patriotic scholars that they were insulting America’s greatest statesmen, which does not mean that these extraordinary statesmen should be lionized (but then what shall we then say of today’s politicians?).

In any event, given the two pervasive and related academic doctrines of crypto-Marxism and historical relativism, I must say in all candor that "higher education" has corrupted generations of American college and university students. And since moral relativism is evident at all levels of American education—most conspicuously in the social sciences and humanities—I contend that it is this doctrine, more than any other single factor (such as money, skin color, or the ineptitude of John McCain), that gave Obama a majority of the votes in the 2008 presidential election.

Now, since Americans influenced by moral relativism must be deemed either ignorant or dismissive of the universalism of America’s Declaration of Independence, is it not obvious that what is primarily responsible for this widespread ignorance and indifference is academia?

Viewed in this unconventional way, Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election should be understood as an "electoral" victory of the cynical doctrine of moral relativism over its opponent, the universalism of the Declaration—i.e., that document’s appreciation of "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Nor is this all.

The eighteenth century regarded the Laws of Nature as the "Moral Law." What the Declaration calls the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" may rightly be construed as the American abbreviation of the Seven Noahide Laws of universal morality. This is quite evident in the writings of some of the Declaration’s most learned signatories such as James Wilson and John Adams. These men, like the Continental Congress that promulgated the Declaration of Independence, were averse to Jefferson's omission of the name of God and Divine Providence in his initial draft of that document.

Finally, and contrary to academic opinion even of scholars of the Straussian school of political science, the natural-cum-moral law doctrine of the Declaration of Independence is rooted not in the political philosophy of John Locke but in the Seven Noahide Laws of the Torah. This may be may confirmed in the writings of Locke’s acquaintance, the greatest Hebraist of the eighteenth century, John Selden, at least of whose lengthy volumes on the Talmud was in Locke’s libarary.*

Summing up, Obamagnosis represents a denial of the natural-cum-moral law. It is precisely this denial that underlies the moral or mental disorder that impels those infected by Obamagnosis—a sickness unto death—to call a Muslim's shooting up of an U.S. military base "workplace violence."

* * * * * * * 

*For elaboration, see my book The Metapolitical Foundations of American Exceptionalism (Lightcatcher Books, 2012).

 

 

 

 

Reflections

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg


There was a time when theology was deemed the queen of the sciences. This means that however much science may reveal of the secrets of nature, it is the task of theology to go further and reveal the secret behind these secrets, which means to reveal, in a finite way, the gracious God who hides His infinitude in nature lest his awesome infinitude render human freedom impossible.

With the success and consequent exaltation of science, universities, long ago, dropped theology from their science curriculum. Today, however, and thanks to relativity theory and quantum mechanics, theology is making a comeback. The Big Bang theory, the findings of astronomy regarding the fine-tuning of the constants of nature, what we are learning about molecular biological machines that resemble factories, are bringing us closer to the God of the Bible. I dare say it will not be long before theology resumes its place as the queen of the sciences. Ponder, therefore, the words of a self-proclaimed agnostic, Robert Jastrow, an astrophysicist:

"For the scientist who has loved his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

Now allow and ponder this word from a mere political scientist. I have often said that the Zionists who established the State of Israel removed God from the domain of statecraft. It can hardly be argued that religious Zionists have done much to undo the resulting intellectual and spiritual decay. Therefore, just as universities, to be true to their highest calling, must restore theology to their science curriculum—without which the social sciences and humanities will remain steeped in materialism and relativism—so I maintain that political parties will remain intellectually and morally bankrupt until they bring God back into the domain of statecraft.

This will require fundamental reform of Israel’s ill-designed system of government. For this purpose they can do no better study the structure of the ancient Hebraic Republic, so highly esteemed by the presidents of eighteenth-century American colleges.

But just as theology must be included in the science curriculum of Israeli universities, by the same token science must be included the curriculum of Israel's seminaries. The goal is simply this: to hasten the convergence of Torah and science and thereby elevate statecraft in Israel. In no other way can Israel be a light unto the nations.

 

 
 
 
 
 

The God Issue

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

 

According to the Jewish Sages, the universe was created for man. Hence it is all the more remarkable that during the past three decades, evidence has accumulated which, while eliminating anthropomorphism in physics, has prompted scientists to propose the ultimate anthropomorphism: the “Anthropic Principle”! The essence of this principle was captured by Professor Freeman J. Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, one of the world’s leading mathematical physicists: “As we look out into the universe and identify the many peculiarities of physics and astronomy that have worked together for our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.”[1]

The Anthropic Principle postulates a linkage between the fine tuning of various physical parameters of the universe and the prerequisites of human existence. For example, the fine tuning concerning the energy of the Big Bang has been quantified by Roger Penrose as one part in 10123 ![2] As Dr. Schroeder vividly puts it, “If the energy of the Big Bang were different by one point out of 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

there would be no life anywhere in our universe.”[3]

Moreover, astronomer Michael A. Corey points out that "if the gravitational constant (G) were slightly larger, stars would have burned too hot and much too quickly to support the fragile needs of life; but if it were slightly smaller, the intrastellar process of nuclear fusion would have never initiated, and life would have been incapable of arising here. This same rationale can also be applied to the expansion rate of the nascent universe … If the … expansion rate happened to be slightly greater than the presently observed value, life-supporting galaxies would have been unable to form; but if it were slightly smaller, the early universe would have collapsed back in on itself shortly after the Big Bang. Either way and no life forms would have been possible…."

"The challenge," he continues, "is to find a plausible explanation for this fine-tuning. According to the British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, the odds that our biocentric universe could have accidentally evolved into its present fine-tuned configuration are an astounding one in 10123, which is a number so vast that it couldn’t be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe. This is why many theorists have posited the existence of a “super-calculating intellect” to account for this fine-tuning."[4]

Although the validity of the Anthropic Principle has been challenged by some scientists, consider the statements of these luminaries in the scientific community.[5] Former skeptic Fred Hoyle concludes that “a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.” Paul Davies has moved from promoting atheism to conceding, “It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe.

The impression of design is overwhelming.” No less than Stephen Hawking concedes: “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”

To these conundrums, add the concept of creatio ex nihilo—creation from nothing. Here is how the polymath Rabbi David Toledano, a man learned not only in Talmud and Kabbalah, but also in classical and modern philosophy, Special and General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Neuro-Physiology, and other sciences—here is an abbreviation of how he addresses the concept of creatio ex nihilo in his forthcoming magnum opus The Scientific Path to Spirituality: Cracking the Cosmic Code (of which I am privileged to have an electronic copy):

"This fundamental, yet confusing concept is … ordinarily employed to describe the creation of the Universe out 'of nothing.' In this context, “nothing” cannot mean an ontological void or emptiness. It would be illogical to believe that 'nothing' could produce anything more than “nothingness.” Conversely, when we associate the term 'nothing' with the Infinite, all-embracing Being, the concept of 'ex nihilo' is both descriptive and intelligible.

There is literally nothing within our thoughts that can relate to the Infinite in its ultimate sense—that is, to 'God-In-Himself.' Therefore, when addressing this concept, we have no choice but to employ negative terms such as 'nothing.'"

Biophysicist Harold Morowitz, says Corey, "has calculated the odds against life emerging from a primordial soup with all the right ingredients to be a mind-boggling one in 10100,000,000,000, which is thousands of orders of magnitude above the widely accepted level of statistical nonpossibility."[6]

This recalls Einstein’s famous remark concerning quantum mechanics, that God does not play dice with the universe. To this one might reply: "God does play dice with the universe, but the dice are loaded." 

[1] Freeman J. Dyson, Scientific American, September 1971, p. 59.

[2] Michael A. Corey, The God Hypothesis, p. 55. 

[3] Gerald Schroeder, The Science of God, p. 5.

[4] According to Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything, p. 104, “If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller, by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size.”

[5] The references in this paragraph are cited in Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, pp. 157, 159. See Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, p. 199, who defines the Anthropic Principle as follows:“We see the universe the way it is because if it were different, we would not be here to observe it.” See also Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes, p. 154, who rejects the Anthropic Principle.

[6] Corey, p. 166.