Sunday, 19 December 2010

Are Passion and Partisanship Preludes to Prejudice?

Hazal give us a large dose of Mussar when it comes to Objectivity

Trivia Question:
When does a guilty vote by a member of Sanhedrin trigger an acquittal?

Answer: When Making the vote unanimous - IIRC in capital cases

And so when 23 Rabbis all conclude that the defendant is guilty what does THAT prove? It proves that the defendant was not properly defended and that we further suspect he was railroaded and was not tried objectively nor honestly.


Recently an advocate "Levi" stated a position on how to interpret a tricky passage in Humash He listed MANY sources that confirmed his pre-conceived read. He went over his list again and again and was convinced that he had THE definitive body of Mesorah confirming his take on the matter at hand.

However, others countered with some impressive sources of their own that apparently Levi had missed. Perhaps in his zeal, Levi consciously omitted contrary sources, or he was blinded somehow to their existence. At any rate, Levi's "unanimity" said more about being a slave to his pre-conceived notion than about the accuracy of his conclusion.

Tangentially, I never read Darwin, but his theories seem "too tight" to be plausible. He seems to leave no loose ends. While they say he methodically checked over his own work, that's the issue. HE checked HIS own work! How objective was THAT?

Compare that say with Einstein where independent confirmation took years in coming but eventually his theories emerged with independent observation, EG the bending of light during an eclipse.

Objectivity, balance, and intellectual honesty are Torah values. They may not be quite as paramount as they are in the scientific universe, but they nevertheless do count.


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