THE PLACE OF LOGIC


1. Absolute limits: the nature of G-d is beyond human understanding;

what G-d wants is beyond human imagination and speculation - we

cannot expect to understand the Creator of the universe!

2. Applications of logic:

     a. understanding G-dís interactions/revelations to us - modes of G-dís activity ["attributes"] - e.g. omnipotence [G-d lacks abilities which imply imperfections (ability to improve), and we do not assert that G-d can perform logical contradictions]

     b. we are required to understand and apply the Law

     c. kavvono - understanding of mitzvos is part of the performance

     d. so far: logic is the servant of content revealed by G-d in prophecy - compare Rambam on Aristotle

3. There is a mitzva to prove what we are to believe [G-dís existence and the basic principles if His interactions] [Rambam, Bachaya, Shelah [maamar 1of eser maararos], Meharsha [Berachos 17a, "gímor"]] - logic confirms the tradition

4. [For many authorities] there cannot be a mitzva to believe in G-d

a. to deliberately disobey a command requires understanding the command and recognizing that it is a genuine, valid command - recognizing a Divine commandment requires recognizing that G-d commanded it - one therefore cannot recognize a Divine commandment without believing in G-d

b. therefore a supposed commandment to believe in G-d cannot be deliberately disobeyed

c. it also cannot be deliberately obeyed: there is no choice

d. but all religious practice depends upon the belief in G-d; that belief cannot be a matter of free choice

e. solution: logic requires/obligates the belief in G-d, which then generates the obligation to fulfill the Torah

f. thus logic is the foundation of our Torah obligations


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