Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Some of the reactions from Christians to the recent Israeli law on indirect euthanasia not only disapprove of the law (okay) but also disapprove of the alleged use of “loopholes” by Judaism (not okay). If God did not want those “loopholes,” He would not have put them in the Law in the first place. (If God knows everything, He could predict what kinds of interpretations the Rabbis would come up with and adjust the Torah to produce the right ones.) If you don't like it, take it up with God.

Avoidance of loopholes can also have unpleasant results. For example, in the Only Testament there is a regulation authorizing the execution of stubborn and rebellious children. In the Talmud it is hedged about with so many conditions (all of them based on the letter/phoneme of the law) as to make it impossible to enforce and, in the discussion, the majority opinion holds that it has never been enforced. This clearly violates the spirit of the law which anybody can see was intended to do in sassy kids.

In this case, the spirit of the law kills and the letter gives life. That should not astonish us, since the spirit of the law is what humans temporarily understand the law to be about whereas the letter of the law is what God dictated.

Good heavens. I'm on the verge of turning into an Orthodox Jew. (How do we wind those tefillin things again?)


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