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No longer take comments. Post's 'labels' are unreliable for linking or searching. Use the INDEX OF POSTS instead. A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview and understanding of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. IF YOU GET A MESSAGE THAT THE POST IS MISSING - LOOK FOR IT IN THE INDEX or search or the date is found in the address.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Kuzari Argument Part 25 - National Experiential Tradition - Armenian Genocide

 This is a continuation from Kuzari Argument Part 24    and can more or less be read as a standalone. See   Part 1 

Lets examine one version of the Kuzari 'proof' that the Exodus with all the miracles and the Sinai revelation really occurred.

Rabbi Gottlieb (RG) Principle: Let E be a possible event which, had it really occurred, would have left behind enormous, easily available evidence of its occurrence. If the evidence does not exist, people will not believe that E occurred.

This can be briefly restated as: If people believe an event (of type E)  occurred, then evidence must exist for the event's occurrence.

[RG means to say a mass of people. RG does not mean if a only a few people.]

One gist of RG Principle/Argument is that descendants of a people will not accept a false history (of type E event(s)) of their ancestors.

I am not sure if Rabbi Gottlieb still uses or requires his Kuzari Principle as part of his argument for 'truth' of the Mount Sinai story. Nevertheless, later on  I will provide yet another example indicating it is a flawed principle. 

Starting at around 20 minutes in this Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjGMmoZGQpg Rabbi Gottlieb provides the criteria for what he calls National Experiential Tradition and those sorts of National Traditions may be accepted as true. This maybe his latest version of his Kuzari style argument for the Sinai Story. These are the criteria he mentions in the video.

The National Tradition is accepted by the Nation itself.

The National Tradition describes the history of the Nation itself.

The National Tradition describes an event experienced directly by everyone in the Nation. Describes an event that sometime in the past all the people of the Nation observed the event directly.

The National Tradition is of a kind of event that you expect people to remember. It moves a people, a meaningful event.

(AFAIK National Experiential tradition is a creation of RG and I strongly suspect the overwhelming historians will not accept it as valid. Perhaps RG should have historians examine his NET idea. Also NET  is fraught with operational and definitional problems some of which I have already discussed in prior Kuzari posts and perhaps I will elaborate on in future posts. For example, how do we determine if an event is expected to be remembered ?  What does it mean to be accepted by the Nation and how do you determine that it is accepted? Etc: Etc: 

In addition, I would be interested in seeing the list of NETs that RG has examined and how he applied his criteria to those NETs. Then how he determined those NETs were true. Surely, he must have examined a huge number of NETs to draw a conclusion that it is reasonable to conclude NETs are true.)

I have argued in other Kuzari posts on the unreliability of the RG Principle or National Traditions. As one example consider the fairly recent history regarding events leading up to and during the  formation of the State of Israel and the ensuing events soon after.   I offered the fact that the Palestinian version of it's National History  is opposed to Israel's  version of it's National History. We often have conflicting National Traditions. This shows the unreliability of using National traditions to provide the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

Lets consider the Armenian Genocide as another example. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_genocide_denial  (Retrievd 12/27/2021) Wiki writes Turkish schools teach Armenian genocide denial. 

 "Most Turkish citizens and political parties in Turkey support the state's denial policy." "Besides the Turkish state, Turkish intellectuals and civil society have also denied the genocide." 

If you read the entire Wiki page you will learn more about the Turkish version of their National History and their denial of the genocide. 

On the other hand there is the Armenian version of  their National History of the event(s) which is opposed to the Turkish National History of event(s)  !

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