Download e-book for kindle: Ajs Review 1987: Fall, No 2 by Robert Chazan

By Robert Chazan

ISBN-10: 9998954711

ISBN-13: 9789998954717

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Extra info for Ajs Review 1987: Fall, No 2

Sample text

However, a substantially modified version in which man's ability to act is not absolute, and otherworldly compensation justifies God's wisdom, is ascribed to the Mu'tazila. The "incongruity" attached to this opinion, according to Maimonides, lies in the regrettable doctrine of compensation, in which the suffering of a child with birth defects is ascribed to God's wisdom, and the death of a righteous man is seen as justified by the maximization of his reward in the world-to-come. The doctrine of compensation in the otherworld is even extended to the animal kingdom, including in Maimonides' list, a flea, a louse, and a mouse.

Does Maimonides' conglomerate account satisfy the dual criteria which have dominated his presentation? Upon examination, each part of the account (I/we) seems to meet and articulate separately the standards Maimonides had used in evaluating other opinions. The our-account asserts the standards which conform to the dictates of the Law. The account ostensibly has its source in the consensus of right-thinking opinion within the religious community. But in the format of Maimonides' fundamental principles, it has received an obviously original presentation.

Both state a public doctrine which affirms God's justice in rewarding and punishing all human behavior, and a private doctrine which restricts divine providence to an intellectual elite. Since Plato is unnamed and apparently unmentioned in Maimonides' historical review of speculation on providence in III/17, Strauss takes as his task the rehabilitation of Plato as the prime influence on Maimonides' thinking. Plato's statement in the Laws that God knows individuals and rewards and punishes justly was voiced for its political utility (according to Strauss).

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Ajs Review 1987: Fall, No 2 by Robert Chazan


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