Whosoever spends his days without a wife, has no joy nor blessing, or good in his life. Talmud – Yevamot 62B

The Orthodox Jewish view of Marriage

rlclrose21Any discussion of Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims must logically begin with the House of Israel. According to the Jewish history, God created the world, and its first parents, Adam and Eve, five thousand, seven hundred, and sixty seven years ago.

Approximately two thousand years later, Abraham, Patriarch of the Jews was born and nearly five hundred years after that, his ancestor Moses led captive Israel out of Egypt. (Aklah)  After the exodus from Egypt, the Orthodox Jews tell us that Moses received on Mount Sinai, personally from the God of Universe, the Ten Commandments, and subsequently the rest of the laws written down in the first five books of Moses. This compilation of books called the Pentateuch and others written by the rest of the prophets that called the Torah. It is from the Torah, from the accompanying explanations and commentary about it called the Talmud, and also from the three thousand years of tradition that bring us to the present, that the understanding and customs of Jewish marriage are derived. A study in 1970 determined that there were approximately six hundred thousand orthodox Jews living in the United States. (Elazar)
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“Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

The question of whether citizens in a democracy should have ready access to firearms suggests a more basic question, which has often been asked within the memory of man, usually by elitists and autocrats. It is, “Just who the Hell do you think you are?” Here then, a brief answer. I am an adult male; a sovereign political entity; a creation of the living God. I believe that God has endowed me with rights.

rlclrose21The Declaration of Independence agrees with this and that is why that I condescend to pledge allegiance to the United States of America. The Constitution or the government of the United States does not grant rights to me. The ninth amendment clearly recognizes this truth when it states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Indeed, I continue to maintain my rights if the Constitution or the United States ceases to exist. I am entitled to these rights even if I live under the subjugation of a cruel tyrant or a totalitarian government.

It is up to the individual to defend their rights by exercising them, by seeing them codified into law, by petitioning, protesting, or performing acts of civil disobedience when government attempts to curtail them. In the extreme, these rights are to be protected by using any means necessary, up to and including the taking of life or the sacrificing of one’s own.
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rlclrose21Perhaps those who love Shakespeare love him because of his ability to so skillfully portray the many facets of the human condition.  He does indeed most always “get it right.”  Certainly, his description of lust causes a person like myself, who has completely succumbed to its temptations and lived long enough to reap its harvest, to grimly nod my head in agreement. I do so with sadness recalling the results of acts I now regret, just as others may do so in desperation from the habitual prison that they have built for themselves and are unable to escape. For the purposes of this paper, I will use Blackburn’s definition of lust in the first chapter of his book, which is: “The enthusiastic desire, the desire that infuses the body, for sexual activity and its pleasures for their own sake.”
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Zu bald alt, zu spät klug

rlclrose21I was a child in the sixties, aged six to sixteen, during a time when existentialism was highly celebrated as pop philosophy. Nothing could be more counter-cultural than the words, “God is dead,” or more likely to cause semi-comatose, bushy eye-browed conservatives to sit upright, bristling with indignation. Great fun, but easily diffused if we begin any consideration of Nietzsche’s work by posing the more palatable question, “Well, what if there were no God?” Nietzsche’s explanation of a “Godless” universe is both passionate and robust.
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Pa’ntes A’nthropoi Tou^ Eide’nai Ore’gontai Phy’sei.
All men by nature desire to know. —Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1:1

rlclrose21 When one begins to take a closer look at Socrates of Athens, (469-399 B.C. ) it immediately becomes clear that he is a man in a unique and enviable position. A citizen of an established polis, he was neither obscure nor highly celebrated. His service to his country as a soldier was established, yet he did not distinguish himself to the extent that it required him to bear the burden of celebrity nor assume the mantle of hero (Vlastos, Pg. 50). He was born of a good family but not of a noble or patrician one. His father was an artist; a sculptor, he himself was an artisan; a stonemason. Apparently a man of limited independent means, he was far from what would be considered wealthy. This fortuitous combination of circumstances worked to place Socrates, not in the center of urban life and culture, but rather in the middle of it. He found himself in an ideal position to observe his fellow Athenians, and to interact and converse with them.
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For those interested, the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of North Florida now has a Facebook page.  Here it is.  Like the page, and you can keep up to date with the events, activities, and accomplishments related to the department.

Here is the conference schedule for the upcoming Northeast Florida Student Philosophy Conference.  The conference will be held at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville.  Meetings will be held in building 39, room 1009.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

  • 9:00 – 9:10               Opening Remarks – Bert Koegler (North Florida)
  • 9:10 – 10:25             Keynote I – Sarah McGrath (Princeton) “Equilibrium in Ethics and Epistemology”
  • 10:25 – 10:35                      Break
  • 10:35 – 11:20          Bradley Beall (North Florida) “Crime and Funnishment: Is Hard Incompatibilism Impractical?”
  • 11:20 – 11:30                      Break
  • 11:30 – 12:15          Amiel Bernal (Virginia Tech) “Problems for FitzPatrick’s Metaethical Non-naturalism and the Standards of Goodness”
  • 12:15 – 2:15                                    Lunch
  • 2:15 – 3:15               Ellen C. Wagner Lecture – Andrew Brenner (Notre Dame) “Parfit on Free Will and Desert”
  • 3:15 – 3:25                           Break
  • 3:25 – 4:10               Richard Holmes (South Carolina) “Moral Judgment and Motivation”
  • 4:10 – 4:20                           Break
  • 4:20 – 5:05               Taylor Cyr (Florida State) “Divine Sovereignty and Divine Commands”
  • 5:05 – 5:15                           Break
  • 5:15 – 6:30               Keynote II – William FitzPatrick (Rochester) “Why There is No Darwinian Dilemma for Ethical Realism”
  • 6:30 – 6:35               Closing Remarks