Thursday, December 9, 2010

Was Aristotle right all along?

The Economist has published an article claiming that the universe is eternal - and did not start with the big bang. Obviously I've no idea about the science involved and will refrain from even attempting to explain it. However, this is a rare moment for fans of Jewish Philosophy - it might just make mountains of texts of medieval Jewish philosophers relevant again. During the middle ages the question whether the universe was created (creation ex nihlio)  or was eternal was one of the biggest debates in Jewish Philosophical writings. Religious philosophers of the time were fighting an uphill battle against the commonly accepted Aristotelian view that the universe was eternal.  However my own experience has shown that today most students/Yeshivah boys just skip those chapters all together or alternatively fail to understand what all the fuss was about. Who knows but perhaps we are about to see some new found enthusiasm for an argument that has not been relevant for some time.

(I recommend this post in Hirhurim which correctly examines Rambam's complex view on the topic.)

No comments: