Sunday, December 11, 2005

Follow Up Questions

In my previous post I asked whether there is value in studying the ancient Hebrew Bible. My follow up question is assuming that there is value in it, and that we can learn and be inspired from it, does that mean that the Hebrew bible is unique? I mean, if the Hebrew bible is just inspired writings of ancient humans, what makes us think that other civilizations didn't also have inspired writings?

What about the ancient Sumerians, Greeks, Babylonians, Asians etc.? Didn't they also have inspired writings that we can learn from? Why should we give the Hebrew prophets special treatment?

We should look for wisdom where ever we can find it. Wouldn't we be doing our selves a disservice by ignoring other cultures just because it's not our direct heritage? I don't think sentimentality for its own sake is a good thing.

I guess what I'm really getting at is that it's one thing to study and appreciate your own heritage and be proud of it, but it's another thing to ignore other cultures just because it's not your own

4 Comments:

Blogger Orthoprax said...

Spinoza,

There's nothing wrong in reading the works of other cultures. I myself have read through the Gospels, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer, and part of the Book of the Dead as well as some of the Koran and scraps of numerous other works.

Though I don't consider myself particularly well read in terms of ancient texts, I have made an effort to at least have an understanding of what so many other people have considered of value.

Though there is wisdom in the stories and texts in the works of other cultures, you should continue to at least have some responsibility to your own heritage.

11:01 PM  
Blogger The Jewish Freak said...

Maimonides studied Greek and Arabic philosophy, and the Rabbis of the Talmud studied ancient astronomy,to name just a couple of examples. - JF.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous daat y said...

Theoretically,yes.Practically-how could I read your blog then.

8:21 PM  
Blogger B. Spinoza said...

>Practically-how could I read your blog then.

if you really want, I will try to stick in some non-Jewish scholarship too.

11:18 PM  

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