- Opposing the Rabbis
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: How
can you go against so many rabbis who hold reincarnation as a truth?
Saadia Gaon's statement that its absurd was a minority view, all
others believed in reincarnation.
- Mesora: Judaism
does not encourage one to follow anything except his mind, regardless
of how many wise people hold a view. Maimonides, Saadia Gaon and the
Vilna Gaon for example, went against many mainstream views.
- Should you suggest that Saadia Gaon was
incorrect on reincarnation solely due to the other view being first
and accepted, what if that first view only came onto the scene after
Saadia Gaon, Saadia Gaon being accepted first,.........would that then
render Saadia Gaon the correct view, merely because he was first? This
makes no sense.
- Maimonides, Saadia Gaon and the Vilna Gaon
were independent thinkers, and held their views rightfully, as it is
G-d's will that man follow his mind, not people. According to your
view, Avraham should not have deviated from the preponderance of
idolatrous views in his generation.
- Until something becomes mainstream, do you
deem it 'false', and then it becomes 'correct' only after many others
attach themselves to that view? An increase in followers does not make
a view more correct.
- You are forced to agree that an idea is
correct independent of who says it. Therefore, we are bound to
determine by reason alone if a view is correct. Therefore, every human
being must by definition, use his or her own mind and determine for
themselves whether an idea makes sense to them or not.
- We must abandon following reputations as the
means for acceptance of ideas.
- (Note: This article deals only
with the area of philosophy. In areas of halacha one is bound to
follow the majority opinion.)