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10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Orthodox Mobilize To D... · 2 replies · +3 points

Pretty poor examples, Matt. The government regulates both boating and driving. Sodomy laws are still on the books. Risky sexual behaviors in minors below the age of consent are regulated because sexual behavior in minor are regulated (duh) below the age of consent. Drinking is pretty stringently regulated, depending upon the state. Restaurants, bars, and liquor stores are licensed and regulated.

If you follow along, circumcision should be allowed, and regulated to control for some preventable risks (i.e. infectious disease). That's Jazzymom's and my position.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Orthodox Mobilize To D... · 0 replies · +3 points

Ruth -

Depending upon estimates in various studies, between 60% and 98% of adults are infected with or carry HSV-1. HSV-1 is only one of *many* pathogens adults carry (often without symptoms) that can be deadly to an infant with undeveloped immune systems. Anyone who has ever had a kid knows about Strep-B testing, and the procedures put in place to limit exposure of infants to Strep-B when their mothers carry it asymptomatically. Why would we accept putting mothers on IV antibiotics during childbirth to protect infants from Strep-B, while then exposing 6 day-old infants to dangerous, non-sterile surgical procedures? Why do all infants have their eyes swabbed with antibiotic ointment immediately after birth when they're going to have their bloodstream exposed to pathogen-rich saliva a few days later?

The idea that an infected mohel is particularly responsible is nonsense. Every mohel is an infected mohel, because every adult is an infected adult.

I mean, this is serious stuff. A head cold for you or me could actually be RSV, and an extremely serious case of pneumonia and bronciolitis for an infant.

It's a mistake to make this about the mohels, personally. It's a mistake to blame parents, personally. Jazzymom23 put it best: government has a public interest to regulate surgery. Anyone who knows a darn thing about germs will tell you it's ridiculously stupid to needlessly risk introducing pathogens directly into the bloodstream of a young infant.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Orthodox Mobilize To D... · 0 replies · +2 points

You don't understand infectious disease if you think blood tests protect infants from non-sterile surgeries.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Our Favorite Heretic &... · 1 reply · +2 points

Not so. Nagel is agnostic about dualism. He is sympathetic to some kind of neutral monism, as his defenses of genetic panpsychism has indicated. But he's more humble about our understanding of the physical world to believe he can reasonably assert monism. (He therefore contrasts with bolder monists like David Chalmers.)

You might say he Kant be all Spinoza.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Our Favorite Heretic &... · 3 replies · +1 points

Russell's scientific realism was a bit less known (espoused in The Analysis of Mind, and The Analysis of Matter) were essentially Spinozist in the sense that it is a kind of neutral monism, which regarded understanding physical phenomena as real potential observations independent of observers. The influence probably goes through Leibniz, who Russell studied extensively. It's pretty hard to read Russel without seeing the influence of Spinoza. That said, Russel far outclasses Spinoza as a thinker.

The most widely-read analytic philosopher who is influenced by Spinoza is Thomas Nagel. Considering he's might just be the most widely-read contemporary analytic philosopher, that says something. Much of the influence Spinoza has on contemporary philosophy of mind goes through Nagel.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Our Favorite Heretic &... · 5 replies · +2 points

Interesting to hear that Levinas and Berlin are contemporary. I wonder if either could prove Spinoza's irrelevancy to their contemporary (not mine), Bertrand Russel. I doubt it.

Anyhow, people working in (really) contemporary analytic philosophy find Spinoza relevant in the following general areas: (i) philosophy of mind (Spinoza's dual-aspect theory), (ii) metaphysics of fields and stuff (as opposed to objects and space), and (iii) the metaphysics of possibilities and actualities, in particular Spinoza's necessitarianism (i.e. the claim that the way the actual world is the only way it could be).

More than anything, contemporary analytic philosophers trend to try to use broad strokes of thought to help solve some problems. Spinoza thought a bit differently from other people. On the one hand, he was extremely stubborn (i.e. taking the principle of sufficient reason all the way to necessitarianism). On the other hand his physical ontology is just... really cool.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Weiner and Huma Live i... · 0 replies · -3 points

Anthony Weiner has no chance. de Blasio or Quinn will wipe the floor with him. Weiner just isn't serious. That can be okay as a legislator, but it is impossible as an executive.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Israel Doctors Blast B... · 0 replies · +3 points

It's funny that providing information is considered 'declaring war' on the practice. 'Declaring war' on the practice should mean making sure that nobody who does MBP as part of a circumcision ever performs a circumcision again. While I understand that could not happen in Israel, it's absolutely crazy to me that, apparently, Mayor Bloomberg doesn't even have the clout the end the practice in NYC.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Shomrim Don\'t Want Po... · 0 replies · +3 points

Some could put this in terms of 'privacy'. Others could put this in terms of coverups or criminality. Some just point as evidence that the Satmar are 'backwards'. All of it completely misses the point.

It comes down the absolute authority demanded by Satmar religious leaders and institutions. It doesn't matter whether the issue involves transportation, security, or public health (i.e. the controversy over MBP) *all* issues are secondary to religious authority. Frankly, the fact that this group is Jewish is irrelevant. What is relevant is the theocratic attitudes of the religious leaders.

Basically, this can go two ways. Either the camera footage won't be accessible to police, or the system will end up permanently malfunctioning.

10 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Alive and Well? &ndash... · 0 replies · +4 points

It's hard to imagine that people who parrot the self-hating Jew smear miss how they appropriate anti-semitic tropes. According to the above, liberal Jews are: (i) servile, (ii) faithless, and (iii) only care about money.