Philosophy and Theology 26 (1):187-206 (2014)
AbstractA potential proselyte asks the great rabbi Hillel to explain the Torah to him while he stands ‘on one leg.’ Hillel responds with, essentially, the Golden Rule. This Talmudic anecdote is invariably read as critical of anyone who wants a Torah for Dummies. I offer a different interpretation. The Torah-based position, theologically speaking, rests on one principle and one principle alone, God. ‘How can an account of the creation as a whole rest on one principle only? Won’t such a structure stand unsteadily, like a person on one leg?’ Hillel’s response to the request for a distillation of the Torah does home in on the Bible’s novelty. It homes in on what God does and what pagan deities cannot do. But God’s contribution, while needed to account for the human sector of the creation, cannot manage the extra-human sector. For that, a principle that belongs to paganism is required. The whole can stand steadily, as can the proselyte, only on two legs. So his conversation must be with reservations. He might not be able to intone the main creedal profession of the Torah-based religion, the Shema. ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord [alone] is our God, the Lord is one’ (Deuteronomy 6:4). The Torah’s defenders have more of a case to make.
Similar books and articles
An analysis of common arguments against Advance Directives.M. Mitchell - 2012 - Nursing Ethics 19 (2):245-251.
A multigenerational study on the correlation of values and advance directives.David J. Doukas, Toni Antonucci & Daniel W. Gorenflo - 1992 - Ethics and Behavior 2 (1):51 – 59.
Advance directives for voluntary euthanasia: A volatile combination?Leslie Pickering Francis - 1993 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (3):297-322.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and advance decisions.Carolyn Johnston - 2007 - Clinical Ethics 2 (2):80-84.
Advance directives, autonomy and unintended death.Jim Stone - 1994 - Bioethics 8 (3):223–246.
Respect for autonomy, advance directives, and minimally conscious state.Jukka Varelius - 2011 - Bioethics 25 (9):505-515.
Betting your life: an argument against certain advance directives.C. J. Ryan - 1996 - Journal of Medical Ethics 22 (2):95-99.
Advance directives for non-therapeutic dementia research: some ethical and policy considerations.R. L. Berghmans - 1998 - Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (1):32-37.
Factors influencing preferences of Korean people toward advance directives.Su Hyun Kim - 2011 - Nursing Ethics 18 (4):505-513.
Partial advance information and stimulus dimensionality.Barry H. Kantowitz & Mark S. Sanders - 1972 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 92 (3):412.
Advance Directives and Personal Identity: What Is the Problem?E. Furberg - 2012 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (1):60-73.
Advance directives and advance health care planning.G. S. Fischer, J. A. Tulsky & R. M. Arnold - 2004 - Encyclopedia of Bioethics 1:78-86.
Advance directives and advance care planning.G. S. Fischer, James A. Tulsky & Robert M. Arnold - 2004 - Encyclopedia of Bioethics 1.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads