IntroductionPurpose - Browser Notes 
             Glossary and Index - Citation Abbreviations 



Setting same as for Act 1 - Scene 1.

The living room of a middle class Jewish engineer.  He is in the sixth day
of the seven days of deep mourning the death of his father. He has been
reading Job.  His wife and a Friend are seated nearby.

Cast of characters:

Rabbi enters.

2.1    M:  Hello Rabbi. Thanks for coming-by again.  I have been
thinking of the talk we had last night.
2.1a R: I also have been thinking of our talk and how I should
approach the definition of Religion.
2.1b M: I tried to come up with my definition of Religion.
It is mainly the dictionary definition.
2.2 R: I have to ask your patience and first discuss knowledge -
how we get to know things.

The reason Spinoza went to great lengths to discuss
knowledge  was  to  establish  the  grounds  for  his
hypothesis of G-D which in turn is the axiom on which all
his definitions and other hypotheses (including Religion)
are founded.  Highest Good


2.2a M: Fine.  I learned last night that with Spinoza you need
2.2b R: Spinoza in his TEI:[19ff]:8 reduced knowledge to four main kinds: (Three kinds in "The Ethics" E2:XL(19):113)

   1.   Perception          I:2.2            E2:XL(20-22):113
   2.   Association of perceptions    I:2.3   E2:XL(23):113
(Called the first kind in "The Ethics".)

Hypotheses:    I:2.5

   3a.  Induction            I:2.6A         E2:XL(23):113
   3b.  Deduction          I:2.6B         E2:XL(23):113
(Called the second kind in "The Ethics".)

   4.    Intuition
                 I:2.7              E2:XL(24,25):113
            (Called the third kind in "The Ethics".)

Gen 41:33


2.3 R: The first kind of knowledge is Perception–simple seeing.
2.3a W: What do you mean?
2.3b R: You see this pencil?  You see my hand?  Now see that
my and is holding the pencil.  Just simple seeing.  But
be careful, this kind of knowledge may be deceiving.
2.3c W: How?
2.3d R: Place the pencil half way in water and it will look bent.
2.4 R: The second kind of knowledge is Association of
Perceptions–the relationship, if any, between
different perceptions.
2.4a F: Give an example.
2.4b R: I tell you that if my hand did not support the pencil,
the pencil would fall.  You ask for proof.  I pull my
hand away; the pencil falls–that's proof.
2.5 R: Why does the pencil fall?
2.5a F: Gravity?
2.5b R: Gravity is just a word given to the phenomenon.
What is gravity?
   Since whatever answer you give
cannot be proved or demonstrated; the question
defines the limit of knowledge
2.5c F: But gravity is well known!
2.5d R: Now it is, but before that happened the human
intellect demonstrated its greatest faculty which is,
to formulate an hypothesis either by deduction,
by induction, or best of all, by intuition.
2.6 W: I don't clearly understand "hypothesis."
2.6a R: An Hypothesis is an unproven, but as yet uncontradicted
opinion or intuition.  The statement of an hypothesis is
in-itself a mere mental construction, an idea.


2.6b W: What do you mean by "a mere mental construction?"
2.6c R: An hypothesis need not make literal sense; it need
only provide true and useful inferences.

Its validation lies in subjecting inferences derived
from it to tests.  The answer to "why the pencil falls?"
is an hypothesis, and can only be considered tentative.

2.6d W: I am troubled by the "no literal sense."
2.6e R: As an hypothesis evolves by the constant improvements
made  as  a  result  of  tests  and experience, it takes on
more  and  more  literal  sense.   It  is  what is called the
"scientific method."  I  will  give you an example in a little
2.7 R: The third kind (3a) of knowledge is Deduction/ Induction: 

The pencil falls because two bodies attract each
other.  This hypothesis was formulated, by induction,
after very many observations.  Further, by deduction
I believe, the hypothesis was improved by adding
that the force of the attraction (called gravity) varies
inversely as the square of the distance between them.

2.7a F: And you say this makes no literal sense.
2.7b R: That's right. Why should two bodies attract each
other?  But all that does not matter.  The validity
of the hypothesis is that it predicts correctly rates of
fall of bodies and permits astronomical calculations. 
As long as no unreconciled contradictions are
encountered, the hypothesis is assumed to be
valid within its range of tests.
2.8 R: The fourth kind (3b) of knowledge is intuition – a more
subtle way of formulating an hypothesis by intuition
rather than by repeated observation.  What is electricity?
2.8a F: What is the intuition here?
2.8b R: Assume that electricity flows in a wire like water flows
in a pipe.  This is a meaningless mental image, an
hypothesis; but deduce that the amount of electricity,
the amperage, is analogous to the quantity of water
flowing; the pressure, the voltage, analogous to
the water pressure; and the resistance of the wire,
analogous to the size and type of pipe.

Cash Value


2.8c F: How does that help?
2.8d R: From the knowledge of the relationship of the three
terms in the flow of water in a pipe, an analogous
relationship can be derived for the flow of electricity
in a wire. This leads to a fundamental electrical
equation, Ohm's Law.
2.9 R: Remember an hypothesis is improved by reconciling
the contradictions which become apparent when
inferences do not prove true.

There is a contradiction in the electrical hypothesis;
water flows downward in a pipe open at the bottom
end without an apparent outside force, electricity
does not.

2.9a M: What about gravity?
2.9b R: Ignore gravity; say gravity was unknown at the time
of the formulation of the hypothesis.

The hypothesis can be improved by saying that
electricity is analogous to water flowing in a piping
system not open to the atmosphere.

2.10 R: If it is not possible to reconcile the contradiction;
the hypothesis must be discarded or limited to
ranges where inferences prove true. In this way
do hypotheses grow (evolve), die, or become
dogmas.  An hypothesis, assumed true in the face
of contradictions or unsubstantiated proof of
inferences made from it, is a dogma.
2.10a M: Dogma! Isn't that pejorative. Many Churches,
political parties, and institutions have dogmas.
2.10b R: It is pejorative if the dogma decreases growth,
but it can be commendatory if it increases growth.
2.10c M: Give me an example.
2.10d R: Say you tell a child a bogeyman will get you if you
are naughty.  If it influences the child to behave it
may (question mark) be commendatory.  But if it
frightens the child and causes him nightmares it
certainly is pejorative.
2.11 F: Rabbi, It seems to me that all the definitions that
attempt to establish causes that you gave us are
only hypotheses.  Their truth cannot be directly
2.11a R: That's very true. Their validity lies in making
inferences from them and testing these
inferences in the light of experience.
2.12 M: If we encounter a contradiction in a definition or
hypothesis does it mean that they must be discarded.
2.12a R: Not necessarily, but the contradiction must be
reconciled or the definition or hypothesis limited
to the range in which they test trueUtilitarian.
2.13 M: That means that the definitions serve as temporary
working hypotheses.  Also if contradictions are found
and resolved a better definition evolves.
2.13a R: Right. The best definition or hypothesis available, even
if imperfect, is better than none.  No understanding can
come when terms or causes are confused, and worse,
when they mean different things to different persons.

The definitions (hypotheses) are to be assumed
to be technical definitions for the sake of precision
in discussion and to be considered hypotheses–
temporary until improved or discarded.




E-mail for needed clarification or disagreement.


2.14       R:  What is °PEACE-OF-MIND (°PcM). 
2.15 M: I guess it is being happy.  No, that is not quite it.
2.16 R: You are on the right track.  Keep going.
2.17 M: It is something like being serene, contented, at peace with
the world.
2.18 R: You have it.  Let me express it in Spinozistic terms.

Peace-of- Mind is °JOY 
or °SORROW,  but  understanding  why,
or  taking  a  leap-of-faith  acceptance  in  the  belief  
    that  the  understanding  resides  in  the infinite
    intellect  of  G-D;  saying  "it  is  the  will  of  G-D;
    that is Life; or that is Nature."
HirPs 14:7


AA creed

2.19 W: How can you be sorrowful and have peace-of-mind
at the same time?
2.20 R: If you know the cause. Say you suffer the loss of an arm. When you contemplate the loss you feel sorrow; but when you contemplate that a committee of doctors recommended removal because of the virulent gangrene, you can have a modicum of joy (peace-of-mind) at that instant, because you understand why the arm had to be removed and you contemplate a saved life rather than a lost arm.
2.21 M: Are you not upset then, when you think why did gangrene set-in in the first place?
2.22 R: Aha!  Inevitably you reach the limit of your ability to know.
At that instant, to maintain your peace-of-mind, you must
either make a leap-of-faith (Religion) or go and get drunk.


D:Endnote 2:2b— From HirPent Gen 41:33 -  "So  now  let  Pharaoh look
                                       out a man discreet (discerning) and set him over

                                       the land of Egypt.

HirPent Gen 41:33 

                                                                         { have Joy }             { have PcM }
                                                Ps 14:7 - "Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."  
D:Endnote 2:18— From HirPs 14:7 - "Jacob will exult, Israel will attain joy."

D:Endnote 2:23— From Bk. XXI:xi

D2:Creationism— From Bk. XXI:173

From Pollock's Bk. XII:223Darwin.

D2:Spinozistic Meaning— From Bk. III:235.

D2:Grace— From Bk. XXI:280. Edited in accordance with an immanent G-D definition. } 


Since November 6, 1997 hits.


Revised: December 30, 2005

Act 1 - Definitions

"A Dedication to Spinoza's Insights"