Essays

Essays

Essays (Japanese)

1. Genzai? Gentoku? (Original Sin or Original Virtue?), 2018.

Abstract

In the Western Christian world an interpretation of Genesis Chapter 3 by the idea of original sin is regarded as commonsense. But it is nothing but one of various interpretations. In the Jewish world there exists even the idea of original virtue. In this paper I shall compare the idea of original sin and that of original virtue particularly from individual ethics.

 

2. Darega Yudayajin nanoka? (Who is a Jew?), 2019.

Abstract

According to Popper, the open society is one in which individuals enjoy personal choice.  The Halacha's matrilineal criterion for deciding who is a Jew, however, is definitely against the open society.  According to this criterion, if your mother was Jewish, you are forever Jewish, whether you like it or not.  Even if you convert to another religion, you remain a Jew.  Since it is impossible to choose your mother, you have no personal choice at all in the matter.

In contrast, Mnookin proposes a revolutionary criterion, according to which everyone, whether Jewish by birth or not, should be allowed to choose for themselves whether to be Jewish.  A non-Jew could become a Jew simply by choosing to be, while a Jew could choose to stop being a Jew.  I claim his criterion completely accords with the open society.  Toward a more open society, he suggests a desirable transition from the “chosen people” to the “choosing people.”

3. Rinrigaku to Kagaku: “Rinrigaku wa Hikagaku dearu” to ittara? (Ethics and Science: I Claim that Ehics is not a Science), Lecture, Akita Study Center, The Open University of Japan, 2020.

4.  Onshi Joseph Agassi (Joseph Agassi, My Mentor), 2020.

5. Abraham wa Jitsuzaishitaka? (Did Abraham Actually Exist?), 2021.

Abstract
Do Biblical descriptions represent historical facts or not? The Bible is composed of various genres, some not intended to be historical. The historicity of such genres, therefore, is not at issue. This is not the case with the books expressly dealing with history, and their historicity should be considered critically. It is beyond the scope of this paper and my ability to examine all of them here, so I shall concentrate on the historicity of accounts of Abraham alone, asking whether Abraham actually existed by way of solving the philosophical, logical and methodological problem regarding the criteria to be used to determine the actual existence of an ordinary individual person.