04 January 2008

Rambam's Razor*

Just yesterday, while learning some Mishnayos, I came across an interesting Perush Mishnayos on the Mishna of Avodah Zarah on 42B.

The Mishna is discussing whether a found object (Keli) with a picture of the sun or moon or the like is considered idolatrous.

I may be mistranslating but I think this is what the Rambam says on Perek Gimmel 42B - "The gentiles attribute varying figures to the constellations and there is much dispute in them because they are all false. And it is sure that when something is false the arguments increase".

Firstly, I would appreciate an opinion on my interpretation.

If my interpretation is correct you'd think his criticism could be directed at the whole corpus of Jewish scholarship!

Now, I realize that the Rambam is saying that Falsity implies disputes and not that disputes implies falsity. Yet, it's still ironic because he uses this fact in the same way. He took the plethora of varied celestial representations to imply that Avoda Zarah is false.

What sayeth you?

*With apologies to Sir Occam for misapplication of his principle.

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