Faith vs Proof: A Response


David Fischbein



Dear Rabbi Moshe Ben Chaim:


    Gil needs to take a closer look at the Rishonim. For those who say that proofs of ideas in Judaism are a waste of time, I would ask, why does Rav Saadia Gaon constantly use proofs in his arguments in Emunot V' Deot? What is the purpose of all the proofs that the Rambam formulates in the second book of the Moreh Nevuchim? Why does the Rashba talk about hearing, understanding, and accepting the fundamental precepts of Judaism in Teshuvah 51 of his Shailos U'Teshuvos (by “accepting”, he means making them first hand knowledge, as opposed to the second hand knowledge of tradition which the individual already has)? If the rabbi in the Kuzari accepts Judaism on faith, then what leverage can he claim over the Christian and the Muslim (the rabbi in fact disproves them on the very basis that their religions are not based on any solid proof)?