Robert Aumann on Judaism

byiarwain14y21st Aug 201561 comments


Just came across this interview with Robert Aumann. On pgs. 20-27 he describes why and how he believes in Orthodox Judaism. I don't really understand what he's saying. Key quote (I think):

H (interviewer): Take for example the six days of creation; whether or not this is how it happened is practically irrelevant to one is decisions and way of conduct. It is on a different level.

A (Aumann): It is a different view of the world, a different way of looking at the world. That is why I prefaced my answer to your question with the story about the roundness of the world being one way of viewing the world. An evolutionary geological perspective is one way of viewing the world. A different way is with the six days of creation. Truth is in our minds. If we are sufficiently broad-minded, then we can simultaneously entertain different ideas of truth, different models, different views of the world.

H: I think a scientist will have no problem with that. Would a religious person have problems with what you just said?

A: Different religious people have different viewpoints. Some of them might have problems with it. By the way, I'm not so sure that no scientist would have a problem with it. Some scientists are very doctrinaire.

Anybody have a clue what he means by all this? Do you think this is a valid way of looking at the world and/or religion? If not, how confident are you in your assertion? If you are very confident, on what basis do you think you have greatly out-thought Robert Aumann?

Please read the source (all 7 pages I referenced, rather than just the above quote), and think about it carefully before you answer. Robert Aumann is an absolutely brilliant man, a confirmed Bayesian, author of Aumann's Agreement Theorem, Nobel Prize winner, and founder / head of Hebrew University's Center for the Study of Rationality. Please don't strawman his arguments or simply dismiss them!