The Oldest Profession, In the Days Of Old

In my recent talk on repentance and the struggle against temptation, I cited a stanza from one of my favorite selihos, Rav Binyamin b. Zerah’s הורית דרך תשובה (which we recited this morning [צום גדליה]): מחלל יצועי יולדו אשר פחז כמים. נטיו רגליו כמעט לולי שפך לב כמים. סרח גור אריה בקדשה היא בעינים. עונו […]

Follow-Up to a Footnote On Philippa Foot and the Fat Man

Our previous post cited Philippa Foot‘s discussion of “the story, well known to philosophers, of the fat man stuck in the mouth of the cave”: A party of potholers has imprudently allowed the fat man to lead them as they make their way out of the cave, and he gets stuck, trapping the others behind […]

Foot and the Fat Man, Terrible Trolleys, and Threatening Tyrants

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Thomas Aquinas is credited with introducing the principle of double effect in his discussion of the permissibility of self-defense in the Summa Theologica (II-II, Qu. 64, Art.7). Aquinas was struggling to reconcile the law of בא במחתרת with various Christian teachings that seem to forbid homicidal self-defense, as […]