Okay, so I promised to give regular updates on my studies into Maimonides, but clearly that hasn’t been the case.. I have to admit that it has been a hard nut to crack.. You have to be very awake trying to get into it.. Imagine reading a chapter based on two statements, that supposely are contradicting – or at least in disagreement – but you simply can’t see how they are in disagreement.. For you to see, they’re stating the same thing..
What I’m talking about is the rational attempt to prove, that there is a Creator, by going back through causes, and then ending with the first Cause.. Kind of simple, actually, and that was what I thought, when I read that the two statements “there has to be a first mover”, and “there has to be a first existence”.. And then I went on reading something like seven or eight pages about the discussion, why Maimonides didn’t approve of the first sentence alone, but saw the need for the second sentence as well, without even getting what the whole problem here was..
Now, I wrote about the “first Cause”.. The two sentences here mention “first Mover” and “first Existence”.. I’m sure that some of you guys out there are more sharp than me, in spotting the differences here, but when I began to read this discussion, for me “cause”, “mover”, and “existence” was the same thing.. Only after I read the piece of text several times, and got really frustrated, did it suddenly ring a bell.. They are NOT the same thing..
Here’s what I’m talking about:
Imagine a thing being moved by another thing.. Let’s call the thing that is moved for A, and the moving thing for B.. What then moved B? There must have been something to move B, which we might call C.. And C again is moved by something.. Let’s say that A is a car, that was broke, and the owner needed help to push the car.. That help is given by B, who is a nice guy, by the name of Bill.. Bill helps because he believes that it’s right to help other people in need, and hence this urge is C.. What did “move” C? Well, maybe some ethic thinker, called Phil, who saw that it was good to help others, and that would in the end help one self too.. And hence Phil is D, and the experiences leading him to this conclusion is E, and so on.. But what is the first Mover here?
Furthermore, how do we know, that this first “Mover” was only one? Maybe the first “Mover” wasn’t alone, but just the first to move things? Hence we need to research other notions to find out, what is the cause for everything, and that is why Maimonides is differing between the “first Mover” and the “first Existence”..
That took me some time to figure out..
All this is of course presented a little simple, but I guess you get the picture..
Besides that, I think I found a break-through, namely getting to the purpose of the Law.. But more about that later:o)