Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “This problem cannot be solved by human reason alone.”


Rabbi Steinsaltz writes:

As an academic and philosophic question, man’s freedom in the face of environmental determinants belongs to those problems classed by Kant as the antinomies:

Fundamental issues that logically compel us to accept two contradictory solutions.

Kant then constructed a magnificent system of thought to deal with this problem in rational terms.

Long before, Moses Maimonides had grappled with the question in a searching discussion of basic Jewish laws in his compilation Mishneh Torah.

Dealing with the supposedly inevitable contradiction between divine omniscience and free will, he asserts that this problem cannot be solved by human reason alone but is among those things that can only be understood by a recognition of that same divine omniscience and omnipotence. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From “Fate, Destiny and Free Will” in The Strife of the Spirit

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