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Principle of Least Action — IV Lagrangian Mechanics

I agree, all its elegance notwithstanding, the principle of least action does not prove the existence of an intelligent Creator. In a sense, when it comes to inanimate matter, the hand of G‑d is concealed, preserving our freedom of choice—to believe or not to believe. However, when it comes to live matter, which, unlike passive inanimate matter, is actively pursuing the goals of survival and procreation, (locally) violating the second law of thermodynamics, there is no more choice. Acknowledging an intelligent Creator, who imbues live matter with goals it must labor to pursue, is no longer a matter of metaphysical commitments, it is a matter of intellectual honesty.

Hillel, Shammai and Richard Feynman

The Talmud (tr. Shabbat) discusses two opinions about the manner in which we are to light Chanukah menorah. According to Hillel, we light the first light on the first night, two lights on the second night, etc. increasing the number of lights every night. According to Shammai, we are to do the opposite – light eight lights on the first night, seven on the second night, and so on diminishing the number of lights every night (according to how many days of Chanukah are still left). The Talmud concludes, ele v’elie diveri Elokim chaim (this and that are words of the living G‑d, i.e., both opinions are true and reflect the will of G‑d), but the Halachah (the practical law) is according to Hillel. The Arizal explains that whereas the law today is [...]




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