Professor Paul Eidelberg
June 24, 2009
Politics and political science being moribund, I delve more than ever into books on astronomy, physics, and microbiology. I am delighted by the fact that despite the current wave of hellfire- and-brimstone atheism, the most learned scientists—those who have seriously studied the classics in philosophy and theology—tend to be theists, as were the founders of modern science, above all Isaac Newton.
But one cannot read scientific literature in Israel without trying to relate such literature to Israel’s existential problems. Consider, for example, Murphy’s law, which says that anything that can go wrong will tend to go wrong eventually. This pretty much describes my three-decade long experience in Israel, observing the dismal passage from one Israeli government to another. How is one to explain this manifestation of Murphy’s Law?
First of all, and as noted by scientist Michael Corey, the validity of Murphy’s Law stems from the fact that “there are vastly more disordered states possible in the universe than ordered states.” Operating here is the Second Law of Thermodynamics that of Energy Decay or Entropy. As I point out in A Jewish Philosophy of History:
This law [of Entropy] states that every system left to itself always tends to move from order to disorder, its energy tending to be transformed into lower levels of availability, finally reaching the state of complete randomness and unavailability for further work. When all the energy of the universe has been degraded to random motion of molecules of uniform low-temperature, the universe will have died a “heat death.” The fact that the universe is not yet dead is clear evidence that it is not infinitely old. And so, whereas the Second Law, that of energy decay, requires the universe to have a beginning, the First Law, that of Total Energy Conservation, precludes its having begun itself.
But if the universe is not infinitely old, it must have had a Beginning, hence, a “Beginner,” as more and more scientists, including former atheists, have come to believe since the discovery of the Big Bang.
So Murphy’s Law is not cause for pessimism. That anything that can go wrong will tend to go wrong is exactly what is required to prevent human complacency, and that’s why man was created in God’s image—for what most distinguishes man is his creativity. But what has this to do with Israel?
Israel has succumbed to Murphy’s Law. Instead of conserving and using the tremendous energy God bestowed on the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, Israel’s political elites have rejected the Sinai Covenant, and they are dissipating that energy. That energy is available for use in the Jewish people’s historical memory, which is bonded to Judea and Samaria. Alas, the Netanyahu government has renounced the Jewish claim to Judea and Samaria. This was inevitable given Murphy’s Law.
I have witnessed Murphy’s Law in the fragmentation of the Jewish people resulting from Israel’s parliamentary system of proportional representation, which spawned 34 political parties in the last election. This Entropic system divides the Jewish people and dissipates their creative energy. This decaying system has given Israel a prime minister who has proven, again and again, the validity of Murphy’s law—that if things can go bad they eventually will.
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But let’s remember that Murphy’s Law, or the Second Law of Thermodynamics, that of Energy Decay or Entropy, is countered by the First Law of Thermodynamic, that of Energy Conservation. To avoid the heat death of Israel, the First Law simply requires the Jewish people to return to the creative energy of the Sinai Covenant.
© 2009 Paul Eidelberg - All Rights Reserved
Internationally known political scientist, author and lecturer, Eidelberg is the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy with offices in Jerusalem.
Prof. Eidelberg served in the United States Air Force where he held the rank of first lieutenant. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago. He designed the electronic equipment for the first brain scanner at the Argonne Cancer Research Hospital.
Before immigrating to Israel in 1976, Prof. Eidelberg wrote a trilogy on America’s founding fathers: The Philosophy of the American Constitution, On the Silence of the Declaration of Independence, and a Discourse on Statesmanship.
In 1976 he joined the faculty of Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He has written several books on the Arab-Israel conflict and on Judaism. Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy analyses the mentality of Israel’s ruling elites. Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall, which has been translated into Hebrew and Russian, reveals the flaws inherent in Israel’s system of governance and how they may be remedied. A Jewish Philosophy of History investigates the world-historical events leading to the rebirth of Israel in 1948.
His latest publication, The Myth of Israeli Democracy, provides an abbreviated version of a Constitution which shows how to make Israel a genuine democracy based on a Jewish conception of freedom and equality.
is on the Advisory Council of the Ariel Center for Policy Research,
which has published many of his policy papers. In addition to writing
more than 1,000 articles for newspapers and scholarly journals in the
U.S. and Israel, he has a weekly program on Israel
Prof. Eidelberg has been lecturing throughout Israel and the United States. He conducts seminars on constitutions, diverse parliamentary electoral systems, Jewish law, and related topics at the Jerusalem center of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy.
Web site: Foundation for Constitutional Democracy