Walter Hilliger
Homme de lettres

An original print of Orobio rescued by Leibniz

Original print of Orobio’s Certamen Philosophicum, 1703 (Philosophical Case in Defense of Divine and Natural Truth, translated by Walter Hilliger 2020) was rescued by Leibniz in Hanover ( T-A 6193, 2, page 17).
This original print of Orobio’s Certamen Philosophicum Propugnatae Veritatis Divinae ac Naturalis, 1703 (Philosophical Case in Defense of Divine and Natural Truth, 2020) was rescued by Leibniz in Hanover ( T-A 6193, 2, page 17).

The modernist anti-religious Enlightenment that exalted Spinoza as an “innocent martyr” of free-thinking, or Newton, as a “prophet“of materialism, canceled in the pantheon of history Isaac Orobio’s reputation.

Isaac Orobio, the first Anti-Modern, was marginalized for advocating on behalf of (Maimonidean) scholasticism, a daughter of Judaism raised by Jewish thinkers, according to historian Heinrich Graetz (Heinrich Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, 1861, V. 6, p. xii).

Classical thinkers who did not strictly adhere to modernist dogmas were not sanctioned with the burning of books in a public square, but the progressist Thought Police irretrievably suppresses their writings as “apologetics”. The reason for this is that classical thinking is incompatible with modernist thinking: 

Classical thought thinks of time as the succession of events in chronological order.
Modernist thought thinks of time as chronometrical. 

Classical thought thinks of space as the order of co-existence from subject to subject.
Modernist thought defines space as the distance between subjects, that is the void. 

Classical thought defines subjects by their creation, with a perspective from the infinite (God) to the objective co-existence of creatures.
Modernist thought defines subjects by their subjective existence by themselves, with a perspective from material pre-existence to the infinite void without creation. 

Classical thought posits only one actual infinity, i.e. God.
Modernist thought posits multiple theoretical infinities without God.

Classical thought posits the Creation by a Creator as an irrefutable article of faith.
Modernist thought claims that there is no Creation by a Creator (God) using, among others, the following argument against the classical doctrine of the creation out of nothing (creatio ex-nihilo): 

Premise 1: the distance between non-being and being is infinite.
Premise 2: the infinite is non-traversable.
Conclusion: there can be no creation from non-being to being

Isaac Orobio (1617 —1687) rejected this atheist argument : 

The underlined page of the original print where Isaac Orobio (1617-1687) rejected the modernist argument against creation.

” Thus, we are bound for the sake of the glory of God, as far as possible, to get rid of these newly invented sophisms (or false reasonings). I attest that classic doctors, who wrote on this matter at different times, said that there is an infinite distance between being and non-being. But they never believed nor did they say that there was a real or some positive distance between being and non-being, which is impossible as we can prove.
By the aforementioned term, distance, they only meant an absolute rejection between the two concepts, being and non-being, in terms of a necessary incompatibility, that no power can remove.
Spinozists used the same term, ‘infinite distance’ so that they can deduce perverse consequences because, by [drawing an] analogy with local distance, they cloud the minds of readers
and those who conceive the idea of such contradictory terms, as if there was an infinite space from being to non-being. Thus, upon hearing infinite distance, they convince demonstratively that the transit from nothing to something is obviously impossible. And they are easily persuaded, as with the impossibility in a local distance for which there is no infinite power (i.e. no God) if it would be infinite. This is how they demonstrate that the creation out of nothing (creatio ex-nihilo) is impossible. “

This text by Isaac Orobio resurfaces more than 300 years after its publication. The original print in Latin can be found in Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek, Hannover (TA 6193, 2, page 17). The citation comes from Certamen philosophicum propugnatae veritatis divinae ac naturalis 1703 (translated as Philosophical Case in Defense of Divine and Natural Truth, 2020 in the Veritas e Terra Orientur Collection). 

Leibniz (1646 — 1716) was a divine philosopher who praised Isaac Orobio (Theodicée 373) and studied his anti-modern arguments to reject “the pagans who denied the creation ex nihilo” (Theodicée 299; 395 – 398). 

As it was mentioned in a private conversation with Lloyd Strickland, philosopher, and translator of thousands of Leibniz’s writings, “Leibniz probably underlined that particular passage because it was an objection to Spinoza that he had not come across before, marking it up so that he could find it easily in the event he needed to.”

No streets, public monuments, or statues are dedicated to Isaac Orobio, yet 300 years of anti-religious “values” is a short period for a 3000-year civilization that set the fundamental standpoint of an eternal tradition.

About the Author
Walter Hilliger is a French Caribbean writer, translator, and publisher of manuscript writings and facsimiles of Sephardic authors of the Grand Siècle, notably Isaac Orobio (1617 - 1787), R. David Nieto (1654 - 1728), Menasseh Ben Israel (1604-1657), R. Moses Raphael d'Aguilar (1615 - 1679) and others. He transcribed, restored, and digitized millions of words generating thousands of translated pages into current Spanish and English.
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