Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Really understanding Morality: Free Will means conquering Evil, making Good win

Morality, the very last book by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is available and rewarded with the top place in the 2020 National Jewish Book Awards. This US prize by united booksellers tells me more about marketability and the art of advertising than about quality. Yet, their preferences are good (self-fulfilling) predictors of what many will talk about in the new year.

The book is the typical product of a philosopher with a heart for better lives for all. But with that intention, the Jewish voice stops and the philosopher takes over. And, unbeknown to officially trained thinkers of the world, Philosophy is in great trouble, and that’s a friendly description.

For starters, it has not destroyed the main idol of its past, Greek Philosophy. Were the heroes of Hellenistic Thought alive today, they would call temporary philosophers who still follow them pathetic fools.

The book doesn’t fight what’s wrong in our attitude but unfortunately describes our confusion as if the greatest good. We read in the description that we should devalue of self-interest for the common good and that monetary good is unrelated to morality. Duh. Old hat in beautiful English. Then we get a rehearsal of the old moralistic nonsense as if “there is no liberty without morality and no freedom without responsibility.”

The whole old long-outdated approach that still makes people worry that excluding racists and antisemites from public discourse is a limitation on free speech. (Rather, excluding bigots is fighting the enemies of democracy and defending it, not limiting it, as I wrote extensively, recently again.)

But the greatest confusion of Philosophy lies in the field of Free Will. In its discussion, elites from Science or Philosophy and self-styled thinkers trade water for 2,500 years at least on how Volition could (not) be. Total futility but on a very high level of smartness and semantics.

It is paralyzing human progress that the elites of the world are confused (better: mostly deny) Free Will as more than just imaginary.

I wrote in a tome and number of booklets (unpublished) about Free Will. That it has nothing to do with (a lack of) Causality or Determinism. Rather, Volition is deliberately investing energy in weakening the appeal of evil and strengthening the appeal of good, until we will act to – overall – inflict less hurt. (Evil is the infliction of -overall – more hurt than is necessary.) This way, we free ourselves from our previous moral level and free our Souls from Evil. This way, we can realize all our wildest dreams and hopes.

The opposite of Free Will is not Determinism but the whatever-will-be-will-be mentality. This is who I am, what do you want from me? As a piece of dead wood floating to wherever the currents will take you.

We need thinkers and elites (with their beautiful-language skills) to promote the exercise of Free Will, rather than suggesting that freedom should be tempered by unpopular things like ethics and responsibility.

Full transparency: Ten years ago, I wrote something for the good rabbi about Free Will. Not only didn’t he want to read it, he even didn’t want to take it from my hand. Later, I wrote him about homosexuality. He didn’t even want to say that he didn’t want to talk about it. Now, I don’t blame him. He had his own circle of millions of followers and was valued by the elites of every faith community on the globe. Why disturb the peace with novelty, upheaval, and breakthroughs? That’s for others and so indeed, it is. For me counts, if not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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