Popkin wrote that Voltaire challenged the biblical account of human history by asserting that only the Jews were descendants of Adam, and “everybody else pre-Adamites, though the non-European ones were degenerate or inferior to the European ones. Voltaire saw the Adamites as a major menace to European civilization, since they kept infecting it with what he considered the horrible immorality of the Bible. Voltaire therefore insisted that Europe should separate itself from the Adamites, and seek its roots and heritage and ideals in the best of the pre-Adamite world — for him, the Hellenic world.”The author does not rebut any of these points, but implies that they make the subject hopelessly political.
Polygenetic racists, such as Hume and Voltaire, regarded the differences between European Christians and others as immutable, because they derived from separate ancestry rather than contingent environmental factors.
Kant, too, thought that Jews had immutable traits that made them inferior to Christians. According to the scholar Michael Mack, “Though Kant emphasized the common origin of all men, to avoid attacking the biblical account of creation. … He set out to substantiate his notion of a ‘Jewish essence’ with recourse to the image of an inseparable tie that bound the Jews immutably to Jehovah.”
For Kant, this tie rendered Jews “heteronomous” or incapable of transcending material forces, which a moral order required. In this way, Jews are the opposite of autonomous, rational Christians, and are therefore incapable of being incorporated into an ethical Christian society. Mack, in his 2003 book “German Idealism and the Jew,” wrote that Kant “attempted to remove Christianity’s Judaic foundations” by recasting Christian history as a revolutionary or radical parting from Judaism. Mack noted that Kant, in his “Anthropology,” called the Jews “a nation of cheaters” and depicted them as “a group that has followed not the path of transcendental freedom but that of enslavement to the material world.” ...
The Harvard philosopher William Hocking is alleged to have said that “the Jewish mind could not properly interpret and teach the philosophy and history of Western Christian civilization.”
If the differences were mutable, then I would expect that the centuries-old opinions to be comically irrelevant today. Probably some of them are.
I am sure these philosophers are overrated, and they were wrong on a lot of things. But if they were wrong, then prove them wrong. Instead it appears that they will just be banned because Jews don't like what they said about Jews.
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