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    De eeuwig wederkering van gedachtengoeden
    Europa is nu bezig met een tweede verlichting.
     
    Kijk wat de eerste verlichtingsdenkers dachten: ‘Voltaire had famously and contemptuously dismissed the 'philosophy of the Hebrews' as non-existent and the Jews themselves, 'nos maîtres et nos ennemis'’
    ‘Like Voltaire, Cobbett, Bauer, Michelet, and countless others, Proudhon had no doubt at all that deep and continual connections subsisted between the Jews of antiquity and the Jews of his own day and that these bore directly on what he took to be the evident fact that they were central figures in the evil world surrounding him. They were and always had been, an 'unsociable, obstinate, infernal race', he wrote, 'the first authors of that evil superstition called Catholicism in which the furious, intolerant Jewish element consistently overwhelmed the other Greek, Latin, barbarian, etc. elements and served to torture humankind for so long.'’

    ‘Some thirty of the one hundred eighteen articles in his (Voltaire’s) Philosophical Dictionary (1764) contain virulent attacks against the Jews’

    ‘To Diderot, Jews were capable of any villainy; to D'Holbach, they were the vilest people on earth; to Rousseau, furious fanatics.’
     
    ‘Grégoire, focusing on Alsace (which hosted the largest Jewish community--roughly 20,000 at the time), argued that Jews had a degenerating influence on rural Alsatian society. Jews were parasitical, prone to illness, and indoctrinated by their religion to hate gentiles. Their rabbis, he claimed, had perverted biblical morality. However, Grégoire was confident that persecution was the root of Jewish degeneracy, and that granting the Jews more right would "regenerate" them. "Let us make Jews into citizens," Grégoire declared, "regenerated both physically and morally, they will acquire a healthier and more robust temperament, enlightenment, probity: their hearts corrected by virtue, their hands hardened by labor, they will come to profit all society."’
     
    ‘Royal Society for Arts and Sciences of Metz (in Lorraine) in 1787' had een essay-wedstrijd uitgevaardigd. 'The subject set the competitors had been: 'Est-il des moyens de rendre les juifs plus heureux et plus utiles en France?' ('Are there ways and means of rendering the Jews [both] happier and more useful in France?').’
     
    Het is precies de discussie als over de islam. Lang leve de neo-verlichting.

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