I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

617. The Irrationality Of Antisemitism

617.   The Irrationality Of Antisemitism

Being German, writing about antisemitism is a delicate topic.   But recently I was very appalled by someone mentioning his personal experience of antisemitism in the USA, which has obviously hurt him a lot. 

The tragic strength of antisemitism comes from confounding a religion to be at the same time also a defining trait of an alleged ethnic group.    Thus antisemitism gets fueled by two mutually reinforcing influences, which both are equally irrational.  
  • Religious fundamentalists fighting and discriminating against any other religion.  
  • The ingroup-outgroup instinct sometimes causing societies to redefine the well to do and intellectual elite into being considered as underdogs.  Thus the disadvantaged classes are manipulated to feel less bad about suffering social injustice and thus they are kept from rebelling.  
    This in my understanding is the main reason for the sad success of Hitler's antisemitism, which would not have been possible without the cooperation of the populace.    
Therefore I see today's antisemitism in the USA connected to the influence of christian fundamentalists, similar to how declaring oneself to be an atheist can sometimes cause strong hostility in some areas of the USA, while here in Germany my calling myself an atheist has no consequences.

Calling someone a Jew in absence of his being religious is a myth.  

Judaism is a religion, and a Jew is someone belonging to this religion.  I have come across the label 'secular Jew' several times.  It is a contradiction.    A Jew is religious, secular means to be not religious.

The following is not about Judaism as a religion.   From my apistic point of view, Judaism does not deserve any more respect than any other religion, as all religious beliefs are an insane deficit of rationality.

Antisemitism is literally not about a religion and not even about Jews.

Literally it is the rejection of people who are ethnically called Semitic.   Several ethnicities in the Middle East are called Semitic, even including the Maltese.   
But those, who are discriminated against by antisemitism as alleged ethnic Jews, are not even ethnically Semitic, because the historical Semitic Jews have seized to exist long ago. 
Persons of the Jewish religion are today ethnically members of the country, where they and their immediately preceding generations have been socialized into, just as are the people of any other or no religion.

A defined ethnicity exists as long as there is continuity. 

Ethnic groups have a name and are defined by
"1. Of or relating to a group of people having common racial, national, religious or cultural origins.

2. Belonging to a foreign culture."
And while this definition does not mention it, the culture also includes a shared language.

Some ethnic groups develop and evolve over a long time and have enough continuity to keep their name.
Example: Greece

There is also continuity when large groups form colonies on different territories. When nations are including large groups of not integrated subcultures of immigrants, then the nation embraces colonies.
Examples: Many Mexicans in the USA have formed colonies. The Turkish immigrants into Germany keep themselves segregated in colonies, in contrast to all other work immigrants from several Mediterranean countries, who have been integrated in the second and third generation.

Many or even most ethnic groups change so much over the centuries, that they develop into distinct ethnicities with different names.
Example: Today's Italians are the descendants of the Romans of ancient times, but they are very different.

But there is rarely any long-term continuity in the case of the migration of individuals and small groups, instead there is assimilation and integration.   Migrants become members of the host ethnicity and country after a few generations.
Example: About a hundred years ago, many people from Poland came as workers to the coal mines and other industry in an area called Ruhrgebiet and stayed.  Names ending on -ski are usually Polish.  But today, people with such names are considered as regular Germans, nobody would call them or even think of them as Polish anymore.

Except the religion, there is no continuity from the historic ethnic Jews. .

Several thousand years ago, an ethnic group called Jews lived in a territory east of the Mediterranean sea.   They spoke Hebrew and were ethnically Semitic.   They have seized to exist.   There is no continuity.  
  • Today, there are no more ethnic Jews just as there are no more ethnic Romans.  
  • In Israel today, Hebrew was reinstalled after having been extinct as a spoken language. 
    The Hebrew speaking inhabitants of Israel are Israelis.  
  • If Israelis are also Jews, it is by their religion.   A shared religion alone, which is the only attribute, which has not changed for thousands of years, does not suffice to define an ethnic group.  
  • After centuries and milllennia of migration and mixing, the descendants of the historical Jews are both culturally and genetically as related to the ethnic group of the country, of which they are citizens by passport, education and shared language as anybody with different ancestors and a different religion.  
    I do not know, if this has been done.   But if someone would compare the genetic code of alleged ethnic Jews, including the immigrants to Israel, I would expect them to be less related to the Semitic ethnicities in the Middle East and much more related to their present or previous ethnic homes.
  • Even the Yiddish language spoken by some subcultures sharing the Jewish religion is no continuity from the Hebrew of the historical Jews.   Yiddish is not even related to Hebrew at all but a different language, while Italian at least has evolved from the Romans' Latin.

Religion is not hereditary. 

To achieve the cure from the insanity of religious beliefs and to succeed in becoming an atheist and an apistic is something, which for some people is a struggle and a difficult process.   They need encouragement, appreciation and respect.   While ex-christians do not always get this, at least they are usually recognized to have left behind christianity, as soon as the label themselves as atheists.   
But when someone leaves Judaism behind and is still called a Jew, it is as if his religion is confounded with a genetic defect, which cannot be rationally overcome.     Irrationality can be considered a genetic defect making someone gullible to any religion, but it certainly does not lead to choose Judaism over any other.   
It is foolish to call someone a Jew, even though he has become an atheist or converted to a different religion, only because some ancestors had belonged to the Jewish religion.  This is not less foolish than to call atheistic descendants christians only because of their christians parents or even grandparents.  

Antisemitism is a two-step mental fallacy.

Conclusions from visible traits like the color of the skin to alleged correlated invisible traits are the simple fallacy of simple racism.   But the conclusion, that an only alleged but not visibly recognizable race or genetic ethnicity is correlated to invisible traits is the double fallacy of generalized racism without even a race.     


 Janurary 21, addition:

This source indicates the genetically mixed background of people with a Jewish cultural and/or religious background.
Further analyses yielded a complex multi-ethnical ancestry with a slightly dominant Caucasus -Near Eastern, large South European and Middle Eastern ancestries, and a minor Eastern European contribution.