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Immanuel Kant vs. Israel

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Submitted by Morry Markovitz (United States), Aug 19, 2010 at 01:49

The irony is that it was the (moral) philosophy of Immanuel Kant which underlay Naziism and the holocaust, and now Kant's (political) philosophy is being offered as the basis for objecting to Israel as a solution to the holocaust -- which Kant's philosophy had led to.

The problem is Immanuel Kant, creator of the most vicious, anti-life, anti-human, anti-reason philosophy in human history. He was the man behind the "old paradigm," and he's the man behind the new one, too.

There is much confusion about and very little apparent ability to see to the root causes of the holocaust. "How could it happen" intellectuals STILL ask, perplexed, "in the land of the poets and philosophers?" Well, the answer is that it happened in Germany precisely BECAUSE Germany was the land of poets & philosophers -- and because their pre-eminent philosophy was Kant's ultra-vicious one.

The longer I live the more demoralized I get about the chances of finding real intelligence amongst our species anywhere outside the fields of hard science, mathematics, and engineering. I studied physics in a top-ranked college but took a philosophy course (in what was then a top-ranked philosophy dept) taught by one of Kant's multitude of professional admirers. I've read philosophy on my own, and am a self-educated (thank god!) economist Yes, world-renowned "professional" philosophers -- including the professor who taught the course I took -- laud the alleged genius of Kant. And yes, he actually was a genius -- at misleading our pea-brained intellectuals into thinking he, Kant, had said something that made sense. In fact Kant's genius consisted exclusively in his ability to fool our intellectual dumkopfs into accepting trivia and self-contradiction as profound insight.

I can't write a treatise here, but Kant's philosophy is thoroughly self-contradictory. It COMPLETELY invalidates itself. Kant is essentially a Platonist, who has attached a huge and superfluous inventory of Rube-Goldberg-style bells & whistles to Plato's arbitrary, unsupported imaginations and hypotheses about other worlds than our reality. (So yes, we have Kant the super-mystic touted as the champion of pure reason -- just what we might logically expect from those who consider contradictions to be proofs.) Kant is, however -- far more than Plato -- facile with obfuscatory language and "reasoning" that is so lengthy and tortured and involved that it appears to be perceptive and insightful to superficial mentalities, which unfortunately seem to be so common amongst our philosophical intellectuals. Kant is basically Plato using 5-syllable words where 1 syllable would do nicely, and his creative brilliance in applying this technique to philosophical discourse has duly impressed the impressionable philosophers of the modern era. But when you step back from Kant's whiz-bangs and eye-stunning color wheels and linguistic fireworks, mazes, and magic shows, you realize that the entire edifice, every bit of it, ultimately rests on unsupported assumptions and assertions, from which Kant then uses ultra-lengthy chains of "reasoning" to arrive at his conclusions -- after traveling so far from those assumptions that it's almost impossible to remember there is nothing but very thin ice to support them. They are in essence often the same conclusions reached by others who preceded Kant, via much simpler, more direct, and equally erroneous reasoning, but Kant's conclusions seem different and they seem more solidly proven after Kant's Wal-Mart-sized warehouse of flim-flammng language. He is a master at creating the patently FALSE impression that he has so exhaustively covered the subject, his conclusions must be correct and unassailable. Yes, the "sub plots" or digressing arguments, are often logical and self-consistent, but they do not rigorously connect with the assumptions at their roots or with the conclusions Kant asserts they imply. And it takes so long to arrive at his conclusions, and the path is such a maze of dizzying verbiage, that by the time you've navigated it you've lost sight of the fact that -- despite the multitude of pristinely logical digressions -- EVERY BIT OF IT still ultimately depends for its validity on the flimsy arbitrary foundations you've long forgotten. All it takes is a modest breeze to topple his skyscraper into dust, yet he's lauded as one of history's great philosophers -- for having succeeded in building such a tall skyscraper on such thin ice. Perhaps it's more accurate to say he's built a perfume factory with a garbage dump for its foundation. The mindless intellectuals of modern times breathe its aroma and -- reminiscent of the villagers in the tale of the Emperor and His Clothes -- find themselves unable to say "it stinks." Pity the poor human race, if these are our only intellectuals.

When Adolph Eichmann had been captured and brought to Israel to be tried for his war crimes as a Nazi, he claimed that he had acted morally. That he deserved respect and accolades, not punishment. That it was a terrible thing to have to exterminate so many people, but that he'd had the tremendous moral backbone to "force" himself to do it, claiming EXTREME moral virfue for withstanding such horrors in order to stick to what he knew was a moral necessity. Yes, exterminating human beings en masse is a dirty job, but someone has to do it when it's the will of the majority, which of course is the ONLY moral standard, as Kant has proven. The race and the species and the majority had willed that the jews and other "inferiors" or "undesirables" be eliminated for the grandeur and benefit and improvement of the species -- ie, the surviving majority.

This collectivist view of the source of morality was straight Kantianism. Whether Eichmann was rationalizing, lying, or telling the truth makes no difference, because even if he were telling the absolute truth about his own motivations, THAT would still be the greatest of possible horrors. Anyone who consistently accepted the moral philosophy of Kant would have had to do exactly as Eichmann did in the situation he found himself. Per Kant, Eichmann's moral imperative was to do exactly what he did do. Kant told Eichmann and every other man that his own judgement and feelings and perceptions and conclusions and evaluations and sensibilities were invalid, untrustworthy, deceiving and worthless for the purpose of deciding either how to act, or what was right and wrong. Only the collective will, as deciphered by unspecified annointed authority, could decide such moral issues. So, to follow Kant and be a true saint of Kant's morality, Eichmann or anyone else would have had to fight against any and all of his own moral beliefs or feelings or conclusions whenever they differed from the will of the collective, as explained by the authorities the collective had appointed. The harder it is to suspend one's own judgement and overcome one's personal sense of moral repugnance, the more virtuous one is, according to Kant. The infamous "I was only following orders" is just vernacular for "I was an iconic example of the perfectly moral man, according to the great philosopher Kant." Per the next paragraph, Kant's epistemology amounted to the invalidation of man's mind and of reason. So -- although Kant never said it explicitly -- there is no escape from the logical conclusion that the ideal moral specimen under Kant's philosophy is a robot programmed to follow orders.

The idea now, of a multi-national world order as the ideal, is obviously sympatico with this same creed. It will accomplish the same evils, or worse. Both "paradigms" are the logical offshoots of Kant's "reason-refuting reasoning." [That's one of his philosophy's self-contradictions -- he uses reasoning to prove the unreliability/invalidity of reason. He also relies on the validity of sensory input to prove the invalidity of the senses. Ad infinitum. Basically, Kant uses his mind to teach us that the mind is incapable of acquiring knowledge, and asks us to learn from him why we are incapable of learning anything -- so that we will come away improved by the certain knowledge that nothing can be known with certainty. Kant's is the most self-contradictory and the most evil philosophy in all history. It denies men the essential defining trait of the human species: a conceptual, reasoning mind that is competent to know reality. Logically then, Kant reduces man to the state of an animal by removing his reasoning capacity (lower than animals actually, since animals which are devoid of reasoning power are at least provided with instinct and reflexes, which man still lacks in the Kantian universe). If I were religious, I would say the devil could not have devised a more potent intellectual poison for men's minds.]

We had an age of reason and a renaissance and an enlightenment . . . and an industrial revolution which was the practical result of the revolutionary new ideas of natural rights, and the rights of man -- the individual rights of every human. The USA was the consequence -- a heaven on earth by history's prior standards, and that is probably an understatement. The collectivists of the state and of religion demanded a re-match. They have been fighting ever since to regain their Big Brother authoritarian dream in one form or another, ever since the USA threw their various, nefarious systems into the trash bins where they'd always belonged. Kant became their intellectual leader, their trainer for the re-match, and their savior. He refashioned collectivist thinking into a mind-twisting scam of a philosophy to hoodwink the self-appointed "intellectuals" of academia, et al, and from it emerged the Prussian invention of the welfare state, Socialism, communism, fascism, naziism, progressivism, eugenics, gas ovens, genocide, and more. From Sir Thomas Aquinas to the English philosphers (John Locke, et al), had come the end of dark ages, mysticism, and brute force as the rulers of man's life on earth, and the beginning of individual freedom and of the American revolution. What Kant did was to re-package the collectivist thought of old in spanking new modern garb, and it was passed through security by the intelligentsia, who live by the deep wisdom that clothes make the man. For much more than a century, Kant has been the secret WMD of the collectivists in their intellectual battle to re-take the ground they had lost to liberty, prosperity, individualism, the sacred value of every individual life, and human rights.

It is demoralizing to listen, over and over, to modern day intellectuals (especially in Europe) who revere Kant and who pontificate with what they regard as profundity. They know they are profound thinkers, because they've so completely steeped and submerged themselves -- all the way up to the very tops of their mental toes -- in the polluted trivia of the Kantian shallows. I'll say it again and end here: Pity the poor human race.


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