Part Seven Of “The German View of Judaism” Series
Arthur Schopenhauer was born in 1788 in Danzig, Prussia (Germany).
He became a renowned philosopher, known for his theory that the world is driven by dissatisfied people seeking satisfaction. (like the Rolling Stones song…)
In 1851, Schopenhauer wrote Parerga and Paralipomena.
In the book, he sharply criticized Judaism:
“While all other religions endeavor to explain to the people by symbols the metaphysical significance of life, the religion of the Jews is entirely immanent and furnishes nothing but a mere war-cry in the struggle with other nations”.
Schopenhauer claimed that “the real religion of the Jews, as presented and taught in Genesis and all the historical books up to the end of Chronicles is the crudest of all religions because it is the only one that has absolutely no doctrine of immortality, not even a trace thereof.”
In fact, he claims that Judaism gives no purpose for life:
“Speaking generally, the really essential element of a religion as such consists in the conviction it gives that our existence proper is not limited to our life, but is infinite. Now this wretched religion of the Jews does not do this at all, in fact it does not even attempt it. It is, therefore, the crudest and poorest of all religions and consists merely in an absurd and revolting theism.”
These facts are documented in his book, which was translated from German and published by the Oxford University:
Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena. (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1974), 126, 127.
This source can be viewed for free on Google Books:
According to Schopenhauer, people are driven by constant, unachievable desires. The gap between our longings and the possibility of achieving them leads to misery.
Therefore, he claimed that immortality is the reward for the pain and suffering we endure.
Since Jews live without that belief, their life has no eternal purpose or meaning.
This article is part four of “The German View of Judaism” series:
Introduction: Jett & Jahn Media Presents “The German View of Judaism”
Charlemagne: Capitulary for the Jews
The German Crusade of 1096
Martin Luther: On the Jews and Their Lies
Immanuel Kant: Anthropology From A Pragmatic Point of View
Johann Gottlieb Fichte: A State Within A State
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: The Spirit of Christianity
Arthur Schopenhauer: Parerga and Paralipomena
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. John’s Passion
Ludwig Von Beethoven: The Beethoven I Knew
Richard Wagner: Judaism & Music
Conclusion: Modern Germans & Judaism