The Instigator
Magister
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
P.Ellis
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Judaism is intrinsically fascist.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 853 times Debate No: 62783
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (0)

 

Magister

Pro

Definitions:
Fascism - "a right wing system of government characterized by extreme nationalistic beliefs and strict obedience to a leader or the state"
Intrinsic "Belonging to the basic nature of someone or something"
Both definitions from Compact Oxford English Dictionary Third Edition 2008

My position is in agreement with the above statement, that is I agree that what we now describe as fascism belongs to the basic nature of Judaism.The main part of my argument will focus on explaining why I think that some tenets of Judaism are or are similar to beliefs or ideologies found in fascism or fascism in practice.
I will also state that the combination of the history of the treatment of Jews and advancing modern standards has caused a change in the way the religion is taught and practised and therefore an ignorance of the fascist tenets found within Judaism.

Debate Structure:
Round 1: Acceptance and description of position and main ideas behind position
Round 2: Arguments and rebuttals
Round 3: Arguments and rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals and closing statement (NO NEW ARGUMENT)

Please only accept the challenge if you are willing to argue with rational statements.
No rants.
P.Ellis

Con

first off, I am against the above idea, and this is why:

Fascism is a system of government that believes in an overthrow of an old order so that a new one may take its place. it is strengthened by a strong sense of nationality and patriotism. it uses a small group or one person to be a total representation of the people, without opposition. it uses violence in at least some degree to stop any resistance. it curbs freedom and gives an idea of one strong nation above all others, avoiding any sort of different people or culture. it is extreme patriotism and dictatorship.

Judaism is a world religion dating back 3500 years. it is the belief in a chosen people being protected by God (Jehovah) and being freed from slavery to be brought to a land of freedom and prosperity. it also focuses on heroes of the people. unlike fascism Judaism actively promotes freedom and fighting for defence, whereas fascism works on aggressive expansion. Judaism spreads culture around the world, and does not necessarily believe in one particular country, except the theoretical Jerusalem, the promised land in Heaven.

secondly I am neither a fascist or a Jew, so my argument should hopefully be unbiased.
Debate Round No. 1
Magister

Pro

Further Definitions: Nation " "a large group of people sharing the same culture language or history and inhabiting a particular state or territory" - Compact Oxford English Dictionary Third Edition 2008

Thank you for accepting the challenge. I would like to state similarly to you I am neither Jewish (I"m not a theist) nor Fascist.

To begin with I will comment on your main points.

"Fascism is a system of government that believes in an overthrow of an old order so that a new one may take its place. It is strengthened by a strong sense of nationality and patriotism".
This is an incorrect definition of Fascism, you have the two the wrong way round and even then it is not a clear enough description as you have missed the strict obedience to a leader.
In the following lines your continued definition of fascism is not completely incompatible with Judaism. For example "it uses a small group or one person to be a total representation of the people", in Judaism this person is represented by God, the leader whom the Jewish people must not disobey. The will of this God characterises the entire Jewish population as to disobey God"s will is to cease being Jewish.

Secondly you state "[fascism] uses violence in at least some degree to stop any resistance", we find similar behaviour from God in the Old Testament in the law he dictates to Moses stating. "Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed" " Exodus 22:20. This is just one example of the sanctioning of the use violence to crush resistance.

"[Fascism] curbs freedom" Isn"t denying freedom of religion curbing freedom? Secondly your view is only from the Jewish perspective you are not considering the freedoms of the people affected by the invasions ordered by God. In Exodus 23:24 God says "you must demolish [the religious practices of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites] and break their sacred stones to pieces", thereby denying religious FREEDOM from other people.

"[Fascism] gives an idea of one strong nation above all others" By describing themselves as the chosen people of God they automatically relegate non-Jews to inferiors. Secondly Jewish ideology can be described as that of a nation as this reference of God speaking to Moses in the Old Testament clearly shows: "I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the River" " Exodus 23:31. This now shows how the idea of a nation exists in Judaism, further showing how Judaism is not incompatible with your description of fascism.

"It is extreme patriotism and dictatorship." Firstly concerning dictatorship I challenge you to find a quote from the Bible or Torah where God asks for at least a secondary opinion. Being a God as implied by the Jewish interpretation entails
dictatorship.

Now I will move on to your comments on Judaism.

"Belief in a chosen people being protected by God". Doesn"t this suggest superiority of Jews? In a system where all are considered equal under God, all would be chosen and protected. If the Jews are considered more deserving of Gods protection and choosing then they are considered superior. Linking this to part of my given definition of fascism ("system of government characterized by extreme nationalistic beliefs") from the Oxford Dictionary the above explained point and the idea of the Jewish nation shown in Exodus23:21 do not contradict this part of my definition.

"Judaism actively promotes freedom and fighting for defence, whereas fascism works on aggressive expansion." Firstly please look above for my challenge on this view that Judaism promotes freedom and secondly could you please show me to the reference backing up the support of freedom in Judaism. On the idea of defence vs. aggressive expansion I need only point you to Exodus 23:23 "My angel will go ahead of you and bring to you the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out", this is clearly an aggressive expansion into the lands of others supported by God and therefore Judaism. Secondly in response to your view that Judaism promotes fighting for defence I respond that this is only a result of the oppressive treatment the Jews have received over history and not from the actual Jewish scripture.

"[Judaism] does not necessarily believe in one particular country, except the theoretical Jerusalem, the Promised Land in Heaven". Firstly Jerusalem is considered the capital or main city of the Promised Land and it exists so is not completely theoretical. Secondly as shown and explained above from the Old Testament quote God promises a nation to the Jewish people. Lastly the term "Promised Land" refers to Canaan not heaven.

Now I will add and reinforce some of my own points of view that support my conclusion.

Judaism and Fascism have a similar framework, The Class, the Leader, the Struggle/Campaign/War, by the class I refer to a preferred set of people e.g. a race/nation. To compare Judaism with an example of Fascism in practice such as Nazism (which I am not suggesting equates to Judaism) we can easily place the Chosen People and the Aryan race in the class; God and Hitler in the Leader and the invasion of the Promised Land and the invasion of "Lebensraum in the east" in the struggle/Campaign/War. Note that this framework is compatible with my given definition of Fascism.
My second point is in reference to Fascism being a system of government and how Judaism fits with this. The aim if this is to show how Fascism being a system of government and Judaism being a religion does not contradict my statement. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines government as "the system by which a state or community is governed". In the time of Moses the Jewish state was governed by Jewish law. Therefore any classification of the system of government then is a classification of Judaism itself. Evidence of this is the laws given to Moses by God that affect and deal with things outside of religion that is covered nowadays judicial law. For example "If a man steals an ox ""; "If a man gives his neighbour silver or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen ""; "If a man hits a manservant in the eye". Note that these particular examples are specific to the contemporary way of life and not universal laws, this shows that from the word of God Judaism extends beyond religious life.

Finally I will refer to the "strict obedience" (from given definition of Fascism) that Judaism dictates its followers must have to its leader, God. Firstly i cite the first of the Ten Commandments "You shall have no other Gods before me"; here this shows Judaism asserting God to be the supreme leader. Another example of strict obedience is God ordering "do not let [the names of other gods] be heard on your lips" " Exodus 23:13.
P.Ellis

Con

Although your argument is impressive and well researched, it does have some serious flaws on this part. Firstly this:

you say that the values of Judaism and Fascism are the same, however let me make the point about how each comes about. Judaism is an ideology which was born from an oppressed people in slavery, being taken out of slavery and given their freedom by God. Fascism is a reactionary ideology caused by the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, with extreme capitalistic and patriotic views.

you would argue that the idea of a totalitarian dictator is similar, if not identical, to the figure of God. However, I would like to point out that this is not the case, as the idea of the dictator is "a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force." a single man who has risen above others to become the leader of a group of people using force, who has total control over the people. However the Jewish God as I interpret it is a being who is greater than any man, and as such does not come into power in the conventional sense of a dictator. As to your references of crushing opposition " "Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed" Exodus 22:20 " does not actually provide any evidence of such a destruction taking place. If we are to interpret the Jewish God as a fictional character, created by the people of Israel to provide evidence for their own invasions and fighting, as I assume you will, then we can clearly prove that no such vengeful deity exists, and as such their isn't a dictator saying what is going on. Unlike a political ideology, a religion has to have believers in it to continue, and as such if Jehovah does not exist as i think you believe, then it isn't a personage ruling over a group of people but in fact an entity created by a people as a set of rules to follow, a scape goat for aggressive expansion, and a mortality comfort.

Secondly, you must remember that Judaism does not intend to curb religious freedom by invading other countries. whereas a fascist government has to create wars to sustain itself, one of the many key details of Fascism that your description leaves out, Jews have always, and most likely always will, have serious border issues. if you would do me the curtesy of looking up a map of the different religions spread around the world, you would see my point that, even to this day, Israel itself is surrounded by Muslim countries and must therefore try and protect itself. Israel is a very hostile area, and for a small religion starting up in a land where there are many other religions opposed to them, Judaism must control its borders. The God in Judaism, i would argue, is not an aggressive dictator, but instead a leader, real or imaginary, that is, for the Jewish people, a symbol of Freedom and Justice in a land of people who would very much like to destroy them. Evidence can be seen that Jerusalem fell in the year of 70 ad when the Romans destroyed the temple of Jerusalem. Israel was occupied on and off ever since, until 1948. In short, Israel has had to be in a lot of wars, creating a tough Jewish race, with many warrior heroes and, most importantly, a warrior God who will fight for his people.

the Jewish race has never called itself a "master race", as you put it and, as i have just stated, their God, whether or not it is real, was THEIR God. i.e. that he would protect the people of Israel through tough times, and as you said yourself the Jews have had "oppressive treatment...over history", thereby proving points made in the last paragraph. All human constructs throughout history have been supportive of the things they do. I would argue, knowing that you don't believe in any God(s), that you should clearly see the sense in supposing that humans created their Gods and they do this so that they can feel safe. i am sure everyone knows that something is easier to do if someone tells you to do it, and, like modern day Muslim Extremists and Christians during the crusades, just for two topical examples, we can clearly see that they were told by their respective Gods to do something that frankly they would have done anyway. "God" as a concept is an idea that there is a father figure to protect us and who approves of the things we do, something that we do not seem to have in the harsh world of "real life".

What i would hope you have understood from my above argument is that believing in a God, although similar in many ways, is still substantially different to Patriotism, the firm belief in your country's superiority over others. By this i would argue that "The Class" from your structural definition of fascism, does not have a strong enough correlation between Patriotism and Religious Fervour, so therefore unfortunately it is unproven. Also, as i have discussed, the difference between a God made by the people to protect and reward them is too different from the ideals of a dictator for your reference to "Leader", and your "Struggle" reference is obsolete, as all beliefs and ideologies have this "struggle" and so the there is no specific correlation between fascism and Judaism. I would suggest that, although the two share many similar characteristics, these are two generalised or, when it comes down to it, too different to make an intrinsic correlation between Judaism and Fascism.

also, because you asked, here is an example of "a quote from the Bible or Torah where God asks for at least a secondary opinion": "Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." (I am using the English standard Bible as i am a CoE Christian) and so in this it is made perfectly clear that God did discuss openly with somebody.
Debate Round No. 2
Magister

Pro

The main problem with your most recent argument is that you are not looking at the issue from an objective viewpoint. I completely agree that Israel is surrounded by hostile nations. But this debate is not questioning Judaism"s motives and whether they are moral or not, the debate is on what is or isn"t within the basic nature of Judaism. I do not disagree with many of your statements on why Judaism is the way it is " or what it is about their situation that causes " However these statements are not compatible with this debate as we are debating on WHAT something contains or does not contain, due to the nature of this debate the reasons why certain characteristics exist are unnecessary.

For example in your opening paragraph you state "you say that the values of Judaism and Fascism are the same, however let me make the point about how each comes about.", this is exactly not what we are debating on, the two things can come to hold similar values while have completely different starting points. The question of this debate is whether fascist ideologies exist in the core beliefs of Judaism, "how each comes about" is irrelevant.
Secondly you argue against the notion that Yahweh is very similar if not identical to the definition of a dictator providing the following statement:
"the idea of the dictator is "a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained control by force." a single man who has risen above others to become the leader of a group of people using force, who has total control over the people"
So the first problem is that the definition given is unverifiable as no source is provided this greatly diminishes the credibility of your argument. However more importantly the statement following the conclusion is false, it has exaggerated parts of this definition to support your argument. For example the definition says a dictator "TYPICALLY" [obtains] control by force", but you ignore this in order to support your argument that because god is supposedly greater than any man he does not come to power by conventional means. In relation to this argument it is also worth stating that one come to hold the same position and power as another without going through the same route. This is how I define God as a dictator, because regardless of how different the way in which god has his power in Judaism is from the way a conventional human dictator gains power, when looked at objectively god still rules with total power, similarly to conventional dictators.

Next, in order to contradict my references to god crushing opposition you state that there is no evidence of destruction of those who sacrifice to any other god. However this shows you have clearly very little knowledge of even just the book of Exodus. In Exodus 32 many of the Jews abandon Yahweh and worship the Golden Calf. This results in Yahweh almost annihilating the entire Jewish race except from Moses, "Let my anger flare up against them and I shall annihilate them" (Exodus 32:10 Tanach Stone Edition), this is prevented by a successful prayer by Moses however destruction still follows: "So said Hashem, God of Israel " let every man kill his brother, every man his fellow, and every man his near one" [1] and then "The Levites did as Moses said, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day" [1] . This extract clearly shows a purging of those who have opposed god by sacrificing to another.

Afterwards you again try and disprove the notion that Yahweh is or is very similar to a dictator by arguing that because he is fictitious and so does not exist he cannot rule over the Jews. Your argument is thereby stating that metaphysical concepts cannot affect and control the way people act in the physical world. Firstly I contest this by pointing out to that in the minds of believers i.e. the Jews Yahweh does exist and so they will follow any command they believe he has said, Yahweh therefore rules as a mental construct. Secondly in order to examine what is within Jewish ideology we have to assume that the things it states exist as these affect the ideology itself, it would be nonsensical to not examine something because it cannot be proven in the physical world especially in the context of this argument because we are looking at an ideology and so many of the things contained within will occupy the mental realm and not necessarily that which can be perceived. Following this you state "[God] isn't a personage ruling over a group of people but in fact an entity", however I this does not change the fact that Yahweh (personage or entity) still rules with total power and if you look to my definition of fascism it contains "strict obedience to a leader or the state", the definition of leader by the Compact Oxford English Dictionary is "a person or thing that leads", it does not directly specify that something has to be a person therefore Yahweh can still qualify for a leader in the fascist sense, thereby strengthening my main argument that fascism is within the basic nature of Judaism.
You try to defend your statement that "Judaism actively promotes freedom" but looking in Deuteronomy 20:11 we see Yahweh order "If [a city] responds to you in peace and opens for you, then the entire people found within it shall be as a tribute for you, and they shall serve you", here Judaism is actively promoting the servitude of conquered peoples. Next you state "a fascist government has to create wars to sustain itself" this is wrong for example look at Spain under the dictator Franco, although he came to power through the Spanish civil war he remained in control until his death without any wars afterwards. War does help fascist governments because it causes people to become closer to their national identity but it is not always the prime reason. In the case of the Jews we see fascist ideas coming about due to the oppression by surrounding kingdoms. In response to this you may argue that because Judaism is not a system of government it cannot have fascist ideas, however I would like to remind you that Judaism was very different then to how it is now. In the time of Moses and etc. Judaism was the system of government, similar to the way we see Islam rule in many countries today through sharia law.
Another of your statements is "The God in Judaism, i would argue, is not an aggressive dictator, but instead a leader, real or imaginary, that is, for the Jewish people, a symbol of Freedom and Justice in a land of people who would very much like to destroy them." Firstly I think that from the previous example of the golden calf there is clear aggressiveness from Yahweh. The Tanach also states that he says "If I ascend among you [the Jews], I may annihilate you in an instant" [1] indicating his anger over the Jews. How is it beneficial for the Jews to have a symbol that would kill them because they have displeased him? Secondly I would argue that the Jewish god is both dictator-like and a symbol, I see no reason why both cannot exist within the same entity.
I must refute your statement "The Jewish race has never called itself a "master race", as you put it "I did not say this; please do not put words into my mouth. (A quick Control + F search will show you that you are the first person to mention the phrase).
I agree that humans create gods that support their actions but this is again irrelevant I the context of this debate as we are supposed to be arguing on what is within Judaism and so how it came to be does not affect this debate.
You finally state there isn"t "a strong enough correlation between Patriotism and Religious Fervour" However Judaism encompasses both by having the strict obedience to god and the patriotism towards the Promised Land.
In relation to the quote you found this does not disprove Yahweh being dictator like as firstly, Moses is one man this clearly then doesn't show a distribution of power amongst the Jews also it only shows discussion not decision.
P.Ellis

Con

P.Ellis forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Magister

Pro

Magister forfeited this round.
P.Ellis

Con

P.Ellis forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Magister 2 years ago
Magister
My source [1] refers to the Tanach
Posted by Magister 2 years ago
Magister
@Emilrose Yes its main context is the history of the Jewish people but the laws are defined in the Pentateuch.
If by the full torah you mean the pentateuch + rest of OT + Mishneh Torah, then although i cannot claim to have read the Mishneh Torah I will be interested to know whether it indirectly challenges or contradicts anything found in the Pentateuch.
Posted by Magister 2 years ago
Magister
Treatment of the people doesn't change anything about what can objectively be said of a certain ideology.
Even though many would agree that the Jewish state was better than many of it's neighbours, this still does not change what can objectively be said of Judaism other than Judaism was more moral by our standards than other ideologies at the time.
From an objective viewpoint it does not matter who was oppressing who or what A was doing and what B was doing.
These arguments are just distractions from the main point, appealing to emotion by mentioning things that carry stigma like incest and paedophilia.
Posted by hatshepsut 2 years ago
hatshepsut
by Emilrose: " With Judaism if one is a born a Jew... they will always remain so, whether they pursue a belief in G-d or not...Concerning the Canaanites, Amorites, and so on, there is further context within the Torah describing the issue(s) with their inhabitancy of Israel."

The first statement above defines Jews as an ethnic group, in common with the "blood and soil" ideology of German nationalism. The Torah's issues usually were sexual sins and worship of false gods in other cultures, matters internal to those cultures which shouldn't have affected the Israelites directly. God's judgment often called for slaying them down to the last man, woman, child, and beast.

To be fair, the biblical evidence may reflect a struggle to establish monotheism in the Israelite tribes who were living in intimate contact with other Canaanites. And as Emilrose points out, these enemies weren't likely more friendly toward Israelites. Another thing is that the slaying sentences written in texts may never have been carried out verbatim in real life. More likely, enough slaying was done to terrorize an opponent and cause them to pack up and quit disputed territory.

Fascism isn't per se a call for a nationality to embark on a program of evil as Hitler did, although it is highly authoritarian. Judaism may have some elements in common with fascism, but differs in some ways. Israel was monarchical, for instance. And post-biblical Judaism resembles the original Israel none too closely. The Zionist movement to capture Palestine for a Jewish state is in particular separate from the religion; many Jews opposed Zionism.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
May I ask if you have read the (full) Torah? Its main context is the development of Israel and the early beginnings of the Jewish people.

You present a rather large double-standard. As you shown in round two of your debate, the Torah can obviously be used when creating an argument against Judaism; so isn't it rather selective that it cannot be displayed as a source in defence of Judaism?

Judaism centres around the Torah, so it's perfectly credible.

Lev. 18:21 offers some reasonable insight into the Canannite existence: "Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech".

Not only did the Canannites practice incest and pedophilia, they also upheld the ritual of child sacrifice.
Archeological evidence indicates that many Canaanite children burned to death, possibly numbered in the thousands.
Posted by Magister 2 years ago
Magister
@Emilrose
"Concerning the Canaanites, Amorites, and so on, there is further context within the Torah describing the issue(s) with their inhabitancy of Israel." - The Torah is going to be biased towards Jews and so obviously cannot be considered a credible source when defending Judaism.
Posted by Magister 2 years ago
Magister
"God said" did he? Do you have have proof that he actually said this or did you just find it in a book written thousands of years ago and just believe it?
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
All I know is God said he would bless us if we bless Israel.Because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ( Israel).

And Judah is only 1/12 of the tribes of Israel.
Posted by Magister 2 years ago
Magister
The treatment of the Jews doesn't change what can be said of their ideology. Small oppressed nations are still capable of having fascist ideas and in fact maltreatment will probably increase the nationalistic ideas of a certain nation.
"To disobey G-d's will is to cease being Jewish" - Gods will is the Jewish belief system, I did not intend to mean it in terms of race
"As expected, there are no convincing references to evidence" - Please explain how the Old Testament is not convincing evidence of Jewish beliefs.
The comparison with Nazism is just to highlight similarities in the ways the ideologies are in practice.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
"To disobey G-d's will is to cease being Jewish".

Again, that's slightly inaccurate. With Judaism if one is a born a Jew (I.E having Jewish parents) they will always remain so, whether they pursue a belief in G-d or not.

Concerning the Canaanites, Amorites, and so on, there is further context within the Torah describing the issue(s) with their inhabitancy of Israel.

Most of these groups were intolerant of Hebrews and used violent methods of expressing it. There was also significant problems with disease and immorality.

As expected, there are no convincing references to evidence. The Hitler/Nazi analogies are in particular extremely weak.
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