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View Poll Results: What is/are Germany's greatest contribution(s) to the world ?

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    17 30.36%
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    10 17.86%
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    27 48.21%
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    23 41.07%
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Thread: Greatest German contributions to the world ?

  1. #26
    Southern Sun Duo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel
    If many jews see Israel as an abhorration, then why are many Jews living in Israel and calling their country Israel?

    I know but that is why I asked if it is INDIRECT jewish/Israeli contribution. I didn't say "direct" Israeli contributionss
    there are only 5 million jews in Israel. There is more than that in the city of New York alone. Marx will remain for me a german philospher.
    Last edited by Duo; 08-09-05 at 15:05. Reason: spelling

  2. #27
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel
    If many jews see Israel as an abhorration, then why are many Jews living in Israel and calling their country Israel?
    I agree with Duo. According to Wikipedia, there are about 13 or 14 million Jews in the world, and only 5 million of them have chosen to live in Israel.

    As was said, being "Jewish" means follow the Jewish religion and traditions. Marx was a notorious atheist, and therefore could not be considered a Jew.
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  3. #28
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    True, Duo-san, Tsuyoiko-san and Maciamo-san. I agree that Karl Marx is German. But I sometimes identify him as Jewish, not based on his beliefs but based on his heritage. I also regard him as German.

    But if Jews never existed at all, neither would Karl Marx.

    Being Jewish is part of Marx's heritage no matter how much he had rejected it. In fact, I assumed that being a Jew is not about traditions and beliefs in religion but about birth. Isn't being jewish kind of, like, a person's birthright. Correct me if i'm wrong but aren't Jews born Jewish? Jews didn't choose to be Jewish. Unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism doesn't encourage converts. Even though non-Jews may have become Jewish and Jews may welcome non-Jews into their fold, Judaism rarely advocates conversions of non-Jews.

    You can become a Catholic or not. you always have the choice to renounce your Catholic beliefs. Even if you are baptized Catholic, it doesn't mean you are born Catholic. Simple drops of water can't give you an identity but the blood of your ancestors can give you an identity and a heritage. Your parents' blood's still part of who you are. Even if a Jew can renounce his beliefs, he cannot change his ancestry as a leopard can't change his spots. He can forget his roots, and can reject his roots but can't change it.

    You can change your nationality (e.g. citizenship) but can you change your roots? There are Americans who consider themselves Americans but even the most patriotic Americans can remember their roots/ancestry. That is why I heard of Japanese-Americans, Filipino-Americans, Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, etc.

    I am an ethnic Chinese and I was born in USA so I was both born Chinese and American. Because I grew up in Philippines for the past 20 years, I always considered myself to be a Filipino but I still also identify myself as Chinese because it's part of my heritage. Even if I reject or ignore my Chinese heritage, I am still Chinese even though I see myself more as a Filipino. Because I have Chinese bood. A leopard cannot change his spots.
    Last edited by Zauriel; 09-09-05 at 07:44.

  4. #29
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel
    Being Jewish is part of Marx's heritage no matter how much he had rejected it. In fact, I assumed that being a Jew is not about traditions and beliefs in religion but about birth. Isn't being jewish kind of, like, a person's birthright. Correct me if i'm wrong but aren't Jews born Jewish? Jews didn't choose to be Jewish. Unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism doesn't encourage converts.
    No. Someone can convert to Judaism. What is more, Jewish law mention that only people whose mother is Jewish are considered as Jews. But because one can reject Jewish religion, one can also stop being Jewish. Note that Karl Marx's father converted to Lutheranism, and so he grew up with a Christian education and later converted to Atheism. Ethnically, like most Jews, he is far from a pure Jew (is there any pure 100% jews anyway, except in organic shops ?). So I don't see the point of classifying him more as a Jew than a German.

    You can become a Catholic or not. you always have the choice to renounce your Catholic beliefs. Even if you are baptized Catholic, it doesn't mean you are born Catholic.
    Catholicism is just a branch of Christianity. However, I have realised that many Japanese (or Asians in general) tend to think that Caucasians are necessarily Christians. So they create a link between race and religion, the same way as you do with people of (partly) Jewish descent and Judaism. Likewise, many Westerners would associate Arabs with Islam, while there are also Christian Arabs (esp. in Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria). It is more tricky with the term "Jewish" as it refers to both the race and religion. As there aren't any pure Jewish race anymore, it refers mainly to the religion. Many people could have Jewish ancestors and not know it. I read that Hitler himself could have had some distant Jewish ancestry, which is pretty ironic.


    You can change your nationality (e.g. citizenship) but can you change your roots? There are Americans who consider themselves Americans but even the most patriotic Americans can remember their roots/ancestry. That is why I heard of Japanese-Americans, Filipino-Americans, Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, etc.
    This is because the USA is a fairly new country and people can still trace back their roots. Imagine all the ethnical mixture that will take place in the next few centuries. Do you reallly think that people will keep record of ALL their ancestor over, say, 20 generations ? That would be over 1 million ancestors just for the 20th generation (over 2 million in total). 20 generations only bring you back to about 500 years in the past. The Jewish diaspora took place 2000 years ago, so about 80 generations ago. Anyway, as there are no records left in most countries for more than 3 or 4 centuries (except for the nobility), it is impossible for most people to determine whether they have Jewish blood or not. Even if someone's mother's mother's mother' mother's... etc for 20 generation was Jewish, the person could officially be Jewish and yet have no trace of Jewish DNA left if not a single father had Jewish blood for 20 generations, as we only inherit half of our parents' DNA and after so many generation, some ancestors' DNA disappear altogether. This is just to demonstrate that the concept of "Jewish race" can be almost meaningless. There are blond and blue-eyed Jews ! (I have met some).

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Even if someone's mother's mother's mother' mother's... etc for 20 generation was Jewish, the person could officially be Jewish and yet have no trace of Jewish DNA left if not a single father had Jewish blood for 20 generations, as we only inherit half of our parents' DNA and after so many generation, some ancestors' DNA disappear altogether. This is just to demonstrate that the concept of "Jewish race" can be almost meaningless. There are blond and blue-eyed Jews ! (I have met some).
    I am the opposite to this. I am not officially Jewish, as my mother is not Jewish, but going back on my father's side, both of my grandmother's grandfathers were Jewish. So we stopped being 'Jewish' 4 generations ago. But I clearly have Jewish blood - I look Jewish, as do most of my dad's family.

  6. #31
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    Audi's, Beer and Classical music.
    I would have put Sauerkraut (sp) but then I would probably just be joking. In honesty I havent eaten it for years. I also like German chocolate, and Art museums.

    Kara-Nari Smarty-Pants Wiz-Girl of the Southern Pacific Queen of Communication and International Arbitration and Diplomatic Solutions to Hairy Territorial Issues Her Majesty the Empress コクネ・ you quite rightly deserve the title for your individuality !

  7. #32
    devil's advocate Satorian's Avatar
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    Has anyone here read Joyce's Ulysses? It seems as if half the book is about the ways and combinations you can be jewish or can't be jewish. It's really a matter of definition.



    As for the greatest german contributions..... hmmmm...

    - classical music (Beethoven, Orff)
    - philosophy and german contribution to the historical phase of enlightenment
    - literature (Hesse, Kafka, Mann)
    - cars (BMW and Porsche)
    - a technically descriptive and exact language only the germans, well, some of them use ;)

    Those are the most important ones that came to my mind right now.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorian
    Has anyone here read Joyce's Ulysses? It seems as if half the book is about the ways and combinations you can be jewish or can't be jewish. It's really a matter of definition.
    ...... I'd love to see your observations on "Finnegan's Wake"! :rolleyes:

    Sleinte!

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    ( I now scurry off to refresh my reading of "Ulysses" ! - he may well have a point!)
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  9. #34
    devil's advocate Satorian's Avatar
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    I'll quote what R.A. Wilson wrote about that topic in 2001 in a bit more general context. Of course there is a lot more to Ulysses! I just exaggerated for dramatic effect. ;)


    Schrödinger's Jew

    97 years ago today Leopold Bloom, a fictitious man, wandered the streets of Dublin, a real city; and Joyce scholars still argue about his odd odyssey. I would like to add to the confusion with a note about Bloom's "Jewishness."

    "Is" Leopold Bloom a Jew?

    Not according to Orthodox Rabbinical law, which defines a Jew as the child of a Jewish mother. Bloom as the child of a Protestant mother "is not" a Jew.

    According to Nazi law, however, a Jew "is" a person with a known Jewish ancestor. Bloom as the son of Rudolph Bloom [born Rudolph Virag], "is" a Jew.

    See how easily a person can "be" and "not be" a Jew at the same time?

    On the third hand, most humanists define a Jew as one who believes in and practices the Judaic religion. By this definition, Bloom who neither believes in nor practices any religion "is not" a Jew. But Marilyn Monroe, who practiced and probably tried to believe in Judaism while married to Arthur Miller, "was" a Jew by that definition-- for those few years, if not before or after.

    Extensionally or phenomenologically, a Jew "is" somebody considered Jewish by all or most of the people he meets. By this standard the multi-ordinal Bloom "is" a Jew again.

    Once more: in terms of pure existentialism a Jew "is" somebody who chooses to consider themselves Jewish. Bloom obviously doesn't consider himself Jewish but Irish, most of the time. Only when under verbal assault by the anti-semitic Citizen in Barney Kiernan's pub does Bloom define himself as Jewish ["And Jesus was a Jew too. Your god. He was a Jew like me."] Here he obviously has in mind the "known Jewish ancestor" rule, because he adds "And so was his father," to which the Citizen replies, as a correct Catholic, "He had no father," and Bloom, unfamiliar with that theology -- logic played with deuces, eights and one-eyed jacks wild -- can only pragmatically reply, "Well, his uncle then."

    But recalling the incident later, Bloom says "And he called me a Jew, which as a matter of fact I'm not." Here he returns to his customary "believer in Judaic religion" definition.

    I suppose Joyce made Bloom such a tangled genetic and cultural mixture to expose the absurdities of anti-semitism; but I also suspect that he wanted to undermine that neurolinguistic habit which postmodernists call "essentialism" and which Korzybski claimed invades our brains and causes hallucinations or delusions every time we use the word "is."

    And I don't think I'd have the willpower to read Finnegan's Wake. Joyce isn't really entertaining enough for me.

  10. #35
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    Wow, this thread is getting offtopic, but interesting! I think I will have a go at Ulysses - I can really relate to the Jewish/not idea. I enjoyed A Portrait of the Artist, that was very easy to read. Finnegans Wake is impossible, so I'm told, so I'm thinking Ulysses will be a happy medium!

  11. #36
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    Germany? Though industrial achievements come to mind, the biggest german influence is definitely on thought and ideas.

    And not only philosophical ones - the whole concept of modern warfare can be traced directly back to Germany.

    As for Marx, I think an internationalist communist would consider religion and nationality to be a "bourgeois invention to submit the proletariat", so I'm not sure he was at ease with being neither Jewish nor German

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorian
    (...) As for the greatest german contributions..... hmmmm...

    - classical music (Beethoven, Orff)
    (..) .
    I agree, however Orff's "Carmina Burana" can be too bombastic, and sometimes too sinister when the volume is turned up too much!!!

  13. #38
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    OCKTOBERFEST!!!!!!!! WO0T!!
    Seriously though, german tribes provided part of the foundation for modern britain (aswell as the germanic peoples of scandanavia).
    It provided two world wars, and as horrible as they were, they did shock europe into a new kind of thinking and doing things.
    Love germany, but my genetics are probably making me bias.

    Edit: also on the case of Jew or not aJew, i think this thread has clearly shown that there isnt really such a thing as judiasm, just a religion and some poorly defined rules to make you an ethnic jew.

    The fact is Ethnic jews as they really and legitimately existed died out by inter-breeding centuries upon centuries ago, thats why isrealis are called isrealis and not jews.

    You'll also not many isrealis dont particularly follow a jewish lifestyle, so the number of jews in isreal is probably even smaller.

    I personally think its a bit silly and dangerous to attach an ethnic slant to a religion, especially one so wide spread and for so long, homeless, im surpised judiasm has survived as long as it has, i guess its testiment to its stubborn nature.

    I think judiasm should become more like the other organized religions, accepting converts and you know, releasing it from the ethnic connection, though there would no longer be the chosen people (which i also think is a bit dangerous of an idea).

    Judiasm is actually very interesting, its for all intents and purpouses an ancient world religion, the jewish god isnt loving and fair, hell, from what ive read, he isnt even all that kind to his own chosen. :S

    So yeah in short, im really suprised it has survived through the ages, and yet it deserves an applause for it, even though it hasnt really suceeded in maintaining the jewish ethnicity, at least it gave it a good go.


    Also as Mac said, western religion isnt connected to race here, which is why there are churches from the north of norway to cape-town in south africa, south america is like, catholic-land, north america still holds christianity in high regard, its everywhere and includeds all races and cultures, even japan has a few christians milling about.

  14. #39
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    you forgot Rammstein!!
    German philosophy is dangerous ....

  15. #40
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  16. #41
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  17. #42
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    How about fairy tales ? Many Disney stories originated in Germany

  18. #43
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    From the former list, I am for Philosophers, Musik, Dogs and Cars, in that order.

    Chemistry (and not only pharm. producsts) is something that the Germans have been good always and are still IMO the masters of it.

    Ah!! We should not forget that most of what we know modernly about the Atom is because of the Germans scientists (Einstein, Schrödinger, Planck, Heisenberg, Pauli, etc.).






    The scientific revolution of the 20th century (Relativity and Quantum Mechanics) were due mostly to the German Science.

    To that, we should add that the most important mathematicians of Europe in the last three centuries have been mostly French and Germans.

    http://rchsbowman.files.wordpress.co...01/gauss-3.jpg

    +++++

    Apart from that, there have been very original artistic / architectural movements, like the "Deutsche Expressionismus"...






    ... and the Bauhaus.



    Now that I think about it Germans have made a lot of contributions almost in every realm of human knowledge.

    They have the right to be very proud of their culture.

    (The only thing that I don't like of them, is that sometimes they are a bit arrogant "Am deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen")


    Regards.
    Last edited by Sirius2b; 14-04-10 at 20:40.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius2b View Post
    From the former list, I am for Philosophers, Musik, Dogs and Cars, in that order.

    Chemistry (and not only pharm. producsts) is something that the Germans have been good always and are still IMO the masters of it.

    Ah!! We should not forget that most of what we know modernly about the Atom is because of the Germans scientists (Einstein, Schrödinger, Planck, Heisenberg, Pauli, etc.).
    Wolfgang Ernst Pauli shoulnd't be considered german but austrian. He was born in Vienna and moved to the USA right after the german annexation of Austria. Later he was naturalized north-american.

    Regards.

  20. #45
    Regular Member Gwyllgi's Avatar
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    For me the greatest contribution to the world came from Martin Luther who founded the Protestant Reformation.

    That apart Germany and German nationals have delivered so very much that is so very valuable to the world. It is precisely that which created the shock when the Weimar Republic fell and the events that followed began.

    But even then England (NOT Britain) was in the lead, because the Germans were only repeating what England had done during the Boer War.

    As for the (in)famous Schrödinger, I would baulk at naming him amongst the greats on the basis of his proposing to be an absolute bastard to his cat!
    Some days you're the dog. Other days you're the lamp post.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyllgi View Post
    For me the greatest contribution to the world came from Martin Luther who founded the Protestant Reformation.
    How is that a world contribution ? It only affected a part of northern Europe and the USA. At least everybody can use cars or electronics.

  22. #47
    Regular Member Gwyllgi's Avatar
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    Protestantism broke the stranglehold of the Roman Catholic church.

    It brought people into a relationship with God that was direct and not dependent on priests who were in turn (and still are) controlled by Rome.

    It also started the move towards the availability of the Bible in other than Latin and so allowed people to read for themselves what was written there.

    Protestantism also allowed people to be Christians first and members of a church second, totally unlike Roman Catholicism which in many ways is distinctly UN Christian.

    In short it started the great reformation which in turn opened up learning and advancement that had previously stalled under The Vatican control.

    And ALL down to Martin Luther who kicked the whole thing off. The man who in his own way cried “The emperor is naked”.

    The effect has been world wide. Wherever there is a Christian church that is free from the influence of the Vatican and the pope it is attributable to the great work and contribution of Martin Luther.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyllgi View Post
    As for the (in)famous Schrödinger, I would baulk at naming him amongst the greats on the basis of his proposing to be an absolute bastard to his cat!
    Who is also austrian, btw.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ^ lynx ^ View Post
    Who is also austrian, btw.
    I am reliably informed that his cat was German!

  25. #50
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    .........

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