Nietzsche

Nietzsche’s Mentality of Yolo and Finding Spirituality in Religion

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

The ancient concept of religion is one that has existed in every established human culture throughout history. All religious groups tend to center their belief system around the idea of an existing “God” or “gods” and a world beyond the one where we currently reside. Some of the major religions in modern times such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam believe in one God and an arrangement of rules that dictate whether certain people will earn a place in the afterlife (Mark). These religions seem to suggest that no matter how difficult life may be, those who ‘do good’ by society’s standards will be ‘saved.’ German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the first major philosophers to attempt to contradict the idea of religion and a higher power. He believed that we should not make decisions in this world to appeal to another. That humankind is stronger and better than relying on religion for motivation (Pickett). Nietzsche concluded that our trust in such higher powers has resulted in a lack of happiness in our everyday lives. He maintained that it prohibits us from acting how we truly want. Friedrich Nietzsche’s most valuable contribution to the philosophical sub-discipline of metaphysics was his idea that God is dead.

What Nietzsche saw as he examined society was a cycle of self pity and guilt. He noticed a lack of happiness and satisfaction in many of the people around him. And he attributed this state of mind to what he believed was the lasting effects of religion, more specifically Christianity (Ideas). His statement “God is dead” was a response to almost all of the philosophers before him. Including Augustine, Anselm, Origen and Thomas Aquinas who claimed that God is a knowable thing. Nietzsche truly believed that mankind was strong enough to not have to rely on a higher power to gain the motivation to live (Class Notes). Nietzsche’s vision of metaphysics greatly contrasted all of his predecessors and therefore many people of his time developed strong opinions on his ideas. What they did not realize was Nietzsche’s futuristic outlook. Nietzsche was ahead of his time. He believed that a rise in Atheism was soon to come and attempted to comfort mankind with his idea that we can create our own individualistic views and discover our own meanings for life (The Gay Science). Nietzsche stated “God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown.” (The Gay Science, 108) In his quote, Nietzsche explained that the switch to atheism would take time. He expressed that although he believed God had died, he understood that society would not believe that for quite some time. Following his death, Europe entered into an era of war. After World War I many citizens began to feel a hatred towards society and a sense of hopelessness. They began to separate themselves from religion and found little meaning in the lives they were living (Hendricks). It is almost as though Nietzsche predicted this shift. As a result of his life’s dedication to a quest for purpose without religion, Nietzsche lived quite a lonely life battling the truth he had discovered and the agony that comes with living in a godless world. Although, in his later works it is revealed that this discovery may have been the result of what he believes to be the greatest discovery in philosophy. (Anderson)

In his earlier years, Nietzsche expressed misery living in a godless world. He felt that humankind had no purpose and therefore life was meaningless. This ties in with his idea of nihilism which can be defined as believing life has no purpose because nothing is real and we live in an illusion of reality. In one of his earlier writings, Human, All Too Human he communicated the agony he discovered in nihilism when he stated, “But the tragic thing is that we can no longer believe those dogmas of religion and metaphysics, once we have the rigorous method of truth in our hearts and heads…Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the truth most must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth, the tree of knowledge is not that of life.” (Human, All Too Human, 109) Here Nietzsche explained that understanding the truth would not be easy. He recognized that the loss of incentive provided by a higher power could hinder many people from happiness. More specifically because religion is a phenomenon that has aided in human motivation for centuries, and certain people are incapable of existing without it. It took most of his life for Nietzsche to reach the conclusion that his statement “God is dead” was, in fact, a solution to society’s problems. After countless years of research, he decided that a loss of faith in a higher power could have the potential to be the most remarkable event to ever befall mankind. In one of his later writings, The Gay Science he wrote,

In fact, we philosophers and ‘free spirits’ feel ourselves irradiated as by a new dawn by the report that the ‘old God is dead’; our hearts overflow with gratitude, astonishment, presentiment and expectation. At last the horizon seems open once more, granting even that it is not bright; our ships can at last put out to sea in face of every danger; every hazard is again permitted to the discerner; the sea, our sea, again lies open before us; perhaps never before did such an ‘open sea’ exist. (The Gay Science, 343)

It is in this quote that Nietzsche expressed the idea that a universe without a God driving the lives of mankind to a common end is a universe where strong individuals can freely develop their own world views. This is simply because there would be no set of rules or guidelines constructed in a religious manner that could inflict guilt on a person (The Gay Science). Obviously, this idea could be misinterpreted to mean that mankind is permitted to commit crimes. Although that was not Nietzsche’s intention. Nietzsche blamed the theory of God for holding back mankind from their true desires and decided that with that idea gone, we would be able to live our lives to our fullest potential. Nietzsche foresaw the rise of atheism that would soon inhibit society. He did not construct his ideals in a negative sense, rather his works prove his attempt to aide mankind. He realized that many people need to believe in a higher power to protect them from the harshness of this world and he attempted to provide relief in his idea that mankind should not rely on a higher power for happiness. (Class Notes) Nietzsche offered us the idea that humans can individually create their own values. This would give a meaning to life just by living it. While Nietzsche referred to himself as an atheist, he acknowledged that his insight had only discredited the validity of believing in a higher power. Meaning, he believed that he had not disproved that a world beyond this could exist. In his book Human All Too Human many readers believe that he contradicts himself in saying “It is true, there could be a metaphysical world; the absolute possibility of it is hardly to be disputed” (Human, All Too Human, 15). Although, this quote most definitely follows his central idea. Nietzsche had never attempted to disprove that a higher power exists. Rather, he dedicated his entire career to justifying that belief in a higher power is pointless. Nietzsche thought that it would be a waste of time to follow through with things mankind does not truly want to do (Human, All Too Human). He also expressed his opinion that a world composed of individuals who do not believe in a higher power would be a much better one. What he meant by this was that there would be less sorrow and guilt. People would finally be allowed to live how they desire. (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

In more modern terms, Friedrich Nietzsche was the creator of the trending term, “YOLO” (you only live once). The artist, Drake, coined this term in his song “The Motto” released in 2011 where he sang, “You only live once, that’s the motto ***** YOLO.” This short phrase simply implies that man should do what we want, when we want to because “you only live once.” This idea has quickly become the defining statement of our generation. Like Nietzsche, people have formed contrasting opinions on the YOLO lifestyle. Many believe it justifies reckless behavior and entitlement. During his time, Nietzsche’s beliefs garnered similar opinions. While his statement “God is dead” may have been ill received in the 19th century, our more modern times seem to agree with him. Even Nietzsche himself believed that he had come to early for people to understand his message. With the passing of a century, we can see a sudden shift in human reliance in God. It is interesting to note that in his book The Gay Science, Nietzsche states that we are the ones who killed God. God exists through the belief we allow and once that belief is gone, so is God (The Gay Science). What Nietzsche has offered is the idea that we can become our own Gods to fill the absence. There is danger in the absence of belief and Nietzsche recognized this. He developed the solution that we must not live in the past or future, rather in the present. Thus delving into the term YOLO. The main problem that the YOLO mindset faces is the two distinct ways it can be interpreted. The first being that there will be no consequences to our actions because we only get one life. This interpretation of YOLO seems to permit crime and stupidity. Those who interpret YOLO and Nietzsche’s ideas in this way understandably will disagree with it. The second interpretation of YOLO is the idea that we must live life to its fullest and experience all that we can because we only get one life. This interpretation coincides in a similar way to what Nietzsche had intended in his message. The mental health of Millennials and gen-Z kids has been on a steady decline. There has been a recent rise in depression and anxiety in teens and this is the leading cause of death in kids ages 13-18. Depression is statistically proven to be the 10th leading cause of death in all ages (Jowit). This sudden rise in mental health disorders must have something to do with that growth of atheism and decline in belief in a higher power. The sudden realization that life could be meaningless and nihilism could be our reality. Nietzsche’s ideas could act as a solution to this problem. We must learn not to dwell on the past or live for the future. We must adopt the idea that we can become our own gods and live individualistic lives.

Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical ideas have stunned humanity for over a century. Like all controversial topics, his statement “God is dead” was at first, not received well. People all developed their own interpretations of what he meant and could not comprehend the idea of living without religious beliefs (Keller). In our modern times, living without the belief in a higher power has become more common. People have become more accustomed with the idea of nihilism. Nietzsche’s idea that we can become our own gods will be incredibly beneficial to new generations as society progresses, especially with the rise in mental health problems. Humankind has embarked on a slow transition towards atheism ever since the World Wars. While the concept of God guarantees meaning to the lives we live, it also provides followers with guilt and anxieties that they should not have to feel. Nietzsche’s statement “God is dead,” was a bold attempt to gain the attention of mankind. He never denied an afterlife, he simply denied the value in pursuing a religious life. Ultimately, Nietzsche’s legacy has left us with the concept of YOLO, an idea that has infiltrated the minds of millennials and gen-Z kids since its birth in 2011.

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Meaning of Life in Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzsche’s View of the Camel, the Lion, and the Child

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

The The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzche’s concept of “ the camel, lion, and child” discuss the meaning of life. Their topics debate whether life is meaningful and if it is, how does an individual find it. Both authors share their belief of existentialism. While Nietzsche explores the possibility of life having meaning, Camus proposes a new idea of accepting and living a life devoid of meaning.

Both philosopher’s philosophies reject Christianity as a means of discovering value in the universe. However, each philosopher’s conclusion differs from the other. Camus believes that individuals should embrace the meaninglessness of life. Instead of pursuing one’s meaning, humans should acknowledge that there is no higher metaphysical order. On the other hand, Nietzsche argues that there is a metaphysical presence in the world. However, according to him, human beings need to earn it through curiosity and facing challenges on a daily basis. Through this, a being evolves into Nietzsche’s ubermensch (superman).In simple words, whilew Camus proposes that life is meaningless, Nietzsche puts forth the idea of life having a purpose but losing its value.

Camus and Nietzche share similar views as well. They both have a connection to existentialism and support freedom of choice and thought. For instance, in The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus tells his audience that committing suicide is a choice made by an individual. He further explains the thoughts that influence the individual to make such a choice, while also discussing the the liberty associated with suicide. Furthermore, he speaks to his readers about the immense guilt and consequences suicide attempts bring to a person. Camus’s idea ofregarding the freedom to commit suicide ties in with existentialism, which connects him with Nietzche. Through existentialism, Nietzsche attempts to portray metamorphosis, in which a person has the liberty to decide if he/she wants to be a camel, then a lion, and then morph into a child. Each stage involves specific characteristics an individual needs to possess and certain traits needed to proceed to the next stage. Each respective stage has different expectations that an individual has to meet through free will, similar to Camus’s idea of being suicidal by one’s own choice. Nietzche and Camus both base their concepts of life’s meaning on existentialism.

Nietzche and Camus describe the concept of purposefulness in an individual’s life. Although both authors believe in individuality and base their work on existentialism, each author feels a different way about life. Nietzsche believes that life has meaning, but an individual has to meet challenges and thrive to find purpose. However, Camus introduces a new concept of accepting and living a meaningless life to the fullest. The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzsche’s unique view of “the camel, the lion, and the child” have many differences but at one point shared the same beliefs.

The The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzche’s concept of “ the camel, lion, and child” discuss the meaning of life. Their topics debate whether life is meaningful and if it is, how does an individual find it. Both authors share their belief of existentialism. While Nietzsche explores the possibility of life having meaning, Camus proposes a new idea of accepting and living a life devoid of meaning.

Both philosopher’s philosophies reject Christianity as a means of discovering value in the universe. However, each philosopher’s conclusion differs from the other. Camus believes that individuals should embrace the meaninglessness of life. Instead of pursuing one’s meaning, humans should acknowledge that there is no higher metaphysical order. On the other hand, Nietzsche argues that there is a metaphysical presence in the world. However, according to him, human beings need to earn it through curiosity and facing challenges on a daily basis. Through this, a being evolves into Nietzsche’s ubermensch (superman),. – In simple words, whilew Camus proposes that life is meaningless, Nietzsche puts forth the idea of life having a purpose but losing its value.

Camus and Nietzche share similar views as well. They both have a connection to existentialism and support freedom of choice and thought. For instance, in The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus tells his audience that committing suicide is a choice made by an individual. He further explains the thoughts that influence the individual to make such a choice, while also discussing the the liberty associated with suicide. Furthermore, he speaks to his readers about the immense guilt and consequences suicide attempts bring to a person. Camus’s idea ofregarding the freedom to commit suicide ties in with existentialism, which connects him with Nietzche.

Through existentialism, Nietzsche attempts to portray metamorphosis, in which a person has the liberty to decide if he/she wants to be a camel, then a lion, and then morph into a child. Each stage involves specific characteristics an individual needs to possess and certain traits needed to proceed to the next stage. Each respective stage has different expectations that an individual has to meet through free will, similar to Camus’s idea of being suicidal by one’s own choice. Nietzche and Camus both base their concepts of life’s meaning on existentialism.

Nietzche and Camus describe the concept of purposefulness in an individual’s life. Although both authors believe in individuality and base their work on existentialism, each author feels a different way about life. Nietzsche believes that life has meaning, but an individual has to meet challenges and thrive to find purpose. However, Camus introduces a new concept of accepting and living a meaningless life to the fullest. The Myth of Sisyphus and Nietzsche’s unique view of “the camel, the lion, and the child” have many differences but at one point shared the same beliefs.

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Friedrich Nietzsche’s Notion of Eternal Return

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Eternal Recurrence

“This life, as you live it now and as you have lived it, you will have to live once more and countless times more. And there will be nothing new about it, but every pain and every pleasure, and every thought and sigh, and everything unspeakably small and great in your life must come back to you, and all in the same series and sequence.” This is the description Friedrich Nietzsche uses to portray the idea of eternal recurrence famously presented in the pronouncement from a demon. For Nietzsche, eternal recurrence is a hypothetical situation in which every small minute detail of one’s life would be repeated in the exact same order and sequence for all of eternity. That is, every humiliating, jubilant and even distressing aspect of one’s life would have to be relived indefinitely with no hope of altering either the events themselves or the sequence within which they occurred.

The significance of this idea of eternal recurrence lies not in the realm of this being an actual possibility. Nietzsche lays forth this idea of eternal recurrence not as a metaphysical claim, but rather as a way of evaluating and determining ones viewpoint and feelings about their own life. That is for Nietzsche, the value of the eternal recurrence doctrine lies in the reaction of the listener upon hearing the demon’s news. For instance, if you are instantly distraught over the news of eternal recurrence, than this is almost certainly a sign that you are not living your life in a way that you find fulfilling. Instead, if you were to find yourself rejoicing over the demon’s news of your life’s continued recurrence than it is equally as likely that the life you have led up to this point has been fulfilling to you.

Despite the obvious value of the demon’s advice in determining the value of one’s life up until now, its real value comes in helping the listener determine how they would like to live the rest of their life. By this Nietzsche hopes the listener will begin to live the rest of their life in a way that they would accept the doctrine of eternal recurrence. In this way, despite the fact that the doctrine of eternal recurrence is not true, Nietzsche hopes that this idea of being forced to infinitely relive ones life in its entirety will influence mankind to begin to live their life in a way that they would find pleasing were they given the demon’s news. That is, Nietzsche hopes that the demon’s news would not send the listener into a spiral of despair, but rather that it would enlighten the listener to the point that they may even feel a sense of necessity that they alter their life in a way that they find it more fulfilling. In this way the demon’s news is dually significant in that it not only provides a blueprint with which to measure our fulfillment with our past/present, but also a mode with which to base our future actions. One interesting component of the passage containing the demon’s news is its’ relationship with some of the other main points found in The Gay Science. One such idea is Nietzsche’s explanation of religion known as perspectivism. Nietzsche views perspectivism as a process by which the viewpoint of something is gradually shaped by an outside interpretation of it. That is, Nietzsche makes the argument that every viewpoint is merely the viewer’s interpretation of it. He explains this idea by describing how the ideas of Jesus shaped Christianity by placing value on humility as opposed to the poor reputation traditionally heaped upon those who were poor. Not only was Jesus able to spread this complete change of philosophy to those around him, but he changed this belief system in a way that the glorification of humbleness has now become a basic tenet of Christianity. Nietzsche’s classification of perspectivism is important as some of the basic tenets of this idea could easily be attributed to the demon’s news. This relationship appears in that a sense of perspectivism is apparent in the self-reflection Nietzsche hopes to inspire by the demon’s news. That is, much in the same way that Jesus’ declaration on humbleness changed the way in which Christians viewed their own humbleness, Nietzsche hopes that the demon’s news that man is forced to relive their life’s details for all eternity would significantly alter the way the listener views his own life. Thus this thinking revolves around the idea that a man would regard his life differently were he forced to eternally relive his previous moments.

Also, the main tenant of perspectivism that every view is merely an interpretation is also mirrored in the demon’s news. For example, someone who had lived an unfulfilling life up to this news would view this news with a sense of despair and agony. Meanwhile, those who had lived their lives in a way they found rewarding would view the demon’s news of eternal recurrence in an extremely positive way and rejoice at the news of being able to repeat their “greatest hits”. In this way the main aspects of perspectivism are very much apparent in Nietzsche’s tale of the demon’s news.This parcel of perspectivism included in the demon’s tale shows the connectedness of Nietzsche’s writings however it is not the only example of this phenomena found throughout the demon’s tale. Another example of this which was readily available in the demon’s tale was the presence of the idea of “become who you are” which was another central theme in Nietzsche’s writing. This idea is found in the demon’s tale in a slightly altered fashion as it perhaps corresponds better with “become what you value”. That is in light of the demon’s news, an even greater importance is placed on living one’s life (or at least the rest of it) in a way that would not completely fill one with dread were they given the news that it would be eternally repeated. This is in a way an advancement of Nietzsche’s earlier idea of becoming who you are in that a basic understanding of this concept is absolutely necessary to understanding the overall argument/moral of the demon’s tale. In this way Nietzsche’s concept about “becoming what you are” is just as if not more critical to the demon’s news as his ideas concerning perspectivism. The final aspect of the demon’s news which is important to examine is whether the notion of eternal recurrence makes life absurd or meaningful. Some would make the claim that since there is a possibility that you are already on “repeat” that this idea of eternal recurrence lends itself to the absurdity of life in that no matter what one hopes/accomplishes, they are subject to merely reaching the point at which they had already reached in their past life. Though this idea of being forced to repeat ones past repeatedly does carry with it a definite air of absurdity, this point is irrelevant to the overall effect of eternal recurrence. Though it is undoubtedly true that if one were living in a subsequent repeat life that said life would surely be absurd, however the greater issue lies in the possibility that this is not a repeat life but the very first “ride on the merry-go-round”. This is a much greater issue given that if this is ones first life, they would undoubtedly want to make the most of it were they bound to repeat it for eternity. For this reason, the even minute possibility that one’s current life is there first life is more than enough to support the idea that one should make the absolutely most of ones experiences, thus allowing life’s meaningfulness vastly outweigh the cloud of life’s absurdity which may approach as a result of the news of eternal recurrence.

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Friedrich Nietzsche’s Work Twilight of the Idol: Ana Analysis

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Friedrich Nietzsche, born in 1844 in what is now Germany, was one of the most well known philosophers of his time. Creating many philosophies that are still critiqued today, Nietzsche was known for his views on Christianity, nihilists, and the Germanic society, as well as many of his own philosophies, such as his famous phrase, “God is dead” and the creation of the term Ubermensch. Nietzsche completed most of his works in the late nineteenth century before suffering a mental breakdown and dying 10 years later in 1900. Just before his mental breakdown, Nietzsche completed Twilight of the Idols, a work that is known for giving a summary of Nietzsche’s most important views and will be the central work focused on throughout this paper.(Friedrich)

Twilight of the Idols opens with a declaration of war; a war on the idols. Not just the modern day idols, but the eternal idols as well. Nietzsche says that these idols must be hammered out so that we can hear their emptiness and we can move on to a greater and stronger society. The power of the preface of the essay shows that this is the end-all be-all of Nietzsche’s writing, and a final attempt to cover all of the issues that have interested him throughout his career as a philosopher. The essay doesn’t focus on a singular topic, but rather goes through many, starting with Nietzsche’s views on Socrates, introducing his idea of the “Four Great Errors”, criticizing the society of Germany, and many more of Nietzsche’s central ideas, which is what makes this essay such an important work of his. Many philosophers have responded to the ideas that Nietzsche brings up, some criticizing his radical thinking, and some agreeing with it. Throughout this paper I will share the responses of three people’s interpretations of his views, ranging from his views on Socrates, his theory of truth, and finally, his theory of nihilism.(Nietzsche)

The section titled “The Problem of Socrates” is not necessarily an attack on Socrates, but more an attack of his views on reason. Nietzsche had four propositions that he laid out for himself about attacking other views, and one of the propositions states that he never attacks persons, but rather uses them as a magnifying glass into their own views, which is precisely what he did with Socrates. Nietzsche viewed Socrates as a decadent; he viewed Socrates as a threat to philosophy because of Socrates’ worship of ideas that were viewed by Nietzsche as nihilistic and inimical to life. Nietzsche believed that Socrates viewed life as a disease and death as its cure, and that he had been suffering from a sickness his entire life. Nietzsche saw this as Socrates assigning some value to his life, and argued that a person can’t assign value to their life, because according to Nietzsche, the value of life cannot be estimated. Another problem that Nietzsche had with Socrates’ ideas was Socrates lived life through believing that with reason comes virtue, which causes happiness, or in other words, Socrates lived a life where reason alone provided the virtues of his life which thus provided happiness, which Nietzsche found life negating.(Nietzsche)

Daw-Nay Evans, a philosophy professor in the United States adds input to why Nietzsche’s views of Socrates are correct. Evans begins with looking at Nietzsche’s thoughts on Socrates’ use of dialectics throughout his life to the reason why Nietzsche was attacking Socrates’ views. Nietzsche always viewed the use of dialectics as a “last ditch weapon” and a way to weaken your opponent’s intellect. Evans sees this as a method used by Socrates to acquire power over his opponents and take revenge through the use of dialectics, and he believes that Nietzsche would say that is a form of sickness, because he forced his contemporaries to face their shortcomings, which shows a sign of weakness. Evans goes further to say that Socrates’ use of dialectics attempt to avoid the symptoms of his negative outlook on life. Evans believes that this is further proof to support why Nietzsche thought that Socrates was a decadent. In the second part of his essay, Evans looks for further justification for Nietzsche’s attack on Socrates, and to do so he looks at how Socrates emphasized reason as the way towards happiness. Evans believes that Socrates’ perspective on life was incompatible with what is necessary in life, and like Nietzsche, he said that what is necessary is the affirmation of life, something that Socrates didn’t practice. Evans says that Socrates didn’t find a balance in his life between rational and nonrational drives that would allow reason to have a less privileged position above other drives that deserve just as much attention. According to Nietzsche, this is another reason that shows that Socrates is a decadent, for he overemphasized reason, and misused it as well, as a way to gain control over his instincts by subjugating them to reason, which, according to Nietzsche, is both a symptom and a result of his effort to escape decadence. What Nietzsche said, as well as Evans’ support, lay out very good reasons for why Socrates led his life as a decadent, something that I will personally explore further.(Evans)

I mainly want to focus on Socrates’ declaration of life as meaningless, with the only way out as death. This is an extremely pessimistic statement, something that Nietzsche grouped with nihilistic statements, which makes me immediately begin to agree with both Nietzsche and Evans as far as Socrates being a decadent and basing life as having no value. A question that came up when I was reading this section was, what then is the value of life? As I said above, for Nietzsche, the value of life cannot be estimated, because in order to put value on one’s life, one would have to be situated outside of life itself; they would have to have a God-like perspective, something that I have a hard time grasping, and something that Nietzsche flat out says can’t happen, thus the value of life cannot be estimated. I agree with Nietzsche on this, because nobody can be sure of the value of life; nobody has any answer to why we are here or what the purpose of this life is. Instead of searching for some value for life and coming up empty handed such as what happened to Socrates, one should live their life by searching for their passions and interests, and from there you can gain your happiness. Trying to use reason to find the value of life is useless because in the end, there will be no point in knowing the value of life and you won’t have found any value. As Nietzsche said in response to Socrates’ comment, “Judgements, judgements of value concerning life, for it or against it, can, in the end, never be true: they have value only as symptoms; in themselves such judgements are stupidities.”(Nietzsche, pg 474).

Returning to Nietzsche’s four propositions that he laid out about his practice in war, one states, “I attack only causes against which I find no allies, where I stand alone- where I compromise only myself…”(Evans). The next argument that I will present by Nietzsche upholds to this proposition, and that argument is the theory of truth. Nietzsche held that truth isn’t important, but believed in the fact that since we think there is only one right way of considering a matter, it shows that we aren’t flexible in our thinking. Nietzsche thought that faith in truth showed that you practiced your life in an ascetic fashion, that truth was just a fiction with no inherent use. Nietzsche did not hold that there were no truths, because if there were no truths then it would be true that there are no truths, rather Nietzsche said that truth is not found, but instead created. He believed that when we called something true, we were endorsing it, not giving it the property of being true. He related truth to the word justice, saying that they only have real value in fight, but don’t actually give the statements under which they are said real properties, thus making them unimportant.(Tanesini)

Alessandra Tanesini, a philosophy professor at the University of Wales, looks deeper into Nietzsche’s works, to fully grasp what Nietzsche meant when he said that truth was unimportant. First, Tanesini makes the distinction between two different theories of truth, to help make her interpretation of Nietzsche’s argument more sound. Tanesini says that the first theory takes facts about being true as basic and explain facts about something to be true in terms of them. The second theory is exactly the opposite, saying that they consider facts about something to be true as basic and attempt to provide an explanation of being true in terms of them. In other words, the first theory says that there is some property of truth, while the second theory denies that there is some property of truth, but instead truth should be understood in terms of the practice of properly taking something to be true. Tanesini argues that Nietzsche held the second theory as his theory of truth, because it is the theory for skeptics, and she believes that is what Nietzsche was. She says that Nietzsche didn’t hold truth in high regards philosophically because many things could be called true, but that didn’t necessarily make them more important than so called false claims; she questioned whether true statements had any value in everyday life, which in her view could either be prudential or moral. There is no link between something being true and that claim being more useful than a false one, so nobody knows if a false claim might end up having more value than a true claim. Through that reasoning, Tanesini argues that truth doesn’t necessarily have any prudential or moral value, showing its unimportance. She finishes her argument by saying that the only value a claim can have is how life-enhancing it it, and the claim being true doesn’t add any value. The endorsement that you give the claim by saying that it is true has no value unless it increases the effectiveness of the world and the desires of the people in it. As far as Nietzsche’s theory of truth goes, he also touches on the problem of having faith in truth, something that Tanesini explained but failed to take a firm stance on, so I will provide my interpretation of Nietzsche’s argument.(Tanesini)

Nietzsche starts off by saying that faith in truth commits one to abstinence, which results in that person sucumbing to fatalism, and they no longer take responsibility for their values and claims; faith in truth is the last expression of the ascetic ideal. For Nietzsche, the ascetic ideals devalues human existence, because it no longer serves a purpose. This is where Nietzsche’s famous phrase, “God is dead” comes up. The ascetic lifestyle used to give meaning to human suffering by offering an afterlife, but as the Christian conscience has given way to the scientific conscience, and God has gone with it, so has the goal that was brought along with the ascetic lifestyle. The fatalism imposed by faith in truth that was brought about by the Christian conscience is now brought about by the scientific conscience, and with that Nietzsche believes comes nihilism, and nihilism, in Nietzsche’s view is dangerous to human life. For me, this claim makes sense because when I think of the scientific belief, I immediately think of there being no reason for life. I think this mindset that Nietzsche is trying to make his point through, although not shared by all believers in science, could be harmful to society. Faith in truth is a dangerous thing; it leads people to put their faith into something that could be a devaluation to society. One should lead life by taking responsibility for their truth claims instead of living in the ascetic way, for only then can the endorsements that people give to statements become a value to society as a whole. One must master the internal conflict of truth to live a life that is worthwhile, one must have the will to power and to think for oneself, and then their life will have value. As Nietzsche said, “Investigators…who know how to keep their hearts as well as their sufferings in bound and have trained themselves to sacrifice all desirability to truth, every truth, even plain, harsh, ugly, repellent, unchristian, immoral truth- for such truths do exist.”(Tanesini)

When one thinks of Nietzsche, the word nihilism comes to mind, and not because Nietzsche was one, but because he was on a quest to rid the world of them. Many who haven’t read Nietzsche’s work believe he is a nihilist because of his harsh judgements and negativity towards today’s world, but after reading and dissecting his works one discovers that he was exactly the opposite; he saw the world as a promising dawn of new beginnings. Nietzsche definitely had nihilistic beliefs throughout his life, such as his extremely harsh views on the Christian beliefs. Nietzsche proclaimed throughout his works that the Christian church was hostile to life and that God was the enemy of life. One of his maxims at the beginning of the Twilight of the Idols stated that man was a mistake of God and that God was a mistake of man.(Nietzsche Pg.466) Nietzsche also objected against many moral statements, saying things such as “there are altogether no moral facts” and “moral judgements are like religious ones; truth is designated in all sorts of things that we call imaginary”(Nietzsche Pg.486). Through all of Nietzsche’s nihilistic beliefs though, he had faith that we could redeems ourselves. By denying God, we deny the responsibility in God, and only then can we redeem the world. He believed that to make someone moral, one must have the unconditional will to its opposite. He believed that we needed to step away from what we are doing now, for we are doing it all wrong, and deny everything we have been doing religiously and morally, and the new dawn will begin. So in the end, although Nietzsche had many nihilistic arguments, I believe that he wasn’t a nihilist at all, but many still see him as being ambivalent.(Williston)

Byron Williston, a professor of philosophy at Wilfrid Laurier University, writer of Complete Nihilism in Nietzsche, believes that Nietzsche was ambivalent. His main argument in his essay is that although Nietzsche saw nihilism as a diseased transitional stage in human history, to see nihilism in this manner is to misinterpret its significance for Nietzsche’s own thinking on the concept of creation and its function in human willing. In other words, Williston thinks that Nietzsche saying that we are in a diseased transitional stage leaves open the possibility of a post-nihilistic future, which invites the reflection on a new race of humanity, what Nietzsche called the ubermensch, the race that will show none of the sickness that we show as a society. Williston seems to think that this utopian thinking can’t necessarily deliver us from the sicknesses, and he says that isn’t necessarily what we should be seeking as a society anyways. He argues, that based on the history of nihilism, that there is nothing stopping us from regressing back to our old state. In the past, our society has been in a transition phase, and regressed further into a state of nihilism, such as what happened in the Renaissance era, where we transitioned from transcendental nihilism to reactive nihilism, instead of being brought out of the nihilistic stage and brought into a future society. Nietzsche thought that in some cases these reactive values, such as getting rid of a god, were the most efficient means to furthering our society, but he also thought that to grow and expand, we needed to escape these reactive values. This is where Williston believes Nietzsche was ambivalent, which is what causes him to find some level of falsity in his arguments.(Williston)

Nietzsche was a philosopher that touched on countless topics, which is what makes reading his works so interesting. He holds such a strong opinion throughout his writing, which makes his writing assertive, and very convincing. Throughout much of his writing, I found my opinion changing constantly because of his arguments. Although I didn’t agree with all of his ideas, he got me to think, which is what I think he wanted his readers to do. I think that he believed that if society started to think and get out of their old ways, they could prosper and fulfill and give their lives meaning. Although his writing style was confusing, his main ideas were not. I didn’t grasp fully everything that he wrote down, but he got me to think about how I live my life, how I want to be living my life, and how those ideals will hopefully become my own ubermensch that will lead me into a prosperous life.

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Analyzing the Summary to Friedrich Nietzsche’s Book Twilight of the Idols

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Review of Text Summary: Twilight of the Idols, Pages 486-501 by Molly Frank

The author of the summary covered the entirety of the assigned text. There were no major sections of the text that were omitted. However, there were some explanations and examples offered by Nietzsche that would have granted greater clarity to the summary had they been included.

For example, while discussing the first of the “Four Great Errors”, Nietzsche gives multiple examples of what he sees as humans confusing cause and effect. The author of the summary includes the first example where Nietzsche asserts that it isn’t that virtuous men that act happily but that it is happy men that act virtuously. For the purposes of what Nietzsche is trying to prove, namely that Christian morality is not only false but also detrimental to humanity, it would be beneficial to add the example following the virtue-happiness example. This second example contrasts what Nietzsche says against what the church says. Christian morality claims that “generations are destroyed by license and luxury” (493) while Nietzsche reversing that saying “when a people approach destruction…then license and luxury follow from this” (493). Adding this example would better illustrate Nietzsche’s argument that Christian morality, and not the passions, is truly detrimental to humanity.

The author did convey the main conclusion of the text and the reasons offered to support it. There were, however, parts of the summary that could be considered slightly disorganized. Specifically, the second paragraph of the summary restates the first paragraph and is somewhat redundant. However, after comparing the organization of the summary to the organization of the original text, I fault Nietzsche’s writing style for this redundancy. When writing a summary, one wishes to maintain, more or less, the same flow of ideas as the original text while removing rhetorical flourishes and superfluous details. Some philosophers restate the same point in multiple different ways. The unintended consequence when summarizing such philosophers is that the summary risks itself becoming repetitive. To be clear, repetitiveness was only an issue at the very beginning of the summary, otherwise the summary effectively removes superfluous details and non-essential commentary.

In the paragraph following the third error the summary author states that “Nietzsche offers a psychological explanation” without telling the reader what the psychological explanation is of specifically. For someone that hasn’t read the original piece, it is confusing whether the psychological explanation applies only to the third error or to all the errors discussed by Nietzsche up to that point.

I did not find any portion of the text which were glaringly misrepresented. For the most part, the summary author gave a fair and concise summary of what Nietzsche was concluding and his reasoning for such conclusions.

Overall, this summary was very well done. The suggestions and criticisms I have put forth are relatively minor issues. After reviewing the summary, I believe that a reader with no prior knowledge of the text would get a fair, complete, and concise understanding of this passage from Nietzsche.

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Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche Analytical Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Beyond Good and Evil is one of the most famous works by Friedrich Nietzsche, written in 1886. This work is a kind of analysis that wills certainly to truth. His ideas are “beyond good and evil”; they are much deeper, and this is why they are so attractive and correct to lots of readers.

This work helps to discover not only the truth as it is, but also men’s truth that is crucially important for the society. With the help of a deep analysis of self-perception and religious issues, the reader gets a wonderful opportunity to analyze the truth and its components, to comprehend why truth is so important, and to investigate all spheres of life taking into consideration various perspectives.

Nietzsche was the only person who affirmed that “God is dead”. This statement appears in his several works. Even if Nietzsche did not concentrate on the idea of the dead God in his Beyond Good and Evil, that very thought is still considered to be present between the lines of the book, just expressed in other words.

In order to comprehend whether Nietzsche kept to such an idea of the dead God in all his works, and Beyond Good and Evil in particular, it is better to analyze his original works, written in German, and grasp the major idea of translation and the reproduction of the thoughts, and only than start analyzing them.

Friedrich Nietzsche is a German philosopher and writer, this is why it is necessary to underline that all his works were written in German and translated by other people in many languages in different ways. The point is that translated works may not represent the major idea that the original author had in mind.

For example, in The Gay Science (in German, it sounds as Die fröhliche Wissenschaft),Nietzsche said that “God ist tot!” All writers translated this very idea literary, as “God is dead!” Maybe, it is one of their big mistakes to translate the words with such a serious meaning in a literary way, which can easily confuse the reader.

Such translations make lots philosophers and Nietzsche’s followers in particular to think that Nietzsche was an atheist. However, it was not true. In spite of all facts, Nietzsche believed in God (if this were not true, he could hardly create his works and write about God and his role in every person’s life). If Nietzsche says that there is no God, it will make all his works and our life senseless. If God is already dead, he had to be alive some time.

And if he was alive, there should be some reasons for his death. In The Gay Science, Nietzsche mentions that God is dead because “we” have killed him. (p. 120) The first question that appears in my who all those “we” – all people or philosophers only. But, in fact, is it possible to kill God? Hardly! This is why, it is crucially important to think once again how it can be true that God is dead.

The German word tot may be also translated as obsolete or even no longer useful. Taking into account such meanings, it is possible to think that Nietzsche had another thought in mind that not the idea, which is know to lots of people. This is why it is possible to find out the similar ideas in Beyond Good and Evil.

The major theme in Beyond Good and Evil is the exploration of truth regardless of numerous religious, social, and moral aspects. According to Nietzsche, every person is able to comprehend truth on a certain level. Unfortunately, each belief may be comprehended in different ways and even makes a person blindly faithful.

Nietzsche underlines the fact that only men may understand and delve feels. Women are not able to complete the same task of the same level. Even more, Nietzsche scorns females from time to time. In Beyond Good and Evils, Nietzsche supposes that Truth itself is a woman, and lots of male philosophers have already tried to comprehend female nature and failed all their attempts. Female nature will never allow herself to be won by men. (p. 3)

In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche also tells about Nihilism and its effect on the exploration of truth. The author tells that one of the possible reasons, which do not allow to comprehend everything clearly, is the idea of the old God. (p. 22) And this is what is so crucially important in order to answer the major question – if Nietzsche uses the idea of the dead God in Beyond Good and Evil.

After we analyze, that the translations of the works by Nietzsche may not really correctly represent his ideas and intentions, and clear up that his idea of the dead God may be interpreted in English in several ways, we can surely say that Beyond Good and Evil is also one of the works, which are based on the Nietzsche’s idea that God is dead.

In this work, he underlines that all humans are biological creatures, which are ruled by certain instincts. In order to live a full life, they need to will to power and truth, create their own values, live according to them, and do not take into consideration the principle of other people, who are not as strong as they are.

Without any doubts, to hear about the death of God may shock lots of people. (Kuehls, 6) However, exactly such ideas attract the attention of many readers. Searching for truth is one of the most important things in the whole world. People spend lots of time in order to comprehend what is really truth and what is not.

Friedrich Nietzsche created a wonderful work Beyond Good and Evil to help people and show them one of the possible ways in such kind of searching. He divides people according to their genders and points out why he makes such a choice. He grounds each his idea with the help of historically prevalent points of view and explain it to the reader. It is crucially important to comprehend all his words not literary, as it constricts the meaning he wants to represent.

The death of God is the common idea for Nietzsche’s numerous works, and the reader should not accept it literary in order to understand that God’s death represents the crisis, people live in. In order to overcome this crisis, it is important to explore truth casting aside all moral, religious, and social principles. All people have the right of choice, and if their choice is to understand the truth of life, Nietzsche is eager to help them and show the right way.

Works Cited

Kuehls, T. Beyond Sovereign Territory: the Space of Ecopolitics. U of Minnesota Press, 1996.

Nietzsche, F. W. Beyond Good and Evil. Plain Label Books, 1917.

Nietzsche, F. W. The Gay Science. Cambridge University Science, 2001.

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Nietzsche: Death of God Research Paper

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

The question of whether God really exists has elicited heated debates and remained unsolved for as long as documented history can trace. This is mainly caused by the belief that unless man establishes the existence of God he can not really understand the purpose of his existence. The belief in God is what maintains world peace and morals as most people desist from violence and crime for the fear of God.

It is the realization of God’s role in the maintenance of orderliness that inspired Nietzsche to create a hypothetical situation where God did not exist.

He told a story of a mad man who ran around the market place searching for God. Many of the Atheists who were around at that time teased him. They asked the madman whether God was hiding or had lost his way like a child. Some asked whether God was afraid or whether he had ran away. They cajoled and laughed at him.

The mad man, after listening to their questions jumped into their midst saying that they had all killed God. They were all God’s murderers.

He thus asked a series of questions to the effect that it was almost impossible to mkill God but they had done it. He compared killing God to drinking up the sea, wiping away the horizon or unchaining the earth from the sun.

The Mad Man

The mad man concludes his speech by wondering how we humans could comfort them in the face of such a grave sin. What festivals of atonement or ceremonies could they perform to wipe God’s blood of themselves? Could they substitute God with themselves and perform his role? As his listeners reflected on his speech the mad man implied that mankind had killed God by disregarding his morals and yet distanced them from it. He later went to several churches and declared them tombs of God.

This story appeared blasphemous at first glance and as expected aroused a lot of criticism from the church at that time. Perhaps the story was meant to show how the degradation of morals had turned God into a far off notion. Nietzsche does not imply that God existed at one time and then died literary. The death of God represented the erosion of Christian values and Christian morality.

He essentially tries to foresee a future when such erosion will reach a level where there will be nothing to guide human actions. He therefore tried to create an alternative source of morals, which is why the madman asks whether man has tried to replace God. By deviating from the guidelines of Christianity men destroyed the very concept of God as we knew it.

Most people including the Christians of the time took “the death of God” literary. This put Nietzsche at odds with them. In defense he argued that God was only a notion in their mind which continued fading into an illusion with each passing day. He proposed that mankind needed an alternative source of morals which was not based on the wishes of a supreme being.

Since the idea of God is in peoples minds they might as well learn to live in peace with each other without fear of divine punishment. It is in this sense that the mad man said that people had murdered God or the notion of him thereof. This had happened through the hypocrisy of believers which discouraged potential believers. Their actions demeaned God to the extent that he became an object of ridicule the likes of the atheists at the market.

Basically Nietzsche was talking of the death of belief in the metaphysical realm. If metaphysics is not strong enough to sustain its influence on people’s lives, it is wiser to think ahead and prepare for a world run without it. He viewed metaphysics as an idea that was bound to collapse just like anything else with a beginning.

A world without God, to him, was not only possible but inevitable. This world would be less restrictive and would enhance mankind’s creativity and material progress. In this world human beings would no longer turn to heavens for guidance but would discover the strengths within them. This would usher in a new era in human existence where man would fully realize the potentials locked in the world. All values that guide humanity would be reviewed and a new code would guide their actions.

In Nietzsche’s opinion people do not accord the physical the attention it deserved. It is because of this devaluation of the world around them that they seek comfort in the spiritual and metaphysical ideas which are not compatible to human reality. They seek answers for the uncertain nature of life in abstract beings which limit the bounds of their creative potential. He proposed that the solution to this would come in the form of mankind learning to rely on itself for enlightment (Nietzsche 49).

Nietzsche, being one of the believers in the rule of the body over the body over the mind believed that ideas contained inhibited the body’s actions (72). Thus the body is the true self though it it can be denied that inner feelings drive it. This means that qualities like bravery, laziness, or physical exhaustion can greatly influence the physical condition. The idea of the mind operating on its own and controlling the body is just a manifestation of the body’s power.

This power is displayed as will or determination. The psychological part of a human being that controls these qualities is connected to the unconscious part of the mind. In his other woks he suggested that this subconscious part of the human mind is what some people referred to as God. What people referred to as visions are simply a connection of multiple ideas in the mind. The fragments of ideas gained in the course of ones lifetime.

In his work Thus Spoke Zarathustra He described the mind as one of the many components that were necessary for the body’s survival. He in effect proposed that the mind could survive on its own without the external influence of religion or the belief in God. “Behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother, there stands a mighty ruler, an unknown sage- whose name is self. In your body he dwells; he is your body (William 61).

There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom. And who knows why your body needs precisely your best wisdom?” (Nietzsche 49).

This view contrasted with the Christian doctrine that depicted the body as the very epitome of evil. The bible urges Christians to ignore the body’s desires since they eventually led to sin. By ignoring the body’s desires one has to ignore its abilities as well and seek to over-rely on the mind.

Nietzsche was brought in a Christian tradition. His radical views and materialistic ideas might have been a rebellion against tradition. He thus sought to change the view of the world as a sinful and dirty place. In the same way the body to him was a self sufficient entity with multiple abilities. To him there was no need to refer to the mind or the supernatural realm for answers that were easily available in the physical realm.

In the 19th century saw the popularization of the importance of the body and the physical world. Many scholars scandalized conservative beliefs and the mainstream morals.

Existence of God

The inevitable finality of life further drives people to seek the comfort of an imaginary life beyond the present which distracts them from their present day to day life. Thus, the idea of heaven or the after life blocks the full realization of exploitation of the world’s resources.

People concentrate so much on the imperfections of life and spend little time trying to make it easier by withdrawing into the utopian world where life is more perfect. Sensible people on the other hand take their troubles in stride and consider the realities of life as inevitable. Just like the non-believers in the market place we should not distract ourselves with the idea of the existence of God.

It is this attitude that Nietzsche called “the death of God”. They just went about their daily business and suspected that God was afraid of them or had simply deserted them. However man simply can not live without something to believe in.

With the rise of science many intellectuals tried merge it with their Christian values with disastrous results. The two were simply incompatible. Science does not accept anything that can not be supported by facts. The mad man in Nietzsche’s story wonders whether there is still an above an below.

This suggests that God and his existence can be supported by the physical world. The death of God would mean that the death o0f the physical world too. Our very existence is the proof that God exists. Therefore science does not substitute God but is just one of the supporting facts to the existence of God.

Without God, according to the mad man, there would be no above and below, no horizon, and no world. The material world in itself must have originated from somewhere beyond the physical real.

As Doctor Lewontin put it “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated” (Lewontin 28).

Science supports the existence of God rather than his death in more than one way. The laws of nature that scientists so much insist on must have been created or set in motion by an external force. A scientist takes the long route of tracing the interconnection between the forces of nature to arrive at the same conclusion with the mad man.

An astronomer will eventually conclude that the universe must have had a single beginning.

Since Islam and Christianity depict God as “ a being than which no greater can be conceived” it is only logical to argue that he too exists (Lewontin 132) The amazing nature of the universe which science itself confirms the existence of greater scientist who engineered it.

It is in this sense that the mad man asked “Who had given man the sponge with which to wipe away the horizon” scientists confirm that the earth is designed with such precision the if the earth and the sun were a bit further from or closer to each other than they now are, life on earth would be simply unbearable. Such precision defies the random nature through which evolutionists claim that the world came into being. The chances of a single protein molecule forming at random are simply impossible.

The philosophical law of cause and effect states that things can not simply come into being. The existence of the universe can therefore be looked at as an effect which must have occurred by a divine cause. Despite Nietzsche’s emphasis on the dynamic nature of the body and the physical realm, he confirmed the internal willpower is what drove the body.

This subconscious part that he equated to God is what the Bible refers to as conscience- the God in man. The existence of this part of man can be further supported by universality of some of the laws and values that are dear to man. Regardless of race, culture and time in history murder, vices such as stealing, lying are prohibited.

The dates provided by Darwin’s theory do not concur with the dates that an astronomer would give to explain the formation of the world. Molecular biologists eventually agree that no amount of time would see to the complex make up of cells. Philosophers would eventually agree that at the heart of science is a set of laws that makes objects not fall upwards. These laws must have been put in place by a force beyond the physical realm (William 136).

Believing in this force would call for adherence to faith which contrasts to the law of logic that is central to science. While religion has done its best to accommodate science the latter seems to thrive on the denial of the former.

The world, at Nietzsche’s time and today, relies more on the scientific-technological realities and would rather ignore the possibility of the existence of a force beyond the physical world. Science has become the basis of truth and seems to come to the fulfillment of his prophecy.

This seems to further confirm the swiftly approaching death of God in people’s minds. Religion continues to adjust itself to accommodate science which relentless strives to annihilate it (Gabriel 112).

Nietzsche cunningly put the ideas he opposed into a madman’s mouth. The mad man may not have been literary crazy since his thoughts were coherent and sensible. What made him look mad to the crowd was that he had realized how people had denied God without realizing it (Altizer 118). While many were aware that God was no more, few realized that it was they who had killed him.

Some of them still went about their business as if God was still supreme, not willing to accept the fact that their actions were a continuous denial of his existence. By developing a science-based system of thought and belief the people had slowly edged God out of their lives. What remained was just a shell of rituals that people went through out habit and tradition.

Conclusion

The whole parable seems to have been directed at people’s hypocritical ways. Humanity had ceased to act in the ways of religion but continued it give lip service to God. They practiced science and preached religion. As a result the world became so full of chaos as a result of people trying to subscribe to two opposing doctrines. The mad man further compares the chaos to the world being unchained from the sun.

Nietzsche also seems to support the idea that God is a product of a fantasy that all mankind escapes to. He therefore seems to be for that man should either conform completely to religion or abandon it instead of slowly killing God. He thus proposed ways of approaching both options.

Works Cited

Altizer, Thomas. Radical Theology. London: Mac Milan, 1936.

Gabriel, Robert. The Culture of our Post-Christian Era. London: Random, 1968

Lewontin, Fredrick, Billions and Billions.NY: Random Publishers, 1997.

Nietzsche,Friedrich .The Gay Science. NY: Vintage Publishers,1882.

William, Edwin. Death of God. Priceton. Princeton, 1972.

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Nietzsche vs Descartes: Rational Views – Comparative Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Rationalism is the study of reason in philosophy. In a close analysis, we are going to examine the rational views of two philosophers, namely, Rene Descartes and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

Their works reveal a great application of rationalism in similar and contrasting approaches. One of the greatest philosophical ideas that Descartes invented is the doubt theory. Nietzsche uses a similar approach in the introspection of his maxims. In his hyperbolical skepticism, Descartes arrives at the conclusion of the irrefutable existence of thought. Logically linked to the existence of thought, is therefore that of life.

Descartes says that the fact of his thinking is evidence that he is living. In his works, Nietzsche, on the other hand uses a similar degree of skepticism on the maxim of idleness and self-evaluation. An individual who doesn’t engage in physical tasks would easily be said to be lazy by the society. The mental task of self-examination taking place in his mind goes unnoticed.

Descartes and Nietzsche do not hold similar views on religion. They lay open a fundamental critique of the existence of God. Nietzsche in the seventh maxim asks whether man is a result of the erroneous work of God or God is the error of man. Descartes poses a rather hideous question on God in his Cartesian theory.

He asserts that God’s creation may not have been intended to deceive, which is an indication of imperfection therefore begging the question of what is possibly the origin of error. Descartes tries to negate that the human faculties can be the source of errors as they are God’s own creation.

This question is inadequately addressed by another renowned philosopher, Plato, who presupposes that errors are as a result of a given deprivation of knowledge and not necessarily a reversal of a certain virtue. Plato’s explanation does not however satisfy Descartes who finally derives a more rational theory. According to Descartes, the cause of errors is deeply entrenched in knowledge and will. In his theory, Descartes argues that the human intellect is limited unlike God’s which is infinite.

This means that the human mind is insufficient in terms of the ideas it can be able to contain. (Descartes Lecture 8A page 45). Choice or will on the other hand is not dependent on content like the human mind but the ability to accept, refuse, welcome or shun. He continues to say that error occurs when the will goes beyond the human intellect because it appeals to things beyond its comprehension.

It is worthwhile noting that the religious theories advanced by both Nietzsche and Descartes have received enormous criticisms within the field of academia and beyond. Descartes has been adversely branded an atheist.

The philosophical theory of Nietzsche on religion has to some extent even compromised his reputation. Similarly, the maxim that asks whether God is dead by Nietzsche is hugely considered atheist. Nietzsche argues that the continued secularization of Europe and the leap forward of science is largely to blame for the demise of the Christian God.

One of the most unmistakable aspects of Descartes and Nietzsche in their philosophical works is their fight for reason .Dualism in and outside philosophy implies a relationship between two entities. Descartes advances the theory that the human body is a constituent of two main parts namely, the mind and body. He argues that the body’s operation conforms to the laws of motion which are entirely governed by physics.

He continues to say that the mind remains motionless and cannot be extended meaning that it does not comply with the law of physics. In his conclusion, he draws that the body is controlled by the mind but the body can at certain instances control the mind as the case of passion. Nietzsche on his part is seen to use the concept of dualism to portray a different philosophical idea about the real and the world of imagination. (Nietzsche 13).

He postulates that there can be no separation between the real and the apparent world as this would demonstrate a sharp decadence of morality in the society. A closer examination of the two philosophers regarding the concept of dualism and how each uses it to rationally advance their theories reveals two things. Whereas Descartes uses the mind and soul to argue his case, Nietzsche employs the two worlds, the real and the imagined.

This is how they diverge but in terms of the moral dimension they give their theories on dualism, Descartes and Nietzsche converge at a point of agreement. Related to this, is the fact that Nietzsche is seemingly blaming Plato as the latter’s ideas are to blame for the decadence in morals of the world for the time leading up to Nietzsche’s time. Nietzsche says that the dualism is transformed into Christianity which is later secularized.

A closer look at the maxims by Nietzsche reveals a philosopher who adopted a radical approach to rationalism unlike Descartes who is evasive especially on the existence of God. Descartes says that the existence of God is not a subject of doubt. According to him, God is extremely powerful and his intelligence is unparalleled. He says that God’s presence in the world is eternal and that he is independent. Nietzsche makes his position clear on morality.

His claim is that there is no measure that can evaluate or judge a human being and that the idea of God is a deterrent to existence. Only in disowning God, according to Nietzsche shall humankind free himself. Another significant drift between the two philosophers however comes to the fore in the concept of the senses. Descartes proofs using the wax demonstration that the senses pale into insignificance against the mind.

Descartes is at a loss as to how the power of sight is overshadowed by the power of judgment that rests in the mind. Nietzsche on the contrary is against philosophers who are not accommodative to change and who do not regard the senses. According to Nietzsche, a sense is not deceptive. He is against the use of reason which is full of falsification. Nietzsche uses the nose to demonstrate the effectiveness of the power of the senses.

Descartes formulated the theory of fallacies which in principle is very similar to the theory of errors that Nietzsche adopted in his philosophical works. In his theory, Descartes negates everything that happens and assumes it’s false or it’s a lie. (Descartes Lecture 9A page 27).

That meant that everything that happens is questionable and can be refuted. The same statement can also be right depending on the perspective in which it is looked at. This indicates that a statement could be true or false at the same time. On the other side, Nietzsche unveiled a theory that was developed on the basis of four errors. The first error revolves around the confusion between causes and effects. (Nietzsche 23).

Most people cannot differentiate between the causes of a certain phenomenon and its effects e.g. an accident or a disease. The human being believes in erroneous causality which is Nietzsche’s second error. In his explanation, Nietzsche cautions us against apportioning blame on God or the world of spirits yet we are to blame for our own wrongs or sins. (Nietzsche Lecture 1 page 39).

The third error that Nietzsche explores is on the belief that human beings have in imaginary causes. This, he explains, is an acquisition of knowledge from known phenomena to the unknown which gives one a feeling of consolation and strength because one acquires an explanation that he or she didn’t have.

Nietzsche further explains that religious and moral issues rely heavily on imaginary reasons other than the real ones. (Clarke 61). This, he says, results in an escape from rationality. The fourth error that Nietzsche discovers was deeply rooted in the concept of free will. Free will is wrought in systems that are charged with the dispensation of justice and punishment. This system has to be perpetually on a mission to assert its authority and has to bring wrongdoers to book thanks to already laid statutes of administration.

Nietzsche takes exception with the doctrine as it was established to purposefully find fault and hence justly deliver punitive action against the offenders. The origin of the whole doctrine of free will originated from heads of communities who wanted to bestow upon themselves the power to punish. According to Nietzsche, the concept of free will became a vicious tool of the ruling class.

To have an indefatigable spirit in the fight for reason is the ultimate goal of any rationalist philosopher. Nietzsche and Descartes have left the indelible mark of being true fighters of their course. According to Nietzsche, acquisition of knowledge is not good enough but to act upon knowledge is what differentiates rationalist philosophy from any other. (Nietzsche Lecture 2 page 12).

Knowledge only becomes relevant when it is guided by wisdom. Descartes sought to clarify that apart from God whose position in the philosophical pedestal is distinct; there exist other ideas that qualify as rational. We can therefore draw a degree of compromise between Descartes and Nietzsche concerning God and wisdom.

The two philosophers seem to agree that for reason to reach the peak, within which it becomes useful, there has to be a regulatory mechanism to guide the knowledge. As in the case of Nietzsche, wisdom falls into place, and for Descartes, God’s place becomes eternal.

The ideas that are compliant with rationalism apart from those about God, according to Descartes, border on mathematical inventions that he himself made. (Brown 46). Descartes pioneered great inventions in analytical geometry, in optics and in the laws of refraction. Nietzsche saw his works as challenging, same as Descartes.

Nietzsche in his eighth maxim on war developed a pursuit of reason guided by a war-like approach. Important in our analysis, is Nietzsche’s maxim on war in which he says that the experiences that do not destroy him, make him a better person. The maxim finds its match in Descartes’ firm belief in Catholicism and God, even though he sought to question the existence of God given his mission as a rationalist philosopher.

That Descartes and Nietzsche have made an identity for themselves as distinguished philosophers aligned to the rationalistic school of thought cannot be overstated. We can arrive at the conclusion that the two have independently made achievements that are highly qualified in reason.

While some of their views especially on the existence of God are sharply divergent, we have been able to draw similar theoretical standpoints on their application of reason as in the case of Descartes’ dualism of soul and mind and Nietzsche’s dualism of the real and the imagined world. It therefore becomes necessary for any scholar of philosophy to examine the works of Descartes and Nietzsche comparatively to understand the underlying rational perspectives.

Works Cited

Brown, Deborah. Descartes and the Passionate Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Clarke, Desmond. Descartes’s Theory of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Nietzsche,Friedrich.Twilight of the Idols.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Nietzsche,Friedrich.Thus Spoke Zarathustra.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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Nietzsche’s Zarathustra is a Camusian Absurd Hero, That’s to Say He Has No Hope Term Paper

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

As an attempt to address some phenomenon in human life, some philosophers have contradicted or dismissed claims of other philosophers. Concern of human suicide is a philosophical problem that has elicited different claims among philosophers. Many philosophers have provided diverse explanations for this event in human life. In their claim, they have used existing philosophy to build their own or conceive a fresh.

Being a philosopher, Nietzsche provides an in-depth view of suicide in his various works, which delineate suicidal motive. He uses a supernatural character, Zarathustra, to explain the concept of suicide in humankind. Additionally, Camus developed a different perspective of suicide.

Hence, this paper focuses on the interpretation of Nietzsche Zarathustra in terms of the relationship between absurdity and suicide as described by Camus.

The Problem of Suicide

Camus methods of resolving the Nietzsche’s problem of suicide, and absurd reasoning, might have seemed very surprising to Nietzsche (Camus 3). This may be the case since Camus feels honored to presuppose and confront the complete deficiency of meaning in entire human life.

Consequently, after posing his concern of suicide and life value, he notes that the voluntary death process indicates acknowledgement of the importance of suffering, and the lack of a weighty reason for living. Therefore, Camus (6) asserts that the relationship between the absurd and suicide, the actual extent to which suicide serves as an answer to the absurd, represents the true subject of his essay.

Camus does not seek refuge in any perspective of the ascetic ideal, which Nietzsche has added meaning in every life of human up to the present. As Camus works his path towards the answer, he emphasizes on the question whether it is achievable to appreciate life as worth living without invoking a single ascetic concept that undervalue life.

These ascetic concepts include God, guilt, sin, morality, eternal freedom, soul, ideal worlds, and afterlife. He argues that all such ascetic concepts appeal to the concern of a sacrificial mind.

Life Affirming Suicide

Nietzsche focuses on reversing Schopenhauer’s appraisal, and thus keen on reviewing the problem of suicide from the viewpoint of life-affirmation. Thus, he had expressed the perspective that people should accept the wishes of others, who prefer to be deceased, in the Zarathustra speech on the death preachers.

Zarathustra in response to those of the view that life is typical suffering says that, “see to it, then, that you cease … and let this be the doctrine of your virtue … thou shalt kill thyself!” (Loeb 168). Later in the Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche gives the same advice to Schopenhauer, which Loeb feels can extend to Camus.

Nietzsche argues that it is not under the control of a person to thwart their birth although humans can correct this error, because it is in other cases an error. Thus, when one commits suicide, he or she does the most worthy possible alternative.

Life itself gets more benefit from this course than from life of anemia, renunciation, and many other virtues. The victim has freed others from sight of him or her, and has freed life from hostility. Pessimism first ascertains through the self-refutation by the pessimist. He or she must advance the logic, rather than negate life simply by illustration and will.

Nietzsche argues that the pessimist who desires death conducts a life-affirming and life-enhancing action by killing him/herself. This view aligns with those of Camus and Schopenhauer (Loeb 166).

Life itself gains an advantage from the suicide of pessimism, and the suicide frees life from hostility. Even though the pessimist does not deserve to live, he or she earns the right to live through his or her life-affirming and life-supporting suicide.

If an observer compares life-affirmation with life- and self-preservation, one comes to believe in the strangeness and contradiction of Nietzsche’s reference of the suicide of a decadent. However, this perspective ignores his differentiation of the things, which benefit life from those that benefit specific creatures.

Nietzsche would agree, for sure, that there are life instincts in the degenerate that sustain his live against his or her wish to die. Nevertheless, such forces are lasting and partial for the benefit of people at large. Despite their efforts to keep the degenerate alive, they are helpless with respect to the underlying disease, misery, and fatigue, which make him or her constitutionally incapable of affirming life.

To transcend his or her death wish, the degenerate does not have an option but to live in rebellion against the unsuitable life he or she does not fit. Since the lasting forces that sustain the life of a specific living decadent work against the profits of life, they have overwhelming influence of human life (Loeb 167).

Generally, these forces keep alive a person who tends to oppose life and whose existence represents opposition to life. The decadent has only one option of affirming life in general, which is to deny by ending his or her own life

Nietzsche draws some fundamental conclusions from this course of thinking, which contradicts the usual and the innocuous understanding of his insistence on life-affirmation. The subsequent paragraphs will pivot on three of the conclusions he drew. First, he argued that the decadent has just two alternatives of life-affirming suicide or life-depriving survival that hinders the decadent to live in a manner that affirms life.

Philosophers perceive Nietzsche as upholding the life-affirming life for all, besides counseling pessimist to alter or enhance the life-denying perspective of their lives. Nonetheless, despite his intent to promote life-affirmation of decadents, Zarathustra appears to propagate and intensify the decadents’ innate drive to self-destruction.

Thus, he emphasizes in the Twilight of the Idols that the optimal life interest of ascending life requires that the decadent should push down and away degenerating life. In addition, he later writes in the Antichrist that, “the weak and ill-constituted shall perish: first principle of our philanthropy.

And one shall help them to do so” (Loeb 169). This is absurd as in mainstream public, a person who encounters a decadent anticipating to commit suicide should help the decadent in reversing negative thoughts of suicide.

The second conclusion concerns his quest for a counter-ideal to the ascetic-ideal. In support of this conclusion, he asserts that the decadent is unable to affirm life despite ascetic ideal conferring meaning to his or her life. This implies that meaning is a survival precondition, although it does not ensure life-affirmation.

Therefore, a counter-ideal must offer the form of meaning that sustains life-affirmation. Nonetheless, because Nietzsche views suicide as the only life-affirming alternative for decadents, the counter-ideal must symbolize a new meaning that will overpower any lasting life-preserving forces and facilitate the decadent to succumb to their prevailing suicidal instincts.

This implies that the mainstream understanding of the counter-ideal cannot be proper. The optional non-ascetic ideal “must be able to bear the burden of answering the question, ‘Suffering for what?’ Thereby, impeding suicidal nihilism, because that is the existential task the ascetic ideal discharges” (Leiter 287).

However, counter-ideal hinders the capacity of the ascetic ideal to prevent the occurrence of suicide among decadents. In other words, the counter ideal must object the ability of the ascetic ideal to preserve the blank life of decadents who make up a destitute and opposition to life.

While the ascetic ideal represented a trick life played during its struggle against the imperative death wish of a decadent, the counter-ideal must reveal that trick and simultaneously enhance and justify the appropriate desire of the decadents to commit suicide.

Counter Ideal of Zarathustra

In his third essay, Nietzsche used most of his time disintegrating and reviewing the dominant ascetic ideal while dismissing plausible candidates for a novice counter-ideal. However, he did not propose his idea of the construct of the new counter-ideal (Loeb 172).

As a result, many scholars have found his conclusion as unconvincing, evasive, or a depiction of his character as the best at disintegrating than advancing a hypothesis. Nevertheless, scholars should consider Ecce Homo argument, which is in post-Zarathustra books, as presumed to be wholly critical and preliminary to the positive solutions, which Zarathustra had proposed in advance in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

The reason for this attention is his testimony at the end of the essay of Genealogy that he belonged to his decadent age, and thus, is not healthy, strong, courageous, or free enough to speak with conviction on behalf of the requisite counter-ideal to object the ascetic ideal.

Conversely, he argues that he had to visualize a prospect man with the requisite inspiring wickedness and self-convinced intellectual malice. In this context, Nietzsche recognizes the immoralism of the counter-ideal and confesses to be less courageous or free to advocate it.

According to him, it will take a man belonging in the future era to liberate his contemporaries from the past ideal such as intense nausea, the will to oblivion, and the nihilism. Since Nietzsche argues that the decadence of humankind induces the great nihilism that represents humankind weariness over its own decadence. Hence, the life-affirming aspect is necessary in the facilitation of suicide in humans.

In Ecce Homo analysis of the Genealogy, Nietzsche states that ascetic ideal has immense influence due to ideal independence in spite of the harm associated with it. Noteworthy, counter-ideal was nonexistent until Zarathustra was conceived. Nietzsche attested that the counter-ideal did not originate from him, thus, he did not explain it in the range of work that projected his perspective, not even in the Genealogy.

In light of his conclusion of the second essay, he asserts that it is proper for him to keep silent to avoid interfering with the ascetic ideal than be an atheistic Zarathustra (Loeb 172). Presumably, he could interfere because by writing in his perspective, he would be too afraid to express the sublimely evil and rationally malicious perspective of the desired counter-ideal.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra portrays Nietzsche’s imaginary man of the future compelling human to transcend itself and to determine its own demise. In an introductory exhortation reechoed at various key instances throughout the book, Zarathustra urges humans to accomplish their biggest experience finally, one that will allow them to overcome self.

This symbolizes the hour of intensive disdain towards self when humans appreciate all that they highly treasure concerning self, such as a rationale for existence, poverty, grime, and distorted contentment.

Speaking from a position of a redeemer of grand love and alluding to the beatitudes in the Gospel, Zarathustra declares his love for the overall self-destructive humans desiring to kill themselves and those who can access means to achieve that objective.

Speaking as a preacher of repentance, a position that does not suit him, Zarathustra cautions humans about the consequences of preserving self, disgraceful insignificance, sterility, and hardships that accompany lasting survival.

Criticism of Nietzsche by Camus is rather different from criticisms of other critics. Camus does not deny the importance of transmutation of principles and virtues.

Although in the aspect of nihilism and Nietzsche’s methods for attaining it, Camus creates another transmutation in his writing, which maintains awareness of contemporary and cultural relevance. Camus has the conviction of Zarathustra moving from the cave to the society with a view of provoking it to continue with the rebellion for the cause of a genuine self.

Conclusion

Evidently, scholars do not accept most of the initial public speeches of Zarathustra, for they refuse to see or hear, but they use much of their time and efforts in attempting to explain opening command of Zarathustra. Certain philosophers question the meaning of the terms that Nietzsche uses, such as Untergang.

Moreover, other philosophers argue that the Zarathustra’s domination is simply psychological, spiritual, or metaphorical. Yet, some philosophers also claim that retraction and deconstruction of Zarathustra’s initial domination occur as the book advances.

Yet still, some dismiss the whole book as forsaken by Nietzsche when he translated it into the optimal phase of his real masterpieces including the Genealogy. Thus, Nietzsche Zarathustra is a hero who has no hope in life.

Works Cited

Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. New York: Vintage International, 1991. Print.

Leiter, Brian. Nietzsche on Morality. New York: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Loeb, Paul. Nietzsche on Time and History: Suicide, Meaning and Redemption. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008. Print.

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Nietzsche as a Reflection of the Forces of Science and Atheism in Europe Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Smith (5) defines theism as the belief in one or more gods. Atheism, is therefore the absence of belief in the existence of god and one who posses such a belief is termed as an atheist. This belief was rampantly witnessed in Europe especially in the last quarter of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century. This essay argues for Nietzsche as an accurate reflection of the forces of science and atheism in Europe.

Arguments for Nietzsche reflection of forces of science and atheism in Europe

Nietzsche views modernity not just as advancement but also as detrimental and precarious break with tradition. His new belief is associated with its ability of using and governing science, politics and religion for the sake of high culture. It is however important to note that, statements opposing religion usually outdo the statements in support of religion and therefore it is easy to lay stress on his anti-religious view.

As much as he is regarded as an atheist who celebrates in the death of god, he calls it the greatest manifestation in a hundred acts reserved for the next two centuries in Europe, that is, the most horrifying, uncertain, and possibly the most hopeful of all spectacles. In fact, he calls for an abolition of Christianity, a sort of cycling out. He further calls for an antichrist movement to save the world from Christians’ dilapidation.

Nietzsche also asserts the limitation that Christianity promotes buy calling it “religion of pity.” He writes, “What is to be feared, what has a more tragic outcome than any other disaster, is that man should inspire not profound fear but intense sickness; also not great fear but great pity” (Nietzsche, 122-3). He believes that this pity, endorsed by Christianity, only initiate further weakness in the weak and that it only comforts the weak in their miserable situations and persuade them to remain there, not aspiring to greater feats.

From his feelings that Christianity has become a mere tradition for his generation, but has lost its religious meaning and the reasons behind it, one would easily conclude that Nietzsche is truly advocating for atheism in the Europe. For him, Christianity simply postulates a denial of man’s instincts, which are directed towards strength.

While other philosophers value Christianity and even attempts to tear away the peculiarity of “Christendom” and return to more genuine Christianity, Nietzsche sees it as irredeemable. In fact, May (14) presented Nietzsche’s argument against Christianity in Nietzsche’s ‘Ethics and his War on Morality.’

Writing that, “Christianity brings about weakness, dilapidation, and misery and that its claim to promote love, light and life is simply false.” (39). He further argues that Christianity’s basic principle, the “ascetic ideal” denies one’s natural ability to be stronger, enhanced, and more powerful.

Nietzsche also believes that community is a further fault of Christianity rather than a benefit, as a Christian might believe, he further claims that it does not advance one’s own greatness, but concerns itself with the good of other Christians, and as such reduces itself and its capabilities by doing so (123). Additionally, Nietzsche associates Christianity with a sort of slaves or direct morality, which is composed of the “violated, oppressed, suffering, and not free” (Nietzsche, 207).

In conclusion, it is evident that Nietzsche wants us to believe in the philosophy, and that his program is possible and essential. His argument is that this is the only means to express the course of progressively more debauched West. He however has a lot to contribute to the debate on politics and religion, if only because he disputes peoples’ liberal responsiveness on the need to disconnect church and state.

Works Cited

May, Simon. Nietzsche’s Ethics and his War on ‘Morality’. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil, Trans. Walter Kaufman. New York: Random House, 1966.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Genealogy of Morals, Ed. Walter Kaufman. New York: Random House, 1967.

Smith, George. Atheism: The Case against God. Los Angeles: The Macmillan. 2003.

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