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> Why is Nietzsche so popular?
zhenka11230
post Jan 15, 2008, 03:31 PM
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I cannot even regard Nietzsche as philosopher as his works follow no logic or scientific evidence. All he does it throws word riddles out of the blue and to me it is extremely annoying. I had listened to over 12 hours of lectures on Nietzsche and found his ideas interesting but reading him is impossible.

Whenever i pick up his work, within few minutes i put it down out of boredom. It takes me so long to just make sense of his sentences to in the end be disappointed in the idea. He criticizes and criticizes but finds it unnecessary to actually logically or scientifically disprove a philosophy, instead he just claims they are wrong. To me his logic reads like -- he is wrong, therefore i am right.

I find it hard to believe that i do not posses intellect to understand him as i understood all his ideas when i listened to lectures.

To me philosophers should resemble people like Carl Sagan or John Searle in their understanding of both philosophy, science and ability to coherently present material within short amount of words in a logical, clear manner.

I suspect Nietzsche is thought of as genius for a simple psychological fact that was discovered by gurus long time ago; the more ambiguous and hard to unravel you writing is- the more sophisticated it seems to the reader even when idea is in fact simple or nonsense.

Perhaps abstract is simply not for me as i also hate abstract art as it makes no sense to me.

Anyone else feels the same way about Nietzsche? Any comments?
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Hudzon
post Jan 15, 2008, 07:04 PM
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The issue here isn't what he wrote, but the idea behind it.

It's true that when I first read Zarathustra my impression was similar to yours, but just because his writing style is a bit confusing (it was written a century ago, of course it will be confusing) doesn't mean that the message that he is trying to convey is bad.

And the reason he mainly criticizes is because from his own philosophy the first step to the overman is to destroy the old and flawed way of thinking. Once you do that, you'll have to create the new one on your own.
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zhenka11230
post Jan 15, 2008, 08:37 PM
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I understand what he sais, i just don't like the fact that he doesn't find it necessary to prove any oh his points.
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maximus242
post Jan 15, 2008, 10:26 PM
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That's odd, I rather enjoyed reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

I thought the way he used story telling to convey ideas was wonderful.

One of the easiest ways for people to understand something is through story telling. A lot of people complain about his writing being complex and hard to understand but I didn't have any trouble with it.

I don't really know what all the fuss is about.
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zhenka11230
post Jan 15, 2008, 10:53 PM
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To each his own i guess.
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Trip like I do
post Jan 16, 2008, 12:12 AM
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"Why is Neitzsche so popular?"

.... beats me dude! I personally got no use for him!
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Rick
post Jan 16, 2008, 09:06 AM
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Nearly everyone has a "philosophy." Nietzsche certainly did, but Nietzsche was not a philosopher--he was a social critic. His degree was in "letters" and his contemporary philosophers did not regard him as a philosopher.

The British contemporaries especially disliked Nietzsche. The English translations of his work deliberately make him sound pompous and are nearly incomprehensible to a modern reader. Remarkably, there are many English translations of Nietzsche in print that go back to that time about 100 years ago. If you want to read Nietzsche, be sure to look for a modern translation. The difference is amazing.
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Cassox
post Jan 17, 2008, 06:33 AM
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Part of the reason his language usage seems so strange is that it's been translated from the original German. Try reading Payot, or Freire. It's the same thing. It's all grammatically correct, but hard as F**K to read quickly. If you want to criticize for language use, try Bucky Fuller. Dude spoke English but I doubt most people get what he's trying to say. That's because ( according to Korzybski) language is the map, not the terrain. We don't have the language to express some concepts concisely, thus there exist these confusing versions. People have had over a hundred years now to analyze and debate Nietzsche so they've come up with a better way of explaining his concepts than even he had. No surprise. Socrates didn't use words like "meta cognition."
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boots
post Jun 20, 2008, 03:47 PM
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I think Nietzsche is a lot like Thoreau or Emerson, in that his ideas are very transcendental.

"Among Transcendentalists' core beliefs was an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical and is only realized through the individual's intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions."
-Wikipedia

Nietzsche as well as the Transcendentalists believed that if we lived a certain way and according to certain principles, we would be more fulfilled and enlightened, and therefore more satisfied with our lives.

Nietzsche called this state of transcendence Overman.

"All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment…" -Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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boots
post Jun 21, 2008, 12:33 PM
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Wow, I just started reading the Kaufmann's introduction to his translation of The Gay Science and he mentions Emerson's influence on Nietzsche.

"Emerson was one of Nietzsche's great loves ever since he read him as a schoolboy...He not only read him, but also copied dozens of passages into notebooks and wrote extensively on the margins and flyleaves of his copy of the Essays."

"Emerson's coinage 'The Over-soul' (the title of one of the essays) surely influenced Nietzsche's choice of the therm Ubermensch--and this makes my [Kaufmann's] translation, 'over-man' doubly appropriate."

Pretty interesting.
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Cassox
post Jun 21, 2008, 12:40 PM
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Plus I think it important to recognize that explaining philosophical ideas in the form of a story or dialogue is nearly traditional. Plato's republic is another example. In terms of proving his point... what are you looking for?

What ideas do you feel need proving?
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Lindsay
post Jun 21, 2008, 01:56 PM
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Before I comment, with caution, on Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) I ask myself: Other than what I have read about him , what do I really know about him as a person?

Will Durant, THE STORY OF PHILOSOPHY, writes that he was, "the child of Darwin and the brother of Bismarck."

He ridiculed the English evolutionists and the German nationalists. He wrote that life is a struggle and that strength is the ultimate virtue...that weakness the only fault. He also wrote that the "good" is that which survives and that the "bad" is that which gives way and fails.

Interestingly, his father, who died when he was about five, was a Protestant minister. So were his grandfather and his great grandfathers--on both sides.

I find it interesting that he said that we ought to treat life as, "a work of art". But he was an autocrat, not a democrat. I think he was also a nihilist, but lived a very moral and saintly kind of life. No wonder he died insane.




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Rick
post Jun 24, 2008, 04:18 PM
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He died insane from the syphilis he got from seducing peasant girls. Fortunately, Richard Wagner's wife rebuffed his advances and Wagner threw him out of his house.
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Lindsay
post Jun 24, 2008, 06:52 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jun 24, 2008, 04:18 PM) *

He died insane from the syphilis he got from seducing peasant girls. Fortunately, Richard Wagner's wife rebuffed his advances and Wagner threw him out of his house.
Rick, where did you get this info? Tell us more.
The following bio does mention his serious health problems and that he probably had syphilis.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche/
BTW, did he abandon respect for all religions, or just the organized kind?
Did he not admire the cult of Dioyus--Bacchus? Having to do with the love of wine. Was he into alcohol or other drugs?
I just read that he became an atheist.
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Rick
post Jun 26, 2008, 11:12 AM
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From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

"... Nietzsche philosophizes from the perspective of life located beyond good and evil, and challenges the entrenched moral idea that exploitation, domination, injury to the weak, destruction and appropriation are universally objectionable behaviors. Above all, he believes that living things aim to discharge their strength and express their “will to power” — a pouring-out of expansive energy that, quite naturally, can entail danger, pain, lies, deception and masks. As he views things from the perspective of life, he further denies that there is a universal morality applicable indiscriminately to all human beings, and instead designates a series of moralities in an order of rank that ascends from the plebeian to the noble: some moralities are more suitable for subordinate roles; some are more appropriate for dominating and leading social roles. What counts as a preferable and legitimate action depends upon the kind of person one is. The deciding factor is whether one is weaker, sicker and on the decline, or whether one is healthier, more powerful and overflowing with life."

Is there any wonder that amoralists like Adolf Hitler, Ayn Rand, Libertarians, and neocon Republicans draw their inspiration from Nietzsche?

That Nietzsche was fond of many drugs, including morphine and chloral hydrate, is no secret. It's also well known that he tried to seduce Wagner's wife and was caught.
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Lindsay
post Jun 26, 2008, 12:45 PM
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Interesting, Rick. I have always felt uncomfortable about the ideas of Nietzsche, now I know why. I wonder if he ever wrote anything about the Golden Rule--at the core of Jesus' message of love. Speaking of which, recently I have looked into what is happening around this topic. Here is a taste of what I have found.

ABOUT THE GOLDEN RULE--with DAVID KEATING
http://www.goldenruleradical.org/

I have met David Keating and heard him speak, twice. Basically, good stuff. His work is recommended by http://www.pathwayschurch.ca and by the Family Life Foundation, http://www.flfcanada.com
===================================================================
The following is from a note I just sent him:
David:
Thanks for your work in making us aware of the importance of Golden Rule--found in almost all religions. I hope you don't mind, but I wrote the following to a very active forum. This thread has 3,241 clicks.

Another older one on the same spiritual theme has 317,137 clicks . Obviously people are interested in talking about spirituality when it is spoken of in the spirit of love, dialogue, without dogma, and without a judgmental attitude.

BTW, Science-agogo is about the sciences, and NOT-QUITE-SCIENCE:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthrea...26877#Post26877

To the Golden-Rule post, Ellis, a lady from England responded:

"Nice Golden Rule video Rev, though I would not include the American oath thing myself as it includes a reference to the Creator. I think the only one to do so. Isn't it amazing that since humans have been able to communicate philosophical thoughts this one idea has had such resonance. It really must seriously mean something basic for all of us. Well, I can hope so!"

Tutor Turtle, a verbose poster from Oregon added:
"The reference to the creator or to God, has a rather huge resonance also...."
_________________________
Because I believe that the Golden Rule promotes unity, harmony and peace, based on justice, I added the following:
David, I wrote the following words to fit the tune,
THE HOMECOMING, by Haygood Hardy
http://youtube.com/watch?v=DfwonNQlFPI&feature=related
===============================
We are one with mother earth;
With the land the skies and seas;
One with the source of human birth;
We're one...with GØD.

We are one with father sky;
With the sun, moon, planets, stars;
One with the galaxies on high;
We're one...in GØD.

I feel at one with Christians, Jews,
I want to build a better world;
With Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus
I choose to live ... in GØD

With the Golden Rule in mind,
We are for justice and for peace;
And with all of human kind,
We work...with GØD. [or G?D. Check my signature]]

=======================
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Enki
post Jun 26, 2008, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Jan 15, 2008, 03:31 PM) *

Anyone else feels the same way about Nietzsche?


Yes I feel the same.
He is a classical example of the Murky German Genius.
All the agony in his writings comes from misunderstanding of basic concepts of God.
His writings linguistically can format human brain, so to say, it is not only boring to read too long, but it is even dangerous to read. One can damage brain harmony reading him too much.
I think it is better to get acquainted with his writings via specialists comments and not to read directly.
In my country crucial majority of very aggressive kids absorb his writings as a sponge. The problem is that Common People are able to read his books too, and the Common People percept his writings in ways quite different than those who periodically read various writings of philosophers of the past and present. Besides that, later on it is impossible to talk with the kids who read his writings at all, they become People of One Book: aggressive, self-assured etc, they become a material for drafting into Nazi. I consider his writings as semi-philosophic hard Rock-and-roll.
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Enki
post Jun 26, 2008, 09:06 PM
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Besides that I guess he and Wagner been experimenting with the 'Magic Mushrooms' and the Music… you know …
I know that Nazi activists take youngsters to listen Wagner as a part of neo-Nazi training culture, I guess that they give them some brew as well...
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Enki
post Jun 26, 2008, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 16, 2008, 09:06 AM) *

Nearly everyone has a "philosophy." Nietzsche certainly did, but Nietzsche was not a philosopher--he was a social critic. His degree was in "letters" and his contemporary philosophers did not regard him as a philosopher.

The British contemporaries especially disliked Nietzsche. The English translations of his work deliberately make him sound pompous and are nearly incomprehensible to a modern reader. Remarkably, there are many English translations of Nietzsche in print that go back to that time about 100 years ago. If you want to read Nietzsche, be sure to look for a modern translation. The difference is amazing.


I agree with Rick he really was a social critic.

Amazing difference. Rick what are you doing man?!!! I guess it is better not to make that observation too public. His sister made quite specific editing of his original writings (do not forget about that) following philosophic inclinations of her husband if I do remember correctly. Her edition was the most attractive for Nazi Party. Hardly one day a collection will be printed which will discard all the dust and ideological editions. I think better people to read comments on him in Britannica rather than to read scattered and very suspicious editions.

“the child of Darwin and the brother of Bismarck” is the best comment I should say.
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Cassox
post Jun 27, 2008, 10:32 AM
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I absolutely disagree with the vast majority of peoples interpretations here. Most of whats been said is actually supporting what he said.

Goes like this: Assumptions and unsupported faiths are glass ceilings trapping us as mere humans.

So saying things like he "died insane," which IS accurate according to our interpretive paradigm, is an example of the glass ceiling. The question is... did he consider himself insane?
Ahh, you might say that it doesn't matter if he thought so or not, but as we know majority does define reality. Perhaps he was sane, and we are all insane. Unless one is ready to commit to weak ethics of "the best for the most," one can't really use this insanity argument against him.

If one really considers it, he was really expounding a western version of Buddhism. He strove to question everything. The worst criticism I think I've heard he was definitely Enkis. Saying that reading him is dangerous to your
well being? Give me a break! How weak minded are you, that you can't take in information or ideas without filtering them for yourself? This is so damn christian, that its sick! "Don't question, or think for yourself. Stay away from those that might make you think." What bullshit.

It was said that he was wrong because of a misunderstanding of God? How can a person say that?!? He spent his life seeking after the conceptions of truth and God. I would bet that his ideas are far better supported, reasonable, and thought out than your apparently static interpretation.

As far as being the "influence" on Hitler... Another ridiculous argument... How much of Hitlers rhetoric was based off of Christianity? Does the use of the swastika mean that all Hindus are Nazi's? So is evolution evil because hitler supported eugenics with it? Come now, its a ridiculous argument, unless one is ready to hold every religion and philosophy accountable for those that misused them.

The only way I believe he ever went wrong, is that he did not really consider actions spent on the welfare of others as anything more than an arbitrarily created system of morality. For those of you who haven't read his works, but choose to criticize, realize that
Nietzsche wa absolutely against racism and sexism, as he saw it another manifestation of people blindly following Slave morality= Christianity.

And really, what is the definition of a philosopher? Obviously, Nietzsche's works were about the fundamental questions of life, god, and morality. What else does it take to be a philosopher? It would be easier to argue that
Descarte was not a philosopher... His first philosophy, tried to reexamine the world without the assumption that information from our senses have any validity. Thus, he "does'nt love knowledge" because he cut off the means we have by which to discover it, no?
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Lindsay
post Jun 27, 2008, 11:04 AM
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I like to think that anyone with an open mind, a child-like wonder, curiosity and is ready and willing to ask questions about the nature of things, qualifies as a basic philosopher.

I agree with whoever it was who said: "All science begins as a philosophy and ends as art."

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Lindsay
post Jun 28, 2008, 05:59 AM
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QUOTE(Cassox @ Jun 27, 2008, 10:32 AM) *
I absolutely disagree with the vast majority of peoples interpretations here.
IN THE SPIRIT OF DIALOGUE, not debate: If you have read Nietzsche and know a lot about him, your interpretation deserve to be respected. But I trust it is okay for each of us to have our own opinions.

You say, "... he was really expounding a western version of Buddhism. " BTW, other than quotes from him, and trying to read some of what he wrote, I admit my ignorance of Nietzsche. What intrigues me is the wide-ranging influence he seems to have had.
QUOTE
Most of what's been said is actually supporting what he said.
Goes like this: Assumptions and unsupported faiths are glass ceilings trapping us as mere humans.
Yes, blind faith and assumptions made without asking questions can be dangerous. I like a sighted faith--one based on at least a modicum--of course, the more the better--of reason.
QUOTE
He spent his life seeking after the conceptions of truth and God. I would bet that his ideas are far better supported, reasonable, and thought out than your apparently static interpretation.
What did he say about God? For him, was God a human-like personal being capable of dying?
QUOTE
The only way I believe he ever went wrong, is that he did not really consider actions spent on the welfare of others as anything more than an arbitrarily created system of morality.
Was he wrapped up in himself, without compassion for others?
You say he was against, "... blindly following Slave morality= Christianity. "
I have never thought of the Golden Rule and the practice of agape love--offering good will to everyone, even enemies--as being slavish. Having courage, yes; but surely not slavish.
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Enki
post Jun 28, 2008, 08:08 AM
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Let us go step by step

QUOTE
So saying things like he "died insane," which IS accurate according to our interpretive paradigm, is an example of the glass ceiling. The question is... did he consider himself insane?


I think that insanity is not an option in this discussion, though if you want I remember read the following.
As a legend says somewhere he sow as someone was severely biting a horse, he sow great fear in the eyes of the horse and spiritually ached the pain of the horse and that was so terrific that he got mad. Certainly the experiences with Magic Brew are not a part of the Teutonic legend after all.

QUOTE
The worst criticism I think I've heard he was definitely Enkis. Saying that reading him is dangerous to your well being?


Yes, it is really dangerous, that is just an humble opinion of mine.


QUOTE
Give me a break! How weak minded are you, that you can't take in information or ideas without filtering them for yourself? This is so damn christian, that its sick! "Don't question, or think for yourself. Stay away from those that might make you think." What bullshit.


Cool down, it is proper recommendation. Filtering may cause serious damages. His linguistic constructs are brain damaging. I know what I am talking about. It is much better to read the comments on him in Britannica. His philosophy being re-edited by his sister and her husband became background for Nazi ideology, maybe he was not planning that but his frames opened the dangerous gates. Youngsters who did not pass proper education in philosophy under guidance of wise master should not read those dangerous writings. And wise boys should first be armed and shielded by wisdom and positive common sense prior venturing once brain by Murky Side of the Word. The path of Nietzsche is dangerous path. And I am 100% sure that he was making the experiments with brew and music together with Wagner as I mentioned above. So please, do not be so pathetic.

QUOTE
It was said that he was wrong because of a misunderstanding of God? How can a person say that?!? He spent his life seeking after the conceptions of truth and God. I would bet that his ideas are far better supported, reasonable, and thought out than your apparently static interpretation.


I can say that. And I can say that again! You do not know my interpretation and cannot say whether it is static or not so you cannot compare.

QUOTE
As far as being the "influence" on Hitler... Another ridiculous argument... How much of Hitlers rhetoric was based off of Christianity? Does the use of the swastika mean that all Hindus are Nazi's? So is evolution evil because hitler supported eugenics with it? Come now, its a ridiculous argument, unless one is ready to hold every religion and philosophy accountable for those that misused them.


That sort of rhetoric questions will never lead to proper discussions. Do not fog things by rhetoric questions.

QUOTE
The only way I believe he ever went wrong, is that he did not really consider actions spent on the welfare of others as anything more than an arbitrarily created system of morality.


So in the rest you consider him to be right as I see.

QUOTE
For those of you who haven't read his works, but choose to criticize, realize that
Nietzsche wa absolutely against racism and sexism, as he saw it another manifestation of people blindly following Slave morality= Christianity.


Christianity is not Slave Morality, such statement is initially Nazi idea by itself mon sher ami.

QUOTE
And really, what is the definition of a philosopher? Obviously, Nietzsche's works were about the fundamental questions of life, god, and morality. What else does it take to be a philosopher? It would be easier to argue that Descarte was not a philosopher... His first philosophy, tried to reexamine the world without the assumption that information from our senses have any validity. Thus, he "does'nt love knowledge" because he cut off the means we have by which to discover it, no?


You know Rick and I think he was a social critic rather than philosopher. It is our impression of his writings. Commonly he is considered as a philosopher.

So now what Encyclopedia Britannica says:

Nietzsche's mature philosophy

Nietzsche's writings fall into three well-defined periods. The early works, The Birth of Tragedy and the four Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen (1873; Untimely Meditations), are dominated by a Romantic perspective influenced by Schopenhauer and Wagner. The middle period, from Human, All-Too-Human up to The Gay Science, reflects the tradition of French aphorists. It extols reason and science, experiments with literary genres, and expresses Nietzsche's emancipation from his earlier Romanticism and from Schopenhauer and Wagner. Nietzsche's mature philosophy emerged after The Gay Science.

In his mature writings Nietzsche was preoccupied by the origin and function of values in human life. If, as he believed, life neither possesses nor lacks intrinsic value and yet is always being evaluated, then such evaluations can usefully be read as symptoms of the condition of the evaluator. He was especially interested, therefore, in a probing analysis and evaluation of the fundamental cultural values of Western philosophy, religion, and morality, which he characterized as expressions of the ascetic ideal.

The ascetic ideal is born when suffering becomes endowed with ultimate significance. According to Nietzsche the Judeo-Christian tradition, for example, made suffering tolerable by interpreting it as God's intention and as an occasion for atonement. Christianity, accordingly, owed its triumph to the flattering doctrine of personal immortality, that is, to the conceit that each individual's life and death have cosmic significance. Similarly, traditional philosophy expressed the ascetic ideal when it privileged soul over body, mind over senses, duty over desire, reality over appearance, the timeless over the temporal. While Christianity promised salvation for the sinner who repents, philosophy held out hope for salvation, albeit secular, for its sages. Common to traditional religion and philosophy was the unstated but powerful motivating assumption that existence requires explanation, justification, or expiation. Both denigrated experience in favour of some other, "true" world. Both may be read as symptoms of a declining life, or life in distress.

Nietzsche's critique of traditional morality centred on the typology of "master" and "slave" morality. By examining the etymology of the German words gut ("good"), schlecht ("bad"), and böse ("evil"), Nietzsche maintained that the distinction between good and bad was originally descriptive, that is, a nonmoral reference to those who were privileged, the masters, as opposed to those who were base, the slaves. The good/evil contrast arose when slaves avenged themselves by converting attributes of mastery into vices. If the favoured, the "good," were powerful, it was said that the meek would inherit the earth. Pride became sin. Charity, humility, and obedience replaced competition, pride, and autonomy. Crucial to the triumph of slave morality was its claim to being the only true morality. This insistence on absoluteness is as essential to philosophical as to religious ethics. Although Nietzsche gave a historical genealogy of master and slave morality, he maintained that it was an ahistorical typology of traits present in everyone.

"Nihilism" was the term Nietzsche used to describe the devaluation of the highest values posited by the ascetic ideal. He thought of the age in which he lived as one of passive nihilism, that is, as an age that was not yet aware that religious and philosophical absolutes had dissolved in the emergence of 19th-century Positivism. With the collapse of metaphysical and theological foundations and sanctions for traditional morality only a pervasive sense of purposelessness and meaninglessness would remain. And the triumph of meaninglessness is the triumph of nihilism: "God is dead." Nietzsche thought, however, that most men could not accept the eclipse of the ascetic ideal and the intrinsic meaninglessness of existence but would seek supplanting absolutes to invest life with meaning. He thought the emerging nationalism of his day represented one such ominous surrogate god, in which the nation-state would be invested with transcendent value and purpose. And just as absoluteness of doctrine had found expression in philosophy and religion, absoluteness would become attached to the nation-state with missionary fervour. The slaughter of rivals and the conquest of the earth would proceed under banners of universal brotherhood, democracy, and socialism. Nietzsche's prescience here was particularly poignant, and the use later made of him especially repellent. For example, two books were standard issue for the rucksacks of German soldiers during World War I, Thus Spoke Zarathustra and The Gospel According to St. John. It is difficult to say which author was more compromised by this gesture.

Nietzsche often thought of his writings as struggles with nihilism, and apart from his critiques of religion, philosophy, and morality he developed original theses that have commanded attention, especially perspectivism, will to power, eternal recurrence, and the superman.

Perspectivism is a concept which holds that knowledge is always perspectival, that there are no immaculate perceptions, and that knowledge from no point of view is as incoherent a notion as seeing from no particular vantage point. Perspectivism also denies the possibility of an all-inclusive perspective, which could contain all others and, hence, make reality available as it is in itself. The concept of such an all-inclusive perspective is as incoherent as the concept of seeing an object from every possible vantage point simultaneously.

Nietzsche's perspectivism has sometimes been mistakenly identified with relativism and skepticism. Nonetheless, it raises the question of how one is to understand Nietzsche's own theses, for example, that the dominant values of the common heritage have been underwritten by an ascetic ideal. Is this thesis true absolutely or only from a certain perspective? It may also be asked whether perspectivism can be asserted consistently without self-contradiction, since perspectivism must presumably be true in an absolute, that is a nonperspectival sense. Concerns such as these have generated much fruitful Nietzsche commentary as well as useful work in the theory of knowledge.

Nietzsche often identified life itself with "will to power," that is, with an instinct for growth and durability. This concept provides yet another way of interpreting the ascetic ideal, since it is Nietzsche's contention "that all the supreme values of mankind lack this will--that values which are symptomatic of decline, nihilistic values, are lording it under the holiest names." Thus, traditional philosophy, religion, and morality have been so many masks a deficient will to power wears. The sustaining values of Western civilization have been sublimated products of decadence in that the ascetic ideal endorses existence as pain and suffering. Some commentators have attempted to extend Nietzsche's concept of the will to power from human life to the organic and inorganic realms, ascribing a metaphysics of will to power to him. Such interpretations, however, cannot be sustained by reference to his published works.

The doctrine of eternal recurrence, the basic conception of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, asks the question "How well disposed would a person have to become to himself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than the infinite repetition, without alteration, of each and every moment?" Presumably most men would, or should, find such a thought shattering because they should always find it possible to prefer the eternal repetition of their lives in an edited version rather than to crave nothing more fervently than the eternal recurrence of each of its horrors. The person who could accept recurrence without self-deception or evasion would be a superhuman being (Ãœbermensch), a superman whose distance from the ordinary man is greater than the distance between man and ape, Nietzsche says. Commentators still disagree whether there are specific character traits that define the person who embraces eternal recurrence.


Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
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Cassox
post Jun 28, 2008, 04:36 PM
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Normally, I would criticize something such as Brittanica as a white-washed mediocritized version..... But, I am actually impressed. They did a very good job of explaining objectively.

As far as linguistic constructs go, I'm assuming your saying something along the lines of, "he is creating viral memes. "

Ok, so this is my pro-nihilism arguement:

Premise 1.Theistic, dogmatic, organized religions are the greatest enemies to the survival, level of prosperity, and to the ability of humans to grows wiser.
Reasons: (I'll keep it short)
1. Mankind as "special", non-animal. Most monotheistic religions, particularly the Abrahamic faiths, place man in a special position above all other life. Generally this takes the form of" The earth was made for man to use."
This thinking is what has lead us to our current consumer competition societies. People strive to consume as much as possible, in nearly every type of product, and feel no responsibility towards the future. Of course this doesn't matter to a person that believes, "Jesus is coming soon."

2.Fear God! The type of religion that I am discussing, particularly the Abrahamic faiths, admonish people to fear God. These religions are generally structured to generate as much fear as possible in order to homogenize the behaviors of the participants. While these people may act in a socially acceptable way..... this in NO WAY makes them altruistic or venerable. Behaving certain ways for a reward, or to avoid punishment is nothing more than knee-jerk responses with no actual choice occurring. The result is that people judge others that act reasonably, and when allowed by their particular faith, punish them. They are applying their own belief models, to others, thus lowering the living conditions of all involved for nothing more than an unsupported commandment.

3. Faith before reason: Much of science has obviously been held back numerous times, because the new discoveries went against doctrine. Far worse than this though, many people who would have made great personal discoveries and lived deep, meaningful, and loving lives, instead become christians. If one is a "christian" or even muslim for that matter, the behaviors that one should is expected to exhibit are obvious and given. Jesus himself told those who would follow him to leave everything, not bringing so much as an extra cloak (not a direct quote, but I can provide).
Obviously, it unrealistic to expect people to do these things. So those who don't live up to the full expectations of the religion, which is everyone involved, end up feeling either a sense of guilt for their inequities. This guilt is unfounded! There is no evidence for any "original sin." Humans have no need to feel not good enough. But people spend their entire lives in this hole.

Premise 2: Nihilism attempts to clear away these illusions.
As stated by the "brittanica" above, Nietzsche taught that people should strive to overcome the "god fearing," the unreasonable faiths," and of course to develop their own system of morality that was not based on worry about the punishments by the "master" god. He wanted people free from their guilts and inhibitions; free from their hates and self-imposed ignorance.

Conclusion: Nihilism is a philosophy that strives to increase the survival, level of prosperity, and to the ability of humans to grows wiser.
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Cassox
post Jun 28, 2008, 04:41 PM
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Christianity is not Slave Morality, such statement is initially Nazi idea by itself mon sher ami.

Nope. Thus spake was written prior to WW1, and the formation of the Nazi party.
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Cassox
post Jun 28, 2008, 04:43 PM
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"That sort of rhetoric questions will never lead to proper discussions. Do not fog things by rhetoric questions. "

My point exactly. Because his ideas were used by the Nazis, in no way takes away any validity or truth his arguments might have. It would be the equivalent of saying that Christians are all murderers because doctrine was twisted to produce witch trials. The witch trials are not condoned by the bible, nor did Nietzsce condone the Nazis.
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post Jun 28, 2008, 04:55 PM
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QUOTE
If one really considers it, he was really expounding a western version of Buddhism.


I think the connection between Buddhism and nihilism is pretty fascinating. In his Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche mentions the possibility of nihilism as being a "Buddhism for Europeans." Think about it..they are very similar doctrines. Buddhism preaches emptiness, the lack of essence. Take Theseus's Paradox...Can an object be called the same if all of its parts were replaced? Can anything exist without its component parts? Nihilism is the belief in nothing and the disdain of all values. The connection between nihilism and Buddhism is striking.
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Lindsay
post Jun 28, 2008, 05:02 PM
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It seems that dialogue, rather than debate, does have great value. smile.gif Thank GØD, GOD, whatever.

Interestingly, the great inventor, Nicola Tesla--the one who gave us AC electricity and helped us harness Niagara Falls--recommended that Buddhism and Christianity be combined.
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Joesus
post Jun 28, 2008, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Jun 29, 2008, 01:02 AM) *

It seems that dialogue, rather than debate, does have great value. smile.gif Thank G�˜D, GOD, whatever.

Interestingly, the great inventor, Nicola Tesla--the one who gave us AC electricity and helped us harness Niagara Falls--recommended that Buddhism and Christianity be combined.

If he'd known the roots of both Buddhism and Christianity as they appeared to him, he would have known they came from the same source and or Teachings of Self realization.
People often look at the surface of things and make assumptions based on incomplete knowledge and experience.
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post Jun 29, 2008, 04:26 AM
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Will all those--especially if there are any among those readers who hardly ever contribute--with complete knowledge smile.gif and experience smile.gif feel free to join us here. This thread has 29 posts and 689 clicks.
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