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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Meet Mr. Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche is perhaps most well known as a philosopher for his quote “God is dead and we have killed him.” He thought Christians were brainwashed slaves- slaves of traditions and morals that favored underachievement (what Christians call humility), and of deception (the fact that we have a biased, self-glorifying concept of “good”). What then is “good” in Nietzsche’s mind? The will to power- that doesn’t necessarily mean power over other people; rather, Nietzsche is referring to having power over oneself. In other words, people should try to overcome the temptation to blindly accept widely held truths or traditions and be brave enough to question, delving into the unknown. In my mind, that is what takes real humility and courage.

Nietzsche also condemns Christianity for parading as a love-filled way of life when so much of it is based in hatred and pity. The Christian doctrine of Final Judgment, he says, was born out of a bitter resentment that the lower class held toward the wealth and power of the noble class. Today it simply serves as a way for any Christian to feel satisfied that their enemies, the people that they envy, and those who belong to any opposing order of society will be punished, securing eternal power and superiority for the Christian.

Of course, I don't agree with everything that Nietzsche teaches (and I still consider myself to be a Christian), but I think his point of view deserves fair consideration. I think that most Christians, whether consciously or subconsciously passing judgments, fit Nietzsche's description- I know I certainly have felt a sense of validation or vindication on several occasions when I have reassured myself that some mean or stuck-up person would get theirs at Judgment Day. And I'm sure that there are plenty of Christians out there who rest easy because the feminists, the intellectuals, and the gays will all get their comeuppance in hell (or in the terrestrial kingdom, if you prefer). Am I wrong to think that this doesn't sound like a very loving way to think about other people? Really, it's not surprising at all that atheism is so popular. I think we all should be a little more Nietzschean.

7 comments:

Chase said...

Not to sound too bitter but atheism isnt that popular. I think something like 89% of americans believe there is a higher power. Which i honestly dont understand, i understand our college graduation rate isnt stellar but you would think some of these people would be questioning such an obvious form of control. "Gott ist tot."

[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

Not that popular in America, perhaps, but elsewhere it sure is.

I've always liked Nietzsche's philosophies. Being a good person just to be a good person and not because of hope of some reward, is, I think, much better.

pinetree said...

I just read a bunch of your posts and I like your blog.

October Rising said...

I agree with Nietzsche that people shouldn't blindly agree to things. But I think being too skeptical and questioning, and delving really far into "the unknown" aren't really psycholocially or spiritually beneficial because it can leave a person completely confused.

A CROW'S VIEW said...

I think this guy preaches a good way to absolve ourselves from feeling guilt by making those who would point out what we are doing as wrong as being the guilty ones thus always making us the victims of their judgments.b Using this fun little tool we can do whatever we want and any one who says something is sinning for judging. The Savior did ask which of us is blameless and warned about casting stones.

I think what we often forget is the next part when he tells the lady to "go and sin no more."

Its like blaming the Honor Code office for the those who violate the honor code. I mean lets face it, if it didn't exisit would their be a violation.

Taken to the next level if the Church didn't exisit would its policies as we call them, make us feel bad if we didn't heed them.

The logical next step is to then wonder if God is real and if so if his commandments are real. Because it would be so much easier to please him if his commandments didn't exist.

Then we tell ourselves God wants us to be happy so anything that makes us happy, dating guys and such must be good in God's eyes because it makes us happy.

I think if we have an issue with something we can always find a way to turn it into a wedge that will allow us to step away from it and not only justify our exit but also make us a hero in our own minds for doing it.

draco said...

Well bless my broomstick. I'm no expert logician, but I'm pretty sure that's a slippery slope Mr. Crow. I'm sure Romulus and kreig can vouch for me.

As far as justifying our behavior- you make it sound like it's such a horrible thing, wanting to be the hero- wanting to feel right. But everyone does this no matter what side their on. At least Mr. Nietzsche tries to take a step back from cultural and religious biases to look for what is really good and true.

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