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 PHIL 200-002 - Friedrich Nietzsche
 Much to Be Learned if Studied...
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John Edelmon

16 Posts

Posted - Feb 05 2013 :  3:37:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
...Much to Be Lost if Believed.

I would like to ignite a discussion not on the particulars of a dead man's mind, nor on his thoughts, but on the significance, in relation to the world after him, of his ideas—these ideas which have been shared by many others.

I wish to share an essay (Trelogan allowing) entitled "Approaching the 21st Century: The Death of God, Truth, Morality, and Man" by Dr. Phil Fernandes:

Have we become more than man, or less than man as a result of these deaths?

Edit: I removed my shameful, condescending words. I apologize. I allowed my natural self to vent its frustration instead of practicing self-control.

David Berger
Old Hand

103 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2013 :  11:08:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have finally given myself the time to look at this piece of Apology, and I shall tell you what I think.

The argument centers around a few particular claims:

1. Nietzsche's claim that "God is Dead" is true.
2. Man's concepts of morality are straying ever further from the right, Christian concepts.
3. The Overmen would impose their values on the world.
4. If we do not turn to (and I quote) "The God of The Bible," the death of man will be upon us.

The argument also rests on a key assumption:
  • God exists, and has the best morality for us, which everyone ought to believe.
I feel as though we may see this assumption, which is maintained as a central part of the argument, as implying a strong bias--against moral relativism and in favor of Christianity. This alone makes me reluctant to respond, however there are some key points in the argument that are worth calling attention to.

The author claims that the idea that man creates morality amounts to moral relativism. But have we proof that the morals he supports are not themselves a product of a certain culture and time (namely the Hebrew and Christian mythology and culture as these have developed historically)? He claims we need objectivity, but is the Christian form then, the best form?

The author claims that the Übermensch imposes his will on others. This I feel is simply a tragic misinterpretation of Nietzsche. The light and gay Übermensch is indeed a creator, but he sails above the values of others. What need has he to force them to his will? I say, he who imposes his will on others is surely not an overman. He is very much afflicted by the spirit of gravity. Therefore I am not compelled by that aspect of Fernandes' claim.

And then we have his cry to spread the word--to evangelize, so that more people may repent--lest they succumb to their fate! What fate? The fate to be free to do whatever they want? So he argues that in thinking we are creators, we will only become slaves to others--such as tyrants and businessmen. But he then suggests we become instead slaves to the gospel--indeed! Slaves to others--such as--priests? All the same.

It would seem that to Phil Fernandes, we will all be slaves one way or another. However to think you can truly control another is the same as thinking you are controlled--you are choking off the will, as with a noose. Is Fernandes not perhaps resentful of his own slavishness? And thus to keep his head above the muck, he raises high his master, to whom he is tied--a noose around his neck! "Look at my great Lord!" cries the hangman-preacher as he flails and gasps--"Look! Uou dead men!"

It would seem I got a bit artistic there. The elevation of Zarathustra is contagious.

[Lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]
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