Sunday, May 10, 2009

70c Nietzsche and God

Before I begin one correction. In the lecture of last Sunday I said that the words Ecce home (See the man) came from the mouth of a Roman soldier standing next to the cross. That was only half correct....these were the words of a Roman indeed, but it were the words of Pilatus, showing the tortured jesus to the people.

Nietzsche is always quoted incompletely when it concerns God. The full quote is:
"God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him." You will find this quote in section 108 of "The Gay Science".

That is a completely different statement than just "God is dead". Now it is put in a context. Let me give you more context: the complete section 125 from "The Gay Science".

"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?"

Well..this is a completely different story and gives much more depth to Nietzsche's so often (mis)used quote. How should these words be interpreted?

This is Nietzsche's way of saying that the idea of God is no longer capable of acting as a source of any moral code or teleology. By saying that God is dead you take out the heart of christianity.

The death of God is a way of saying that humans are no longer able to believe in any such cosmic order since they themselves no longer recognize it. The death of God will lead, Nietzsche says, not only to the rejection of a belief of cosmic or physical order but also to a rejection of absolute values themselves, to the rejection of belief in an objective and universal moral law, binding upon all individuals.

When we have lost the absolute basis for morality, we stand there with empty hands.....we have got nothing anymore....NIHIL and thus Nietzsche introduced his views on nihilisme.

Nihilism isnt an invention by Nietzsche. I'll deal with this subject in a next lecture to show you that it has deep historical roots.

What is the alternative? Central to his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation,” which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's energies. It is the Will to Power that dominates Nietzsche's philosophy.

Nietzsche believed there could be positive possibilities for humans without God. Relinquishing the belief in God opens the way for human creative abilities to fully develop.

The Christian God, he wrote, would no longer stand in the way, so human beings might stop turning their eyes toward a supernatural realm and begin to acknowledge the value of this world.

The only thing that all man want is power, and whatever is wanted is wantend for the sake of power.If something is wanted more than something else, it must represent more power.

Sokrates was a great example of a powerful man to Nietzsche. This power is not intended to subdue and control others. It is the spirit of the übermensch (overman).

To Nietzsche it was the human being (includes male and female :-) who has organized the chaos of his passions, given style to his character and become creative. Aware of the terrors of life, he affirms life without resentment.

Nietzsche intended this as a this-worldly antithesis to God. The term doesnt involve a bifurcation of humanity. In Ecce Homo Nietzsche says that only "scholary oxen" could have constructed the overman Darwinistically.

Here you see Nietzsche's fight.....from a subdued person by christian morality to an Overman, an antithesis to God.

The Discussion

[13:30] Herman Vos: So far on Nietzsche and God..:-)
[13:30] Herman Vos: Your idea about the quote, Sage is understandable, for in Zaratustra he repeats the same ideas
[13:31] Gudrun Odriscoll: I begin to wonder if part of the understanding of Nietzsche as a Nazi philosopher was actively propagated by the Catholic (or any Christian) Church, as his ideas are so dangerious for any powermad church
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: I suppose that Nietzsche was indeed a student of Jesus when Jesus said that we all have the power to become the sons of god
[13:31] Mickorod Renard: sounds like an anarchist in antichrist clothing
[13:31] hope63 Shepherd: well.. nietsche never understood science in the modern term.. science which puts god into chains and slowly but surely stows him into some prison..
[13:31] Vladimir Apparatchik: The trouble as I see it is he overthrows moral absolutism, but relaces it with absolute relativism
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: Nietzche believed that Paul was the Antichrist
[13:32] Sage Hartmann: Herman, you mentioned the centrality of 'power' earlier. But you also mentioned that it wasn't the kind of power used to subvert others. How then does nietzsche define power?
[13:32] Gudrun Odriscoll: why absolute relativism vlad
[13:32] Ze Novikov: what are the limits , if any at all, to"life Affirmation".....
[13:32] Herman Vos: HOLD ON>>>!!!
[13:32] Mickorod Renard: yes sage i wondered that too
[13:33] Vladimir Apparatchik: he was the arch-debunker - who , I think, rejected all moral thinking outside his idea of power
[13:33] Ziro Qunhua: yes me too sage
[13:33] Cailleach Shan: I think Nietzsche's claim 'the loss of any universal perspective on things' in actual fact has had the opposite effect.
[13:33] Herman Vos: I said HOLD ON..:-)
[13:33] Herman Vos: this is an avelange of remarks and ideas....
[13:34] Herman Vos: To Sage...
[13:34] arabella Ella: has he given the individual the power of choice or has he divided humanity into two, supermen and mere mortals or sheep?
[13:34] Herman Vos: This concept of power Nietzsche uses is often misunderstood....
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: do you think he rejected all moral thinking??? Herman?? I did not get that idea
[13:35] Herman Vos: What he means is much more related with the classic Greek and Roman person of Virtue...
[13:35] Gudrun Odriscoll: herman does he mean empowerment
[13:35] Mickorod Renard: hi rod
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: within oneself
[13:35] Sage Hartmann: Gemma, I think he's only rejected moral *law* - static rules of morality - not the fact that some things are beter than others. Clearly he thinks there are some things better than others. =)
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:36] Herman Vos: I think that the basic idea of power for Nietzsche is the idea of absolute independence, man decising for himself following his own rules
[13:36] Vladimir Apparatchik: but the basis of morality lies in sympathy for others, and I see none of that in his thinking
[13:36] Mickorod Renard: but the power thing,,i still dont understand
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: that ws my understanding of it too
[13:37] Cailleach Shan: Sympathy or 'compassion' Vlad?
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: he denouced 'pity'
[13:37] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: did Nietzsche have children?
[13:37] Herman Vos: He never married
[13:37] Gudrun Odriscoll: you could say that morality is also about control of others, control in society, vlad
[13:37] arabella Ella: no kids
[13:37] Herman Vos: One of the virtues of the Overman is compassion..
[13:38] Mickorod Renard: like a parent?
[13:38] Herman Vos: yes..with the weak...
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: there is debate on the difference of pity and compassion in the german language he used
[13:38] Vladimir Apparatchik: I think sympathy is better, compassion implies a power relationship
[13:39] Mickorod Renard: so who did he think would be the oberman?
[13:39] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: the whole man deciding for himself thing really works with adults..but kids?.. makes sense that he did not have any
[13:39] Mickorod Renard: we cant all be in charge
[13:39] Vladimir Apparatchik: you can have compassion for an animal but not sympathy
[13:40] Osrum Sands: Ap4 - do you really think that people / man decides for them selves ?
[13:40] Herman Vos: Philosophy is never about kids indeed Ap..:-)
[13:40] Vladimir Apparatchik: I stick with sympathy ,and there's none in Nietzsche
[13:40] Cailleach Shan: My understanding is 'sympathy' is identification with another's suffering, whereas 'compassion' is 'standing alongside' ... 'being' with another in their suffering.
[13:41] Herman Vos: I think we observe here a more important cultural issue in Nietzsche's philosophy...
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: and pity is suffering along with the weak
[13:41] Herman Vos: The beginning of extreme individualism in Western society..
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: men's goal ad aim is to be free to develop himself for a self fulfilment where he finds his satisfaction - pleasure.. fulfilment.. which is not suffering.. and then he can live the cicle of life for eternity..
[13:41] arabella Ella: you had said he influenced 'cultural studies too herman?
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: not to suffer is:dominate..
[13:42] Mot Mann is Offline
[13:42] Ziro Qunhua: herman, i have a question: did nietzsche gave examples any time of who in the history would approach to oberman?
[13:42] Herman Vos: Yes he did..
[13:43] Herman Vos: As I mentioned before..Sokrates....but he also admired Julius Ceasar
[13:43] hope63 Shepherd: i thoght he rejected socrates..
[13:43] Sage Hartmann: Are there any circumstances where Nietzsche would consider the emotions of pity or compassion was not life-destroying in his view? Or were these classes of emotions just somehow bad in themselves?
[13:43] Mickorod Renard: I was thinking he was gonna nominate some one alive
[13:44] Osrum Sands: I have read that what N meant by God is dead was that the slave morality of European culture would die away and that the understanding of Good and evil would crumble into uncertainty
[13:44] Herman Vos: I cant answer you question Sage...
[13:45] hope63 Shepherd: ok.. fred nietzsche and farouk bulsara had something in common..
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: he felt that the concept of good and evila had been perverted by the church, Os
[13:45] Osrum Sands: Agree - Aris
[13:46] Osrum Sands: it had
[13:46] Gudrun Odriscoll: hi herman happy that you use overman instead of the misleading super(hu)man now. remember our first lecture
[13:46] Osrum Sands: in some parts
[13:46] Vladimir Apparatchik: but did he recognise that there could be a shared secular morality - that's what I dont understand
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: farouk.. nick name fred.. a parse( zoroatrian)
[13:46] Vladimir Apparatchik: what would he have thought of the UN Decalaration of Human Rights for example
[13:46] Mickorod Renard: I can see where he was coming from,,,but not sure where he was going with his ideas
[13:47] hope63 Shepherd: fred- friedrich:)
[13:47] Herman Vos: As I said Vladimir...your reaction is understandable...because Nietzsche is an example of individualism
[13:47] Herman Vos: Hope..plz...
[13:48] Herman Vos: I think Nietzsche looked at the individual in the first place..
[13:48] hope63 Shepherd: lol.. you said an example of individualism.. and you just don't know whom i an taklking of..
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: the advent of robotics and artifical intelligence wiill transform all men into Overmen, then can you imagine the wars we can have
[13:48] Samuel Okelly: nietzsche’s appeal seems to support arrogant “know-all” moral relativism which has been used by anti-religious axe-grinders to bash religion – would he have wanted this I wonder?
[13:49] hope63 Shepherd: farouk bulsara.. a parse born near bombay.. a zoroastre - his name for the elder of us is fred mercury... queens .. for the feeble minded..
[13:49] Stanley Aviatik: and what's wrong with a bit of good old religion bashing? I ask
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: ohoh
[13:50] arabella Ella: i don't think nietzsche would have been in favour of anything vaguely resembling relativism of morals or values or religion for thaty matter
[13:50] Mickorod Renard: yea,,i know who u mean now hope
[13:50] Herman Vos: Nietzsche is complex Samuel...his background...his personal condition...all plays a part in his philosophical is very personal
[13:50] Samuel Okelly: @stan - nothing to the bigots i guess
[13:50] hope63 Shepherd: dyonisos.. in music..
[13:50] Gudrun Odriscoll: ari, not in a moral sense overman only in the sense of becoming a creator, a god, and doing what mythology says god did, creating the world. this is a different form of overman
[13:50] Stanley Aviatik: You don't have to be a bigot to be religious - but it sure helps
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: I can only relate it to the will to power Gudrun
[13:51] You decline Absynthe Niteclub Dancefloor, Smelton Hollow (121, 14, 701) from A group member named Gemma Cleanslate.
[13:51] Osrum Sands: Religion has been bashed by the best of them --- never the less it survives and thrives
[13:51] Gudrun Odriscoll: I think that Herman pointed it out that Nietzsche meant more virtue, strength than power
[13:51] Mickorod Renard: yes Os
[13:52] Herman Vos: Indeed Gudrun..
[13:52] Laila Schuman: the strongest man is he who can control himself
[13:52] Laila Schuman: and i think that is compatible with the uberman
[13:52] Herman Vos: And besides that I dont think Nietzsche propagated absolute moral relativism at all
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: absolute power is the absolute free will ..
[13:52] Mickorod Renard: I like that Laila
[13:52] Stanley Aviatik: Sadly so does disease and hunger and war - but who needs them
[13:53] hope63 Shepherd: realize yourself..
[13:53] Stanley Aviatik: requalize?
[13:53] Vladimir Apparatchik: but I thinkbut what morality then - that's what I dont get
[13:53] Vladimir Apparatchik: sorry
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: I agree laila that he meant man could achieve more in himself
[13:53] Vladimir Apparatchik: but what morality was he advocating - I cant see any
[13:53] Samuel Okelly: was it a graded moral relativism herman or something else?
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: none vlad..
[13:54] Gudrun Odriscoll: vlad what is morality for you?
[13:54] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: to control a thing is to have the ability to destroy it?
[13:54] arabella Ella: but just imagine ... what if everyone strove to be a Nietzsche Superman, what then?
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: morality does not come from religion
[13:54] Mickorod Renard: yes without morality it gets scary
[13:54] Cailleach Shan: Fantastic idea Ara...
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: hm.. ari.. i think you are right.. but where does it come from..
[13:54] Vladimir Apparatchik: it is a recognistion that we are social creatures with sympathy for others- the Golden Rule is a good start - and much earlier than Christianity
[13:54] Gudrun Odriscoll: AP this was very good, a bit of Lao Tse?
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: Nietzsche I believe thinks it comes from the individual
[13:55] Herman Vos: attention toVladimir's point..
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: he refuses morality..
[13:55] Gudrun Odriscoll: Agree Aristotlel Morality and Religion are not one thing
[13:55] arabella Ella: if everyone were to be superman then the term would lose the 'super' and just remian 'mere mortals'
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: excuse me :-)
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: have to go
[13:55] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: no gudrun ...the matrix reloaded :P
[13:55] alial Allen is Offline
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Gem
[13:55] Mickorod Renard: bye gemma
[13:56] Rodney Handrick: By Gemma
[13:56] Cailleach Shan: cu Gem
[13:56] Herman Vos: The thing is, Vladimir, that you should not expect a complete moral theory from Nietzsche...
[13:56] Ze Novikov: bb Gemma
[13:56] Stanley Aviatik: ciao g
[13:56] Sophianne Rhode is Online
[13:56] Qwark Allen: cta later
[13:56] Gudrun Odriscoll: thanks AP, bye Gemma
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: later Qwark
[13:56] Qwark Allen: cya soon
[13:56] Herman Vos: He addresses a lot of issues , but doesnt build a theoretical system
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: c u Gemma
[13:56] Osrum Sands: Its an easy thing to attack but harder to build
[13:56] Stanley Aviatik: cu q
[13:56] Qwark Allen: :-D
[13:56] hope63 Shepherd: superhuman becomes immortal in a way.. leves the cicle of suffering..
[13:56] Vladimir Apparatchik: my problem is Herman - I cant see ANY moral theory
[13:57] Mickorod Renard: regardless of what religion is seen as ..christianity does have a set of morals that it puts forward that the law of most countries is based upon
[13:57] Gudrun Odriscoll: suffering is a very Christian, very Catholic thing, isn't it
[13:57] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: Nietzsche seemed to have liked the shock jock approach.
[13:57] Herman Vos: Well..I'll look into this issue in th next lecture on Nihilsim, Vladimir...
[13:57] Stanley Aviatik: Worships it
[13:57] Cailleach Shan: Very Buddhist..
[13:57] Vladimir Apparatchik: Thanks herman
[13:58] Stanley Aviatik: Yes - thanks very much again Herman
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: I supect that Nietzsce did not adhere to the saying 'I am my brothers keeper'
[13:58] Mickorod Renard: thank you Herman
[13:58] hope63 Shepherd: i think nietzsche didn't consider himself as a nihilist..
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: Thanks Professor
[13:58] Herman Vos: Well...what I observe here today ..
[13:58] Rodney Handrick: thnaks herman
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: absolutely he was not a nihilist
[13:58] Ze Novikov: TYVM Herman...
[13:59] Cailleach Shan: What do you observe Herman?
[13:59] Herman Vos: is that the new space also gives room to much more ideas from you..:-)
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL good thing Herman
[13:59] Cailleach Shan: lol.... a bit like my handbag..
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: what's a nihilist?
[13:59] Herman Vos: That will be the subject of the next lecture, Mickorod..
[13:59] Stanley Aviatik: bye all

Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-05-22 04:40:52

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