Response to Nietzsche's Philosophy Views

Response to Nietzsche's Philosophy Views

A Story by Natalie
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This is an essay I wrote for my philosophy class in my first semester of college on a philosopher of my choice and I was quite pleased with the A I recieved.

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In the late nineteenth century, Nietzsche spoke the phrase, “God is dead” to plainly state his view on religions, such as Christianity, not needing to be prominent in human’s lives anymore. He believed that people should find meaning in their life without the Christian traditions and to do so would demonstrate exceptional strength. Religion to Nietzsche was just a weakness that humans had created and in that process made themselves slaves to it. In the following argument below, I will state the ways in which someone would be of slave morality and how to Nietzsche, religion is mostly to blame. I will also state the reasons in which it is not completely to blame and how some of his values and virtues are unrealistic, due to other philosopher’s responses to his argument and my own response.

Nietzsche’s Values

Nietzsche suggest that the world is indeed terrible and full of suffering, as Schopenhauer had once said, but also suggests that he is wrong to run away from it the suffering. Nietzsche believes that we should be able to take that terrible world that Schopenhauer spoke of and transform it into somethingwonderful in our own artistic ways. Though, only someone ofextraordinary strength could possibly do so. He or she would also need a combination of the two perspectives of life described as Dionysian, the god of wine, and Apollonian, the sun god. If someone contained the essence of Dionysian, he or she would have a passion for life and would lose themselves in it, and if someone contained the essence of Apollonian he or she would have their own self-control and strength; both of which are equally important to have balance and creativity in such a dreadful world.

Slave Morality

Nietzsche’s own definition of strength, although, is unlike what others have associated it with. He claims there are two types of people: the conquerors, or masters, and the conquered, better known as slaves. A person characterized as a master would have traits such as being proud, living life by their own terms, and would have a strong morality of character. The slave would be the opposite as they would be modest, very obedient to their god, and would have a morality of principles instead set by their god. Nietzsche characterizes slaves simply as Christians.As to him, religion is just their own ideals portrayed onto a being that they call God and they bow down to the God with the traits they have assumed him to have. Nietzsche believes religion leads to people living their life the wrong way in the means that they would live life by their own God’s dictates instead of their own and would be completely submissive to him.

God’s Character

One of the most significant arguments Nietzsche speaks of about God’s character is his barbaric nature. When a person sins they fear that their God may not forgive them, as fear is themotivation. This goes back to the very first sin committed by Adam and Eve in the story of The Fall where disobedience is their sin, but in the end God said they deserved eternal damnation for it. Is that acceptable punishment? Nietzsche says otherwise. He also says that sometimes we even celebrate punishment for people whom we think deserve it and this greatly shows our own barbaric nature. People of slave morality receive punishment from their God from not being subservient to him and the penitence for all their sins was the sacrifice of Jesus himself. From this, religion brings feelings of guilt and resentment and brings us to fear sin itself. To Nietzsche, we must be able to be aware of this and take responsibility for ourselves instead of being at God’s every will in fear.

Nietzsche’s Virtues

Nietzsche has numerous ideals of virtues he believes one should have separating them from God completely and it is also based mostly on being entirely dependent on oneself. Obviously, strength is the most important trait to Nietzsche, though strength here means that one is educated, has self-control, and is respectful toward him or herself. Another virtue is self-centeredness, in which one is egotistical for the sake of life and his or her own survival. Though he believes one should also be generous and honest as well, but only because honestly is a weakness to his or her strength. With all these virtues, one must also be able to see their world as beautiful without needing anyone but him or herself to do so, because solitude is important as well.

Philosophers Response to Nietzsche’s Views

It is no surprise that other philosophers find Nietzsche’s views to be ridiculous and contradicting. One philosopher that comes to mind is Camus. Starting with Nietzsche saying the phrase “God is dead”, Camus says that saying this just destroys our meaning of morals. Everything that God had told us iswrong is now just what we have stated is wrong, since to Nietzsche we just created him ourselves. So does this good exist outside of us since God is not the good in this view? Or are we humans as a whole creating our definition of good and what is moral? With the phase, “God is dead” everything that we think is good is put into question and we would have to decide ourselves what is moral and who is to say we are right unless there is good existing outside of ourselves. But then how could we know?

Secondly, is the philosopher Hegel, which I believe has a better perspective of the masters and slaves in life. Hegel does not even take religion in to account when describing the characteristics of the master and slave, instead he classifies one as subject and one as object. The master would be someone essential and one who asserts power over the slave and even negates the slave. The slave would be the object and would simply exist just for another, such as the master. This idea is most often seen in animal life as the antelope simply exist to the lion as its food. This could also occur in humans as well, as in a fight, where both would be trying to classify themselves as the master, or subjects, and that he or she could not be negated by the other. This is a more clear and relatable outlook to the master and slave idea because it is simple and takes no traits of the person even into account. It just shows that there is always a winner and loser in these situations and that it is the way in which we demonstrate that we are superior. It is the means by which we consume objects in our everyday life, such as when we eat animals to satisfy our own hunger. The perspective of slave and master has nothing to do with religion or whether we have a certain type of strength or not, it is just whether or not we are significant.

My Conclusion and Response

At most times I find myself not entirely agreeing or disagreeing with Nietzsche’s views. I can see some of his ideals in different perspectives than others, but mostly I myself find his views ridiculous even though I am not personally big on religion. This is mostly because of the contradictions I see and the better put perspectives made by other philosophers after him.As much as I believe that humans should find meaning outside of God in their life as well, I do not believe that religion is entirely to blame and is most certainly not a weakness.

First of all, is Nietzsche account of values in which I agree that we do need to accept that the world is full of suffering and that we must make it beautiful, though the kind of strength that Nietzsche claims that we must have to do so is not necessary. Anyone with or without religion can make the world seem beautiful to them in their own creative ways. It is not a clear matter of strength but instead it is dependent on the person and their own ways of being creative. Someone may use their religion to believe the world is beautiful in that it was a gift given by God and suffering is to be accepted and someone without religion may see it beautiful because he or she may purely enjoy life in general and accept suffering just because it happens. Even with or without religion, one may not be able to accept the suffering in the world and run from it. But that is not a sign of weakness exactly, but instead that he or she has not yet came to understand it or be accepting of it. Fear of suffering is not a weakness, it is human nature.

Secondly, is Nietzsche’s view on the masters and slaves in the world, in which I believe he is entirely wrong. The most irritating suggestion I found is that he classifies modest and obedient people as weak-willed and of slave morality. Also, that he finds it weak to follow God. One who is religious and lives life by God is not solely living life by his terms, but also by theirs as well. It is possible to live by God’s word and to live by what you think yourself is moral. To me, Nietzsche’s account of the master seems selfish and close-minded. The master seems to live by their own terms in which that they only live for themselves which is not strength at all. Though, I do believe that one should not live entirely by God’s rules just because he says that it is right, but also because they believe it is right is well. Nietzsche is right to me that one should not be completely submissive to God, but it is wrong that is weakness to do so. If one believes that all God says is moral, why should that be weakness to believe what you think is right?

Thirdly, and the most agreeable statement I believe made by Nietzsche, is of God’s character. God is of barbaric nature, so are we, and with that I don’t always believe he is right. As in the story of The Fall, personally I agree with Nietzsche that eternal damnation of Adam and Eve was a bit extreme for just the sin of disobedience. He is also right in that we rejoice in the punishment of people whom we think deserves it. As today if a murder is put to death, people rejoice in his death because of his sin. Which is understanding that they are glad they got justice and what they believe to be proper punishment for him or her, but should we really celebrate in another’s misery? I do not believe there is ever a time that we really should because we are all equal as humans and human life is all measured the same. We’re all the same percentage of water and we all breathe the same air. We all sin as well. While we do, we should also not be afraid of God’s punishment towards us, as Nietzsche says. What kind of way is that to live? We shouldn’t live in fear of our God, but instead we should accept our own sins and use prayer for what it should be used for, praying for the sinners instead of praying for ourselves always. As praying for our own forgiveness would just be us fearing not getting it, right? And we should not be afraid of the one we are following.

Last of all is my response to Nietzsche’s virtues of life. This is where I believe Nietzsche is completely mistaken. He thinks that we should separate ourselves from God and be dependent on ourselves, but why? He says that makes us strong, but to me it doesn’t. We can’t live our entire life just being entirely dependent on ourselves and nobody else. I agree that we should have some selfishness in order to take care of ourselves, but we should not be completely self-consumed. If we are egotistic, how can we possibly see the world as beautiful as he said if we must always be content will solitude? It is pure human nature to not want to be alone and how can we fight our own nature? We could not possibly survive just on our own and some people use God as part of their own strength, which should not be counted as weakness. As weakness makes more sense to be someone only concerned with themselves and not able to depend on anything or anyone else.

Conclusion

In conclusion to my outlook on Nietzsche, I find lots of his perspectives to be flawed but it brings up good ideals that can be questioned as well. Beneath his ridiculous claims there is at least something that can be slightly agreed with or it can be used to bring about new claims to be made. While I am not religious, I find Nietzsche to be wrong quite often, but I also understand some of his points as well and find them all interesting. All in all, I believe Nietzsche was the start of some questions that should have been asked and has a honest and bold look on God that others wouldn’t dare to question in where he makes his best argument to me

© 2014 Natalie


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Added on June 12, 2014
Last Updated on June 12, 2014
Tags: essay, nietzsche, philosophy, opinion, views, personal, college, religion

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Natalie
Natalie

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My name is Natalie Bee. I am nineteen years old and currently attending UNA for a BS degree in Journalism with a minor in Philosophy. I have several hobbies which obviously include writing, but I a.. more..

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