I feel like Nietzsche has accomplished the difficult task of surpassing Plato as the most complex text we’ve read this semester. I may have made the false assumption that as the books came closer to our era, they would be more contemporary, and thus easier to comprehend. But it appears that once again, I am horribly wrong. For 120 pages required to read, it by far the most dense and most difficult to follow, especially because it is very loosely written and requires a higher-level attention to understand. But anyways here’s my two cents on this “anti-philosophers” ideas.
First thing I really liked was that some of Nietzsche ideas directly go against and contrast Plato (An individual I once praised, but realized was a douche after reading The Republic). Kinda links back to Rousseau Vs. Hobbes Nature vs. Society. Likewise Plato’s realm of “perfect forms” or ideas holds singular truths, while Nietzsche holds that “truths” are far more subjective and malleable to each culture and era, which is far closer to current contemporary belief. Kind of ironic thought, how Nietzsche beliefs would be warped to serve as the ideals of “ethnic purity” German Nationality and superiority. Yet Plato’s Fascist views (which many of us agree, he held) about literal ethnic expulsion and euthanasia are never given credit where it’s due. Oh the irony!
What else? The idea of slave morality and noble morality seems to be a lot more simple than it leads itself to be. Basically “good” is whatever serves as a positive for an individuals own interests and evil is whatever harms, disables or leads to his or her own resentment. For example Nietzsche describes that wild beasts really aren’t commonly termed “Evil” because they aren’t self-hating or cognizant of their own actions, they do what they must. So if a Grizzly Bear begins to maul you to death, don’t think or call it evil. He don’t know any better, he’s just trying to satisfy his need of nourishment that your flesh can grant him. I mean a lot of us who are recognized and consider ourselves Atheists would probably know this as common sense, but for Nietzsche time this idea of morality beyond scripture probably turned some heads in a strongly Catholic Germany. He was the first to coin the phrase “God is dead”. I know plenty of people who’d say the same. British Columbia has the largest atheist population in Canada fyi. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you though.
Anyways may as well use this last paragraph to state I’m sorry for writing my blog late, but this text required more patience, time and self contemplation than a weekend could grant me. Annnnnnnd done.
P.S Nietzsche’s feeling of alienation and eventual catatonic state is probably one of the most tragic stories I’ve ever heard.