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 Post subject: Examining Nietzsche the man
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 7:45 pm 
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Majesty
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Have any of you read the works of Nietzsche? I know he was at odds with Christianity, but I never read his works.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/books/20 ... -7159r.htm


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:05 am 
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ive read some, he contradicts himself alot in my own opinion, even before I even found God and was agnostic and read his writings...I felt he went in circles alot, it was very obvious to me. He can make a sane person insane if that person doesn't acknowledge a God when reading his writings (If you could call an agnostic or athiest, sane in the first place). Havent read that much since, by him...just a little if i have to...otherwise, I feel that I am wasting my time, especially now, after finding The Truth...

But I guess it would help if you want to reconfirm your own beliefs. But I wouldnt read 20 of his books, if you know what I mean...a couple is plenty...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:22 am 
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I'm working on a paper on Nietzschean Ethics right now, so I've been reading a lot on him. His works are a bit....well....muddy, which is why I'm preferring to go to secondary sources first and then reference back to the original works. He was exploring new philosophical ground at the time, but others who came after him were able to make his ideas clearer and flesh them out a little. To be honest, I'm not sure it's worthwhile to read any of his books. You might just stick with an impartial commentary on his writings.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:48 am 
I do not have an advanced degree in Philosophy, but I do have a BA in it, and have read a number of his works. It seems to me his early works are philosophically much different than his later works. He really does not have a system of thought like you find with Kant or Hegel. In fact he actually attacks the idea of creating a "system of thought". When you read his works you may find you are entering the mind of an angry man; an angry man who progressively gets more angry with his later works. Of course, he is most famous for his "Will to Power", and "Twilight of the Idols". Both works attack belief in God, and call for the emergence of the "Ubermensch", or "Superman" to rule over others. Hitler used or misused some of his ideas.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:00 pm 
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I read quite alot of him, both primary and secondary sources, in my philosphy days. I used to be quite enamored with him (thank God I grew up). He affirms every base and simplistic intellectual tendency. I think any thinking person that looks for clearly presented and systematic thinking will be disappointed.

Nietzsche died in a syphillitic fit, barking mad. Look elsewhere for sanity and inspiration.

Really, if you are looking for good books (and want to understand the influence of Nietzsche) read Alisdair Macintryire's "After Virtue". He argues that in our emotive culture, moral language is meaningless. Words like "virtue", "good", "evil" are used without any commonly accepted understanding of they actually mean. When reasoned moral debate is impossible (because we have forgotten what the words mean) the volume of an argument is more important than the the force of its logic. He blames Nietzsche. Think about watching "Crossfire" and you get the point.

Western civilization begins with the Greeks, reaches hew heights with Aristiotle. Augustine interjects Christian morality into Aristotle which sets the stage for Western greatness. Aquinas perfects it.

Nietzsche and all he stands for ruins the whole thing and leads the culture into a new dark ages in which we still find ourselves.

We are waiting for a new "St. Benedict" to restore the Western ideal...a new renaissance in which Augustine and Aquinas will be rediscovered. Until this time, reasoned dialogue about moral issues is impossible.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:20 am 
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Tex wrote:

Until this time, reasoned dialogue about moral issues is impossible.


:huh

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:03 pm 
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Meaning: You can only have reasoned dialogue about a subject if the participants know what the words being used actually mean.

MacIntyre says you can't understand words like "virtue", "good", "evil" without a certain philosophical contex (that would be Aristitle). Without this shared background knowledge people use words but don't know what they mean.

It's like that old Star Trek episode where the crew discovers a planet where there exists a small group of people who worship the remains of what can clearly be seen to be a tattered American flag. The people chant a mysterious prayer handed on from generations past. The words are garbled, and they don't know what any of them mean, but as a viewer you can tell it is the Pledge of Allegiance.

Moral debate is like that today. We use words but secular society doesn't really know what they mean since we've forgotten Aristotle. In the end, because we don't know what the words mean, we can't weigh competing moral claims against each other rationally.

In such cases, the loudest (not the most reasonable) person wins.

Practical example: Michael Schiavo says his wife has a right to die. Her parents say she has a right to live. There is no consensus on how to weigh these competiing claims against one another. The result: the loudest voice (or the one that was not subjected to media self-censorship) wins.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:48 pm 
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Oh, I see what you're saying now. Still, I think that dialogue IS possible....it just means that the dialogue needs to start on a more fundamental level. In that way, it's kinda like apologetics. You can have a protestant and a catholic arguing about something like infant baptism, for example. They'll go round and round without realizing that the more basic question of authority needs to be answered before they can move on to the baptism question. In the same way, you can have a relativist and an objectivist engaged in serious dialogue and debate, so long as they begin at the beginning and agree to work on the definitions first.....which is basically what you just said. That's the way I try to approach my analysis of everything, by asking not only what the definitions are, but also discovering the fundamental principles in operation.

Hey, I think I discovered a new signature line. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:56 pm 
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Quote:
Max's Approach to Everything: Ask yourself, what the are fundamental principles or assumptions in operation.


What are the fundamental principles or assumptions underlying this approach?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:57 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Quote:
Max's Approach to Everything: Ask yourself, what the are fundamental principles or assumptions in operation.


What are the fundamental principles or assumptions underlying this approach?



Logical positivism. :wink:

(j/k)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:00 pm 
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I once had to write a paper comparing his ethics to Jeremy Bentham's... I have to say there were many times during the research and writing that I had this look on my face...

:shock:

Can be disturbing...

FJ

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:02 pm 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Logical positivism.


I figured as much. :stir

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:11 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
Logical positivism.


I figured as much. :stir



The "j/k" on the bottom of the post is not my initials.

I'd sooner go to a Yanni concert with my toy poodle while wearing patchouli than embrace logical positivism.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:39 pm 
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Quote:
That's the way I try to approach my analysis of everything, by asking not only what the definitions are, but also discovering the fundamental principles in operation.


Right, if the person doesn't even adhere to basic principles of reason (like non-contradiction) you cant even talk.

As an aside: I have noticed that people who proclaim the virtues of "dialogue" as the solution to everything are usually the ones who play fastest and loosest with logic. They're always trying to change the definitions of words so the "dialogue" ends up supporting their conclusions. My mom said she wouldn't call what was done to Terri Schiavo "starvation" -- how can you even communicate with a person who doesn't accept the meaning of the most easy to understand words?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:55 pm 
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Tex wrote:
Quote:
That's the way I try to approach my analysis of everything, by asking not only what the definitions are, but also discovering the fundamental principles in operation.


Right, if the person doesn't even adhere to basic principles of reason (like non-contradiction) you cant even talk.



Anyone who doesn't adhere to the law of non-contradiction should be shot. (Except for Schrodinger's Cat.)

:)

Tex wrote:
As an aside: I have noticed that people who proclaim the virtues of "dialogue" as the solution to everything are usually the ones who play fastest and loosest with logic. They're always trying to change the definitions of words so the "dialogue" ends up supporting their conclusions. My mom said she wouldn't call what was done to Terri Schiavo "starvation" -- how can you even communicate with a person who doesn't accept the meaning of the most easy to understand words?



That's true. I find that some people prefer to avoid using certain words because it confronts them with the fallacy of their beliefs. I won't talk about your mom, but if "Person X" refuses to use the word 'starvation' in regards to Schiavo, it's because deep down, they know starvation to be morally wrong. If they can apply a different word to the situation, then they can more easily justify their ideas.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:08 pm 
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Quote:
I won't talk about your mom, but if "Person X" refuses to use the word 'starvation' in regards to Schiavo, it's because deep down, they know starvation to be morally wrong


I know it. Drives me nuts.

Then I try to get her to clarify what is and is not (according to her) starvation.

I ask, well if I stopped feeding my son David (1 year old) would that be starvation. She says yes. I ask her what the difference is (both are helpless and rely on others for their care, both posess less awareness of their surroundings than the average person, both are unable to feed themselves or communicate). She gets all nervous and defensive, and says I'm trying to force her into a box and she stops talking. So much for dialogue.

You see: The idea that logic has some binding force is absent in most peoples minds. People seem to feel that logic is merely another rhetorical tool (like theatrical presentation, or volume) by which the strong can assert their will on the weak.

And there's Nietzsche for you.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:25 pm 
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Quote:
Nietzsche died in a syphillitic fit, barking mad. Look elsewhere for sanity and inspiration.


Good point :)

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Some of these ecumenists are so preoccupied with Christian unity that they are willing to destroy Catholic unity in the name of Christian unity. - Fr. John Hardon


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:43 am 
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I heard a story years ago that just kind of stuck.

The story goes that when Nietzsche's disease was advancing and he was becoming more and more unhinged, he was walking doen the road when he saw a man in a cart beating his horse. Overcome with pity, Nietzsche ran to the horse, took his head in his arms and began to sob uncontrollably.

The man who hated women, Christians, and Jews (and anybody weak) was brought to tears at the sight of a horse being beaten.

He'd fit right in in the 21st century.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:47 pm 
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Tex wrote
Quote:
We are waiting for a new "St. Benedict" to restore the Western ideal...a new renaissance in which Augustine and Aquinas will be rediscovered.


With the Holy Spirit nothing is impossible.

Thank God.


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