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Transcript of Nietzsche
* Born in Germany in 1844; Died insane in 1900
* Became a professor in philology at the age of 24
* Friends with composer Richard Wagner until 1879
* Had a mental breakdown in 1889
* Some think he had syphilis; others believe he had brain cancer.
Jesus vs. Christianity
He strongly criticized Christianity
He held high esteem for Jesus
He said His death was a mistake
Christianity was created to cover this mistake.
Declared, "God is dead!"
This is a lament, not an arrogant declaration.
"God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and the mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed, has bled to death under our knife -who will wipe the blood from us? With what water could we cleanse ourselves? What lustrums, what sacred games shall we have to devise? Is not the magnitude of this deed too great for us?"
He questioned our trust in the power of reason. He said that theories are designed to cover ulterior motives.
Overman (Ubermensch, superman)
A human who can overcome the Godless world filled with Nihilism
Nihilism is the belief that there is no meaning (after God was "killed" all meaning and purpose
were ripped from our existence.)
Defined by Nietzche as the "meaning of the earth."
In C & P this is a man who can overstep the bounds of law for the benefit of all humanity.
Metamorphoses of the human spirit
Camel-carries burdens-medieval Christianity
Child- "affirms his fate of being with joy"
Embraced by the Nazi party for his ideas on individualism.
The Nazis perverted his ideas and used them to justify their beliefs.
This may have been due to his sister's ties with the Nazi regime. She
helped to start an anti-semitic colony and promoted such ideas.
Nietzsche Actually said:
The will to power
This was the "say yes! to life" philosophy
This referred to the conflict and aggression inherent in living.
In Western thought it is referred as the battle between good and evil.
Good and evil are moot points in Nietzsche's thinking.
He is credited for beginning the discussion on Existentialism--what is life's purpose or IS there a purpose to life?
He was a questioner--a role not always applauded by society.
Only a few should break away from humanity.
The concept of pure blood is harmful.
He could not be friends with Wagner because
the composer was anti-semitic.
What does this mean for you?
Consider HOW authors know the human condition...
They know that we all seek meaning, purpose,
or, at the very least, fulfillment and happiness in life.
Nietzsche challenged the belief that a purpose is tied to God.
He did acknowledge, however, that a purpose gives our lives meaning.
Camus challenges this idea.
Questions for you:
1. Why is Nietzsche important in the study of philosophy? What is he known for?
2. Why is he an important thinker in literature?
He provides the thought process for atheism, though he is considered the most religious atheistic philosopher. Why? He hoped for a God that was all He was told he could be. But, alas, without faith there is no belief in a god. And he proposed that humans had killed off the idea of God with their flawed living.
He died a rather sad figure and without hope.
3. How would certain favorite novels change if characters did not seek purpose or meaning?
4. If an author created a character with no purpose or meaning sought in life, describe what that character might be like.