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Nietzsche: Philosophy as Creating Values

By Edited Aug 7, 2016 0 0

Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Rocken, Germany in October of 1844, and was the son and grandson of Lutheran pastors. He later went on to attend school in Bonn and Leipzig and studied philology. He lived a rather painful life with syphilis, migraines, gastric disorder and insomnia. He died as a bachelor, lived a solitary lifestyle and is known for being enigmatic.

The central idea of Nietzsche's philosophy is that God was dead.This however gives humanity freedom we've never had before and it is our duty to make the most of our existence and find purpose within it. In Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", the loss of the divine from our world is explained as happening over a period of time following the Renaissance when human reason was though of as the most efficient way to understand the world. God loses out to human reason and therefore moral and value codes are gone as well.

Many of Nietzsche's writings deal with the idea that liberation derives from self transcendence. He was a proponent of Socrate's ideas that everyone should take car of their souls and constantly strive to maintain their integrity. They should also maintain their individuality and refuse to accept false values just because they are considered to be the norm. he especially condemns Christian values saying they use slave morals and dogmas to go against our natural human attributes. He thinks that focusing mainly on the after world wastes the potential that we have right now in this world. Nietzsche was also a proponent of the ancient Greek values in which self assertion, personality and excellence were valued. Ultimately the problem with Christianity as he saw it was that in order to perceive good, one had to see the opposite as evil and all non-Christians were considered as a threat.

Nietzsche's first work was called "The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music". In this he said that there were two principles; the Apollonian that stands for harmony and reason and there is the Dionysian that stands for danger and passion. He said these things were the two basic and necessary human characteristics. He said that art comes from our Dionysian side, or the darker side of human nature. Nietzsche thought that in the primal drives of humanity, true reality can be found. Many postmodernists today see Nietzsche as the one who founded their ideas about truth. In this case truth is due to perspective and based on things like culture, the era that you live and language. Therefore there is no ultimate truth or supreme system of morality.

There is no doubt that Nietzsche was a revolutionary thinker. He is a philosopher that most definitely was not afraid to think outside the box. He refused to believe things simply because they were professed to be true by scholars; much like earlier skeptics like Descartes and Hume. Nietzsche despised blind conformity and thought it was up to the individual to take responsibility to reach a level of maturity and integrity in his or her own life. He initiated the concept of God dying and that we have been forced to create our own moral code and system of values because of it. Overall, Nietzsche had quite a profound effect on the rest of humanity and I would say changed the course of human thought as well.



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