Friday, February 24, 2012

Something about Nietzsche, Christianity and the Superman

Something on Nitzsche I quoted on Facebook today and just want to store here.  I have come across this idea several times now with those who refuse an external moral code, that speaking of forgiveness is not necessary, either.  It is said that it is good to uncover evil, (especially in others), but forgiveness need not be spoken of.  That would make confession without absolution.  This is something we find all over the place, even in Christian denominations.  As Lutherans we stress, that the importance lies on the absolution, in as much as the gospel is what we preach. 

Source:  "Ideas of the great Philosophers" by William and Mabel Sahakian. p. 51.

Nietzsche accused Judeo-Christian religious leaders of using religion as a means of turning natural moral values upside down, so that the master race became the slaves, and the slaves became the masters.  The slaves, said he, became priests representing the omnipotent god and threatened their masters with divine punishment unless they, the masters, accept a humble, servile role as obedient servants of the slaves.  Nietzsche called for a revaluation of all values, the repudiation of Judeo-Christian values.  (Note the kinship of this philosophy to that of Adolph Hitler, although Nietzsche’s aristocrats were to be found in many nations, not in one only.)  Nietzsche’s superman is a moral giant endowed with physical superiority.  He is a member of a race to come; no one has yet achieved this high goal, for the best of men have fallen short.  The Nietzschean concept of Superman would require him to be a being who combined the might and majesty of Caesar with the moral superiority of Jesus.  Just as man is superior to the ape, so the superman will be distinctly superior to man.  As a morally superior creation, superman never needs to grant forgiveness [!!!], for he would promptly forget or ignore any wrongs done him.  In fact, he has forgiven even before he has been wronged.  In spirit he is like Jesus on the cross, asking god to forgive his enemies.  Nietzsche asserted that Jesus was an ideal model for Christians, but they had failed to imitate that model and, consequently, “there was only one Christian and he died on the cross.” 


James Swan said...

I was forced to read Nietzsche for my undergrad degree in philosophy.

I'd rather have my fingernails pulled off slowly then have to read Nietzsche again.

Brigitte said...

We need to trace this whole development from rationalism to romanticism, to Nietzsche and this whole anti-Christian understanding of man and his possibilities for evolution. Somehow, it is also connected to Eastern religious thought incorporated by the philosophers.

Nietzsche, perhaps, we can be content reading in summarized form. :)

Steven Brodie Tucker said...

Nietzsche hated a breed of Christianity that would have repulsed most Christians living today. Christian values, for centuries, were so mean-spirited and self-loathing, who could respect anyone that didn't hate them?

Brigitte said...

Where do you get that from Steven? (nice to meet you here)

I'm from Germany and I know something of the scene there and the history of Christianity, there.

"Christian values, for centuries, were so mean-spirited and self-loathing." What do you mean?