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The Life & Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

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The Life & Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

TIMELINE

* Born: 1844. Rocken, Germany

* Died: 1900. Weimar, Germany

* Major Works: The Gay Science (1882),

* Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-1885),

* Beyond Good & Evil (1886),

* On the Genealogy of Morals (1887),

MAJOR IDEAS

Self deception is a particularly destructive characteristic of West Culture.

Life is The Will To Power; our natural desire is to dominate and reshape the world to fit our own preferences and assert our personal strength to the fullest degree possible.

Struggle, through which individuals achieve a degree of power commensurate with their abilities, is the basic fact of human existence. Ideals of human equality perpetuate mediocrity -- a truth that has been distorted and concealed by modern value systems.

Christian morality, which identifies goodness with meekness and servility is the prime culprit in creating a cultural climate that thwarts the drive for excellence and self realization God is dead; a new era of human creativity and achievement is at hand. -- Great Thinkers In The Western World. By: Ian P. McGreal, 1992

PREFACE

Much information is available on Mr. Friedrich Nietzsche, including many books that he wrote himself, during his philosophical career. I took this as a good sign I would find a fountain of enlightened material produced by the man. I've had to go through a bit of my own philosophical meditations to put my own value judgements aside, and truly look for the contributions Nietzsche gave to philosophy. Much of my understanding came only after I had a grasp of Neitzsche's history; therefore, I encourage you to read-up on his history before diving into his philosophy (see Appendix I). The modern Westerner might disagree with every aspect of his philosophy, but there are many things one must unfortunately admit are true (only if you put your morality aside). So, from here, I will present his contributions to philosophy, and do my best to delete my own opinions, other than to say that he was not the chosen topic of this paper out of any admiration.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

Sometimes philosophy is called "timeless," implying that it's lessons are of value to any generation. This may be hard to see in Nietzsche's work; but, we are assured that it was appropriate thought for his time. However, even Nietzsche's critics admit that his words hold an undeniable truth, as hard as it is to accept. Perhaps this is why his work is timeless, and has survived 150 years in print.

Christianity "God is Dead!" announced Zarathustra (better known as Zoroaster), in Neitzsche's proudest book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-1885). Unlike many philosophers, Nietzsche never tried to prove or disprove the existence of God, just that belief in God can create sickness; and to convince that highest achievements in human life depend on elimination of God. Whether God existed had no relevance in his goal. Proclamation of the death of God was a fundamental ingredient in the revaluation of values Nietzsche advocated.

"Nothing has done more than Christianity to entrench the morality of mediocrity in human consciousness."

"Christian love extols qualities of weakness; it causes guilt. Charity is just teaching hatred and revenge directed toward nobility."

"Belief in God is a tool to bring submission to the individual of noble character."

-- F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Hero Morality Nietzsche had an ideal world in mind, with an ideal government and an ideal God: the "Overman" or "Superman." These Gods were a product of natural selection, or social Darwinism. He felt, very strongly, that any kind of moral limitations upon man would only stand in the way of The Overman. "The Will To Power," his strongest teaching, meant that The Overman should and would do anything possible to gain power, control and strength. If one showed the smallest bit of weakness or morality, he would be killed by the stronger Overman, and taken over. Thus, the advancement of The Master Race (Nietzsche's "Master Race" will be discussed later).

"Not

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