Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
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13-11-2012, 10:46 PM
Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
I am a fan of most of Nietzsche's work, but, in my opinion he screwed up in a few places. For one, he advocated that humans were special among animals, but only in their ability to change. He believed we could become whatever we wanted to be if we just gave it the ole' college try. Now this is not without some merit. We can certainly change more than other animals, but we can't just quit being ourselves no matter how hard we try. We do have physical, chemical make-up that prevents us from changing completely. For example, some folks will usually fight in a 'fight or flight' situation, even when it is advantageous to fly. You cannot simply will yourself to respond differently. Another mistake is his 'God is dead' hypothesis. He believed (not unlike ideal future of Gene Roddenberry) that religion, and God had served it's purpose and humanity was ready to just move on. Well over a hundred years after Nietzche's death religion is still a pretty powerful force, and that is unlikely to change in the next hundred years either (in my opinion). I have doubts that humanity will ever cast off its religious shackles without evolutionary change over the course of many millennia. Hmm..I was going to make another refutation but I forgot what it was...

Do you agree? Disagree? Where else did Nietzsche go wrong?

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13-11-2012, 11:01 PM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
I love Nietzsche. He was one of those blunt, unforgiving, in-your-face atheists in a time when it was cultural suicide to be an atheist. If I believed in reincarnation, I would guess that Christopher Hitchens was Nietzsche in a former life.

As far as where he went wrong? It's been way too long for me get into that conversation. I haven't read Nietzsche (The Will to Power was my last one) since college. The best I can do is answer in the abstract. I would say that however wrong Nietzsche was on specific points, his intent and message were delivered powerfully enough to serve their purpose. For instance, claiming that God was dead and that he was the anti-Christ worked more as a sledgehammer to jar stubborn mindsets of the time period than for any specific reason.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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13-11-2012, 11:42 PM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
(13-11-2012 10:46 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  I am a fan of most of Nietzsche's work, but, in my opinion he screwed up in a few places. For one, he advocated that humans were special among animals, but only in their ability to change. He believed we could become whatever we wanted to be if we just gave it the ole' college try. Now this is not without some merit. We can certainly change more than other animals, but we can't just quit being ourselves no matter how hard we try. We do have physical, chemical make-up that prevents us from changing completely. For example, some folks will usually fight in a 'fight or flight' situation, even when it is advantageous to fly. You cannot simply will yourself to respond differently. Another mistake is his 'God is dead' hypothesis. He believed (not unlike ideal future of Gene Roddenberry) that religion, and God had served it's purpose and humanity was ready to just move on. Well over a hundred years after Nietzche's death religion is still a pretty powerful force, and that is unlikely to change in the next hundred years either (in my opinion). I have doubts that humanity will ever cast off its religious shackles without evolutionary change over the course of many millennia. Hmm..I was going to make another refutation but I forgot what it was...

Do you agree? Disagree? Where else did Nietzsche go wrong?
Nietzsche was very much for the 'overman' ,as distinct from the strong group directive, and it was his sister that created the link to fascism for her own self aggrandizement.
As for what went wrong? In what was to some degree radicalism at the time I don't think a great deal did actually.
He saw that a weak fawning attitude towards religion (Christianity)served vested interests and did his best, despite ill health, to be as adventuresome as possible. As you indicate human nature varies; he may have been overly demanding, and his style of argument was quite boisterous. Unlike Schopenhaeur he was very positive before succumbing to insanity.

I have never really understood his Eternal Re-occurence, which was very metaphysical for him, and has always reminded me of Ground hog Day.
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14-11-2012, 01:36 AM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
Mr. Woof, as I re-call it Nietzshe pretty much said the meta-physical is bullshit, but even if it isn't we can't understand it so it's not worth wasting time on. This eternal re-occurrence is something alien to me. Was this something from his unfinished manuscript or something? Or maybe something from his years in academia?

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14-11-2012, 04:31 PM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
(14-11-2012 01:36 AM)Dark Light Wrote:  Mr. Woof, as I re-call it Nietzshe pretty much said the meta-physical is bullshit, but even if it isn't we can't understand it so it's not worth wasting time on. This eternal re-occurrence is something alien to me. Was this something from his unfinished manuscript or something? Or maybe something from his years in academia?
Possibly; I forget the source myself. I think he based the notion on astronomy.
Maybe some people raise the issue in an endeavour to put him down....... Wink
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21-11-2013, 05:12 PM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
Whether Nietzche was right or wrong is beside the point. In fact, the question of right or wrong detracts from most philosophy. I don't read Nietzche as being a self-proclaimed "Anti-Christ," & I certainly don't read anything he wrote, namely the Antichrist, as an Atheist Manifesto. I'm reading Antichrist now, & at best it is a visceral, unapologetic attack on a belief system Nietzche abhorred. In no way does it come off as a projection of atheist proselytization. In fact, it never addresses (not sure Nietzche ever did) the dubiousness of God's existence. One gets the impression Nietzche couldn't really be bothered with that question. Rather, he chose to address what was right in front of him, meaning real-life Christians, and, exasperated, hoped to reveal their "faith" for what it truly had become--a recourse to power under the guise of passivity and altruism. I seem to have become equally exasperated with modern atheists who, in their hubris and phony air of enlightenment, attempt to appropriate Nietzchean ideas, among others, as a kind of philosophical "I told you so!" I suspect Nietzche would have no time for the banality of today's "New Atheist" echo chamber, where we all meet to glad hand one another in mutual congratulations for our superior intelligence.
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22-11-2013, 01:35 AM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
In a sense, I don't think Nietzsche could have been wrong in what he wrote.

A few contemporary scholars contend that while Nietzsche had his personal views, a major component of his philosophy was the act of reading his work, as it triggered a reflective process on humanity's most sacred things (ie our morality or religion or belief in a logical universe). Even if his opinions were wrong, the way he forces us to question these things is certainly unique and highly effective.

At least, that's how I read him.
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22-11-2013, 02:49 AM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
(22-11-2013 01:35 AM)Enlightened Romantic Wrote:  In a sense, I don't think Nietzsche could have been wrong in what he wrote.

A few contemporary scholars contend that while Nietzsche had his personal views, a major component of his philosophy was the act of reading his work, as it triggered a reflective process on humanity's most sacred things (ie our morality or religion or belief in a logical universe). Even if his opinions were wrong, the way he forces us to question these things is certainly unique and highly effective.

At least, that's how I read him.

You could say the say for anyone who has ever written anything that evokes self-contemplation or even mildly controversial though.

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22-11-2013, 03:59 PM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
“Woman was God’s second mistake. ”

― Friedrich Nietzsche
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22-11-2013, 04:03 PM
RE: Where Nietzsche Went Wrong.
(13-11-2012 10:46 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  I am a fan of most of Nietzsche's work, but, in my opinion he screwed up in a few places. For one, he advocated that humans were special among animals, but only in their ability to change. He believed we could become whatever we wanted to be if we just gave it the ole' college try. Now this is not without some merit. We can certainly change more than other animals, but we can't just quit being ourselves no matter how hard we try. We do have physical, chemical make-up that prevents us from changing completely. For example, some folks will usually fight in a 'fight or flight' situation, even when it is advantageous to fly. You cannot simply will yourself to respond differently. Another mistake is his 'God is dead' hypothesis. He believed (not unlike ideal future of Gene Roddenberry) that religion, and God had served it's purpose and humanity was ready to just move on. Well over a hundred years after Nietzche's death religion is still a pretty powerful force, and that is unlikely to change in the next hundred years either (in my opinion). I have doubts that humanity will ever cast off its religious shackles without evolutionary change over the course of many millennia. Hmm..I was going to make another refutation but I forgot what it was...

Do you agree? Disagree? Where else did Nietzsche go wrong?
Nietzsche didn't go wrong anywhere. He just omitted the fact that population is a bell curve and he was a minority and most people still need guidance. This guidance is basically tribalism with a religious totem. God is dead, but people's imagination and experience is so limited and concrete, that they need tangible symbols for what is essentially intangible and most attempts at expressing God distort God. Thus whatever can be worshipped at all, is necessarily a dead, distorted image of God.
After Buddha was dead, people
showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a
cave,—an immense frightful shadow. God is dead:
but as the human race is constituted, there will
perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which
people will show his shadow.—And we—we have
still to overcome his shadow!

Nietsche saw a human being a bridnge in the chain of being, between an animal and the great glory of Übermensch - something that is not a future race at all, something that is within us, waiting to manifest itself.

I am not an expert on Nietzsche. I just have read his book Thus Zarathustra Spoke and I know his experiences intimately. He seemed to go through similar experiences as I do. I know the things he hints at. He is good at avoiding pitfalls both of academical scientism and vulgar occultism

"I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

"All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape.

"Whoever is the wisest among you is also a mere conflict and cross between plant and ghost. But do I bid you become ghosts or plants?

"Behold, I teach you the overman! The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go!"

Nietzsche is suffering of extreme dis-illusion with self, not just himself, but human personality as such. He perceived something greater than a mere personality. I find his nihilism very positive and humane. We are to be liberated from mere ourselves. I don't know he'd ever say we can become anything, we can become overmen.

I think Nietzsche is not about everything and he is not for everyone. His job is not to provide a comprehensive answer to everything, but rather provide important answers to problems of people in a certain stages of personal crisis, of self-disillusion, which he himself went through.
So it is understandable he attracts atheists at first, but I don't think atheists are his audience, not yet. Most atheists I know are as much prisoners of God as believers, they know Bible better and they talk about God more. They don't believe in God, but they hate him, so they are still his prisoners.
I'd say Nietzsche speaks to those who do not care either way anymore. Haters of God worship what they think is science, the more mechanistic and materialistic the universe is, the more true it seems to them. Man is exempt from the universe, not fit to judge except through mechanical devices and yet a part of the universe in the lowest sense. Yesterday's idealists are today's just as fanatical anti-idealists. Neither is the indifferent Nietzschean man of tomorrow, tired of both sides of this shit.
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