Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
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02-08-2013, 11:17 AM
Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
"The over-all degeneration of man down to what today appears to the socialist dolts and flatheads as their "man of the future"-as their ideal-this degeneration and diminution of man into the perfect herd animal, this animalization of man into the dwarf animal of equal rights and claims, is possible, there is no doubt of it. Anyone who has once thought through this possibility to the end knows one kind of nausea that other men don't know-but perhaps also a new task!" (Beyond Good & Evil, 203)

Nietzsche was anti-socialist, and anti-egalitarianism.

And perhaps his most famous quote that is most often taken out of context: "God is dead."

The is often quoted out of context by, ironically enough, both the religious and the atheists to prove their respective points. However, the meat of the quote is in what follows...

"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?" (Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125)

Nietzsche's point was that while we may have gotten over the concept of "God" in itself by killing him, its remnants still remain in our culture, morally and ethically, in what is the secular humanist movement and other such invented "sacred games". In other words, if Nietzsche was around today to witness this humanist movement, his response would simply be this "In your motto "Good without a God", you have one too many o's in the first word."

And Nietzsche's critique of Christianity is unlike that of most atheists today. While most atheists today claim that Christianity's morality is detrimental to civilization for its supposedly outdated and despicable precepts, Nietzsche argued that Christianity's influence has inevitably weakened men (particularly in the west) to a point of pathological altruism.

"What a crude intellect is good for.-- The Christian church is an encyclopaedia of prehistoric cults and conceptions of the most diverse origin, and that is why it is so capable of proselytizing: it always could, and it can still go wherever it pleases and it always found, and always finds something similar to itself to which it can adapt itself and gradually impose upon it a Christian meaning. It is not what is Christian in it, but the universal heathen character of its usages, which has favored the spread of this world-religion; its ideas, rooted in both the Jewish and the Hellenic worlds, have from the first known how to raise themselves above national and racial niceties and exclusiveness as though these were merely prejudices." (Nietzsche's Daybreak,s. 70)

The universalism and power of Christianity's ability to adapt was something Nietzsche found to be the root of the western man's diminution.
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02-08-2013, 01:23 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
Never read the bugger. Sounds reasonably legit. What be the beef with the dude ?
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02-08-2013, 01:57 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
I'm a leftish atheist and I don't endorse Nizsthishcse... I don't endorse people whose name I can't pronounce

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02-08-2013, 01:59 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
(02-08-2013 01:57 PM)nach_in Wrote:  I'm a leftish atheist and I don't endorse Nizsthishcse... I don't endorse people whose name I can't pronounce

Pronounce it "nee-shaw"; that's quite wrong, but it is good for either a laugh or for seriously pissing off a stickler. So there's that.

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02-08-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
I don't endorse him because I've never read him.

On a side note, is he popular among the left in Europe?

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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02-08-2013, 02:04 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
(02-08-2013 02:01 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I don't endorse him because I've never read him.

On a side note, is he popular among the left in Europe?

Well his ideas did inspire Hitler and the Nazis, even though he did not support Nazism, nor was he an anti-semite.

The only thing that most of the left has in common with him is atheism. Beyond that, there is little to nothing else in common.
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02-08-2013, 02:06 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
(02-08-2013 02:04 PM)janthuffy Wrote:  
(02-08-2013 02:01 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I don't endorse him because I've never read him.

On a side note, is he popular among the left in Europe?

Well his ideas did inspire Hitler and the Nazis, even though he did not support Nazism, nor was he an anti-semite.

The only thing that most of the left has in common with him is atheism. Beyond that, there is little to nothing else in common.

Ayn Rand was an atheist but seems to have inspired the Conservatives. Who gives a shit?

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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02-08-2013, 02:08 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
Apparently some of his stuff is worth a read. I've always meant to but never got around to it.
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02-08-2013, 02:12 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
(02-08-2013 02:06 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(02-08-2013 02:04 PM)janthuffy Wrote:  Well his ideas did inspire Hitler and the Nazis, even though he did not support Nazism, nor was he an anti-semite.

The only thing that most of the left has in common with him is atheism. Beyond that, there is little to nothing else in common.

Ayn Rand was an atheist but seems to have inspired the Conservatives. Who gives a shit?

Conservatism does not necessarily mean someone is religious. And Ayn Rand hardly had anything original to say, while her Objectivist philosophy is just meta-realism.

My original point was that I know a number of atheists that appeal to Nietzsche for his atheism and anti-Christian views, but seem to completely ignore his other views.
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02-08-2013, 02:16 PM
RE: Why do so many leftist atheists endorse Nietzsche?
(02-08-2013 02:12 PM)janthuffy Wrote:  
(02-08-2013 02:06 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Ayn Rand was an atheist but seems to have inspired the Conservatives. Who gives a shit?

Conservatism does not necessarily mean someone is religious. And Ayn Rand hardly had anything original to say, while her Objectivist philosophy is just meta-realism.

My original point was that I know a number of atheists that appeal to Nietzsche for his atheism and anti-Christian views, but seem to completely ignore his other views.

Leftist doesn't necessarily mean "atheist."

Should we not learn about Newton and what he did for science because he also believed in alchemy?

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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