Paloaltoguy, can I have your permission to use your quote on my site? It is such a good example of pure evil.Paloaltoguy wrote:Blah, Your views are that of domestic herd-animal man who exist for service and general utility and may exist only for that purpose. In other words, you should really limited your thinking to your immediate environment and get back to drinking. Truths are illusions and created by those who have the power to enforce their point of view. Everything is governed by a will to power, and in morality, we see minds trying to impose their will on the world by persuading others to see the world as they see it. The will to power is the fundamental drive in the universe. Behind truth, thought, and morality lie drives and passions that we try to mask behind a veneer of calm objectivity. What we call truth, for instance, is just the expression of our will to power, where we declare our particular perspective on reality to be objectively and universally true. Because most people are unable to handle the darker aspects of their natures, and we would be less safe if all people gave free rein to the violence and sensuality within them, Christianity declares that only meekness and timidity are holy and condemns these other things as evil. By majority rule, Christian morality condemns us to prefer tame, peaceful lives.
Some people simply have stronger and more refined spirits than others, and to hold those people to the same rules is to hold them back. Pity is just a refined form of self-contempt, whereby we show preference for weakness.
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I don't blame the instructor. You completely misunderstood Nietzsche.
1. We do enjoy cruelty. What we see in religious is refined cruelty by submitting oneself to torture. In primitive societies, people sacrificed others, whereas the people of more advanced cultures sacrificed themselves through self-denial. We have never lost our instinct for cruelty; we have only refined it. We are unique among animals in being both creatures and creators, and the strongest among us turn our instinct for cruelty against ourselves. The creator within us reshapes the creature that we are by violently attacking its weaknesses. Suffering, then, is essential to growing stronger, and we must struggle constantly to remake ourselves by assailing our weaknesses and prejudices.
2. Nietzsche thinks it hypocritical that people who lack the vigor to be violent condemn violence. However, physical violence is usually destructive and hardly ever useful. What Nietzsche admires most is the person who is capable of physical violence but sublimates this will to destroy others, directing it instead at himself or herself (this is why I'm so CREATIVE and great). Better than being ruthless with others is being ruthless with oneself and attacking all the petty beliefs and assumptions one clings to for a feeling of safety and stability. A free spirit is free by having won an inner struggle, not an outer one. When Nietzsche writes approvingly of violence, it is not so much that he thinks of war as inherently good but rather that he thinks anything is preferable to the mediocrity of our cloistered modern lives. Better to suffer hardship, he believes, than lead a safe and unadventurous life.
I understand what you're saying, but a couple of points:
I didn't misunderstand Nietzsche. I took issue with his foundational supposition that EVERYONE inherently enjoys cruelty. This is a statement of fact about fundamental human nature that is not, shall we say, demonstrable. I happen to disagree with it. I don't see any way that either I or Nietzsche can be proven right or wrong on this question.
I asked for exemplars of this ethos, thinking back in part to this instructor, who tried to translate all this into his way of life, but was a pathetic wretch. He meditated on his knees until they bled, presumably turning his instinct for cruelty against himself. I saw him out running once at about an 8-minute mile pace with a look of absolute agony on his face -- presumably going through the Nietzschean purification rituals here also. What a joke. He was pretty good at snowing undergraduates, but he was a petty, insecure little man. I'm always skeptical of my own self-serving explanations, but I later gleaned from a graduate student in the program that he was clearly afraid of me. There was a similar episode of demonstrable insecurity with a friend of mine who was a dean at the college, and who could also, let's say, well stand a physical comparison to the instructor in question. The Nietzschean was a fraud, and deep down inside he knew it.
So, who's working this point of view successfully? I'm prepared to believe you if you say you are, but I would be careful with points of view that go against earlier conditioning. You can't be sure what you really, deep down inside, believe.