What do you know about Friedrich Nietzsche?

by highdose 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • highdose

    I was supposed to study his stuff in collage, i let slip to the elders that i was supposed to study him and they went mental. Like i was about to study the devil himself!

    I was told that he inspired the nazis and that he belived that concentration camps were a great idea. They scared me so much i went to my tutors and insisted on a different subject matter to study. The tutors seemed to think i was nuts.

    I just looked him on wiki. He had some radical ideas for his time. It sounds like he was one of the first to consider life without a god in it. From what i can see the nazis used a few of his ideas as an exhuse for what they did. But if they had used his ideas in total without pick and mixing them then it certainly wouldn't have fitted in with their nazi ideals.

    I could be wrong of course i've only just started looking at his stuff.

    Whats your take?

  • wobble

    Worth a look I think, I have only read some of his thoughts, and comments on his thoughts by later Philosophers, but he is not to be dismissed by the ignorant bigotry of the totally unread JW's, of that I am sure.

    I am in to reading the thoughts of modern Philosphers too, A.C Grayling,Julian Baggini, Onora O'niell,Mary Warnock and other thinkers like Philip Pullman etc.

    all have added to my knowledge and re-adjusted my views on life. Good stuff.

  • punkofnice

    Yeah, I started readin Man and superman but got bored. This is the bloke who is supposed to have said 'god id dead' and something along the lines of 'if you look into the void, you realise the void is looking into you'.

  • Sulla

    He produced quite a lot of work. The National Socialists hardly needed Nietzsche as inspiration, but he did focus on the failure of the gospel to provide a meaningful and authentic life. The National Socialists did like very much his preference for a more pagan ethos, but I think they ultimately missed more than they grapsed.

  • mindseye

    The association between Nietzsche and the Nazis is mostly due to the actions of his sister, who was a hardcore National Socialist. She deliberately manipulated his letters and work in order to make him look rabidly anti-semitic. It seems the Nazis, including Hitler, had a superficial reading of Nietzsche. They interpreted his idea of a 'Superman' as some sort of Aryan ideal, while most agree that he meant something more akin to a Renaissance man or fully realized individual. He was quite critical of anti-semitism and German pride in some of his work.

    Highdose, the brothers that freaked out on you truly had a reason to fear Nietzsche. It was reading his work as a teenager that gave me motivation to break free of the Witnesses once and for all. His ideas are delightfully dangerous to conventional thinking, he was a philosophical sledgehammer.

    Nietzsche was not the first to criticize religion and God. What he was addressing when saying 'God is Dead' was what he saw as a great spiritual crisis that was coming, because God was no longer relevant to modern life. In his view, Christianity expoused weak values anyway, and had run its course ("The last Christian died on the cross" is one of his great quotes). In Nietzsche's evaluation, man (and he is gender specific, Nietzsche was a bit of a sexist) had to reevaluate his morals. To him, values were to be defined by vitality, power and living life to the fullest. In this sense I see Nietzsche as a optimistic, life-affirming philosopher.

    Nietzsche is fun to read compared to some other philosophy, which can be dry at times. He is very poetic, which is why he is the favorite of artists. He is also very arrogant, opinionated, witty, and even contradictory, which is why he is also a favorite of many angst-ridden adolescents.

  • Mr. Falcon
    Mr. Falcon

    I like Thus Spoke Zarathustra. A little difficult to read at times, but it was like the Anti-Gospels.

  • No Room For George
    No Room For George

    I have all of his works, and did a couple threads based off of his works.



    I really like his analogy of religious people being sick and wishing to infect the healthy. It makes a ton of sense in regards to the WT's contempt and fear of education that doesn't include them. They're sick, and they wish to spread their virus to others, and maintain their higher grade virus amongst the 7 million or so JWs that follow them.

    Mindseye is right too about him not being anti-semitic as his letters indicated he was upset for being labeled as such, but again that was his sister's foolishness. On the flipside of that coin though, even if you were to negate his sister's hand in his works, it still wouldn't take much for someone to use his works to justify actions similar to the Nazis. His arrogance as was mentioned before, leaves one under the impression that its ok to subjugate, conquer, and oppress lesser peoples. I wonder at times if the Nazis weren't the only fans of Nietzsche, because some of Churchill's thoughts appear to be influenced by Nietzsche as well, such as this.

    "I do not agree that the dog in a
    manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain
    there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for
    instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America
    or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been
    done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade
    race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken
    their place,"

    Or maybe Nietzsche didn't influence Churchill and it was simply common thinking back then. Maybe they all were simply products of their times, ignorance begetting ignorance. HP Lovecraft was another one with some seriously disturbing views on race.

  • iamwhoiam

    He committed suicide.

  • LV101

    recall his father being a preacher. maybe that's why he abhored religion.

  • Robdar

    When syphillis attacks your brain I guess you start looking at life differntly.

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