Nietzsche Essay, Research Paper
I think that the three questions that I will try to find answers are highly interconnected with each other and because of this reason, I will not answer them separately. I will be answering them without order.
First of all, from my interpretation of Nietzsche, modern humanity did not invent the idea of God. Rather the God had a functional role from his point of view. There is no doubt that, modern humanity had the idea of God, but in my opinion, this idea was like a heritage to the modern humanity from their ancestors. We should look at the earlier times of the history in order to understand the roots of the invention of God.
At this point, I agree with Magnus’ opinion, as he asserts that at the early moments of the history, feeling of indebt ness directed one’s ancestors. Together with this opinion, we see that this imagined or let us say abstract power of ancestors became higher with the increasing power of the tribe. After a while this power began to represent all powerful God (Magnus, 1997).
As we see, it was the early people that invented the idea of God but I think that the question of why they invented the God is as important as the modern humanity’s value of God. According to Nietzsche, as far as I interprete from his books like “Day Break, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, On History” and also from the secondary sources that I read, it seems that, Christian God emerged because of the indebt ness feeling of people. But I think that main motivating factor under Nietzsche’s foundation of his theory is the “Will to power”. Also it looks that it is the first cause like the cogito in Descartes and the forms and the Idea in Plato. Also I can say that human beings misunderstood the will to power different from what Nietzsche tried to express. As Nietzsche says, it was something natural. So I relate it to Descartes’ concept of natural disposition. “Will to power” in Nietzsche can be seen as a natural disposition. But now the critical point comes, because the human beings misinterpreted the “Will to power”, it became a part the bad conscience.
Human beings needed internal comfort or let us say peace of mind. So what was vital to achieve this? They needed to legitimize their brutal and illogical practices and experiences. So, after all we see that people invented the idea of God to do that. As people felt more and more indebt ness to their ancestors and also achieve more and more superiorities, they victimized new borne beings. So bad conscience was some sort of an interconnection between the ancestors and the following generations.
As I said earlier, the ancestors began to represent God. So from my point of view, it was the will to power and also the legitimizing the violence of people behind the invention of the God. I can give many examples at this point. For example in the second essay of “Genealogy of Morals”, it is said that Trojan War was a part of the God’s Festival. I think that people legitimized the war by creating God. Also they used the God motive behind the reason of war. Also apart from Nietzsche, I want to give another example. When we look at the Holy Wars, we observe that the main effective motive seems to be the religious reasons, but I do not think that it is the case. It was the objective of conquering and maintaining power in those regions both politically and economically. I think that this was the underlying factor behind the Holy Wars. From this point of view, I support Nietzsche, because it seems that, after having seen all these staff, I conclude that the expressed value with the invention of God was the value of power, The feeling of people who desires to gain power and govern others, and in addition to it, the value of revenge, which I will be discussing in the later parts of my essay. At this point, I can also say that Nietzsche is entirely opposed to Darwin, who said that self-sufficiency of human beings is the main motive. On the hand what Nietzsche asserts is that, there is always a progress in human life. There is not a stability.
I think that Nietzsche’s thoughts about the rejection of the moral values are really complex. As Raymond Geuss explains in his book called “Morality, Culture and History”, according to Nietzsche, morality is possible only if the will is free. When we look from this perspective, it is clear that we should reject all moral values because according to him, human beings are in a slave morality. So after humans created the idea of God, they were also driven under control of God. So our moral values should be rejected because of the fact that they were not emerged through our wills. They were created and we conform them. So I want to emphasize this point, humans devoted their will to power. So they sacrificed from exercising it. Also feeling of self-tormenting played a crucial role in this picture as I explained in the previous parts related with the ancestors. Also we can find the similar notion in Nietzsche’s classification of master and slave morality. In slave morality, it is not the case that they can not create. They are competent to create. For instance artists in slave morality can create, too. But as far as I understood, their creation of values is inferior than master morality’s creation of values. Human beings in slave morality have the feeling of revenge. Why do they have this feeling? I want to say that another value expressed by creation of God can be the value of revenge together with the value of power. This point in Nietzsche is a little bit dark. We should shine light to this point in order to explore what Nietzsche meant by revenge. I think that this revenge occurs from the transfer of the ability of will to power because as we saw it was the reason of slave morality. How do you overcome the others, may be superiors? According to Nietzsche this is done through valuation. But as we said in slave morality there is not a valuation, there is only conformity. By this way we observe a will to condemn or will to revenge.
Now, I also want to emphasize that, in my opinion in slave morality we also see some sort of a creation, but only a creation in its own way. In every culture there are some values that people conform. But there are also many values which do not have the same dominance. So I think that valuations of masters, in Nietzsche’s terms “Master Morality” is the dominant one which includes superiorities in it. Also, I think that another source of the revenge could be related with the concept of self-mastery. It seems that self-mastery provides the difference, it also includes creation. So the feeling of revenge which found itself in slave morality was against the master morality. Also the main reason was the transfer of the ability of the will to power as I mentioned earlier.
Now, I want to go a little back. As you remember I said that in terms of rejecting the moral values, because human beings are no longer free, they should reject moral values, because they are no longer moral. This point is also dark and I want to go deeper. As Magnus and Higgins address in their article, Nietzsche suggests that multiple moralities had existed at the same time. Some of them were sick and some were healthy. By this way, Nietzsche means that there are some moralities which do not need to be rejected. At this point I understand that, as I mentioned earlier, slave morality has the ability of creation, but it is difficult to find out its extend and impact.
I should say that I’m really confused about the Nietzsche’s perspective about rejecting the moral values. Up to now the two interpretations of me, that I gave below seem familiar to me. But on the other hand, another perspective would be related with the relativism of Nietzsche. I think that Nietzsche basically rejects all moral values derived from the Christian morality. As I mentioned above, this point needs to be clarified and different perspectives come to my mind. This last one mainly depends on the Nietzsche’s attitude towards moral relativism. Nietzsche was against the Christian moral values, so if he was a moral and cultural relativist, I think that he is, it would be a fault to claim that Nietzsche rejected all moral values.
If we search for, why Nietzsche did many objections to Christian moral values, we see that according to him, it would be a mistake to consider Christian morality with the same as universal morality. Also in one source I found out that Nietzsche’s another argument for the rejection of the Christian moral values was that they were coercive, repressive and tyrannical. I’m not sure how compatible is this approach compatible with Nietzsche, but I think that the word repressive is related to our argument. Even though it is not directly related to my last argument it is worth to mention it. In Genealogy of Morals, second essay, Nietzsche talks about the internalization of man together with the fact that, all instincts that we cannot discharge outwardly, turn inward and it can be a cause for the feeling of revenge. But on the other hand, the term “Ubermensch” is something conceptional in Nietzsche. It is not a man. It represents crossing over, surpassing. So it can be a inter-cultural concept.
In conclusion, I want to emphasize that “Will to power constitutes a very crucial part in Nietzsche’s philosophy. “Will to power” is a central philosophical principle for Nietzsche. For this reason I tried to interpret the answers of the questions on this basis. As I mentioned in the essay I related the invention of God with the will to power. Also the expressed value was also very related with this will to power. Also at that point value of revenge came into the picture. But there is no doubt that slave morality constructs a basis for the connection of revenge and the will to power. Finally, while trying to find answer for the rejection of all moral values, I’m puzzled with different alternatives that I interpreted according to my studies.
Magnus, B, Higgins, K. (1997), The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Geuss, R (1999), Morality, Culture and History, New York: Cambridge University Press.