Author Topic: What do you think about Nietzsche's critique on Judeo-Christian moral values??  (Read 1416 times)

Offline Sin of Adam

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I have read many of the works of Nietzsche, including some of his less known works such as Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. Nonetheless, I disagree with his assessments. Judaism & Christianity are intrinsically and fundamentally different in most major theological points regardless of Christian origins. In fact even Rabbinic Judaism and First/Second Temple Judaism are worlds apart (and no, not in the way that Nietzsche believed). Furthermore, as a Catholic Christian, I do not take seriously the metaphysical views on religion of a filthy, degenerate, semi-hedonistic, Godless, materialistic, blasphemous, fool who lost his mind due to his concupiscentious lifestyle, died an Atheist, and is presumably burning in hell. As a note of irony, and as the Talmudists say, "May his name be blotted out from memory."

As for me, I would prefer to take a phrase from the Mohammedans and say, "peace be upon him."  I appreciate that you have read much of Nietzsche.  Possibly we are talking past each other.  Nietzsche would have wholly granted the particular distinctions between Christianity and Judaism.  However, his concern was for what they carry in common.  Certainly he was in agreement with the Church that Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism.  Jesus and Paul, he said, were "superlative Jews."

Indeed, but in his view, they and the apostles were Chandala Jews, untouchables, due to their slave revolt morality. He despised Paul most of all and thought of Christianity as Jewish revenge on Rome & Greece for their supposedly superior values. In my view, the man is not worth taking seriously.

There is one thing I appreciate in his writing though, which is something you alluded to in of your posts in this thread.

"Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"---As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?---Thus they yelled and laughed

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him---you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

"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? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"

That is the meaning of his infamous phrase that "God is dead."
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 10:41:20 PM by Sin of Adam »
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Offline John Lamb

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I want to make a youtube video one day and discuss who I think are the great spiritual leaders of the modern age – Friedrich Nietzsche and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

They are both great romantics, both heroic spirits, both born when the spirit of the modern age was reaching a fever pitch (pinnacle of romanticism / beginning of modernism). They both lived fairly secluded lives. Both were quite sickly in a physical sense. Both were very intelligent and gifted (Thérèse didn't get as much opportunity to develop her natural gifts, but she was very gifted). Both had a fierce spirit of independence and drive for excellence. Both suffered very, very intensely.

However, they took opposite paths. They divide the modern spirit between them.

It all comes down to this. Both of them were very interior souls, with an extraordinary talent for introspection; and both were acquainted with hidden, interior sufferings.

The essential difference between them is how they responded to their suffering.

Nietzsche responded in a kind of defiant, titanic, promethean, self-exalting, conquering, pagan fashion -- saying: OK I will suffer, but I will suffer like a man; like a superman; and through my suffering I will overcome my self and my surroundings, and place myself up on high.

Thérèse did more or less the opposite. She made herself small, humble, outwardly submissive, self-effacing, reliant on God, childlike in simplicity, and of course Christian.

Now regardless of what you think about these positions from a theoretical point of view; it's clear which one won out in reality, in practice: Thérèse by a hundred thousand miles.

Nietzsche collapsed into madness cringing at the hooves of a horse taking a beating; for all his big, megalomaniacal speeches about overcoming the morbid tendency to "pity", and embracing the will-to-power; that fact is he could not overcome the compassionate side of his humanity, and it broke him to pieces.

Meanwhile, by the end of her short life (24 yrs) Thérèse heroism in the face of suffering was so great, that her own sister (in a natural and religious sense) told Thérèse that she was 'scared' of her, because she couldn't comprehend her fearlessness. One day Thérèse had the inspiration to offer herself up as a burnt holocaust to God. She got permission to do it from her religious superior, and not long after she felt this 'burning' sensation come over her whole being; and from then on her life was constant suffering. But she complained so little and was in such kind spirits with the community, that nobody had any idea what she was going through. I'm really only scratching the surfaces of Thérèse's success morally and spiritually. She didn't just speak about being a hero, she became one.

Nietzsche failed, dramatically. I say this without any degree of spite (because I do like Nietzsche in a lot of ways), but I do believe that his 10 year long madness leading up to his death was God's judgement upon him and his 'philosophy', and in a sense Nietzsche's judgement upon himself (he was proud that his 'philosophy' amounted to madness).

Nietzsche's critique of Judeo-Christian moral values is superficially true. He's attacking a strawman. He's attacking Christianity when it has declined into its most decadent, "cultural" form. He misrepresents St. Paul. Spiritually speaking, where Nietzsche falls is his approach to human weakness. He thinks he can overcome human frailty by sheer will, defiance, strength, perseverance. It's an illusion, even a demonic illusion. Nietzsche's is in a sense a childish (or rather adolescent) error. The great spiritualists all know that real strength starts from the acceptance of one's weakness (humility). The Tao Teh Ching puts it like this:


BEND and you will be whole.
Curl and you will be straight.
Keep empty and you will be filled.
Grow old and you will be renewed.

and


NOTHING in the world is softer and weaker than water;
But, for attacking the hard and strong, there is nothing like it!

For nothing can take its place.
That the weak overcomes the strong, and the soft overcomes the hard,
This is something known by all, but practised by none.


I remember before my conversion to Christianity, back when Nietzsche and Plato were my biggest influencers, thinking that I'm going to have to choose either to be a pagan or a Christian. When I thought about paganism; I felt proud, but miserable. When I thought about Christianity; I felt humble, but happy. The neo-paganism of Nietzsche is only superficially strong. It really is the megalomaniacal power fantasy of a self-professed madman.
"Let all bitterness and animosity and indignation and defamation be removed from you, together with every evil. And become helpfully kind to one another, inwardly compassionate, forgiving among yourselves, just as God also graciously forgave you in the Anointed." – Paul

The Question of Catholicism.

An ominous dream.
 
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Offline Maximilian

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A madman, possessed by a devil, or perhaps by many, as a result of actively seeking spirit possession, who died in a lunatic asylum, while leaving behind to Germany and to the world a curse which continues to blight the souls of many.
 
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Offline Pon de Replay

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There is often a tendency to read Nietzsche through the lenses by which he has been traditionally misinterpreted.  Lest we forget, both the Nazis and Ayn Rand had a social Darwinist eisegesis of Nietzsche, even though he himself had said that was not what he was seeking.  Any old brute can kick and claw his way to the top of the pile.  If Nietzsche's philosophy had been nothing other than macho posturing, he would have been as insufferable as Jordan Peterson.  When Nietzsche speaks of transcending through strength, he doesn't mean brute strength.  He means strength of the mind, and the spirit, and the elusive instincts of the artist or the dancer.  Neither did he speak against humility or modesty altogether.  In his philosophy these things have their rightful place.  "One must learn to look away from oneself in order to see much." 

His bone of contention was with humility as a moral virtue, particularly the notion of humility before God: a grovelling, knee-bending, self-abasing, entreating kind of humility.  Nietzsche's idea of humility would not have been terribly at odds with Lao Tsu's, which was a noble humility, not an embarrassing sort.  I wonder if Lao Tsu ever cried out something like, "O Lord, have mercy!"  And both had a quality of rascality to them.  "Sinuously do all good things approach their goal.  Like cats they curve their backs, they purr inwardly with their approaching happiness—all good things laugh."


« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 09:33:56 AM by Pon de Replay »
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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Ever the deconstructionist, eh Pon?

Not that I know of.  But I enjoy reading Nietzsche and consider him singularly wise.  There was once an Origenist on this forum who said of Nietzsche: "his is one of the most beautiful pens to have ever written, without a doubt ... and this is only really appreciated in German, which is, I believe firmly, the most beautiful of all languages for too many reasons to describe."  Sadly I have no German.  He also called Nietzsche "corrosive," which at first I took in the negative sense.  But now I believe it to be a positive.  There is much dross in philosophy that deserves to be scorched.  One thing that Christians can appreciate about Nietzsche is that he scorched Christianity's modern competitor, secular humanism.  He was courageous enough to admit that if you reject God, you must necessarily reject objective morality.  There are many atheist secular humanists who do not have such cojones.

I personally find that "secular humanism" occurs in two distinct forms - one from cultural Marxist activism (I don't mean cultural Marxism as a buzzword, I mean the application of Marxist proletariat-bourgeious revolution to all aspects of culture and social structures) which is 100% Judeo-Christian, but Judeo-Christian to an extent that Saint Paul would blush.


However, secular-humanism also occurs as a facade stemming from an inward pure sociopathy, taking warrior morality to an extreme that is no longer human in any sense as you and I understand it. Corporations do this all the time, for example, when they put a minority character in a minor role or announce a character as gay on Twitter, yet they will never not cast a straight, Aryan, blue-eyed blonde beauty as a hero of their films. Or the virtue-signaling on Twitter or statements made by companies to seem human, but aren't quite human.

It's almost like there's some deep-seated level of shame (whether this is their soul in hell or it's just a produce of cultural guilt-shaming, God only knows) to their behavior that they don't quite understand so they have to cover it up with some excessive Judeo-Christian moralistic actions that don't have any real meaning in of themselves. Or perhaps our culture just requires it as a relic of our Catholic past and people comply without a second thought.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 02:38:32 PM by TheReturnofLive »
 
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Offline queen.saints

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A madman, possessed by a devil, or perhaps by many, as a result of actively seeking spirit possession, who died in a lunatic asylum, while leaving behind to Germany and to the world a curse which continues to blight the souls of many.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

-Nietzsche, the dead philosopher.
 
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Offline Graham

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, unless it makes you retarded.
 
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Offline Pon de Replay

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“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

-Nietzsche, the dead philosopher.

You may want to have another look at the quote.  He doesn't say he can't be killed.  If taken by the letter and not the spirit, of course, there are many things that refute it, such as amputations, strokes, dementia, &c.  Nietzsche was certainly not made stronger by his debilitating mental illness.  But I suppose there will always be pedantry.
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 
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Offline TheReturnofLive

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A madman, possessed by a devil, or perhaps by many, as a result of actively seeking spirit possession, who died in a lunatic asylum, while leaving behind to Germany and to the world a curse which continues to blight the souls of many.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

-Nietzsche, the dead philosopher.

I always knew Kelly Clarkson was a dominatrix.
 

Offline queen.saints

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, unless it makes you retarded.

Now you have two Pon de Replay upvotes in one thread.
 
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Offline Lydia Purpuraria

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, unless it makes you retarded.

Now you have two Pon de Replay upvotes in one thread.

Making him two times stronger, thereby.  :D

...............................

[ETA:  Just in case it's not clear: my comment is not a dig on Graham or PdR.  At all.  I'm interested in reading what each of them (and others) may have to say further on the topic -- if they choose to participate further on the thread, anyway!]
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 10:56:35 AM by Lydia Purpuraria »
 
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Offline Graham

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, unless it makes you retarded.

Now you have two Pon de Replay upvotes in one thread.

Ive nearly got it down to a science.
 
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Offline Graham

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, unless it makes you retarded.

Now you have two Pon de Replay upvotes in one thread.

Making him two times stronger, thereby.  :D

...............................

[ETA:  Just in case it's not clear: my comment is not a dig on Graham or PdR.  At all.  I'm interested in reading what each of them (and others) may have to say further on the topic -- if they choose to participate further on the thread, anyway!]

My view on Nietzsche was encapsulated in my first post, as throw-away as it probably seemed.

Like JL I did read a lot of Nietzsche (and Plato) in the past and I think i would get precious about it if I tried to post at length. My interpretation of Nietzsche at the time was strongly influenced by Brandes (Nietzsche as "spiritual aristocrat") and that is a track whose destination lies beyond Nietzsche, as fabulous a writer as he was.

I took a fourth year seminar on Nietzsche and I got the distinct feeling that nobody else was actually reading the stuff, just using him as a prop for their other fairly blase liberal views. My seminar presentation was on the idea and metaphor of war in Nietzsche, and my main contention was that he advocated for war in a full spectrum sense from loose interior metaphor to literally killing ppl on the field of battle. I like to think it left an impression on my classmates. I wrote some good essays that year. That was a long time ago and I'm simply less interested in writing now. I much prefer talking with people, actually.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 11:42:47 AM by Graham »
 
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Offline Maximilian

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I took a fourth year seminar on Nietzsche and I got the distinct feeling that nobody else was actually reading the stuff, just using him as a prop for their other fairly blase liberal views.

It's not that simple. There's a lot more going on than "blasé liberalism."

When I studied Deconstructionist philosophy, Nietzsche was the foundation. You started with Nietzsche before you eventually reached Jacques Derrida in the project to undo the very possibility of language conveying meaning. The satanic reversal of "The Word" began with Nietzsche, according to those in charge of the undertaking.
 
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Offline Graham

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I took a fourth year seminar on Nietzsche and I got the distinct feeling that nobody else was actually reading the stuff, just using him as a prop for their other fairly blase liberal views.

It's not that simple. There's a lot more going on than "blasé liberalism."

When I studied Deconstructionist philosophy, Nietzsche was the foundation. You started with Nietzsche before you eventually reached Jacques Derrida in the project to undo the very possibility of language conveying meaning. The satanic reversal of "The Word" began with Nietzsche, according to those in charge of the undertaking.

Maybe, but it's not what I experienced, it's not a compelling reading of Nietzsche, and I don't agree that deconstructionism has had a very causative role in the problems of the modern world anyway.