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That's one heck of a mustache.
I think I agree with McNider here. I can only take Nietzsche in small doses... too much and I start feeling panicky. He is brutally honest though, and he can shed a lot of light on the thought patterns of contemporary people. I think understanding him is worthwhile, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it for everyone.

And you know, even if he was wrong on a number of counts, you have to admire his intellectual courage. His smashing of the idols had to have left him in this weird position of intellectual flux and suspicion of everything. It's very difficult to live with that, and to live with it and furthermore attempt to forge out your own meaning takes some serious guts. I definitely admire that about him, despite disagreements that I have with various aspects of his thought.
Man, that was one pretencious guy.
Quote:Actually, there is some credible refutation of the syphilis thing (I used to be a Humanities major).  I definitely can't go into the reading I've done, but his father suffered from some sort of neurological state that was similar -- it also seemed that Nietzche was too much of a misogynist (sp?) to visit prostitutes.

There are several theories. The one thing that always bothered me about the syphilis theory is that he allegedly was infected in the ONE time he went to a prostitute? That's awfully (in)convenient. 
I don't really use the syphilis theory to impugn him, primarily because that never works. Modern liberals simply do not accept the premise that sin makes one stupid, in fact they are vehemently opposed to it.
In his later years, despite the rhetoric in his books, he lived like a monk.

Quote:I think I agree with McNider here. I can only take Nietzsche in small doses... too much and I start feeling panicky. He is brutally honest though, and he can shed a lot of light on the thought patterns of contemporary people. I think understanding him is worthwhile, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it for everyone.

And you know, even if he was wrong on a number of counts, you have to admire his intellectual courage. His smashing of the idols had to have left him in this weird position of intellectual flux and suspicion of everything. It's very difficult to live with that, and to live with it and furthermore attempt to forge out your own meaning takes some serious guts. I definitely admire that about him, despite disagreements that I have with various aspects of his thought.

I enjoy reading him occasionally for some of the same reasons. I think it was Peter Kreeft who remarked he was a genius because he asked questions no one had ever asked before. For instance instead of the tired old "what is truth?", he ask "Why seek truth, why not the comfortable lie?"
There's no answer to that question really. It's too basic to the philosophical enterprise.
I always keep in mind too, often what Nietzsche is attacking, with regard to Christianity, is late 19th century Victorian era protestantism and sadly many of his critiques about it being "soft" and more than a little ridiculous could be applied to the bulk of NO Catholicism today.

 
Quote:always keep in mind too, often what Nietzsche is attacking, with regard to Christianity, is late 19th century Victorian era protestantism and sadly many of his critiques about it being "soft" and more than a little ridiculous could be applied to the bulk of NO Catholicism today.

Very true.  They've quoted him in that article describing the churches as "sepulchers" and "tombs of God."  He's actually describing a present reality, as churches and monasteries are being closed, looted, and desacralized.  I've been stunned in driving through Paris, for instance, and seeing numerous churches desacralized and turned into museums.  How perverse and telling...

The challenge inherent in mounting a Catholic refutation of Nietzsche is that some of his arguments are true, because he's tracing the trajectory of nihilist/revolutionary thought and taking it to its ultimate conclusion (ie: man is God/ Satan's "I will not serve"). We also forget that Nietzsche wasn't the first to articulate the "superman" philosophies, just the best known (didn't it actually begin with some obscure Russians?). We have to be careful that acknowledging the truths in what he's observed doesn't appear to amount to supporting his moral degeneracy.
Happyandgrateful Wrote:I've been stunned in driving through Paris, for instance, and seeing numerous churches desacralized and turned into museums.

Or worse yet, pubs or condos.
Happyandgrateful Wrote: 
Quote:always keep in mind too, often what Nietzsche is attacking, with regard to Christianity, is late 19th century Victorian era protestantism and sadly many of his critiques about it being "soft" and more than a little ridiculous could be applied to the bulk of NO Catholicism today.

Very true. 

The challenge inherent in mounting a Catholic refutation of Nietzsche is that some of his arguments are true, because he's tracing the trajectory of nihilist/revolutionary thought and taking it to its ultimate conclusion (ie: man is God/ Satan's "I will not serve"). We also forget that Nietzsche wasn't the first to articulate the "superman" philosophies, just the best known (didn't it actually begin with some obscure Russians?). We have to be careful that acknowledging the truths in what he's observed doesn't appear to amount to supporting his moral degeneracy.

Well certainly he accurately traces the collapse of Christendom into a dry,  rationalism and effeminate sentimentalism.
 The danger is he espouses a pagan ethic which has, in part, been smuggled back into Christianity since the Renaissance and which, compared to the above two camps, is very attractive. He plays on (or perhaps was played by) archetypal themes, particularly in Zarathustra, that resonate with people and which Christianity has, in large part, lost touch with. Jung's seminar in Zarathustra is very insightful on this point.

Quote:They've quoted him in that article describing the churches as "sepulchers" and "tombs of God."  He's actually describing a present reality, as churches and monasteries are being closed, looted, and desacralized.  I've been stunned in driving through Paris, for instance, and seeing numerous churches desacralized and turned into museums.  How perverse and telling...

Perhaps just as telling are the number that have been turned into mosques. Nietzsche was very appreciative of Mohammedanism because it saw it as a very virile and "masculine" religion. It retained what he admired about the Old Testament.
In the absence of a balanced Christianity, post-Christians don't simply turn into liberal marshmallows. They often turn into virulent and aggressive pagans (Nazism for instance) or turn to something like Islam which affirms their aggressive and masculine impulses towards "the other".
In Nietzsche's discussions on power for instance, don't forget that he (unlike his heirs such as Foucult) was not advocating for those in the "slave" class but rather he gloried in "master" status. He had no use for "the herd".
In the prologue, after he attempts to teach people the overman and they don't understand he instead teaches them the "last man", which sounds an awful lot like the modern man who has no virtue (as Nietzsche defined it, i.e. in the original pagan sense of "strength") [Thomas Common's trans. which is not my favorite but it's online, Kaufmann's is bettter]

Friedrich Nietzsche Wrote:Lo! I show you THE LAST MAN.
"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?"—so asketh the last man and blinketh.
The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last man who maketh everything small. His species is ineradicable like that of the ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.
"We have discovered happiness"—say the last men, and blink thereby.
They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth. One still loveth one's neighbour and rubbeth against him; for one needeth warmth.
Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbleth over stones or men!
A little poison now and then: that maketh pleasant dreams. And much poison at last for a pleasant death.
One still worketh, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the pastime should hurt one.
One no longer becometh poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth to obey? Both are too burdensome.
No shepherd, and one herd! Every one wanteth the same; every one is equal: he who hath other sentiments goeth voluntarily into the madhouse.
"Formerly all the world was insane,"—say the subtlest of them, and blink thereby.
They are clever and know all that hath happened: so there is no end to their raillery. People still fall out, but are soon reconciled—otherwise it spoileth their stomachs.
They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health.
"We have discovered happiness,"—say the last men, and blink thereby.—
Credo Wrote:
Happyandgrateful Wrote:I've been stunned in driving through Paris, for instance, and seeing numerous churches desacralized and turned into museums.

Or worse yet, pubs or condos.

Really, a pub?! [Image: sad.gif].  If that's true, it's even worse than I thought...
Happyandgrateful Wrote:Really, a pub?! [Image: sad.gif].  If that's true, it's even worse than I thought...

Properly speaking, it tends to be worse. The word "pub" tends to conjure something a lot more mundane than the reality in most cases. Clubs or, my favorite, skanky dive bars, would be a better description. Doing a quick Google search did not result in any church-to-bar photos, though I've seen such examples on television.

Here's are some examples of church-to-condo renovation:

[Image: church-house0.jpg]

[Image: 2211691759_6d7e92624d_o.jpg]

[Image: 04.jpg]

[Image: 19.jpg]
Quote: Well certainly he accurately traces the collapse of Christendom into a dry,  rationalism and effeminate sentimentalism.
 The danger is he espouses a pagan ethic which has, in part, been smuggled back into Christianity since the Renaissance and which, compared to the above two camps, is very attractive. He plays on (or perhaps was played by) archetypal themes, particularly in Zarathustra, that resonate with people and which Christianity has, in large part, lost touch with. Jung's seminar in Zarathustra is very insightful on this point.

Very good point.  I think his presentation of bourgeois Christianity is the lure for most practical agnostics who become avowed moral nihilists. 
 
The effeminacy point is a very important one, I think, in that men have been stripped of their identification with the intellect and the world of ideas -- some of it has been the effect of feminism and the denial of gender in favor of recreating humans as sexless androgynes (sp?).  But, there are a lot of social forces that have emasculated men and make them part of the mass, the herd, incapable of acting on reality (economics, government, war, consumerism, politics) -- Nietzsche appeals to these people (IMHO) because he offers them the prospect of an identity as an intellectual. 
 
He's keenly aware, also, that if moral nihilism has murdered the idea of God, it must be replaced with some symbol system, and so he does propose his philosophies as a replacement. The fusion of pagan myth and symbol with his philosophies is very potent to moral nihilists.


Quote:They've quoted him in that article describing the churches as "sepulchers" and "tombs of God."  He's actually describing a present reality, as churches and monasteries are being closed, looted, and desacralized.  I've been stunned in driving through Paris, for instance, and seeing numerous churches desacralized and turned into museums.  How perverse and telling...

Perhaps just as telling are the number that have been turned into mosques. Nietzsche was very appreciative of Mohammedanism because it saw it as a very virile and "masculine" religion. It retained what he admired about the Old Testament.
In the absence of a balanced Christianity, post-Christians don't simply turn into liberal marshmallows. They often turn into virulent and aggressive pagans (Nazism for instance) or turn to something like Islam which affirms their aggressive and masculine impulses towards "the other".
In Nietzsche's discussions on power for instance, don't forget that he (unlike his heirs such as Foucult) was not advocating for those in the "slave" class but rather he gloried in "master" status. He had no use for "the herd".
In the prologue, after he attempts to teach people the overman and they don't understand he instead teaches them the "last man", which sounds an awful lot like the modern man who has no virtue (as Nietzsche defined it, i.e. in the original pagan sense of "strength") [Thomas Common's trans. which is not my favorite but it's online, Kaufmann's is bettter]

Excellent point about Nietzche's fixation on virility, strength, will to power, and the "overclass." 
 
What has most astounded me about some of these new speakers and self-avowed moral nihilists in the intelligentsia is that they chose to gloss over his understanding of power, and whom he sees as justified in exerting it, going so far as to minimize his contribution to Nazi philosophy.  He may not have envisioned their movement or method, but they heralded his philosophy as the embodiment of their ethos -- how can the people on the left justify that? 
 
It is beyond me, and an issue I have never heard a Nietzsche apologist address: how does one institute moral checks on Nietzche's "overclass" and "overmen" if they are beyond conventional or absolute morality?  Who guards the "herd" and why would one want to, if the weak exist to "justify" the strong?
 
There is no way, and they must know it. 
 
It reminds me of the diminishment of the crimes of Stalin and the other Russian communists on the part of the French existentialists. Liberals and revolutionaries always repent of their crimes and correct their philosophies when it is too late (hence the predicament of the Post V2 Church).
I've haven't read TIA's Olivera's work on the subject, but the article states that the dual impetus of the revolution is pride and impurity.  There's some engine that drives the revolution until it's destructive power cannot be stopped, even when it's seemed to burn itself out; these revolutionary ideas infiltrate all dimensions of our understanding, but are very poorly checked, ended, or refuted.

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