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Old 02-05-2009, 06:57 PM   #1
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Nietzschean "Overman"

Feel free to chime in with thoughts about Nietzsche's book 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' - where his infamous "Overman", "‹bermensch" or "Superman" came from.

Questions/comments on the book/theory welcome



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Old 02-05-2009, 07:25 PM   #2
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The 'Ubermensch' idea to me seems to set too high a standard. It sounds like a brutally darwinistic, 'perfectionist doctrine', and it sounds very 'wishy-washy'. That's why I don't agree with it.


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Old 02-05-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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Great, j7! Was just going to reply to Arcesious post in the other thread. To react to his comment:

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Edit: The philosphical concept that I don't really agree with is Neitzche's 'Overman' philosophy. The reason I don't agree with it is because it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to me. If it made sense to me, maybe I'd agree with it.
My interpretation of the Übermensch is that with God gone (in his theory), humanity lost its goal, and needs to search for another.

The Übermensch being that goal, i.e. being the final stage in an evolution that goes from animal, over human, to that of Übermensch (Nietzsche thought that we are a species that isn't at its last stage, like most (all?) animals are). It's a state in which we rely completely on our rationality, which Nietzsche held in highest regard.

Another interpretation I could give on the Übermensch is for every human to be, individually, all he or she can be, in every possible way. This is a more dangerous interpretation, I think, because there's only one step away from "all you can be" to "being perfect", a goal being chased by the Nazis.

I'm a huge fan of Nietzsche. When I read Nietzsche's philosophy for the first time, it was as if I was reading my own thoughts. I was raised non-catholic, and I am Atheist (if I am to be labeled). As such, his Übermensch theory for me is more important than anything else written by him. I believe there is no God, and that there is no afterlife, no meaning to life. As such, the only way to really make it worth wile, is to give it meaning myself, and that's what the theory of the Übermensch reflects, in my opinion. A (multiple) goal(s), set by yourself, which dictate your life. In the end, it all doesn't matter to the universe, but it matters to you, and that's all that's important.

There are others who can give better interpretations and explanations than me, but that's how I think about it.


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Old 02-05-2009, 07:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
The 'Ubermensch' idea to me seems to set too high a standard.
Why?

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
It sounds like a brutally darwinistic, 'perfectionist doctrine'
What's wrong with that?

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
and it sounds very 'wishy-washy'. That's why I don't agree with it.
Arc, perhaps this is a culture difference but in the UK 'wishy-washy' means sat on the fence, not being much, or not wanting to offend - Nietzsche was never any of those things. Have you read; 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra'?

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Great, j7!
Hehe, I think we will have some fun


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Was just going to reply to Arcesious post in the other thread. To react to his comment:

My interpretation of the Übermensch is that with God gone (in his theory), humanity lost its goal, and needs to search for another.

The Übermensch being that goal, i.e. being the final stage in an evolution that goes from animal, over human, to that of Übermensch (Nietzsche thought that we are a species that isn't at its last stage, like most (all?) animals are). It's a state in which we rely completely on our rationality, which Nietzsche held in highest regard.
I would generally concur with this.

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Another interpretation I could give on the Übermensch is for every human to be, individually, all he or she can be, in every possible way. This is a more dangerous interpretation, I think, because there's only one step away from "all you can be" to "being perfect", a goal being chased by the Nazis.
I disagree with this interpretation, and think what the Nazi's liked of Nietzsche's work they used, and conveniently missed the parts they didn't (like his comments on Germany for example )

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I'm a huge fan of Nietzsche. When I read Nietzsche's philosophy for the first time, it was as if I was reading my own thoughts. I was raised non-catholic, and I am Atheist (if I am to be labeled). As such, his Übermensch theory for me is more important than anything else written by him. I believe there is no God, and that there is no afterlife, no meaning to life. As such, the only way to really make it worth wile, is to give it meaning myself, and that's what the theory of the Übermensch reflects, in my opinion. A (multiple) goal(s), set by yourself, which dictate your life. In the end, it all doesn't matter to the universe, but it matters to you, and that's all that's important.
I suppose this is the point at which we come into contention. As I think by assigning your own reason for exsistance, ignores the fact that there isn't one, and thus ignores the rationality behind getting you there. I would concur with this; "Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance" - Jean-Paul Sartre.

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There are others who can give better interpretations and explanations than me, but that's how I think about it.
I think it was a pretty good explanation I tend to ignore a lot of what I hear people say about Nietzsche, I don't think he is meant to be read by everyone, if you follow my meaning.



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Old 02-05-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
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I suppose this is the point at which we come into contention. As I think by assigning your own reason for exsistance, ignores the fact that there isn't one, and thus ignores the rationality behind getting you there.
Yes, I think this is something that people find unconvincing. I'll try to get something out before going to bed.

Summarizing, the thought here is that a 'rational' conclusion leads to a 'irrational' way of living, because you give reason to your existence, after you made the 'rational' conclusion that there is no reason to any existence.

I'd argue that this statement implies that someone who tries to explain everything rationally, should live and think rational at every turn, and that this statement is an absolute one. As it is, it could be regarded as irrational itself, as it implies you should be rational at every turn, without thought.

In any case, I think that setting out goals for yourself in a world you perceive to have rationally none, is merely a way of getting through your life, which you acknowledge has no meaning, but which you are happy to have, because it gives you some sort of happiness.

I understand that happiness is subjective, that it is different for everyone. Therein lies danger, as you and myself have hinted to.

Phew. I probably could have phrased it better, but I'm tired.


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Old 02-05-2009, 09:33 PM   #6
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Why?
Because not a whole lot of people can reach such a standard, and a lot of people, like me, don't want to set that high of a standard. I'm all for rationality and such though, but I could never keep a promise to be perfect, no one could.

Quote:
What's wrong with that?
Because it's an inconsiderate standard. Not everyone thinks critically all the time, and it's asking too much of a person. To have a society so extremely rational would strip away the personalites of people. Kind of like the Vulcans in Enterprise, with the episodes 'The Forge' and 'Awakening', the results of what could be called 'extreme overmanism' is shown through the struggles the Vulcans have.

Quote:
Arc, perhaps this is a culture difference but in the UK 'wishy-washy' means sat on the fence, not being much, or not wanting to offend - Nietzsche was never any of those things. Have you read; 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra'?
What I meant is that the idea semed so deeply philosphical that it was potentially illogical. Nope, I haven't read the book. What I've seen though seems to suggest a rather... 'extreme' ideology.


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Old 02-05-2009, 10:06 PM   #7
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Because not a whole lot of people can reach such a standard, and a lot of people, like me, don't want to set that high of a standard. I'm all for rationality and such though, but I could never keep a promise to be perfect, no one could.
Nietzsche isn't saying you should be perfect all the time, he's just saying that you need to try to be your best. The "ubermensch" is the ideal human, just like that image in your head of the ideal spoon. You do your best to reach it, but realistically, you're not going to, and Nietzsche knows that. You're just supposed to try.

Quote:
Because it's an inconsiderate standard. Not everyone thinks critically all the time, and it's asking too much of a person. To have a society so extremely rational would strip away the personalites of people. Kind of like the Vulcans in Enterprise, with the episodes 'The Forge' and 'Awakening', the results of what could be called 'extreme overmanism' is shown through the struggles the Vulcans have.
Vulcans are hardly "perfect" people, and I find it hard to believe that Nietzsche was seeking something akin to a Vulcan in his concept of an ubermensch. The Vulcan concept, if we take Vulcans as an extension of Humans, guts important parts of humans in exchange for over-emphasizing other parts. Being "rational" hardly means to be cold and emotionless.


Quote:
What I meant is that the idea semed so deeply philosphical that it was potentially illogical. Nope, I haven't read the book. What I've seen though seems to suggest a rather... 'extreme' ideology.
It is a very philosophical idea, and in order to be the "ubermensch" you'd have to be a perfect being, which humans can't be so it's more of a "strive to be the best you can be" over "be perfect all the time."


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Old 02-06-2009, 11:17 AM   #8
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Yes, I think this is something that people find unconvincing. I'll try to get something out before going to bed.

Summarizing, the thought here is that a 'rational' conclusion leads to a 'irrational' way of living, because you give reason to your existence, after you made the 'rational' conclusion that there is no reason to any existence.

I'd argue that this statement implies that someone who tries to explain everything rationally, should live and think rational at every turn, and that this statement is an absolute one. As it is, it could be regarded as irrational itself, as it implies you should be rational at every turn, without thought.
Does this not make it pointless to be rational? Further more the other problem as it seems to me, is that if we are nothing but animals and we are to choose the path we want, why is murder illegal?

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In any case, I think that setting out goals for yourself in a world you perceive to have rationally none, is merely a way of getting through your life, which you acknowledge has no meaning, but which you are happy to have, because it gives you some sort of happiness.
That's subjective I may be very unhappy because my life has no meaning.

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I understand that happiness is subjective, that it is different for everyone. Therein lies danger, as you and myself have hinted to.

Phew. I probably could have phrased it better, but I'm tired.
No worries, always a pleasure

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Because not a whole lot of people can reach such a standard, and a lot of people, like me, don't want to set that high of a standard. I'm all for rationality and such though, but I could never keep a promise to be perfect, no one could.
Arc, the whole point of having a high standard is most people don't achieve it. Nietzsche wouldn't of thought most people would have any hope of becoming an 'Overman'.

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Because it's an inconsiderate standard.
Just because somethign is inconsiderate doesn't stop it being true.

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Not everyone thinks critically all the time, and it's asking too much of a person. To have a society so extremely rational would strip away the personalites of people. Kind of like the Vulcans in Enterprise, with the episodes 'The Forge' and 'Awakening', the results of what could be called 'extreme overmanism' is shown through the struggles the Vulcans have.
Nope.

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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
What I meant is that the idea semed so deeply philosphical that it was potentially illogical. Nope, I haven't read the book. What I've seen though seems to suggest a rather... 'extreme' ideology.
I seem to recall you lambasting your parents for judging things, before actually hearing the evidence. What's different in judging a theory before you have actually read the source material? Are you qualified to comment having not read the book?

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Nietzsche isn't saying you should be perfect all the time, he's just saying that you need to try to be your best. The "ubermensch" is the ideal human, just like that image in your head of the ideal spoon. You do your best to reach it, but realistically, you're not going to, and Nietzsche knows that. You're just supposed to try.

Vulcans are hardly "perfect" people, and I find it hard to believe that Nietzsche was seeking something akin to a Vulcan in his concept of an ubermensch. The Vulcan concept, if we take Vulcans as an extension of Humans, guts important parts of humans in exchange for over-emphasizing other parts. Being "rational" hardly means to be cold and emotionless.
QFT

For those who have read Nietzsche, which is your favourite book? Mines 'Ecce Homo', I love the attempt at self criticism, the names of the first three chapters always amuse me, and I think show both Nietzsche's wit and his brilliant mind and also the finally chapter asking students to become more than he, to learn more etc.



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Old 02-06-2009, 12:59 PM   #9
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I like Epigrams and Interludes in Beyond Good and Evil.... little snippets of Nietzschean wit and wickedness, and the syphillytic nuttiness.

I think Militiades did a nice job describing the "Overman" concept, but....
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Originally Posted by Miltiades
Summarizing, the thought here is that a 'rational' conclusion leads to a 'irrational' way of living, because you give reason to your existence, after you made the 'rational' conclusion that there is no reason to any existence.

I'd argue that this statement implies that someone who tries to explain everything rationally, should live and think rational at every turn, and that this statement is an absolute one. As it is, it could be regarded as irrational itself, as it implies you should be rational at every turn, without thought.

In any case, I think that setting out goals for yourself in a world you perceive to have rationally none, is merely a way of getting through your life, which you acknowledge has no meaning, but which you are happy to have, because it gives you some sort of happiness.

I understand that happiness is subjective, that it is different for everyone. Therein lies danger, as you and myself have hinted to.
is a little too circular... I believe you were sleepy It is very difficult to put faith in axioms, IMO.

However, it has been some time since I read Nietzsche. What philosophical category do you think Nietzsche fits best? J7, you mentioned Sartre in a response.... do you think that Nietzsche is an Existentialist?

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Old 02-06-2009, 02:13 PM   #10
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is a little too circular... I believe you were sleepy It is very difficult to put faith in axioms, IMO.
Yes, I'm not very proud of that post. Put some difficult things in too simple words. I'll watch from the sideline for a moment.


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Old 02-06-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
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However, it has been some time since I read Nietzsche. What philosophical category do you think Nietzsche fits best? J7, you mentioned Sartre in a response.... do you think that Nietzsche is an Existentialist?
Personally I put Nietzsche in a category all of his own. I think he is one of the most original thinkers in the last few hundred years, and certainly one of the most interesting minds, to have come about.

I don't think he was an Existentialist - though I'm sure the "Existentialists" of the 20th century certainly took parts of Nietzschean philosophy and used it in their Existentialism. Of course this is somewhat hard to define, given the discussion as to what Existentialism is, and the fact some of the most prominent existentialists deny being existentialists



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Old 02-06-2009, 06:39 PM   #12
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What I meant is that the idea semed so deeply philosphical that it was potentially illogical.
Please explain to me how 'deeply philosophical' equates with 'potentially illogical'.


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Old 02-06-2009, 09:23 PM   #13
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Alright... I think I understand what it means now.

As for 'deepy philosphical' and 'potentially illogical', what I mean is that it seems to me, IMHO, that if I were to think about some philosphical concepts as deeply as possible, I'd misinterpret what the philosphers that came up with the ideas meant, taking the ideas so far that I don't interpret it the way they were intended to be interpretted.

And that's what I thought the 'overman' philosophy was suggesting a person like me do, until Webrider said this and cleared up my misconceptions about it:
Quote:
It is a very philosophical idea, and in order to be the "ubermensch" you'd have to be a perfect being, which humans can't be so it's more of a "strive to be the best you can be" over "be perfect all the time."


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Old 02-06-2009, 09:25 PM   #14
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What I meant is that the idea semed so deeply philosphical that it was potentially illogical.
Arc, if you're talking about in this line, I'm going to get you a 5-Book deal with the world's biggest publisher.


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As for 'deepy philosphical' and 'potentially illogical', what I mean is that it seems to me, IMHO, that if I were to think about some philosphical concepts as deeply as possible, I'd misinterpret what the philosphers that came up with the ideas meant, taking the ideas so far that I don't interpret it the way they were intended to be interpretted.
Here's my ace solution: read the philosophies, don't start thinking them off of Wikipedia entries. Read Thus Spake Zarathustra before you start wondering whether Nietzsche was making sense or not.

Contrary to popular belief, philosophical books aren't written in secret codes and cryptic languages, they're in plain old readable language and completely comprehensible all throughout. Read them, and discuss what the philosophy, the ideals mean with other people (preferably smart people who read philosophy) and that way, I don't think you'd ever misinterpret their words.

Bottomline: Read, gorramit.


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Old 02-06-2009, 10:18 PM   #15
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Bottomline: Read, gorramit.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:15 PM   #16
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Well, I one for place him as a proto-Existentialist. The concepts of self and "other"ness come up often in his work, and the Overman ideal is itself an acceptance of the existential portrait of human life - we are fallable, we have no purpose, there is nothing but the now.

Of course, you cannot place any label on Sartre, smug son of gun that he was. But I would classify much of Nietzsche's work as pointing towards Existentialism, in particular the Overman as described in Thus Spake Zarathrusta. Along with Kierkegaard (who sure doesn't seem like an existentialist - silly god fearer) and Hegel, the fathers of Existentialism.

And, I agree fully with Sabretooth - you should read the philosophies before rendering opinion or judgment. I do not agree that Nietzsche is easy reading though
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:31 PM   #17
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if I were to think about some philosphical concepts as deeply as possible, I'd misinterpret what the philosphers that came up with the ideas meant, taking the ideas so far that I don't interpret it the way they were intended to be interpretted.
So? Do the rest of us look like we're perfect? No. Well, maybe Boba Rhett, but he's a special case.

None of us are going to understand everything completely the first time. Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes.


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Old 02-07-2009, 08:06 AM   #18
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Alright... I think I understand what it means now.

As for 'deepy philosphical' and 'potentially illogical', what I mean is that it seems to me, IMHO, that if I were to think about some philosphical concepts as deeply as possible, I'd misinterpret what the philosphers that came up with the ideas meant, taking the ideas so far that I don't interpret it the way they were intended to be interpretted.
Arc, let me know which philosophy books you have read, and where you feel you might have done this and we can help Though this deals with another Nietzsche concept, which I tend to call "the death of the author".

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And that's what I thought the 'overman' philosophy was suggesting a person like me do, until Webrider said this and cleared up my misconceptions about it:
Well, it depends upon one's view of the Overman, the whole point is that it is a very hard state to reach, and that only a few can reach that place. Kierkegaard had a similar (but theistic) kind of idea with his 'Knight of Faith'.

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[s]Here's my ace solution: read the philosophies, don't start thinking them off of Wikipedia entries. Read Thus Spake Zarathustra before you start wondering whether Nietzsche was making sense or not.
QFT - Here you go Arc; http://infomotions.com/etexts/philos...e-thus-223.htm

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Contrary to popular belief, philosophical books aren't written in secret codes and cryptic languages, they're in plain old readable language and completely comprehensible all throughout. Read them, and discuss what the philosophy, the ideals mean with other people (preferably smart people who read philosophy) and that way, I don't think you'd ever misinterpret their words.

Bottomline: Read, gorramit.
QFT

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Well, I one for place him as a proto-Existentialist. The concepts of self and "other"ness come up often in his work, and the Overman ideal is itself an acceptance of the existential portrait of human life - we are fallable, we have no purpose, there is nothing but the now.

Of course, you cannot place any label on Sartre, smug son of gun that he was. But I would classify much of Nietzsche's work as pointing towards Existentialism, in particular the Overman as described in Thus Spake Zarathrusta. Along with Kierkegaard (who sure doesn't seem like an existentialist - silly god fearer) and Hegel, the fathers of Existentialism.
I do think Nietzsche was a precursor to the existentialist movement, as was Kierkegaard - but I think both would of rejected claims to them being existentialists IMHO. Not that I don't think they had a massive impact on the existential movement, or that some of their ideas match up. Kierkegaard is an interesting one, I've only read a couple of his works, so can't comment too much - yet

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And, I agree fully with Sabretooth - you should read the philosophies before rendering opinion or judgment. I do not agree that Nietzsche is easy reading though
Seconded

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So? Do the rest of us look like we're perfect? No. Well, maybe Boba Rhett, but he's a special case.

None of us are going to understand everything completely the first time. Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes.
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Old 02-12-2009, 04:01 PM   #19
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I would like to say thank you for the link to the translation of "Also Sprach Zarathustra", I'm learning about Nietzsche at school and I'm very interested about it .

I do want to say, from what I know (from what I've heard at school that is, so please correct me if I'm wrong), that his theory doesn't give much hope to people who are in need of help... From what I know, N. says helping someone or showing compassion is one of the worst things you can do.

I may have said this very simplistic, and again, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sorry if this is the case...

Also, people complain about Hitler and the Nazi party abusing the "Übermensch" idea (I agree about the Holocaust being a terrible fact), but I don't see how they are abusing it, isn't everything in life, according to Nietzsche, about striving to power, about the need to rule... Isn't that what makes someone into an "Übermensch".

I'm sorry if I'm not very clear in my explanations, but I'm just confused about these ideas, and I feel like I'm seeing it wrong, so if anyone could explain it some more, I would be grateful.


Thank you

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Old 02-12-2009, 04:59 PM   #20
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I would like to say thank you for the link to the translation of "Also Sprach Zarathustra", I'm learning about Nietzsche at school and I'm very interested about it .
No worries

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Originally Posted by zakske View Post
I do want to say, from what I know (from what I've heard at school that is, so please correct me if I'm wrong), that his theory doesn't give much hope to people who are in need of help... From what I know, N. says helping someone or showing compassion is one of the worst things you can do.
You played TSL? In many respects Kreia embodies quite a few Nietzschean philosophies, how does she respond to Darksiders killing everyone?

Anyways, this book review maybe of interest;
http://entertainment.timesonline.co....cle5606645.ece


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I may have said this very simplistic, and again, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sorry if this is the case...

Also, people complain about Hitler and the Nazi party abusing the "‹bermensch" idea (I agree about the Holocaust being a terrible fact), but I don't see how they are abusing it, isn't everything in life, according to Nietzsche, about striving to power, about the need to rule... Isn't that what makes something into an "‹bermensch".
Nietzsche would I think of viewed Hitler as not bright enough to be an ‹bermensch, besides which, Nietzsche disowned his own sister for her anti-Semitic husband for a period of time (and her own views being influenced by her husband) which I hope goes to prove Nietzsche would not of approved of the holocaust.

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I'm sorry if I'm not very clear in my explanations, but I'm just confused about these ideas, so if anyone could explain it some more, I would be grateful.
In 'Ecce Homo' Nietzsche ends with an attempt at self criticism as well as having the old sage review his life's work. I would actually recommend this as the best starting place to understanding what Nietzsche thought of his own philosophies. He goes through each of his major works with a review. I thoroughly recommend only Walter Kaufmann translations if you pay for a book, he is the foremost of all the Nietzsche scholars, and be very wary of any Nietzsche 'translation' pre 1945.

Anyways, it could be said that Nietzsche would think the gulf between the ‹bermensch and the average human, as greater than the gap between say humans and lower species. Most people do not have the ability to reach the level of the ‹bermensch. However the key here is the kind of individuals Nietzsche regarded as ‹bermensch; Napoleon was very much viewed as a failed ‹bermensch, perhaps Plato and Socrates much more succesful one. Hitler I'm sure Nietzsche would of just viewed as an idiot (which is what he was, the man may have been a great orator, and manipulator, but he was a fool). The only real thing Hitler and Nietzsche have in common is a bad choice in facial hair.

*Anyways, my very brief attempt to sum up the theory; the ‹bermensch, is an individual who has broken through the mould, and the ‹bermensch is one who reveals themselves as having attained the highest degrees of expression in his will to power. Of these various 'highher degrees of expression' Philosophy is one (if not the) highest. More common 'will to power' are lower ones (such as revenge) and must be sublimated into more useful forms of energy. The ‹bermensch is totally self reliant, having broken away from the culture he is surrounded by, this comes about by the ‹bermensch realising his 'true' self, so he is no longer a thoughtless accident, but a deliberate thought, of his own deliberate accord and nature. Because the ‹bermensch realises 'God is Dead' he then sets about inventing his own 'morality' as he see's fit. This, is at least, how this lay philosopher interprets the theory. I'm sure others will come in, with their own take

Anyways, as such, I don't think Hitler has any of the above qualities, ergo he is not an ‹bermensch and I would go as far as saying Hitler would not of been intelligent enough to understand the theory.

*Ladies, please don't be offended, this is how I see Nietzsche's theory, and not my own belief, the German coot, having had is heart broken, certainly had a downer on woman, and he thought the best a woman could hope for was to give birth to an ‹bermensch (ironically, Nietzsche failing to break away from his own culture?



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:40 PM   #21
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Nietzsche would I think of viewed Hitler as not bright enough to be an ‹bermensch, besides which, Nietzsche disowned his own sister for her anti-Semitic husband for a period of time (and her own views being influenced by her husband) which I hope goes to prove Nietzsche would not of approved of the holocaust.
Indeed. You can even go as far as to say Nietzsche, and more specifically, his ‹bermensch, had a bad reputation due to his sister and her antisemitic husband, the former of which released, I believe, some of Nietzsche's work posthumous, edited to her believes, or rewrote some of his work, and as such, Nietzsche being, wrongfully, connected to Nazism and the like.

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I thoroughly recommend only Walter Kaufmann translations if you pay for a book, he is the foremost of all the Nietzsche scholars, and be very wary of any Nietzsche 'translation' pre 1945.
I'll have to write that down. And I agree with that last part.

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*Anyways, my very brief attempt to sum up the theory; the ‹bermensch, is an individual who has broken through the mould, and the ‹bermensch is one who reveals themselves as having attained the highest degrees of expression in his will to power. Of these various 'highher degrees of expression' Philosophy is one (if not the) highest. More common 'will to power' are lower ones (such as revenge) and must be sublimated into more useful forms of energy. The ‹bermensch is totally self reliant, having broken away from the culture he is surrounded by, this comes about by the ‹bermensch realising his 'true' self, so he is no longer a thoughtless accident, but a deliberate thought, of his own deliberate accord and nature. Because the ‹bermensch realises 'God is Dead' he then sets about inventing his own 'morality' as he see's fit. This, is at least, how this lay philosopher interprets the theory. I'm sure others will come in, with their own take
I know this is basically a concept by Nietzsche himself, but could you give your interpretation to the "will to power"? It seems you can have various interpretations of the concept. Other than that, a sound explanation. With this explanation, I can also see that hint of Kierkegaard and Spinoza, to name a few. I'd argue that Nietzsche would also view Spinoza as having attained a status close to that of ‹bermensch, Spinoza pulling himself away from religion to practice Philosophy without restriction, "breaking away from the culture he is surrounded by", like you said.

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Anyways, as such, I don't think Hitler has any of the above qualities, ergo he is not an ‹bermensch and I would go as far as saying Hitler would not of been intelligent enough to understand the theory.
Yeah, I don't think Hitler can be seen as an ‹bermensch. Nor do I think Hitler understood (or wanted to understand) the theory of the ‹bermensch. You could say that Hitler's actions were fueled by a blind hatred for certain cultures, which goes directly against any rational thought, and against one of the key elements of the ‹bermensch. Also, Hitler saw the ‹bermensch as a race, as something that is being created by a mass of superior beings, while I think the ‹bermensch is a goal set by everyone individually. Extrapolating this, Hitler was more busy creating a "perfect" race, with reintroducing Germany as a force not to be messed with, with forming a "Reich", than he was working on himself as an individual, in the ssense of hunting down the goal of ‹bermensch.


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Old 02-13-2009, 09:51 PM   #22
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You could say that Hitler's actions were fueled by a blind hatred for certain cultures, which goes directly against any rational thought, and against one of the key elements of the ‹bermensch.
Don't mean to derail the thread or anything, but Hitler's hate for the certain cultures definitely wasn't blind. He hated the Jews as he believed them to be greedy and hoarding money, and also responsible for the bastardization of Germany following WWI.

He also believed in the Race theory, (which was gaining a lot of ground in Europe at the time) and hence his supposition that the Aryan race was superior to all others, hence the despising of other races.


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Old 02-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #23
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Don't mean to derail the thread or anything, but Hitler's hate for the certain cultures definitely wasn't blind. He hated the Jews as he believed them to be greedy and hoarding money, and also responsible for the bastardization of Germany following WWI.
I view the arguments Hitler made (whether they are true or not) as simple excuses to justify his hate for certain cultures. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think it's plausible.


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