On genealogy of morals

Genealogy (from Greek: γενεά, genea, “generation”; and λόγος, logos, “knowledge”) is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members.

Asceticism (from the Greek: ἄσκησις, áskēsis, “exercise” or “training”) describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures, often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals.

One has two choices after reading Nietzsche, to either hate him or like him. I like him and I am tempted to agree with him when he says he was born posthumously! In this polemic, he explores the origin of morality, tears into pieces christian morality and critiques the knowers or free spirits as he called them. He dwells on free will, politics giving a comparison with the Greek state as presented in the writings of Homer. It is a polemic worth reading!

In this genealogy he asks the question of what is the ascetic ideal. He tells as the ascetic priest is one who has said no to life and at the same time is a doctor to the weak. Among the free spirits he too does explore if there can be an ascetic ideal.

This is Nietzsche’s most important work on moral and political theory and offers a critique of moral values and traces the historical evolution of concepts such as guilt, conscience, responsibility, law and justice. In this polemic, he says any scholar interested in the history of morals has to start by looking at the pre-Homeric times.

He writes we need to know the conditions and circumstances under which the values grew up, developed and changed [morality as result, as symptom, as mask, as tartuffery, as sickness, as misunderstanding, but also morality as cause, remedy, stimulant, inhibition, poison] since we have neither had this knowledge up till now nor even desired it.  He goes on to say the origin of bad and good is related to master/ slave or noble and common. The slave sees everything the master does as bad, and for the master everything he does is good. This then is essentially the genesis of good and bad. He disagrees with the suggestion, that he finds untenable that what is good is what is useful or practical as argued by Herbert Spencer. He compares the problem to the relationship between the bird of prey and lambs. The lambs say to each other the birds of prey are evil and anyone like a lamb is good, the birds bear no grudge against the lambs – in fact they love them- nothing is tastier than a tender lamb.

He [Nietzsche] contends that priests make the most evil enemises precisely because they are powerless.  It is the priestly class who through a revaluation of values by rejecting the aristocratic value equation[good= noble = powerful = beautiful =happy = blessed] ventured to bring a reversal by saying only those who suffer are good, only the poor, the powerless, the lowly, the suffering, the deprived, the suffering, are the only pious people and for them alone does salvation belong. How true!

The weak, that is the priestly class, invented god and talk of their kingdom which is yet to come the kingdom of god and in the meantime they live in faith, in love and in hope. To enjoy this kingdom they tell you you have to live beyond death, eternal life, to get your recompense from god! He leaves open the question of rank of values and asks the future philosophers and scientists to solve the problem of values. In the second essay in this polemic, he looks at guilt, bad conscience and related matters and here he says in order for man to have a degree of control over the future, man must first have learnt to distinguish between what happens by accident and what by design and do to do this man must first become reliable, regular, necessary in essence responsible!

The knowledge of the extraordinary privilege of responsibility and power of himself and his destiny, his dominant instinct is what the sovereign man calls conscience.

He says the feeling of guilt originated in the contractual relationship between debtor and creditor, buyer and seller. The desire to punish, is here seen as a result of demand for payment of a debt. In the proportion to which the power and self-confidence of a community grows, its penal law becomes more lenient; this is to say the creditor becomes more human as his wealth increases and finally the amount of his wealth determines how much injury he can sustain without suffering from it.

He says of unbelievers, that we are far from being free spirits because we still believe in truth.  He asks this of the free spirits the truthful man, in that daring and final sense which faith in science presupposes, thus affirms another world from the one of life, nature and history…… must he not therefore deny its opposite, this world, our world, in doing?  He sets a task for the free spirits, that is, the value of truth is to be called into question.

who wrote the bible?

We are pretty sure Moses didn’t write the first five books of the bible, we know Job didn’t write the book bearing his name, we know Matthew, Mark, John of Zebedee, Luke and so many others bearing their names didn’t write the books ascribed to them, heck, we don’t know if these guys graced the planet what we do know however is that a group of people wrote the bible at different times for a period stretching close to 1000 years?[or somewhere close]. Since am not a bible scholar, this post is not meant as such but to introduce a friend of mine who I would expect that you find time, especially the theists, to read to understand a bit of how the bible was cobbled up before we start an argument on whether it is the word of a deity or not.

Here, you will find what is called Graf-Wellhausen Documentary Hypothesis and it is my hope that you will read the introduction where he covers the origin of the gods and the different creation stories and other interesting stuff. 

Enjoy your reading 🙂

A notice to artistes

I just read The Case of WagnerNietzsche contra Wagner and selected Aphorisms we get a glimpse of Nietzsche’s relationship with Wagner, his thoughts and criticisms of music and musicians of his time. It is a case of tough love and a sharp and concise criticism of christianity, which he says is a blemish on man, of Germans in general.

You got to love Nietzsche for his honesty and his wit. If you are a musician and you read his criticism of Wagner, his friend, then you’d know the judges on America got talent or Idols are way too polite.

I loved the book 🙂

an ongoing discussion

I have the permission of a fine gentleman to share a discussion we have been having on this blog here, here, here and here. The reason we agreed to do this is to consolidate the different arguments in one place. I must apologise in advance if this post ends up being long but I will endeavour to make it precise :).

The first question we dealt with regards the nature of god and whether it is knowable. I have tried to show that the nature of god is unknowable and also that the god of the bible is incoherent and impossible. My good friend thinks that we can know god from what we are told in the bible. I contend that what we are told about this god is contradictory. To show this I offered the following examples

1. that god is all loving and merciful yet he drowns everyone except 8
2. that god is evasive. when confronted by Job why he is suffering, he evades the question and only tries to awe Job with his clothes
3. we are told he is all-knowing but seems several times to forget. he forgets that Noah and co are in the boat and so on
4. he is malicious. he hardens pharaoh’s heart to get an opportunity to kill Egyptians
5. tribal:- he chooses people over others without reason
6. he is evil:- he says he is the author of good and evil and also the author of confusion. he does this to confound the people as they are building the staircase to heaven.

I must add there are places where god does good things maybe but I pointed out that what this further proves is the inconsistency of this god.

My good friend disagrees. He says that either am reading this out of context or that I have no right-as a mere mortal- to question the intentions of god which I find to be rather hilarious. He has also indicated that I could be reading the wrong outdated translation, and I asked for his help in choosing which of the 800+ translations as the correct one. We have also covered the matter of what part is metaphor, literal or allegorical and since I have a difficulty in choosing  which to take for what purpose I leave it to you, good friends, to help me. My friend has said also that I can’t talk about the wrath of god of the OT without looking at the NT. I agree fully. The only question is, why did god change from being a violent, misogynist, tribal god to a loving though still suicidal god? If he is to be unchanging, is it of its nature to be all things?

I have further shown that god is angry at us for no reason. I have attempted to show that if a god exists and that this god created man and the serpent, it his fault man failed. I say this because if his address about what fruit was to be eaten and which was not was intended for man, why did he/she/it make it in the vicinity of other more intelligent animals? I also ask, why if this god is omniscient,  did he create the serpent knowing it will tempt man?

We looked at the laws of god and I ask why would a god who is not bound the laws he is making ask us to follow them? Why would such a god who does not forgive his enemies ,who can’t hurt him, asks us to forgive our enemies and pray for them? My friend tells me, god makes those laws for our good!  Please be the judge of this: is stoning your brother for picking sticks on the sabbath for our good, is stoning a woman who has been raped for our good, is killing a disobedient child for our good, is tithing and alms giving for our good, how is  not infringing his copyright laws on altar perfume for our good? Please please tell me how all of this is for our good!

My friend argues that we are saved through Jesus. Am asking why has salvation to be conditional? Is it impossible for an impotent and benevolent god to save all without asking them to believe in a guy whose existence is doubtful? On still this same question of belief, I did ask what happens to my great grandpa who for no fault of his own died before the Spaniards, the Portuguese and the Brits came here with bible in one hand and gun in the other. My friend gave a very honest answer, I don’t know! But added that he knows god is just and will deal with them according to his justice. Which brings us to the problem we had at the beginning, is the mind of god-does he have one- knowable?

I also mentioned Paul, the person credited with developing christianity and said this man or group of men had nothing kind to say to women. He says

As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?” (1 Cor. 14:33b-36 NIV). 

Elsewhere he has this to say

11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

I also said Paul is against many things beautiful

1 Corinthians 7:1  “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry

1 Corinthians 7:For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I

About fighting tyranny, this is what Paul tells us about governments

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor [Roman 13:1-7 NIV].

I will leave you to make your judgements on Paul.

In coming the end of this post, I did submit that the churches own nothing, the priests own nothing which is not people’s labour and any help they claim to give can’t be treated as charity. To be charitable, you need first to own. No church meets this requirement. They are in the business of collecting tithe and alms in exchange for a place in heaven. The priests make claims that they are the mediators between man and god, either follow me or be damned. They are selling false hope to a great majority that do not know better. They lie about the existence of god, about our universe and about everything else. Whatever they are against, their god is against, whatever they support their god supports! My good friend says that even the governments and hospitals should be abolished because they operate on taxes- people’s labour. This I think is fallacious, every tax payer has a right to a government service and besides the government shouldn’t discriminate on where to take resources. For one to benefit from a church, they more often than not ask you to join them or take the highway. I also told my friend building churches doesn’t add to the good of humanity. It enslaves the mind so I asked they build libraries and hospitals in place of churches.

I hope first with this post, I have captured the core arguments we have had in the different posts, that I have represented my brother correctly and without bias. I would love to hear your comments on the issues raised in this post. Thank you 🙂