Nietzsche spoke too soon

Though a good prophet, spoke too soon when he said God is dead and we have killed him.

It’s been 120 years since the good prophet breathed his last but all around us we are surrounded by irrationality that should have died when god died.

This is manifested in many ways. In many places, morals come to us from the sky, dictated by a god who is perfect, mysterious, vengeful and hidden- if you are philosophically inclined- ; in most jurisdictions we have laws that are informed by the religious persuasions of those who handed them down to us.

Then there is the obsession with objective Truth and all objective whatever-s that when you really bother to think around, leads you down the rabbit hole occupied by the gods.

The good prophet, in Genealogy of morals tells us to craft a new morality. And in his thus spake Zarathustra, invites us to be ubermen. Maybe it is time we took him seriously and thought about our morals. We may in the end not have to overhaul them, but to admit they are not from or by the gods, but they are covenants between men and women for sociable living. I simply don’t want anyone stealing my cow, not because it is an edict from high heavens but because i don’t want to be inconvenienced!

On the senses

What do you think of Nietzsche’s argument that the senses do not lie, but rather what we make of their testimony, that alone introduces lies. In short, reason( judgement) is the cause of our falsification of the testimony of the senses.

He agrees with Heraclitus that the “apparent” world is the only one: the “true” world is merely added by a lie.

In thus spoke Zarathustra

Nietzsche is very playful. I think he must have laughed as he wrote the very playful sections of that book.

Take for instance the part where Zarathustra says laughter killed the gods when one of them said there’s no gods but god.

In part four in conversation with the retired pope, Zarathustra says pity for man killed god, that is, god could not stand the man on the cross and died out of pity. In the same place he says

He was a concealed god, addicted to secrecy. Verily, even a son he got himself in a sneaky way. At the door of his faith stands adultery.

Elsewhere he writes about god this

When he was young, this god out of the Orient, he was harsh and vengeful and he built himself a hell to amuse his favorites. Eventually, however, he became old and soft and mellow and pitying, more like a grandfather, but most like a shaky grandmother. Then he sat in his nook by the hearth, wilted, grieving over his weak legs, weary of the world, and one day he choked on his all too great pity.

And finally on love( especially the way Christians and religious people don’t tire to tell us god is love, Zarathustra says

Whoever praises him as a god of love does not have a high enough opinion of love itself. Did this god not want to be a judge too? But the lover loves beyond reward and retribution.

Have yourselves a humorous day, won’t you!

On Christianity

When we hear the ancient bells growling on a Sunday morning we ask ourselves: is it really possible! this for a Jew, crucified 2000 y.a, who said he was God’s son. The proof of such a claim is lacking. Certainly the Christian religion is an antiquity projected into our times from remote prehistory; and the fact that the claim is believed- whereas one is otherwise so strict in examining pretensions- is perhaps the most ancient piece of this heritage. A god who begets children with a mortal woman; a sage who bids men work no more, have no more courts, but look for the signs of the impending end of the world; a justice that accepts the innocent as a vicarious sacrifice; someone who orders his disciples to drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins perpetrated against a god, atoned for by a god; fear of a beyond to which death is the portal; the form of the cross as a symbol in a time that no longer knows the ignominy of the cross- how ghoulishly all this touches us, as from the tomb of the primeval past! Can one believe that such things are still believed?

Nietzsche.

who knew

There was a direct link between anti-natalism and atheism.

The author of Ecclesiastes (my favorite book of the bible) wrote

4 Next, I turned to look at all the acts of oppression that make people suffer under the sun. Look at the tears of those who suffer! No one can comfort them. Their oppressors have all the power. No one can comfort those who suffer. I congratulate the dead, who have already died, rather than the living, who still have to carry on. But the person who hasn’t been born yet is better off than both of them (emphasis mine). He hasn’t seen the evil that is done under the sun.

And Nietzsche in the Birth of Tragedy writes

There is an old legend that king Midas for a long time hunted the wise Silenus, the companion of
Dionysus, in the forests, without catching him. When Silenus finally fell into the king’s hands, the king
asked what was the best thing of all for men, the very finest. The daemon remained silent, motionless
and inflexible, until, compelled by the king, he finally broke out into shrill laughter and said these
words, “Suffering creature, born for a day, child of accident and toil, why are you forcing me to say
what would give you the greatest pleasure not to hear? The very best thing for you is totally
unreachable: not to have been born, not to exist , to be nothing. The second best thing for you, however,
is this — to die soon.”

Since I find nothing odd in the observation of Silenus and Qoheleth, I am inclined to argue they make a lot of sense and while an argument can be made that all of us who write in support of anti-natalism do so only because we have been born, this argument doesn’t defeat the arguments for anti-natalism. And whether those who support anti-natalism are atheists or agnostics is not an argument against the position. It proves nothing. It is neither an argument against atheism nor against anti-natalism.

Allowing for a moment that most of those who support anti-natalism are atheists, is this an argument against any of the two positions?

Maybe, just maybe, we are like Kirilov in the Possessed who commits a logical suicide.

To the question what made life worth living 

Anaxagoras answered

Contemplating the heavens and the total order of the cosmos.

The philosopher Nietzsche says there is no dignity in existence nor in man. That to exist is an expiation.

He says also that only the Greeks could philosophise since only them had culture. 

He asks what does man know about himself?

To the question what is truth, he answers they are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions; worn out metaphors which have become powerless to affect the senses; coins which have their obverse effaced and now are no longer of account as coins but merely as metal.

He writes,  if I make the definition of a mammal and then declare after inspecting a camel, “ behold a mammal,” then no doubt a truth is brought to light thereby, but it is of every limited value and does not contain one single point which is true-in-itself, real and universally valid, apart from man. 

And finally, does the infinite exist?

Thus spake Zarathustra

You remember a few days ago I said I don’t like long posts, I lied ;-P. I will read a long post if it is on a topic that I enjoy and it is well written. So Kate don’t worry, I will read your 1500 word reviews and dogs posts.

Here is a review of Thus spake Zarathustra, a book by Nietzsche. If you haven’t read the book, maybe you should, if you have, read it a second time.

Here is a snippet of the book, Nietzsche is writing about the death of the gods

With the old Deities hath it long since come to an end: and verily, a good joyful Deity-end had they! They did not “begloom” themselves to death: that do people fabricate! On the contrary, they laughed themselves to deathonce on a time!

That took place when the ungodliest utterance came from a God himself: the utterance: “There is but one God! Thou shalt have no other gods before me!” An old grim-beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself in such wise: And all the gods then laughed, and shook upon their thrones, and exclaimed: “Is it not just divinity that there are gods, but no God?” He that hath an ear let him hear.

Indulge me, go read it 😀

On free will and punishment

My position on free will is known to the readers of this blog. I am not saying anything new in this post. Here is a passage from Nietzsche that I hope to hear your comments on.

Have the adherents of the theory of free will the right to punish?— People who judge and punish as a profession try to establish in each case whether an ill-doer is at all accountable for his deed, whether he was able to employ his intelligence, whether he acted for reasons and not unconsciously or under compulsion. If he is punished, he is 
punished for having preferred the worse reasons to the better: which he must therefore have known. Where this knowledge is lacking a man is, according to the prevailing view, unfree and not responsible: except if his lack of knowledge, his ignorantia legis [ignorance of the law] for example, is a result of an intentional neglect to learn; in 
which case, when he failed to learn what he should have learned he had already preferred the worse reasons to the better and must now suffer the consequences of his bad choice. If, on the other hand, he did not see the better reasons, perhaps from dull-wittedness or weakness of mind, it is not usual to punish him: he lacked, one says, the 
capacity to choose, he acted as an animal would. For an offense to be punishable presupposes that its perpetrator intentionally acted contrary to the better dictates of his intelligence. But how can anyone intentionally be less intelligent than he has to be? Whence comes the decision when the scales are weighted with good and bad motives? 
Not from error, from blindness, not from an external nor from an internal compulsion? (Consider, moreover, that every so-called “external compulsion” is nothing more than the internal compulsion of fear and pain.) Whence? one asks again and again. The intelligence is not the cause, because it could not decide against the better reasons? 
And here one calls “free will” to one’s aid: it is pure willfulness which is supposed to decide, as impulse is supposed to enter within which motive plays no part, in which the deed, arising out of nothing, occurs as a miracle. It is this supposed willfulness, in a case in which willfulness ought not to reign, which is punished: the rational 
intelligence, which knows law, prohibition and command, ought to have permitted no choice, and to have had the effect of compulsion and a higher power. Thus the offender is punished because he employs “free will,” that is to say, because he acted without a reason where he ought to have acted in accordance with reasons. Why did he do this? But it is precisely this question that can no longer even be asked: it was a deed without a “for that reason,” without motive, without origin, something purposeless and non-rational.— But such a deed too ought, in accordance with the 
first condition of all punishability laid down above, not to be punished! It is not as if something had not been done here, something omitted, the intelligence had not been employed: for the omission is under all circumstances unintentional! and only the intentional omission to perform what the law commands counts as punishable. The 
offender certainly preferred the worse reasons to the better, but without reason or intention: he certainly failed to employ his intelligence, but not for the purpose of not employing it. The presupposition that for an offense to be punishable its perpetrator must have intentionally acted contrary to his intelligence—it is precisely this 
presupposition which is annulled by the assumption of “free will.” You adherents of the theory of “free will” have no right to punish, your own principles deny you that right! But these are at bottom nothing but a very peculiar conceptual mythology; and the hen that hatched it sat on her egg in a place far removed from reality.

The Wanderer and his shadow, F. Nietzsche

New atheists! Old atheists!

In many debates and apologists writings, many of them have made a distinction between a group they call new atheists and old atheists. As far as I can tell, none of the theists who use these terms have defined who fits into what group and last time I asked Debilis, our resident apologists whose main occupation is to misrepresent atheists, he didn’t give me a straight answer. While we wait to be told who fits where, here is a quote by the great Nietzsche, the assassin of god, who I think the theists would gladly call old atheist, and here is a gem on christianity, I found while reading the blogs sites I subscribe too.

The Christian conception of God–God as god of the sick, God as a spider, God as spirit–is one of the most corrupt conceptions of the divine ever attained on earth. It may even represent the low-water mark in the descending development of divine types. God degenerated into the contradiction of life, instead of being its transfiguration and eternal Yes! God as the declaration of war against life, against nature, against the will to live! God–the formula for every slander against “this world,” for every lie about the “beyond”! God–the deification of nothingness, the will to nothingness pronounced holy!

Nuff said.