Friedrich Nietzsche and Morality

Friedrich Nietzsche and Morality
Nietzsche is one of the most controversial philosophers in history. He rejected Christianity and proposed a new kind of morality. Which one? Find out by reading this article.When someone wants to contradict a theory put forward by this particular German philosopher they quickly point out that he spent the last years of his life taking care of his mother, following a mental collapse. However, this is not in any way a solid argument against the philosophical system expressed in his works.

Nietzsche disregards the idea of founding morality on moral feelings and conscience, or on the categorical imperative with the accent on universality as put forward by Immanuel Kant. Moreover, he rejected the project promoted by the Enlightenment, according to which reason should serve as the foundation of morality. For Nietzsche morality is an expression of the will to power (which is unequally spread in humans and nature). Therefore, he does not admit the role of human natural rights in fulfilling morality. Morality represents a system of value judgments which is connected to the human being’s conditions of existence.

From the beginning, Nietzsche identifies two types of morality: of the masses and of the elites or slaves and masters. These two types of morality are found in two great cultures which interact with each other, but in essence remain distinct. The widespread of Christian morality is considered by Nietzsche a consequence of the fact that the slave morality replaced in a victorious style the morality of the masters. The key term of this substitution is resentment. The individuals that make up the masses are incapable of action and/or of expressing themselves. If, on one hand, the masters are capable of manifesting themselves in a liberal way that is full of confidence and happiness, on the other hand the slaves define themselves as lacking freedom, confidence and happiness. According to Nietzsche this is the source and essence of the resentment.

The values of the slaves were more centered on the virtues of not being the victims of injustice. They wanted to be left in peace, to pass thorough life without difficulties. The Christian morality expresses, according to Nietzsche, the rebellion of the slaves on their knees which passivity accept and illegitimately condemn any act of power. Nietzsche despises this morality because it neglects the vital values (freedom, ego, power) and because it promotes useless hopes and raises a question concerning heroism in confrontation with life. What defines the background of the Christian soul is resentment, the refusal of life and projecting the sense of existence into an after life that is better then the current one. Christianity produced a rupture in man: a world to which his access is denied and a transcendental one that is an illusion.

This obvious nihilism is in fact just a stage of his philosophical system. Nietzsche identifies three metamorphosis of the soul. First there is the camel: it is docile, it carries the heaviest burdens, it suffers and endures, it worships its master, but it does not create anything. Then there is the lion: he is free, he has power and the capability to affirm his self, but he does not have the ability to create. Finally, there is the child: free from the old values, he decides to live according to his own creative dispositions after the imperative "go beyond yourself".

According to Nietzsche, the downfall of Christianity is the downfall of the Western Civilization. This implies the need to create a new man that would replace the Christian. In this context alone, Nietzsche sustains the idea of the death of God as a condition to the freedom of mankind. Under the watchful eye of God man is incapable of being free, of enjoying life. Therefore, he comes up with the idea of an Übermensch (super-human). He is a man of vocation that responds to his calling. He has a very strong personality and he tries to fulfill himself in the highest degree.

People tend to dismiss the work of Nietzsche because it is widely believed that it had a contribution to the doctrine of the Nazis. This is however wrong, because Hitler offered an interpretation of Nietzsche that would suit his needs. Argument number 1: The potency of the Übermensch is creative and not destructive, and this is the reason why the masses follow him (he is naturally good at being a leader). Argument number 2: Nietzsche condemned the Jews, but also all the religions without discrimination, because he considered all of them oppressive. Argument number 3: an entire race cannot be Übermensch, because they are simply too rare.

Personally when I look at the way he perceived Christianity, I realize that it might be the Cristians’ fault because Christians themselves fail to really know God, therefore this shallow Christian picture is prevalent in society. The following excerpt describes Nietzsche’s perception about Christianity: the background of the Christian soul is resentment, the refusal of life and projecting the sense of existence into an after life that is better then the current one. Although sometimes this might represent Christianity as religion, the core is totally different, but who goes so deep to actually reach the core of Christianity, that is Christ Himself?

Nietzsche’s perspective over Christianity is therefore contrasting with the Bible and the original Christian life presented in the Holy Book. According to the Bible, a Christian has to be free inside - and by no means resentful- a mature follower of Christ has love, joy, content, peace, power, everything needed to live a fulfilled live. A Christian is not characterized by a refusal of life, on the contrary, when you get to really know God, not as a form, but as a personal encounter, when you rely on Him and put your whole trust in Him, then your life turns into the most wonderful adventure. I along with many other Christians have experienced that and everyone who really wants to know God’s plan for their live, will know it! I is the best and most fulfilling to live at your fullest capacity, doing what God created you for. It is amazing! Too bad that just like a bad ambassador of a country, Christianity is oftentimes a form and therefore looks like Nietzsche’s description, however, that is not God’s perspective on Christianity! When we put it simple, Christ and 12 men have changed the world regardless of the opposition encountered! What caused this passion, this determination? They lived their lives over 2000 years ago and they still impact the whole world.

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