Beyond Good and Evil

Category: Good and Evil, Truth, Virtue
Last Updated: 26 Jan 2021
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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche is usually considered as a forerunner of existentialism along with Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard can be considered as the champion of the orthodox Christianity. However, Christian absolutism, which requires total surrender to God, is totally not acceptable to Nietzsche, because according to him God is dead. The concept of death of God is best known among all philosophies of Nietzsche. According to him, since God is dead we have lost the foundation of truth and value.

Human beings must find courage to become gods themselves (Lavine, 1984,p. 324). The greatest need of civilization now is to develop new type individual, supermen, who will be intellectually and morally independent. They will break all existing moral values, which are life- denying, to which masses are still enslaved. The only morality of the supermen will be to affirm life, to be powerful, creative, joyous, and free ( Lavine,1984,p. 325) In ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ he identifies a new set of philosophers, attempters, who will be the new legislators and creators.

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In order to make way for them, he criticizes all existing moral values and philosophies . He attacks Christianity and Buddhism in particular because he sees in them carriers of virtues of the weak. He presents his own ideas of morality. He says that the will to power is the underlining force in all living organism. Therefore, he denounces all virtues of peace, forgiveness, friendliness. However, the will to power is just one aspect of man. If this is the only principle of life, the only motivating factor in ones life, civilized societies cannot exist.

Beyond Good and Evil can be a guide in society ruled by a dictator. Assuming that reading ‘Beyond Good and evil’ has influenced my life and I have accepted it as a guide in my life, the following changes are expected within me. An Attempter Beyond good and evil has made me an attempter- a new kind of philosophers, a free spirit. My whole life is changed for good. My concept of truth, life, religion and self is changed. My concept of truth. There are no absolute truths. (Nietzsche. ed. hughes) There are no universal dogmas.

What is true for me can be perfectly false for someone else. (Nietzsche. ed. hughes) Every philosophy or science that I come across brings to my mind that this is said with moral prejudice and with the aim of making money. (Nietzsche,2004,para. 6) There, need not be a conviction. The Truth I know, if it is not acceptable to others I need not stand up to it. After all truth is not an incompetent creature requiring someone’s support. (Nietzsche,2004,para. 25) There is nothing called knowledge for it own sake(Nietzsche.

ed. hughes) I will believe only truths that are revealed by my senses. (Nietzsche. ed. hughes) I will be skeptical of everything that I come to know. Skepticism is a tool in my hand. I should not take anything as real except my drives, desires and passion. (Nietzsche. ed. hughes0 My concept of life. The feelings of devotion, self-sacrifice, morality of self-denial are to be completely avoided. (Nietzsche. ed. hughes) I realize hatred, lust envy are not feelings that should be avoided but they are very essential to my life(Nietzsche.

ed. hughes) I will not be attached to anything in this world. I will not be attached to my loved ones because every person is a prison, to my fatherland even if requires my help. I will not feel pity for anybody. I will not be attached to my own virtues. I will learn to control myself. (Nietzsche,2004,para. 41) I recognize that slavery, danger, experimentation, devilry, everything evil, tyrannical in man enhances the growth of man. Therefore, they are necessary for the humankind(Nietzsche,para. 44). My concept of religion.

Christianity is a religion that I should avoid, since it is a religion of sacrifice, sacrifice of all freedom pride self-confidence. It is a religion of self-mockery, self-denial and enslavement. I abhor Christianity for the three cardinal follies it practices i. e. , solitude, fasting and sexual abstinence. I need to just look away from these follies(Nietzsche,2004,para. 47). If I need fresh air I should not go to churches. I will stop believing in the existence of soul, therefore, there is no life after death. (Nietzsche,2004,para.

30) . As an attempter I will make use of religion and politics in order to rule over others. I have a responsibility for the evolution of mankind(Nietzsche,2004,para. 45) There is no moral phenomena, only moral interpretations of phenomena. (Nietzsche,2004,para. 64) I will believe only truths that are revealed by my senses. (Nietzsche. ed. hughes) Morality is against reason and freedom. It is a constrain. (Nietzsche. ed. Hughes) Every virtue tends towards stupidity and every stupidity towards virtue(Nietzsche) My concept of self.

My essence is will to power, so prepositions like 'Harm no one, rather help everyone as much as you are able' is false and sentimental (Nietzsche,ed. Hughes). My power to will should not be restrained My strength lies in my dangerous drives such as enterprisingness, revengefulness, ambition (Nietzsche,ed. Hughes). I will possess only those virtues which are useful to get along with my secret and heartfelt inclinations (Nietzsche. ed. Hughes). Honesty is my only virtue. I will be honest totally but not to an extent of becoming boring saint(Nietzsche.

ed. Hughes). My concept of the society. Everything in this world seeks to discharge its strength, the will to power. (Nietzsche. ed. hughes) The majority in the society are lesser mortals. Therefore I as an independent free spirit should wear masks or else I will be rejected and ridiculed. (Nietzsche,ed. Hughes) Democratic politics is not only politics in decay but also man in decay. (Nietzsche. ed. hughes) Herdsman. Human beings live in groups such as states, tribes, churches. These are human herds.

Here majority of people live under obedience while handful of people rule them. They are taught to unconditionally obey the rulers. The rulers consider themselves as representatives of God or servants of the people or instruments of good (Nietzsche,2004,para. 199). The characteristics of a herdsman and herds are as follows(Nietzsche,2004. para. 199) The herdsman glorifies virtues like humility, timidity, modesty and peace (Nietzsche,2004,para. 199). Strong dangerous drives such as hatred, revenge, enterprisingness are branded immoral.

(Nietzshe,2004. para. 199) This over tenderness causes him to be soft on people who tend harm him, criminals (Nietzshe,2004,para. 199). Spiritual independence and will to stand alone are seen as dangerous, therefore such qualities are suppressed (Nietzsche. 2004,para199). When clever men get together they form a parliament(Nietzsche,para. 199). The Disadvantage of Being an Attempter. The will to power An attempter in trying to be different in everything loses his normal self. The attempter is too much occupied with his will to power.

Will to power is one of the characteristics of men. However, the attempter considers it as his essence. The effect of such an attitude makes him an oppressor in any relationship. Will to power is common to all human beings. He runs into trouble when he meets another human with same type of inclination. In such a situation, as Hegel says there will be struggle unto death(Lavine,p. 220). Detachment He detaches himself from everything in life. He is not attached to his loved ones, his fatherland or his virtues. This makes him an ascetic.

He is made into a machine without any human feelings. Dangerous drives. Human drives such as hatred, revenge are glorified by him. On the other hand soft qualities like modesty, humility, friendliness are looked down upon. Human beings are bundle of emotions. Every emotion has a place in the formation of a person. One cannot glorify some emotions and denounce some others. In the case of an attempter the killing instinct in man is given predominance. This makes him an unacceptable person in a civilized society.

He is more at home in a society ruled by a dictator. The Advantage of a Herdsman. A herdsman has a balanced emotional level. He does not denounce any qualities as irrational. Nietzsche argues that the will to stand alone, higher intelligence being suppressed in herds(society) is not true. There is more freedom in a herdsman than an attempter. He lives in a democratic world where as the attempter tends towards dictatorship. He learns to obey authority, which is a very important quality to live in a society

Animal instincts such as revenge hatred are not glorified but by considering them as immoral those harmful emotions are discouraged To Be an Attempter or To Be a Herdsman. I would prefer to be a herdsman. A herdsman is a person suitable in a civilized, democratic society. The life of a herdsman is lived in obedience to authority. He understands the importance of modesty, friendliness and peace. These qualities appeal to me more than a life lived with a sloe aim of dominating others.

A life of an attempter is very mechanical. He does not have the human frailties which makes life interesting. He hates everything , suspects everything, tends to dominate everything. His life will be lonely and dull. Therefore to live a life filled with normal emotions of joy, pain, modesty, forgiveness I would prefer a herdsman’s life. Conclusion In ‘Beyond and Evil’ Nietzsche alludes that all life is exploitation. His will to power is seen as exploitation. The dominance of one’s will over another.

All that enhances power is good. All that flows from weakness i. e. , peace, friendliness are bad. Hatred, vengeance, cruelty are essential for life. These concepts of life suit a dictator than a person living in a democratic society. He tries to present a new brand of philosophers called ‘attempters’ who embodies all these characters. They are supposed to be legislators and creators. Creators of moral values so that a new order of world will be created. Nietzsche call these philosophers as saviors of humankind.

Thus, he attempts a dangerous experimental method. Therefore, we cannot live a life based on ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ References Lavine. T. Z. (1984). From Socrates To Sartre. New York: Bantam Books Nietzsche (2004, September23). Beyond Good and Evil Retrieved April 24, 2007 from http://www. mala. bc. ca/~johnstoi/Nietzsche/beyondgoodandevil2. htm Nietzche. F (n. d. ) Beyond Good and Evil. in G. Hughes. Retrieved April 23, 2007 from C:Documents and SettingsaaDesktopPhilosophy- Squashed Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil - Condensed Abridged. htm

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Beyond Good and Evil. (2016, Aug 02). Retrieved from

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