Plato and Nietzsche are sitting in a park enjoying a light picnic lunch. All of a sudden a man dressed in black, wearing a balaclava run’s past and steals Nietzsche’s Turkey sandwich. Nietzsche:This is preposterous! That immoral man has just stolen my last turkey sandwich! This is a horrible position to be in! Plato:What do you mean Nietzsche? Are you saying that you are in a worse position than the thief that stole your sandwich? Nietzsche:Yes that is exactly what I am saying. He isn’t the one who is going to starve to death now is he? Plato:Oh Nietzsche don’t be silly, you’re looking at this in the wrong way.
You see, it is you who is in the better position since it is more shameful to inflict wrong than to suffer wrong. Evil derives from wrongful actions, those which by nature involve shame and/or pain. And theft is a very shameful act is it not? Nietzsche: Yes, being a thief is a very shameful way to live, as he is driven by his desires. He must have no self restraint what so ever. Without self restriction how could anyone lead a good life? For it is only through our will to power, strict obedience and restraint over a period of time can great thinking, art and virtue occur.
Plato:I agree. The discipline to act justly, control and order one’s body and mind, not need anything and to live virtuously is the only way for true self-fulfilment. Those who repetitively satisfy their desires do not posses real power over one’s self because this gratification further stimulates, rather than eliminates, ones craving for desire. A person who is always fulfilling desire is in continuous need for further satisfaction, and thus acquires no true power over themselves as they are constantly controlled by their urges.
Nietzsche:Not only does one need self discipline and obedience, like you said, but they also need to be freed from outer restrictions such as the “herd mentality” which constrains them from becoming a true leader. Who is to say that this thief does not have to qualities to rule? He has been trained that compliance and obedience toward his herd is best. This herd mentality forces its followers to repress their natural aspiration to become leaders, it unselfs gifted individuals and natural leaders.
Qualities such as benevolence, modesty and pity are taught by the herd to be virtuous, when really it is the imaginative, daring, creative and courageous who are the virtuous ones, whom should rise above the herd because they are the natural leaders. Those who have to will to power (drive to do so) are able to live their lives the fullest and therefore ultimately become the ubermensch. Plato:Here is where we differ Nietzsche, the way I see it is that community or herd is not such a bad thing, leaders on the other hand are. Weaker people should not be subject to stronger people.
Just like large countries should not attack the small ones, on the grounds of that they are stronger and therefore superior. Governments and communities help to restrain those who cannot restrain themselves and therefore guiding them into leading a more virtuous life. Leaders, such a politicians, on the other hand only seek to amuse and gratify rather than improve the soul. When morality is applied in the masses it is right and natural Nietzsche:But Plato, the theory of evolution has proved that God is dead and is no longer need to explain out existence meaning that conventional morality is irrelevant.
Therefore we must create our own morality which is not transcendent or absolute. Plato:Wrong again Nietzsche. Just because there is proof that God may not exist, it doesn’t mean that man creates his own morality or anything else for that matter. You see, in this universe there are two different worlds, the material world and the metaphysical world. We experience the material world with our senses. We can see it, feel it, taste it and touch it. Whereas the Metaphysical world (world f the forms) exists beyond the senses. The Metaphysical world contains perfect examples of qualities and concepts that exist in the material world.
We can recognise these concepts (beauty, justice, good etc) and qualities (colour, shape) because we have experienced them in the Metaphysical world. Our soul/mind experiences the Metaphysical world before birth, but the trauma of birth makes us forget this world and we must relearn it thorough philosophy. So, because there is a perfect examples of everything in the Metaphysical world that there is here in the Material world, there must be a perfect form of morality. This means that there is an absolute morality for mankind to live by.
Courtney from Study Moose
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