Friedrich Willhelm Nietzsche, a German Philosopher of the mid 1800`s was Born 1844 and died after a long medical condition that was thoroughly investigated but with no found result in 1900. Nietzsche is most renowned for challenging the moral integrity of Christianity in the late 1800’s despite having grown up with a background and family history of Lutheran ministers; where his Father, Uncles and Grandfathers were all Ministers. This philosopher was the most outspoken on topics such as power, pain, culture and moral acts, and from that has influenced some of the most commonly known philosophers we know of today; such as Sigmund Freud. Nietzsche viewed evil or immoral acts as “self-consciousness, free will and either/or bipolar thinking” (Curry, B. (2008). The Perspectives of Nietzsche. Retrieved from http://www.pitt.edu/-wbcurry/nietzsche.html). Nietzsche believed that Evil is within and dependant upon the determinants that affect ones moral perception.
Nietzsche view on evil came from a very passionate outlook on his world, on culture and of rights and freedoms. Nietzsche put it quite plainly when he said…
“Some moralities are more suitable for subordinate roles; some are more appropriate for dominating and leading social roles. What counts as a preferable and legitimate action depends upon the kind of person one is. The deciding factor is whether one is weaker, sicker and on the decline, or whether one is healthier, more powerful and overflowing with life” (Brandhorst, M. (2010). Naturalism and the Genealogy of Moral Institutions: Journal of Nietzsche Studies. Issue 40, p 5-28, 16p). Nietzsche particularly critiqued Christian and Kantian morality, related to these 2 moral components of which express cultural out casting of freedom of speech and natural free will. i. Presupposes three particular descriptive claims about the nature of human agents; pertaining (connecting) to free will, the transparency of the self, and the essential similarity of all people (“the Descriptive Component”); and/or
ii. Embraces norms that harm the “highest men” while benefitting the “lowest” (“the Normative Component”) In this Nietzsche is explaining that (1′) Hold agents responsible for their actions (2′) Evaluate and “rank” the motives for which agents act (Brandhorst, M. (2010). Naturalism and the Genealogy of Moral Institutions: Journal of Nietzsche Studies. Issue 40, p 5-28, 16p). These views help support and defend Nietzsche’s logics on moral and psychological action: these precise opinions and views influenced one of the most famous Psychologists, Sigmund Freud. In Nietzsche’s first historical writings during the early 1870’s he was merely a student studying and exploring philosophical logic and legislations of his time. With an opinionated and different perspective of immoral acts than the culture surrounding him he took initiative in making his own decisions of what was right and what was wrong.
In his first published writings The Birth of Tragedy (1872) it showed his advocating view for cultural adversity; though it was deeply put down by other scholars renowned for sharing Christian based opinions of that era, Nietzsche continued to express his abrasive view against unethical stringent laws (Robertson, S. (2009). Nietzsche’s Ethical Revaluation: Journal of Nietzsche Studies; Issue 37, pp 66-90). This philosopher indulged himself in cultural adversity, interacting with music, nature, sciences and exploration of other cultures and religions. Nietzsche counter acted with the book Human, All-Too-Human (1878) (Robertson, S. (2009). Nietzsche’s Ethical Revaluation: Journal of Nietzsche Studies; Issue 37, pp 66-90) that gave him a name and furthered his career, this book touched on health and the idea of hedonistic ideas in regards to pleasure and pain relevance amongst cultural and physiological phenomena.
Nietzsche is a naturalist expanding on views related to animals, earth, air, wind, fire, body touching on illogical ideas of, especially, the Christian based religion. Nietzsche was very passionate and outspoken towards Christianity however that was not his only passionate topic. The power behind Germany in the late 1860’s due to wars prior and present were a huge influence for him as the shift of legislations due to new authority was erratically changing Germany, most notably, Politically, Economically and Culturally (Osborn, R. E. (2010). Nihilism’s Conscience: On Nietzsche’s Politics of Aristocratic Radicalism. Modern age; Vol. 52 Issue 4, p 293-308).
Therefore the idea that Germany could be altered so quickly not only enraged Friedrich Nietzsche but empowered him in his righteousness as an open minded scholar and as the next generation of Germany. This shift in Germany’s political system greatly affected Nietzsche’s era, and as a passionate advocate for freedom in culture Nietzsche felt compelled to speak out against the evil of which was the becoming of Germany. In conclusion Nietzsche’ views on evil were that to have bad moral or to act in an evil way, it is an act of conscious natural behavior. He believed that Evil is within and dependant upon the determinants that affect ones moral perception.
Friedrich Nietzsche was in his prime during the change of an era in Germany’s political, societal and religious systems and was compelled to stand for what he believed in. It is extremely interesting that during the early 1870’s the new King Otto von Bismarck introduced healthcare, social security and a rise in socialism to promote the economic deficit and reduce potential hierarchy, however advocated anti-socialist laws (Palante, G. (2009, June 1st). Historical Philosophical Forum. Vol. 40 Issue 2 p265-273, 8p). The anti socialist laws were created to shift the power of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) which stood for Civil and Political rights in an open society.
Bismarck also reduced the affiliations and influence of the political system on Catholics; making Catholicism a growing religion that was before the early 1870’s mostly Christian based. This seems to have been a huge influence on Nietzsche as his first book, The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was based upon open society and cultural adversity. This history of Germany is so significant due to the shift in power of the church, beginning at the attempt to stop the SDP after they had just begun in 1875 in the German Parliament as a Christian based society; immediately shifting the change from Christian to Catholicism (Palante, G. (2009, June 1st). Historical Philosophical Forum.
Vol. 40 Issue 2 p265-273, 8p) this provoked outrage as this meant less freedom of choice for citizens. Although Friedrich Nietzsche far from advocated Christianity, the shift of religion affected him as this meant a cultural change amongst his peers. It greatly fuelled further writings based upon honest questions surrounding concepts that drain life’s energies. These strong views are now known as ‘Nietzschean affirmation’ expanding on Nietzsche profound writing based around existentialism; Friedrich Nietzsche along with Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) were the two philosophers renowned for doing so in the late 1800’s (Palante, G. (2009, June 1st). Historical Philosophical Forum. Vol. 40 Issue 2 p265-273, 8p).
Existentialism is a term used by philosophical thinkers expressing that one’s life affirmation, one’s existence is determined by ones self. Despite life’s distractions and obstacles it is ones choice to live passionately, with sincere moral integrity as best as possible. This further supports how Nietzsche’s opposing thoughts towards empiricism of which means ones moral integrity is derived from senses and experience, however socially prevalent those views might have been by Germany, Nietzsche still profoundly opposed them.
In books such as Daybreak: Reflections on Moral Prejudices, 1881 (Morgenröte. Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile) (Osborn, R. E. (2010). Nihilism’s Conscience: On Nietzsche’s Politics of Aristocratic Radicalism. Modern age; Vol. 52 Issue 4, p 293-308), Nietzsche’s most memorable, clearest, and intimate volumes, expressing many social-psychological insights and cultural relativity using Christian Based moral evaluations as reflections on good and evil. There were several books to follow Daybreak in the late 1880’s, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883–85) and Ecce Homo (1888); this volume expressed the deepest of understanding power, humans and moral behaviors. Friedrich Nietzsche’s crusade against morality had begun and he followed up with The Gay Science (Die fröhliche Wissenschaft, 1882) (Osborn, R. E. (2010).
Nihilism’s Conscience: On Nietzsche’s Politics of Aristocratic Radicalism. Modern age; Vol. 52 Issue 4, p 293-308) a book in which Nietzsche becomes famous for his existential ideas pertaining the existence of life. In this book I believe Nietzsche was encouraging the citizens of Germany to speak out against the injustice towards freedom and lack of moral integrity that the German political system was advocating. As Nietzsche’s world changed around him he felt more and more compelled to change it, standing by his own philosophical views and taking his life into his hands; becoming a martyr for the freedom of speech and cultural adversity that he so dearly believed in. Nietzsche felt very patiently towards open culture as well as freedom and this era of Germany was a huge influence on his work as it was a significant shift in decisions set by the new acclaimed authority.
The Battle of good and evil is a constant in a world with no balance and a constant struggle of power. Friedrich Nietzsche so profoundly advocated freedom and cultural adversity, in which has inspired leading figures in all walks of cultural life, including dancers, poets, novelists, painters, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists and social revolutionaries; however there is always a power working against that and thus the problems that were his era are still amongst us. Until people accept others and are willing to live with respect to cultural adversity then there will always be evil immoral versus good moral. Throughout the history of any sovereignty there is a constant battle for power, beliefs and cultural relativity. Friedrich Nietzsche stood for freedom of choice and through his passionate writings did so very well; however as Nietzsche has expressed so dearly it is within ones choice to act with moral integrity based upon there perception of good and evil.
These are the choices that affect us daily and round us as individuals; personally I have faced immoral decisions and it is in those moments, that you do not always realize at once, the affect that decision can have on another. In agreement with Friedrich Nietzsche, to recognize and feel remorse in your conscious or subconscious decision is what differentiates good and evil. For instance, contemporarily when you are in a delicate discussion of religion amongst peers of various cultural background I have to think open-mindedly with conscious acceptance to the reasoning behind cultural and religious background before making a judgmental statement.
As well as Politics in Canada is directed for different groups of people, as politics usually is, so immediately there is a divide in Canada’s cultural, ethnic, and working class; because it is in the current political power to protect Canada’s Economic, Environmental or Social well-being. There is no balance and I believe without balance in a person, country or cultural group there cannot be a sustainable approach to good and evil; there is always a stretch for that much more power on any side, affecting moral.
Brandhorst, M. (2010). Naturalism and the Genealogy of Moral Institutions: Journal of Nietzsche Studies. Issue 40, p 5-28, 16p. Curry, B. (2008). The Perspectives of Nietzsche. Retrieved from http://www.pitt.edu/-wbcurry/nietzsche.html. Osborn, R. E. (2010). Nihilism’s Conscience: On Nietzsche’s Politics of Aristocratic Radicalism. Modern age; Vol. 52 Issue 4, p 293-308. Palante, G. (2009, June 1st).
Historical Philosophical Forum. Vol. 40 Issue 2 p265-273, 8p. Robertson, S. (2009). Nietzsche’s Ethical Revaluation: Journal of Nietzsche Studies; Issue 37, pp 66-90.