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The Tortured Logic of the New Atheism (Please refute?)

Started by ForTheLoveOfAll, February 17, 2011, 02:52:37 AM

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Quote from: "penfold"Ok. First off, describing Nietzsche as 'consistent' is just wrong. The man shifts his stance, not only between books, but even within them. More importantly this is a misrepresentation of what Nietzsche says on morality.

I may have to disagree with this, because....

Quote from: "Nietzsche"Only idiots fail to contradict themselves three times a day.

One often contradicts an opinion when what is uncongenial is really the tone in which it was conveyed.

After all, what would be "beautiful" if the contradiction had not first become conscious of itself, if the ugly had not first said to itself: "I am ugly"?

As a philologist I think Nietzsche was aware of "the shackles of language" and all its limitations. How something can be said in way that only appears to contradict another thought. Although consistent certainly isn't how to describe him.
‎"Christian doesn't necessarily just mean good. It just means better." - John Oliver


^ It was probably an overstatement to say he shifts his stance within books. You are right that the contradictions within the texts are almost certainly a deliberate playing on the "shackles of language".

Having said that Nietzsche's views did shift wildly between books. For example, Birth of Tragedy is clearly Schopenhauerian (and so Kantian by heritage); a position he came to loath in later works (though the war of Dionysus and Apollo is retained).

Actually Nietzsche himself is quite dishonest on this point. In Ecce Homo he claims that he said nothing in Beyond Good and Evil [BGE] was not previously said in Zarathustra. This is a palpable lie, the dialogue of the 'ubermench' and the 'death of God' has disappeared in BGE , to be replaced by the 'Noble Man' and aphorisms.

It's why I find Nietzsche so frustrating, and why I am so sceptical of people who start essays with a potted version of "what Nietzsche said".

Even in what I wrote I was only really dealing with the Nietzsche we find in his last three works... But there are other, different, Nietzsches out there.

Too Few Lions

That's a piss poor and inaccurate article. The author has decided to totally neglect classical philosophy as a bedrock of morality in the Graeco-Roman world, and ignores the fact that most Christian morality is directly derived from Platonic philosophy!

Plus, to suggest that pagan morality was simply self-serving / self-gratifying is untrue. Plato wrote the following 450 years before anyone had ever heard of Jesus;

'Then we ought not to retaliate or render evil for evil to any one, whatever evil we may have suffered from him.’

Epictectus wrote,

‘This is the philosopher’s way; to be flogged like an ass and to love those who beat him, to be father and brother to all of humanity.’

I don't see how either of the above examples from great philosophers can be called self gratifying!


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Old Seer

The only thing possible the world needs saving from are the ones running it.
Oh lord, save us from those wanting to save us.
I'm not a Theist.