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Faith after Nietzsche

 
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 03:58 pm
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

Quote:
If Darwin were knew what we know today, do you predict that he would deny his own theories as well?

Almost certainly.

You're an amazing character, snake. You never cease to entertain. Smile
0 Replies
 
amist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 05:09 pm
@daredevil,
'The Portable Nietzsche' by Kaufmann is an excellent place to start, it contains many of his best works and is the best introduction to his philosophy I have run across. After that I consider 'On the Genealogy of Morals' is essential reading.
0 Replies
 
amist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 05:13 pm
I'm sorry I even brought it up. Apparently people aren't even intelligent enough to ******* stay on topic anymore. So far all we've gotten is ad homenim attacks against Nietzsche, which have nothing to do with his fundamental critique of religion/faith. Everyone currently posting in this thread, go back and read the original post. The question I asked was extremely specific. If you have an answer, provide it. If not, go elsewhere.
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 05:15 pm
I agree that the Kaufmann translations and interpretations are pretty awesome.

You don't have to agree with Kaufmann's interpretation, but I do think one should read and understand it before making a conclusion on Nietzsche. I'm still working on an interpretation of N., myself. I think he's written off more often than he deserves in America, primarily because we won WWII and the Nazi's appropriated N. as a national symbol and thinker.
0 Replies
 
Sentience
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 05:17 pm
@gungasnake,
Quote:
Take flying birds for example; suppose you aren't one, and you want to become one. You'll need a baker's dozen highly specialized systems, including wings, flight feathers, a specialized light bone structure, specialized flow-through design heart and lungs, specialized tail, specialized general balance parameters etc.


The problem is that evolution is not about an animals want to become something greater then itself, it's cause and affect.

Flightless raptor has evolved, but has yet to fly. Genetically mutated raptor is born, with lighter bones. Because of this, he is much more agile, and survives. As do his children, and their children, until only the light-boned raptors survive, or are sufficiently different to be called a different species. Then, one of the light-boned raptors develops stronger muscles in their wing-like limbs, which allows them to survive, and their offspring to survive, and so on, until the new power raptors are prominent. This happens with all of the said bakers dozen of your birds, until eventually, the general bird goes from jumping high, to flapping like a chicken for extended jumps, to gliding, to flying, over thousands of years. The other surviving traits would create a different species. So it's not like birds 'want' to fly, they don't have the brain capacity for that, it's that eventually they do fly by cause and affect.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 05:43 pm
Chuck Darwin:

Quote:
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.


Darwin was at least honest enough that he would almost certainly accept Michael Behe's examples on this score.

People still defending evolution at this juncture are interested in lifestyles and not science.

http://www.batchicken.com/hmpg/prev/FudgePacker.jpg
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 06:59 pm
@amist,
amist wrote:
I'm sorry I even brought it up. Apparently people aren't even intelligent enough to ******* stay on topic anymore. So far all we've gotten is ad homenim attacks against Nietzsche, which have nothing to do with his fundamental critique of religion/faith. Everyone currently posting in this thread, go back and read the original post.

Keeping an A2K thread on track is like trying to herd cats. Maybe it can be done, but I think you're in for a frustrating experience. Sometimes better just to nudge them every now and then and see where they go.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2010 10:08 pm
@amist,
amist wrote:

To those of you who are religious and have read a significant amount of Nietzsche. How do you respond to Nietzsche's critiques of religion?


I am not religious, but I will say that I react positively to a great deal of Nietzsche's critique. The extreme rhetoric of his polemics against Christianity are often rooted in "straw man" devices, and thus make for quite a cartoon-ish representation of the same. However, I believe that many readers are distracted by the extremity of the words he chose, and neglect to take account of context. Much of the psychology behind his analysis is subtle and solid. The Geneology of Morals is an important work of psychological survey and analysis.

@gungasnake

gungasnake wrote:

The best illustration of how stupid evolutionism really is involves trying to become some totally new animal with new organs, a new basic plan for existence, and new requirements for integration between both old and new organs.

Take flying birds for example; suppose you aren't one, and you want to become one. You'll need a baker's dozen highly specialized systems, including wings, flight feathers, a specialized light bone structure, specialized flow-through design heart and lungs, specialized tail, specialized general balance parameters etc.

For starters, every one of these things would be antifunctional until the day on which the whole thing came together, so that the chances of evolving any of these things by any process resembling evolution (mutations plus selection) would amount to an infinitessimal, i.e. one divided by some gigantic number.

In probability theory, to compute the probability of two things happening at once, you multiply the probabilities together. That says that the likelihood of all these things ever happening, best case, is ten or twelve such infinitessimals multiplied together, i.e. a tenth or twelth-order infinitessimal. The whole history of the universe isn't long enough for that to happen once.

All of that was the best case. In real life, it's even worse than that. In real life, natural selection could not plausibly select for hoped-for functionality, which is what would be required in order to evolve flight feathers on something which could not fly apriori. In real life, all you'd ever get would some sort of a random walk around some starting point, rather than the unidircetional march towards a future requirement which evolution requires.

And the real killer, i.e. the thing which simply kills evolutionism dead, is the following consideration: In real life, assuming you were to somehow miraculously evolve the first feature you'd need to become a flying bird, then by the time another 10,000 generations rolled around and you evolved the second such reature, the first, having been disfunctional/antifunctional all the while, would have DE-EVOLVED and either disappeared altogether or become vestigial.


The probability of an event's happening may be calculated given enough data, but this calculation is not a universal predictor regarding the outcome of individual events, especially those involving complex factors that recur often (as in sexual reproduction.) If anything probability requires that exceptions happen. I'd also suggest reading up on genetic linkage as a possible argument against the complete de-evolution of single traits, and an explanation for the parrallel development of multiple biological/morphological changes in a species.

Likewise, I find it hard to believe that any historiographical model could take the fossil record as a realistic, much less comprehensive, historical index. So far less than 40 fossil specimens of Tyrannosaurus Rex have been found, many of those incomplete. Are we to assume that only about 3o-odd animals comprised this entire species? If there were more, and I hope we can comfortably assume this to be the case, where did all of those fossil traces go? Suffice it to say animal remains can be disposed of in many ways through which no trace shall remain. The preservation of animal remains as a consequence of fossilization is an exceptional case. Depending on the physical size, quantity, environment, and means of death,etc, it would be possible for a species to not leave a recognizable fossil record or an extremely small one.

I have no idea what lifestyle you imagine could be defended citing Darwin's Origin. I hate to derail the thread further, but I would be interested to find out.

All of this evolution-talk aside, I'm not certain that Darwin was a considerable influence on Nietzsche. While N. was obviously aware of D's existence, I don't think a particularly strong influence was exercised; the Geneology, for example, was not based on a Darwinian model. Here is an interesting quote from the Will to Power (I don't usually cite this book as a reliable source, but the following quote seems relevant):

Nietzsche, in WTP, section 684, wrote:

Anti Darwin.- What surprises me most on making a general survey of the great destinies of man, is that I invariably see the reverse of what today Darwin and his school sees or will persist in seeing: selection in favour of the stronger, the better constituted, and the progress of the species. Precisely the reverse of this stares one in the face: the suppression of the lucky cases, the uselessness of the more highly constituted types, the inevitable mastery of the mediocre, and even of those who are below mediocrity. Unless we are shown some reason why man is an exception among living creatures, I incline to the view that Darwin's school is everywhere at fault. That will to power, in which I perceive the ultimate reason and character of all change, explains why it is that selection is never in favour of the exceptions, and of the lucky cases: the strongest and happiest natures are weak when they are confronted with a majority ruled by gregarious instincts and the fear which possesses the weak. My general view of the world of values shows that in the highest values which now sway the destiny of man, the happy cases among men, the select specimens, do not prevail: but rather the decadent specimens- perhaps there is nothing more interesting in the whole world than this unpleasant spectacle.

"Strange as it may seem, the strong have always to be upheld against the weak; and the well constituted against the ill constituted, the healthy against the sick and physiologically botched. If we drew our morals from reality, they would read thus: the mediocre are more valuable than the exceptional creatures, and the decadent than the mediocre, the will to nonentity prevails over the will to life, - and the general aim now is, in Christian, Buddhistic, Schopenhauerian phraseology 'It is better not to be than to be'.

I protest against this formulating of reality into a moral: and I loathe Christianity with a deadly loathing because it created sublime words and attitudes in order to deck a revolting truth with all the tawdriness of justice, virtue, and godliness....

I see all philosophers and the whole of science on their knees before a reality which is the reverse of the struggle for life as Darwin and his school understood it- that is to say, wherever I look, I see those prevailing and surviving, who throw doubt and suspicion upon life and the value of life.- The error of the Darwinian school became a problem to me: how can one be so blind as to make this mistake?


And finally, in my opinion, the Ubermensch was not conceived of as the result of a biological/genetic change in humanity. Nietzsche is not, for example, endorsing eugenics. Perhaps I am wrong, but in every published writing by N. I can think of the Ubermensch heralds a social, cultural, psychological, and spiritual transformation, not an obvious physical one.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 02:29 am
@Razzleg,
Quote:
Perhaps I am wrong, but in every published writing by N. I can think of the Ubermensch heralds a social, cultural, psychological, and spiritual transformation, not an obvious physical one.


I think you're right about that. He detested the 'slave mentality' of Christianity which he regarded as a detestable weakness. Surely the ubermensch was he in whom 'the will to power' was given expression. Am I right in saying that?
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 07:12 am
@jeeprs,
If everything is an expression of WTP, Nietzsche distinguishes between life-affirming, individually creative, and overflowing expressions of it, and on the other hand, life-denying and slavish paths born out of weakness and resentiment. His argument about the origins of good/evil and good/base values in Genealogy of Morals can be applied to religious values as well. Universal sin and heavenly rewards for the weak propagated by a priestly caste (in yet another instance of WTP) Nietzsche saw as yet another way the herd justified their weakness and denied their own freedom and value; in doing so, their fear extended to anyone who thought differently.
GoshisDead
 
  4  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 12:16 pm
I really don't think reading N can affect a person's faith any more than it was already affected before reading N. Faith is its own über-quality, much in the same way as the superman transcends societal rules, the faithful-man transcends the same rules in a different way. Strip the rhetoric down to simple process and the superman and faithful man are doing the same thing in different directions. So my answer to the OP would be if one went into N faithful one will leaves more faithful, if one went into N non-faithful ones leaves less faithful.
Sentience
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 01:20 pm
@gungasnake,
Gung, you're essentially saying that if he could find a case where this would be impossible, he WOULD drop it, and yet he did not drop it. In what way does this support your theory? Show me an animal in which this could not be possible.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 04:13 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

I really don't think reading N can affect a person's faith any more than it was already affected before reading N. Faith is its own über-quality, much in the same way as the superman transcends societal rules, the faithful-man transcends the same rules in a different way. Strip the rhetoric down to simple process and the superman and faithful man are doing the same thing in different directions. So my answer to the OP would be if one went into N faithful one will leaves more faithful, if one went into N non-faithful ones leaves less faithful.


Agreed. Although I might amend the final sentence to read:
Quote:

...if one went into N faithful one will leave pissed-off, if one went into N non-faithful ones leaves less faithful.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 04:54 pm
@Razzleg,
ROFL... I happen to enjoy the heck out of N and am a staunchly religious sort. But in general yes he can be infuriating. His substance is not what infuriates people so much as his presentation (IMO). Like a narcissistic opera if you put it to music.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 05:08 pm
@jgweed,
I wonder if Nietzsche criticized Schopenhauer's concept of will, then. Did Neitszche acknowledge what Schopenhauer saw as the suffering and conflict inherent in the will's never ending search for fulfillment? Is this topic addressed by Nietzsche?
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 02:28 am
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

ROFL... I happen to enjoy the heck out of N and am a staunchly religious sort. But in general yes he can be infuriating. His substance is not what infuriates people so much as his presentation (IMO). Like a narcissistic opera if you put it to music.


Very true! But unlike many narcissists Nietzsche isn't humorless, nor is his sense of humor reduced to simply mocking his opponents. You can see him have fun with words and concepts, and amuse himself with their unexpected results. I feel that his self-aggrandizing is sometimes meant ironically, deflating the usual egotistic presentation. This impression may be wishful thinking, although I don't want to believe this is so.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 02:47 am
IMO, Religionists who consider "themselves" as the locus of "faith" would have problems with both Nietzsche and Darwin. But pantheists, or those advocating a "holistic deity" in which "selves" have little cosmological significance, would be unaffected.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 02:56 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs wrote:

I wonder if Nietzsche criticized Schopenhauer's concept of will, then. Did Neitszche acknowledge what Schopenhauer saw as the suffering and conflict inherent in the will's never ending search for fulfillment? Is this topic addressed by Nietzsche?


I know that you did not address this question to me, but I thought that I would take a stab at answering it. In his early formulations (as in The Birth of Tragedy), Nietzsche's interpretation of will was largely based on the Schopenhauerian conception of it, but as he developed his own independent philosophy his conception became something very different. Since he posited the will to power as a universal principle, as a sort of universal generator of change, he felt obliged to associate it with all psychological phenomenon. Will was not just insatiable desire, but also the sense of accomplishment and victory. Will could not be only be identified with disappointment, but also with the inexhaustible creative drive. In other words, while the Schopenhauerian sense was that a realistic evaluation of the will would ultimately equate it with powerlessness and a desire for peace, the Nietzschean conception equates both to the former and with every power and with ambition and creativity. However, even this immense sense of creativity could turn against itself, and perhaps its negative (or reactive) aspects were merely a variation on its positive (or active) aspects. To para- a phrase (since I'm too lazy to find the exact quote), "The will to power would rather will nothing than not will."
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jul, 2010 03:22 am
@Razzleg,
thanks, that would be my reading of it as well. I favour Schopenhauer's view.
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nietzschefriend
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2015 08:54 pm
@talk72000,
So many people do not understand Nietzsche or his Thus Spoke Zarathustra that it is an incredible phenomenon to behold the writing and the world's response to it. Nietzshce was NOT a godless man. On the contrary this work is that of an incredibly intelligent, witty, and god loving man who is indicting the world he lives in for their faithlessness and unfaithfulness to God. This is very well illustrated in the opening chapter of the first volume in which Zarathustra (who is the personification of Nietzsche) attempts to speak to the people of the world (to man) and finds that 'There they stand... there they laugh: they do not understand me; I am not the mouth for these ears.' The message proclaimed in the book that God is dead - is not understood correctly. In fact it is the people that interpret Nietzsche as a herald of godlessness that he incriminates for the wit of his writings illustrates the unspoken second clause of the proclamation: God is dead... and it is you fools who are killing him.
0 Replies
 
 

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