Talk:Friedrich Nietzsche

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LX is pimping is brand of nonsense by turning this article into a link farm for his pet, non-mission essays (which are still in the main space). I have reverted him and will continue to do so. Occasionaluse (talk) 22:18, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Troll Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:55, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

R. J. Hollingdale - Nietzsche as a crypto-Christian[edit]

I added this paragraph (to the "Atheist uber-boogyman" section) with edit summary Was Nietzsche really an atheist? R. J. Hollingdale sees him as a sort of crypto-Christian, actually:

However, some Nietzsche scholars dispute whether "atheism" is a good summary of Nietzsche's work. R. J. Hollingdale suggests that Nietzsche's thought can be divided into three main phases: (1) the Christianity of his childhood, more specifically Lutheran pietism; (2) the atheistic nihilism he adopted in reaction to the Christianity of his childhood, best represented in his earlier works; (3) a reaction against that nihilism, a positive system of thought, which Hollingdale sees best represented by Thus Spake Zarathustra. Hollingdale views the third phase as a return to the substance of the Christian beliefs of his childhood, while avoiding the surface form of Christianity - a sort of "Christianity without Christ" or "crypto-Christianity"; in this Hollingdale locates the origins of many of Nietzsche's more unique views, such as eternal recurrence, the Übermensch, and the Great Noontide. This final stage in Nietzsche's thought can be viewed as a synthesis between the thesis of his Christianity and the antithesis of his atheistic nihilism.

I should note the term "crypto-Christianity" is mine, not his, but I think if you read his arguments I think it is a good summary of his viewpoint. For those who may not have access to Hollingdale's translation of TSZ, I quote the relevant section below (since it is only a small part of a large book, I believe this is allowed by free use / fair dealing). R.J. Hollingdale wrote in his introduction to his translation of Thus Spake Zarathustra (1969; p. 27-29 in 2003 edition):

These conceptions constitute the heart of Thus Spoke Zarathustra; these, and the extended hymn to solitude and individuality to which the book owes its peculiar tone and pathos. I have described the process of their formation as an eruption; what I mean is an eruption from the subconscious of ideas belonging to Nietzsche's earliest years, an eruption brought about by the very fact that at this time he had arrived at the end of the path which led away from them. He could go no further forward, so he had to go back. But since he likewise could not retract what he had been asserting for the previous five years, these earliest ideas which now came up again came up transformed and distorted almost beyond recognition. What is involved is the operation of something like the psychic censor of psychoanalysis: so that I doubt whether Nietzsche himself was altogether aware of the provenance of the grand and grandiose positive conceptions to the elaboration of which he began to apply his exceptional rhetorical gifts.
These 'earliest ideas' are of course Christian, and specifically Lutheran. The teaching of Lutheran Pietism is before all that the events of life are divinely willed and that it is thus impiety to desire that things should be different from what they are:* but the other tenets of Christian belief are naturally also firmly adhered to by Lutherans. Here, without more ado, are what I take to be the Christian parallels to the conceptions which dominated Nietzsche's mind during the period from the summer 1881 to the year January 1883-January 1884, when they found full expression in Zarathustra.
  • Amor fati: Lutheran acceptance of the events of life as divinely willed, with the consequent affirmation of life as such as divine, as a product of the divine will, and the implication that to hate life is blasphemous.
  • Eternal recurrence: as a consequence of amor fati the extremest formula of life-affirmation, strongly influenced by the Christian concepts of eternal life and the unalterable nature of God: what is, 'is now and ever shall be, world without end.'
  • Will to power: divine grace. The clue to the connexion is the concept of 'self-overcoming', which is one of Nietzsche's terms for sublimation and the hinge upon which the theory of the will to power tuns from being a nihilist to a positive and joyful conception. The corresponding Christian conception is that of unregenerate nature redeemed by the force of God's grace. In both conceptions the central idea is that a certain inner quality (grace/sublimated will to power) elevates man (or some men) above the rest of nature. The pathos with which 'will to power' is invested derives to some extent from 'Thy will be done' and the juxtaposition of 'power' and 'glory', together with the Christian doctrine that to God's will all things are possible.
  • Live dangerously!: 'Take up thy Cross, and follow me' - Christian deprecation of the easy life.
  • Great noontide: the Second Coming, the Last Judgement, the division of the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the chaff.
  • Superman: God as creator and 'highest being', the 'Son of Man' as God, man as the receptacle of divine grace who rejoices at the idea of eternity: the embodiment and actualization of everything regarded as desirable. What the Christian says of God, Nietzsche says in very nearly the same words of the Superman, namely: 'Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.'
[*: I owe this insight to Mr Marvin Rintala, who in his review of my biography of Nietzsche in The Review of Politics, January 1969, said I had failed to understand in what the essence of Lutheran Pietism consisted, which was true, and then went on to expound it. 'The great petition of the Lord's Prayer,' says Mr Rintala, 'is for Pietists: "Thy will be done" '. This is so much in line with the Christian origin of the conceptions of Zarathustra that I ought to have guessed it even if I did not know it.]

I hope, if anyone disagrees with the paragraph I added, the above will convince them this is an argument really made by some serious Nietzsche scholars (and no one doubts that Hollingdale was a respected Nietzsche scholar, despite his autodidactism). (((Zack Martin))) 11:28, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

You're both completely wrong:

Nietzsche on Christianity:

Decree Against Christianity

Declared on the day of salvation, on the first day of the Year One (—on September 30, 1888 of the false time-chronology)

War to the death against depravity: depravity is Christianity

First proposition. — Every type of anti-nature is depraved. The most depraved type of man is the priest: He teaches anti-nature. Against the priest one doesn't use arguments, one uses the penitentiary.

Second proposition. — Every participation in divine service is an assassination attempt on public morality. One should be more severe toward Protestants than toward Catholics, more severe toward liberal Protestants than toward the orthodox. The criminal character of a Christian increases when he approaches knowledge [Wissenschaft]. The criminal of criminals is consequently the philosopher.

Third proposition. — The accursed places, in which Christianity has hatched its basilisk eggs, should be razed to the ground and be, as vile places of the earth, the terror of all posterity. One should breed poisonous snakes there.

Fourth proposition.— The sermon on chastity is a public instigation to anti-nature. Every display of contempt for sexual love, and every defilement of it through the concept "dirty" [unrein] is original sin against the holy spirit of life.

Fifth proposition. — With a priest at one's table food is pushed aside: [if not] one excommunicates oneself therewith from honest society. The priest is our chandala—he should be ostracized, starved, and driven into every kind of desert.

Sixth proposition. — One should call the "holy" story by the name that it deserves, as the accursed story; one should use the words "God," "Saviour," "redeemer," "saint" as invectives, as criminal badges.

Seventh proposition. — The rest follows therefrom'

He only ever used Christianity in the ironic sense or to insult it because he found it to be the most repugnant philosophy in all of humankind. --Iconstrue (talk) 18:20, 14 February 2015 (UTC)


In this article one may want to cite

or even,d.ZGU

Dick Stool (talk) 07:10, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

The State[edit]

"He, like Hitler after him, considered the State to be of greater import than any individual." what? didn't he call the state the cold monster in Thus Spoke Zarathustra? Are we thinking of the same guy?-- (talk) 12:33, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Nietzsche did change his mind an awful lot. Feel free to remove, though! Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (talk/stalk) 19:08, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

/* Atheist über-boogeymensch */: The blog post doesn't actually imply that[edit]

Owlman, why did you revert my edit? (talk) 00:28, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Use "{{fact}}" instead of "[[citation needed]]". (Template creates link automatically.) I don't believe I've seen the use of "[[dubious]]" on RationalWiki. Read-Write (talk) 06:22, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

Wow, not a terrible article, a suggested addition.[edit]

The part on his notable work "The Genealogy of Morality" should address that he thinks the etymological root of good can be traced to what was considered noble and uncommon. I think he also has some excellent statements in reference to atheism and some of the pitfalls he saw atheists falling into (which might be good to show that, though he was an atheist, he was not above criticizing them too). I can find the necessary quotes if these additions would be useful. (talk) 23:28, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Interesting! Please provide your suggestions (with sources) here on the talkpage whenever you feel like it, and we'll take a look and discuss them! Appreciated. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:31, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

I'm thinking[edit]

of writing a book entitled The Gay Science: How Darwinism Created Homosexuality, aimed squarely at the fundie market. Wish me luck? --Scherben (talk) 15:26, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Bertrand Russell's quote[edit]

"Thou goest to woman? Do not forget thy whip!" This bit of silliness supposedly led Bertrand Russell to quip "Nine women out of ten would have got the whip away from him, and he knew it, so he kept away from women."

I don't know how literal the quote is (I don't have the book in English), but if anyone wants to check it, it comes from Russell's "A History of Western Philosophy" (1945).

Get yourself to page 693 (isn't amazon preview great?). --Scherben (talk) 19:49, 21 January 2019 (UTC)


Is Nietzsche's philosophy a more optimistic one when contrasted to nihilism? (talk) 23:45, 26 February 2019 (UTC)