Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Nietzsche Prophesies

The tee shirt read:

God is Dead” - Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead” – God

Since finding out that I managed to break a bone in my ankle while wearing the boot that was supposed to protect my pulled Achilles tendon and cracked heel spur, I have been in a serious blog-funk, writing about civil wrongs, structural poverty, the welfare state, challenges to America’s national identity and punative liberalism. To cheer myself up, I thought I would take a look back at the “ubermensch,” that prophet of the “master morality,” the phun – philosopher,… Friedrich Nietzsche.

In the latest issue of The American Spectator (a good magazine) Tom Wolfe (“I Am Charlotte Simmons”) quotes Herr Nietzsche’s views on 19th century culture, his predictions of 20th century political upheaval and 21st century moral decline. Cheerful stuff, that. So here goes, Nietzsche in 1882:

“When I say ‘God is dead’ it is not a manifesto. I’m merely bringing you the news … of the greatest event in modern history. Well-educated, influential people no longer feel the immanence of God, even when they pay Him lip service. They have become rationalists. They no longer believe that God makes humans in His own image. They now accept the theory that the human beast is in no essential way different from the beasts of the field.”

Nietzsche was a Social Darwinist and, like Darwin's survival of the fittest, his views of the “overman” and the “master race” were adopted by the Nazis. However, Nietzsche did not share the Nazi doctrines of anti-Semitism and racism and he foresaw the cataclysm that would attend the death of God in Western Civilization.

“The faith that humans originally invested in God, they will now invest in barbaric nationalistic brotherhoods interested solely in plundering non-brothers. In the 20th century this will lead to wars catastrophic beyond all imagining.” The First World War was the beginning episode of Nietzsche’s prophecy. And he foresaw something even worse that would follow the great wars.

“In the 21st century will occur something worse than the great wars: namely, the total eclipse of all values. For without a profound belief in an almighty diety or deities, so-called ‘values’ become arbitrary and capricious. The pain the human beast will feel when he realizes he can believe in … nothing … will be worse than any he has felt before.”

When we look at the world today, do we see the “death of God” and the “total eclipse of all values.” Take a look at Western Europe where church-going is at an all time low and anything goes seems to be the moral standard. Take a look at Hollywood and MTV. Can America be far behind? What are we prepared to do about it?

There, that cheered me up.


6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill:

Sounds like you're not doing too well, "blog-funks" can be serious! Hope your foot gets better. I can't wait until I get my next hip surgery in a week and a half, its been just a lot of constant, unrelivable pain and immobility.

OK, enough of that feel sorry for each other stuff, let me try and cheer you up.

Have no fear! God is NOT dead! God can NOT die!! It is simply illogical since He/She/It never existed! It's like asking somebody who believes in the Big Bang (the begining of all time and space) what (in time) and where (in space) something was before the Bang! Completly illogical! As you point out, enlightened Europeans have known for some time, that the specific psychological construct called "God", or religion in general, exists only for the purposes of social control and economic benefit: in the form of ancient to modern taboos and taxation (or lack of it), from Kings and Popes to present day politicians and revivalists. I could go on and on like this, but I sense your foot feels better already, and clearly your blog has defunked.

Amen

- Pete

3:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Hey Pete,
We gotta get a life! This hurting could get to be boring.

Thought you would be impressed that I'm learning some philosophy. That Nietzsche was a pip. Unfortunately he went nuts at 44 and lived a long time after that. Next on my list is Kant, then Russell. His partner Whitehead seems to have a religious philosophy more like mine.

Some Big Bangers believe in a bouncing universe with bangs and crunches stretching back ad infinitum and into the infinite future. I guess the bangs get more powerful (or at least more disordered) over time due to the entropy increase. But why do I need to admit that God is in our space and time? Exactly backward from Christian belief.

I do agree that one of the benefits of religion (not that it exists for) is social control. Our founding fathers understood that well. Look around and see what you get when that control is lost. Check out the LA high schools. And enlightened Europe? I think not.

There, I feel better again.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, PLEASE don't give up on our God given mission.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up"

Don

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phwew! That did NOT cheer me up!

Bill,
I'm sorry to hear that you have re-injured yourself.

No, God is not dead. I know much of the western world does not go to church, and thinks with Hollywood that a picture full of swearing and violence, or a picture
celebrating a homosexual love affair, are the top two movies made last year.

We saw King Kong, Walk the Line, and Pride and Prejudice. All were wholesome and encouraged us to
think that some show biz folks want to make good pictures - good in every sense of the word. Still plan to see the Chronicles of Narnia in which the lion has
Christ-like qualities.
I hope you read some upbeat articles in the next week or so. Put away all that negative stuff. Take your wife out for a good dinner and enjoy yourself. Go
to the PV library and check out a comedy DVD. Now when you come into Mayers' next time I want to see a big smile!

Best wishes,
Joyce

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, without God, we'd have terrorism and war! Thank god for god.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Bill

Can't find the article on the Spectator website. Could you give me the references for Nietzsche's quotes?

Jeff

3:05 AM  

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