Greek +Roman God-Structures Wherever we run across a morality we find an assessment and ranking of human drives and actions. These assessments and rankings always express the needs of a community and herd: whatever profits it in the first place-and in the second and third-is also the supreme measure of the value of all individuals. By means of morality, individuals are led to be functions of the herd and to attribute value to themselves as merely functionsmorality is herd instinct in the individual. (Pg.130, Nietzsche) Nietzsche, in this quote, is saying that humans will tend to see things in a specific way due to their shared heritage and historical formation. When Nietzsche says, God is dead, he means that Westerners and Christians have killed the idea of a loving God because their ideas were often hypocrisies. After all, how can a purely good God promise eternal damnation for our sins? Christians are brought up to fear their own desires. Nietzsche writes, Faith is always most desired, most urgently necessary, where will is lacking, for the will, as the feeling of command, is the distinctive sign of self assured authority and strength. In other words, the less one knows how to command, the more urgently one desires some commander, some strict commander- a god, prince(p. 147.
Existentialism) Nietzsche, here, is explaining what gave rise to religions, such as Christianity. Since we are constantly enslaving ourselves to new masters, and never following our own ideas, we are weak. I feel that Nietzsche is saying that Christians, do to the lack of faith in themselves, need some other commanding force. Faith in someone other than yourself, weakens the will in the sense that it takes away from the faith and authority you should have compiled in yourself. Nietzsche felt that humanity has been trained in slavery, or to follow our herd instinct. He believed that Christianity is a sickness of will.
Christians enjoy the intoxication they feel in church. They become addicted to this feeling, and blinded by their herd instincts. This reflects, in Nietzsche’s eyes, that these people cannot find their own way. They become slaves to their religion and are therefore constantly judging themselves. They judge themselves because they have set affirmations passed down to them by previous Christians. This leads to a suppression of their own emotions and fear of themselves.
Christian virtues, Nietzsche felt, take away from the joy of becoming. They do not focus in on the needs and virtues of the self. Nietzsche views this as a great weakness. He writes about Christianity in The Gay Science. He states that it has destroyed in every individual human being the belief in one’s virtues.
It made those great virtuous individuals disappear from the earth- popular individuals who strode around, confident in their own perfection. (Pg132 Nietzsche) Nietzsche believed that a human should experience life to the fullest. If we judge experiences according to the opinions of others, we will never truly develop our own identity. Life is full of obstacles that a person must face to achieve a better understanding of what living consists of. Nietzsche also felt that the highest point of power was to be a true artist in expressing him/her self. He writes, Tragic artists are not pessimists, in fact, they say ‘Yes’ to everything questionable and terrible itself; they are Dionysian.
(p. 172 Nietzsche) It is this Yes saying to every moment of our lives, that Nietzsche feels makes a human powerful. He felt that we should stop worrying so much about the future, and stop to enjoy and live in the moment. Dreaming of a better life we might achieve in the future, or possessing a superior state of affairs in contrast to our present condition, seems inferior or worthless. This type of mentality is what causes sickness of will. Nietzsche felt that we should take perspectives handed down from the past and work them over into new, original perspectives expressing a unique, creative intent. This is how an artist perceives life.
To believe in God, is to believe in a certain comforting order to the way things are. Nietzsche’s belief, is that there is no order that we should be constricting ourselves to. Nietzsche toys with the idea that what exists out there in reality, the ultimate truth about the world, might be what we regard as chaos. He takes note that we could never prove God to be indefinitely true. Perhaps we should stop trying.
Perhaps, only then, can we dance even by abysses.(p.147, Existentialism) When we stop worrying about the ideas or rules of a commander, or a God, we are truly free, and as Nietzsche writes, Every daring act of the knower is allowed again. The sea, our sea lies open there again; maybe there was never before such an open sea. (p.141, Nietzsche) Nietzsche, in this quote, is trying to say that once God, or order, is out of our lives, we take our lives back. When we are free from this form of self- enslavement, we begin to realize that our lives are open to experiences and cravings that are natural instincts. This is when we become who we truly are.
The secret, he writes, to reaping the greatest fruitfulness and enjoyment from existence is to live dangerously. (p. 135, Nietzsche) Nietzsche hopes that through his claim that God is dead, people will be set free from slavery. They will no longer feel the need to conform to the ideas if others. In other words, they will be leaders not followers, creators of their own lives. Sartre, in The Humanism of Existentialism, states that he represents atheistic existentialism.
He writes, It states that if God does not exist, there is at least one being in whom existence precedes essence, a being whom exists before he can be defined by any concept, and this being is man ( p. 270, Existentialism) Sartre expresses his view man, through living, defines himself. Even though man didn’t create himself, humans are still in some way, free to become what they plan to be. Sartre writes, Condemned, because he did not create himself, yet in other respects is free because once thrown into the world he is responsible for everything he does. (p.274, Existentialism) In Sartre’s view man is nothing else than what he makes of himself. Sartre also talks about a great plan that humans are part of. This great plan is a shared plan, or consciously shared existence. Sartre writes, Man is at the start a plan which is aware of itself, rather than a patch of moss, a piece of garbage, or a cauliflower; nothing exists prior to this plan; there is nothing in heaven; a man will be what he will have planned to be.
(p.271, Existentialism) Sartre, in this quote, explains that human beings are aware of their own existence: Humanity is a plan aware of itself. Humans are always moving forward in time, constantly imagining themselves in the future. This plan goes on infinitely, and it is shared by each and every human existing. It is impossible for an individual to escape his/her role in humanity, even though one has the ability to create themselves. Sartre writes, To choose to be this or that is to affirm at the same time the value of what we choose, because we can never choose evil.
We always choose the good, and nothing can be good for us without being good for all. (p. 271, Existentialism) Sartre’s idea, that an individual’s decisions effect the whole plan of humanity, is evident in this quote. We all have a deep responsibility to follow through with our plans of action. We have been given no a priori ideas of good and evil.
We create our own values by living life. Sartre writes, You’re free, choose, that is, invent. No general ethics can show you what is to be done; there are no omens in the world. (p. 276, Existentialism) The idea that man is nothing else than his plan, and actions, Sartre explains, can horrify people, this is due to the fact that people, now defined by their actions, are left responsible for their own self well-being.
Sartre writes, according to this, we can understand why our doctrine horrifies certain people. Because often the only way they can sear their wretchedness is to think, ‘Circumstances have been and done doesn’t show my true worth. To be sure, I’ve had no great love, no great friendship, because I haven’t met a man or woman who is worthy (p.278, Existentialism) People are always making excuses for themselves. I feel humans to the realization that they control their own destiny. It is the responsibility of the individual to create him/herself through certain actions.
I feel that Sartre wants people to start taking actions and be aware that they are part of a shared plan by being human. Sartre, as Nietzsche does, wants people to realize that they are free to follow their instincts. Both Nietzsche and Sartre believe that a human is what that person makes of him/her self. The joy of becoming should never be lost to the herd instinct. Nietzsche is cheerful in his claim that God is dead.
This is because, with the death of God, man is faced with his true self, defined by his actions and instincts. Sartre takes a more subdued attitude towards God. Sartre states that if God doesn’t exist, this would make humans responsible for creating their own lives. He simply expresses that we could never know, as human beings if God exists, but we are part of a shared plan. It makes no point to enslave ourselves to an idea that could never be understood from our points of view. With these ideas, I believe Sartre would like people to realize that they are not alone in life, and also that their roles as humans are important. Sartre wants people to come to the understanding that they are responsible for their own destinies, free to choose, that is, invent.
Husserl believed that Phenomenology was a rigorous science whose principal purpose was to study the phenomena, or appearances, of human experience. However, he did not think of it as a science of facts, but rather as an apriori or eidetic science, which deal with essences, and is grounded on the absolute certainty. This type of certainty was thought to be achieved through examination of consciousness by consciousness itself. According to Husserl, the natural standpoint is the customary/ involuntary attitude that we all have, where everything about cognition and its validity is taken for granted. When one aware from this view, there is no distinction made between the objects of knowledge and the act of knowing. In contrast, Husserl introduced the phenomenological standpoint which may be characterized as critical or aware of this distinction.
Furthermore, Husserl thought that Phenomenology symbolized a philosophical method that lacked presuppositions, and would therefore describe phenomena without aspects extraneous to the act of consciousness. In other words, it could be thought of as a descriptive analysis of subjective processes. Husserl’s method entailed setting aside the question of whether there is a world behind appearances, and focusing on the appearances themselves. The goal was to find the basic components of a phenomena, and to probe the thinking life hidden within us. This method, phenomenological reduction, is similar to the method used by Descartes when he tried to isolate what could be known.
It consists of eliminating assumptions, and purifying data. This allows the essential characteristics of the phenomenon to be elucidated and examined. In addition, it prevents one from circular reasoning caused by the problem of cognition. In summary, Husserl, through phenomenology attempted to form detailed comparisons between the phenomena as presented in consciousness and the universal form of the phenomena. We, as humans, struggle to align our experiences with our scientific knowledge. Phenomenology attempts to reconcile what humans experience with what humans suppose they know via theory.
Husserl compared appearance to that which appears. The importance of this type of analysis is important in Philosophy is because of the problems/ debates found in areas such as epistemology. When one wishes to study knowledge, or anything which applies the use of knowledge it is important for one to have a grasp on what it is that one may know, whether it be objective or subjective. Moreover, Phenomenology is also important in the history of Philosophy for its repudiation of positivism, and its integral role in shaping Existentialism. 2.
Husserl along with most phenomenologists rebelled against the empiricists who held that all knowledge, all truth, and all knowing can be discovered through traditional science. Positivism claims that almost nothing is knowable a priori, insisting that metaphysics is an inadequate mode of knowledge, and that positive knowledge is based on natural phenomena and should only be derived from experience. However, while positivism has sought to expel assumptions, this predominant view in the scientific community inherently has several philosophical assumptions and prepossitions such as the assumption that nature is orderly, has causes, and that we may know nature and its causes. In contrast, Husserl’s epistemology requires careful attention to our experi …