Nietzsche Essay

2508 words - 10 pages

Nietzsche "God is dead." Friedreich Nietzsche boldly stated this in respect toward the Christian God. The "Christian God" no longer retains any of his great power over the world and mankind. "The Supreme Being also stands for the "˜"transcendent"' in general in its various meanings, which constitute "˜"ideals"' and "˜"norms,"' "˜"principles"' and "˜"rules,"' "˜"ends"' and "˜"values."' These meanings are located "˜"above"' the being, for the expression of clarity" (Heidegger: 4 v. IV). "God is dead" is one of Nietzsche's most famous quotations. It disrupts one of the root institutions of European society: the church. For Christians, God is the focal point of their religion. Nietzsche deliberately crushes this system. The optimism and hope for salvation that Europeans receive from their religion slightly wavers, which creates doubt. This doubt, is in turn, implemented into the society of these people, and therefore, incorporates a much bleaker outlook on life. Nietzsche's philosophy of pessimism was evident in the Nihilist movement and the Holocaust.In the eighteenth century there was a great surge in scientific discoveries and new philosophies. This period is known as the Enlightenment, and had its focal point in France. Feeling, imagination, experience, and yearning were the characteristics of the Enlightenment thinkers. The most prominent philosophers of this period were Voltaire, Montaigne, and Rousseau. During this era there were many scientific discoveries. Newton found the Law of Gravity and explored the laws of inertia. Copernicus discovered the sun as the center of the universe. "The great mathematics of calculus was founded which created a better understanding of wind resistance, and mechanics. The new natural sciences had revealed that nature was subject to reason" (Gaarder: 315). People could now relate to nature as it corresponded with the natural Seidman 2 laws. These philosophies further supported that God was the creator of nature. Many believed that God resided only in nature, or that nature was what God at one distant time created and now plays no part in. Discoveries such as these gave people optimism. "During this period education was stressed which also gave the public a new forum to explore" (Durant: 244-246). The Enlightenment era enabled mankind to rejoice in the fruits of their hard work and discovery. Joy was spread through better living conditions and new technological discoveries. Europeans were vibrant and happy.Yet the time of optimism would not prevail in Europe forever. Europeans would encounter new views on life and different philosophers to express them. Friedreich Nietzsche begins writing and continues throughout his career with one main goal; "...the meaning of truth, the justifiability of existence, the future of the human race" (Strong: ix). Countless philosophers have pondered these ideas since the dawn of civilization. Nietzsche begins his quest to enlightenment...

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