Nietzsche’s despising of the herd

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A question that I haven’t been able to answer:

Nietzsche despised the herd and mentioned in many essays that we must reevaluate our ethics and the set of moralities Christianity has provided us (not automatically believing that humbleness, forgiveness, turning the other cheek, etc. are virtues.)

One could safely say Nietzsche would respect a person who has examined their values and replaced the ones which made him weak with values that make him powerful, in the will-overcoming sense. My question is: what would Nietzsche say to a person who holds herd moralities, has examined those values, but still thinks that they are good? Or at least that they are the ones that suit his life the most ?

wa7d

Posted 2018-07-06T19:02:06.090

Reputation: 189

1Nietschze famously despised his followers, the so-called Nietzscheans; he'd probably call them a herd of Nietzcheans! – Mozibur Ullah – 2018-07-06T20:01:51.010

I agree only partially. Indeed Nietzsche despised his followers, but only the ones that thought of him as a type of savior, a person who has definite concrete answers. Those he would call members of a herd. Nonetheless, he was not completely against anyone who finds his ideas useful. Part of what he wanted is for people, or at least those who are capable of departing from the herd, to see his message and extract the lesson from it. One of the lessons is one's examination of the set of values they live by and whether they've inherited them from their culture or have actually evaluated it. – wa7d – 2018-07-07T00:20:58.317

He didn't see himself as a saviour? are you sure? Isn't this why he decided to speak in Zarathrustha voice and ended with pretty much calling himself a kind of a god? Examining the values by which one lives by and how is a very old idea and didn't originate with Nietzsche. – Mozibur Ullah – 2018-07-07T01:38:57.293

I found the quote I was looking for: 'Why I am a destiny' - if that doesn't smack of saviourdom and I don't know what does. – Mozibur Ullah – 2018-07-07T01:47:24.653

Yes I’m sure. Not savior in the Jesus sense. There is a famous anecdote of him walking around and being approached by two individuals who asked him to give them more advice in life. He freaked out— told them he does not consider himself as one who tells people what right and wrong are. How can he consider himself a savior yet also despise his followers? A savior preaches a set of moralities. Nietzsche does not think there is a set of moralities that fit all. – wa7d – 2018-07-07T01:49:43.003

Context on the quote? Nietzsche style of writing is very much poetic in many of his essays. The easiest way to misunderstand Nietzsche is to pull out a quote from a heavy essay. That’s how the Nazis misused his writings. look up the blonde beast quote and how they misused it. – wa7d – 2018-07-07T01:52:37.900

There is more to the word Saviour than just thinking it applies to Christ; if you look around, there's many more religions than Christianity in the world; this is why I tend to think of Nietzscheanism as a new kind of religion; I've read plenty of poetry, and I've read one book of Nietzsche (Zarathrustha) - I wasn't too impressed to be honest. Apparently he sees himself 'full of contradictions'; he can both announce the death of God, and be seen as one of the main instigators of this movement; but at the same time he calls the man who killed god 'the ugliest man in the world' -figure that out. – Mozibur Ullah – 2018-07-07T02:13:30.907

1@MoziburUllah Give him another chance. Zarathustra is pretty terrible writing, & I don't think really makes sense without a base in where he is coming from. Read Beyond Good & Evil or The Genealogy of Morals. Honestly worth it, even if you disagree with everything. His style is always hyperbolic, grabbing ideas & shaking them for a bit to see what happens. He isn't really fixed on outcomes, so much as a ferociously honest process. In this small way I see him as a kindred spirit to Wittgenstein. Similarly also, ppl are apt to read in what they want, but maybe taking it up is exactly the point. – CriglCragl – 2018-07-07T02:29:46.940

@MoziburUllah Give him another chance. Zarathustra is pretty terrible writing, & I don't think really makes sense without a base in where he is coming from. Read Beyond Good & Evil or The Genealogy of Morals. Honestly worth it, even if you disagree with everything. His style is always hyperbolic, grabbing ideas & shaking them for a bit to see what happens. He isn't really fixed on outcomes, so much as a ferociously honest process. In this small way I see him as a kindred spirit to Wittgenstein. Similarly also, ppl are apt to read in what they want, but maybe taking it up is exactly the point. – CriglCragl – 2018-07-07T02:29:47.853

I mean take this 'humbleness' and 'meekness' that you mention about Christianity; and I'd point to a sentence reported in the New Testament 'think not that I am come to send peace in Earth: I came not to bring peace, but to bring a sword.' That's why I'm not terribly fond of these kind of debates as they seem to actually escape the rigour of the text. – Mozibur Ullah – 2018-07-07T02:37:18.807

1@CraiglCraigl: Funnily enough, I was thinking just today that I might try and read a couple more of his books. It's generally the cult like behaviour of his fans that tends to put me off...I guess I shouldn't let them colour my view so much. – Mozibur Ullah – 2018-07-07T02:39:04.460

I think the issue is when you read Nietzsche expecting a metaphysical discussion. I don’t think his concern was metaphysical at all. From my understanding, he looks at Christianity (or religion in general) as a system which provides a set of values. Not so much focus on whether a God exists—a Father figure. Christianity at his time was being abandoned at a rapid rate, yet he realized everyone around him was still practicing and living by Judea-Christian ethics. Those ethics he thought were some sort of a prison. That’s why he sometimes referred to it as Master Slave Morality. – wa7d – 2018-07-07T02:54:18.577

It makes sense why you see a large contradiction in his ideas since you started with TSZ. TSZ is supposed to be his idea of what he thinks a person who has Will to Power is. Not that everyone should aspire to be exactly like Z. Hard to reject that he is neither a relativist nor a perspectivist in a single comment, but I promise you joy, laughter, and deep contemplation when you read Beyond Good and Evil $ The Genealogy of Morals. – wa7d – 2018-07-07T02:58:15.757

Answers

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The problem Nietzsche has with herd mentality is that it is unexamined. If one has examined ones own morality alongside the moral virtues of the herd, concluding that those herd moralities best suit one's life, one is not really following herd morality any longer.

Instead I would say that the individual has chosen a set of moralities that happen to be shared by the herd.

It's a subtle distinction but a major difference and I think for this reason Nietzsche would take no issue with this individual.

Gary

Posted 2018-07-06T19:02:06.090

Reputation: 186

I see your point and I agree. That was my initial thought but thought I was missing something. Not to go off tangent, but why do you the problem he has with herd mentality IS that it's unexamined? In other words, was he re-stating what Socrates stated? "The unexamined life is not worth living." – wa7d – 2018-07-07T00:27:21.210

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I think that is an interesting question. But one I feel Nietzsche didn't really consider. His perspective was very focused on the individual and their dilemmas and power. It seems like he didn't really consider the idea of a conscious culture that could actively support self-overcoming.

Eliezer Yudkowsky says

, “Hey, Eliezer: it’s five years in the future, there’s still no artificial general intelligence, and a great leap forward has occurred in people to deal with these types of systemic issues. How did that happen?” Then my guess would be something like Kickstarter, but much better, that turned out to enable people in large groups to move forward when none of them could move forward individually. Something like the group movements that scientists made without all that much help from the government (although there was help from funders changing their policies) to jump to new journals all at the same time, and get partially away from the Elsevier closed-source journal scam. Maybe there’s something brilliant that Facebook does—with machine learning, even. They get better at showing people things that are solutions to their coordination problems; they’re better at routing those around when they exist, and people learn that these things work and they jump using them simultaneously. And by these means, voters start to elect politicians who are not nincompoops, as opposed to choosing whichever nincompoop on offer is most appealing.

But this is a fairy tale. This is not a prediction. This is, “If you told me that somehow this had gotten significantly better in five years, what happened?” This is me making up what might have happened. https://intelligence.org/2018/02/28/sam-harris-and-eliezer-yudkowsky/

CriglCragl

Posted 2018-07-06T19:02:06.090

Reputation: 5 272

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I am not allowed to comment.

However, I am allowed to reply.

But my reply is only a comment.

So, this site enforces some kind of insanity.

Which leads me to Nietzsche. He understood that insanity is the only way to preserve your sanity.

Question is, what of his oeuvre to dismiss as insanity, and what to value?

Baby Boy

Posted 2018-07-06T19:02:06.090

Reputation: 65