Nietzsche Morality Essay

This essay has a total of 2230 words and 9 pages.

Nietzsche Morality



“Nietzsche: morality; “How ought I to be?”


Nietzsche abhorred all morality; he felt it is fodder for the mindless masses (the herd).
It deadens and destroys the individual, condemns creativity, and gives man no credit to
make choices. It assumes man can not know what to do, so it lays down pre-made decisions
for him to mindlessly follow. It ignores the nature of human instinct and stifles the
growth of mankind.

Moralists and philosophers both sought an order for the universe and a basis on which to
define a universal morality. Nietzsche throws these ideas out the window, claiming no
order to the universe, but instead chaos. Likewise he felt that one doctrine of morality,
while being good for one man, might be the worst thing for another. All societies have
moral structures but those structures vary widely from a single society to the next.
Conventional morality wants clear-cut, black-&-white definitions of good and evil.
Nietzsche sought an ideal “beyond good or evil.” He even went as far as to claim evil is
good – it serves as a means for comparison and a catalyst for change.

Nietzsche had little esteem for the works of Kant; there can be no categorical imperative
in a chaotic world. Kant’s view of the moral man is one whose moral duty always takes
precedence over his natural inclinations. This places man in a state of “constant
irritability in the face of all natural stirrings . . . armed against himself with sharp
and mistrustful eyes.” Kant’s morality equates to shame – shame for his natural
inclinations, and shame for not attaining unattainable moral standards.

Kant claimed acts of love, charity and brotherhood did not qualify as moral acts unless
they were done completely for selfless motives. According to Nietzsche these acts are
usually performed out of avarice, greed and egoism. His interpretation of the categorical
imperative might read, “Do unto others so they will do unto you,” he would see this as
more consistent with human nature. He, like Firestone, saw sexual love clearly as a lust
for possession, though he did not see it from a feminist point of view. Kant has no
concern for human nature – being selfish by nature does not assuage our moral duties.

Nietzsche had little reverence for the utilitarian ideals of Mill either. The concept –
maximize pleasure and minimize pain – is simplistic by Nietzsche’s standards. He aptly
points out that sometimes the maximum displeasure is necessary to achieve “the growth of
an abundance of subtle pleasures and joys that have rarely been relished yet.” Minimizing
displeasure eliminates the “capacity for joy.” The virtues of Mill’s morality are aimed
at the maximum good for the many; acts are judged based on their consequences to society.
However Nietzsche felt that while these virtues may be for the good of society as a whole,
they could be harmful to those who possess them. He calls them “victims of virtue.” Man
can be so focused on virtues that “he resists the effort of reason to keep them in balance
with their other instincts.” These virtues can not come from an individual’s reason
because they “lead the individual to allow himself to be transformed into a mere function
of the whole.”

Christian morality may be the most disturbing of all to Nietzsche. In fact, he has a
cynical view of monotheism as a whole; it is the rigid consequence of the doctrine
alleging one normal human type. Prayer is for those with no thoughts of their own and
those, who on their own, can know no elevation of the soul. He scoffs at the idea of the
Christian God as an object of love; if God were to be an object of love he should give up
judging and justice. God is proud and vindictive, his love is not unconditional but
instead depends on if’s. The Christian resolve - through judgment, guilt, and its concept
of original sin – to find the world negative and bad, has made the world a bad and ugly
place. The Christian church is full of those who are ignorant and afraid; they mindlessly
prattle prayers. Knowing not what else to do, they follow like a herd. A true religious
person “is an exception in any religion,” according to Nietzsche. Christianity is a
narcotic, the opiate of the masses. It says the world is arduous but you can hide from
the pain in the Church. Morality is clothing for the soul to hide behind.

Christianity calls us to become members of the family of God. Its answer to, “how ought I
to be?” is the same as Kant’s categorical imperative. Curran’s ontology of the person is
centered in the community and the church. Ontological change or growth is spawned by
grace, being saved by God. Nietzsche believed the opposite – the growth of the individual
is crushed by morality and conventional religion denies us even the possibility of
elevated moods.

Nietzsche sought to replace conventional morality/religion with artistic metaphors. Life
should be like a work of art, a creation unique unto itself, and limited only by the self.
One should survey his strengths and weaknesses and meld them to a plan where they all
appear as art. To him, this is a higher level of thinking. Conventionality has only made
us good at becoming just like everyone else. Our duty is to question morality and to have
the courage to embrace the freedom of self-creation. His answer to, “how ought I to be”
is: “to become those who we are.” He seeks a new day when a man can fashion an existence
that he would happily lead over and over again.


“Homosexuality: Perverse and/or immoral?”

The question of the perversion or immorality of homosexuality cannot be answered in a
universal way. The definitions of immoral or perverse acts are both culturally and
personally subjective. Catholic morality tends to oversimplify human nature, and even to
deny the subjective differences each man possesses, in a vain attempt to create universal
laws of morality.

Continues for 5 more pages >>