• Ross Campbell
    1
    Nietzsche's attack on the virtues of kindness and compassion seems to me an unfortunate flaw in his thinking. They are fundamental virtues in Buddhism , Christianity as well as other religions and many secular ethical systems. Modern psychology and evolutionary science has shown that over time the human brain evolved this extra capacity for empathy and emotional connection beyond other primates and this capacity for kindness and empathy enabled greater cooperation and building of more sophisticated communities. Nietzsche's psychology is flawed in many aspects as if I'm not mistaken, it's not based on empirical observation or evidence and it's unfortunate that his ideas have acquired almost cult like status and great influence since his death, not least amongst the Nazis and other right wing value systems who shared his contempt for the virtues of pity and compassion regarding them as weaknesses which inhibit the "strong" individual, In Buddhism on the contrary, they're regarded as strengths and Buddhism is based on thousands of years of accumulated wisdom and drawn from the insights and experience of ordinary people in everyday life , not just the utterances of 1 man. I am bewildered by the fact that on many philosophy channels on the internet and YouTube there seems to be more material on Nietzsche than almost any other thinker and he's had an enormous influence also on writers, artists and psychology.
  • Gregory
    4


    I think Nietzsche was right. Mercy is a weakness not a virtue. The whole point of mercy religions is to unite people in a blob of misery, giving your consciousness over to others so they can suck you dry. All you have is you. Don't sin, turn back on mistakes, don't be afraid of being cold hearted, and hope for your own salvation. The West has a sickening over emphasis on family and this results from the beast of Christianity. I don't live in the East so I don't know how Buddhism works there, but Christianity is as bad as religions come and that is what Nietzsche was against from first hand knowledge
  • Protagoras
    4
    @Ross Campbell

    Nietzsche is bemoaning the fact that pity and compassion are overvalued in the Christian and secular West of his time.

    He mentions that pity and compassion are really used as methods to aggrandise oneself over the recipient of pity.

    And on this point hes mainly right. Most empathy and charity are just virtue signalling and a means to laud oneself over others.
  • Echarmion
    1
    The West has a sickening over emphasis on family and this results from the beast of ChristianityGregory

    Family ties are weaker in the "Christian West" than anywhere else in the world, possibly as a result of the catholic church's ban on first cousin marriage.
  • Gregory
    4


    Huh? Christians families are often very strong but they unite in the bile of "we are all sinners together but Jesus died for us!" It's union of narcissism. Thinking you are special is the core of Western culture
  • Echarmion
    1
    Huh? Christians families are often very strong but they unite in the bile of "we are all sinners together but Jesus died for us!"Gregory

    Strong compared to whom? To their less traditional compatriots, yes. Not strong compared to, say, Vietnamese family structures.

    Thinking you are special is the core of Western cultureGregory

    Western culture is extremely individualistic, but that makes its family ties weaker, not stronger.
  • Gregory
    4


    I already said I don't live in the East so I don't have first hand knowledge of it. I do know the West and Christianity. Individual pursuit here is not what Nietzsche spoke of but is self absorption into society and the acting out of a "I'm so special" narcissism. Putin pointed this out about American culture and how Hollywood promotes it in "feel good" movies. Both Christians and secular people here love when an underdog team beats a more powerful adversary in a movie. This "we do it together" is all pervasive thoughout of this culture
  • Protagoras
    4
    @Gregory
    The feel good narcissism is a staple of the east and other cultures as well.

    I know from experience.
  • baker
    8
    In Buddhism on the contrary, they're regarded as strengthsRoss Campbell

    Reference?
  • Tzeentch
    2
    Nietzsche was not a very happy man, so what wisdom did he possess?
  • Joshs
    21
    Nietzsche was not a very happy man, so what wisdom did he possess?Tzeentch

    He wasn’t wise enough to know that all unhappy people are stupid.
  • Joshs
    21
    I am bewildered by the fact that on many philosophy channels on the internet and YouTube there seems to be more material on Nietzsche than almost any other thinker and he's had an enormous influence also on writers, artists and psychology.Ross Campbell

    Maybe you should investigate the ideas of some of these writers, artists and psychologists. Let’s
    start with Keiji Nishitani, a Japanese philosopher who integrated Buddhist and Western thought.

    “Nishitani distinguishes between these two kinds of groundlessness because his fundamental point is that
    European thought in its largely successful critique of objectivism has become trapped in nihilism. Here
    Nishitani's assessment of our situation actually follows Nietzsche's. As we mentioned in chapter 6, nihilism
    arises for Nietzsche when we realize that our most cherished beliefs are untenable and yet we are
    incapable of living without them. Nietzsche devoted considerable attention to the manifestation of
    nihilism in our discovery that we do not stand on solid ground, that what we take to be an absolute
    reference point is really an interpretation foisted on an ever-shifting impersonal process. Nishitani deeply admires Nietzsche's attempt but claims that it actually perpetuates the nihilistic
    predicament by not letting go of the grasping mind that lies at the souce of both objectivism and nihlism.
    Nishitani's argument is that nihilism cannot be overcome by assimilating groundlessness to a notion of the
    will-no matter how decentered and impersonal. Nishitani's diagnosis is even more radical than Nietzsche's, for he claims that the real problem with Western nihilism is that it is halfhearted: it does not consistently follow through its own inner logic and motivation and so stops short of transforming its partial realization of groundlessness into the philosophical and experiential possiblities of sunyata.” (The Embodied Mind)
  • skyblack
    1
    I think Nietzsche was right. Mercy is a weakness not a virtue.Gregory

    Let me guess, cruelty and violence is a virtue for you.
  • skyblack
    1
    Family ties are weaker in the "Christian West" than anywhere else in the worldEcharmion

    :up: If common knowledge isn't enough, a comparison of the FBI stats on crimes against family members may point it out.
  • Tom Storm
    10
    I am bewildered by the fact that on many philosophy channels on the internet and YouTube there seems to be more material on Nietzsche than almost any other thinker and he's had an enormous influence also on writers, artists and psychology.Ross Campbell

    One reason is that he often wrote and riffed like a stand up comedian and has always been popular with a younger demographic. I find his condemnation of compassion unhelpful. When you consider Nietzsche's physical frailty and lack of success with women, it is hard not to speculate that resentment fueled many of his ideas.
  • Gregory
    4


    Justice to all, mercy to none, kindness to everyone, love to those who are real
  • Ross Campbell
    1

    So are you saying that if I feel pity watching my wife dying from cancer and feel compassion for her that's a weakness, it's not good way to feel. What kind of a world would it be if these virtues were held in contempt as Nietzsche would seem to advocate. I think it would be like the law of the jungle or dog eat dog. It's perfectly possible to be a life affirming , free spirited, uninhibited person as Nietzsche upholds and also be a person full of compassion and kindness towards others.
  • Joshs
    21
    it is hard not to speculate that resentment fueled many of his ideas.Tom Storm

    What do you mean by ‘fueled’? As in ‘Einstein’s craving for fame fueled his discovery of relativity’? Or as in ‘I find many of Nietzsche’s ideas to be so superficial and unimpressive that I can reduce them to an arbitrary and simplistic causal motive’?
  • Gregory
    4


    That's not possible because it bonds people in slavery to each other. Compassion is empathy and kindness but can also mean mercy, which means "karma is bad" and is a Christian invention. If youre so kind you show mercy, that's a weakness
  • Protagoras
    4
    @Ross Campbell
    OK,my bad. I wasn't saying all compassion or empathy is bad,of course not!

    I'm saying that a lot of what is called compassion and those go around talking about it and signalling its values are hypocrites.

    Most compassion that I see in public settings or in politics or even medicine is just a veneer to smooth life over and a form of virtue signalling. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's just very rare.

    I agree you can be free-spirited and compassionate. But how few actually are or aspire to be.

    Nietzsches insight is correct. But his solution as always are rubbish.
  • Ross Campbell
    1

    Perhaps one reason for Nietzsche's popularity is his very provocative and radical ideas , but that doesn't make him a wise thinker. Some philosophers especially in the English speaking world don't classify him as a philosopher at all , but rather as a writer. His thinking based on a series of aphorisms and metaphors seems to lack a logical rigour of thought. I thought the definition of philosophy was supposed to be logical or rational argument.
  • Joshs
    21
    . I thought the definition of philosophy was supposed to be logical or rational argument.Ross Campbell

    Your notion of philosophy is out of date by at least 100 years. So is your notion of empiricism. Philosophy has spent most of the latter half of the 20th century up till now critiquing ideas of truth as logic and rationality.
  • Protagoras
    4
    it is hard not to speculate that resentment fueled many of his ideas.— Tom Storm


    What do you mean by ‘fueled’? As in ‘Einstein’s craving for fame fueled his discovery of relativity’? Or as in ‘I find many of Nietzsche’s ideas to be so superficial and unimpressive that I can reduce them to an arbitrary and simplistic causal motive’?

    All nietzsches works are fuelled from resentiment,it's obvious from his writings,especially from zarathustra onwards.

    But a lot of his psychological insights are correct.

    @Tom Storm @Joshs
  • Ross Campbell
    1

    In my opinion compassion which is at the heart of Christian and Buddhist ethics is what brings people together, without it the world would be a very cold place. I think when you talk about hypocritical attitudes it's do gooders who think they're very good people but are not really, but the problem is not with the virtue of compassion itself its the weakness within some human beings who cannot live up to the virtues.
  • Protagoras
    4
    . I thought the definition of philosophy was supposed to be logical or rational argument.— Ross Campbell


    Your notion of philosophy is out of date by at least 100 years. So is your notion of empiricism. Philosophy has spent most of the latter half of the 20th century up till now critiquing ideas of truth as logic and rationality.

    Yet the entire critique is still based on the primacy of "rationality". The myth of reason.
    And this critique is only from continental philosophy,not analytic.
  • Protagoras
    4
    @Ross Campbell
    Compassion would still be in the world without buddhism or Christianity. Sometimes in spite of them.

    Any religion is only as good as its followers.
  • skyblack
    1


    Justice to all, mercy to none, kindness to everyone, love to those who are realGregory

    Sounds like something from a hallmark card.

    Etymology of Mercy: Read this

    Kindness without mercy? Oh ok. And "love" ?....HA!
  • Joshs
    21
    All nietzsches works are fuelled from resentiment,it's obvious from his writings,especially from zarathustra onwards.

    But a lot of his psychological insights are correct.
    Protagoras

    Again, what does ‘fueled’ mean here? Certainly you don’t mean that all one needs is a feeling of resentment in order to churn out a world-changing new philosophy. Do you mean that Nietzsche experienced an inordinate amount of things to be resentful of in his life, and that’s why the centerpiece of his work is resentment? If that the case , then given Freud’s observation of the uncanny resemblance between Nietzsche’s ideas and his own, would you surmise that Freud also experienced a lot of resentment in his personal dealings?
    Here’s an alternative explanation. Readers of Nietzsche’s work like to focus on resentment at the expensive of , and in isolation from , the overall arc of his ideas because they seem more easy to grasp and are more dramatic to read. Nietzsche scholars , on the other hand , see how each aspect of his work fits into and implies the whole. And they understand this whole to be an extraordinarily complex and sophisticated construction that cannot possibly be reduced to , or even anticipated on the basis of , the ordinary everyday notionof resentment.
  • Tom Storm
    10
    What do you mean by ‘fueled’? As in ‘Einstein’s craving for fame fueled his discovery of relativity’? Or as in ‘I find many of Nietzsche’s ideas to be so superficial and unimpressive that I can reduce them to an arbitrary and simplistic causal motive’?Joshs

    I mean the former - fueled as in 'helped to bring about'. I don't dismiss his ideas. And he has great one liners that get you thinking.
  • Joshs
    21
    Yet the entire critique is still based on the primacy of "rationality".Protagoras

    I wouldn’t say that the trajectory of continental philosophy over the past 100 years has been a matter of leaving traditional concepts of rationality intact and simply qualifying or limiting them. Instead rationality has been thought differently. The very notion of critique as understood by Kant has also been transformed.
  • Protagoras
    4
    @Joshs
    Yes,freud was fuelled by resentiment as well,undoubtedly.

    This does not mean anybody with resentment can write or thinks like these two. They have a lot of skill and relevant life experiences. They also specialise in writing.

    Nietzsche himself used the concept of resentiment extensively in his works.

    I don't trust scholars who turn nietzsche into some post modernist or nihilist.(even both of those are highly duplicitous concepts.)

    Nietzsche was a political theorist and aristocratic radical.

    Just like George brandes gleaned.
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