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Nietzsche and Asceticism - Essay Example

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Before interpreting the essay, one should also put it into context. This essay was written when Nietzsche himself was sick. He was a medical orderly in the Franco-Prussian War and he contracted several diseases during his duty. As his health declined, his works became more prolific, probably because he had more time to think. It is worthwhile to note that Nietzsche was the father of “nihilism”. With Germany unified at his time, it was understandable that his nation was quite optimistic about science and knowledge and their future. Nietzsche prophetically noted that the German’s fanatic optimism, nationalism and religiosity (Christianity; most were Anti-Semitic) would lead the nation to war. Nietzsche was never a believer of absolutes. He has a quote, “You have your way. I have my way. As for the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist”. On the Genealogy of Morals is an essay the traces the “origin” or “genealogy” of these morals. It is a critique of the modern people’s moral judgments and it is made up of three essays, using the genealogical method which examines the origin of some of these moral beliefs and the quality of life that the modern man leads. The Genealogy of Morals calls for suspension of certain beliefs in certain truths, and as this is a critique for morals, it calls for the reader to suspend some of the assumptions that he has pertaining to morals. For Nietzsche, some things have different meanings at different times and The Genealogy of Morals attempts to explain certain things the evolution certain things have undergone, especially morals. In a society, for instance, morals are treated as something sacred by virtue of values and religion. However, these morals are never absolute as their meanings are dynamic and may change depending on a situation. Hence, Nietzsche does not believe on reality because it may change any moment, as they are only socially constructed (and society is also quite dynamic). So to solve this problem about words and social constructs, Nietzsche looks beyond the words and looks at the meanings and implications of the words and the actions people make, as it adopts over time. Looking from that perspective, Nietzsche finds will and a force. He also found out that existence (or living) is a struggle of wills, usually with the goal of getting power over another person. This way of living is defines the modern existence, with the purpose of overcoming the other person in order to feel superior. To achieve meaning, there should be something that dominates it, or at least precedes it, so that it can be interpreted well. However, since the dominators can change over time, meaning also changes, like the word “good”. Before it was used on the blond beast (who was there to destroy and reform), but now is dominated by the will of the sick ascetics. But then again, belief in this words is nothing unless one is dominated by this will. As nothing is absolute, one can achieve defining words and life by gaining different experiences and perspectives. For Nietzsche, this is the right way to learn meaning. There is no absolute, there is no constant and everything will matter according to one’s perspective. Nietzsche questions morality by presenting this idea. Morals are not absolute. They were never given by God but rather it is a socially construc ...Show more


Your Name Your Nietzsche and Asceticism The essay On the Genealogy of Morals by Nietzsche was written in the late 1800s and continues to be significant in this day and age. This literature attempts to explain the feebleness of humanity, especially with regards to appreciation of life…
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Nietzsche and Asceticism essay example
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