Is Nietzsche's "God is dead" misunderstood?

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Fido
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 10:16 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;164271 wrote:
Translation. They (whatever they are) do not exist. But I don't think you mean that social forms do not exist. Clearly, they do.

Yes; people build churches out of their quasi conception of God just as they build Law out of their quasi conception of Justice... Since the concept is flawed, or at a minimum, incomplete- who can be surprised when the social form fails to deliver the moral equvalent...
 
qualia
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 11:17 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
Wherever could you have gotten such an idea?

You met your fate on the road that moment you took to avoid it...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 02:30 pm
@Fido,
Fido;164177 wrote:
Not ideas at all; and not negative theology, not theology...It is simple stuff, obvious, in fact.... We have many moral forms which are all meaning and no being... God is a certain meaning to all people, but there is no matter that can be classed as God, that can be examined in detail and about which we can speak rationally, nothing that is... Physical concepts are true concepts... Moral forms are just forms, all meaning, and no being....


Well, for me there is "being" in any thought. Anything that is unified, a word or a number or an object, is a being, at least in my view.

I don't really think you're a negative theologian, Fido, but I couldn't help but see a little similarity. Do you find no value in the God concept at all?

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 03:31 PM ----------

Fido;164282 wrote:
Yes; people build churches out of their quasi conception of God just as they build Law out of their quasi conception of Justice... Since the concept is flawed, or at a minimum, incomplete- who can be surprised when the social form fails to deliver the moral equvalent...

At least more negative theologies seem less likely to justify violence, exploitation. I think the man who knows God on a first name basis is the one to watch for. Smile

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 03:34 PM ----------

qualia;164188 wrote:
Ay, you're right, Reconstructo. I imagine to a large extent language precedes much of our understanding of the world, not all understanding, but I guess a fair amount. As you have rightly pointed out, the whole idea of a world outside language is just another game within language, trapped within the symbolic order in which the 'world' becomes inconceivable outside this system of differences.



Indeed, you're right, Kennethamy, using Korzbski's metaphor, the map is not the terrain, but now the question arises, plunged into the symbolic order, to what extent does the map precede the territory, engenders the territory such as it is?


Kant would agree with Korzybski. I have come around a little more to the notion that the map is the territory, but the map is always redrawing itself.
And the map is drawn on itself.

It all depends on how you define understanding and language. For me, understanding and language are about the same thing. So I personally would not say that language precedes our understanding of the world but rather it is our understanding of the world and that our understanding of the world is exactly the same as its intelligible structure. I know this is a fairly radical view, and I offer it humbly, as something I find impressive.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 03:02 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;164338 wrote:
Well, for me there is "being" in any thought. Anything that is unified, a word or a number or an object, is a being, at least in my view.

I don't really think you're a negative theologian, Fido, but I couldn't help but see a little similarity. Do you find no value in the God concept at all?

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 03:31 PM ----------


At least more negative theologies seem less likely to justify violence, exploitation. I think the man who knows God on a first name basis is the one to watch for. Smile

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 03:34 PM ----------



Recon ...You are just projecting your expansive personality onto the the forms/concepts/ideas/and notions we must deal with on a daily basis in order to think... You do not make them more real by acting as though they are real... Numbers are not real though they can be considered as though real...They exist with a purpose, and that is all, of conceiving of physical reality in a fashion that can be universally understood...It is a method of understanding, not of being...

Is it you that is real, or your reflection, or do you consider both real??? We exist whether we are reflected or not, but out reflection does not exist except for us, our mirror, and light... Turn out the lights or step away from the mirror and you are still some where... Do you see what I am saying??? You should make a nice distinction between reality and forms, because if you do not, you will only add to your confusion...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 03:39 pm
@Fido,
Fido;164352 wrote:
Recon ...You are just projecting your expansive personality onto the the forms/concepts/ideas/and notions we must deal with on a daily basis in order to think....

I may be guilty of having fun with philosophy. :sarcastic:

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 04:40 PM ----------

Fido;164352 wrote:
Numbers are not real though they can be considered as though real...They exist with a purpose, and that is all, of conceiving of physical reality in a fashion that can be universally understood...It is a method of understanding, not of being...


I think you mistake me for a number mystic of some sort. Let me make this clear to all. I do not think that math is some sort of absolute truth. In fact, the problems with the foundations of mathematics are one of math's attractions. (I'm with Kronecker more than Cantor, even if Cantor amuses me.) I think numbers are valuable intuitive abstractions that tell us something about the structure of our thinking, as well as help us count up all our sheep. Please don't confuse me with someone else.

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 04:43 PM ----------

Fido;164352 wrote:

Is it you that is real, or your reflection, or do you consider both real???

What is "real"? "Real" is one more abstraction. The real is rational. Are your words real? Is the meaning of your words real? Obviously in a practical sense I distinguish between opinion and "matter" (an abstraction). I stop at red lights. The notion of the self is an abstraction. You are presenting something like representation realism, right? Well, in practice I agree. But there's more to life than the practical. I live as a pragmatist. What works is true, blah blah. But I don't want to only repeat the sensible. I don't think there's a clean line between literature and philosophy. Philosophy is conceptual poetry, a body of metaphor.

---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 04:48 PM ----------

Fido;164352 wrote:
.. Do you see what I am saying??? You should make a nice distinction between reality and forms, because if you do not, you will only add to your confusion...


What you are missing is that all of that is obvious to me. It's common sense. If philosophy is nothing but this common sense, or politics, I probably would stick to literature. For me, philosophy is not just a practical tool but also an aesthetic enrichment. I don't think you understand me. I could be wrong. Smile
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 05:13 pm
@franciscus,
Recon... if it is common sense then don't get all gooey about words and such... They are a vehical for thought, and you are like some one polishing his car and checking the tires at every stop... Think about where you are going, and not about what is taking you there...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:42 pm
@Fido,
Fido;164417 wrote:
Recon... if it is common sense then don't get all gooey about words and such... They are a vehical for thought, and you are like some one polishing his car and checking the tires at every stop... Think about where you are going, and not about what is taking you there...


What about the beauty of thoughts, the beauty of equations? No doubt, I enjoy the beauty in human relationships as well. But I love a good line. Why not? I feel it's much more respectable than coveting the junk that most do.

What do you think about the concept of commodity fetishism? I feel that one should take the projected magic out of these products, these expensive toys, and find it in one's mind and heart. How many are slaves to the pursuit of junk? I personally feel liberated from this aspect of the rat race precisely by the pleasure I take in certain thoughts. Give me nice weather, sidewalk, and a head full of grand thoughts. I love this sh*t, Fido! A good line, a good equation. I can't see a reason to give it up. What is the goal? Where is this vehicle supposed to take me? Happiness is the goal, in my book. Any day is potentially anyone's last. I don't want it wasted on drudgery, angst, etc., unless that day demands such a response...and how many of them do?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 10:03 pm
@qualia,
qualia;164302 wrote:
You met your fate on the road that moment you took to avoid it...


I did? How would you know such a thing? How would you know that my attempt to avoid my fate was not successful? Indeed, why would you even think that?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 11:54 pm
@kennethamy,
In my opinion, the understanding of Nietzsche's "God is dead" or "the murder of God" always traces back to the ugliest man chapter in Zarathustra and "revenge against the witness". We were so ashamed of ourselves that we could not bare to be seen by that omniscient witness any longer. We could hide ourselves, or parts of ourselves from others but God saw all. That was the motive. In Zarathustra at least, that is the why it happened but it doesn't help much with the what to do now.

Nietzsche's murder of God makes an interesting contrast to Freud's Totem and Taboo in which God was invented after the murder of the primordial father. The motive for that killing was essentially mating rites.

The contrast is interesting because Freud's ancient tribe of patricides created God out of shame and Nietzsche's Uglies Man murdered him because he was ashamed (or at least wanted some privacy).

The task of making ourselves worthy, of living great lives and doing great things because we murdered God still has that ring of shame... it is as if God is still alive and haunting us and the ghost of God is really no different from the God himself... This sort of shame or obligation is very similar to the guilt and shame that gave rise to the Super-ego.

Nietzsche wants to get beyond Good and Evil, beyond guilt and shame, beyond the obligation to the dead God. The reason to live lives of greatness must come from somewhere else. In killing God we killed also shame including the shame of killing God including whatever obligations to live great lives we associate with being deicidal murderers. The murder of God also means simultaneously exorcising these ghosts Super-egos. The dead God has to stay completely dead. So I think that the OPs reading of Nietzsche on this point may be more Freudian than Nietzschean.

After they realize that God is dead, or perhaps before, the Supermen become aware of The Will to Power and aligning themselves with that Will to Power is what leads to the living of great lives. The bungled and botched, the cattle will continue to harbor the ghost of the dead God.

Or that's how I think of Nietzsche's Death of God and what to do about it. My own opinion about this matter differs on several points but I won't go into those as this post is already on lengthy side.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 05:52 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;164442 wrote:
What about the beauty of thoughts, the beauty of equations? No doubt, I enjoy the beauty in human relationships as well. But I love a good line. Why not? I feel it's much more respectable than coveting the junk that most do.

What do you think about the concept of commodity fetishism? I feel that one should take the projected magic out of these products, these expensive toys, and find it in one's mind and heart. How many are slaves to the pursuit of junk? I personally feel liberated from this aspect of the rat race precisely by the pleasure I take in certain thoughts. Give me nice weather, sidewalk, and a head full of grand thoughts. I love this sh*t, Fido! A good line, a good equation. I can't see a reason to give it up. What is the goal? Where is this vehicle supposed to take me? Happiness is the goal, in my book. Any day is potentially anyone's last. I don't want it wasted on drudgery, angst, etc., unless that day demands such a response...and how many of them do?

I love a good road too, but only because I love the destination, and the thought of getting there alive... Words, lines, equasions are only a means to communicate... I love that line...I gets me everytime... And trust me on this; since I am no Ezra Pound; but I have written poetry, and loved a few fine words, but consider the object, and not the second intention as talk about talk is... One of this things I love about words is that you can say something, and you can make your point in the most macabre, or outlandish fashion, as Nietzsche often did...It is so much better to simply say your piece in simple declarative sentences than to build an edifice to youself out of the aphabet...I you love words; get a room...

Speaking as a moralist; happiness is not a goal anyone ever reached by a direct course...Pursue good as a goal and happiness is your reward... You are seeking pleasure in the most simple fashion, directly; but I asure you that there is more pleasure to be had in what you say compared to how you say it... My words serve me...They are the tools of my trade... I make them conform to my meaning...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 09:42 pm
@Fido,
Fido;164555 wrote:
I love a good road too, but only because I love the destination, and the thought of getting there alive... Words, lines, equasions are only a means to communicate... I love that line...I gets me everytime... And trust me on this; since I am no Ezra Pound; but I have written poetry, and loved a few fine words, but consider the object, and not the second intention as talk about talk is...


I respect this. I must mention that philosophy is sometimes at its best when it is talk about talk, or thought about thinking. It seems only natural that philosophy would investigate itself. It seems that the search for truth leads naturally to the searcher finally. Isn't Aristotle's distinction between essence and accident "talk about talk"? And isn't our discussion now also talk about talk? I can't help but see language as central to human experience.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 12:35 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;164797 wrote:
I respect this. I must mention that philosophy is sometimes at its best when it is talk about talk, or thought about thinking. It seems only natural that philosophy would investigate itself. It seems that the search for truth leads naturally to the searcher finally. Isn't Aristotle's distinction between essence and accident "talk about talk"? And isn't our discussion now also talk about talk? I can't help but see language as central to human experience.


Only, as some people often note, what passes for philosophy among some, is talk about nothing. And some cannot make the distinction.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 12:45 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;164841 wrote:
Only, as some people often note, what passes for philosophy among some, is talk about nothing. And some cannot make the distinction.


There is also talk about something as if it is nothing.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 01:01 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;164844 wrote:
There is also talk about something as if it is nothing.


I suppose so, but I wonder just what you have in mind. Rarely, I think, do philosophers deflate. There is nothing they like to do more than inflate. Philosophers tend to be expert bloviators.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 01:23 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;164847 wrote:
I suppose so, but I wonder just what you have in mind. Rarely, I think, do philosophers deflate. There is nothing they like to do more than inflate. Philosophers tend to be expert bloviators.


Do you consider yourself a bloviator then? Or perhaps, do you consider yourself not to be a philosopher?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 01:37 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;164853 wrote:
Do you consider yourself a bloviator then? Or perhaps, do you consider yourself not to be a philosopher?


Neither...........................I hope. Some philosophers are not bloviators. The good ones. Neither inflation nor deflation in philosophy are ideal, of course, for what is ideal is, what's what. But since philosophers tend, by far, to be inflators rather than deflators, then like Aristotle's archer who knows he has a bias toward shooting to the left, and who Aristotle advises to tend to shoot to the right in order to correct that bias, so I would advise most philosophers to correct for inflation. And, it is pretty clear that many posters desperately need that advice. Particularly, when philosophy (or whatever else they confuse with philosophy) is infiladed with love and passion. As the title of that television series has it, curb your enthusiasm!
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 01:45 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;164857 wrote:
Neither...........................I hope. Some philosophers are not bloviators. The good ones. Neither inflation nor deflation in philosophy are ideal, of course, for what is ideal is, what's what. But since philosophers tend, by far, to be inflators rather than deflators, then like Aristotle's archer who knows he has a bias toward shooting to the left, and who Aristotle advises to tend to shoot to the right in order to correct that bias, so I would advise most philosophers to correct for inflation. And, it is pretty clear that many posters desperately need that advice.


Whenever I aim right to correct a hook I tend to slice. Whenever I aim left for fear of slicing I tend to hook. Better to correct the swing than adjust the aim.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 01:48 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;164858 wrote:
Whenever I aim right to correct a hook I tend to slice. Whenever I aim left for fear of slicing I tend to hook. Better to correct the swing than adjust the aim.


But isn't correcting for bias how you do that? But I don't golf.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 02:15 am
@Reconstructo,
kennethamy;164859 wrote:
But isn't correcting for bias how you do that? But I don't golf.


Not really. You have to go back to the mechanics of the swing and then, once that is known, stop thinking about mechanics of the swing. There's really some zen to it - just swing the club don't think about swinging the club or even the fairway or the green.

I think that must apply to archery too. One must study the mechanics of the draw and the release but after that one has to just shoot the arrow don't think about it too much. When I throw some crumpled up piece of paper into the trash I usually make the basket so long as I don't think about it too long much less think about adjusting my aim. I think Aristotle would not have made a very good sports psychologist.

Reconstructo;164797 wrote:
I respect this. I must mention that philosophy is sometimes at its best when it is talk about talk, or thought about thinking. It seems only natural that philosophy would investigate itself.


To some extent what I have said about golf and archery could also be said about philosophy. Think about thinking and understand the mechanics of thinking but after that just think. The meta is only the mechanics of philosophy; it is not philosophy itself.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 06:06 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;164797 wrote:
I respect this. I must mention that philosophy is sometimes at its best when it is talk about talk, or thought about thinking. It seems only natural that philosophy would investigate itself. It seems that the search for truth leads naturally to the searcher finally. Isn't Aristotle's distinction between essence and accident "talk about talk"? And isn't our discussion now also talk about talk? I can't help but see language as central to human experience.


I must disagree entirely, and my reason is simple... If we take a given part of physical reality and examine it we must first conceive of it, which means the abstraction of its essential elements into numbers or words...While artist can conceive of reality differently, numbers and word are the essential medium of abstraction for most of us...

Now, it is possible with great care to examine the methods of abstration as though themselves physical objects, but the possibility for confusion, stupidity, and inanity is obvious... You cannot abstract an abstraction without risk of losing all meaning in the process; and trust me on this, that I have waded through a few inches of such drivel as does not add anything meaningful to philosophical discourse... The abstraction, as much as is possible should be measured against the object and the object should be measure by the abstraction, and there is enough confusion to be had in that sport to last anyone a life time...

You must ask yourself how people communicated before there were linguistics, or formal grammers...Tell me how anyone ever reached a logical conclusion before there was formal logic... I am not saying we should not exercise due care in our abstraction of reality, but the methods of our abstaction are such that they can fit almost any mood or changing situation... That is to say, If I say the sky is blue, and then decide it is a subtle azure, that I can correct myself, throw one word into my bag of tricks and take another out, and at the same time if a storm front comes boiling in with some manacing dingy muscular clouds, I can correct for that change of situation... The abstraction is as fluid as the life it would express, and while I love dictionaries, and I own a stack of them, words in a dictionary fail at truth when people fail at truth...If people give up the desire to communicate, it does not matter what medium they do not use....

Let me put it another way... Words and number are forms of communication and also forms of relationship... When people cannot express themselves through words, they often resort to violence... And we see this in places where people are unable to communicate with their governments, or with each other...Now, violence is a form of communication, but not one of abstraction for the most part because it is an attempt to give whole the impression one takes from life... It may work as communication, but it is a terrible form of relationship since it is likely to damage the relationship beyond repair...

So long as people can maintain their forms of communication so they serve that purpose, and do not give up on their relationships and resort to violence they do not need to understand the mechanics of their language... Those who choose the words control the thought, but that is not rocket science... We have a lot of people bending the language to suit their purpose and in the process injuring our ability to think and communicate; but they are doing it to themselves at the same time... They trash the language to keep power and are making violence all the more certain because they destroy the ability of people to communicate with words...

---------- Post added 05-16-2010 at 08:51 AM ----------

kennethamy;164841 wrote:
Only, as some people often note, what passes for philosophy among some, is talk about nothing. And some cannot make the distinction.

There has been some philosophy on the subject of nothing and negation, by Heidegger and others, and I think their conclusion was that when we say there is nothing we are affirming our own being because we cannot deny but out of our own existence... Does that make sense???

---------- Post added 05-16-2010 at 08:53 AM ----------

Deckard;164863 wrote:
Not really. You have to go back to the mechanics of the swing and then, once that is known, stop thinking about mechanics of the swing. There's really some zen to it - just swing the club don't think about swinging the club or even the fairway or the green.

I think that must apply to archery too. One must study the mechanics of the draw and the release but after that one has to just shoot the arrow don't think about it too much. When I throw some crumpled up piece of paper into the trash I usually make the basket so long as I don't think about it too long much less think about adjusting my aim. I think Aristotle would not have made a very good sports psychologist.



To some extent what I have said about golf and archery could also be said about philosophy. Think about thinking and understand the mechanics of thinking but after that just think. The meta is only the mechanics of philosophy; it is not philosophy itself.

There is no mechanics to thinking... There are methods of thought, primarily abstraction and logic that work well with the physical world...
 
 

 
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