Is Nietzsche's "God is dead" misunderstood?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 07:46 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;164863 wrote:

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.


I don't really think it is like that. The nature of philosophy, and even how to philosophize, is, itself, a philosophical issue, and your view about that will inevitably inform how you philosophize. So, unlike (say) physics, or chemistry, where the nature of physics or chemistry is not a physical or chemical issue, and there is no meta-chemistry, or meta-physics (in that sense, of course) meta-philosophy is an intrinsic part of the meta-if you see what I mean. Philosophy, like the mythical worm, Oroburus, devours its own tail.
 
attano
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 03:21 pm
@richard mcnair,
franciscus;30652 wrote:
Many people don't seem to realise that Nietzsche's "God is dead" speech was directed at atheists. The point is that if you "kill" God, what then? If you destroy that which was most holy, the fulcrum of belief of billions of people, do you just shrug your shoulders and declare yourself to be a liberal humanist like Richard Dawkins? Dawkins would have nauseated Nietzsche with his bland and banal statements about "morality".


The death of God is not exactly a speech. And it is not some 1st degree murder. I Think that JGWeed has correctly framed what it is. By the way, N. himself gives some explanation in GS 343.

Quote:
Crime and punishment, for example) and in the same GS 343 N. laid some hints.
Answers about Dawkins may be contained in GS 344 - maybe the fact that science is just after the death of God is no coincidence. Anyway, I guess that atheists like Dawkins, who believes in God without God as you said, were not held by N. in high esteem (there are for sure references about this, but I have no patience to track them).


qualia;164063 wrote:

Nietzsche brought forward the suspicion of the primacy of language in which there is no world outside of language. Humans impose arbitrary categories and signs of meaning and most often believe in them if only to avoid being confronted with bewildering chaos, confusion and meaninglessness.

Perhaps language does not even reflect reality. Certainly, there is no intimate link between a word and thing, and even if in some limited cases this were the case, Nietzsche understood that the system of language necessitates moving beyond the instance and into the realm of categories, types, universals, abstractions, lexicon words, the Logos itself. All signs pointing to no-thing out there and so for Nietzsche, we could no longer guarantee ever knowing for sure about any reality outside of the sign.


This whole post is brilliant and impressive, but as for the quoted part, IMO, what is said is not exactly what N. meant - although I find this interpretation very interesting.
The third book of GS and the foreword to the second edition (inter alia
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 03:31 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;164863 wrote:

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.


I respect that. But here we are still talking about our talk. Of course that might just be because I started it. I wish you well, sir!

---------- Post added 05-20-2010 at 04:38 PM ----------

Fido;164887 wrote:

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 agree with what you are saying here. I don't see a pressing need to go down certain streets. And it is even arguably selfish and indulgent. It's one thing to play the game and another to pretend it is essential for all mankind to play it. Yes, the ordinary use of language is primary, and also the foundation for its self-investigation. On the other hand, for you to make your point here you must have already done some thinking concerning the nature of thinking. See what what I mean?

---------- Post added 05-20-2010 at 04:46 PM ----------

Fido;164887 wrote:

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...

I sympathize with all of this. Pound liked to drive home the relationship between the corruption of society and the corruption of its language.

One of the reasons linguistic investigation was valuable to me is that I wanted to extract myself from puppet strings. It takes a certain amount of self-confidence to stand against the values of this world. Language is crucial. Perhaps you will at least agree with me here. Even if I am lately feeling less selfish, that wasn't always the case. Linguistic philosophy is an arsenal as far as argument goes. Of course a man can get tangled in his own net, or distracted by unnecessarily introduced complexities.
 
qualia
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 05:19 pm
@attano,
attano wrote:
This whole post is brilliant and impressive, but as for the quoted part, IMO, what is said is not exactly what N. meant - although I find this interpretation very interesting. The third book of GS and the foreword to the second edition (inter alia

Thank you, attano, not only for your kind words, but for pulling me up on this one.

The main thrust of my intrepretation, as you have so rightly claimed it to be, is the general critique of language scattered about B.G.&E and The Genealogy. I've basically read N as saying something like, without language, there couldn't be consciousness as we have it. So, for example, our subject-object predicate need have nothing to do with the 'out-there,' and more to do with the ontological structure of our brain in language mode; an insight which enables him to right-off Cartesian dualism as fundamentally trivial. The idea of being stuck or trapped in language mode, I lifted from his On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense essay, where the famous quote about the "mobile army of metaphors" can be found. This is a great insight, but perhaps equally so, or even more so, is the idea that, "We believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colours, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things - metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities." That almost reads like something Laozi could have written. After pondering stuff like this, even if I'm coming in at a bit of an odd tangent, you can appreciate why I wrote something like, "for Nietzsche, we could no longer guarantee ever knowing for sure about any reality outside of the sign." Hope this helps, and thank you for your supportive, yet positively critical post.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 06:30 pm
@qualia,
qualia;166634 wrote:
Thank you, attano, not only for your kind words, but for pulling me up on this one.

The main thrust of my intrepretation, as you have so rightly claimed it to be, is the general critique of language scattered about B.G.&E and The Genealogy. I've basically read N as saying something like, without language, there couldn't be consciousness as we have it. So, for example, our subject-object predicate need have nothing to do with the 'out-there,' and more to do with the ontological structure of our brain in language mode; an insight which enables him to right-off Cartesian dualism as fundamentally trivial. The idea of being stuck or trapped in language mode, I lifted from his On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense essay, where the famous quote about the "mobile army of metaphors" can be found. This is a great insight, but perhaps equally so, or even more so, is the idea that, "We believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colours, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things - metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities." That almost reads like something Laozi could have written. After pondering stuff like this, even if I'm coming in at a bit of an odd tangent, you can appreciate why I wrote something like, "for Nietzsche, we could no longer guarantee ever knowing for sure about any reality outside of the sign." Hope this helps, and thank you for your supportive, yet positively critical post.


This reminds of something that Nietzsche and Hegel have common. Both turn away from the reality behind appearance and simply equate the two, albeit in different ways. Nietzche reacted against Kant's ethic as much as his dualism. Hegel focused more on the dualism. Nietzsche said that truth was an army of metaphors. Hegel said that the real was rational, which I take in the sense of lingual. Certainly as far as human life goes the "real" we live in is largely conceptual, including of course the discourse we are currently engaged in, which indeed is an example a dialectical re-organization of reality as we philosophical types conceive of it. And this ties in to the Nietzschean and Hegelian sense of God. I understand both to be humanists. Humans (and their logos) are god, and without this logos no "thing" could be made. For things could be conceived as the imposition of discrete concept upon continuous flux. Smile
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 09:15 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;166592 wrote:
I respect that. But here we are still talking about our talk. Of course that might just be because I started it. I wish you well, sir!

---------- Post added 05-20-2010 at 04:38 PM ----------


I agree with what you are saying here. I don't see a pressing need to go down certain streets. And it is even arguably selfish and indulgent. It's one thing to play the game and another to pretend it is essential for all mankind to play it. Yes, the ordinary use of language is primary, and also the foundation for its self-investigation. On the other hand, for you to make your point here you must have already done some thinking concerning the nature of thinking. See what what I mean?

---------- Post added 05-20-2010 at 04:46 PM ----------


I sympathize with all of this. Pound liked to drive home the relationship between the corruption of society and the corruption of its language.

One of the reasons linguistic investigation was valuable to me is that I wanted to extract myself from puppet strings. It takes a certain amount of self-confidence to stand against the values of this world. Language is crucial. Perhaps you will at least agree with me here. Even if I am lately feeling less selfish, that wasn't always the case. Linguistic philosophy is an arsenal as far as argument goes. Of course a man can get tangled in his own net, or distracted by unnecessarily introduced complexities.

I am not saying people should not be conscious of language and the way language is used to manipulate our thoughts and actions... It is like the Bolshevics who represented a minority calling themselves the many, or Napoleon labeling those who studied ideas as ideologues; a natural conclusion to a man of action... My concern is the same as with using any abstraction to explain another... We can see much of what is going on just by observation, but to turn language upon language is confusing, which is not to say it cannot be done... If people want to do it, or you want to do it, then all the better... I am playing a different part of the field... I see things in gross... What do you do that everybody does... What do we all have in common???

The real is rational... The fact is, that anything irrational, that cannot be understood to behave in a certain fashion cannot be conceived of... Every idea represents knowledge... You cannot know a river except in the most general sense because because it is never the same twice, and yet it may be learned, as Mark Twain, our home grown Philosopher proved...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 09:34 pm
@Fido,
Fido;166720 wrote:

The real is rational... The fact is, that anything irrational, that cannot be understood to behave in a certain fashion cannot be conceived of... Every idea represents knowledge... You cannot know a river except in the most general sense because because it is never the same twice, and yet it may be learned, as Mark Twain, our home grown Philosopher proved...


This is a great idea, and it's exactly what I also meant in certain threads. I'm not saying it has an obvious use, but it makes us aware of certain possible abuses of language. And this ties into the God issue, as well. A man can never understand another man who is above him. It makes no sense. To understand a man or a god's idea, you simply have to possess that idea. To call the real rational and to drive the point home is to protect against a fuzzy mysticism. Of course to call the real rational is not to take away from its mysteriousness and beauty (and terror) as a whole.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 09:47 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;166725 wrote:
This is a great idea, and it's exactly what I also meant in certain threads. I'm not saying it has an obvious use, but it makes us aware of certain possible abuses of language. And this ties into the God issue, as well. A man can never understand another man who is above him. It makes no sense. To understand a man or a god's idea, you simply have to possess that idea. To call the real rational and to drive the point home is to protect against a fuzzy mysticism. Of course to call the real rational is not to take away from its mysteriousness and beauty (and terror) as a whole.

Do you see how, when people talk of God as though real, and a concept, they are using the words to confuse themselves, and using those who manipulate the words to control them...Talking as though some infinite is real does not make it so...
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 10:18 pm
@Fido,
Fido;166731 wrote:
Do you see how, when people talk of God as though real, and a concept, they are using the words to confuse themselves, and using those who manipulate the words to control them...Talking as though some infinite is real does not make it so...


Yeah man! That's what got me into math. I don't believe in the infinite. It's a negation of the finite. It's a round square. Of course it can be used as a sort of algorithm in math, or a sort of pointer. But it's not really infinite. Two of the greats in math went mad from taking this infinite seriously. And I'm talking about an infinity of infinities, trying to prove the relationship between these infinities. I started a thread long ago about the power of negative prefixes. Immaterial, unthinkable, infinite. These negative prefixes refer to what does not as exist except as a paradox.

A perfectly negative theology is just atheism that sees reality and humanity as more than enough of god --except the "god" word is just a way to transfer the sense of strangeness and beauty that takes taken from everyday reality by boxing up god in miracles or an afterlife or particular names. True religion is the denial of all finite religion, you might say. The stress must be on love, on the danger of having contempt for the other..the danger in exaggerating the differences between us. I feel that this is all the Gospels, but mixed therein with poison. Man's vanity wants a god to himself or just for his in group. And perhaps most Gods have been born as War Gods or Tribal Personifications. Perhaps we could not see beyond the tribe. Maybe now many humans can easily feel that all humanity is a tribe. But of course it's not that simple. Because resources are not infinite. So politicians will use not only words like "god" but other synonoms of the good and the true and the just (or just as significant, their opposites: evil ! evil ! evil !) to motivate murder, fear, etc.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 05:26 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;166737 wrote:
Yeah man! That's what got me into math. I don't believe in the infinite. It's a negation of the finite. It's a round square. Of course it can be used as a sort of algorithm in math, or a sort of pointer. But it's not really infinite. Two of the greats in math went mad from taking this infinite seriously. And I'm talking about an infinity of infinities, trying to prove the relationship between these infinities. I started a thread long ago about the power of negative prefixes. Immaterial, unthinkable, infinite. These negative prefixes refer to what does not as exist except as a paradox.

A perfectly negative theology is just atheism that sees reality and humanity as more than enough of god --except the "god" word is just a way to transfer the sense of strangeness and beauty that takes taken from everyday reality by boxing up god in miracles or an afterlife or particular names. True religion is the denial of all finite religion, you might say. The stress must be on love, on the danger of having contempt for the other..the danger in exaggerating the differences between us. I feel that this is all the Gospels, but mixed therein with poison. Man's vanity wants a god to himself or just for his in group. And perhaps most Gods have been born as War Gods or Tribal Personifications. Perhaps we could not see beyond the tribe. Maybe now many humans can easily feel that all humanity is a tribe. But of course it's not that simple. Because resources are not infinite. So politicians will use not only words like "god" but other synonoms of the good and the true and the just (or just as significant, their opposites: evil ! evil ! evil !) to motivate murder, fear, etc.

I have been reading about Heidegger, and some of his early work was on that negation, which if I remember correctly, was that the negation was an affirmation of self... Could it be that the affirmation of the infinite is a denial of self, of our own being???

At this stage of the book, the life philosophy of Nietzche, and others, including Bergson is being discussed...It is interesting stuff, with Bergson for one suggesting reason as a biological adaptation, but with insight able to move us beyond reason, which seems reasonable... I would like to reproduce at least one paragraph whole for another thread in regard to a tangent on logically possible worlds... To me, speculation, even on the logical is not philosophy, exactly...We always have our fingers on the scale whether we know it or not, and to say something is reasonable, or logical is saying we are being impartial... We are never that...And it is so much better to recognize that we have a dog in the fight... Emotions, and intuition always plays a part, and even if we can create a heaven, or a logically possible world, we cannot do so without the projection of self into it subconsciously, which is the same as saying: Not At All...
 
attano
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 05:07 pm
@qualia,
(First of all, errata corrige: I referred to the 3rd book of the GS as the one about appearance and I was wrong. I meant the 2nd book.)

qualia;166634 wrote:
The main thrust of my interpretation, as you have so rightly claimed it to be, is the general critique of language scattered about B.G.&E and The Genealogy. I've basically read N as saying something like, without language, there couldn't be consciousness as we have it.
So, for example, our subject-object predicate need have nothing to do with the 'out-there,' and more to do with the ontological structure of our brain in language mode; an insight which enables him to right-off Cartesian dualism as fundamentally trivial.


Maybe we should examine at length a selection of aphorisms in BG&E where language is discussed, and compare our views. I' d love to do that, but it' d be like hijacking this thread. So I am just going to try to highlight our differences.
Unlike you, in both BG&E and Genealogy, I do not see that the discussion on language leads to your thesis. Nowhere in these texts I have found one or more sentences that I could interpret as "men know only the sign, not the thing" (I' ll come later to your quote from On Truth).
I would possibly agree with a sentence like "language shields men from reality", which I guess it's a weaker version of what you maintain ([QUOTE=qualia;166634] Humans impose arbitrary categories and signs of meaning and most often believe in them if only to avoid being confronted with bewildering chaos, confusion and meaninglessness. [/QUOTE]) without implying that this is the proper function of language or the only one.

It'd help the discussion to briefly sketch a bigger picture of which the critique of language is a part. In BG&E (I think that the Genealogy can be left aside for the sake of conciseness) N. attacks the traditional philosophical Gnoseology in its various flavours, especially against kantism, transcendental idealism and empiricism/positivism. In doing so N. hints that language is an inadequate tool to represent reality (but without being as radical as you claim - see BG&E II, 24) and that it is a source of errors - e.g. the fetishism of language (the seduction of words) in the Cartesian cogito (BG&E I, 17).
(This is maybe what you meant by
qualia;166634 wrote:
without language, there couldn't be consciousness as we have it.
N. seems more to imply that the popular representation/belief of the unity and primacy of the subject is based on language. But as for consciousness it is different, N. maintains that consciousness is a by-product of evolution and history, see GS I, 11).

By discussing language it seems to me that here N. introduces a wholly new actor in the play, which has later become recurrent in the XX century. N. analyses language (and I really meant to pick the word analyze - see BG&E I, 16) to support his argument against theories of knowledge. This element is unparalleled by the attacked philosophical trends, which have only a secondary interest in language. The target it is not their view on language (they don' t have a proper one), but their gnoseological claims and, even more than that, the will-to-truth that they postulate to be driving knowledge.
Seeking the truth is a lie, and it is not even useful - to put it mildly. An exact knowledge of reality would be harmful for life. N. even states that men have no right (sic!, check BG&E 11) to the knowledge of the world.

So, there is not a position stating that knowledge is impossible or flawed (because language... etc.), but the claim that knowledge driven by the search for truth is a dangerous mistake (against life), originated by the Christian/European morality. (En passant, as God is dead, the content of this knowledge is about to crumble - and it' d be interesting to debate if we are yet there or not).
It is even more so as, while defining this view (or perspective), N. makes very strong statements and observations that configure his own Gnoseology and knowledge of reality. Examples: the subject is a linguistic construct (BG&E I, 17 and also 20 in a broader sense), thoughts are caused by the interplay of instincts (BG&E II, 36), will and thought cannot be separated (BG&E I, 19), a new interpretation of physics mechanics (BG&E I, 22), the world is will-to-power (BG&E II, 36 - where he even designs a sort of scientific method).


qualia;166634 wrote:
The idea of being stuck or trapped in language mode, I lifted from his On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense essay, where the famous quote about the "mobile army of metaphors" can be found. This is a great insight, but perhaps equally so, or even more so, is the idea that, "We believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colours, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things - metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities." That almost reads like something Laozi could have written. After pondering stuff like this, even if I'm coming in at a bit of an odd tangent, you can appreciate why I wrote something like, "for Nietzsche, we could no longer guarantee ever knowing for sure about any reality outside of the sign." Hope this helps, and thank you for your supportive, yet positively critical post.


I am not in an ideal position to discuss this as, I confess, I have never red On truth.
I acknowledge that your quote indeed would support your interpretation, but on the other side I believe that it does not qualify, for two reasons based on method.
a) We are here discussing the philosophy of the second Nietzsche, which is contained in the works from GS onward (GS has itself a hybrid status). N. himself clearly rejected views expressed in the works preceding the Zarathustra (see the various forewords to the second editions of his works). So, whether there's a conflict between something belonging to the first phase of his philosophy, as it would be the case of On truth, and something in the second, as long as we aim to discuss about N., we should privilege what is in the second phase.
b) For the case in point, then, this work was published posthumous and throughout his life N. has always proved eager to publish his works. So it' s really doubtful how much N. wanted to endorse the views contained in this essay.

In spite of the above, I wish to repeat that what you said is very interesting, regardless its connection to N.'s work.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 05:38 pm
@Fido,
Fido;166808 wrote:
I have been reading about Heidegger, and some of his early work was on that negation, which if I remember correctly, was that the negation was an affirmation of self... Could it be that the affirmation of the infinite is a denial of self, of our own being???

I'm starting to think that abstractions distract us from the ineffable sensual/emotional "substance" of life. All "beings" are abstractions, even if they are organizations of sense data. The being is not the sense data but the organization, the seeing of this data as a named speakable unity.

One of the better qualities of Nietzsche was his incorporation of the sensual, both as biography and as metaphor.

---------- Post added 05-24-2010 at 06:44 PM ----------

Fido;166808 wrote:


At this stage of the book, the life philosophy of Nietzche, and others, including Bergson is being discussed...It is interesting stuff, with Bergson for one suggesting reason as a biological adaptation, but with insight able to move us beyond reason, which seems reasonable... I would like to reproduce at least one paragraph whole for another thread in regard to a tangent on logically possible worlds... To me, speculation, even on the logical is not philosophy, exactly...

I'm thinking lately about abstractions that make us aware of the limits and danger of abstraction. Are we not sometimes hypnotized into forgetting that life is more than thoughts, the names of things and the names of classes of things? This ties in with greed, envy, pretentiousness, morality divorced from feeling...
I understand your suspicion of speculation for speculation's sake. Personally, I've investigated metaphor and number to understand the tools with which I have been understanding the rest. It seems natural to dig as deep as possible. What is thinking? What are beings? Why" truth"? I now have better answers for these questions than I did have.

---------- Post added 05-24-2010 at 06:49 PM ----------

Fido;166808 wrote:
. Emotions, and intuition always plays a part, and even if we can create a heaven, or a logically possible world, we cannot do so without the projection of self into it subconsciously, which is the same as saying: Not At All...


TO me, this is the sort of thing that Nietzsche was good at pointing out. What is truth made of? Why truth? So he proposes the "will to power" which is vague enough to satisfy or alienate just about anyone. In any case, it was Nietzsche more than other thinkers that made me suspect the possibility of "cold" truth. It is pretty funny, isn't it? The idea that living desiring beings would function as unselfishly as calculators.... There are "colder" truths which we don't bother trying to argue down (2 + 2 =4). (Of course the banker will compound interest instantaneously? The number in my avatar was discovered in connection to banking, it seems. It is the number of instantaneous self-proportional growth...) I agree that we always have a dog in the fight ("truth" is generally connected to motive.). I suspect that certain humans have been able to put that dog at ease, and love life with only a bare subsistence --and more importantly without wrath or envy. But this doesn't solve the political problem, of course.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 05:54 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;168287 wrote:

TO me, this is the sort of thing that Nietzsche was good at pointing out. What is truth made of? Why truth?


What is meant by those questions? Anything? No wonder he was good at pointing them out.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:01 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;168293 wrote:
What is meant by those questions? Anything? No wonder he was good at pointing them out.


Nietzsche quotes Pilates, and calls this the best line in the New Testament. Of course Bacon opened an essay with the same line. This actually connects with the God is Dead theme, because Truth has functioned as a replacement for God, as a sort of idol.

I'm not especially talking about everyday truths, like "how late is Walgreen's open?" I'm talking about the Quest for Truth, or the sacrifice for Truth. Basically, Truth as a religious sort of notion. By the way, Jesus used that metaphor himself. "I am the truth." Nietzsche attributes this same attitude to Plato, correctly or not.

The better question might be "why truth? why not rather untruth?" And this is where Nietzsche is something of a pragmatist. If the "truth" destroys a form of life, then why should it be sought? If a lie is what makes an organism or a society thrive, why should not this "lie" be adopted as truth? Basically life is presented, I venture to say, as primary to the conventional notion of truth, which has otherworldly/mystical/eternal associations. Is Truth just the ashes of God? Does it function for some men in a way that keeps them from thriving? What is the goal of life? And how does this connect with truth, Truth, "truth", etc. ?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:14 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;168297 wrote:


I'm not especially talking about everyday truths, like "how late is Walgreen's open?" I'm talking about the Quest for Truth, or the sacrifice for Truth. Basically, Truth as a religious sort of notion. By the way, Jesus used that metaphor himself. "I am the truth." Nietzsche attributes this same attitude to Plato, correctly or not.

?


Yes, I see. You are asking a question I don't understand, and what may not be a comprehensible question rather than a question that I do understand, and which is a comprehensible question. I have no idea what you might mean by "truth as a religious notion". If I ask whether it is true that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, am I using "truth" as a geographical notion? Why would truth be particularly a religious notion rather than (say) a geographical notion?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:24 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;168300 wrote:
Yes, I see. You are asking a question I don't understand, and what may not be a comprehensible question rather than a question that I do understand, and which is a comprehensible question. I have no idea what you might mean by "truth as a religious notion". If I ask whether it is true that Quito is the capital of Ecuador, am I using "truth" as a geographical notion? Why would truth be particularly a religious notion rather than (say) a geographical notion?


Let's say that a scientist dedicates his life to the "Truth." This is his replacement of religion, to speak loosely. A philosopher could also indulge in this. In the absence of a traditional God, in what ways does the "anti-natural" attitude of the priest persist? You mention a practical truth. That's not the focus, really, though it is related.

Let's imagine an example. If a child who does not show "giftedness " is told nevertheless that he is gifted, could this lie encourage him to make to the most of himself? Could this lie become true?

Or let's say that a child shows substandard intelligence (ignoring the problems of testing this sort of thing.) What would happen if the knowledge is concealed from the child, and the child was told that he was normal? Would this help the child thrive?

One last example. What if an army is told that it is protected by its wargod, who would lead it to victory even against greater armies? AND that those who died would get to live in a heavenly palace full of virgins? Would this lie help the army win? And if the army wins, the resources available to the tribe would increase. More land, more babies, more armies, more lies.. How does this issue alone help explain the nature of certain religions?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:35 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;168305 wrote:
Let's say that a scientist dedicates his life to the "Truth." This is his replacement of religion, to speak loosely. A philosopher could also indulge in this. In the absence of a traditional God, in what ways does the "anti-natural" attitude of the priest persist? You mention a practical truth. That's not the focus, really, though it is related.

Let's imagine an example. If a child who does not show "giftedness " is told nevertheless that he is gifted, could this lie encourage him to make to the most of himself? Could this lie become true?

Or let's say that a child shows substandard intelligence (ignoring the problems of testing this sort of thing.) What would happen if the knowledge is concealed from the child, and the child was told that he was normal? Would this help the child thrive?

One last example. What if an army is told that it is protected by its wargod, who would lead it to victory even against greater armies? AND that those who died would get to live in a heavenly palace full of virgins? Would this lie help the army win? And if the army wins, the resources available to the tribe would increase. More land, more babies, more armies, more lies.. How does this issue alone help explain the nature of certain religions?


Sorry. You have lost me. I thought we were having a tolerably clear discussion. I have no idea what your point is. The question for you is whether you do.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:38 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;168315 wrote:
Sorry. You have lost me. I thought we were having a tolerably clear discussion. I have no idea what your point is. The question for you is whether you do.

I do. Yes. Those examples were clear as ice water.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 24 May, 2010 06:55 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;168319 wrote:
I do. Yes. Those examples were clear as ice water.


True. But what are they supposed to be examples of? And what is their purpose? Of that the waters are black with mud. You spout out all these flowery, fancy examples, but I have no idea what they are suppose to be example of, and why you spout them out.
 
qualia
 
Reply Tue 25 May, 2010 06:15 am
@attano,
[QUOTE=attano]Maybe we should examine at length a selection of aphorisms in BG&E where language is discussed, and compare our views. I' d love to do that, but it' d be like hijacking this thread. So I am just going to try to highlight our differences. Unlike you, in both BG&E and Genealogy, I do not see that the discussion on language leads to your thesis.[/quote]

Thanks a lot for the post, attano. I won't have time to reply to it all today (exam time for the students is coming up and it's always the busiest time of year), but I will try to make a little inroad.

The language interpretation I claim is Nietzschean is more an amalgamation of ideas tweaked out from his essays and books, for clearly, N didn't give a singular theory in anyone book. Nevertheless with that said, we could, as you have suggested, go into BG&E and try to wean out some of his ideas on language here. There isn't that many, but I think the first 23 aphorisms are a good place to start.

W
hat can we say her? For me, Nietzsche's general thesis in this section is that there is a tendency to believe that our grammar, the structure of our langauge, faithfully reflects the structure of the world.

This idea can be seen most strongly in the aphorisms 16 to 19. By the time we get to 20, I think N is raising the suspicion that our entire grammar, its structural features I pressume, along with our own internal psychological-cultural dispositions, directs the very possibility of our thinking and the possibility of ideas within it.

N attacks the idea of a self-contained res cogintan 'I' (16),
the atomic view - self-contained irreducible units of matter - of the world (12), Kant's faculties (11) as either trivial expressions of a grammar or useful tools to support psychological drives. By the time we arrive to aphorism 4 we see a general picture forming: certain fundamental beliefs are useful 'logical fictions', that is, the necessary truth of such propositions ( such as, every event has a cause) is a result of the structure of language which then leads him into that short discussion of truth.

What can be said here in relation to what Reconstructo has been suggesting?
Stemming from N's attack on opposites (aphorisms 2) and how banal and trivial they come to be, he argues that falsehood is probably of more value to humans than truth, or their sloppy definitions-theories (how many is it today?) on what exactly is truth. Perhaps the search for truth is something useful, pragmatic, helpful to creatures like ourselves, rather than having anything to do with some fundamental objectivity. N then claims that certain fundamental beliefs are nothing more than convenient "fictions" (every event has a cause; all colored objects have some spatial extent), which are not something which can be objectively founded. They are universally accepted, according to N, only because they are "indispensable" to our way of life, psychological dispositions, and grammar. It follows that for N, "untruth" and our seeking of untruths wrapped up in the langauge of truth is a "condition of life." (should be enough polemic here to get our conservative anal-lytics hot under the collar :devilish:)
 
 

 
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