Hmm…Nietzche had some good arguments, but I couldn’t help but feel that something was wrong…And no, it wasn’t the fact that he derides and pokes holes into the entire God and religion beliefs–I’m used to that by now. But then I realized, like I said in class, Nietzche uses the “straw-man” fallacy frequently in the Twilight of the Idols. Fallacy isn’t a bad thing when you’re writing persuasive papers becauase it’s obviously very effective, but isn’t philosophy about logic? Orderly thinking reaches orderly ends and answers (though that makes some philosophers sound very dry). That’s the goal of all philosophers, is to find the ultimate answer through very logical means so that nobody can poke holes into it (though somebody invariably will).
I feel that he wrote his thesis in a fit of passion, and gave short shrift to many things, religion and the Church included. It’s a lot more complicated than he makes it out to be. I mean, “life ends where the kingdom of God begins”? That the Church is an enemy of human desires? Some desires ought to be regulated through the “shalls and shall nots”, otherwise we’d be slaves to our passions. Tempering of passions seem to be the ultimate reason for all the “commandments”–everything in moderation and all that. Too little fire dies. Too much fire gets out of control. But some passions, some fires, are useful for forging tools to use to advance in life. This is what the Church does (contrary to some views); it frees us from being slaves to our passions and gives us the templates to forge tools to make the most of our life, of our moment, so that (if you believe in this) when you die, you’ll be rewarded in heaven for not being a Prufrockian. Thus doesn’t life end where the kingdom of God beings, rather it’s life begins where the kingdom of God begins.
This is just one portion of the whole essay that I can answer and poke holes into Nietzsche’s hole-poking, but that takes time and, alas, I don’t have time as of the moment. You can poke holes into my hole-poking of Nietzsche’s hole-poking if you want, which I suspect with reason that many of you are itching to do right now. It’ll help me strengthen my argument 🙂
In philosopher soccer, he’d be the player who stabs the ball (which the other philosophers have proven to exist), put it on his head, and go running around and saying “So what about your idea now?! It doesn’t exist anymore!” But I noticed he’s not creating a new logical ball, really, for the other philosophers to play with.
Well, according to my astronomy teacher the Big Bang is the most likely cause for the creation of the universe. But he couldn’t answer me when I asked where the dense little pinpoint of material came from, that exploded to make the universe. Where did it come from, I ask you? It must, therefore, have been created ex nihlo. That’s what many religions believe, that the one supreme God created life, the universe, and everything ex nihlo.
Yes, there are many religions. But are there many different gods that we all worship? No. I think I already said this somewhere, but in every religion that I know of, even the polytheistic ones, there’s one head honcho that’s more powerful than all the other minor powers, just like God is more powerful than Satan. One could argue that’s what Satan is, a god. The other minor gods could be misunderstandings of legends, etc., for example, we could possibly believe that Paul Bunyan is the god of tallness and of trees. So, there’s no need to wonder which religion has the correct God. It’s how they interpret God’s will that differs, if that makes sense.
True, we should give our life purpose whether or not God exists. But the fact that God exists doesn’t preclude giving our own lives purpose. We can’t sit around and wait for a lightning bolt to hit us and inspire us. We have to work at it; faith isn’t all inspiration. We have to actually be in the world, that is our purpose, because our lives touch so many other lives. How is giving our own lives purpose better than God giving our lives purpose? It does make us feel more in control of our lives, I grant that. But where does the moral guidance come in? Anyone can say the purpose of their life is to kill, or do drugs, or etc. This is perhaps how God giving our lives purpose is better, because we have the Ten Commandments to keep us on the “straight and narrow”.