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Re: [existlist] Re: Nihilism, Nietzsche and creating values

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    Hb3g: This is will to life, which is will to power, which is the work of freedom in the world, at first, only nascent, as life evolves, then, with that
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 3, 2010
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      Hb3g: This is will to life, which is will to power, which is the work of freedom in the world, at first, only nascent, as life evolves, then, with that mysterious "rupture" of, or "upsurge" from, the plenitude or in-itself-ness of being, with that necessitated, but somehow groundless, advent of... personhood in the world, a Dasein, or a for-itselfness factically comes to pass, and freedom now comes into its own, and it becomes its own reality, which is, I think, fundamentally, the surpassability of limit, the ability to renegotiate the boundary conditions of life, and, the necessity, that valuation always be... transvaluation.

      Response: Yes, I like this characterization. It brings to mind Hegel in some respects, and also colors my reading of the latter. I see "Reason" and "Will-to-Power" as expressions of the same necessity. In Nietzsche, however, there is less propensity to over-idealize the concept into a deity, as many Hegelians still do, depressingly enough. This characterization also shows hot the "out of nothing" idea is foreign to Nietzsche, as a transvaluation is always movement of freedom from 'something'.

      Wil







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • tom
      Jim, I have several times in the past quoted Alfred Korzybski in a book he wrote in the 1920s saying of the willingness so often expressed by the German
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 3, 2010
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        Jim,

        I have several times in the past quoted Alfred Korzybski in a book he wrote in the 1920s saying of the willingness so often expressed by the German soldiers in ww1 to sacrafice themselves for the nation, that if that love of nation could be transformed to love of humanity, what a wonderful world we could build.The infant perceives everything as one. As the child seperates from the mother, he or she begins to seperate people and things into allies and enemies.

        You wrote

        , so our ethical understanding advances through the insights of a few ethical geniuses.

        I think it is a long haul from the insights of a few ethical geniuses to something that transforms the realities of how governments relate to each other, and various other relational realities of life. Likewise, it is one thing for an ethical genius to have insights on some beautiful mountain;and it is quite another to integrate these insights into the relational realities of politics,economics, family relations etc. Communism is a good example. It was one thing as an underground thing for intellectuals and artists;and quite another as the political and economic system of huge nations.

        Peace,
        Tom

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Jim
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 6:52 AM
        Subject: [existlist] Re: Nihilism, Nietzsche and creating values



        Hi Tom,

        Thank you for your response.

        Let me comment on this final paragraph of your post:

        "In the story of "The Good Samaritan" the possibility and desirability of expanding good will and compassiion is encouraged. Certainly, at this time in human history, such a transformation is needed; but expansion beyond the tribe is a value that would have to be created, rather something which on a large scale has been part of history. Einstein said "Our technology has outstriped our humanity"."

        I agree that in times past, those outside the tribe were often considered fair game, and were not accorded the respect attributed to those within the tribe.

        In this regard, as you suggest, the story of the Good Samaritan, is a challenge to the old-fashioned tribal outlook.

        However I would say that those you hear the Good Samaritan story feel that Jesus' point is quite correct, we all ought to be like the Good Samaritan and extend our benevolence beyond those within our tribe to the whole of humankind.

        I think we can see a Hegelian progression of ideas here. The older, narrow, impoverished, idea that we should value only those in our tribe, is replaced by the newer, wider, more enlightened, idea that we should value all of humankind whether in our tribe or outside our tribe.

        Jesus' parable causes a paradigm shift in our understanding rather like the Copernican idea that the earth rotates around the sun. Once the idea is understood by us, we intuitively see its correctness.

        To amend the Einstein idea slightly: just as our technological understanding advances through scientific breakthroughs, so our ethical understanding advances through the insights of a few ethical geniuses.

        I think all this supports my view that ethical truths are discovered rather than invented.

        Jim





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jim
        Wil, I find a tension between Nietzsche s idea of the `free spirit who creates his life as a work of art and your take on Nietzsche s free spirit as the pawn
        Message 3 of 18 , Mar 3, 2010
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          Wil,

          I find a tension between Nietzsche's idea of the `free spirit' who creates his life as a work of art and your take on Nietzsche's free spirit as the pawn of historical necessity.

          I am not saying you are wrong, but do you think there is a very close connection between Nietzsche's idea of will to power and Hegel's idea of the rational necessity of history?

          Jim



          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hb3g: This is will to life, which is will to power, which is the work of freedom in the world, at first, only nascent, as life evolves, then, with that mysterious "rupture" of, or "upsurge" from, the plenitude or in-itself-ness of being, with that necessitated, but somehow groundless, advent of... personhood in the world, a Dasein, or a for-itselfness factically comes to pass, and freedom now comes into its own, and it becomes its own reality, which is, I think, fundamentally, the surpassability of limit, the ability to renegotiate the boundary conditions of life, and, the necessity, that valuation always be... transvaluation.
          >
          > Response: Yes, I like this characterization. It brings to mind Hegel in some respects, and also colors my reading of the latter. I see "Reason" and "Will-to-Power" as expressions of the same necessity. In Nietzsche, however, there is less propensity to over-idealize the concept into a deity, as many Hegelians still do, depressingly enough. This characterization also shows hot the "out of nothing" idea is foreign to Nietzsche, as a transvaluation is always movement of freedom from 'something'.
          >
          > Wil
          >
          >
        • hb3g@ymail.com
          Jim: I have to admit, going back and reading again, passage number 344 in The Gay Science, that Nietzsche does, indeed, characterize unconditional will to
          Message 4 of 18 , Mar 3, 2010
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            Jim:

            I have to admit, going back and reading again, passage number 344 in The Gay Science, that Nietzsche does, indeed, characterize unconditional will to truth, i.e., science, as another version of the ascetic ideal. So, if Nietzsche is somehow upholding one thing, versus another, it can't be that he is upholding unconditional will to truth versus will to unconditonal truth.

            What bothers me, however, is this. If I say that on the one hand there is such a thing as an ascetic ideal, an approach that denies this world in favor of another world, and it doesn't really matter whether that other world is a pious spiritual world like the theology folks envisioned, or, an equally pious theoretical world like the scientists envision, and I hold against that ascertic ideal, and make a value judgment, that affirmation of life is better than, or good, compared to denial of life, how is that not an absolutist stance on my part?

            Once I say X is better than or good compared to Y, have I not introduced an absolute? That is where I struggle with what Nietzsche says. His many points about the relativity of our judgments, and our values, are well taken. But the very idea of good, or better, it seems to me, assumes that the relativity stops somewhere, and that stopping point can only be that value, or good, to which all other values or goods must, themselves, be relative, i.e., related.

            You see what I mean?

            What is relative? That which depends upon something else. Right?

            And what is absolute? That upon which everything else depends. Right?

            So, if I say the ascetic ideal, life denial, is bad, and that will to power, life affirmation, is good, have I not established the meaning of one thing in terms of the other? Which way does the relation go, then? Do I know X is bad because I know Y, which is not X, is good? Or vice versa? Any way you look at it, one definition has to depend upon the other, and that means that one of the two is primary, fundamental. Clearly, or so it seems to me, at least, will to life is the primary thing for Nietzsche, hence, it is his absolute, and the denial of life takes it meaning from that of which it is the active or passive negation, that uponw which it depends, in order to BE a negation.

            How does Nietzsche, the arch-relativist and anti-metaphysician, avoid being guilty of his own brand of absolutism? I think he doesn't. I think, at some point, he has to admit that the many relativities of the many value judgments that he persistently deconstructs reduce down to one value judgment that is absolute.

            For Nietzsche:

            The affirmation of life is the good.

            That ain't such a bad absolute.

            Hb3g

            --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hb3g,
            >
            > Thank you for your stimulating response. I'll respond to your remarks in separate sections.
            >
            > Hb3g: Well, Nietzsche did talk about a transvaluation or revaluation of all values, and that seems to imply that new values, even if they are invented, and more pro-individual rather than pro-societal, arise, not out of nothing, but out of the previous values that have been now been deconstructed.
            >
            > Response: I agree that it is more accurate to say that new values arise out of a criticism of old values, rather than, as I said, arising "out of nothing".
            >
            > I don't think the progression necessarily has to go from pro-societal values to pro-individual values. Why cannot it go either way? Nietzsche himself was pro-individual and anti-communitarian, but we do not have to follow him in this.
            >
            > Hb3g: Nietzsche is constantly struggling with the value question. He sees the relativity of almost all values quite clearly. But, I think he does want an unconditional value, one that is truly objective and not just a matter of human perspective. I think he comes close to expressing that when, in one of his later works, I don't remember exactly which one, he associates will to power with will to life.
            >
            > Response: I am not sure about this. I thought Nietzsche endorsed a perspectivism which rejected the idea of anything "truly objective". You would have to produce some textual evidence to persuade me otherwise.
            >
            > Hb3g: There is also another quite interesting play of ideas going on with regard to the ascetic ideal. If I remember correctly, Nietzsche notes this at one point.
            >
            > 1. It is one thing to be searching for unconditional truth.
            > 2. It is another thing to be unconditionally searching for truth.
            >
            > Response: My understanding is that Nietzsche would reject both one and two here. He talks about those who seek truth unconditionally without questioning the value of truth somewhere in "On the Genealogy of Morals". Such people he thinks are still held under the sway of the ascetic ideal, and as such ultimately say "No" to life.
            >
            > Hb3g: Number 1 strikes me as being the dogmatic ideal, which evokes the nihilistic reaction. One is sure one has objective truth, truth minues the subject, the so-called view from nowhere, which is, in a sense, a life denial, because it is a perspectiveless perspective.
            >
            > Like the one we see brought to its ultimate implication in a philosopher like Schopenhauer. And that, right there, can certainly be viewed as an ascetic ideal if, by ascetic ideal, we mean a kind of life negation: this life is a mistake, it is an error, it ought to be morally judged, and, what is more, it must be judged as either morally wrong, or as in vain, and we would have been better off had we never lived at all. One of Schopenhauer's two most favorite quotes comes to mind, here, Ecclesiastes -- I have seen all things under the Sun, and it is all vanity.
            >
            > Response: Yes, I fully agree with what you say here. Schopenhauer was one of the "passive nihilists" described in the Wikipedia extracted I quoted.
            >
            > Hb3g: But number 2 strikes me as more the skeptical ideal, which also evokes a kind of nihilistic reaction, but a very different kind of nihilism, if you ask me. This is a hard one to get because we normally associate the notion of skepticism with a persistent denial of the possibility of any truth at all. But, having read what Sextus Empiricus has to say about it, I think it is more correct to say that skepticism, at least, the way that Sextus presented it, is something more like the persistent denial that we are ever totally finished with our search for truth.
            >
            > It is an affirmation, rather, of the open-endedness of things, and an acknowledgement, on the one hand, of our human finiteness, as well as, and here, I think, this is an important but difficult thing to grasp, the relation of our human finiteness to an infinite field of potentiality, i.e., factical transcendence, which, it seems to me, can be nothing else, but, freedom itself.
            >
            > Response: I have some sympathy with what you write here, but I do not recall Nietzsche putting forward such an outlook – but perhaps he did. The pursuit of excellence as a continuing search for increased knowledge/understanding even though no final end-point in the pursuit is to be expected.
            >
            > Hb3g: This is will to life, which is will to power, which is the work of freedom in the world, at first, only nascent, as life evolves, then, with that mysterious "rupture" of, or "upsurge" from, the plenitude or in-itself-ness of being, with that necessitated, but somehow groundless, advent of... personhood in the world, a Dasein, or a for-itselfness factically comes to pass, and freedom now comes into its own, and it becomes its own reality, which is, I think, fundamentally, the surpassability of limit, the ability to renegotiate the boundary conditions of life, and, the necessity, that valuation always be... transvaluation.
            >
            > Response: You have moved from Nietzsche-interpretation to Heidegger-interpretation here. As my knowledge of Heidegger is fairly rudimentary, I will not comment on this paragraph.
            >
            > Jim
            >
          • Jim
            Hb3g, Yes, you make your point strongly and clearly. It is a shame that Nietzsche cannot be here to answer you himself! Perhaps he would say something like
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 3, 2010
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              Hb3g,

              Yes, you make your point strongly and clearly. It is a shame that Nietzsche cannot be here to answer you himself!

              Perhaps he would say something like this: "The affirmation of life is MY value. My re-evaluation of all values comes down to this: for me, to say "Yes" to life is the base value, the ultimate good. Of course this is just my subjective value, through and through. I don't claim it is the right value for others. Others must re-evaluate all values for themselves, and their conclusions are as little binding on me, as my conclusions are on them."

              However, I also find a number of tensions in Nietzsche's thought. He does seem to write in places as if the `will to power' is some sort of scientific truth about nature, and science pertains, at least, to be an objective description (representation) of nature (reality). But, given his perspectivism, he cannot with any internal consistency, hold science to be any more objective than any superstition or prejudice, for example, theism. Or, has Nietzsche a way, within his outlook, to privilege science over superstitious nonsense?

              Jim
            • Mary
              Regarding science, Nietzsche seemed more concerned with the valuation of truth and belief in Truth. He worried that theoretical science would merely replace
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 4, 2010
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                Regarding science, Nietzsche seemed more concerned with the valuation of truth and belief in Truth. He worried that theoretical science would merely replace the ascetic, life denying ideal. Mary

                From On The Genealogy of Morals (post The Gay Science):

                Now, let's consider, on the other hand, those rarer cases I mentioned, the last idealists remaining today among the philosophers and scholars. Perhaps in them we have the opponents of the ascetic ideal we're looking for, the counter-idealists? In fact, that's what they think they are, these "unbelievers" (for that's what they are collectively). That, in particular, seems to be their last item of belief, that they are opponents of this ideal, for they are so serious about this stance, their words and gestures are so passionate on this very point:—but is it therefore necessarily the case that what they believe is true? We "knowledgeable people" are positively suspicious of all forms of believers. Our suspicion has gradually cultivated the habit in us of concluding the reverse of what people previously concluded: that is, wherever the strength of a faith steps decisively into the foreground, we infer a certain weakness in its ability to demonstrate its truth, even the improbability of what it believes. We, too, do not deny that the belief "makes blessed," but for that very reason we deny that the belief proves something—a strong belief which confers blessedness creates doubts about what it has faith in. It does not ground "truth." It grounds a certain probability— delusion. Well, how do things stand in this case?—These people who say no today, these outsiders, these people who are determined on one point, their demand for intellectual probity, these hard, strong, abstemious, heroic spirits, who constitute the honour of our age, all these pale atheists, anti-Christians, immoralists, nihilists, these sceptics, ephectics, hectics of the spirit (collectively they are all hectic in some sense or other), the last idealists of knowledge, the only ones in whom intellectual conscience lives and takes on human form nowadays— they really do believe that they are as free as possible from the ascetic ideal, these "free, very free spirits," and yet I am revealing to them what they cannot see for themselves—for they are standing too close to themselves—this ascetic ideal is also their very own ideal. They themselves represent it today. Perhaps they are the only ones who do. They themselves are its most spiritual offspring, the furthest advanced of its troops and its crowd of scouts, its most awkward, most delicate, most incomprehensibly seductive form. If I am any kind of solver of puzzles, then I want to be that with this statement! . . . They are not free spirits—not by any stretch—for they still believe in the truth. When the Christian crusaders in the Orient came across that unconquerable Order of Assassins, that free-spirited order par excellence, whose lowest ranks lived a life of obedience of the sort no order of monks attained, then they also received by some means or other a hint about that symbol and slogan which was reserved for only the highest ranks as their secret, "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." . . . Well now, that was freedom of the spirit. With that the very belief in truth was cancelled. . . . Has a European, a Christian free spirit ever wandered by mistake into this proposition and its labyrinthine consequences? Has he come to know the Minotaur of this cavern from experience? . . . I doubt it. More than that: I know differently:— nothing is more immediately foreign to people set on one thing, these so-called "free spirits," than freedom and emancipation in this sense: in no respect are they more firmly bound; in their very belief in the truth they are, as no one else is, firm and unconditional. Perhaps I understand all this from far too close a distance: that admirable philosophical abstinence which such a belief requires, that intellectual stoicism, which ultimately forbids one to deny just as strongly as it forbids one to affirm, that desire to come to a standstill before the facts, the factum brutum [brute fact], that fatalism of the "petits faits" [small facts] (what I call ce petit faitalisme [this small factism]), that quality with which French science nowadays seeks a sort of moral precedence over German science, the attainment of a state where one, in general, abandons interpretation (violating, emending, abbreviating, letting go, filling in the cracks, composing, forging, and the other actions which belong to the nature of all interpretation)—generally speaking, this attitude expresses just as much virtuous asceticism as any denial of sensuality (basically it is only one mode of this denial). However, what compels a person to this unconditional will for truth is the faith in the ascetic ideal itself, even though it may be its unconscious imperative. We should not deceive ourselves on this point— it is a belief in a metaphysical value, a value of truth in itself, something guaranteed and affirmed only in that ideal (it stands or falls with that ideal). Strictly speaking, there is no science "without presuppositions." The idea of such a science is unimaginable, paralogical: a philosophy, a "belief," must always be there first, so that with it science can have a direction, a sense, a border, a method, a right to exist. (Whoever thinks the reverse, whoever, for example, is preparing to place philosophy "on a strictly scientific foundation," first must place, not just philosophy, but also truth itself on its head—the worst injury to decency one could possibly give to two such venerable women!). In fact, there is no doubt about this matter—and here I'm letting my book The Gay Science have a word (see its fifth book, Section 344)—"The truthful person, in that daring and ultimate sense which the belief in science presupposes in him, thus affirms a world different from the world of life, of nature, and of history, and to the extent that he affirms this "other world," well? Must he not in the process deny its opposite, this world, our world? . . . Our faith in science rests on something which is still a metaphysical belief—even we knowledgeable people of today, we godless and anti-metaphysical people—we, too, still take our fire from that blaze kindled by a thousand years of old belief, that faith in Christianity, which was also Plato's belief, that God is the truth, that the truth is divine. . . . But how can we do that, if this very claim is constantly getting more and more difficult to believe, if nothing reveals itself as divine any more, unless it's error, blindness, lies—if even God manifests himself as our longest lasting lie?" At this point it's necessary to pause and reflect for a long while. Science itself from now on requires some justification (by that I don't yet mean to claim that there is such a justification for it). People should examine the oldest and the most recent philosophers on this question. They all lack an awareness of the problem of the extent to which the will to truth itself first needs some justification—here is a hole in every philosophy. How does that come about? It's because the ascetic ideal up to this point has been master of all philosophies, because truth has been established as being, as god, as the highest authority itself, because truth was not allowed to be problematic. Do you understand this "allowed"?—From the moment when the belief in the god of the ascetic ideal is denied, there is also a new problem: the problem of the value of truth.—The will to truth requires a critique—let us identify our own work with that requirement—for once to place in question, as an experiment, the value of truth. . . . (Anyone who thinks this has been stated too briefly is urged to read over that section of The Gay Science, pp. 160 ff, which carries the title "The Extent to Which We Also Are Still Devout," Section 344—or better, the entire fifth book of that work, as well as the preface to The Dawn.)

                On the Genealogy of Morals
                A Polemical Tract by Friedrich Nietzsche
                Third Essay-What Do Ascetic Ideals Mean? (24)
                Translated by Ian Johnston
                http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/Nietzsche/genealogy3.htm
              • Mary
                One of FN s footnote from OtGoM reads: All the sciences from now on have to do the preparatory work for the future task of the philosopher, understanding that
                Message 7 of 18 , Mar 4, 2010
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                  One of FN's footnote from OtGoM reads: "All the sciences from now on have to do the preparatory work for the future task of the philosopher, understanding that the philosopher's task is to solve the problem of value, that he has to determine the rank order of values." Mary
                • Mary
                  Nietzsche s absolute value is reevaluation. However, regarding affirmation of life, he makes it quite clear that one can only affirm their own life.
                  Message 8 of 18 , Mar 4, 2010
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                    Nietzsche's absolute value is reevaluation. However, regarding affirmation of life, he makes it quite clear that one can only affirm their own life. Reevaluation and affirmation require solitude, and the ascetic ideal (religious or scientific) strips the individual of that task. Mary

                    --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "hb3g@..." <hb3g@...> wrote:

                    > How does Nietzsche, the arch-relativist and anti-metaphysician, avoid being guilty of his own brand of absolutism? I think he doesn't. I think, at some point, he has to admit that the many relativities of the many value judgments that he persistently deconstructs reduce down to one value judgment that is absolute.
                    >
                    > For Nietzsche:
                    >
                    > The affirmation of life is the good.
                    >
                    > That ain't such a bad absolute.
                    >
                    > Hb3g
                  • hb3g@ymail.com
                    Bravo! The extended quote from Nietzsche s Genealogy of Morals really puts the issue right on the table. I am pretty clear, now, that it was a mistake for me
                    Message 9 of 18 , Mar 4, 2010
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                      Bravo!

                      The extended quote from Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals really puts the issue right on the table. I am pretty clear, now, that it was a mistake for me to characterize what Nietzsche was up to as an unconditional will to truth. If anything, it is an unconditional will to question truth... at all costs.

                      This is radical skepticism. But I don't mean to be saying that as an "Oh no! Bad! Bad! We can't be having skepticism here now!"

                      Very much to the contrary. The very fact that skepticism is a real possibility, I think, is a puzzle about our existence from which we might be able to gain a profound insight, if only we could bring ourselves to really face it. To look at it. We usually "break it off" long before it gets too uncomfortable for us to take.

                      Nietzsche, I think, is looking this Medusa right in the eye.

                      I am into Sextus Empiricus right now, and one of the things that strikes me as rather unsettling is this. If you learn your skeptical method well enough, if you practice at it and become a good enough tactician in this way of thinking, not a single argument can stand, indefinitely, against your patient onslaught. sooner or later, they all fall. And yet, sextus says that this is all about achieving a state of ataraxia, a state of calmness at the center of the storm of doubtfulness, and Nietzsche uses almost excatly those same words in the Genealogy passage.

                      I would imagine that some of us might dismiss all of this as sheer frivolity, sophistry... But... Is it really? Or... Are we blind, somehow, to what this risk of refutability, of error, of deceivability, really shows us about truth? Our truth? Our "human, all too human" predicament?

                      Is the irrefutable conceivable? Certainly, we do think it. But, maybe, we can't think it coherently. And that is a red flag right there. What kind of existence would that be? What kind of a thinker would be a thinker that could truly think the irrefutable? Not a human one. That's for sure. But, probably, not even one that could ever exist at all. I suspect it hinges, in some subtle way, on freedom. But I don't quite get the connection yet. It isn't that we are free to be in error. Free to be mistaken. Entitled to our opinions. No. Not at all. Rather, error, or truth, either of those two things, would have no meaning, no VALUE, for a thinking kind of being if the that being's thinking were not susceptible to the risk of refutability, if nothing were truly being placed... on the line.

                      But, right now, I can think up a counter to my "no irrefutability" idea. What about math? Geometry? Good old Euclid?

                      Hb3g

                      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Nietzsche's absolute value is reevaluation. However, regarding affirmation of life, he makes it quite clear that one can only affirm their own life. Reevaluation and affirmation require solitude, and the ascetic ideal (religious or scientific) strips the individual of that task. Mary
                      >
                      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "hb3g@" <hb3g@> wrote:
                      >
                      > > How does Nietzsche, the arch-relativist and anti-metaphysician, avoid being guilty of his own brand of absolutism? I think he doesn't. I think, at some point, he has to admit that the many relativities of the many value judgments that he persistently deconstructs reduce down to one value judgment that is absolute.
                      > >
                      > > For Nietzsche:
                      > >
                      > > The affirmation of life is the good.
                      > >
                      > > That ain't such a bad absolute.
                      > >
                      > > Hb3g
                      >
                    • Herman
                      HI Hb3g, ... ... The good old Greeks stipulated that x=x and founded their math on it. (They also started of by insisting that all quantities could be
                      Message 10 of 18 , Mar 4, 2010
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                        HI Hb3g,

                        On 5 March 2010 05:36, hb3g@... <hb3g@...> wrote:
                        > Bravo!
                        >

                        <...>

                        > Is the irrefutable conceivable? Certainly, we do think it. But, maybe, we can't think it coherently. And that is a red flag right there. What kind of existence would that be? What kind of a thinker would be a thinker that could truly think the irrefutable? Not a human one. That's for sure. But, probably, not even one that could ever exist at all. I suspect it hinges, in some subtle way, on freedom. But I don't quite get the connection yet. It isn't that we are free to be in error. Free to be mistaken. Entitled to our opinions. No. Not at all. Rather, error, or truth, either of those two things, would have no meaning, no VALUE, for a thinking kind of being if the that being's thinking were not susceptible to the risk of refutability, if nothing were truly being placed... on the line.
                        >
                        > But, right now, I can think up a counter to my "no irrefutability" idea. What about math? Geometry? Good old Euclid?
                        >

                        The good old Greeks stipulated that x=x and founded their math on it.
                        (They also started of by insisting that all quantities could be
                        expressed as rational numbers. They also maintained that the negation
                        of a negation means something.)

                        Indian thinking never suffered from the presupposition that x=x, and
                        came up with a completely different worldview.

                        So which one is irrefutable?

                        Polly
                      • William
                        ... Unknow and unknowable. The Bobsey twins joust for insects. Who hires crud like you? Oh, did I use the C word. Mary did a wonder job of handling the FN
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 4, 2010
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                          --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Herman <hhofmeister@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > HI Hb3g,
                          >
                          > On 5 March 2010 05:36, hb3g@... <hb3g@...> wrote:
                          > > Bravo!
                          > >
                          >
                          > <...>
                          >
                          > > Is the irrefutable conceivable? Certainly, we do think it. But, maybe, we can't think it coherently. And that is a red flag right there. What kind of existence would that be? What kind of a thinker would be a thinker that could truly think the irrefutable? Not a human one. That's for sure. But, probably, not even one that could ever exist at all. I suspect it hinges, in some subtle way, on freedom. But I don't quite get the connection yet. It isn't that we are free to be in error. Free to be mistaken. Entitled to our opinions. No. Not at all. Rather, error, or truth, either of those two things, would have no meaning, no VALUE, for a thinking kind of being if the that being's thinking were not susceptible to the risk of refutability, if nothing were truly being placed... on the line.
                          > >
                          > > But, right now, I can think up a counter to my "no irrefutability" idea. What about math? Geometry? Good old Euclid?
                          > >
                          >
                          > The good old Greeks stipulated that x=x and founded their math on it.
                          > (They also started of by insisting that all quantities could be
                          > expressed as rational numbers. They also maintained that the negation
                          > of a negation means something.)
                          >
                          > Indian thinking never suffered from the presupposition that x=x, and
                          > came up with a completely different worldview.
                          >
                          > So which one is irrefutable?
                          >
                          > Polly
                          >
                          Unknow and unknowable. The Bobsey twins joust for insects. Who hires crud like you? Oh, did I use the "C" word. Mary did a wonder job of handling the FN traitor and you just dummy up. Not acceptable Gemini/ aternal twins. FN is a hard read but once done the die is cast. As I told the hapless Jim, he is in the face of a man much like Mao, a man like Calligula, one who manson would bow to. As you approach danger I suggest you go to Dicks friend`s Primordial Quest. I do not know them but he is speaking with some accomplishment, about you. Alone
                        • Jim
                          Hi Alone, You write: FN is a hard read but once done the die is cast. As I told the hapless Jim, he is in the face of a man much like Mao, a man like
                          Message 12 of 18 , Mar 5, 2010
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                            Hi Alone,

                            You write:

                            "FN is a hard read but once done the die is cast. As I told the hapless Jim, he is in the face of a man much like Mao, a man like Calligula, one who manson would bow to."

                            I think your interpretation of Nietzsche is way off if you are comparing him to Mao and Caligula.

                            For a start Nietzsche advocated the solitary life as the highest, and Mao and Caligula were hardly solitaries.

                            Second, and more importantly, Nietzsche thought the individual who used his will to power to exert domination over others was a second-rate individual. The most noble individuals sublimated their will to power and turned their will to power upon themselves in order to destroy what was weak and sickly within themselves. The highest individual was a self-overcoming individual. Or so I read Nietzsche.

                            Nietzsche certainly wrote to challenge and shock his readers, but his intention was not to bully or intimidate his readers, or anybody else, for that matter.

                            Jim
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