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The Ethical Revolt of Slave Morality - Essay Example

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In Friedrich Nietzsche’s On The Genealogy of Morals, he explains how a slave revolt takes place in history, which is emphasized through the predominance of Christian morality. …
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The Ethical Revolt of Slave Morality
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Download file to see previous pages In Friedrich Nietzsche’s On The Genealogy of Morals, he explains how a slave revolt takes place in history, which is emphasized through the predominance of Christian morality. In this essay I shall explain how Nietzsche arrived at such a claim. I shall argue that despite Nietzsche’s criticisms on the dogmas of Christian morality, values, and tradition, he extols principles that contribute to the emancipation of the individual self. It is in this regard that I agree with Nietzsche when he claims that a slave revolt has taken place, for along with this revolt was the degradation of the human subject as powerless, and thus stagnating one’s potentials for self-actualization. However, in order to understand Nietzsche’s contentions, it is important to understand first, what dominated his thoughts.
One of the elements which is central to Nietzsche’s thought is illustrated in his famous declaration that, “God is Dead!” (“Thus Spoke” 77). This affirms a complete rejection of metaphysical and religious truths as grounds for reality. To Nietzsche, the existence of God, the afterlife, immortality are nothing but imaginary causes. In his view, such are nothing but mere projections of one’s psychological desire for security and calculability in life. In line with this, Nietzsche believed that once the existence of God is unveiled as an illusion, then it follows that God could no longer be implemented as the foundation for human ethical conducts. This leads to the assertion that all morals will be founded on the subjective will of individual self. Thus, Nietzsche affirmed the individual self as the basis of all inquires and norms. Based on this argument, we are led to the question on how can the individual achieve its highest level of affirmation in a world without a divine providence? The answer to this query is found in the Nietzsche’s theory of the will to power. Nietzsche’s will to power is defined as “the drive to dominate the environment. This drive, so central is the will to power. This will to power is more than simply the will to survive. It is, rather, an inner drive to express a vigorous affirmation of all a person’s powers” (Stumpf 380). Given this, the will to power can be characterized as the inner propensity to dominate and assert superiority over one’s life. Furthermore, it allows individuals to reach their highest potentials through the overcoming of barriers and constraints. In this manner, individuals increase in power and vitality. However, Nietzsche cautioned us that if one decides to practice a certain code of ethics, the will to power gradually declines. By this, the individual weakens and suffers. Herein, Nietzsche accused Christianity for advocating virtues that undermine and destabilize one’s will to power. But prior to Nietzsche’s presentation of his criticisms towards the teachings of the Christian religion, he first explains how and why Christianity became the dominant religion in human society. Master Morality His explanation is found in his doctrine of the two-fold history of good and evil. This doctrine reveals that there were two types of moralities, which were practiced during the ancient Greeks. These are master morality or aristocratic morality and slave morality. For Nietzsche, Master morality is one that is founded upon the will to power. He claims: “What is good? – All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is bad? – All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness? – the feeling that power increases – that a resistance is overcome” (“Twilight of” 127). With this in mind, master morality advocates that “good” is identified to that which is powerful and noble. On the other hand, “evil” is linked to weakness and cowardice. In line with this, In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche describes the temperament of the noblemen. To begin with, Nietzsche says, “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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