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Nietzsche and Existentialist Ethics - Essay Example

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Question 1: In his critique of the foundations of conventional ethics, Friendrich Nietzsche denied the principle of freewill and the principle of bad/evil action; the conventional ethics is based upon these two principles. After denying the two principles, Nietzsche advocated…
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Nietzsche and Existentialist Ethics
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Ethics # 12th Oct. Nietzsche and Existentialist Ethics Question In his critique of the foundations of conventional ethics, Friendrich Nietzsche denied the principle of freewill and the principle of bad/evil action; the conventional ethics is based upon these two principles. After denying the two principles, Nietzsche advocated for a novel unrestricted ethics characterised by freedom to do whatever one wishes; for Nietzsche, no action is bad/evil; all actions are good and morally justifiable. In my moral worldview, I do not agree with the Nietzsche’s moral worldview. This is because I believe that human beings have freewill. Since human beings are endowed with rationality, unlike other brutes, human beings have the ability to freely deliberate and decide on their actions, this ability is what is referred to as freewill. My moral worldview, therefore, is opposed to the Nietzsche’s critique of conventional ethics.
Question 2: The main idea that shaped existentialist ethics is the idea that existence precedes essence. In line with this idea, existentialist philosophers denied the conventional ethics which presupposed that essence precedes existence. Paul Sartre is one of the famous existentialist philosophers who provided new directions and thoughts in ethics by building his ethical theory on the existentialist maxim that existence precedes essence. In his ethical theory, Paul Sartre was particularly influenced by Nietzsche’s moral worldview. Just like Nietzsche, Sartre denied the conventional ethics principles which implied that essence proceeds existence; for instance, Sartre denied the moral view that morality is all about acting in accordance with the purpose of human beings ordained by God. According to Sartre, an authentic moral agent is free to make moral decisions, but making moral decisions involves some feelings of anguish. In my own moral world view, an authentic moral agent is a person with good character formation, who basis his/her action on sound moral reasoning.
When Sartre says that by making a moral decision man chooses not only himself but all men, he means that the moral decisions that we make affect not only us but other people. That is why Sartre said that making moral decisions involves some feelings of anguish because we do not decide for ourselves alone but for all people.
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