could you "live by" Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathu

i’m not completely convinced but some part of me says “yes” … what are your thoughts?

i take it into serious consideration, but i don’t think that what your implying was nietzsche’s intent in writing it… it’s a “new myth” to get us over 2,500+ years of platonism. i mean, could you “live by” the repulic?

(btw, was your “yes” pun intended?)

hahaha, no the pun wasn’t intended. and i certainly don’t intend to imply that nietzsche meant for his Zarathustra to be a “guide to life”. i do not see the relevance of the reference to plato’s republic and i don’t know how to interpret that comment other than to say that it looks like some kind of sickly ‘counterargument’ to my suggestion. its a very different kind of thing than the zarathustra and besides, that’s not what i’m asking.

one more time, hopefully more clear:

in your very own personal philosophical opinion, is Nietzsche’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra” a suitable “guide to life”? does it articulate a way of living (and a way of thinking) that is desirable to you?

i like the concept of being Godless and only relying on yourself, that is much better rather then being weakened by a reliance on religion, god’s words, miracles, a simplistic reward/punishment system and stubborn faith.

my personal favourites from the book that i would like to follow are words like “man must be overcome” (in relation to man’s natural weaknesses/desires), “Truly he who possess the least is the least possessed” (or in fight club words “the things you own, own you”), “for all that has a price, is of little value” (very buddhist and very true) and on pacifism; “i have often laughed at the weaklings who think themselves good because their claws are blunt” (i.e. on those who claim to follow non-violence when in reality they coudn’t rely on power because they have none as they are weak)

I would love to live by what Zarathustra said. Imagine what life would be like. No desires, no fear. If you didnt desire anything in life where would you be? And what would you do?

I’ve thought about this as well. I think it isnt simply a matter of having no desire, but really figuring out what desires are meaningful to you. Now I don’t have specific reasons, but my initial feeling on a life without desire is that it may be borderline nihilist, or lead to it. I think eventually such a life would lead a person to begin denying desires for the sake of doing so, rather than following the original principle of such a way of life.

Alasdair MacIntyre, which some reviewers claim to be the answer to Nietzsche, argues that the previously described way of life is denying the symbiotic element of human existence. He is more careful than I am, so I suggest to read it rather than trust me. I read it a while ago so I will try to refresh my memory on this one particular work (After Virtue)…it would be worth discussing in this Nietzsche thread.

i’m not convinced that the main message of the zarathustra has anything to do with conquering desires or fear.

from “zarathustra’s introductory speech”:

“Ye have made your way from worm to man, and much within you is still worm. Once ye were apes, even now man is ape in a higher degree than any ape.
He who is wisest among you is but a discord and hybrid of plant and ghost. But do I order you to become ghosts or plants?
Behold, I teach you beyond-man!”

so “god is dead”, right? notice the darwin/evolution reference there.

Beyond-man is the significance of the earth. Your will shall say: beyond-man shall be the significance of the earth.
I conjure you, my brethren,
remain faithful to the earth and do not believe those who speak unto you of superterrestrial hopes! Poisoners they are whether they know it or not.

so he’s suggesting that the WILL of humankind (and individual humans) must decide whether it wants to become a “ghost” (along with spirit/intellect/mind are 4 possible translations of “geist”) or a plant (inert, living, but unthinking creature). and beyond-man is “the significance of the earth”. it goes far beyond just conquering fear and desire, though i’m sure you can argue that certain specific types of fear and desire ought to be conquered according to the zarathustra’s line of thinking.

Surley the fact that nietzsche couldn’t live as zarathustra speaks for itself. No-one can live as a god, which is what zarathustra in effect is. We will always remain human, all too human.

Why live by what one man, or another, said?

Have we no mind of our own that we heed another? For even if he is a genius, a prophet, a miracle worker, the most wise, the longest living man, the richest, or the most powerful man, so what? For arent we all man, just human after all, no one more wiser, no one more fallible than another, and all too evil, and all die?

Why lived by what man said.

that’s kind of missing the point. the reason why i asked this question is because the whole books seems to point to some sort of “new way of thinking” about life…significantly different from other ideologies. do you see the irony in what you asked? have you read this lately?

I have not read; and I was not responding to your question directly. But what I know without reading is that it is just another book. Then why this book or another, or not another? Why this ideology or another, etc etc? For all books and ideologies and religions do they not have human authors behind them? Why believe one thing over another? Deemed one more superior to another? And new is better? Old always bad?

Zarathustra wasnt a god, he was godless and he was a prophet i.e. someone who had a new way of life for people to believe in. he was the purest sense of an atheist who rejected notions of god/morality and decided to live free and by his own rules. Nietzsche was a free spirit, he rejected the false and hypocritical ways of popular living, although maybe not completely the full concept of the superman he was nonetheless close to achieving it. Zarathustra was a hermit prophet who spoke of rejecting god, in the same way that Nietzsche did.

the superman is something man should strive for while overcoming the weaknesses of man, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all can achieve it, maybe not even Nietzsche himself, but that does not mean that no-one can achieve this state of living.

i hate this sort of philosopher, full of questions while providing no answers, one of my m8s is just like that (which is very greek in my opinion).

you relate to that which you agree with. i don’t read Nietzsche and automatically agree with what is written there, i think about it from a rational/logical point of view in whether or not i agree with what is written by using my own knowledge and experience to decide. if i agree with what is written i read more and gain more knowledge that confirms and/or develops my ideas which make way for new and better ideas (evolving my original ideas/knowledge). it is all down to my personal taste and experience which is why i would think higher of this person’s writings then i would any other regardless of when it was written and what others think of it because of how this individual work relates to me.

it’s bloody obvious when you stop asking questions and think about it for a second.

Of course it is bloody obvious. But precisly because it is bloody obvious is why I am asking questions, and not giving answers. (ie the “obvious” answers are not the answers to the these questions, and for that you have to think for more than a second.)

“taste and experience” … a wise basis for living life?

A small note on the effectiveness of the rhetorical - or rhetoric on the rhetorical: Which is easier, which works better: that you arrive at your own answers or I tell you what the answers are? that the answer is yours and your own, derived from your taste, experiences, reasoning or otherwise, or whatever, or the answer is imposed on you from the outside, especially by a stranger? that I yet ask questions when the answer is “bloody obvious”?

bleh, actually, i see Nietzsche’s Zarathustra as an explicit “counterargument” to Plato’s Republic. Although i dare not call it sickly.

If you really want a direct answer to your question, i do believe Zarathustra says,

“‘This is my way; where is yours?’ thus I answered those who asked me ‘the way’”

I’m not sure if I agree that Zarathustra represented any kind of ‘way of living.’ Instead, I think that what zara embodied was the crisis of modernity - the fact that, since God doesn’t exist man will have to find a new way of living. In the Geneology of Morality I think what Nietzsche was getting at was that we would all have to find a way of living better - not that we should just all live by our own rules. That could have resulted in a chaos that Nietzsche himself would not have endorsed. Unfortunately, I don’t think that N really provided us with an answer to the problem he posed, and went insane before he could do so.

i think that’s a fairly good criticism of it. throughout Thus Spoke it was definitely more of a guideline to free living then writing down the rules of which to live by (which i think essentially and fundamentally Nietzsche would have been against doing).

it’s such a shame he did have a mental breakdown, but on the positive side, if he hadnt had a full breakdown, his later work might have become warped by his insanity and that would have ruined some of the greatest aspects of Nietzsche. potentially he could develop a contradictionary nature that may have occured through insanity which would have affected the overall greatness of his work.

i wonder if Nietzsche wrote/was able to write anything during his breakdown? i bet that’d be strange Showing that Zarathustra is a god

Of course Nietzsche does not mean to use Zaratustra in the sense that he is used in religion. But the fact that he uses this figure is interesting:why does he use a religious figure to propound an irreligious philosophy. I think that Nietzsche uses the idea that it was Z who first brought good and evil into the world and so he uses the same figure to reunite them so to speak. However, it still seems an ambiguose figure to use.

Of course Zaratustra espouses the death of god ect. But what i was trying to get at in my origional post that even though he does this it still remains that Zaratustra can still be seen as a god or religious figure. There are many parrallels with a noraml deity between Nietzsche’s Z and any other deity. For example,

this statment if the words superman were replaced by the word Christ would sit quite happily i think, except the part about only certain people aspiring to it. The point is that if Zaratustra is used as somthing to aim for this is a metaphysical idea; somthing that Nietzsche would have hated. It is important to remember that Nietzsche was born in a religious family and in many ways was a religious man. His sense of morality, while against the status quo of the time, was in many ways more moral, not anti-moral. For example, did u hear the story about him running out of a brothal because he was so sickened by it. He was such a hypocrite. He would never have done something really immoral by the standards of the time (even if he had he would have become a Rasklonikov like figure) but at the same time he is pronouncing a new morality without good and evil. The point is that the morality that Nietzsche espouses is impossible to live, unless you were a god, which as i have tried to show Zaratustra in many ways is. We will always remain human, all too human.

:unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused: :unamused:

i absolutely CANNOT BELIEVE that you wrote that, and its even more difficult to believe that you actually THINK THAT. so you haven’t read the book. and because of that, you say its “just another book”, and since there are lots of books, all espousing various (and often contradictory/incommensurable/mutually exclusive) points of view, then you say there’s no point in looking deeply into any one particular book.

your point of view is immature and ignorant. i will stop there because i’ll eventually insult you, and there’s no sense in that. if you haven’t read the book then you have no right to participate in this discussion. you can’t possibly have any valuable insights to share with us. you might be a “thinker” sir, but you need a certain amount of discipline to be a “philosopher”.

and on an entirely different note, i do think there’s an inherent contradiction in the question “could you live by the zarathustra”. of course that’s not the point of the book.

from “Of The Bestowing Virtue”:
“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.
One repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil. And why, then, should you not pluck at my laurels?

Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will I return to you.”

so there’s a sort of built-in “self destruct” mechanism (for lack of a better term) in the zarathustra. he’s not suggesting that you follow zarathustra as you would christ, or buddha or what-have-you. he’s suggesting that you learn a certain new “approach” to existence from Z. and use that approach to forge your own individual values/way/existence. so the suggestion to “live by” zarathustra’s words doesn’t mean literally do what Z. would have done. of course i realize the silliness of that interpretation. the question(s) should really be:

are you capable of creating your own values?

can you ascribe purpose and meaning to your own life without reference to any external values?

can you become “a self-propelling wheel”?

Is that so? Well there are things and truths beyond any book. The insights or lack thereof should speak for themselves and not for anyone to tell me whether I have or do not have a right. But I shall not belabour such a petty point but just add this: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” [Eccl 12:12] And so need you and can you read all books to know anything? And to heed, accept as true and wise, someone’s words is as good as following that someone.