Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Nietzsche and Marriage

To be frank:
"Even concubinage has been corrupted -by marriage"
- Fredrick Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Random House, 1989), Part 4, Section 123.

On Nietzsche, Women and Passions

Nietzsche states:
"Where neither love nor hatred is in the game, a woman's game is mediocre"
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Random House, 1989), Part 4, Section 115.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On Love, Honesty and Politics?

This post from impressed me and has given me hope that there can be reasonable dialogue between liberal and conservatives. In light of Ft. Hood and the Bushes outreach toward the families, they said and I quote:
"a bunch of gay Hillary guys in Boystown, Chicago were wrong about the Bushes…and are deeply, deeply sorry for any jokes we told about them in the past, any bad thoughts we had about these good, good people."
It's nice to see them look past differences and affirm their humanity. Maybe Conservatives can take a page from their book.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

On Anselm's Tension Between God's Transcendence and Immanence

Taking into consideration Nietzsche's "Madman" (c.f. The Gay Science Bk. III, 125), I advance Anselm as a charitable and glorious alternative:
Truly, Lord, this is the 'inaccessible light which you dwell' (1 Tim. 6:16) For surely there is no other being that can penetrate this light so that it might see you there. Indeed, the reason that I do not see it is that it is too much for me. And yet whatever I do see, I see through it, just as a weak eye sees what it sees by the light of the sun, although it cannot look at that light directly in the sun itself. My understanding cannot see that light. It is too dazzling; my understanding does not grasp it, and the eye of the soul cannot bear to look into it for long. It is dazzled by its splendor, vanquishes by its fullness, overwhelmed by its vastness, perplexed by its extent. O supreme and inaccessible light, O complete and blessed truth, how far you are from me while I am so close to you! How far you are from my sight while I am so present to yours! You are wholly present everywhere, and yet I do not see you. "In you I move and in you I have my being" (Acts 17:28), and yet I cannot come into your presence. You are within me and all around me, and yet I do not perceive you.

Still, O Lord, you are hidden from my soul in your light and happiness, and so it still lives in its darkness and misery. It looks around, but it does not see your beauty. It listens, but it does not hear your harmony. It smells, but it does not perceive your fragrance. It tastes, but it does not know your savor. It touches, but it does not sense your softness. For you have these qualities in you, O Lord God, in your own ineffable way; and you have given them in their own perceptible way to things you created. But the senses of my soul have been stiffened, dulled, and obstructed by the long-standing weakness of sin.
- St. Anselm, Proslogion, trans. Thomas Williams (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1995), Ch 16f.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Nietzsche, The Madman, and God

The Madman. – Haven't you heard of that madman who in the bright morning lit a lantern and ran around the marketplace crying incessantly, "I'm looking for God! I'm looking for God!" Since many of those who did not believe in God were standing around together just then, he caused great laughter. Has he been lost, then? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone to sea? Emigrated? – Thus they shouted and laughed, one interrupting the other. The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes.

"Where is God?" he cried; "I'll tell you! We have killed him – you and I! We are all his murderers. But how did we do this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Where is it moving to now? Where are we moving to? Away from all suns? Are we not continually falling? And backwards, sidewards, forwards, in all directions? Is there still an up and a down? Aren't we straying as though through an infinite nothing? Isn't empty space breathing at us? Hasn't it got colder? Isn't night and more night coming again and again? Don't lanterns have to be lit in the morning? Do we still hear nothing of the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we still smell nothing of the divine decomposition? –Gods, too, decompose! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How can we console ourselves, the murderers of all murderers! The holiest and the mightiest thing the world has ever possessed has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood from us? With what water could we clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what holy games will we have to invent for ourselves? Is the magnitude of this deed not too great for us? Do we not ourselves have to become gods merely to appear worthy of it? There was never a greater deed – and whoever is born after us will on account of this deed belong to a higher history than all history up to now!"

Here the madman fell silent and looked at his listeners; they too were silent and looked at him disconcertedly. Finally he threw his lantern on the ground so that it broke into pieces and went out. "I come too early," he then said; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder need time; the light of the stars needs time; deeds need time, even after they are done, in order to be seen and heard. This deed is still more remote to them than the remotest stars – and yet they have done it themselves!" It is still recounted how on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there started singing his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but, "What then are these churches now if not the tombs and sepulchres of God?"

- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book III 125, trans. Josefine Nauckhoff (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).