Origins of morality essay

Although Nietzsche is now hailed by many as the seminal thinker in post-modernist thought, for a long time serious philosophers considered Nietzsche a Nazi forbear, or even a mere sophomoric ranter, and so thorough criticism of Nietzsche remained scarce until after the Second World War [1]. It is often overlooked that Nietzsche exerted a decisive influence on many modernist writers—Andre Gide, Thomas Mann, Albert Camus, Henry Milleramong many, many others—none of whom took him for racist. These may seem like excessively strong claims, and it would be an error to give Nietzsche undue credit for the general rise of secular society in the West, a trend that would certainly have continued without him.

Origins of morality essay

Note's on Nietzsche's Genealogy A warning. There is much disagreement in Nietzsche scholarship. For example, some philosophers read him as often being ironic; these philosophers might then read The Genealogy Origins of morality essay Morals as offering a kind of reductio ad absurdum of some of the claims he makes in that book.

In these notes, I read Nietzsche "straight"--I do not interpret him as being ironic. There are however some themes which unite his work and are common to much of it.

Origins of morality essay

Nature is incomplete at least in the sense that it cannot alone provide purposes which are sufficient. Non-human animals are without worthy purposes, for example. Thus, from Schopenhauer as Educator: Again, from Schopenhauer as Educator: That is, to be able to assert and endorse your life would be a triumph of a kind.

The man who creates ideals and can face the possibility of eternal return is the overman. Antithesis to the overman is the last man, who is comfortable with animal pleasures alone, and who does not bother to even care about these issues. Christianity is the morality of the slave: Democracy is like Christianity in being antithetical to the task of fostering the overman.

Psychology is a fundamental science, and often our theories are expressions of unconscious motives and beliefs. Philosophical systems are often just expressions of the author's view, for example; and more often yet just expressions of the most pedestrian beliefs of one's time.

However, Nietzsche believes that philosophy has a great and important task: He only denigrates the idea tha philosophy is a rational, disinterested investigation of things, Origins of morality essay also he denigrates philosophers who try to emulate scientists with their indifference to values.

The Will to Power is a fundamental drive that can explain much, perhaps all, human endeavors. This is a theme that Nietzsche does not do much to explain; he seems to have meant to work this out more but did not stay healthy long enough to do so. Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals Here, Nietzsche uses the term "genealogy" in its fundamental sense: He is going to offer a theory of the genesis of Christian morality, which he believes is also democratic morality.

Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion - Online Library of Liberty

His historical analysis is a radical attack on these morals, offering a kind of social and psychological account of why they arose, as a replacement for the Christian story of these ethics being grounded in the will of the Christian god.

Nietzsche has an alternative theory of value, which is only implicit in this book, and arises from his views about the will to power. We will discuss this. Note that Christians, and nearly all if not all theists, tend to implicitly accept what I have called Foundationalism about Purpose.

The character of Ivan in Doestoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov expresses this sentiment clearly when he says that if the Christian God does not exist, then "all is lawful," by which he means that any old purpose will count as well as any other which may, given some understandings of "purpose," be just to deny that there are purposes.

In these notes, and in the notes I write on other philosophers and artists, I will save time by sometimes taking N's point of view. This is not an endorsement of his view, but rather a shorthand way to avoid having to write "Nietzsche says The English psychologists are perhaps men like Hobbes and Hume; or, since he is mentioned later in the book, Herbert Spencer.

All these philosophers share that they wrote on the origin of morality in terms of historical development. N argues the English psychologists have a genealogy of the good that claims our ancestors found some unegotistical acts useful to themselves, and then later "forgot" this self-referring aspect of the usefulness, and just began to call unegotistical acts good.

N instead begins with the claim that the concept of good started not as a label for unselfish acts, but rather as a label of distinguishing the noble in various senses from those to which the nobles considered themselves superior N seems to be willing to say, that nobles were in fact superior.

It is a later development to associate good with unegotistical acts, and his genealogy is largely concerned to trace this development. N claims the English psychologists' notion that our ancestors "forgot" the self-benefitting aspect of unselfish is ridiculous -- the benefit of an action must be present at all times in order for us to form the habit of calling that action good.

N was a philologist a scholar of languages and their development by training and for a short while by profession. He claims that the etymology of the many various cognates in different languages for "good" all reveal an origin in some notion of being aristocratic and noble.

N believes this is compelling evidence for his central claim. N goes on to give some examples of etymological and philological speculations. For example, dark can mean bad and lower in Italy, and blond in Gaelic meant noble and good, because he claims the conquerors and rulers of these places at one time were blond haired.

N does not appear to mean to endorse the idea here that being blond is good, but rather just claims that it is a historical fact that these places -- during the relevant period in the development of these terms like "Fin" -- were conquered by blond people.

N admits that good has also included often the concept of pure. He argues that the early rulers, for which the ancestral concepts of our "good" first applied, were sometimes priests. Priests are, N claims here, a bad thing -- they transform rulers into inactive and unhealthy people. But they do also ask interesting questions, and have therefore some benefit as N implicit understands benefit.Essay on Religion and Morality!

ADVERTISEMENTS: Religion and morality go together. Religion and morality are closely connected with each other. According to them, religion and morality had independent origins. They asserted that the ethical code can develop best and be most effective when separated from religion.

Origins of Morality Essay Words 6 Pages The moral philosophy that we know and recognize today in the Western world is slave morality, a morality which . The concept of morality has been a philosophical topic for centuries which focuses on the the principles and foundations of human beliefs, behaviour and interactions towards others.

According to Aristotle, human morality is a product of culture, formed by habitual learning and training (Singer, ). the origins of morality without having to answer these latter questions; that is, the criteria for a group having a morality can be satisfied whether or not there are moral facts and moral.

The moral philosophy that we know and recognize today in the Western world is slave morality, a morality which puts forward ideals of fairness, equality, and democracy. However, many centuries ago during the medieval times, master morality was the norm; a morality that favors those superior in.

The essay goes through its evolution of studies trying to figure out what a moral code is and what peoples are and what they are based off of.

They basically conclude that people choose a moral code that fits their own desires.

Origins of morality essay
On the Genealogy of Morality - Wikipedia