Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why Nietzsche should be every Christian's favorite philosopher


A couple of weeks ago I posted here about the lack of intellectual honesty in the various objections to Christ and his Church. I stated in that post that I've never seen an intellectually honest objection to either. I was mistaken and I take that back; I've seen one: that of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Nietzsche not only produced the only honest objection to Christianity I've ever heard, but is also the only honest atheist I've ever "met." He knew what Christianity was/is: a "revaluation of all values." He was not too stupid and/or ashamed (as all modern atheists are) to admit the fact of the matter: that Christianity is a religion of love (of God and others) and peace, a complete reversal of pre-Christian pagan life and thought. Importantly, he also saw that same pre-Christian paganism for what it was: brutal and selfish.

He found no need to invent lies about Christ's personal sanctity or to vastly exaggerate the quality and quantity of the Crusades and Inquisition. Indeed, such objections would have been objectionable to him.

He saw it and said it like it was. He, though, chose the brutal, selfish paganism of pre-Christian times over the gentleness of Christianity. Clearly, I disagree with his choice here, but I respect him for making it honestly. Modern atheists could learn much from Nietzsche, and, for that matter, so could Christians.

7 comments:

  1. He's definitely the best writer, that's for sure. Everytime I get in my Germanic "Conan the Barbarian" phase, I like Nietszche more.

    To be sure, a lot of his conclusions are intellectual cop outs, but he is probably the best weapon against "respectable unbelievers" wanting some form of civilized morality, yet having no basis for it.

    Fr Matthew Raphael Johnson did a good talk on Dostoevsky versus Nietzsche.
    http://reasonradionetwork.com/?p=2971

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  2. This is an excellent post, and I think that's the first time I've ever described a blog post as excellent.

    I am not a Christian (nor a Nitzschean vitalist), but the gospels are aesthetically wonderful, and that wonder emanates from the love of Christ.

    Incidentally, the emotional vigor behind an idea like this seems, to me, to be a bit Nietzschean.

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  3. Hi! Evil question: did you see this week's episode of "House"?

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  4. Lucian:

    I didn't... Should I have?

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  5. "He, though, chose the brutal, selfish paganism of pre-Christian times over the gentleness of Christianity."

    Did he convert to Judaism so he could commit genocide in the name of God and say Moses told him he could?

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  6. Nietzsche was the best critic of Christianity, but Kierkegaard was a better critic of the Christian Church than Nietzsche ever was.

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  7. ^^ What the Anonymous user said. I'll take Kierkegaard over Nietzsche any day when it comes to coherent criticisms of the Church.

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