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Friedrich Nietzsche's Views On Nihilism

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Friedrich Nietzsche & Nihilism Friedrich Nietzsche is a German philosopher, poet, and cultural critic whose work has had much influence on Western philosophy and modern thought. He began his career studying language and was the youngest-ever occupant of the Chair of classical Philology at the University of Basel. However due to health issues, he could not maintain this position at the university and to resign. Following the years after his departure, he began writing most of his philosophical work. Nietzsche is most well known for his writings about Nihilism, which comes from the Latin word nihil which refers to something that does not exist. It also appears in the word annihilate, which means to completely…show more content…
Passive nihilism can be further identified as a declining power of the spirit. One who is a passive nihilist recognizes that external values are empty and have no true purpose other than to perhaps make people feel good. This belief renders the ideas of conscience useless as well, causing a lack of personal authority and responsibility. This belief causes a lack of willpower and creates a sense of mistrust towards society. Those who believe in passive nihilism lose their beliefs, goals, and aspirations. The lack of authority in one’s life leads to what Nietzsche calls “self-narcotization”, which involves the person seeking relief in whatever appears to maintain a sense of authority. A passive nihilist who tries to escape from this belief will reevaluate their values only to fail and fall deeper into…show more content…
Nietzsche did not write books on Nihilism because it was what he advocated, he wrote the books because he was afraid of what Nihilism could do to society. In truth, Nietzsche is actually an existentialist. Nietzsche once spoke about “The Death of God” in his books, which refers to how modern society no longer uses values or a moral code to determine their actions. A Nihilist looks at the death of God and says that since there is no perfect way of determining values, there must not be any at all. In response Nietzsche states that even if there is no absolute values, that does not mean that values do not exist. Rather, Nietzsche takes a relativist stance on morals and values. Some may see that since Nietzsche has removed the “chains of religion” he can give a fair response to the values of differing and strange perspectives. By examining the situation he can determine what is “true” to the corresponding perspective. This is why Nietzsche believes that the greatest “sin” of Christian and other religious groups is that they pretend that their truths are absolute and universal. Nietzsche believes that values are a fluctuating element of our lives that change based on historical, and philosophical circumstances. Nietzsche believes that many values should be destroyed, however he differs from Nihilism because he does not believe all values should be
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