According to French philosopher, Luc Ferry, the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche is the zenith or pinnacle of Postmodern thought. By this, Ferry means that Nietzsche tried to destroy two modernist convictions: 1. the belief that mankind is at the center of our moral and political world; 2. reason is the "irresistible force for emancipation and progress...we are going to become ever freer and happier (Ferry)."
Before the Enlightenment, modern science (by modern, I mean heliocentric world, Copernicus and onward) had taken away a lot of the mystery of the cosmos and also weakened religious authority by giving us explanations for why things occurred. During the Enlightenment, we read that some of the leading thinkers became deists (belief in the clockmaker God) because they had a difficult time believing in God who intervened in human affairs. Democracy and freedom were the ways of the future and considered signs of progress.
Lastly, Nietzsche's philosophy includes something called a master - slave morality. Published in The Genealogy of Morality, he says that we've forgotten the morality of the past, where things used to be judged by the consequences of an action, and not the utilitarian idea of whether or not an action is useful. Master morality is determined by what is noble, courageous, truthfulness and creativity - that is good. What is bad in the Master Morality is weak, cowardly, timid, and petty. The noble man knows morals as "what is harmful to me is harmful to society."
Slave morality, on the other hand, is a reaction to oppression, it villanizes the oppressors and in many ways is the opposite of master morality. Slave morality is pessimistic and cynical and tries to subvert master morality. What is best for the society is "good," not what is good for the strong. Christianity and democracy are part of this slave morality -- turning the other cheek, humility, charity, and pity. Since the strong and noble are few in numbers, according to Nietzsche, the slaves / weak convince them that slavery is wrong. Democracy is the high point of slave morality b/c of its "obsession" with equality and freedom.
Pick one of the three areas that Nietzsche expounds upon (religion, art/meaning of life, and morality) and discuss whether or not you agree with him and why. Some of these positions have pitfalls if they're applied today, but maybe that's what he wanted.
Due Friday night by 11:59 p.m. (February 15th).
250 words minimum.