Bad and Good and The Twilight Essay

Pages: 4 (1160 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

¶ … bad & good and *The Twilight of the Idols* _ *The Antichrist**

The Inferiority of Western Morals

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In his examination of the genealogy of morals in western civilization, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche offers two primary arguments that pertain to the initial conceptions of morality and judgments which may still be evidenced within contemporary society. Although the author dealt with varying aspects of this particular subject matter in a wide variety of texts and treatises, the three which offer the most readily available insight into the history of the morality that has influenced the western world are The Genealogy of Morals, The Antichrist, and The Twilight of the Idols. There is an interesting dichotomy present in the two fundamental arguments the author of these texts poses in relation to the origin of western morals, although it should be noted that there is a rather substantial amount of overlap between these respective positions. However, the first of these arguments primarily focuses upon semantics and the etymology of a pair of terms that have traditionally been polarized within moral discussions and which consists of the relationship (and definitions) of good/bad and good/evil. The second revolves about the history of the development of Christianity.

Essay on Bad & Good and *The Twilight of Assignment

According to Nietzsche, what can be deemed positive or negative in the context of morals is largely a result of perspective that pertains to varying socio-economic factors. For instance, within the dichotomy of the good and bad paradox, an aristocratic, noble perception of both of these terms is largely responsible for their meaning and their ethical worth. Within the aforementioned texts (particularly that of The Genealogy of Morals) the author contends that good was initially conceived of as a term to describe the actions and influences of nobles, who of course had a substantial amount of social status and pecuniary means to reinforce it. Virtually whatever they did could be considered "good," since their actions and their descriptions revolved about conceptions of strength, hegemony, etc. This sort of life-asserting vitality is what came to be characterized as good. Subsequently, that which was not good and that which did not represent the strength and might of the wealthy, powerful elite, was termed bad. However, it should be noted that originally, bad was simply a term that implied all of the socio-economic worthlessness and dearth of status which the lower class rabble traditionally had. Therefore, that which was strong and aristocratic and powerful was good, while that which was lacking in these categories (such as the meek or the misfortunate and the poor), was considered bad.

The true problem and area in which the German philosopher finds fault with in terms of morals during his own time, however, is largely related to the good and evil dichotomy which was largely propagated by the same "weak," disenfranchised masses -- the most eminent of which, of course, included the priest class. It was these weakened individuals who conceived of the term good to be related to an altruist definition in which one performs acts of usefulness which are considered to be good. The philosopher had several points of contention with this definition, not the least of which was the fact that the utility of these actions and values for this definition were soon forgotten, which meant that whatever was achieved from them could not have been too good if it was soon eradicated from memory. Nonetheless, these same disenfranchised or largely socially and economically impotent minions were also responsible for the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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