Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 2nd, 2019, 5:44 pm 

So you've met an ubermensch? Tell us all about it!
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 2nd, 2019, 6:27 pm 

charon » April 2nd, 2019, 4:44 pm wrote:So you've met an ubermensch? Tell us all about it!

He exists on the same plane as Plato's ideal circle.
Hm. That sounds familiar. Maybe I've lived this life before.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 2nd, 2019, 9:11 pm 

Charon

When you use the word conscious, however, you don't mean that. You're referring, I take it, to a higher level of mind, one that perhaps is simply aware and observes.

Would that be it?


Yes and no. Consciousness as I understand it refers to levels of inclusion. The conscious quality of a clam for example is limited to a primitive response. The inclusion level of a dog is much higher and animal man is the highest level of inclusion on earth. The potential contents of our consciousness include far more than what is possible for a dog. The reactions of all organic life on earth reflect the purpose of life on earth.

Everything I’ve learned has led me to believe that Man is dual ntured creature. The Man animal is tied to the needs of the earth and societies that arise on it. However Man as opposed to the rest of organic life on earth has the potential for conscious evolution. Where Nietzsche limited the overman to animal man on earth, conscious evolution is the evolution into a higher quality of being. This quality of being receives from above, a conscious level of being, and gives to below or the reactive level of organic life on earth. It would be what is necessary to heal the dark horse in Plato’s chariot analogy.

My interest in philosophy is the love of wisdom which includes the complimentary relationship of religion and science to experience and satisfy the human need for objective meaning. Socrates said “I know nothing.” My interest in philosophy concerns what it means to know and why I don’t know it along with what is necessary for a person to become consciously capable of receiving from above and giving to below.

The trouble is that these ideas annoy the powers that be and some members so I wonder if they can be accepted in the light of the hostility bound to arise. Do you think it would be better to continue in PMs? Consider the following

http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=667

…………………..The real power of the faculty of attention, unknown to modern science, is one of the indispensable and most central measures of humanness -- of the being of a man or a woman -- and has been so understood, in many forms and symbols, at the heart of all great spiritual teaching of the world. The effects of advancing technology, for all its material promise they offer the world (along with the dangers, of course) is but the most recent wave in a civilization that, without recognizing what it was doing, has placed the satisfaction of desire above the cultivation of being.

The deep meaning of many rules of conduct and more principles of the past -- so many of which have been abandoned without our understanding their real roots in human nature -- involved the cultivation and development of the uniquely human power of attention, its action in the body, heart and mind of man. To be present, truly present, is to have conscious attention. This capacity is the key to what it means to be human………………..

What is more offensive in the modern world then questioning the satisfaction of desire above the cultivation of being? The cultivation of being and the importance of introducing conscious attention in schools for the benefit of the young are violently rejected by a great many in favor of indoctrination. Only a relative few can be open to explore what human being actually is and the role of conscious attention making possible conscious contemplation plays in it.

Do you believe this forum is a place to discuss this quality of philosophy which is primarily concerned with why we know nothing?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 3rd, 2019, 7:55 am 

Nick -

The conscious quality of a clam for example is limited to a primitive response. The inclusion level of a dog is much higher and animal man is the highest level of inclusion on earth. The potential contents of our consciousness include far more than what is possible for a dog.


Okay.

The reactions of all organic life on earth reflect the purpose of life on earth.


I'm not sure what that means. The reaction of a particular life-form would reflect its purpose on earth. I wouldn't call it the purpose of all life on earth. If indeed there is a purpose.

Man is dual natured creature. The Man animal is tied to the needs of the earth and societies that arise on it. However Man as opposed to the rest of organic life on earth has the potential for conscious evolution.


I think you're separating mind from body. Physically we've obviously evolved from the cell or the animal.

Psychologically we run into trouble. What is conscious evolution? Or rather the evolution of consciousness? I don't think what is called human nature has changed in many thousands of years. It may not have changed at all. If we read all the earliest writings those people were fundamentally the same as we are now, except we're more technologically advanced.

conscious evolution is the evolution into a higher quality of being. This quality of being receives from above, a conscious level of being, and gives to below or the reactive level of organic life on earth


I understand, but I can't see much evidence for it. Look at the latest announcements from Brunei. Look at ISIS. Look at the Holocaust. Look in any newspaper any day of the week. We might be wearing better clothes and eating better food but inwardly what are we? Have we changed?

So it might be nice to think that in another many thousand years we'll all be ubermenshen... I doubt it completely.

In any case I don't know what an ubermensch is. We have a habit of inventing super-heroes, beings who are bigger, smarter, more powerful than we are. The ultimate, of course, is God. We're limited, He is not. We're mean, He is all-loving, etc etc. It's all comic book nonsense really!

My interest in philosophy is the love of wisdom which includes the complimentary relationship of religion and science to experience and satisfy the human need for objective meaning.


I'd go for that, I think. Now, science and religion have no relationship. One explores the world of matter, the other is largely merely symbolic belief without reality.

If religion were the exploration into ourselves in non-personal terms then it might well have a direct relation to science.

what is necessary for a person to become consciously capable of receiving from above and giving to below


All right. What do you mean by 'above'? If a person is completely open then they become more aware and sensitive to facets of life that others may not see.

these ideas annoy the powers that be and some members


That's up to them. If hostility is not returned it will come to nothing.

"The real power of the faculty of attention"


Absolutely. Where there's complete attention there's no problem of any kind. As the inattentive driver causes trouble on the roads so inattentive minds cause trouble in life :-)

Do you believe this forum is a place to discuss this quality of philosophy which is primarily concerned with why we know nothing?


Of course, this is a philosophy forum.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby BadgerJelly on April 3rd, 2019, 10:51 am 

If I knew nothing I’d know everything! :D
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 3rd, 2019, 11:47 am 

Gives a more profound spiritual meaning to the old adage "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." By inference, then, much knowledge would be fatal.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby TheVat on April 3rd, 2019, 12:34 pm 

As you (serpent) suggested early in the thread, this whole implausible scenario is a clumsy way to talk about John Rawls' "veil of ignorance." Those who make decisions in a society should do so as if they have no knowledge of what condition or position they might be born into in that society. I think I referenced Rawls earlier, too, but no one picked up on it because things digressed into speculative metaphysics. It's worthwhile to go back and read the first page, and Serpent's link to the Rawlsian concept of the veil of ignorance. If we as humans want to be better than apes with cellphones, we need this kind of empathic exercise when making our laws and social safety nets.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 3rd, 2019, 2:00 pm 

If you wanted to be more spritual about it, there's always The Golden Rule.
Or Dickens, or the Rev. Kingsley's works. From which I could copy in swathes of quotation, but won't.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 3rd, 2019, 2:39 pm 

The knowledge conundrum isn't difficult. To know something means it's stored in individual or collective memory. It's everything we have already seen, read, experienced, and so on. Everything we know has already happened as it were.

What we can't know is something which is actually happening. Life is new all the time, every moment is new. We can only say we know something after it's happened, never at the time.

Since life is always in the process of happening we can never say we know it.

I've looked up the Plato/Socrates 'I know that I know nothing' thing and apparently he never said it, it's not documented. So that's that :-)
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 3rd, 2019, 2:59 pm 

Charon

N. The reactions of all organic life on earth reflect the purpose of life on earth.


C. I'm not sure what that means. The reaction of a particular life-form would reflect its purpose on earth. I wouldn't call it the purpose of all life on earth. If indeed there is a purpose.


I was referring to the idea that organic life on earth is a living machine serving the purpose of transforming substances by means of its life processes. Why is another question. Each individual life form has the purpose of transforming particular qualities of substances.

Psychologically we run into trouble. What is conscious evolution? Or rather the evolution of consciousness? I don't think what is called human nature has changed in many thousands of years. It may not have changed at all. If we read all the earliest writings those people were fundamentally the same as we are now, except we're more technologically advanced.


Conscious evolution is the vertical evolution of “being” in the direction leading to the source of being. Are you familiar with the Great Chain of Being? Our being is what we are. To change what we are is to change our being

Where the being of life arising on earth has reached its peak, Man having both an animal part arising from below and a conscious prt descending from above has the potential for consciously evolving towards its origin.

I’ve often wondered why so many easily accept mechanical evolution but for some reason become closed to the idea of the transition from mechanical evolution into conscious evolution. It just seems like common sense.

I understand, but I can't see much evidence for it. Look at the latest announcements from Brunei. Look at ISIS. Look at the Holocaust. Look in any newspaper any day of the week. We might be wearing better clothes and eating better food but inwardly what are we? Have we changed?


Yes, that is the problem. Where conscious evolution would be natural for balanced Man, the human condition has turned us upside down. Where balanced Man would be ruled by the head (conscious intellect rather than imagintion) the heart would provide knowledge of objective value and the force to carry out the decisions of the intellect. The body would provide the means to actualize the decisions of the intellect. The human condition has made it so that we are governed by the desires of the body. Negative emotions provide a false sense of values and the literal mind provides the means to rationalize absurdity. Under these conditions how could our species be expected to produce other than what you’ve described? How can we be other than simultaneously producing of the greatest compassion and the greatest atrocities and call it normal?

In any case I don't know what an ubermensch is. We have a habit of inventing super-heroes, beings who are bigger, smarter, more powerful than we are. The ultimate, of course, is God. We're limited, He is not. We're mean, He is all-loving, etc etc. It's all comic book nonsense really!


This is where it becomes fascinating. The ubemench is not a product of conscious evolution but rather a person who has confronted the human condition within themselves and become balanced. They have become a master of themselves. Zarathustra said

I teach you the Overman! Mankind is something to be overcome. What have you done to overcome mankind?

All beings so far have created something beyond themselves. Do you want to be the ebb of that great tide, and revert back to the beast rather than overcome mankind? What is the ape to a man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just so shall a man be to the Overman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame. You have evolved from worm to man, but much within you is still worm. Once you were apes, yet even now man is more of an ape than any of the apes.

Even the wisest among you is only a confusion and hybrid of plant and phantom. But do I ask you to become phantoms or plants?

Behold, I teach you the Overman! The Overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The Overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beg of you my brothers, remain true to the earth, and believe not those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so away with them!

The Overman is the highest form of life on earth. The problem is finding one.

In truth, man is a polluted river. One must be a sea to receive a polluted river without becoming defiled. I teach you the Overman! He is that sea; in him your great contempt can go under.

What is the greatest thing you can experience? It is the hour of your greatest contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becomes loathsome to you, and so also your reason and virtue.

The hour when you say: What good is my happiness? It is poverty and filth and wretched contentment. But my happiness should justify existence itself!

The hour when you say: What good is my reason? Does it long for knowledge as the lion for his prey? It is poverty and filth and wretched contentment!

The hour when you say: What good is my virtue? It has not yet driven me mad! How weary I am of my good and my evil! It is all poverty and filth and wretched contentment!

The hour when you say: What good is my justice? I do not see that I am filled with fire and burning coals. But the just are filled with fire and burning coals!

The hour when you say: What good is my pity? Is not pity the cross on which he is nailed who loves man? But my pity is no crucifixion!

Have you ever spoken like this? Have you ever cried like this? Ah! If only I had heard you cry this way!

It is not your sin -- it is your moderation that cries to heaven; your very sparingness in sin cries to heaven!

Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the madness with which you should be cleansed?

Behold, I teach you the Overman! He is that lightning, he is that madness!

And you thought I have a negative attitude towards our species because I mention Plato’s cave?

All right. What do you mean by 'above'? If a person is completely open then they become more aware and sensitive to facets of life that others may not see.


Above is the domain of higher consciousness. The whole point is that we live in imagination so by definition are not open. Imagination has replaced conscious awareness forcing us to live in a world of opinions and partial truths. We have not witnessed ourselves. The Overman has.

Zarathustra said the overman is the meaning of the earth. This may be true but the question becomes if the meaning of the earth is the apex of Man’s conscious evolution or just the beginning of the path to experience Man’s objective meaning and purpose from a universal perspective which unites levels of reality rather than being limited to the earth.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 3rd, 2019, 3:01 pm 

charon » April 3rd, 2019, 1:39 pm wrote:What we can't know is something which is actually happening. Life is new all the time, every moment is new. We can only say we know something after it's happened, never at the time.

How does this relate to eternal recurrence or making better social decisions through living other lives?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 3rd, 2019, 3:33 pm 

How does this relate to eternal recurrence or making better social decisions through living other lives?


It doesn't. I was merely following the topic of the moment.

Eternal recurrence is an imaginative idea without evidence or substance.

Making better social decisions is not dependent on having lived a million times. It just takes common sense and a little humanity. Do you mean to say that you need to have some other mythical life before you know that people need food, clothes and shelter?

Most of us do know that. The people who don't, the tyrants and corrupt politicians, the nationalists, warmongers and ideologists, don't care a jot. It's they who are despoiling the world, not the ordinary people.

And are you suggesting that only nice people have lived many lives? Those others must have too and it obviously hasn't affected them a bit. So what's the point?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 3rd, 2019, 4:28 pm 

charon » April 3rd, 2019, 2:33 pm wrote: Do you mean to say that you need to have some other mythical life before you know that people need food, clothes and shelter?

No, I don't mean to say that.

And are you suggesting that only nice people have lived many lives?

No, I'm not suggesting that.

I merely wondered whether the topic "at hand", so intensely and intensively discussed above, had any relation to the thread topic.

It doesn't.

Thank you.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 3rd, 2019, 11:14 pm 

Nick -

Don't think I don't know what you're talking about. I do, maybe better than you!

So we make a great list with God at the top and the lowest whatever-it-is at the bottom, and we're all becoming perfect. One day we'll get there. The Overman has got there, or somewhere near it. He's transcended matter, and all that.

This sort of philosophy has existed for a very long time both in Asia and the West. It's not new, there's nothing new. There is the spiritual quest for truth and perhaps a few have understood and gone beyond time.

All this sort of thing, which I'm not denying, can either be taken very seriously and lived or just used as an intellectual stimulation, an amusement, an exercise to play with.

After all, it doesn't change anything. Where are you, or where are we, after describing all this? Are we more advanced on the great path or are we actually just where we are now?

It's nice to think we're becoming perfect or enlightened but really it's no more than a comforting delusion, isn't it? It doesn't change the tediousness of life, the brutality of our lives. It doesn't change our pettiness and irresponsible behaviour. That's what matters, not just saying we're all on our way to God.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 4th, 2019, 12:16 am 

In Paradise Lost Lucifer declared: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." IMO this also pertains to a choice for the Overman

What is the conscious evolutionary potential for an individual?
As an Overman Jesus was capable of the highest form of conscious evolution which was why he could consciously experience the Crucifixion and the purity of his experience could lead to the Resurrection.

However, there was a choice. Is it better to serve in heaven or rule in hell? Naturally for the Atheist or secularist that is earthbound, the priority is the earth. But Jesus was not an Atheist.

Matthew 4:

8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'[d]"

11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.


So Jesus chose to serve the Father rather than to rule over Man. Naturally for the Atheist or secularist, this goes over like a lead balloon. Our goal in the world is "prestige" and the ability to exert power for our own benefit. It appears ludicrous that one capable of doing so would intentionally avoid it.

Nietzsche apparently felt that the Overman was king of the world. Such a person is not bothered by fears and inabilities that stifle the normal person. The Overman is the ultimate human machine that can manipulate the world to serve its purposes. But it requires shedding all sorts of illusory fears that enable a person find satisfaction in mediocrity: The overman can do anything but may not know what to do. He my choose to conquer and rule the earth through his will for power or choose to receive from above as Jesus did and give to below.

A truly profound philosophical question. The Overman is free to do anything but should he rule the earth or feed the inner man from the quality of his being?

Mark 8:36, KJV: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, andlose his own soul?"


What should the Overman, lord of the earth, choose? Perhaps Lucifer was right. Imagine some kid in college asking his prof what the Overman should choose and how can a person know what to choose? Can you imagine all the meaningless PC answers he will receive and after the dust has settled the question remains.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby TheVat on April 4th, 2019, 12:26 am 

You don't have to like our forum guidelines here, but you have to abide by them, and not take the discussion off on an off topic tangent. Back to topic or, if the speculative nature of the topic is not of interest, then you are not forced to follow it or comment. I can see no sign the two most active participants took moderator advice to read Rawls, whose relevance to the topic has been established. If not of interest, then perhaps another thread is the place for a digression.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 4th, 2019, 12:54 am 

charon » April 3rd, 2019, 11:14 pm wrote:Nick -

Don't think I don't know what you're talking about. I do, maybe better than you!

So we make a great list with God at the top and the lowest whatever-it-is at the bottom, and we're all becoming perfect. One day we'll get there. The Overman has got there, or somewhere near it. He's transcended matter, and all that.

This sort of philosophy has existed for a very long time both in Asia and the West. It's not new, there's nothing new. There is the spiritual quest for truth and perhaps a few have understood and gone beyond time.

All this sort of thing, which I'm not denying, can either be taken very seriously and lived or just used as an intellectual stimulation, an amusement, an exercise to play with.

After all, it doesn't change anything. Where are you, or where are we, after describing all this? Are we more advanced on the great path or are we actually just where we are now?

It's nice to think we're becoming perfect or enlightened but really it's no more than a comforting delusion, isn't it? It doesn't change the tediousness of life, the brutality of our lives. It doesn't change our pettiness and irresponsible behaviour. That's what matters, not just saying we're all on our way to God.



I don’t believe that the Overman is a conscious being. IMO the Overman is the most highly developed Man animal. The inner freedom of the overman makes conscious evolution possible You can say why bother with striving to experience objective human meaning and purpose but maybe its goal is not worldly but freedom from worldly attachments? I agree completely that we are not becoming perfect, That is just New Age Feelgoodism.

How many acorns become oaks? If they all did the forest would die from overcrowding. As I understand it conscious evolution is based on the same idea. Only a small minority can become conscious beings while the majority just deny their opportunities and end up serving the same fate as the rest of organic life which is “dust to dust.” I choose to support this need to understand objective human meaning and purpose rather than deny it as futile. The question is if there is a way a person can evolve from fighting over opinions and open to experience understanding which motivates us as human beings rather than continuing to react as indoctrinated things in pursuit of prestige?

What can allow a person to awaken to reality so as the need to be can be "taken seriously?"
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 1:31 am 

Nick -

What can allow a person to awaken to reality so as the need to be can be "taken seriously?"


They'll awaken when they're ready to awaken. Before then there's no point in trying to force it.

I've said it all before but there's really only reality and illusion. When there's no illusion then what's left is the actual. So illusion matters more. To see what is not real is more important than trying to guess at reality. And what is not real are all things the mind has created in its search for truth. What the mind creates, the myths, legends, fables, stories, aren't real. Neither are all the philosophies that seek to explain life. Neither are any of the beliefs we have invented. Neither are any of the gods and all the rest of it.

So it's the mind we have to understand. The power of the mind to invent is legendary but its inventions have no reality. To see that is to be free of invention. When the mind is free then it can see what truth is. And truth is not in the clouds somewhere, it's what is actually there. It's what the world has become, it's what we are, how we live.

But nobody wants to look at that, we'd rather go off into some fantasy or other. Your Overman is the one who has looked, examined, and gone beyond all that - gone beyond, not avoided or escaped. Then one finds out the answer to all the questions.

But all that takes great maturity and seriousness, great perseverance and application, it's not something to play around with. It must be one's life, totally, otherwise nothing happens.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 2:23 am 

Vat -

Spencer J. Maxcy outlines the concept as follows:

Imagine that you have set for yourself the task of developing a totally new social contract for today's society. How could you do so fairly? Although you could never actually eliminate all of your personal biases and prejudices, you would need to take steps at least to minimize them. Rawls suggests that you imagine yourself in an original position behind a veil of ignorance. Behind this veil, you know nothing of yourself and your natural abilities, or your position in society. You know nothing of your sex, race, nationality, or individual tastes. Behind such a veil of ignorance all individuals are simply specified as rational, free, and morally equal beings. You do know that in the "real world", however, there will be a wide variety in the natural distribution of natural assets and abilities, and that there will be differences of sex, race, and culture that will distinguish groups of people from each other.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veil_of_ignorance


I doubt if anyone could develop a 'totally new' social contract. It would have to based on at least something that had gone before.

There's a point in beginning with the supposition that all others are rational and free. But I wonder if they'd still be free if they had to conform to my social contract!

Say one had the ability to draw up a plan for the whole world based on total equality, freedom, and so on. Probably that would be fairly easy. The law then is simple: love.

The problem, of course, is what happens when they do not love. I'll let you answer that :-)
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 4th, 2019, 8:55 am 

charon » April 4th, 2019, 1:23 am wrote:I doubt if anyone could develop a 'totally new' social contract. It would have to based on at least something that had gone before.

It has to be based on what we know of human needs, capabilities and proclivities. There would be no point in putting in a clause requiring everyone to eat peanuts with every meal, for example, since that would make many people sick or even dead and many more would not comply through defiance or subterfuge, so you'd have crime built into the system before its inception.

There's a point in beginning with the supposition that all others are rational and free. But I wonder if they'd still be free if they had to conform to my social contract!

Nobody in a society is ever 100% free. The whole point of a contract is not to force conformity on others but to knowingly accept limits on one's freedom in exchange for the same limits on every other signatory's freedom; to willingly take on a set of obligations in exchange for all other signatories agreeing to the same obligations.
Say one had the ability to draw up a plan for the whole world based on total equality, freedom, and so on. Probably that would be fairly easy. The law then is simple: love.

That neither follows nor makes sense. You can't put an emotional state into a legally binding document: nobody has that much control over their emotions. Jesus could say that with a straight face, because he was scheduled to leave before it all went kerblooey.
Normal, sane, free people would never sign up for universal LOVE. (They're even leery of signing marriage contracts with one other person whom they already love.)
But they may very well sign up for a society in which they are required to contribute to the welfare of their fellow citizens, and be entitled to the contributions of their fellow citizens to their own welfare.

The objective is simple: To establish a society that is not divided into predators and prey, winners and losers, top dogs and underdogs. While some may compete more successfully than others, none start at the finish line and none start a mile behind the starting line, because of their ethnicity, sex, class, or place of birth.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 9:55 am 

Oh, it's such a big subject...

Look, what is a society? A group of people under a system, probably having their own culture, traditions, and so on.

The point is one has to recognise what is called human nature. The premise of the test is not that all the subjects are actually rational but that one is making the system as though they were.

So, ultimately, you're going to end up with a society just the same as any other, whether we like it or not. However great and noble one's plan, human nature will overcome it. Someone said once that if the bomb went off and there were only one man and one woman left, in a few generations we'd be back to square one again.

So basically if you have one group or society, down the road will be another one, maybe slightly different. Groups, societies, tribes, nations, they're the same. So there will be wars and inevitable division, and all the rest of it.

Not only that but, within any given society, those who want power will rise, the exploiters flourish, and all the rest of it. Just like now.

So what matters isn't creating wonderful societies outwardly, which is probably impossible anyway, but the transformation of human beings. That requires education. It also implies there must be those who are equipped to educate in that sense. Are there any?

It's one of the anomalies of any social structure that it must be separate. That means a divided world unless one organises globally. And who will do that? And who will run it?

Freedom is the only issue. Unless human beings are deeply free there can never be a good society or a good world. We create around us what we are. What we are and how we behave is what we create.

You pout at love, I see. But without love what do you have? Don't laugh it off. Without love, which isn't sex and so on, but goodness, mercy, compassion, how can there be justice? You may laugh at the idea of love but without all that that word implies there'll be nothing but endless conflict and destruction. This is a fact, not a dogmatic theory.

Have you noticed that all societies, whether now or at any other time, are disintegrating? It's so, all the current ones are degenerating because there's no order. But order can't be imposed by law or military means. That's not order, that's repression. Where there's repression there's resistance and conflict. Just like now.

Because they disintegrate they have to reform and reform is an endless process going on till doomsday. There's no end to reform. You have to reform the reformations!

So what is one to do? What are you and I going to do if we see all this? You and I are living NOW in such a world, it's not theoretical. Do we conform thoughtlessly, as most of us do? Or is there a better way?

Is it ever possible to live in a corrupt and disintegrating society without becoming corrupted by it? That's the question. We might be destroyed in a war. We might be imprisoned for our views. Would you go that far? Would you refuse to kill, to exploit or be exploited?

Probably most of us would say it's all too much and give up, or escape off into some religious fantasy. The churches exist for that reason, to provide comfort, hope, and reassurance. But that, of course, is not religion. Religion is the unifying of life, of humanity, not all this separative business.

I'm sorry this is so long but I make no apology for it.
Last edited by charon on April 4th, 2019, 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 4th, 2019, 10:36 am 

charon » April 4th, 2019, 8:55 am wrote:The point is one has to recognise what is called human nature.

And this is something 'primitive' peoples were so much better at than we are.
When you theorize about "human nature" you're blowing smoke; talking about an imaginary thing. Civilizations require some theory of human nature, as well as some theory of nature's nature, on which to build a legal system. But these theories, themselves, are built on assumptions that are rarely examined for soundness, because they originated in superstitious belief, and that's usually taboo to question.

The premise of the test is not that all the subjects are actually rational but that one is making the system as though they were.

Of course. But it's not an unreasonable assumption, since most healthy animals are rational - until we drive them ma by demanding that they behave contrary to their instincts and drives.

So, ultimately, you're going to end up with a society just the same as any other,

And yet, not all societies are the same. They grow more alike through economic globalization and certainly have become more similar through ages of conquest. And even still, they are not the same.

However great and noble one's plan, human nature will overcome it.

Which is the point of making a contract that acknowledges that humans have some characteristic that must be accommodated by society and some characteristics that they are able to control. Then make sure it is in their interest to control their potentially destructive impulses.
Someone said once that if the bomb went off and there were only one man and one woman left, in a few generations we'd be back to square one again.

Many have said that. And it may be true. But my guess is more like a few hundred generations.

So what matters isn't creating wonderful societies outwardly, which is probably impossible anyway, but the transformation of human beings.

Into what?
That requires education. It also implies there must be those who are equipped to educate in that sense. And are there any?

Always. And there are always others intent on re-educating.
As you say about greed, power-lust and corruption, so goes ideology and indoctrination.
A reasonable and fair society would automatically include education of all its members - not to transform them, but to empower them.

Freedom is the only issue. Unless human beings are deeply free there can never be a good society or a good world.

I'll settle for superficial freedom to begin with.
If what you say about societies is correct, that's impossible.
And without superficial freedom - of the body and mind, to make decisions, to act, to contribute, to express themselves, to seek happiness, connection and self-respect - there can be no opportunity for "deep freedom".

You pout at love, I see.

I do not pout. I do state, categorically, that emotional states cannot be turned into legal concepts.
But without love what do you have? Don't laugh it off.

I do not laugh. I do state, categorically, that emotions are personal and private; not subject to external edict.

Without love, which isn't sex and so on, but goodness, mercy, compassion, how can there be justice? You may laugh at the idea of love but without all that word implies there'll be nothing but endless conflict and destruction. This is a fact, not a dogmatic theory.

I'm with Kurt Vonnegut on this. What the world needs is not love but common courtesy.

Have you noticed that all societies, whether now or at any other time, are disintegrating?

Not necessarily at any other time. There are many ways for societies to end, and it's not all about disorder or degeneracy - though those enter in the wake of other problems.

I have to go now.
Obviously, civilization is hopeless. It was a bad idea to begin with; the wrong path to take. Next time around may work out better, but I doubt it.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 11:13 am 

Serpent -

When you theorize about "human nature" you're blowing smoke; talking about an imaginary thing.


I don't understand that. Human beings work fundamentally the same as each other. The human mind is the human mind. Human psychology is universal.

If we were all lovely innocent beings none of our problems would exist; it would be a lovely world.

But it's not so because of how we are. When you say it's all imaginary, I'm afraid you'll have to explain that.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 4th, 2019, 11:24 am 

Marx wrote that religion is the opiate of the masses. Simone Weil wrote that revolution is the opiate of the masses. Simone is right IMO since we are as we are, everything is as it is. Revolution doesn't change what we are so the same conditions repeat

IMO the solution isn't found in love but rather in humility.

Simone Weil, First and Last Notebooks, translated by Richard Rees (London: Oxford University Press, 1970.)

The combination of these two facts — the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it — constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality.

Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes also that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect.

This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings. Whatever formulation of belief or disbelief a man may choose to make, if his heart inclines him to feel this respect, then he in fact also recognizes a reality other than this world's reality. Whoever in fact does not feel this respect is alien to that other reality also.



Her observation must be rejected on principle by atheism and secularism which denies a higher reality and since this influence is becoming increasingly dominant we are assured that nothing will change. The struggle for prestige will remain the dominant force in society regardless of the finest platitudes.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Serpent on April 4th, 2019, 12:14 pm 

charon » April 4th, 2019, 10:13 am wrote: Human beings work fundamentally the same as each other. The human mind is the human mind. Human psychology is universal.

This is approximately true. What isn't true is any theorist's description of "the human mind" or any theory of "universal psychology". Indeed, the study of psychology has, so far in its short life, been fraught with destructive misunderstandings and incorrect conclusions.

When you say it's all imaginary, I'm afraid you'll have to explain that.

I didn't say that it's "all" imaginary; what's imaginary is every philosopher's idea of "human nature" as a clearly defined entity.
There is nature, and humans are part of nature. Humans, like every other species, have specific characteristics in common with one another, as well as familial characteristics in common with all hominids, orderly characteristics in common with all primates, class characteristics in common with all mammals, and so on down to RNA, which we have in common will all life.
Until quite recently - and I mean, only a few decades and part of that was heretical - the sciences dealing with mind/thought/consciousness/knowledge/psychology have totally ignored the taxonomy of humans, except for the very last tiny subdivision; have behaved as if H sapiens had been specially created; absolutely separate from all other animals.
And, of course, religions and philosophies even decapitate the poor beast; separate his brain from his gut, his imagination from his heart, his mind from his body, and both from his environment.
This is where primitive people - those still living in nature - had an advantage in coping with their own impulses, reactions and behaviour.

No philosopher has a comprehensive understanding of "human nature". Ideologies are usually based on one or two obvious traits exhibited by the most visible people in the time and place of the conception of that ideology. That means, a whole lot of other characteristics, desires and needs are overlooked, disenfranchised or vilified. But that doesn't mean they go away; they always come up behind you with bared fangs.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 4th, 2019, 1:51 pm 

charon » April 4th, 2019, 1:31 am wrote:Nick -

What can allow a person to awaken to reality so as the need to be can be "taken seriously?"


They'll awaken when they're ready to awaken. Before then there's no point in trying to force it.

I've said it all before but there's really only reality and illusion. When there's no illusion then what's left is the actual. So illusion matters more. To see what is not real is more important than trying to guess at reality. And what is not real are all things the mind has created in its search for truth. What the mind creates, the myths, legends, fables, stories, aren't real. Neither are all the philosophies that seek to explain life. Neither are any of the beliefs we have invented. Neither are any of the gods and all the rest of it.

So it's the mind we have to understand. The power of the mind to invent is legendary but its inventions have no reality. To see that is to be free of invention. When the mind is free then it can see what truth is. And truth is not in the clouds somewhere, it's what is actually there. It's what the world has become, it's what we are, how we live.

But nobody wants to look at that, we'd rather go off into some fantasy or other. Your Overman is the one who has looked, examined, and gone beyond all that - gone beyond, not avoided or escaped. Then one finds out the answer to all the questions.

But all that takes great maturity and seriousness, great perseverance and application, it's not something to play around with. It must be one's life, totally, otherwise nothing happens.


Do you really believe people are governed by what they think? It seems clear to me that humanity as a whole is governed by what they emotionally value. The intellectual mind invents but IMO the emotional mind invents values and its inventions are far more dangerous

A person's intellectual mind can easily agree that it is advisable to diet and lose twenty pounds. However the emotional mind objects and believes itself entitled to satisfaction from eating and joins with the body in its love for sweets. As a result the diet lasts for a week and then old habits return.

The chief characteristic of humanity is hypocrisy. Since the mind, emotion, and sensory are usually in opposition, how else could it be? The Overman has acquired inner unity. He is master of himself. If we are honest we will admit how far we are from inner unity so say one thing and do another. This is hypocrisy.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 2:03 pm 

Serpent -

This is approximately true. What isn't true is any theorist's description of "the human mind" or any theory of "universal psychology". Indeed, the study of psychology has, so far in its short life, been fraught with destructive misunderstandings and incorrect conclusions.


I'm not talking about theory or theorists, I don't do all that, it's 100% irrelevant.

We're what we are, obvious and visible to anyone with eyes, and have been for a very, very long time. Of course there are variations and differences but the essential bedrock is the same. And you and I are perfect examples of it :-)

what's imaginary is every philosopher's idea of "human nature" as a clearly defined entity.


Oh, in that case you're probably absolutely right. Who knows what these people invent?

No philosopher has a comprehensive understanding of "human nature".


Absolutely. That's because they're philosophers. But they're human beings first and they'd do better addressing that before spinning their ideas.

Ideologies are usually based on one or two obvious traits exhibited by the most visible people in the time and place of the conception of that ideology.


Again, absolutely. That's precisely what's wrong with ideologies, they're too fixed, static, rigid, whereas life and human beings aren't. Trying to force a living entity into a neat ideological box has never worked and never will.

By the way, I wasn't trying to suggest that any law or legislation be passed that people 'should love'. That would be quite absurd. By 'the law is love' I meant the law of life. When that law is broken chaos ensues, as we can see demonstrated every day. But where it is upheld, which is rare, it's generally universally acknowledged.

You can't make people love each other, obviously. But we were talking about a good society, not a narrow, traditional, destructive one as we have now. For there to be any change in the world obviously it is we who have to change, not the government or the system. They've tried all that with revolutions, wars, tyranny, and so on; it's never worked and never will.

By transformation I mean from bad to good, not some other form of human being. That we're capable of if we want it, but apparently very few do want it. Do you mean to say the politician enjoying his power will happily give it up? Or the greedy, ambitious man his greed and ambition?

As the Buddhists (I'm not a Buddhist) rightly point out, change comes from within. It's up to us, it can't be forced. All this is very old stuff and has become a platitude and has spawned some good jokes. Nevertheless it's true and there's nothing wrong with pointing it out incessantly.

We always think the world is none of our business or it's up to politicians, etc. It's not, it's all of our responsibility. What we are matters because as we are, so is the world.

The fact, unfortunately, is that we're really terribly ignorant and therefore need an education that makes us aware of the terrible traps and dangers involved in the societies we have to live in.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 2:21 pm 

Nick -

Do you really believe people are governed by what they think?


Of course. We ARE what we think. As a man thinketh, so he is...

It seems clear to me that humanity as a whole is governed by what they emotionally value


Same thing, it's included.

A person's intellectual mind can easily agree that it is advisable to diet and lose twenty pounds. However the emotional mind objects and believes itself entitled to satisfaction from eating and joins with the body in its love for sweets. As a result the diet lasts for a week and then old habits return.


That's precisely it. The mind and heart are one. Where they become divided there's contradiction. And usually no action.

The chief characteristic of humanity is hypocrisy. Since the mind, emotion, and sensory are usually in opposition, how else could it be?


That's what we're saying. Hypocrisy takes place when the intellect dominates us. But the intellect is only a fragment of our being. It may have all sorts of noble ideals but they don't produce action. We believe in peace but are not peaceful, we believe in unity but separate ourselves, we believe we should love but don't.

WHY are we dominated by the intellect? Why has that one part become so overpowering? Is it our education which fosters it?

The Overman has acquired inner unity


I wouldn't know. We've invented a super-being, the opposite of what we are. Whereas it would be far more useful to realise the state we're in and act on that. We don't need examples and heroes for that, we just need to look at ourselves, what we are and how we live. Seeing what we are as we are is probably the first and last step.
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby Nick_A on April 4th, 2019, 2:39 pm 

Charon

As the Buddhists (I'm not a Buddhist) rightly point out, change comes from within. It's up to us, it can't be forced. All this is very old stuff and has become a platitude and has spawned some good jokes. Nevertheless it's true and there's nothing wrong with pointing it out incessantly.

We always think the world is none of our business or it's up to politicians, etc. It's not, it's all of our responsibility. What we are matters because as we are, so is the world.

The fact, unfortunately, is that we're really terribly ignorant and therefore need an education that makes us aware of the terrible traps and dangers involved in the societies we have to live in.


We don't want to know what we are. We prefer to strive for self esteem rather than self knowledge. To make matters worse the great ideas which further awakening to reality are abandoned and ridiculed in favor of imaginary self esteem. From Jacob Needlemn's book "The American Soul:"

Our world, so we see and hear on all sides, is drowning in materialism, commercialism, consumerism. But the problem is not really there. What we ordinarily speak of as materialism is a result, not a cause. The root of materialism is a poverty of ideas about the inner and outer world. Less and less does our contemporary culture have, or even seek, commerce with great ideas, and it is the lack that is weakening the human spirit. This is the essence of materialism. Materialism is a disease of the mind starved for ideas.

Throughout history ideas of a certain kind have been disseminated into the life of humanity in order to help human beings understand and feel the possibility of the deep inner change that would enable them to serve the purpose for which they were created, namely, to act in the world as conscious individual instruments of God, and the ultimate principle of reality and value. Ideas of this kind are formulated in order to have a specific range of action on the human psych: to touch the heart as well as the intellect; to shock us into questioning our present understanding; to point us to the greatness around us in nature and the universe, and the potential greatness slumbering within ourselves; to open our eyes to the real needs of our neighbor; to confront us with our own profound ignorance and our criminal fears and egoism; to show us that we are not here for ourselves alone, but as necessary particles of divine love.

These are the contours of the ancient wisdom, considered as ideas embodied in religious and philosophical doctrines, works of sacred art,literature and music and, in a very fundamental way, an indication of practical methods by which a man or woman can work, as is said, to become what he or she really is. Without feeling the full range of such ideas, or sensing even a modest, but pure, trace of them, we are bound to turn for meaning.


Attempts at spirit killing and metaphysical repression all have the effects of destroying ideas essential for Man to change.

"Who were the fools who spread the story that brute force cannot kill ideas? Nothing is easier. And once they are dead they are no more than corpses." - Simone Weil


How much of the modern world is sustained by imagination made possible by creating corpses?
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Re: Nietzsche's expanded concept [superhumanity]

Postby charon on April 4th, 2019, 2:45 pm 

How much of the modern world is sustained by imagination made possible by creating corpses?


What does that actually mean, Nick?

Probably much of the world is indeed sustained by imagination. I'd say that a lot of the corpses were the very product of that, not that creating corpses made imagination possible.
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