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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nietzschean

Santorum is such a perfect foil (I said "foil"!) for me.  An antithesis to my ethical worldview.

I just read today that in his book on the family he spoke of Nietzsche as preparing the way for moral relativism and Hitler (and recently for Obama whose secularist theology is not based on the Bible).  He is want to describe everything which he opposes as somehow leading to Hitler and Nazism.  So I do not want to follow the same course with his brand of theocracy.  [However, it is interesting, isn't it, how people tend to decry in other people exactly what you can find in them.  I suppose I do it myself due to some subconscious rejection of my own foibles that I cast on others.]

Spinoza (we are about to see "New Jerusalem: the Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza") was arguably the intellectual conduit to modernism including the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution. Friedrich Nietzsche I would argue was the intellectual conduit to postmodernism including Evolution and the information revolution.  (I really can't see any evidence that Santorum read Nietzsche, much less understands him.)

Nietzsche, while attacking the prevalent Christian morality of his culture (and ours), was no moral relativist.  He was a man of reason attempting to find explanation in nature without appealing to some revelation from outside nature.  So I guess that makes him a secularist.  However, he did see in human existence the basis for truthful and moral behavior.  It is just that he did not put the "truth" or the "good" in laws or propositions uttered by gods or men, but in the dynamic and progressive drive of humanity to seek the truth and the good.  He was the opposite and is an antidote to totalitarianism of the right or the left.

His insights leading to those of Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Dewey, Popper, Rorty, Bourdieu, are the basis of an open society, not one hemmed in by the idolatry of language, constitution, law, religion.

I'll take Nietzsche over Santorum any day.

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