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  1. #71
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I just mean that it's similar in that the Knight of Faith ideal is almost an insane level of individualistic devotion. Where only a private conception of God and the believer's faith mattered (it has nothing to do with embracing Keirkegaard's moral philosophy. The Knight of Faith makes reference to no outside philosophy. Or rather, believes God transcends even ethics. And Keirkegaard himself didn't think he came close to this level of faith. He was just in awe of it).

    The fact that a God concept comes into the equation (and not just "will") does make a big difference though. Except, the Knight of Faith's god isn't one easily defined as good or evil either. He used Abraham as an example of a Knight of Faith: A man whose god went beyond any typical understanding of morality, and asked him to sacrifice his own son. The irony is that his god's ultimate test was to "tempt" Abraham into being moral - yet, he decided to equate only his faith as the right course. Not morality. So it might as well be compared to will.

  2. #72
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  3. #73
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    "Arbitrary" is too strong of a claim to make. Its quite obvious that a reflective person is more independently minded than a philistine. Besides, "arbitrariness" wasn't your initial point, your initial point was that its impossible to be a over-man because no-one is a completely independent thinker.
    I had two very interrelated initial points..

    "I guess there's some threshold point or something? I dunno...I can't figure out why everyone is treating it like a clear yes or no thing."

    If the "threshold" was arbitrary, any distinction between an independent thinker and a mindless conformist would be meaningless. To assert that a certain notion is arbitrary means to maintain that it is entirely a figment of our imagination or a result of some bias or an illusion.
    Ah, I think you're using the term differently from what I meant (my mistake probably -- since you're so damn literal )

    I meant that for each threshold point you come up with, one could argue the point could be a little higher or lower in the spectrum.

    It's like the Mensa threshold -- 132 IQ. Why not 131? Who knows... They had to pick something -- but it's not like there's even a visible difference between 131 and 132...

    That was what I meant -- if you define some line for "overman", it doesn't necessarily mean that's THE OBJECTIVE DEFINITION.

    The question of independent thought has little to do with views of any particular group of persons, there is an objective way of distinguishing between an independently minded individual and one who slavishly conforms to the views of others.

    The question of whether this or that particular person is an independent thinker should be answered on the basis of a continuum rather than a dichotomy. Everyone is an independent thinker to a certain degree. You may ask how independently minded must you be in order to be considered an over-man? That question isn't very important, the more of an independent thinker you are, the more of an over-man you are. The over-man should be seen as an inachievable ideal of completely independent thought, a person should not try to meet this ideal, but to get as close as possible to attaining the cardinal virtues of this Nietzschean hero. Independenc of thought is certainly one of such positive character qualities.
    The bolded is what I was trying to say in the first place. That's why I think speculating about who is an overman and who isn't as if it isn't just a matter of opinion is silly.

    Clearly, some people are further to one side of the spectrum than others, but to say that it's somehow objective is begging for a stupid "nah-ah!!" "yah-hah!!" argument.

  4. #74
    Retired Member Wonkavision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post

    Dude, I'll bow to your analytical brilliance because being someone who has only cursorily read the man, as in read pretty much all his books, I never detected any doubling back on and some how accepting Christian mysticism as you suggested, nor do I see any of the kindliness which you suggest is actually Nietzsche's crux, not in the least, so it must have been heavily disguised. In fact I think its a little like describing Marx as a closet free marketeer.
    Well, obviously you haven't read Nietzsche's "Taking It All Back: Why Slave Morality Is Actually Pretty Cool."
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  5. #75
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    My candidate is Oscar Wilde.

  6. #76
    Retired Member Wonkavision's Avatar
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    Well, if being an independent thinker is the only requirement, then Victor is the supreme example of Ubermensch.
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  7. #77
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    One also has to be a mensch.

  8. #78
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonkavision View Post
    Well, if being an independent thinker is the only requirement, then Victor is the supreme example of Ubermensch.
    Except his obsession with what studies find.

    -------------------------------------

    Honestly, I don't think being an overman is necessarily something to strive for. There's good reason to defer to other people's opinion in some circumstances; we just don't have enough processing power to think everything through. Nothing wrong with delegating (for lack of a better word) thinking about something to someone else, as long as you have some good metric for who to trust in terms of their judgment.

    A true overman would spend so much time thinking through everything for themselves that they couldn't do very many tangible things -- no one has the computational resources for that.

    What I strive for is a balance between thinking for myself and maintaining good relationships. When new information is thrown my way, I have a larger computational pool than an overman would. And it's not like I can't check the answers other people come to.

  9. #79
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    A true overman would spend so much time thinking through everything
    I'm pretty sure they don't


  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    My candidate is Oscar Wilde.
    I am pretty sure Oscar Wilde was not what Nietzche has in mind when he proposed the ubermensch concept.

    this is what one Ambrose Bierce had to say about your esteemed mr wilde

    "That sovereign of insufferables, Oscar Wilde has ensued with his opulence of twaddle and his penury of sense. He has mounted his hind legs and blown crass vapidities through the bowel of his neck, to the capital edification of circumjacent fools and foolesses, fooling with their foolers. He has tossed off the top of his head and uttered himself in copious overflows of ghastly bosh. The ineffable dunce has nothing to say and says it—says it with a liberal embellishment of bad delivery, embroidering it with reasonless vulgarities of attitude, gesture and attire. There never was an impostor so hateful, a blockhead so stupid, a crank so variously and offensively daft. Therefore is the she fool enamored of the feel of his tongue in her ear to tickle her understanding."

    Bierce’s denunciation continued:

    "The limpid and spiritless vacuity of this intellectual jelly-fish is in ludicrous contrast with the rude but robust mental activities that he came to quicken and inspire. Not only has he no thought, but no thinker. His lecture is mere vebal ditchwater—meaningingless, trite and without coherence. It lacks even the nastiness that exalts and refines his verse. Moreover, it is obviously his own; he had not even the energy and independence to steal it. And so, with a knowledge that would equip and idiot to dispute with a cast-iron dog, and eloquence to qualify him for the duties of a caller on a hog-ranche, and an imagination adequate to the conception of a tom-cat, when fired by contemplation of a fiddle-string, this consummate and star-like youth, missing everything his heaven-appointed functions and offices, wanders about, posing as a statute of himself, and, like the sun-smitten image of Memnon, emitting meaningless murmurs in the blaze of women’s eyes. He makes me tired."

    Bierce’s amazing invective ended with:

    "And this gawky gowk has the divine effrontery to link his name with those of Swinburne, Rossetti and Morris—this dunghill he-hen would fly with eagles. He dares to set his tongue to the honored name of Keats. He is the leader, quoth’a, of a renaissance in art, this man who cannot draw–of a revival of letters, this man who cannot write! This little and looniest of a brotherhood of simpletons, whom the wicked wits of London, haling him dazed from his obscurity, have crowned and crucified as King of the Cranks, has accepted the distinction in stupid good faith and our foolish people take him at his word. Mr. Wilde is pinnacled upon a dazzling eminence but the earth still trembles to the dull thunder of the kicks that set him up."

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