1. Explain why Nietzsche says that Christianity is “the most fatal and seductive lie ever told.”
To properly explain how Nietzsche feels about [SAL1]Christianity, his feelings about human nature must be shared [SAL2]first. Nietzsche says there are two groups in nature. The first group is the naturally aristocratic group and the second is the naturally inferior one. He says that no one on earth, human or animal alike, are [SAL3]equal. Everything on earth [SAL4]has different qualities. Some people are naturally more talented, intelligent, athletic, attractive, and so one[SAL5] and so on. Some people are significantly less gifted than others. He says there is no point in denying this by saying we are all equal, because we are not.
Nietzsche says that people why [SAL6]are naturally superior express something he calls the will to power. This means that people who are exceptionally gifted take advantage of their exceptional traits. He also explains how these superior people do not let anything get in the way of them becoming better people. They will maintain dominance over others, mostly people inferior to themselves. He does not consider this to be immoral. In fact, since they are being true to the people that they are they are behaving morally. They resist what Nietzsche calls slave moralities. People who are inferior do not resist slave moralities which lead us closer [SAL7]to Nietzsche’s opinion of Christianity.
These superior and inferior people follow either master morality or slave morality. Superior people fall in to the master morality. These people are ‘beyond good and evil (70)” and can make their own rules. They answer to no one and do not believe in boundaries. The common definition of “good” does not apply to people with master morality. “Good” is something that adds to the amount of power being held while living up to the full potential. [SAL8] “Bad” is doing anything that takes away from that power or establishing powers that lead to the diminishment or natural ability[SAL9].
Those who follow slave morality are the naturally inferior people. These people live in fear and doubt. Nietzsche refers to them as victims, but he also says that they choose to be. Those with slave morality are the extreme opposite of those with master morality. They do not seek to better themselves and desire boundaries to live by. They are not happy and are struggling to exist and get by. The [SAL10]definitions of good and bad are also the exact [SAL11]opposite of master morality[SAL12]. “Good” means anything that ends suffering and “bad” is everything that inflicts that suffering or fear. Nietzsche says that these are the people who conform to organized religion, such as Christianity. They are grasping for something to believe in because they feel their life is not worth living. Religion gives these people a purpose and guidelines to live by.
Nietzsche says that all people in organized religion[SAL13], primarily Christianity, have salve [SAL14]morality. According to Nietzsche this is immoral because they are denying the life they are currently living in [SAL15]to obtain a better life after death. They essentially long for death so they can leave the misery of the life they are in now. Instead of living while they are alive, they are waiting until they are dead to do so. They will never be able to live up to any potential because they live with the fear of God in their hearts. They do not want to act in any way that might not put them in good standing for the life hereafter. This is the utterly highest form of cowardice in Nietzsche’s mind. He feels people in this religion are like cows, waiting to be herded to their destination. [SAL16]
In conclusion, “Christianity is the most fatal and seductive lie ever told.” It pulls people in and denies them the ability to live up to their full potential. It attracts people with a slave morality, those who have nothing else to believe in.
Marx has a very detailed theory on what the “good life” is and how it can be reached. Achieving the “good life” can only be done [SAL17]through is [SAL18]concept of [SAL19]species-being. This is only attainable through Communism.
First of all, Marx talks about his concept of species-being and how [SAL20]humans are unique. He shows their differences [SAL21]by contrasting [SAL22]humans and animals. The productive life of a human is distinct for six primary reasons. The first is human beings manipulate the whole world. Animals cannot do this and also have no need to. Secondly, humans can manipulate through the use of technology. This creates a limitless production which animals cannot attain. They are limited to the resources of their habitat. Thirdly, unlike animals our wants are pre-established or set in stone[SAL23]. Fourthly, animals are mostly limited to their preordained communities. Humans can adapt to most any environment. Fifthly, humans have the capability to think about anything they desire, whereas animals have confines on their knowledge[SAL24]. Lastly, all worldly resources are available to humans. This is not true for animals, which are limited to their species and environment.
Marx believed that if a human being lived in accordance with his theory of species-being, that being would have no boundaries. There were [SAL25]six characteristics of the productive life that had to be followed [SAL26]in order to be unconstrained. The first was humans had to live life by standards of human beings, not animals. Second of all[SAL27], all activities are decided [SAL28]free of choice. Third of all[SAL29], no activity should be harmful to nature. Last of all[SAL30], products created by humans should be truly appreciated.[SAL31] This is most important because it leads to [SAL32]Marx [SAL33]theory of alienation.
Marx also believed that this concept of perfect human life following species-being has never been possible. They [SAL34]believed that the proper economic society had not yet existed. He was a firm believer of Communism and Capitalism was its dark opposite. This is where Marx came up [SAL35]with the theory of “alienated labor” This is the concept that workers in Capitalistic society were alienated from their lives through their work under Capitalism. He believed that their body and mind were constrained; therefore the worker loses touch with life.
Marx says there are five types of alienation. They are: Alienation from Nature, Alienation from body, Alienation from Fully Human Species-being, Alienation from Others, and Intellectual Alienation.
Alienation from Nature is defined as anything outside the human being. [SAL36]By working for Capitalism the worker is destroying nature. In essence, he or she is destroying part of themselves. This in turn causes him or her to hate their products. The workers [SAL37]view of nature also alters. They see nature as a tool they can use to create destructive products.
The second form of alienation is Alienation from Body. The worker is exploiting his or her body for the benefit of the Capitalist. Marx believed that the potential strength and assets the worker has are lost when they [SAL38]use them foe [SAL39]the benefit of Capitalism. The worker is not being true to his or her self and is living a restricted life.
The third form of alienation is Alienation from Fully Human Life. Being a worker reduces the human to the state of an animal. Workers are not in control of what they produce. Someone else, the Capitalist, is ordering them to use their assets for the Capitalists’ benefit. While the worker is producing things which he or she has been demanded to make, they [SAL40]begin to loathe that very product of their efforts. The creation of the worker is also an extension of the worker. Therefore the hate they displace on their creations becomes hatred for themselves. [SAL41]
The fourth form is Alienation from others. Marx believed Capitalism formed a competitive rat race. Workers struggled to produce the demands of the Capitalist while simultaneously trying to keep ahead of competitors. This blinding struggle enables [SAL42]the workers [SAL43]ability to see others as anything but other workers. Hence, they feel the distinct need to compete. This benefits the Capitalist and does harm to the worker.
The final form of alienation is Intellectual Alienation. Marx introduces a term called contradiction. This is the concept that capitalists use forms or [SAL44]propaganda to better themselves while disabling the working class. One form of contradiction is propaganda that implies working hard can make you rich. This places all blame on the self if wealth is not accomplished[SAL45]. It benefits capitalism because the worker produces mass quantities in the endless pursuit of riches. Another form of propaganda is what we know today to be commercials. The capitalist tells the working class what they need in order to live happy lives. Of course, these are material possessions such as cars, jewelry, houses, name brand clothes, and anything lese in the monetary interest of the capitalist.
Marx [SAL46]idea of the good life was basically communism. Capitalism was the anti-Christ of communism and embodied everything Marx was against. True happiness can only be found thru [SAL47]species-being. Like he said though, it has not yet been attained.
Simple Subjectivism says that moral judgments are statements, usually statements of a personal feeling or belief. When a person says something is morally good, he or she is approving of that thing. It works the same when speaking of something morally bad. This theory is very simple. An example would follow: “I think gardening is good. I think gardening is morally acceptable. I think people should garden.” All of this simply translates into, “I approve of gardening.”[SAL48] This simplicity is why Simple Subjectivism seems so tempting to believe in.
There are two important arguments against Simple Subjectivism. The first being, [SAL49]humans make errors. Nothing we do can be flawless. Simple Subjectivism relies on sincerity. If Person A is sincere when he disapproves of abortion, then he cannot be erroneous. [SAL50] This is where the argument can be made. [SAL51]According to Simple Subjectivism, when we speak sincerely our moral judgments are infallible. People, though, are not infallible. Even if we are speaking sincerely, we are still capable of being wrong. If I say that Elvis is really alive, I am speaking a fallacy. I may be totally sincere when making this claim, but the sincerity does not change the fact that I am wrong. Therefore, Simple Subjectivism cannot be correct and is invalid[SAL52]. This argument alone is enough to derail the theory, but another strong argument can be made.
Simple Subjectivism also says that when Person A says cheating is morally acceptable and Person B says it is morally unacceptable, they are not disagreeing. That is because Simple Subjectivism says Person A is only referring to himself and his beliefs. Person B is also only referring to himself and his beliefs. Rachels uses homosexuality as an example. Bradley believed homosexuality to be moral and Falwell felt that homosexuality was immoral. According to Simple Subjectivism, the two men were not disagreeing, but merely stating their own beliefs. Obviously, the two me [SAL53]believe in two different views and therefore disagree about homosexuality. If Simple Subjectivism were true they would not be disagreeing. Therefore the theory of Simple Subjectivism is invalid[SAL54].
Since Simple Subjectivism did not take, Emotivism evolved from it. Being derived from Simple Subjectivism, both theories have their similarities and differences. [SAL55]The first change is the interpretation of the language. Simple Subjectivism said that more [SAL56]judgments are facts. Emotivism says that moral judgments are not facts, but are commands or self-expressions meant to influence people’s behavior. One of the things that is wrong with Simple Subjectivism is it implies[SAL57] that we are infallible, which we are not. Since Emotivism defines the language as commanding, and commands are not true-false statements, it cannot be infallible. Thus solving one of Simple Subjectivisms flaws. [SAL58]The second argument against Simple Subjectivism is also easily refuted with Emotivism. Stevenson says that there are differences in attitude. Simple Subjectivism says moral disagreements are disagreements about attitude. This is a disagreement were [SAL59]sides are arguing about facts. An example may be landing on the moon. I may think we landed there and you make think we did not. One of us has our facts mistaken and we are arguing about who’s[SAL60] facts are right and who’s[SAL61] are not.
Emotivism says that they [SAL62]are not disagreements about attitude, but in attitude. Two people may understand and agree with all facts in an argument. After reviewing the facts, the two people may still be for different sides. Rachels uses gun control as his example. If I favor gun control and you do not, we are agreeing on the facts surrounding the issue. We are not agreeing on the outcome that appeals to each of us. This change from Simple Subjectivism to Emotivism fixes another flaw from the original theory.
This is not to say Emotivism does not have its flaws. One of them is that Emotivism says that no one can be wrong in the moral decisions they make. Since it is a theory based on emotions, how we feel is what validates our decision. For instance, say my child was murdered. I then feel and [SAL63]eye for an eye is fair. Since I feel that it is okay to commit murder, I am right. Even though the law says it is not right, my feelings make it moral.
Another fault is that feelings need no reasoning. If I feel that it is moral to steal, Emotivism says that I can go ahead and do so. Why? Simply because I feel it is moral. Obviously stealing is not moral and neither is committing murder.
Simple Subjectivism and Emotivism both have their flaws. Simple Subjectivism says that we are infallible and immoral judgments are not disagreements. Emotivism says no one can be wrong in the moral decisions they [SAL64]make and feelings are reason enough for any action. The decision has to be made as to what theories flaws are the most minor.[SAL65]
The Divine Command Theory says, “Morality depends on God’s command.” If God commands something to be good, then it is moral. If God commands something to be bad, then it is immoral. To analyze this argument, we must look at the basic parts that form this argument. [SAL66]
To begin the argument, we must first start with a problem. According to James Rachels, this problem is, “Suppose God commands us to do what is right. Then either a) the right actions are right because he commands them or b) he commands them because they are right (58).” Each of these two options presents a problem.
The first error is in “right actions are right because God commands them.” When this is said, it[SAL67] makes God’s decisions seem arbitrary. The only reason that actions are moral is because [SAL68]God deems them as so. To exemplify this we can look at the morality of honesty. The general population of the world believes honesty to be moral. If we were not honest with one another, nothing anyone said could be taken seriously. How would we know what was the truth and what was not? Conversations would then have no point. What if, instead of God commanding honesty to be moral, he decided to command lying to be moral? Then, lying would be the status quo [SAL69]and anyone who was honest would be considered [SAL70]immoral. Obviously, honesty is the moral action, not lying, but God has no guidelines to follow. Being omnipotent, he does not have to have a reason for what he decides is moral and what he decides is immoral. His commands then have no reasoning. They are simply so because God commanded it that way. This takes away the image of God being a gentle an [SAL71]ultimately kind hearted being.
The second error is found in, “he commands them because they are right.” This claim takes away the authority and power that is synonymous with being God. Once again, I will use honesty as an example. According to this claim, God commands honesty because it is right. This means that, separate from God and what he commands, honesty is moral. Some other standard has already been set which makes honesty good. God recognizes this, and then adheres to the standard of honesty being moral. God is no longer omnipotent because he is adhering to a pre-established set of standards and then does not have ultimate authority. Now saying we believe honesty is moral because God commands it does not make very much sense. It opens itself to the question, why does God command it? [SAL72]Now, instead of taking away God’s pure and kind image, we have “admitted that there is a standard of right and wrong independent of his will (58).”
This then presents us with two options, both of them taking away from the image of God. We can choose to believe that God’s commands are right because he commands them. This then makes his commands arbitrary and loses the pure good that we saw God as having. If not this, then we can choose to believe God commands actions because they are right. If we believe this, we say there is an independent source of right and wrong. We then also lose theological definitions.[SAL73]
Now we must come to a decision. [SAL74]We have to decide what we are willing to take away from our thoughts of God. From religious standpoint, the second option would be chosen. In religion, it is almost unthinkable to say God is arbitrary. It is equally unthinkable to say that he is not pure of heart. This only leaves us with the belief that, in The Divine Command Theory, God commands things because they are right.[SAL75]
[SAL4] 10 as opposed to where?
[SAL8] 10 whatever creates more power
[SAL10] 21 Their
[SAL12] 44 master morality’s definitions
[SAL13] 49 As far as I know, Marx does not address non-Western religious views.
[SAL15] 21, 10
[SAL17] 10 “The good life can be achieved only …”
[SAL22] 10 “He makes a contrast between …”
[SAL23] 35 This is backwards.
[SAL24] 10 can’t
[SAL36] 22, 32
[SAL42] 52 disables?
[SAL44] 6 of?
[SAL46] 2 Marx’s
[SAL52] 21 Only arguments are “invalid”. The word “invalid” implies a logic error. You are talking here about what I assume you believe to be a factual error.
[SAL54] 21 false
[SAL56] 6 moral
[SAL57] 10 “SS wrongly implies”
[SAL59] 6 where?
[SAL60] 6 whose
[SAL61] 6 whose
[SAL65] 32 huh?
[SAL66] 10 its parts
[SAL67] 10 this
[SAL68] 10 NEVER write “the reason … is because …”! This is always redundant. Say “the reason is …” or “X is the case because … “
[SAL70] 10, 22
[SAL71] 6 and?
[SAL72] 10 These two sentences do not seem to belong here.
[SAL74] 44 Not really. What about natural law?
[SAL75] These are pretty good essays, content-wise. You seem to understand the arguments very well.
There are still quite a few careless tech errors, many of which seem to be typos.
Content Grade: A-
Deduction for tech errors: 30%