Friday, November 28, 2008

Philosophy 118: 26 November, 2008

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 this Wednesday...

.:God Is Dead:.

This phrase is often misinterpreted as a celebratory statement. It is rather a lament, that in Nietzsche's time, the people have lost their sense of God, in effect, killing Him. Contrast the average European Christian with a Buddhist, and you can see that the Buddhist lives his life as a Buddhist, while the Christian is as good as any other secular man. The Christian life was a nihilistic life.

At this point, he could say, with his disdain for European Christian practices, that indeed, God was dead.

Here, he attempts to remedy this with what he called Eternal Recurrence.

.:Eternal Recurrence:.

Imagine yourself standing in the now, and from this now, you radiate both towards the past, as historians do, and to the future, as the futurists do. Both directions can be indefinitely extended. For Nietzsche, this world has existed for all eternity, and will always be there. What Nietzsche is proposing is that because both lines are infinite, it eventually going to repeat itself at some point.

Thus, we see the birth, the degeneration, the death, then the rebirth of yet another cycle. This is a cycle that never ends. For Nietzsche, he believes that there is no true progression per se. The answer, the meaning of life is not in the past or the future. It is when you look into the now, have the courage to the now, because that moment is calling you in a very unique way to realize yourself in the unique way that you ought to be.

The ubermensch is the one who is true to who they are.

If God is dead, then we should not waste our time bewailing that, but instead of dwelling on this so-called death and to attempt to go back to the past or to reform the faith, this moment now is where we could find the meaning of life.

.:The Critique Of Language:.

Nietzsche criticized the way language has been taken by Philosophy in the past. First of all, only in contemporary thought has language ever been given a certain measure of distinction on its own. Few thinkers ever really paid much attention to language, if at all, as it was merely a mode of expression to reality itself, and the “reality itself” was the source of concern, more than anything else.

During Aristotle's time, the very word was a manifestation of the reality itself. Language was merely a tool for understanding, a lens, as it were, for understanding.

Nietzsche maintains that there is no natural link between the language and the reality. The relation is, in truth, arbitrary and artificially constructed. The relation is only brought about by an experience, and then a certain distance is maintained, a reaction, an interpretation of man to reality. It is not a direct picture of the reality. That is, we can say that language and reality is merely a metaphorical relationship.

Even in a seemingly literal sense, the relationship between language and reality is arbitrary and established as a value judgment, and merely circumstantial. As such, depending upon the language you speak, you represent a certain world-view or horizon, a certain disposition. In a matriarchal society where women are obliged to have multiple husbands, you cannot call these women “sluts” because the reality is this is their actual moral obligation.

In truth, Nietzsche has only had a 15-page paper on language in 1873, that he has dictated to a friend: On Truth and Falsity in an Extramoral Sense.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“But, no! There really is a time where you want to say, 'your mother is a whore.' P$#^&& i*@ mo!”
- Dr. Reyes (Explaining the critique of language.)

“For you, Fr. Eliazo was a building. For us, he was flesh and blood.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Fr. Eliazo was famous for asking for 3 Hail Mary's for penance, no matter what. That's why the lines of people who want to confess to him were always long. When he sees this, he'd ask someone to pray a full rosary, and you'd see the people in line slowly shift to another confessor.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Fr. Pollock has this habit where he moves his head to and fro, like Stevie Wonder.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Bless me father, for I have sinned. I have committed the sin of necking.”

“Necking? Necking? Let us clarify. If you don't clarify, I cannot give you canonical absolution. By my definition, necking is from the neck up, from the neck down, it's petting.”

“Bless me father, for I have sinned. I have committed the sin of petting.”

“Petting? How many times?”

“Father, long time.”

“Very good, very good. At least you have the courage to tell me... My son, when it gets too hot for you, stop! Calm down! When you're calmed down already, you can start again!”

- Confession between Fr. Pollock and one of Dr. Reyes' batchmates


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Raiza said...

OMG! God is dead... this is one of my favorite lessons in our Philosophy class... hahah... Friedrich Nietzche is the man... though I don't like some of his ideas, the existence of an "ubermensch" sometimes makes sense if we look at it deeper...

Great post po, by the way...