onsdagen den 10:e augusti 2011

The Spinoza-Nietzsche Connection

Dearest Dino

I believe you are a formidable thinker and understand both Spinoza and Nietzsche extremely well yourself.
Yes, I agree, the major BREAK with the idea that Philosophy is a discipline of Constructing Systems was all Nietzsche's efforts. Nietzsche wrote "Human, All Too Human" for a reason: Not only the book but the title reflects his utter conviction that humans can and should do only what they and their language is capable of. So understanding those LIMITATIONS is the first and most important job of Philosophy. In this, Nietzsche is the philosopher par excellence of both subjectivism, extistentialism, pragmatism, process philosophy (Mobilism),and transrationalism (the overcoming of rationalism). This is what he really means with the idea of "The Death of God". He is not an atheist as he is an opponent to the ambition of creating closed and complete systems (Totalism).
Spinoza laid the ground for Nietzsche in Western Philosophy, but Spinoza was still GROUNDED in the idea of creating a complete system of human understanding as reality, he was actually one of the most aggressive and BELIEVING of the rationalists. Spinoza was actually a rationalist as much as Kant. If anybody questioned the conditions of rationalism before Nietzsche and started to move things around it was rather another one of Deleuze's other old heroes, David Hume, who set that ship afloat. Hume was an early process philosopher in this sense.
Zarathushtra is interestingly enough, like his Greek friend Heracleitus, outside all of this, since the whole ambition of creating a complete system did not exist at his time. It was, as Nietzsche has pointed out, originally an Egyptian idea infused into the Abrahamic faiths, the idea that humans were capable of understanding and comprehending Existence in full. Zarathushtra would probably thought of the whole ambition as crazy.
So Nietzsche is not so much an historical inventor of transrationalism but rather its resurrector!
And who was the last of the totalists? Hegel of course. And if Nietzsche "mourned the death of God and dealt with it" then his follower Hediegger "mourned the death of Hegel and dealt with it". No wonder Slavoj Zizek today began his philosophical career was an expert on Heidegger rather than Hegel. ;-)

Ushta
Alexander

2011/8/10 Special Kain

Here's an article on the connection between Spinoza and Nietzsche in German:

http://www.c3.hu/~prophil/profi013/kisendre_4_4.html

It states that Nietzsche's Zarathustra character from "Also sprach Zarathustra" owes a lot to Baruch Spinoza the person.

And here's a postcard that Nietzsche once wrote to his dear friend Franz Overbeck where he sees Spinoza, "this most unusual and loneliest thinker", as his precursor and that they share the same tendency: to make all knowledge the most powerful affect.

http://dontdontoperate.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/nietzsche-on-spinoza-to-overbeck/

I like Spinoza, Nietzsche and Deleuze, but Nietzsche is still my favorite. I agree with his criticism of systematization in philosophy. And Spinoza pushed and squeezed everything into one system, his "Ethics". So we need Deleuze to balance out the tensions between Spinoza and Nietzsche.

But our dear brother Alexander has a much better understanding of Spinoza and Deleuze than I do. Perhaps he can share his pearls of wisdom with us?

Ushta,
Dino

--- Special Kain schrieb am Mi, 10.8.2011:

Von: Special Kain
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Equal opportunities (was: The Zoroastrian Revolution in Ethics)
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Mittwoch, 10. August, 2011 08:51 Uhr


Dear Behnaz

You should start with Spinoza's "Ethics".
It was Gilles Deleuze who saw the connection between Spinoza und Nietzsche.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3800/3800-h/3800-h.htm

Ushta,
Dino


--- Behnaz Larsen schrieb am Di, 9.8.2011:

Von: Behnaz Larsen
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] Equal opportunities (was: The Zoroastrian Revolution in Ethics)
An: "Ushta@yahoogroups.com"
CC: "Ushta@yahoogroups.com"
Datum: Dienstag, 9. August, 2011 22:50 Uhr


On a different note, I am getting curious about Spinoza, have heard his name mentioned a couple of times, believe he was a philosopher about the same caliber as Nietzsche. Am I right? Could you recommend a book by him? I am not very smart in the art of philosophy so perhaps a document written about his work which summarizes his work?
Thank you
Ushta
Behnaz

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 9, 2011, at 1:23 PM, Special Kain wrote:


And this is exactly why people deserve to have equal opportunities, dear Behnaz! According to Zarathushtra, people deserve to be free and live life to the fullest.

Decision management isn't easy. There's an increasing number of options in western societies. And the outcomes of our decisions are hard to predict. So we are requested to educate ourselves in the art of managing and assessing information and choices. Those who can manage, sort, manipulate, share and distribute information are the kings and queens of tomorrow. Primus inter pares!

And if people choose to remain stupid, then so be it. Unfortunately, we can't open their skulls, push a few buttons and make them smarter. There is no button for "instant intelligence". So people should be free to choose which path they want to go. And smart people make better choices.

Ushta,
Dino



--- Behnaz Larsen schrieb am Di, 9.8.2011:

Von: Behnaz Larsen
Betreff: Re: AW: [Ushta] The Zoroastrian Revolution in Ethics (was: Learning what is right and wrong (as opposed to the idea of a human essence))
An: "Ushta@yahoogroups.com"
CC: "Ushta@yahoogroups.com"
Datum: Dienstag, 9. August, 2011 13:08 Uhr


Zarathustra stressed choice. How beautiful the world could be if people would learn to choose. In some cultures this is close to an impossible dream because children never learn to choose and the elders decide everything. The kids leave home after getting married and then if their spouse lets them they begin to choose. How frustrating for a woman to figure out the dinner menu when all she has done until that day was to eat. I am from a culture where most people considered my mother not a good parent because I, as an unthankful daughter, decided for myself. Our way of being was not due so much to an impulse but rather a sick routine. In this situation you can not think, neither can you act upon impulses because both your thoughts and impulses are over-shadowed by your mothers/father's/grandmother's voice. The children of Zarathustra are being destroyed body and soul in Iran because they cannot choose. Neither can they exercise their impulses. They have to submit to the shadows and just try to stay alive.
Imagine if we could act upon our impulse in Iran!
Behnaz
Sent from my iPad

On Aug 9, 2011, at 10:22 AM, Special Kain wrote:


Sociobiology can't explain cell phones, laptop computers, the printing press, rituals, pop culture or why many women favour their careers over having kids, for example. It is fairly limited. And its basic premises are wrong, as biological research proves.

Zarathushtra's revolutionary take on ethics is based on two principles: (1) long-term thinking and (2) existence as a chain of causes and effects. This is why he stressed choice. I still believe that Zoroastrianism is existentialism without Jean-Paul Sartre's "gloom and doom" scenarios. ;-)

Ushta,
Dino


--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Di, 9.8.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] The Zoroastrian Revolution in Ethics (was: Learning what is right and wrong (as opposed to the idea of a human essence))
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Dienstag, 9. August, 2011 08:43 Uhr


However, sociobiology is not an ethical guide.

Sociobiologists can explain why plundering your neighbor, killing homosexuals, and racism, are all sociobiologically motivated. But they are druj rather than asha since they don't endorse life or civilization in the long run but are rather just impulses endorsing short term individual gains and are emotionally rather than logically motivated.
Especially when we change our living conditions, this is when we have to control our impulses and THINK rather than act by instinct. This is actually the most dramatic difference between Zarathushtra's ETHICS OF LOGICS and the instinctual moralism of the Abrahamic faiths (which all claim that God has planted homophobia and racism "in your heart" which is why you should act accordingly).
I'm not disagreeing, I'm just saying that Zarathushtra always places LOGIC before IMPULSE. This is the most important implication of the Zoroastrian revolution in Ethics. Which is why I oppose the idea of a "human substance". There is no such thing to Zarathushtra, our "human substance" is what we create within our selves. The program we ourselves program to then speak and act according to who we want to be.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/8/9 Special Kain

Dear Behnaz

Ushta means "ecstasy" and "radiant happiness" in English. :-)
As discussed earlier, there are "moral instincts". I prefer to call them "social instincts". These are basic rules of living together in groups and herds that have evolved by means of natural selection. These basic rules can be found in almost all known cultures and tribes. They are truly universal.
I guess that we owe all other rules to language. There must therefore be diversity, and history can explain similarities.

Ushta,
Dino


--- Behnaz Larsen schrieb am Di, 9.8.2011:

Von: Behnaz Larsen
Betreff: Re: AW: [Ushta] Learning what is right and wrong (as opposed to the idea of a human essence)

An: "Ushta@yahoogroups.com"
CC: "Ushta@yahoogroups.com"
Datum: Dienstag, 9. August, 2011 00:32 Uhr



You are both right. One needs to learn and as Zarathustra has advised progressive mentality is good, right, advised. What I am stressing is not a stand-still or a contentment with the past. What I like to do is to focus on what we know already to be the right, the good, the Asha. Alexander you mentioned before that druj in every society is the same. Killing someone for no reason has never been advised by any religions. These GOOD values are taught to us by the moral of the society in which we live and we should not ignore them. I guess what I mean to say is that when you say Ushta, I know it is a type of well wishing or a nice way to say take care or even "may the force be with you"! All GOOD and pleasant. I don't need to look it up but I am glad there are people who do. Otherwise we could never translate anything. I guess we are all different but what I will refuse to do is to fight over a definition, which I have witness on many sites, while doing research about the Good faith. I wouldn't mind though getting a good definition of the word Ushta :-)


Sent from my iPad

On Aug 8, 2011, at 10:45 PM, Special Kain wrote:


I agree 100%.
The opposition between asha and druj refers to a learning process, as I already discussed in my brief summary on Zoroastrianism. According to Zarathushtra, we are requested to educate ourselves. The world deserves better than blind faith and stupidity. Smart texts are weapons!
Existence precedes CHOICE precedes essence - if there is any essence involved at all.

Ushta,
Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Mo, 8.8.2011:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Learning what is right and wrong (as opposed to the idea of a human essence)
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 8. August, 2011 22:10 Uhr


Actually there is nothing to prove that we "have what is right within us". Rather, we learn what works in the long run and what merely works in the short run through experience 8which is what asha vs druj really is), it is not something we are born with. Both psychologists and Zarathushtra would agree on this. Which is why Zarathushtra was opposed to the idea of a "human essence" as in the Abrahamic religions. Rather, Zarathushtra clearly believes in processes through which we LEARN and then CHOOSE what we want to be, to ourselves, as ethical beings. This is almost his obsession as a spiritual teacher. And I fully approve.

Ushta
Alexander

2011/8/8 Special Kain

Dear Behnaz

Things are much more complicated. We have to critically assess the value system into which we were born and see if we can still use any of it and/or if we have to create new values.

Your conclusion is that the status quo is good in itself. But is this really the case? I don't think so. I wouldn't confuse asha/druj with ethics. The fact that something works doesn't make it good. It merely makes it useful. We sometimes have to lie in order to protect our loved ones!

Moralism states that the status quo is good and should be preserved and defended against everything that is different. But ethics is different: it is concerned with one's attitude and mentality such as universal openness vs. "othering", and how this affects the world around us through our words and actions.

My two cents,
Dino

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