Nietzsche's Philosophy of Religion by Julian Young

By Julian Young

In his first booklet, The beginning of Tragedy, Nietzsche observes that Greek tragedy accumulated humans jointly as a neighborhood within the sight in their gods, and argues that modernity might be rescued from 'nihilism' in simple terms during the revival of this sort of competition. this is often often regarded as a view which didn't continue to exist the termination of Nietzsche's early Wagnerianism, yet Julian younger argues, at the foundation of an exam of all of Nietzsche's released works, that his spiritual communitarianism in reality persists via all his writings. What follows, it truly is argued, is that the mature Nietzsche is neither an 'atheist', an 'individualist', nor an 'immoralist': he's a German thinker belonging to a German culture of conservative communitarianism - although to assert him as a proto-Nazi is significantly improper. this crucial reassessment could be of curiosity to all Nietzsche students and to a variety of readers in German philosophy.

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Since it pretends that my death never happens it can never provide me with a ‘consolation’ for it. And so, as Nietzsche records in ‘The Dionysian World View’, when his own death inevitably approaches, Apollonian man is without recourse: ‘the pain of Homeric man related to departure from this existence, above all to imminent departure’ (BT p. 125). The good death, in the sense of dying my death well, is impossible for Apollonian man. This is, I think, the major reason Nietzsche ultimately prefers the Dionysian ‘solution’ to the terrors and horrors of existence.

Schopenhauer makes the same observation about the Homeric world: objects and events are portrayed, he says, with a unique ‘objectivity’, are untouched, that is to say, by human moods and feelings (PP ii p. ) The outlook requires that death be, as in the space-invaders game, bloodless and painless. It requires a kind of inner anaesthesia. This, I think, is why Nietzsche associates it with ‘illusion’ and (in an ‘extra-moral’, non-judgmental way) ‘lie’: it is, as it were, a three-dimensional object represented twodimensionally.

Purely religious’ in origin (BT 7), its coming into being was, he says, ‘the most important moment in the history of Greek religion’ (BT 2). Sophocles, in particular, is a profoundly ‘religious writer’ (BT 9). So bearing in mind Schopenhauer’s account of the essential characteristics of a religion, let us ask what tragedy has to offer as a consolation for nausea and absurdity, for pain and death. Nietzsche’s answer comes by way of an account of the ‘tragic effect’ (essentially a repetition of Schopenhauer’s account6), an account of the seeming paradox of our deriving satisfaction from witnessing the destruction of figures who, in most ways, represent what is finest and wisest among us.

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