Fathers’ Rights

A Chicago Blog

A Thought From Chesterton

Posted by madcap on February 16, 2008

“This, incidentally, is almost the whole weakness of Nietzsche, whom some are representing as a bold and strong thinker. No one will deny that he was a poetical and suggestive thinker; but he was quite the reverse of strong. He was not at all bold. He never put his own meaning before himself in bald abstract words; as did Aristotle and Calvin, and even Karl Marx, the hard, fearless men of thought. Nietzsche always escaped a question by a physical metaphor, like a cheery minor poet. He said, “beyond good and evil,”because he had not the courage to say, “more good than good and evil,” because he had not courage to say, “more evil than good and evil.” Had he faced his thought without metaphors, he would have seen that it was nonsense. So, when he describes his hero, he does not dare to say, “the purer man,” or “the happier man,” or “the sadder man,” for all these are ideas; and ideas are alarming. He says “the upper man,” or “over man,” a physical metaphor from acrobats or alpine climbers. Nietzsche is truly a very timid thinker. He does not really know in the least what sort of man he wants evolution to produce. And if he does not know, certainly the ordinary evolutionists, who talk about things being “higher,” do not know either.” From Orthodoxy

One Response to “A Thought From Chesterton”

  1. Nietzsche was a bold thinker in a different way. He did not set up ideals (or “idols” as he called them) — he did not want to paint the “overman” on the wall as a type that everyone should strive to be, like Christians paint Jesus, Buddhist paint Buddha and Muslims paint Mohammed.

    Nietzsche considered his philosophy a beginning, not an end.

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