scherado

The 'Intellectual Conscience', by Friedrich Nietzsche

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scherado    62
Posted (edited)

"intellectual conscience"---the ability to distinguish right from wrong in the intellectual realm (My words.). When I set out to read Nietzsche (in English), after reading repeated references here, there and, yes, everywhere, I decided that I would do it with the following in mind: I would not read second-party analysis; I would read the originals only; and that I would read mulitple translations, which I did for a few.

One particular passage I've always liked--I call it a lamentation--concerns the intellectual conscience:
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From The Gay Science, BOOK I, #2, by Friedrich W. Nietzsche. (Possible translator, Walter Kaufmann, 1974. Alternate titles: The Joyful Wisdom)
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2. The intellectual conscience

I keep having the same experience and keep resisting it every time. I do not want to believe it although it is palpable: the great majority of people lack an intellectual conscience. Indeed, it has often seemed to me as if anyone calling for an intellectual conscience were as lonely in the most densely populated cities as if he were in a desert. Everybody looks at you with strange eyes and goes right on handling his scales, calling this good and that evil. Nobody even blushes when you intimate that their weights are underweight; nor do people feel outraged; they merely laugh at your doubts. I mean: the great majority of people does not consider it contemptible to believe this or that and to live accordingly, without first having given themselves an account of the final and most certain reasons pro and con, and without even troubling themselves about such reasons afterward: the most gifted men and the noblest women still belong to this "great majority." But what is goodheartedness, refinement, or genius to me, when the person who has these virtues tolerates slack feelings in his faith and judgments and when he does not account the desire for certainty as his inmost craving and deepest distress--as that which separates the higher human beings from the lower.

Among some pious people I have found a hatred of reason and was well disposed to them for that; for this at least betrayed their bad intellectual conscience. But to stand in the midst of this rerum concordia discors [Discordant concord of things: Horace, Epistles, I.12.19.] and of this whole marvelous uncertainty and rich ambiguity of existence without questioning, without trembling with the craving and the rapture of such questioning, without at least hating the person who questions, perhaps even finding him faintly amusing--that is what I feel to be contemptible, and this is the feeling for which I look first in everybody. Some folly keeps persuading me that every human being has this feeling, simply because he is human. This is my sense of injustice.

 

Here is an alternate version, for your pleasure...or distress.

The Intellectual Conscience, translated by Thomas Common
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2. The Intellectual Conscience. I have always the same experience over, again, and always make a new effort against it; for although it is evident to me I do not want to believe it: in the greater number of men the intellectual conscience is lacking; indeed, it would often seem to me that in demanding such a thing, one is as solitary in the largest cities as in the desert. Everyone looks at you with strange eyes and continues to make use of his scales, calling this good and that bad; and no one blushes for shame when you remark that these weights are not the full amount, - there is also no indignation against you; perhaps they laugh at your doubt, mean to say that the greater number of people do not find it contemptible to believe this or that, and live according to it, without having been previously aware of the ultimate and surest reasons for and against it, and without even giving themselves any trouble about such reasons afterwards, the most lifted men and the noblest women still belong to this "greater number." But what is kind-heartedness, refinement and genius to me, if he who has these virtues harbours indolent sentiments in belief and judgment, if the longing for certainty does not rule in him, as his innermost desire and profoundest need - as that which separates higher from lower men! In certain pious people I have found a hatred of reason, and have been favourably disposed to them for it: their bad intellectual conscience at least still betrayed itself, in this manner! But to stand in the midst of this rerum concordia discors and all the marvellous uncertainty and ambiguity of existence, and not to question, not to tremble with desire and delight in questioning, not even to hate the questioner - perhaps even to make merry over him to the extent of weariness - that is what I regard as contemptible, and it is this sentiment which I first of all search for in every one, - some folly or other always persuades me anew that every man has this sentiment, as man. This is my special kind of unrighteousness.

.
The two books that forced me to read Nietzsche:

The Closing Of The American Mind, by Allan Bloom

The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama

Edited by scherado

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scherado    62

When an account of an event is recorded, then there is history. After that, there is the use and abuse of history. My favorite work of Friedrich Nietzsche has been the essay, The Use And Abuse Of History, translated by Adrianne Collins. (A citation or reference of a translated work is completed by giving it's translator; even the title can't be certain: "On the Use and Abuse of History for Life", " History in the service and disservice of life", " On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life", "On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life". There may be others and, if you want a real shock to the system, read within and compare one translated work with another. You will then and only then understand the problems of German-to-English translation.)

According to this essay, historical treatments may come in three forms: the monumental, antiquarian and critical.

In short, with respect to monumental history, the subject is "the rare and classic"; for the antiquarian, it is "the traditional and venerable"; for the critical, it is that which "judges and condemns.

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Area54    134

Regarding your OP, for your second post seems unconnected with it, Nietsczhe appears to be saying "I deplore the fact that most people never bother to derive their ethics."

To which I would reply, were Nietsczhe here to hear me "People are animals. Most of them never get over it. Perhaps you should."

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tar    236
Posted (edited)

Area54,

I would have to put you in the third, critical camp .

Have you derived your own ethics?    Care to expound?

I am not thinking someone that thinks they are not an animal has understood a darn thing about life.

According to my muses, one has to side with their team to exist in this world.  A lone passer is absolutely alone.  To that, the antiquarian is important to listen to, because it is the wisdom of the ages that is passed to his or her understanding.    The monumental is kin to me, because it glorifies the unique nature of each of us doing it right, for the first time.    Everybody, when they look into the eyes of their newborn daughter, knows they did something important and unique.  The critical is just that.  A high horse opinion, that pretends one is above the fray.

I am of the opinion that we need our history, to guide our decisions, and the judgement of others, in total is more important to our happiness and success, than listening to someone who has arrived at their ethics by themselves.  

TAR

 

 

scherado,

I think the intellectual conscience is somewhat overrated.   To come up with an ethics, by yourself, is contrary human nature and the desire to please an unseen other.   If the only individual you wish to please, is yourself, then, you are alone.    And a person can not achieve much by themselves.   Look at Socrates.  He was sure he was right, and everyone else wrong, and everybody else made him consume poison and die.

I have always marched to the beat of a different drummer, I have always been in the top 10 percent of strength,  looks,  intelligence, education, and circulated with the elite in every situation I have run across, but it is foolhardy to think one can achieve success without the other 90 percent also achieving success. 

The rules of life should not be imposed upon the masses by the elite.  The elite should use their advantage to the benefit of all, not to take advantage of the situation.  My code requires that I work toward the success of the teams I am on, on not calculate my advantage.

I am thinking Nietzsche and Area54 should have let the rest of the place judge them, rather than discard the judgement of the masses in favor of their own intellectual conscience.

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar
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Area54    134

Perhaps the member who gave me a downvote for my post would be courteous enough to specify what they found so objectionable about it.

Was my precis of Nietzsche's views defective? If so, in what way?

Do they dispute my contention that humans are governed to a great extent by instinct and many, perhaps most, fail to make serious use of their critical faculties?

Were they offended by my implication that the basic thesis is so obvious that it hardly merits lamenting on the part of Nietzsche?

Or was it nothing more than distaste for my careless misspelling of Nietzsche?

 

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tar    236

Area54,

 

It was me.

 

I thought you might glean that from my post.   I think you are wrong to take the stance that you are not an animal, and the rest of us are.

TAR

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iNow    4531
1 hour ago, tar said:

I think you are wrong to take the stance that you are not an animal, and the rest of us are.

Wait, wut? He said this:

13 hours ago, Area54 said:

To which I would reply, were Nietsczhe here to hear me "People are animals. Most of them never get over it. Perhaps you should."

 

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Area54    134
1 hour ago, tar said:

Area54,

 

It was me.

 

I thought you might glean that from my post.   I think you are wrong to take the stance that you are not an animal, and the rest of us are.

TAR

I did not see your post. I have had you on Ignore for weeks.

iNow has pointed out the error of your interpretation. I believe my post should have been perfectly clear, but let's dissect it.

People are animals. I am a person. Have I said anything in this or any other post or thread to suggest otherwise? Ergo, I am an animal. Just like everyone else. Nietzsche seems to agree.

Most of them never get over it. Nietzsche seems to agree. So - as it happens - do I. But I do not explicitly claim to be one of the ones who has, though I would argue that I am. I would expect that most regular members of the forum are too.

Perhaps you should to. Hypothetical advice to Nietzsche that this is a given of the human condition and not one worth dwelling on.

tar, even if I had said what you mistakenly believed I had said I am amazed you think it warranted a downvote. I can't help feeling this is a hangover from our disagreements on Cosmos Mike's thread. If so, that's pretty juvenile. I don't believe I have ever given you a downvote . I don't give them for disagreement, I don't give them for stupidity, or arrogance, or third rate posts, but for serious incidents of prejudice or hate speech. Fortunately those are rare here.

I probably won't see your reply if you make one, since I'll be leaving you on Ignore.

 

 

 

2 hours ago, tar said:

I am of the opinion that we need our history, to guide our decisions, and the judgement of others, in total is more important to our happiness and success, than listening to someone who has arrived at their ethics by themselves. 

One of us is misinterpreting Nietzsche. He is not, IMO, saying that we should derive our ethics in isolation, but that we should derive them, not accept what is handed to us by instinct and circumstance. We should reflect and we should question.

I've just carefully re-read the OP and it seems unambiguous. However, you managed to misinterpet a single-clause sentence of mine, so I can understand Nietzsche might give you problems.

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tar    236
Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Area54 said:

Regarding your OP, for your second post seems unconnected with it, Nietsczhe appears to be saying "I deplore the fact that most people never bother to derive their ethics."

To which I would reply, were Nietsczhe here to hear me "People are animals. Most of them never get over it. Perhaps you should."

Area54,

You are suggesting that people are animals and most of "them" never get over it, and you are saying that the OP should perhaps try and get over being an animal and derive his ethics like you and Nietzsche.  You did not say us, you said them, like you were somehow on another plane of existence.   This thought, that you can derive your own morality, is not correct.   I take exception to you thinking it is possible and Nietzsche thinking it is possible, and iNow thinking it is possible.   Anti-religious arguments on this board always suggest that the way to certainty is through the scientific method and the abandonment of belief and faith.  This might be useful, pertinent advise when taking a scientific measurement, or curing a disease, but its efficacy is somewhat in question in the realm of morality.

In the realm of morality, we talk to unseen others about the situation.  We tend to want to please others we consider on our side, on our team, and demonize those losers who are not like us.

We like to have other people's OK about things.  We need to know we are doing it right.  It is a human need.  An emotion.  A matter of evolution and brain chemistry.  We CANNOT rise above this need.  

Atheists have a hard time explaining who it is they are trying to please.   It is not a literal God.   It is a figurative god.  Humanity.  Science.  Truth.  But I think, it is objective reality, that people are trying to please.  Where a conscience comes from.  One knows the right thing to do, even if no one is watching, because we know what others expect of us. The "right" thing to do, comes from a derivation of all judgements we have watched others make throughout our life.  We need the verification that we are doing it right, that we are good and not bad.

So Area54, please expound upon the morality that you have derived from the recesses of your own rational mind, that has nothing to do with animal desires and religion and law and what other people believe is right.   You won't.  Not because I am on ignore, but because you cannot.  

I think the "intellectual conscience" is a flight of fancy occurring in one's own mind, that is as baseless and ungrounded as Mohammed listening to the Angel Gabriel in a dark cave.

You cannot find "certainty" within.  Well you can think you have it, but you are only pleasing yourself and not checking with objective reality for verification.

TAR

 

 

 

  

 

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Area54    134
20 minutes ago, tar said:

Area54,

You are suggesting that people are animals and most of "them" never get over it, and you are saying that the OP should perhaps try and get over being an animal and derive his ethics like you and Nietzsche.  You did not say us, you said them, like you were somehow on another plane of existence.   This thought, that you can derive your own morality, is not correct.   I take exception to you thinking it is possible and Nietzsche thinking it is possible, and iNow thinking it is possible.   Anti-religious arguments on this board always suggest that the way to certainty is through the scientific method and the abandonment of belief and faith.  This might be useful, pertinent advise when taking a scientific measurement, or curing a disease, but its efficacy is somewhat in question in the realm of morality.

In the realm of morality, we talk to unseen others about the situation.  We tend to want to please others we consider on our side, on our team, and demonize those losers who are not like us.

We like to have other people's OK about things.  We need to know we are doing it right.  It is a human need.  An emotion.  A matter of evolution and brain chemistry.  We CANNOT rise above this need.  

Atheists have a hard time explaining who it is they are trying to please.   It is not a literal God.   It is a figurative god.  Humanity.  Science.  Truth.  But I think, it is objective reality, that people are trying to please.  Where a conscience comes from.  One knows the right thing to do, even if no one is watching, because we know what others expect of us. The "right" thing to do, comes from a derivation of all judgements we have watched others make throughout our life.  We need the verification that we are doing it right, that we are good and not bad.

So Area54, please expound upon the morality that you have derived from the recesses of your own rational mind, that has nothing to do with animal desires and religion and law and what other people believe is right.   You won't.  Not because I am on ignore, but because you cannot.  

I think the "intellectual conscience" is a flight of fancy occurring in one's own mind, that is as baseless and ungrounded as Mohammed listening to the Angel Gabriel in a dark cave.

You cannot find "certainty" within.  Well you can think you have it, but you are only pleasing yourself and not checking with objective reality for verification.

TAR

 

FFS.

You are suggesting that people are animals and most of "them" never get over it,

No, I am agreeing with Nietzsche, you know the author of the topic of the thread. Are asserting that people are not animals? Are you asserting that most people put their animal instincts behind them?

and you are saying that the OP should perhaps try and get over being an animal and derive his ethics like you and Nietzsche.

Really? Having screwed up your first attempt at understanding my post, you screw it up a second time. Read the words:

"To which I would reply, were Nietsczhe here to hear me " - Do you understand? That wasn't directed at scherado. It was directed at Nietzsche. I even reminded you of that fact in my previous post by describing it as "hypothetical advice to Nietzsche". Do you understand now.

Moreover, I am not telling the OP to get over being an animal. I'm am, in my hypothetical advice to Nietzsche, telling him to get over the fact that most people make no intellectual effort in acquiring a set of ethics. In short, you have completely misunderstood my statements. That's quite a talent!

33 minutes ago, tar said:

This thought, that you can derive your own morality, is not correct.   I take exception to you thinking it is possible and Nietzsche thinking it is possible, and iNow thinking it is possible.

You are entitled to your opinion. Nietzsche, and myself are quire indifferent to you taking exception to our different views.

What makes you think iNow agrees with me? There is nothing in his post that indicates his view on the matter. He simply pointed out that you had misunderstood my post. You know, in the same way you have now misunderstood his post. Is there a pattern here?

40 minutes ago, tar said:

Anti-religious arguments on this board always suggest that the way to certainty is through the scientific method and the abandonment of belief and faith.  This might be useful, pertinent advise when taking a scientific measurement, or curing a disease, but its efficacy is somewhat in question in the realm of morality.

I see nothing in Nietzsche's views expressed above and certainly there is nothing in my mind that suggests this is the case. I'll try to spell it out for you again. I'll express it as my view, since I don't know how well, if at all, I have understood Nietzsche's position.

The average human acquires a set of morals that are a product of Nature and Nurture. Instinct, coupled with the mores of the individual's society, determine for the most part the average human's moral suite. But an arguably better way of deriving ones morals is to contemplate and enquire. Such enquiry should make use of the tools and knowledge of philosophy, religion and science. The morals are derived by the individual, but based upon the thoughts and works of many individuals, cultures and philosophies.

Now, if you ha

47 minutes ago, tar said:

n the realm of morality, we talk to unseen others about the situation.  We tend to want to please others we consider on our side, on our team, and demonize those losers who are not like us.

We like to have other people's OK about things.  We need to know we are doing it right.  It is a human need.  An emotion.  A matter of evolution and brain chemistry.  We CANNOT rise above this need.

You are fond of telling people how they think and correcting them when they get it wrong. That becomes tiresome, but I now know - from experience - after two weeks having you on Ignore I shall have quite forgotten how quirky you are.

 

49 minutes ago, tar said:

So Area54, please expound upon the morality that you have derived from the recesses of your own rational mind, that has nothing to do with animal desires and religion and law and what other people believe is right.   You won't.  Not because I am on ignore, but because you cannot.  

Since this is a strawman, based on yet another misundertanding on your part, it requires no response.

Goodbye.

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CharonY    1604

Regarding Nietzsche:

Nietzsche is one of the perpetually misunderstood philosophers who has, fascinatingly enough, been co-opted (or claimed to be co-opted) by polar opposite political factions. It is interesting that Bloom was mentioned, as he saw and attacked a rise of moral relativism of the left and he saw Nietzsche's philosophy right at the front of it. In that context one should add that it was a time when the left were abandoning the determinism of Marxism and Bloom saw it replaced with Nietzsche's anti-bourgeois stance.

However, as many will know, Nietzsche (or a contorted version of his philosophies) had been  claimed by the fascist in the 30s, emphasizing the hierarchicial aspects of his philosophy. And certainly enough, the modern far-right are now co-opting this element of his philosophy (if one bothers to read the stuff Spencer and his ilk are saying). This is somewhat hilarious (in a sad way) as Nietzsche famously nurtured hatred against anti-Semites (which caused him to break with Wagner) as well as German nationalism. Also his view on authority is multi-layered (where he e.g. criticizes uncritically practiced morality)

So in many ways Nietzsche was both, deeply entrenched in the thinking of his time, yet deeply skeptical of their forms and ramifications. In some ways the tendency of Nietzsche to mock and criticize certain structures and contrast it with certain thoughts while packing it into elaborate prose made him vulnerable to divergent interpretations. That being said, as OP offers no insights into the thoughts behind the post, I am not sure what is to discuss here. What I would say is that it is very difficult to gain insights into Nietzsche without actually reading at least most of his work (minus the crap distorted by his sister). And even then, one is likely to misinterpret things rather frequently, which makes reading about his philosophy after reading his philosophy almost mandatory.

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Area54    134

Thank you for those insights. My primary exposure to Nietzsche prior to this was reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra as an undergraduate. (And that was so long ago, I'm not sure Nietzsche had even written it yet!)

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CharonY    1604
19 minutes ago, Area54 said:

Thank you for those insights. My primary exposure to Nietzsche prior to this was reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra as an undergraduate. (And that was so long ago, I'm not sure Nietzsche had even written it yet!)

I certainly would not call them insights. Rather, just some basic concepts that stuck with me since the days long gone when (as so many young lads) I was interested in Nietzsche (and Kant as well as their famous disagreement in the concept of morals). 

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scherado    62
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Area54 said:

Regarding your OP, for your second post seems unconnected with it, Nietsczhe appears to be saying "I deplore the fact that most people never bother to derive their ethics."

The second post is missing an explanation. My apologies; it has nothing to do directly with the OP.

The Use And Abuse Of History, translated by Adrianne Collins, is my favorite work of Nietsczhe's.

 

9 hours ago, tar said:

I am of the opinion that we need our history, to guide our decisions, and the judgement of others, in total is more important to our happiness and success, than listening to someone who has arrived at their ethics by themselves.  

When a friend told me he was going to participate in a rally earlier this year in Virginia to protest the removal of Civil War era statues, I sent him an html copy of the Collins translation, The Use and Abuse Of History. This rally preceded the one in Charlottesville where that guy rammed people with his car.

 

9 hours ago, tar said:

I think the intellectual conscience is somewhat overrated.   To come up with an ethics, by yourself, is contrary human nature and the desire to please an unseen other.

I never interpreted the phrase to be associated with ethics. There's no reason to do so. The word "conscience" is, when employed typically, related to moral considerations; ethics.

The "intellectual conscience" is related to the ability to distinguish right from wrong with respect to the truth-value of a subject. When Nietsczhe laments that "[n]obody even blushes when you intimate that their weights are underweight," he is referring to cognitive function.

Edited by scherado

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dimreepr    629
7 hours ago, scherado said:

The second post is missing an explanation. My apologies; it has nothing to do directly with the OP.

 

So is the first, please explain what you want to discuss. 

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tar    236
8 hours ago, scherado said:

The second post is missing an explanation. My apologies; it has nothing to do directly with the OP.

The Use And Abuse Of History, translated by Adrianne Collins, is my favorite work of Nietsczhe's.

 

When a friend told me he was going to participate in a rally earlier this year in Virginia to protest the removal of Civil War era statues, I sent him an html copy of the Collins translation, The Use and Abuse Of History. This rally preceded the one in Charlottesville where that guy rammed people with his car.

 

I never interpreted the phrase to be associated with ethics. There's no reason to do so. The word "conscience" is, when employed typically, related to moral considerations; ethics.

The "intellectual conscience" is related to the ability to distinguish right from wrong with respect to the truth-value of a subject. When Nietsczhe laments that "[n]obody even blushes when you intimate that their weights are underweight," he is referring to cognitive function.

Scherado,

There is indeed a moral dilemma happening in the American "conscience".  It is important to me for people to understand that their own pronouncement of another person's lack of correctness in moral stance is a rejection of the need to morally please that other person.  That is, in the case of Charlottesville, the country yelled at Trump for stating that there were good people on both sides of the protest.  This was unfortunate in my mind because the definitions put anybody that wants to see statues stand, as evil racists, and discounts that fine, upstanding citizens in the South, have grandparents and greatgrandparents that served in battle under the command of the generals sitting on the horses and the statues are part of their collective moral world.  That the white, Nazi groups usurped the protest to advance their own agenda, does not mean I, as a Yankee can not see fine moral standing in the hearts and minds of the people of the town that want to see the statues stand.

That is, ethics and morals are, in my mind synonymous with conscience.   To have an intellectual conscience, given to you by a political party, is NOT being critical, or using critical thinking.  It is merely an unworkable decision to demonize everyone and all about everyone that goes by a slightly different set of rules, or has a different take on religion, or race, or sex or taxes or government transfer payments than you do.

Important to me, politically is that we have the same 320 million people after the election as we did before.   Nobody got suddenly evil or good.  The good people are still here.  The bad people are still here, and it is crucial to our society to continue to allow each other to have different rules we each go by, and different gods we each worship, as long as we look to please each other in the most important consideration of pledging our honor and our wealth to the union. 

We are NOT as deplorable as Hillary would have you think.  We are not as misguided as Fox news would have you think.  But I believe, human nature has a person trying to please as many people as possible.   That is, our conscience is derived, as Area54 says, from a whole collection of history and literature and we aim to please Socrates and Moses and Jesus and Einstein and Dawkins and Mandela and Hilary and  Marx and the Koch brothers...depending on who we are.   There is not, in my estimation, a way to come up with a set of rules, based on critical thinking, that does not also allow that you have chosen sides in some historical  philosophical or ethical battle.

Regards, TAR

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CharonY    1604
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, scherado said:

The "intellectual conscience" is related to the ability to distinguish right from wrong with respect to the truth-value of a subject. When Nietsczhe laments that "[n]obody even blushes when you intimate that their weights are underweight," he is referring to cognitive function.

Actually here Nietzsche is not referring to cognitive function. This is one of the many stabs at Kant's morality. With the latter being the key point Nietzsche is trying to make. Kant discusses moral worth using the example of a grocer. I.e. the good-willed grocer who measures accurately out of duty is praiseworthy, whereas the one who is doing it out of self-interest (i.e. not wanting to lose customers) is not. In Kant's morality right and wrong are defined by the fulfillment of duty or obligation. Hence, when caught, it is expected that the grocer would blush, as they are caught in violating their duty.

Now Nietzsche changes and extends this imagery and now uses the scales as a metaphor for assessing moral weight of action (i.e. scales of morality). Those with crude scales thus won't even blush when called out. Here, he is criticizing the universal morality offered by Kant. Of course, the whole passage is not about that alone. Rather he builds an argument for the need of a more rational approach to morality.

Due to his prose and the fact that he often utilizes various characters to build an argument as a whole rather than have a character speak his specific thoughts, he is one of the philosophers that are almost impossible to interpret on excerpts and quotes alone. In a in interesting way, but for other reasons, the same could be said for Kant.

Edited by CharonY
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scherado    62
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, CharonY said:

Actually here Nietzsche is not referring to cognitive function. This is one of the many stabs at Kant's morality. With the latter being the key point Nietzsche is trying to make. Kant discusses moral worth using the example of a grocer. I.e. the good-willed grocer who measures accurately out of duty is praiseworthy, whereas the one who is doing it out of self-interest (i.e. not wanting to lose customers) is not. In Kant's morality right and wrong are defined by the fulfillment of duty or obligation. Hence, when caught, it is expected that the grocer would blush, as they are caught in violating their duty.

Now Nietzsche changes and extends this imagery and now uses the scales as a metaphor for assessing moral weight of action (i.e. scales of morality). Those with crude scales thus won't even blush when called out. Here, he is criticizing the universal morality offered by Kant. Of course, the whole passage is not about that alone. Rather he builds an argument for the need of a more rational approach to morality.

Due to his prose and the fact that he often utilizes various characters to build an argument as a whole rather than have a character speak his specific thoughts, he is one of the philosophers that are almost impossible to interpret on excerpts and quotes alone. In a in interesting way, but for other reasons, the same could be said for Kant.

Nope, I've read all Nietzsche's works that were published while he lived, not in German. He wrote extensively about morality, yes, but in the passage I posted, the intellectual conscience is NOT the moral conscience obviously. I read the entire Joyful Wisdom/Gay Science, that is, entirely and more than once.

19 hours ago, tar said:

To have an intellectual conscience, given to you by a political party, is NOT being critical, or using critical thinking. 

This is very simple: The intellectual conscience is a faculty possessed by a person, not given to a person, and it is either weak or strong, used or little used. Similarly, the expression, "Opinions are like a**holes, everyone's got one", refers to unexamined opinions

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tar    236

scherado, 

Simple, but a little complicated in terms of what was given to you, to think about.  I am not sure, in the realm of ideas, that one can think, without language and the meanings and definitions of words, what they stand for, the ideas they represent are given to you, by common usage and the dictionary and the explanations of others.

Point of fact is that I was very happy to take CharonY's ideas and run with them, until you said "Nope".    Then the critical thinking, about what Nietzsche meant by intellectual conscience and what intellectual conscience must mean to TAR, begins anew.

I am somewhat guided by the additional fact that you read works of Nietzsche framed in a work about gay people's morality, that one can come up with a rational to be gay, even if the historical rules about that say "nope".

This was an idea I had when first reading the thread, and I conjoined the idea with the way atheists on this board, including myself, take a certain stronger listening to one's own rational, than to the edicts of others.

But this is an interesting conundrum that we establish for ourselves, standing firm on our own constructed "intellectual morality, intellectual conscience, intellectual ethics", because we are human, and we look to others for verification and acceptance.   

We have, in my critical thinking about the situation, only three basic possible judges to look toward, to attempt to please, to establish our conscience  with.   God, other people, or our self.

And breaking this down, critically, we have basically objective reality that we wish to please, that we wish to be right, in relation to.   God is, in my mind a figurative image of objective reality in total, so we build our conscience to satisfy this general judge.  Whether we are humanists or believers in Gaia or Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, Zeus,  Allah,  God,  or Jesus we seek to please objective reality.  And when we seek to please ourselves we are attempting to please that one piece of objective reality that remains always associated with one particular body/brain/heart group objectively known as a human with our name.  And this human is completely constructed of objective reality stuff, and even the internalized images and ideas are analog representations of stuff "given" to the self by objective reality.   Analogs of, symbols for, stuff of objective reality.   So both God and our rationality are about objective reality.  So, wanting to please other people, is what our conscience is most likely about.    We want to be good, we want to be right, we want to be victorious in the eyes of our family and friends,  countrymen and allies.

This is my critical breakdown, of where our conscience comes from, and why.  We want the dopamine to flow in us, and we want to make others happy with us.

Kant came to his rational ethics by asking himself, before he did a thing, whether he would want everybody to do this thing.  If the answer was yes, than do it.  If the answer was no, then don't do it.   Jesus says to do onto others what you would have them do unto you.   So both ideas, and mine are grounded in the soil of pleasing an unseen other, a judge, made of human stuff, that is going to be happy if you behave well, and unhappy if you behave badly.

To construct an intellectual conscience that laughs in the face of other people's feelings, is contrary the idea of what ethics is, in the first place...in my critical breakdown.

 

Regards, TAR

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scherado    62
2 hours ago, tar said:

1Simple, but a little complicated in terms of what was given to you, to think about.  I am not sure, in the realm of ideas, that one can think, without language and the meanings and definitions of words, what they stand for, the ideas they represent are given to you, by common usage and the dictionary and the explanations of others.

2Point of fact is that I was very happy to take CharonY's ideas and run with them, until you said "Nope".    Then the critical thinking, about what Nietzsche meant by intellectual conscience and what intellectual conscience must mean to TAR, begins anew.

3I am somewhat guided by the additional fact that you read works of Nietzsche framed in a work about gay people's morality, that one can come up with a rational to be gay, even if the historical rules about that say "nope".

On 1: I don't understand those two sentences.

On 2: I don't understand those two sentences

On 3: I do understand that sentence and find it preposterous beyond words. I consider that judgement prima faci (self-evident.)

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dimreepr    629
6 minutes ago, scherado said:

On 1: I don't understand those two sentences.

On 2: I don't understand those two sentences

On 3: I do understand that sentence and find it preposterous beyond words. I consider that judgement prima faci (self-evident.)

 

6 hours ago, scherado said:

Nope, I've read all Nietzsche's works that were published while he lived, not in German. He wrote extensively about morality, yes, but in the passage I posted, the intellectual conscience is NOT the moral conscience obviously. I read the entire Joyful Wisdom/Gay Science, that is, entirely and more than once.

 

Understanding does seem to be your Achilles heel, CharonY's insightful explanation (+1 BTW) is met with a simple "nope", with no explanation as to why "nope" is a reasonable argument. 

Knowledge of the words in a text is by no means an indication of comprehension when you see the difference, you'll understand.

You can put reason on 'ignore' if you like. Your only cheating yourself, it's like winning a game of solitaire, no one else gives a shit.

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CharonY    1604

Reading is obviously not understanding. And even low level understanding should allow a coherent contextualization, which is clearly missing. Insisting specifically that one has read a text many times is rather slightly embarrassing. 

 

Quote

Everyone looks at you with strange eyes and continues to use of his scales, calling this good and that bad;

This prefaces the sentence in question and clearly states what is weighed with scales. Things that are good or bad, i.e. moral qualifiers. He laments that people use these values without questioning them. Where kant found a source, Nietzsche questions them. He mocks the certainty that certain people, esp.  religious people have in this regard.

Missing that context is astonishing. Of course it could have been mitigated by providing a coherent alternative explanation that demonstrated some actual thoughts on the document. Or reading about Nietzsche and figure out his interpretation from there. Or read what other who work on that topic have written. But as you deny yourself information as you only accept what you already assume to be true, learning and broaden your horizon will be immensely challenging. My condolences.

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scherado    62
2 hours ago, CharonY said:

Or read what other who work on that topic have written.

I will inform you that when I sought to tackle Nietzsche, I abjured all second-party interpretation, I refused to read any other person's interpretation of the originals. This, I did. The reasons we can discuss.

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Area54    134
25 minutes ago, scherado said:

I will inform you that when I sought to tackle Nietzsche, I abjured all second-party interpretation, I refused to read any other person's interpretation of the originals. This, I did.

That explains almost everything.

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