Nietzsche's Critique of Religion

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Nietzsche's critique of religion is largely based on his critique of


Nietzsche says that in modern Europe, people are atheistic, even

though they don't realise it. People who say they are religious aren't

really and those who say they have moved on haven't actually moved on.

Certain people in society retain features of Christianity. For

example, socialists still believe in equality in all people. Others

still have pity for the poor and needy etc.

Nietzsche dislikes religion especially Christianity because it

encourages and promotes slave morality. Nietzsche says that we should

be striving towards master morality, but Christianity has the

completely opposite values to those of the master morality. For

example, religion wants us to be like slaves and give things up

instead of trying to be great.

He talks about a slave revolt in morality, which leads to the

dominance of slave values over master values. Christianity is that

slave revolt.

The problem for Nietzsche is the New Testament - the introduction of

Jesus. He thinks that linking the Old Testament with the New Testament

is very cheeky. They are two different books with complete different

ideas and so should not be linked together.

The Old Testament is full of power - Nietzsche likes that. But he

objects to the values of the New Testament that shouldn't be linked to

the Old Testament. They demote power.

He sees religion as intensely nihilistic - it's all about denying life

and being negative. Nietzsche feels that the New Testament is also

like that.

We have to go beyond this. If Christianity and Schopenhaur are based

on denying life ...

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...itique is that he views religion from

the outside, so doesn't this make it a one-sided story?

But obviously Nietzsche will think that his critique is one-sided. He

is a perspectivist. Why is a view from outside any less valid than a

view from inside?

Is the ladder of religious cruelty a complete account of religious

development. What about a sacrificing himself for humanity? This

doesn't get mentioned.

However we could say that Nietzsche rejects that because he obviously

doesn't believe in God and insofar as God is 'one of the suffering'.

This confirms Nietzsche's negative view of religion / Christianism.

Nietzsche said that religion shouldn't How can religion not be an

'end-in-itself' for religious believers?

A counter-argument to this would be to say that religion as an

instrument is not a religion.
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