From Aristotle through Buddhism to Nietzsche

Among all the classical theories of life after death, the one that seems to be most consistent with naturalism is the ancient Buddhist concept of rebirth.  This concept is developed in Theraveda Buddhism.  Theravedic Buddhism is an atheistic (or non-theistic) religion.  Rebirth is linked to the Theravedic doctrines of impermanence and no-self.  These doctrines imply [Read More...]

In Memory of Christopher Hitchens, A Nietzschean Lion

Christopher Hitchens was not fond of Nietzsche. When I picked up his Portable Atheist I flipped to the table of contents to see what Nietzsche selections he’d included. And saw none. None?? Possibly the most famous, unabashed, and irreverent atheist of all time was not worthy of inclusion in Hitchens’s compendium? A brief remark found [Read More...]

Apostasy As A Religious Act (Or “Why A Camel Hammers The Idols Of Faith”)

In “The Three Transformations of the Spirit” in Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and Nobody, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra describes the human spirit as successively taking three different forms: the camel, the lion, and the child. The transformations begin with the spirit of the camel, which Nietzsche characterizes as consisting of obedient, self-sacrificing, reverential, [Read More...]

On The Powers Of Personal And Political Bodies Over Their Apparent Mental Leaders

The Peaceful Atheist finds “consciousness-lowering” experiences in which she escapes her aloof and wandering mind to reconnect with her tangible and oft-forgotten body to be greater than her many “consciousness-raising” experiences.  She writes: It’s extremely hard for me to escape the internal labyrinth of my mind and focus completely on something external.  Often after being [Read More...]

Reading Nietzsche Post-Modernly

This week from Chaos Pet: And find out why Nester is frustrated with time travel here. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Rwanda’s Amazing Reconciliation

I was so inspired by the story of Rwanda’s ability to overcome its genocides through a process of confession and forgiveness.  Here is Fareed Zakaria and Rwandan President Paul Kagame from last Sunday. In the spirit of Zarathustra’s prescription: for human beings to be redeemed from revenge—that is for me the bridge to the highest [Read More...]

Moral Integration, or the Pros and Cons of Moral Absolutism and Ethical Pluralism

Aaron writes this wonderfully thought provoking reply to my post about moral motivation apart from reference to God: I had an argument a few years back with someone over this. She thought I’d go to hell for not believing in Jesus, even thought she thought I was a great person. I found that troubling. It [Read More...]

Why Camels With Hammers?

Evangelos has asked and it’s a good question, so here’s a brief explanation: It’s a combination of two images in Nietzsche.  The camel comes from “The Three Transformations,” a section of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.  He is there describing transformations that the “spirit” must undergo.  First it must become a camel.  The camel represents austere, ascetic, [Read More...]


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