Nietzsche/Euthanasia

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Okay, so I'm the busiest one on this discussion list! But this info was just sent me by one of my GNST 500 students--fyi only.

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Nietzsche's Revaluation of Schopenhauer as Educator by David Conway, Middlesex University http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/MPsy/MPsyConw.htm

David Conway writes:

Consider what Nietzsche says about being an invalid:

The invalid is a parasite on society. In a certain state it is indecent to go on living....The highest interest of life, of ascending life, demands the most ruthless suppression and sequestration of degenerating life for example in determining the right to reproduce, the right to be born, the right to live.... To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death of one's own free choice, death at the proper time, with a clear head and with joyfulness, consummated in the midst of children and witnesses.( Nietzsche, Friedrich (1968), Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christ, trans. R.J.Hollingdale, (Harmondsworth, Penguin), pp.79-80)

Again, consider the following statement from the Anti-Christ.

What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is happiness? The feeling that power increases.( Nietzsche, Friedrich (1968), Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christ, trans. R.J.Hollingdale, (Harmondsworth, Penguin), pp.79-80)

It is surely not implausible to infer from this last quoted sentence that, on Nietzsche's view, unhappiness or suffering is the feeling that power decreases. If one couples this with the thought that Nietzsche advocates eugenics, euthanasia, and suicide so as to breed and maintain only the healthy, then the conclusion is surely clear. On Nietzsche's view, suffering is eliminable from human existence. This, of course, is not to say that struggle is eliminable. On the contrary, the feeling that power increases is obtained, in Nietzsche through struggle and overcoming obstacles. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2000

Answers

That is honestly one of the most terrifying things I have ever read (the Nietzsche quote). And I think that in this view, the physical pain and suffering attributed to "old age" are elminiable, but not the pain and suffering of everday life (embarassements, being dumped, divorce, etc). And, to be honest, in a lot of ways, I think that emotoinal pain can be way worse (though, of course, I have never had to go through extreme physical pain, so who am I to judge?). Have a great Christmas!

-- Anonymous, December 07, 2000

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