Friedrich Nietzsche was constantly on a collision course with philosophers and artists that at one point or the other hold views that run contrary to his deepest convictions. Among the targets of his attacks were musicians, philosophers, and scientists, many of them renowned and well-loved.
The ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, was a constant target of Nietzsche’s attacks. Friedrich Nietzsche found in Plato an unhealthy fixation with a better, otherworldly realm that represented an anti-life mentality.
Nietzsche saw platonism as merely Christianity for the masses, with similar fixations with a world beyond, rather than the present one. Nietzsche was neither impressed by Plato’s writing style, nor its dialectical experimentalism.
Quite simply, Nietzsche was not a fan of Paul the apostle. All the evils he criticized in Christianity, he pins on Paul as its originator. He detected nefarious aims in Paul’s philosophy and doctrines, chief among them a strong dislike against all things natural.
Nietzsche viewed Paul as a fundamentally dishonest and incapable individual who subverted the original message of Christ to propagate a message and philosophy that satiated his anti-life, resentment sentiments.
For Nietzche, Paul often spoke of faith when in reality faith was only a cover for acting out his instincts. Because he could not live like Christ, Paul conceived of a doctrine that prescribed alternative ways of going around this obligation.
Nietzsche spent his early academic career in admiration of Richard Wagner, the famous German composer. He made Wagner’s acquaintance when he move to Basel and the two of them kicked it on from there.
However, Nietzsche’s philosophy and outlook on life experienced a radical shift and his admiration of Wagner’s works took a hit in the process. He came to dislike the forced Christian sentimentality in the themes of Wagner’s compositions.
Stylistically, Nietzsche described Wagner’s music as an “anarchy of atoms,” chaos of musical elements rather than an integrated structure. Nietzsche was also disgusted by Wagner’s antisemitism and extreme German nationalism.
Immanuel Kant is among the greatest philosophers of Western thought and every philosopher after him often had to address some of Kant’s compelling arguments. Nietzsche’s responses to these arguments are particularly critical.
For one, he vehemently opposes Kant’s postulation that there are universal moral truths arising from the rational inclinations of humans as opposed to inclinations that arise out of our instincts.
For Nietzche, those inclinations should themselves be exactly what our morality should be based on, not vague universalist propositions that arise more out of the disguised Judeo-Christian moral prejudice of philosophers.
Secondly, Nietzsche attacks Kant’s concept of a true but unintelligible and unaccessible world that is different from and remains unaffected by a perceivable reality. For Nietzsche, this Platonic idea does not make any sense if this world cannot be detected.
Finally, Nietzche rejects Kant’s defense of the existence of God not as an intelligible being this time around, but as a teleological principle of the world. For Nietzsche, this simply bears evidence of Kant’s cowardice in flinching from fully removing the yoke of religion in his life.
Nietzsche might have grown up in a Lutheran home, but he subjected Martin Luther himself to some of his most vicious attacks. At the heart of Luther’s position was a fundamental belief that humans are depraved and in need of saving.
This is an idea that Nietzsche found untenable. Additionally, Nietzche opposed Luther’s championing of the justification by faith doctrine, believing it to have arisen because Luther and his like lack the capacity to follow the example of Jesus in their lives. Nietzche condemns Lutheranism as being the religion of the poor In spirit and of having a God that was wrathful rather than loving.
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill’s support for utilitarianism and Socialism attracted condemnation from Nietzsche who saw the core utilitarian presupposition that one should aim to minimize pain and maximize pleasure as absurd. Nietzsche maintained that pain and pleasure are maintained together and that if one numbs his senses to minimize pain, he would also lose the capacity to really enjoy pleasure accordingly.
Nietzsche also associated Mill with the doctrine of equal rights which Nietzsche predicts would elevate the worst of humanity and shackle the independent spirit.
Why did Nietzsche hate Saint Paul?
Friedrich Nietzsche hates Paul the Apostle because he views him as an impotent and dishonest crook who contorted the original message of Jesus in service of his Slave morality
Why did Nietzsche turn against Richard Wager?
Friedrich Nietzsche grew to regard the strand of Christian sentimentalism in Richard Wagner’s later works as dishonest. Additionally, Nietzsche was irritated by Wagner’s extreme nationalism and antisemitism.