Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christianity: Slave Morality or Anthropotechnics?

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By Dean Dettloff

Fernando Niño de Guevara, Inquisitor
In On the Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche famously argued that Christianity bound humans to what he called “slave morality.” On his telling, morals are not absolute goods but relative, developing out of historical situations. Slave morality arose in response to what he calls “master morality,” which is characterized by strong will. Weak willed individuals, according to Nietzsche, unable to overcome the strong, responded by inventing morals to keep the strong in check. This invention, however, was not done out of love (despite its claims to the contrary), but out of resentment, fear, and pessimism. The weak, unable to overcome the strong, asserted themselves by the creation of arbitrary values. Although these values are presented as shining examples of altruism, they are haunted, says Nietzsche, by a hidden and embarrassing egoism. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

Christmas for Cynics

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By Dean Dettloff

The close of 2014 has seen a series of volatile revelations about United States government. Grand Juries came under scrutiny as the suspiciously “ambiguous” case involving the death of Mike Brown failed to go to actual trial, a scrutiny compounded by the completely obvious events surrounding the death of Eric Garner which also failed to go to trial. The country began to erupt in a series of massive protests, a flurry of public debate, and the desperate attempts of some to dismiss the reactions to these injustices as immature or “uncalled for.” As if that wasn’t enough, the results of the Senate’s investigation into the CIA’s torture practices were published revealing incredibly disturbing details hidden from public view. And all this in the midst of the presidency of Barack Obama, whose election signaled for many what seemed like an almost Messianic change on the world political scene, yet whose presidency will be marked by #Occupy, the proliferation of drone warfare, the silencing of whistleblowers, and a clear message that the surveillance state isn’t going away anytime soon. As the New Year is upon us, many find themselves reasonably cynical about the possibility of the next year being anything “new” after all.