Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Germany in 1844 and died in 1900. His major works included: The Gay Science (1882), Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-1885), Beyond Good & Evil (1886), On the Genealogy of Morals (1887). (Editor ~ Rolly Montpellier-Below2C).
Is Man The Cruelest Animal?
The “Will to Power” is a prominent concept in the philosophy of Nietzsche.
The will to power describes what Nietzsche may have believed to be the main driving force in humans: achievement, ambition, the striving to reach the highest possible position in life.
Our natural desire is to dominate and reshape the world to fit our own preferences and assert our personal strength to the fullest degree possible. Struggle, through which individuals achieve a degree of power commensurate with their abilities, is the basic fact of human existence.
Published on Dec 21, 2012
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Nietzsche goes on to expand the concept of Will to Power to include the pleasure of feeling power and the hunger to overpower one’s social and physical environment. He then connects the pleasure in the feeling of power with the desire for cruelty. From this philosophical bent emerges the question: is man the cruelest animal?
Unlike other species, humans know when they’re being cruel. We can quash our morality and our better instincts and choose to be cruel in some circumstances. It’s that knowing right from wrong and intentionally deciding to be wrong to gain some benefit that makes man the worst animal for cruelty.
In another one of his works, Nietzsche shows how “self-deception is a particularly destructive characteristic of Western culture.” This concept resonates loudly with modern civilization’s inertia in dealing with climate change. There is no greater manifestation of self-deception than the delusional behavior of climate change deniers so heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry.
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