Mechanical Atheism and Neitzsche

I like this post. Having arrived at a psuedo-Nietzschian view of life without directly reading philosophy, I’m slowly discovering those philosophers that support the conclusions that I’ve drawn by observation and experience.

I have not found yet a good interpretation of Nietzsche and pre-Socratic Greece (for examples) as a non-social Darwinian evolutionary pressure. When we see behaviors in humanity which mirror behaviors in other animals, is this not a natural evolutionary solution?
This fits sort of where I was going with Mechanical Atheism. I’m still working it out, but this is an important aspect of it.

Prometheus Unbound

In interview with David Wolf, Nietzsche scholar Brian Leiter offers his view:

[I]f there’s a central question in Nietzsche it’s the one he takes over from Schopenhauer – namely, how is it possible to justify life in the face of inevitable suffering? Schopenhauer comes up with a negative answer. He endorses something like a stereotype of the Buddhist view: The best thing would not to be born, but if you’re born the next best thing would be to die quickly. Nietzsche wants to repudiate that answer – partly through bringing about a re-evaluation of suffering and its significance.

And what is this re-evaluation of suffering and its significance? It is this: suffering doesn’t especially matter. This means that morality doesn’t especially matter. So long as there is room in the world for Beethoven to exist and do his thing, Nietzsche is happy to shrug off any concern over the mass suffering of…

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  1. I don’t know if you have access to any scientific peer-reviewed journals (you generally need a subscription, or to attend a university that does…) anyway, as part of my unit on human evolution, I recently read an article about the evolution of intelligence and social interaction… in fact, I can probably put it on Dropbox for you, hold on…
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/101876792/Week%205%20-%20Flinn%20etc.pdf
    Anyway, I just thought you might find it interesting. 🙂

  2. Stace8383, Thanks for that. it took me about 10 seconds of scanning the paper to know it will be interesting. Very shortly in, but with many more words, the explanation for human evolution to the extent that it now holds is ‘war’ and war-like behaviors. Competition is not merely for food, but for dominance of everything else. Our brains evolved a pleasure center or reward system for winning. Some day I know they will find it too. I don’t think they will, I know they will. Cocaine can’t get you as high as winning can. It is a source of addiction for many of us. The drive to win gives you a high for every little thing that you do right to get ahead of your competition. Trust me, I know this reward system well.

    A human who knows nothing about you and will never see you again will get high from besting you in competition… if for no other reason that to best you, or somebody, anybody. Yes, if I use a stick I can beat my competition to death… no, rocks are better… wait, sharp rocks on sticks are even better still. Humans would have stagnated if not for that reward system. You don’t see anything more than territorial behavior in other animals. Only humans seem hell bent on dominating everything without thought to the consequences.

    We are the most violent and malevolent species on this planet or any other that we know of. Aliens reading this should take heed.

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