Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Superman Explained

This blog usually talks about DC's Superman, but this time let's talk about Nietzche's Übermensch, aka Superman.

What? Yes, you are supposed to take philosophy somewhere along your college academic path, and, in the words of Monty Python, "Now for something completely different . .  ."

 

Friedrich Nietzche is not examining physical strength (like the DC character), but the mind of the superman and claims that we can't possibly be the final product of evolution. So what might the man of the future be like? 

Nietzche felt supermen would make their own values, be independently minded, they might need to hurt people in the name of great things, selfish, reform men towards pagan values, not resentful, hard to understand, lonely, gentle towards the weak, sexually wicked, and all those characteristics were needed to lead mankind towards salvation through culture.

Who would you be mentally if you could be the "super" version of yourself?

11 comments:

  1. I've always found Nietzsche to be incredibly misguided in his quest for self improvement. He holds this idea of tearing oneself and everyone else down for the sake of building up, which theoretically could work but only at the cost of undermining other peoples pursuit for what makes them happy. His deconstruction of religion as a concept meant to make man docile is incredibly short sighted, as religion is not only a cornerstone of many cultures but also lays the groundwork for future developments in a given society. He also argues that the only thing standing in the way of us pursuing our own aspirations is ourselves which just isn't entirely true, sure it may be a facet of why we fail to achieve many of our goals; but often there are forces that are out of our control that may undermine our efforts to ultimately achieve self improvement. Be it a disability, financial difficulties, or other external adversities.

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  2. I find Nietzsche's view of supermen very interesting because he makes the point that to be a superman, you may have to have traits that are a bit weird. I believe that the psychological aspect of supermen is way more important than their physical capabilities. In many ways, I think Nietzsche's supermen are just like the DC Superman. However, I don't believe that selfish is a characteristic needed, rather they should be selfless. If they are superior, they should have the understanding that they have a duty to do all the things they are capable of to help mankind. As is said, "with great power, comes great responsibility."

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  3. I believe that Nietzsche uses this concept of "ubermensch" as a way conceptualizing his own mental illness. His superman's values seem unconventional because people assume that achieving greatness has some correlation to ones morals. But in actuality its more an acceptance of the realities of life. Love, loneliness, acceptance, death. These are all concepts that those suffering from metal illness, especially depression have a difficult time accepting. So perhaps the future of man isn't physically centered, but more focused on man's relation to his own psyche. If I had became some evolved version of myself, I believe that I, like Nietzsche, would desire complete control over my mental facility. Instead of becoming jealous, I would recognize it as the ability to better myself. Instead of being lonely, I would accept singleness as a necessary part of self improvement. I would become as Nietzsche refers to as "sexually wicked", kind of a bitter term but I believe that he meant less akin to believe that embracing ones sexuality is sexually wicked in some christian sense. Once these normal human traits are accepted there is time to embrace human culture and better ourselves through it.

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  4. For myself there are a few characteristics in mind that I could imagine for the "super" version of myself. For the most part, I think I would be mentally sound. Meaning that there would be no need to think of solutions for certain circumstances or problems. The answers would come naturally and I would not have to question alternative solutions. I'd also like to think my brain would be filled with a library of valuable information that would troublesome to find on the internet. One way to put it is, I would essentially be a walking encyclopedia filled with the answers to every problem and keeper of all imaginable information.

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  5. In my honest opinion, I can understand where Nietzsche is going for when he says that to be superman, one must have traits like loneliness and selfishness for better reasons. As prime examples, I see many innovators in contemporary society as supermen. Mark Zuckerberg took Facebook in as his own prized creation, undermining other competitors who wanted to bring him down before the company was founded. Steve Job's story in being denied by Apple multiple times is also a good example. These technological innovators didn't just go with the norm, they went out of it and made their own path. However, in doing so, they were betrayed and shunned upon by others. In the end, success in the form of results came through. These are the closest things to supermen in Nietzsche's definition and we are seeing more of these supermen coming and going as our world develops and evolves. Soon, I believe that supermen will be a normal thing to find in everyday life.

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  6. In my opinion there is a high chance that mankind grows to become more powerful. People will change and there are many traits that can help them become “super”. I believe that the mind of a person is the strongest force in the whole world. In the near future I believe that people will become smarter and more creative. In my opinion we won’t grow a lot physically but mentality we will be the strongest creatures that we know off. Mentally people can start to use more than 10% of their brain which will push us to the “superman” era.

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  7. When I seen the title of this article I somewhat thought it would be the background of where Superman originated from not "supermen". Some of the characteristics that were listed of what is thought to be of man in years to come , I feel like I can already see that in some people. For example being selfish or gentle towards the weak. And some of the characteristics are somewhat and a bit hard to understand, in terms of what do they mean or where are they headed. For example, " reform men towards pagan values". And why I say that is because I feel like religion now is still important but not as many people still follow a pagan or monotheistic religion.

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  8. I have many thoughts running to my mind while reading this blog, like why and how did the author, Nietzsche, decided to 'explain superman'. When I first saw the title I thought it would be on the superhero but no, it was not. He took this time to explain what truly makes a superhero without having powers. Nietzsche gave examples with what might supermen aka men be like in the future with a list of characteristics, such as "independently minded","hard to understand", and "...gentle towards the weak" and "those characteristics are needed to lead mankind towards salvation in the future."(Nietzsche) And I would have to agree with Nietzsche because being independently minded is what many people even men themselves are thought to be. Growing up they are taught that the man in the head of the family and have to think for everyone in their family. As for being hard to understand that is what most women see them as and as a woman I agree due to personal issues. And last but not least gentle to weak. I feel that not matter how strong a man makes of themselves they will always have a soft heart for the weak, as I have seen in my dad.

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  9. This is actually the superman identity that is established in the comic and game called "Injustice: Gods Among Us". The superman in this universe was corrupted and decided to take actions into his own hands. He stopped crime on his own but at the cost of the freedom of the people. He abused his power in order to create a the world he imagined as perfect. But to the people, his vision of the world was corrupt and unjustified.

    The super version of myself would be Goku. Striving to become the strongest I can become and protecting my friends and family along the way.

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  10. If I can be anybody "super" version, I would choose batman himself. Why? Batman has no super powers but his own mental power that drives him to be mentally invincible. Also, he uses his human physical strength to defeat everyday crime. Batman genuinely cares for everybody in the city of Gotham besides himself. His past shaped him to be the strong individual who later became batman to prevent such tragedy that occurred in his life.

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