November 04, 2006

Nietzsche's "Slave Morality", pt. 2

John Hardon wrote that "We're told that God has chosen the 'little things', the 'foolish things', to confound the strong and the wise. These are all paradoxes."

Nietzsche believed that "... the doing itself is everything", that it isn't possible for a strong person to act weak. The strong are strong because they act that way; to act with weakness is to be weak.

I agree with Nietzsche on this point. It's not enough to pay lipservice to an ideal or ability. You have to live the ideal or practice the ability, otherwise they aren't truly yours. (To that end, I am not only a catechist, but the world's greatest non-performing violinist. In my head, I sound unbelievable!) Where Nietzsche and I differ is in what we consider acts of strength. To him, strength is the ability to conquer, to defeat enemies and assert one's will. There is an act that requires greater strength than any exterior, worldly battle; we might call it the interior battle, the fight within ourselves to act as our consciences demand.

Perhaps Nietzsche and I don't differ so much on this point, either - strength is expressed best in conquest. It is the greatest conquest, and the greatest expression of strength, to win the fight inside ourselves, to defeat the Enemy, and assert our will, properly guided by a virtuous intellect.

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