Nietzschean apologetics

Nietzsche condemns Christianity, dedication to art and dedication to science as abandonments of the fundamental imperative to reject all subordination of the self to anything above itself, and primarily to any  unseen worlds of superior reality like God or the ideal beauty or the laws of nature discovered through the objective beauty and simplicity.

That said, if Christianity as the ultimate wickedness when wickedness is measured by subordination, as Nietzsche says it is, then we can read him as arguing that Christianity is the truest way of life is subordination to the unseen is good, and it will turn out to be better both in its goal and its means.

Christianity and science both claim give an absolute value to the pursuit of truth, but only Christianity is willing to take this to the point of willingness to die for it. Science can boast of giving better accounts of how the world works (as though Christianity ever cared about that) but you’re never going to find it boasting about its martyrs. Christianity and human rationality don’t share a common goal of explaining the machinery of the world but they really do share a common goal of pursuing truth as the absolute value, and when measured by the number of persons willing to put there money where there mouths are when truth competes with life, religious faith has no serious competitors. Every other life hesitates before the absolute demand.

This same hesitancy and inconsistency applies to rivals to religious faith. All the rivals pitch a faith belief that the unseen world is in some crucial respects a personal world by being intelligible and knowable by its beauty and simplicity. But what they demand out of one side of the mouth they deny with the other: when challenged or when it is convenient the world can be ugly, monstrous and baffling and the beauty, the simplicity, or even the laws of nature themselves turn into mere subjective heuristics and constructions. Don’t confuse the map with the territory! We’re just making models here! Gotcha!  The rivals to religion want to have it both ways, assuming that the unseen world is a personal world until anyone calls them out on it, then hurrying to shove all of its personal characteristics back into the needs and hopes of human life. We’re engaged in an effort that demands both that we discover intelligibility, simplicity and beauty and that we are the source of it. The universe, work of the amnesiac god!

 

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