The German philosopher, Frederick Nietzsche’s work The Antichrist remains controversial because it rejects the notion of working for peace among mankind. However, one must recognize that the work contains valuable insight into the quality of modernity. Nietzsche rejects modernity in this work because of what the modernity brings to the evolution of man. He rejects the idea that man has been made better with the passage of time. He believes that the values that have been forced upon man during this time have actually created a weaker version of a man; this version of a man does not actually respond well to challenges. The idea of seeking peace, a concept that is a humanist idea and therefore a relatively newer one in the history of man, serves to weaken the power of a man as an animal. These are the reasons that the essay has been criticized; it does not help move society towards a more peaceful solution. However, the author is correct in his recognition of the flaws of this concept.
The author recognized that Christianity does not allow several concepts that are actually beneficial to a person and to society. Nietzsche’s rejection of modern society forces him to face that there must be a new world order. In this way, a person can return to the desire for freedom and for self-love. Christianity keeps a person trapped in a web of morality that weakens him. It does not allow for freedom of the individual to express his or her desires. It also believes that one must downplay these desires at all times, even if this is a rejection of self-love. Christianity creates a depredation of the individual spirit. As such, some individuals will likely reject this notion. When they do, they will require more power to feed their spirit and their newly discovered ambition. If all others have not rejected this notion, they will not notice the move towards self-fulfillment in some individuals. If this continues, the individual may reach a dangerous level of ambition and desire. This can only be kept in check by those who actually recognize it and are not afraid to respond in kind.
Unfortunately, all individuals will not believe in the idea of peace. This allows the possibility for those who will exploit the ambition of some individuals. These individuals may then create a plan that will destabilize the society of man. Nietzsche believes that some level of instability in society is not only necessary, but good. When all individuals have been forced to “turn the other cheek” by the Christian establishment, they actually have now turned away from those who will worsen the level of hatred in the world. If they do not confront these forces directly and with force, these groups will succeed in hurting others. Obviously, this occurred during World War II and several times since. There have been multiple examples of genocides since World War II and the Holocaust. The perpetrators of these genocides were allowed to accomplish them because other world leaders were often too anxious to “keep the peace.”
Christianity has always advertised itself as a religion of peace. It must be noted that it has been the foundation of Western society for the last two thousand years. This is why the author believes that modernity, as the final outcome of this society, has reached a damaging level of weakness. He also believes that most individuals within this society are weak as well. He is correct. If society was not anxious with regards to early confrontation with aggressors, serious levels of warfare may have been prevented. However, the desire for peace remains strong because most individuals have been pre-conditioned to accept the Christian notion of peace as the ideal society. Unfortunately, a delayed war often leads to the deaths of millions of innocent victims. Those who have not accepted the Christian view of peace are not scared to achieve a higher position in society. Since most of society turns the other cheek, those with ambition can kill easily. No one is looking.
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