Continuing discussion.

EPS Blog

This is the blog area for the Evangelical Philosophical Society and its journal, Philosophia Christi.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

2008 EPS Papers (Coblentz)

Travis Coblentz

Lex Luther vs. Superman: Using Bonhoeffer to Make Nietzsche's Ethic Christian

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the following comment by Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "Nietzsche's Superman is not really, as he supposed, the opposite of the Christian; without knowing it, Nietzsche has here introduced many traits of the Christian made free, as Paul and Luther describe him." In particular, I shall attempt, using Bonhoeffer's view of Christian ethics, to show the similarity between the ethical life of the Ubermensche and the Christian. Bonhoeffer and Nietzsche share a negative view of deontological ethics - Bonhoeffer uses the language of law or duty, while Nietzsche opposes all generalization or abstraction of morality. I shall give a brief description and justification of Bonhoeffer's ethic, and then argue that, in light of this, Nietzsche's Ubermensche is, with a few qualitications, an appropriate description of the ethical life of the Christian.

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2008 EPS Papers (Reed)

David A. Reed

Voices Crying in the Wilderness: The Calls to Faith in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche

Abstract: The philosophies of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were watershed moments in the history of Western thought that share intriguing characteristics. Both saw the intellectual and moral landscape of European society to be a wilderness of despair and suffering. Because Kierkegaard saw Christiandom as a non-Christian culture afflicted by finitude, he prophetically called his contemporaries to a genuine faith in God. Nietzsche understood the wilderness to be caused by the intellectual and moral crisis resulting from the 'death of God' and the rise of nihilism. Nietzsche's solution to the crisis was to call his and future generations to an uncompromising faith in human nature.

This paper will analyze and critically evaluate the elements of the conflicting and competing faiths to which Kierkegaard and Nietzsche called their readers, which were based on radically differing theistic and anthropological judgments. Based on the Kierkegaard's three-fold conception of aesthetic, ethical, and religious faith, I will argue that his call to radical faith (which is based on his existential philosophy of human nature) triumphs over Nietzsche's. My critique of Nietsche will be based largely on inherently weak and immature faith in human nature.

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