We’re only human

We’re only human

Upon starting “On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense”, I was a bit skeptical of Nietzche’s take on people. He starts off by discussing how we’re insignificant based on how short of a time we’ve existed in the universe (764). He continued on almost a tangent, a rant, or almost just hating on humans, which felt a bit much. He called the creation of our existence the “most mendacious minute in the ‘history of the world’” (764). His view on people seemed quite harsh and pessimistic. He continued to say how people thought so highly of themselves: “The arrogance inherent in cognition…contains within itself the most flattering evaluation of cognition” (765).  After learning the context and time period Nietzche writes this, I can now understand where he is coming from—during a time of a lot of innovations. But when I first read this I strongly disagreed. I think people nowadays are constantly acknowledging what we don’t know and that a lot of things need to change. To change it takes an awareness from people that we are very flawed and don’t understand/know everything and as a result are ever evolving. In present day I find that people are questioning a lot of the traditional methods and ways of thinking. Many people, especially younger generation are challenging big companies, the expected 9-5 jobs, and addressing issues of climate change/ social justice/ racial issues…etc. There’s a lot of turmoil and change in the air. The fact that innovation, self awareness, and self growth is very prevalent right now–challenges Nietzche’s idea that we are arrogant. I think he owes people more credit. We’re definitely flawed and of course have times of arrogance, but if one really considers the human thinking it is very fascinating and impressive, which Nietzche is able to admit. Nietzche says that people create “infinitely complicated cathedral of concepts on moving foundations, or even, one might say, on flowing water” (769). I really liked how Nietzche phrased how people create concepts and ultimately attempt to find/create their truth. I also agree with the idea that to come to a consensus of truth and thinking is very difficult and almost can feel impossible like building on moving water. Moving water also implies that truth and concepts are in constant change because the definition of truth and our language is on a shaky foundation. Because we created our own definition of truth it can easily come toppling down if we decide it’s wrong or simply if we have a change of heart.

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