Human nature is flawed
Live in accordance to nature? - Neitzsche doesn't agree!
You desire to LIVE “according to nature“? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine yourself being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration without pity or justice, at once fruitful, barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves INDIFFERENCE as power - how could you live in accordance with such indifference? To live - is just not that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, “living according to Nature,“ means actually the same as “living according to life” - how could you do DIFFERENTLY?
Friedrich Neitzsche, Beyond Good and Evil - Paragraph 9.
Synthesizing the world and its realities can be quite challenging. It takes a lot of work to identify the best pathways of progress and even more effort to ensure we remain aligned with our environment, as a misstep can often break us into pieces. Stoics have managed to answer these issues by living in harmony with nature; this strategy has proven to produce amazing results, from military achievements to establishing successful governing kingdoms. Synthesizing reality may not be an easy feat, but having a means of keeping ourselves in balance with nature helps steady our course and make it achievable. But is it really the case?
Freidrich Neitzsche disagreed with the Stoic beliefs that living "according to Nature" is best for us. He would argue that to live is attempting to be something other than what Nature has provided. Living involves valuing, preferring and being unjust at times, attempting to make life different than it is. Even if “living according to Nature” means “living according to life," Neitzsche still did not think that this was the right direction for us to take. This excessive indifference, which Nature demonstrates, cannot truly be applied as a way of existence due its lack of justice, pity or purpose.
This was the first time I truly encountered criticism against stoicism. As a stoic, I have embraced reality as it is and strive to make the right decisions based on my understanding of it. Our ability to perceive sensations and events gives us an advantage that no other species has, meaning we can comprehend reality to much greater depths than any forms of life besides our own. Although serenity does lie in acceptance, I have come to understand that the flaws in our human nature - the need for humans to lie, cheat, steal or hurt - is not something we just have to accept blindly. Stoic philosophy has given me more structure than anything else before; however, it still has its faults when it comes to coexisting with nature and human nature at once.
Friedrich Neitzsche once wrote, "One must still have chaos in himself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." His powerful words are extremely thought-provoking and make us ask ourselves whether we should be stoically standing for the rights of both the strong and the weak, or if sometimes blindly adhering to one's weakest points can lead to more harm than good. It is undeniable that human beings are a multifaceted species who face complex questions of war and peace, unlike any other animal. Each generation brings its own culture, which influences how we make our world a better place. Understanding this fully will allow us make better decisions - ultimately enabling us to make more conscious choices that are in line with treating every living entity with dignity and respect.
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