January 30, 2014
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HEYO, IV Goers; my name is Ali: sophomore at IV, waitress at Steak ‘n Shake, and the new opinion editor of the IV Leader.
Over the break I read a book about Friedrich Nietzsche, a nineteenth century German philosopher who was brought up by a Lutheran pastor. He was well read about notable people, such as Socrates, Jesus, Descartes, Zoroaster, and he knew a lot about language as he went to school to be a philologist, someone who studies literature and the instructions regarding literature or to language used in literature (linguistics is one of the characteristics of anthropology—the study of humans, so I feel he is a good resource for knowledge about our thinking).
As we are starting this new semester and meeting new people through school, work, and daily life, I thought this theory that he preached/wrote/philosophized about called Perspectivism would be interesting to all of us at IVCC.
Basically, it is a theory that states there are no situations that are “true” in all circumstances: no ultimate right or wrong ethical answers. The only thing there is are our choices that are made because of our certain point of view, created by our background and situation we live in.
Wait, what? Nietzsche did not think there is a right or wrong? What about killing? And stealing? Drug use, driving drunk, vandalism, war—you get the point. He goes on to say that it is the master who establishes the meaning of good, the meaning of right.
So, where exactly am I going with this? Is this true? Do you believe this? Who cares! Maybe there is no possible way for humans to be totally objective in our thinking, but I think that this theory, to me, is simply instructing me to not place negative or positive thoughts on someone because of their choices.
Before I try to figure out the reasons behind someone’s actions and the negative and positive connotations that I apply to those actions, I will know that my judgment and reasoning is a combination of my situation—geographical location, years lived through, background, financial situation, emotional hardships, education, the government that imposes restrictions on my life, and so many other factors.
It was not too long ago that I saw the world as two sided: right and wrong. I have found life results in a happier experience when I realize that there is reasoning behind every action—a purpose to survive: to overcome obstacles and be happier the only way someone has a way to.
I am NOT saying to go out and kill, steal, or vandalize without reason or knowledge of repercussions; I am saying that I believe that people make choices, and humans associate good and bad feelings toward certain actions because of their situation and the master of their society.
Think I’m crazy? It’s okay; most of the time, I do too. The information for this piece came from What Nietzsche Really Said? by Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins.