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Two Brands of NihilismAs philosopher and poet Nietzsches work is not easily conformable to thetraditional schools of thought within philosophy However an unmistakable concern withthe role of religion and values penetrates much of his work Contrary to the traditionbefore him Nietzsche launches vicious diatribes against Christianity and the dualisticphilosophies he finds essentially life denying Despite his early tutelage under theinfluenceof Schopenhauers philosophy Nietzsche later philosophy indicates a refusal to castexistence as embroiled in pessimism but instead as that which should be affirmed eveninthe face of bad fortune This essay will study in further detail Nietzsche view of Schopenhauer and Christianity as essentially nihilisticNihilismThroughout his work Nietzsche makes extensive use of the term nihilism Intexts from the tradition prior to Nietzsche the term connotes a necessary connectionbetween atheism and the subsequent disbelief in values It was held the atheist regardedthe moral norms of society as merely conventional without any justification by rationalargument Furthermore without a divine authority prohibiting any immoral conduct allappeals to morality by authority become hollow By the atheists reckoning then all actsare permissibleWith Nietzsches appearance on the scene however arrives the most potentarguments denying the necessary link between atheism and nihilism It will bedemonstrated that Nietzsche in fact will argue it is in the appeal to divineproscriptionsthat the most virulent nihilism will attain There is a second sense of nihilism that appears as an outgrowth of the first thatNietzsche appeals to in his critique of values It contends that not only does an activepious acknowledgment of a divinity foster nihilism but also the disingenuous worship ofa deity that has been replaced in the life man by science too breeds a passive nihilismChristianityNietzsche conceives the first variety of nihilism that fostered through activeworship as pernicious due to its reinforcement of a fundamental attitude that denieslifeThroughout his life Nietzsche argued the contemporary metaphysical basis for belief in adeity were merely negations of or tried to deny the uncertainties of what is necessarilyasituated human existence Religious
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