Nietzsche’s Superman Theory: What is it and How Does It Connect With the Modern World?

Alejandro Betancourt
Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

It's difficult to talk about Frederick Nietzsche's theory of the "superman" without discussing narcissism and psychopathy.

Narcissists are often perceived as arrogant, egotistical people who don't care about anyone or anything other than themselves. They are also known to be manipulative and crave attention from others. It may seem like narcissism is the opposite of selflessness, which was Nietzsche's idea behind his theory on "superman." However, a lot more can relate these two concepts together if you consider the narcissistic personality traits. For example, have you ever heard someone say they were "lost in admiration" by another person? This typically means they feel superior because of their accomplishments, which could be an exciting connection between both ideas.

A psychopath is typically violent, impulsive, and has no empathy for other people or animals, which are all things that narcissists do not possess. Although they may seem like opposites of each other, there are some fascinating connections between the two.

Nietzsche believed he wanted to make a distinction between selflessness and altruism. He thought it would be better if someone were only considered "good" when they made themselves superior by doing something for themselves rather than helping others without expecting anything back in return (i.e., altruism). Nietzsche's theory on Superman can also relate to his belief that "God is dead." If there is no God or higher power, then why should anyone care about other people? So he thought.

What is the meaning of The Nietzschian Superman?

Frederick Nietzsche is an influential philosopher in the late 1800s. He was known for his critical philosophy of religion, morality, and metaphysics. Nietzsche's Superman is a mythological creature that overcomes all obstacles to achieve its goals. In essence, it is a symbol of "strength."

This idea was popularized through Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of the Übermensch or "Superman." It is a person who has transcended or gone beyond good and evil by perfecting oneself by going through the process of amor fati — loving one's fate and destiny with a will strong enough to embrace everything one encounters in life — which includes suffering, pain, and sorrow. In addition, Nietzsche's Superman also embodies the concept of self-creation by going beyond traditional Christian morality and creating a new set of rules.

Nietzsche believed that "God is dead" because he felt it was an old-fashioned idea from a less civilized society. In his mind, this meant there were no universal morals or values to abide by, which led to moral relativism. This type of thinking can be applied in religion and other areas, such as politics and economics. What happens when someone takes Nietzsche's theory on Übermensch too far? Who decides what true goodness means? Is it up to the person who wants power for themselves at all costs — even if they have to step over people along their way?

Nietzsche's Superman is often misinterpreted as being a cruel, tyrannical dictator. However, Nietzsche's philosophy of Superman is more complex than that. According to Nietzsche, Superman is an individual who has surpassed both the Christian morals and values of humanity and transcends pure rationality. Superman is beyond good and evil in that he recognizes that morality only exists concerning human beings. He can create his values through his actions.

Nietzsche first proposed the Nietzschean Superman Theory in his 1883 book "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" The theory argues that the modern world is full of ills and that society needs a new person to save it. The theory proposes that human beings are not good enough for this task but must be replaced by a higher form to solve these problems. Superman heralds an era where humans will no longer be at the top of the social hierarchy. Instead, he will take their place as individuals with superhuman capabilities who can accomplish anything he desires without being burdened by ethics.
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Nietzsche's religion of choice can be seen as atheism.

Nietzsche wrote extensively about his belief that God was dead and that the Christian worldview had been canceled. He argued that because of this, any morality or ethics became impossible to justify. In other words, Nietzsche thought that the death of God led to the end of all notions about morality and ethics. Nietzsche argued against Christianity being a life-affirming philosophy by asserting that it is a life-denying philosophy because Christianity is an "evil-doer" and a "slave driver" which seeks to "break every will to power."

Bertrand Russell, a British mathematician, and philosopher agree with Nietzsche's view that Christian morality was an obstacle to progress. According to Russell: "The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms."

Nietzsche also described how he believed life ought to be lived without any religious faith: "He who has given himself his law, lives most pleasantly; the freeman thinks pleasantest thoughts because he does not fear their consequences; there exists no greater contrast than between what we do out of pure joy and what we do only as a duty. Duty! obligation! (legalism!). Take now thyself as thou art!"

In logic, antithesis is used when two statements are in direct contrast to each other. In other words, antithesis is used when two statements are exact opposites of one another. The term comes from the Greek "antitithenai," which means "to set against." Nietzsche's Superman Theory challenges modern society by questioning what it takes for an individual to be truly great and good. Nietzsche believed that this could only happen once Christianity had been overthrown as a moral system.

Nietzsche's Superman represents the next stage of humanity where people will no longer need religion or morality because they would have created their values through their actions instead. The idea behind Nietzsche's theory was that life should not just serve any higher purpose but rather must serve itself first before anything else. Nietzsche believed that by living out his life as an individual who served only himself, he could achieve greatness and become a higher form of life than humans were capable of.

Is there a connection between "God" being dead and not caring about others anymore if faith in Christianity or Judaism?

Do you agree with Frederick Nietzsche that everyone should be striving for an "ubermensch" type of person? What do you think is the difference between being selfless vs. selfish? Is it possible to have both traits at once? Can someone who has narcissistic personality disorder still care about other people on some level, too (i.e., they want them around so they can feed off their admiration)?

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