September 21, 2008
Honors Humanities III
Kryptonite or Christianity
Everyone strives to better himself or herself throughout life in some way. Whether it is through economic status, social rank, or religion man is constantly trying to improve his quality of life. The means by which a Christian makes that improvement should also improve others. Matthew 20:16 states, “So the first will be last and the last will be first”(NIV). A staple of Christian doctrine, this verse calls all Christians to be a servant to others regardless of social rank. In Friedrich Nietzsche’s This Spoke Zarathustra the main character, Zarathustra, wishes to become a “superman.” A superman can be classified as someone who rises above all others and is in complete control of his being. An overman and the values of Christianity are on opposite sides throughout Nietzsche’s work.
In part one of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Zarathustra is delivering a series of sermons to his “disciples.” In Chapter 2, he criticizes finding inner peace through virtue and generosity. Instead, Zarathustra preaches of a constant inner struggle to obtain an ultimate freedom. Christianity preaches the contrary. Jesus says in John 14:1 “Trust in God; trust also in me.” Jesus challenges Christians to reach inner peace by trusting in the Lord not in self. Another chapter in which Zarathustra and Christianity “butt heads” is chapter 3, “Backworldsmen.” Zarathustra argues that humanity is “flesh” and there is no spirit in which to live for. Man needs his physical desires met. This life is all there is according to Zarathustra. He says, “Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is a more upright and pure voice.” He wants man to rely to himself rather than a “god”. Believing the body consists of no spirit completely contradicts Christianity and everything it stands for. The Bible says a body is a temple of God. God lives in every human, which indicates a...