Nietzsche’s Amor Fatti, on love, the future, and trusting philosophical authorities

It has been proposed by one of the most important persons of the 21st century, the philosopher David Pearce, that people reflect on Nietzsche’s Amor Fatti:

from Wikipedia:

Amor fati is a Latin phrase coined by Nietzsche loosely translating to “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”. It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good. Moreover, it is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in one’s life.

The phrase is used repeatedly in Nietzsche’s writings and is representative of the general outlook on life he articulates in section 276 of The Gay Science, which reads,

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.

Quote from “Why I Am So Clever” in Ecce Homo, section 10[1]:

My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.¨

Here is the respose I choose to give:

Being, according to a large N research questionnaire http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx among the 0,5% Happiest people in the world, I must say three things:

The first is that I can understand and feel my relative well-being, and for this, I am very glad. I wish there was something to thank, and since there isn’t, I help future people by being and working as a transhumanist.

The second is that if it is true that 99,5% of people suffer more than I do, and achieve fewer moments of ecstasy and bliss, the universe, and evolution, are morally wicked indeed, and it is my only hope that we continue to combat nature’s lack of caress.

The third is that people, like Nietzsche, who think ¨death is good, aging is good, uglyness is good, non-intelligence is good¨ and think as well that other design ethical malfunctionings of the human condition are good must be faced with compassion and a smile for their defeatism. These people should be instructed without prejudice. They ought to be impowered with the right ethical tools, and if this is done well, their acceptance of defeat will dilute, and a new strength will be born, a strength able to colossally increase our chances of escaping the wickedness of our current nature, and plunging into a paradise only rarely sought in any prophecy hitherto declared possible by any society, or by any authority.

To respect authority is a mistake. This has been pointed out before, in concise and brilliant manner, by Bertrand Russell in his Liberal Decalogue:

¨

Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.¨

A less concise yet brilliant way in which to think of the excessive respect we have for some people is by showing how their positions can be reached, and only seem to be at the worlds summit due to some presentation constraints imposed by our misleading though essential desire to know the final product, but not the complete build-up:

¨Were it possible to trace the succession of ideas in the mind of Sir Isaac Newton, during the time that he made his greatest discoveries, I make no doubt but our amazement at the extent of his genius would a little subside. But if, when a man publishes his discoveries, he either through a design, or through habit, omit the intermediary steps by which he himself arrived at them, it is no wonder that his speculations confound them, and that the generality of mankind stand amazed at his reach of thought. If a man ascend to the top of a building by the help of a common ladder, but cut away most of the steps after he has done with them, leaving only every ninth of tenth step, the view of the ladder, in the condition which he has pleased to exhibit it, gives us a prodigious, but unjust view of the man who could have made use of it. But if he had intended that any body should follow him, he should have left the ladder as he constructed it, or perhaps as he found it, for it might have been a mere accident that threw it in his way… I think that the interests of science have suffered by the excessive admiration and wonder with which several first rate philosophers are considered, and that an opinion of the greater equality of mankind, in point of genius, and power of understanding, would be of real service in the present age.” – Joseph Priestly, The History and present State of Electricity

To one who starts to ponder, at this point, if Amor Fatti or Amor Autoritti are reasonable ways it is about time to read this texts continuation

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