Philosophy Paper 2.docx - 1 Topic 1 Nietzsche/Heidegger...

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Topic 1 Nietzsche/HeideggerRecitation Tuesday 10 AM (Will Conner)Intro to Existentialism4126637Second Writing AssignmentApril 9th, 2018Living and Creating a Meaningful Life According to Nietzsche and HeideggerIn this paper, I will argue that Nietzsche’s perspective of living a meaningful life without regards to the attitudes and moral views of society is better supported than Heidegger’s. Each of these authors has specific ideas about what quantifies a meaningful life. Nietzsche quantifies a meaningful life as one of individuality and independence. He questions how we are able to find meaning in a life where “God is dead”. Each author has their own opinion on the definition of a meaningful life, as well as defining and categorizing types of Nihilism. They both discuss the effects that both active and passive nihilism have on creating a meaningful life. Heidegger specifically focuses on whether or not it is possible to live an actively nihilistic life as well as if that life would be desirable. In comparing each author’s individual perspective, this paper will discuss whether or not it is possible to live a meaningful life despite the views of society and moral obligations but also whether or not it is desirable.Nietzsche argued that the value of human life is created by the individual, not by societal norms. I think that Nietzsche is saying that there is no intrinsic value in a society that is rooted inour lives and we must create the meaning of life for ourselves. He says that the essence of our species is our instinct, “to do what is good for the preservation of the human race… the essence of our species, our herd.” (Nietzsche). Nietzsche talks about “eternal recurrence” as a way of measuring a meaningful life, this concept is when an individual is given the opportunity to live their lives over again and change decisions that they have made in their lives. If they choose not 1
to change any of the decisions they have made then he believes that constitutes living a meaningful life. According to Nietzsche if a person has created a truly meaningful life they would not mind living eternally. He also says that you cannot live a meaningful life if you are dissatisfied with yourself. If you have any resentment or feelings of regret because of the choicesyou made, you cannot live a meaningful life. The choices you make every day have to be ones that are derived from what you feel is right and not from what society is telling you to do.I think that Nietzsche is saying it is definitely possible to live a meaningful life. However, our lives are shaped by our humanity and how we are able to make ourselves individuals that separate us from the crowd. I believe that becoming your own individual is integral to creating and living a meaningful life. A meaningful life is one of independence, one

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