Friday, January 24, 2014

30 Days of Quotes About Whatever ~ Day 24 ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Day 24~

“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.” 

Friedrich Nietzsche


Quotes like this one make me wish I had pursued philosophy more when I was in college. It's an issue necessarily complicated by the fact that I was far younger and naiver than I ever could have appreciated at the time. With age comes wisdom and perspective which makes you appreciate things like this a little bit more, I think, so maybe it wouldn't have been as magnificent as I imagine because I wouldn't have understood it all yet.

I digress.

Nietzsche was a German philosopher who questioned the validity of Christianity and mused about the foundations of morality. He was an existentialist who believed strongly in the affirmation of self. One of these days I am going to make good on my threat to build a time traveling machine and go buy some of these people a drink.

Anyhow, to the quote.

“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.” 

I'm just going to go ahead and assume he meant to include "woman of knowledge" too. Wink, wink.

The older I get, the truer this quote is. First, the beginning of the quote. When I was young and naive, along with my patent inability to appreciate philosophy, I didn't understand the value of diversifying my relationships.

I know it now.

It's something that, much to the chagrin of a few, I try to live in this online persona I have constructed. My Facebook page, often the place of heated argument, is one where differing opinions are solicited and encouraged so long as everyone can remain respectful of one another. There are plenty of pages out there who enjoy their viewpoints and who choose to limit dissent. That is their choice. My choice is to be open and accepting of all viewpoints, to do my very best to be tolerant of them, and to allow others the same freedom.

I can't argue against censorship and then censor people. It's logically inconsistent.

And I am really part Vulcan. Truly.

We've had conversations on my page that have remained mostly civil about some of the most heated topics in our society, conversations that would have rapidly degraded on other pages I follow. I like to believe that the reason is, at least in part, because of how I run the page.

There is great harm in being surrounded only by people who agree with you. Your views will never be tested or questioned, which can lead you down very skewed paths of reasoning if it isn't ever held up to the fire.

Talk to people who disagree with you. Understand where they are coming from. Ask them questions. Learn. Open your mind. You won't be the only one who benefits.

As for the second half of the quote, I agree as well, though for a slightly different reason. As for the philosophical reason, hating your friends can come in handy when they are helping to lead you down that path of flawed reasoning I was just talking about.

People who we trust can hurt us, can encourage us to hurt ourselves, can encourage us to hurt others. Perhaps this is because they aren't really friends, perhaps this is because they have ulterior motives, perhaps this is because we don't understand the true nature of the relationship. Regardless, a bit of skepticism isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Plus, sometimes people you like are going to do really stupid things. It's okay to hate them for it.


1 comment:

  1. Love and hate are both passionate emotions, but friendship has to be able to withstand both I suppose. Nobody can infuriate you more than someone you love!


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