1. Nietzsche in his work distinctly differentiated slave and master morality. During his time, and for conservative thinkers of today, there are traits that are considered noble and positive. These traits including meekness, humility, pity and other characteristics that might be universally defined as kind are to him, weak. This kind of thinking is what he refers to as slave morality because it is not assertive and people who think that way are not strong enough to become masters of their own world. He condemns the philosophy which embraces these characteristics. To him, a master morality is one that is opposite from the slave-type-thinking (Nietzsche). He believes that aggressiveness, independence of thought and egoism are things that should be praised. People who have these traits are not easily oppressed as compared to those who have the slave morality. The people who have the slave morality, to Nietzsche, are vulnerable and are open to oppression. They will let people walk all over them, and they do not have a chance in the world because they will allow other people to take advantage of them. Nietzsche believes that the world needs more people who have the master morality and less of those who think like “slaves”. He believes that slave morality has definitely taken over and it is more popular. Although he doesn’t really endorse the master morality as something that everyone should take up, he urges other philosophers to create a paradigm shift in terms of morality.
The idea that God is dead, which was brought about by Nietzsche was not that God was literally dead or that he was killed. The idea was to spark a train of thought regarding the need of humans for a god. Nietzsche criticizes those who believe in the need for God, and he describes this by using a short story about a madman in a marketplace asking where God is (Nietzsche). He, himself is that madman and the market people are commoners or sheep that easily believe anything that is preached to them at church. The madman is a philosopher with radical ideas that invoke change and independent thought. His statement in saying that God is dead actually means that the faith in religion is gone and that the need for a God is also gone. Science and other explanations for life are available, and people can rely on these things for answers. He thinks that people who pray are only doing so because they do not have control over their own lives and do not have the power to make changes. Since God, to him, is dead, he believes that there is a spiritual gap for people that can be filled with different things. This gap does not have to involve a god or any religion. He speculates over different idealisms that can fill in the void and create a sense of wholeness in a person.
The Transformation of all values are directed to Christians and it is somewhat a concept of the Antichrist. Nietzsche believes that religion or the need for a god is limiting and it holds humans from their true potential. It is not so much a religion or anything that is spiritual, but it is something that is hostile to life, full of pity. Something that endorses the slave morality which to him is not something that is positive. He compares Christianity and Buddhism, praising Buddhism for their values and belief system. He thinks that Christianity is a religion that makes a thousand promises, yet does not deliver on one. The struggle against sin and struggle against suffering are compared, and he believes that the struggle against suffering is something that is more enlightening. He perceives the moral frameworks of Christianity as being oppressive and limiting for humans.
2. Mary Daly did not seek of gender equality, instead she believed that women should govern men. Her term “Gyn/Ecology” revolves around the complex interrelationships between organisms and their place in the environment (Daly). She describes the place of women, more specifically white women, as governors in society that is plagued with oppression lead by male patriarchs, especially by the church. The term that she uses has several meanings, it is also a blow at the male doctors, as most gynecologists during the time were also male. It was symbolic of how women did not have control, even over their own bodies. There was certain indifference even for diseases that would affect the human bodies, particularly those that only affected women. Daly was a forefront radical feminist who did not fight for equality. Although her work received a lot of negative feedback, especially for those who fought for women of color, saying that the words in her book were only about the white female, she still continued her journey in exploring the woman-centered world which was away from the church. She explored the oppression of the church towards women in a male-dominant world, claiming that women were supposed to be the ruling class, however the church defines them as the second sex where God the father was first actually god the mother, or mother earth.
There is a great moral significance for the term was to see beyond the “deceptive” maze that was of the patriarchal society. She believes that women were meant to govern over men, and they did during the beginning, before the church and all its phallic symbols took over the world. She spoke about the different sadistic practices that would bind and limit women and she uses the language of myth to overcome these thoughts. Daly constantly spoke of women spinning and spiraling towards their indentified consciousness and in this journey, Daly explores the power of naming.
The term metaethics is concerned with the background. This she explains by sing myth and language which are also symbols that are disguised by the patriarchal society. The term “meta” means of higher logical type and ethics deals with the nature and behavior of people. This is supposed to explain the mysteries of good and evil along with the oppression that women face. She believes that woman-identified women do not exist in the world, neither in the Eastern or the Western cultures that are both dominated by man. She aims for a deeper or higher logic type of thinking where the ecology of ethics and the place of women in society are defined. However, with the metapatriarichal kind of thinking of the world, it is hard for women to identify or even define their place in the environment. The phallic symbolisms and types of worship, especially in certain religions were limiting women and have taken advantage of the good that women brought about. This inequality is brought about by the energy of women that men possessed. When females identify with women, they will develop a new organ for their minds. Daly uses the example of Athena as born by Zeus through his head. Because of this, she becomes Zeus’ mouthpiece and ruled by a patriarchal symbol. She no longer identifies with her femininity, but she identifies with the male thinking. She employs a priest kind of thinking as Zeus’s obedient daughter.
The metapatriarichal term is used by the male-identification of women. This is a radical emancipation that women have to undergo in order to relate or identify with their own self. However, the patriarchal society has intertwined so much with the thinking of women that it is somehow difficult to separate the two. The ethics of this metaethics involving feminism involves knowing your own self as a woman and developing a new organ for enlightenment that is separated from man.
3. The main characteristic of existential ethic is freedom. It is not until a person is free that he becomes conscious of himself (O’Flynn 67). People spend too much time avoiding things such as anguish and freedom that it only brings about bad faith. The identification of freedom will always lead to enlightenment of the self once a person is open to this idea of exiting boundaries. Freedom, or the idea of freedom is the defining characteristic as well as the ethical idea. There is ambiguity in human condition and the meaning of creation of each individual because of the question involving human existence. There is a certain struggle to define this because there is a separation between the self and other relationship. Which means, one cannot know who the self is if the other is not defined. However, if you do not know the other, or the relationship with the other is not defined, it is difficult to know the self.
De Beauviour, however, outlines this problem by taking a look at the second sex and defining it by a gendered self (O’Flynn 67). This means that he differentiates men and women in terms of knowing the self or viewing oneself. This type of thinking might be confused with sexual differences, however she is not looking at this through a feminist lens. She tries to determine why women were deemed as the second sex or the class that is “inessential” as compared to the men in society. She explores this by looking at other marginalized groups and creates a philosophical inquiry which tries to determine the self as gender neutral. Although, there is seen a naturalness of women to become the “other” and men as being the focus of the self, therefore it is difficult to separate the two and come with one gender equal self and realization of the self. Therefore, freedom, which is something that is essential in coming up with the true self, cannot be readily defined as it might only apply to one sex and it will leave the other one out. There are other types of areas in society where women are accepted as inferior, therefore the self cannot be unisex (O’Flynn 67).
Both men and women are morally accountable for women as being the other. This can relate to the work of Daly as women, being able to separate themselves from identifying with the man, sometimes choose not to (Daly). As with what Nietzsche argues, there is a certain sense of slave morality where the term “other” referring to women is greatly accepted. If women have the power or the right to govern over men, why don’t they? It is this type of freedom of choice that they overlook and that they quickly let go of. It is that women are seen as a second class citizen, not because they are weaker or inferior, but because the patriarchal society has coerced them into believing that the slave type morality, meekness and humility is what is becoming of women. It is seen in the effort of both men and women that women are identified as the “other”.
The freedom of a person cannot be given or taught, it is an act that should be done with one’s own will (O’Flynn 67). Without knowing the need, or identifying the importance of true freedom, a person will remain oppressed. Given freedom is not true freedom at all, because in the mind of the person, he or she still needed the permission of someone else, making it fake freedom. A person who truly wants to know the self should make it a point to free him or herself from the limitations of the mind, and those that are set by society, specifically those dictated by the church.
Daly, Mary. Gyn/ecology: The metaethics of radical feminism. Beacon Press, 1990.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
O’Flynn, Pauline. "The Creation of Meaning: Simone de Beauvoir’s Existentialist Ethics." Minerva-An Internet Journal of Philosophy 13 (2009): 67-84.