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60 Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes on Life and Love (2019)

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Our latest collection of Friedrich Nietzsche quotes on Everyday Power Blog.

Friedrich Nietzsche wasa German philosopher, essayist, and cultural critic whose writings had a major influence on Western philosophy and intellectual history. His body of work covered a wide variety of topics, including religion, history, arts, culture, science, and philology.

Born on October 15, 1844, Nietzschebegan his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. In his works, he attempted tounmask the motives that underlie traditional Western religion, morality, and philosophy. His ideas hada profound impact on generations of philosophers, psychologists, poets, theologians, playwrights, and novelists.

Most of Nietzsches life was plagued by health problems and he suffered a complete loss of his mental faculties in1889 at age 44. He died in 1900.

Although his name was later invoked by fascists to advance their ownGerman nationalist ideologies, Nietzsche was opposed to antisemitism and nationalism.

Below are some thought-provoking Friedrich Nietzsche quotes that will inspire you to think like the greats and tap into your Everyday Power.

Be sure to also read our collection of inspirational C.S. Lewis quotes.

1. It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. Friedrich Nietzsche

2. To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. Friedrich Nietzsche

3. We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving. Friedrich Nietzsche

4. Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes. Friedrich Nietzsche

5. A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love. Friedrich Nietzsche

6. The demand to be loved is the greatest of all arrogant presumptions. Friedrich Nietzsche

7. Whatever is done for love always occurs beyond good and evil. Friedrich Nietzsche

8. Art is the proper task of life. Friedrich Nietzsche

9. I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible. Friedrich Nietzsche

10. Life is that which must overcome itself again and again. Friedrich Nietzsche

11. And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. Friedrich Nietzsche

12. How little it takes to make us happy! The sound of a bagpipe. Without music life would be a mistake. The German even imagines God as singing songs. Friedrich Nietzsche

13. In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play. Friedrich Nietzsche

14. The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception. Friedrich Nietzsche

15. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal. Friedrich Nietzsche

16. The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. Friedrich Nietzsche

17. Underneath this reality in which we live and have our being, another and altogether different reality lies concealed. Friedrich Nietzsche

18. People are always angry at anyone who chooses very individual standards for his life; because of the extraordinary treatment which that man grants to himself, they feel degraded, like ordinary beings. Friedrich Nietzsche

19. Im not upset that you lied to me, Im upset that from now on I cant believe you. Friedrich Nietzsche

20. It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them! Friedrich Nietzsche

21. . . . It seems to me that a human being with the very best of intentions can do immeasurable harm, if he is immodest enough to wish to profit those whose spirit and will are concealed from him. . . . Friedrich Nietzsche

22. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche

23. All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. Friedrich Nietzsche

24. You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche

25. In heaven, all the interesting people are missing. Friedrich Nietzsche

26. The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends. Friedrich Nietzsche

27. When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago. Friedrich Nietzsche

28. Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood. Friedrich Nietzsche

29. One ought to hold on to ones heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too. Friedrich Nietzsche

30. A matter that becomes clear ceases to concern us. Friedrich Nietzsche

31. Here the ways of men divide. If you wish to strive for peace of soul and happiness, then believe; if you wish to be a disciple of truth, then inquire. Friedrich Nietzsche

32. Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings always darker, emptier and simpler. Friedrich Nietzsche

33. Be careful, lest in casting out your demon you exorcise the best thing in you. Friedrich Nietzsche

34. One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil. Friedrich Nietzsche

35. The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly. Friedrich Nietzsche

36. One must give value to their existence by behaving as if ones very existence were a work of art. Friedrich Nietzsche

37. He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary. Friedrich Nietzsche

38. A thought comes when it will, not when I will. Friedrich Nietzsche

39. A politician divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies. Friedrich Nietzsche

40. There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them. Friedrich Nietzsche

41. No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone. Friedrich Nietzsche

42. You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. Friedrich Nietzsche

43. A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends. Friedrich Nietzsche

44. A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us. Friedrich Nietzsche

45. There are no facts, only interpretations. Friedrich Nietzsche

46. If you know the why, you can live any how. Friedrich Nietzsche

47. The author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak. Friedrich Nietzsche

48. There is an old illusion. It is called good and evil. Friedrich Nietzsche

49. In the mountains of truth, you never climb in vain. Friedrich Nietzsche

50. Anyone who has declared someone else to be an idiot, a bad apple, is annoyed when it turns out in the end that he isnt. Friedrich Neitzsche

51. In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

52. There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth. Friedrich Nietzsche

53. What does your conscience say? You should become the person you are. Friedrich Nietzsche

54. One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche

55. Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love. Friedrich Nietzsche

56. Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves? Friedrich Nietzsche

57. I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage Fredrich Nietzsche

58. The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man. Friedrich Nietzsche

59. What is the truth, but a lie agreed upon. Friedrich Nietzsche

60. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions. Friedrich Nietzsche

Although most of Friendrich Nietzsches life was plagued by health problems, he managed to leave a lasting impact on generations of philosophers, novelists, and psychologists.

His words can help us reflect on our past and present lives, as well as the person we want to be in the future.

Hopefully, theseFriedrich Nietzsche quotes have inspired you to think differently about life and love.

Did you enjoy these Friedrich Nietzsche quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? Tell us in the comment section below. We would love to hear al about it.

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60 Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes on Life and Love (2019)

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The Best Nietzsche Books | Five Books Expert Recommendations

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Before we start talking about Nietzsche books, how did you first become interested in Nietzsche as one of your philosophical specialities?

It was a very precise moment. Easter Sunday. I think its deliciously ironic that it was Easter Sunday. As an undergraduate I was taking a course called Kant to 1900 with Richard Rorty at Princeton University, and the course included a couple of weeks on Nietzsche. So on that Sunday I began reading the Nietzsche assignment it was actually a very early essay that Nietzsche never published, called On Truth and Lies in an Extra Moral Sense. I was very taken by it and from that moment on I became very interested in Nietzsche.

What did you particularly like about him?

I had actually become interested in philosophy from reading Sartre as a high school student in French classes. The essay Rorty assigned starts on a very existentialist note and of course the writing was very evocative. At this point I was reading it in English but Walter Kaufmans strength as a translator is that he captures the flavour of Nietzsche in English. Hes not the most literal translator but he is the most evocative. So it was a combination of the proto-existentialist themes and the style of the writing that I found very gripping. And that sense never left me I still always enjoying reading and re-reading Nietzsche.

Were going to talk about five Nietzsche books youd recommend for someone whos interested but not an expert in Nietzsche. Youve chosen a mixture of primary and secondary material. Would you say its best for readers to begin with the modern academic texts or should they go straight to Nietzsche first?

I think its a question of whether theyve had any exposure to philosophy. If somebody has not had much exposure to philosophy, then it might be best to start with the Safranski biography before going to the primary texts. The primary texts are certainly more fun and if you were to start with one of them, then Beyond Good and Evil would be a great choice, because it covers all the distinctive and important Nietzschean themes and as its broken into bite-size pieces you dont get overwhelmed. But if you wanted someone to patiently introduce you then Safranski is good on that score.

It seems like Nietzsche is one of the few philosophers whom lots of people who have never studied philosophy still enjoy reading. Why do you think hes so appealing in this way?

I think the most important reason to start with is that hes a great writer, and that is not the norm in philosophy. Hes a great stylist, hes funny, hes interesting, hes a bit wicked, hes rude. And he touches on almost every aspect of human life and he has something to say about it thats usually somewhat provocative and intriguing. I think thats the crucial reason why Nietzsche books are so popular. Indeed, hes probably more popular outside academic philosophy because hes so hostile to the main traditions in Western philosophy.

Do you think people who havent studied philosophy can get quite a lot out of him? You might not really enjoy Spinozas Ethics, for instance, if you just picked it up randomly in a bookshop or in the library. Would you say thats the case with Nieztsche books?

I think people without that philosophical background do miss quite a lot because a lot of what is going on in Nietzsche is reaction to and sometimes implicit dialogue with earlier philosophers. If you dont know any Kant or Plato or the pre-Socratics, youre not going to understand a lot of whats motivating Nietzsche, what hes reacting against. You get a much richer appreciation of Nietzsche if you are reading him against the background of certain parts of the history of philosophy.

Nietzsche himself was not trained in philosophy, he was trained in classics. But that included a great deal of study of ancient Greek philosophy. And then he taught himself a lot of other philosophy. Kant and Schopenhauer were particularly important to him.

Are there any non-philosophers who have influenced the way you think about Nietzsche?

I think what Thomas Mann wrote about Nietzsche, both directly and indirectly in The Magic Mountain, is very instructive. I think thats also true of Herman Hesse and Andr Gide. I think people like Sartre and Camus believe Nietzsche is more of a proto-existentialist than he really is, although that wasnt my view when I first encountered him in 1982.


Lets start with the Safranski book, Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography. There are absolutely loads of biographies of Nietzsche. Why did you go with this one in particular?

I think the virtue of this book is that it has a detailed and readable narrative of the life, but it combines it with an introduction to the philosophical works, which is written at a very appropriate level for the beginner. Thats the main reason I picked the Safranski.

The standard German biography of Nietzsche, by this guy Curt Paul Janz, is a three-volume tome that is exhaustive but its also exhausting. Its a very good resource for scholars but not a delightful book for beginners.

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Theres a famous quote in Beyond Good and Evil where Nietzsche says that despite philosophers claims about arguing rationally and aiming to find objective truth, all philosophy has really been a form of unconscious and involuntary autobiography. How do you think Nietzsches own life informs his philosophy, if at all?

The influences of Nietzsches own life on the philosophy are very dramatic. Some of them have to do with the intellectual biography, of course what he studied, what he read et cetera. But I think probably the crucial fact about Nietzsches life is that when he writes about suffering hes not a tourist. Hes writing about something he knows very intimately. He understands from his own experience the effect of suffering on the mind, on creativity and on ones attitude to life generally. And if theres a central question in Nietzsche its the one he takes over from Schopenhauer namely, how is it possible to justify life in the face of inevitable suffering? Schopenhauer comes up with a negative answer. He endorses something like a stereotype of the Buddhist view: The best thing would not to be born, but if youre born the next best thing would be to die quickly. Nietzsche wants to repudiate that answer partly through bringing about a re-evaluation of suffering and its significance.

Could you give a sense of the suffering Nietzsche experienced and why his life was so difficult?

He was the proverbial frail and sickly child. But the real trouble started in his early 30s, the 1870s, when he started to develop gradually more and more physical maladies things that looked like migraines, with nausea, dizziness, and he would be bedridden. It got so severe that he had to retire from his teaching position at the age of 35. So he spent the remainder of his sane life, until his mental collapse in 1889, basically as an invalid travelling between different inns and hotels in and around Italy, Switzerland and southern France, trying to find a good climate, often writing, often walking when his health permitted, but often bedridden with excruciating headaches, vomiting, insomnia. He was trying every self-medication device of the late 19th century. He had a pretty miserable physical existence. His eyesight also started to fail him during this time. Through all this he usually managed to continue to write and read, despite these ailments. So he really knew what suffering was.

In retrospect, theres reasonably good evidence that he had probably at some point contracted syphilis and that the developing infection might have been responsible for these maladies. Though his father had also died at an early age, so there may have been some familial genetic component as well.

Safranski himself is German, whereas the other two secondary texts you recommend are by American scholars. Is there a difference between the view of Nietzsche in German scholarship and in Anglo-American scholarship at present?

My honest opinion is that, in general, I dont think the German secondary literature on Nietzsche is as good as the English. This is partly due to different styles of philosophy, and partly due to the enormous, and I think unfortunate, influence in Germany of Heideggers lectures on Nietzsche. I think even people who are fans of Heidegger Im not would admit that Heideggers Nietzsche is more about Heidegger than Nietzsche!


What would be the next book to read if youve just finished the Safranski?

I think the one to go for would be the Clark Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy.

Given the title, does this book focus on Nietzsches epistemology or is it more of a general overview?

The first half of the book is primarily about truth and knowledge, matters of metaphysics and epistemology. The book appeared in 1990 and it was a very significant work. It was very unusual because, first of all, it treated Nietzsche as a philosopher. I know that sounds a funny thing to say, but an awful lot of books on Nietzsche are full of quotations and paraphrase they dont really engage dialectically and argumentatively with what Nietzsche has to say.

What Clark did, through systematic examination of Nietzsches views about truth and knowledge from the early essays through to his final works, was to try to show that Nietzsches view of truth and knowledge evolved over time, that it changed in significant ways.

Often Nietzsche is, perhaps wrongly, associated with a postmodern rejection of objective truth. I presume thats not what this book argues

That is Clarks target in this book the idea that Nietzsche is the guy who thinks theres no such thing as truth and that theres no such thing as knowledge, that every view is as good as every other view. She suggests that there may have been an aspect of the postmodernist view of truth in Nietzsches early work, but that he gradually came to abandon that view once he came to abandon the intelligibility of the old Kantian distinction between the way things appear to us versus the way things really are in themselves. There are a lot of difficult philosophical issues here, but thats the crux of the story shes trying to tell in the first part of the book.

In the second part of the book Clark does take up many of the famous themes from Nietzsche: The will to power, eternal recurrence, the ascetic ideal, and so on. And she has very interesting expository chapters on each of these. Her account of the will to power makes a very good contrast to Richardsons (in my next book choice). She argues that we should understand the will to power as a kind of psychological hypothesis about human motivation, rather than, as Heidegger took it, a metaphysical doctrine about the essence of reality.


As you mentioned the contrast between Clark and Richardson, lets move on to the next book, Nietzsches System. First off, am I right in thinking that that title is rather controversial, given that Nietzsche is often seen as an anti-systematic philosopher?

The title is meant to be provocative, but Richardsons central claim is that there is a kind of thematic coherence to all of Nietzsches work, and this coherence derives in part from the doctrine of the will to power.

Lets just explain exactly what the will to power is for those not familiar with it.

Well, this question of definition is part of the Clark-Richardson debate. The Clark side is that what Nietzsche means by the will to power is that people are often motivated to act because the action will give them a feeling of power. But Richardsons view is closer to Heideggers, although he makes a more compelling and sophisticated case for it.

Richardsons view of Nietzsches doctrine of the will to power is this: Every person is made up of a bundle of drives sex drive, hunger drive, drive for knowledge, and so on. Every drive, according to Richardsons reading of Nietzsche, is characterised by the will to power. Every drive has a tendency to want to enlist every other drive in its service. So if the sex drive is dominant in a person think Hugh Hefner then the sex drive tries to get every other drive enlisted in helping satisfy it. So knowledge or food would only be of interest to the extent that they facilitate gratification of the sex drive, and so on.

Out of this basic picture of human psychology and the metaphysics of drives and their essential nature as will to power, Richardson thinks you can take this theme and see how it figures in everything else Nietzsche writes, whether its about truth, knowledge, morality and so on. In that sense he tells a very systematic story about Nietzsches thought.

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If you side more with Clark in the debate, what made you decide to recommend Richardsons Nietzschebook?

First of all, I think its a very well done and compelling interpretation. Whats particularly interesting is that Richardson, who is also a well-known Heidegger scholar, takes up a theme that was important to Heideggers reading of Nietzsche the view that Nietzsche is the final point in the history of Western metaphysics. First there was Plato and at the very end was Nietzsche, and Nietzsches metaphysical doctrine is that everything is will to power. Richardson takes up that idea but gives it a very refined and nuanced elaboration that makes it much more plausible than it ever was in Heidegger.

The other thing Richardson does is to take up Gilles Deleuzes interpretation of Nietzsche but, as with Richardsons work on Heidegger, he again tells a more lucid story than Deleuze does. So Richardson gives you an angle into some of the dominant strands of European interpretations of Nietzsche, but he does so in a more philosophically interesting and certainly more accessible way. Hes a very clear and systematic writer.


Lets move on to the primary texts. You mentioned that Beyond Good and Evil is a good one to dip into for people who are new to Nietzsche books, because it provides a good overview to his thoughts

Yes, I think thats right. It touches on almost all Nietzsches central concerns on truth, on the nature of philosophy, on morality, on whats wrong with morality, will to power.

The first thing you notice when you open the book is the layout and the way its written, which is striking, especially if you come to it having read modern philosophy essays and that kind of thing. Why does Nietzsche write in such an unusual, more aphoristic style?

The explanation really comes in the first chapter of the book where Nietzsche tells us that the great philosophers are basically fakers when they tell you that they arrived at their views because there were good rational arguments in support of them. Thats nonsense, says Nietzsche. Great philosophers, he thinks, are driven by a particular moral or ethical vision. Their philosophy is really a post-hoc rationalisation for the values they want to promote. And then he says that the values they want to promote are to be explained psychologically, in terms of the type of person that that philosopher is.

The relevance of this is that if this were your view of the rational argumentation of philosophers, it would be quite bizarre to write a traditional book of philosophy giving a set of arguments in support of your view. Because in Nietzsches view consciousness and reasoning are fairly superficial aspects of human beings. What really gets us to change our views about things are the non-rational, emotional, affective aspects of our psyche. One of the reasons he writes aphoristically and so provocatively and this, of course, is why hes the teenagers favourite philosopher is connected to his view of the human psyche. He has to arouse the passions and feelings and emotions of his readers if hes actually going to transform their views. Thered be no point in giving them a systematic set of arguments like in Spinozas Ethics in fact he ridicules the geometric form of Spinozas Ethics in the first chapter of Beyond Good and Evil.

Do you have a particular favourite passage from Beyond Good and Evil that exemplifies Nietzsches direct and provocative approach?

For funny wickedness I do like Section 11, on Kants philosophy. Its hysterically funny if youre familiar with Kants philosophy, that is. Its not a late-night TV concept of hysterically funny!

You mentioned that Nietzsche is fascinated by psychology. Do you think if he were around today he would be hanging around the psychology department, rather than the philosophy department?

Maybe not the psychology department in its current form! But he would be interested in psychological research. There are a number of themes in contemporary empirical psychology that are essentially Nietzschean themes. There is a large literature suggesting that our experience of free will is largely illusory, that we often think were doing things freely when in fact were not, that our actions have sources that lie in the pre-conscious and unconscious aspects of ourselves and then we wrongly think were acting freely. These are themes familiar to anyone whos read Nietzsche books and its striking that recent empirical work is largely coming down on Nietzsches side on these questions.

Would it be right to say Nietzsche was a big influence on Freud as well?

Freud claims to have stopped reading Nietzsche at a certain point perhaps he thought Nietzsche anticipated his own views to an uncomfortable extent. But they share a very similar picture of the human mind, in which the unconscious aspect of the mind, and in particular the affective, emotional, non-rational part of the mind, plays a decisive role in explaining many of our beliefs, actions and values. Freud came up with a more distinctive and precise account of the structure of the unconscious, but the general picture is very similar.

The second essay of Nietzsches Genealogy argues that and this is a crude summary guilt arose in human beings as a consequence of the internalisation of cruelty. When human beings entered into civilised intercourse they had to repress their cruel instincts, but since the instinct of cruelty is central to human beings that instinct had to be discharged elsewhere and became, gradually, guilt. So guilt is cruelty to ourselves. Thats basically Freuds story in Civilisation and its Discontents.


Lets talk about On the Genealogy of Morality, then. Is it fair to say that this is often seen, nowadays, as Nietzsches masterpiece?

I dont know I would single it out as the masterpiece, but its a fascinating book which follows on many of the themes of Beyond Good and Evil. Its unusual because its less aphoristic, but rather three essays. The essays have more structure and extended argumentation than is typical in most of Nietzsches works.

The book deals with the two absolutely central questions for Nietzsche, namely whats wrong with our morality and the problem of suffering. It tells an extremely provocative story about each of these and in the third essay it even connects up with Nietzsches interest in questions about the nature of truth and why we value truth. In that sense it really is a mature work, bringing together reflections on topics that span the prior decade.

Why did you decide to recommend different translators for these two Nietzsche books?

Clark and Swensen, I think, have the best English translation of the Genealogy but its the only work they translated. If they had ever translated Beyond Good and Evil I might have recommended that. They are more literal than Kaufman, who does take liberties at times with the German. That often has a virtue you get more of a sense of Nietzsche in Kaufmans English than anyone elses English, but sometimes for a philosophically-minded reader it can elide certain important distinctions. Clark is a philosopher, Swensen is a German-language scholar, and so they bring two good skill sets to the translation. Swensen has a good feel for the German and Clark is very sensitive to what is philosophically important in the German and not losing that in translation.

The other thing that is very nice about their edition is that it has very detailed notes. The Genealogy is sort of notorious because it has no footnotes. It makes all kinds of historical claims, etymological claims et cetera, but there are no footnotes because thats not how Nietzsche does things. But in point of fact he had scholarly sources in mind on almost every one of these issues, and Clark and Swensen compiled them. So they supply the underlying scholarly apparatus for the kind of claims Nietzsche is making, which makes this a very useful text.

The book obviously focuses on morality. Do you think theres been a shift in the way scholars have seen Nietzsches view of morality over the past 60 or 70 years?

I do think theres been a significant change and I think theres a simple explanation for it. Nietzsches association with the Nazis didnt exactly help his reputation. For people like Walter Kaufman, who wrote an influential book about Nietzsche after the war, his Nietzsche is a pleasant, secular liberal. Hes a nice guy who believes in self-development hes not a scary Nazi! With Heidegger, we see Nietzsche as a metaphysician with a grand picture of the essence of reality as will to power, and the moral/political side of Nietzsches thought gets pushed aside. For the French deconstructionists, Nietzsches a guy who tells us that no text has a stable meaning and theres no truth and so on. All these readings pull us away from Nietzsches core evaluative concerns, and I think over the last 20 years those concerns have come back to centre stage.

I think its always worth saying that Nietzsche was no Nazi. To start with, he hated Germans. This created a lot of problems for the Nazis. They had to edit the texts quite selectively because he hated German nationalists, he hated anti-semites, he hated militarists. He wouldnt have fitted in too easily at Nuremberg! On the other hand, it is absolutely true that Nietzsche has quite shocking views about traditional Christian morality. Kaufman whitewashed this 50 years ago, but I think its less common to do so now. Nietzsche is deeply illiberal. He does not believe in the equal worth of every person. Nietzsche thinks there are higher human beings. His favourite three examples are Goethe, Beethoven and Nietzsche himself. And that higher human beings, through their creative genius, can actually make life worth living that Beethovens 9th Symphony is enough to justify all the suffering the world includes. Again this is a crude summary but there is this aspect of Nietzsche. At the heart of his critique of morality is that he thinks creative geniuses like Beethoven, had they really taken morality seriously, wouldnt have been creative geniuses. Because to really take morality seriously is to take your altruistic obligations seriously to help others, to weigh and consider the interests of others et cetera. You can read any biography of Beethoven and see that that wasnt how he lived! He was single-mindedly focused on his creative work and thats what Nietzsche means by severe self-love.

Given that Nietzsche has a profoundly illiberal view of morality, what does he have to say to us now if, that is, youre keen to come at morality from, loosely speaking, a liberal and democratic point of view?

Even if youre not as illiberal as Nietzsche, you might be worried if Nietzsches right that certain kinds of traditional moral values are incompatible with the existence of people like Beethoven. Thats the strong psychological claim he makes that you cant really be a creative genius like Beethoven and take morality seriously. I think even good old democratic egalitarian liberals could worry a bit about that, if it were true. Its a very striking and pessimistic challenge, because the liberal post-Enlightenment vision is that we can have our liberal democratic egalitarian ethos and everyone will be able to flourish. Nietzsche thinks theres a profound tension between the values that traditional morality holds up and the conditions necessary for creative genius.

So that challenge is interesting in its own right, even if you wouldnt want to side with Nietzsche, whos ready to sacrifice the herd of humanity for the sake of a Goethe or a Beethoven. And then there are all these aspects of Nietzsche that dont really depend for their importance on his ultimate evaluative judgement. Theres Nietzsches picture of the human mind, theres his attack on traditional philosophy, his attack on free will and moral responsibility. All of these themes are interesting and challenging, and resonate with themes in contemporary philosophy even if you dont have the same illiberal affect that Nietzsche has. And of course most readers dont. Thats why theres been a lot of whitewashing of Nietzsche in the secondary literature. Its a bit shocking. It certainly took me a while to come to terms with the fact that this is really what Nietzsche believes, that the illiberal attitudes and the elitism was really central to the way he looked at things. The suffering of mankind at large was not a significant ethical concern in his view, it was largely a matter of indifference in fact it was to be welcomed because theres nothing better than a good dose of suffering to get the creative juices flowing.

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January 20th, 2020 at 11:52 am

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From Ben Shapiro to Stefan Molyneux: How the Right Uses Philosophy – Merion West

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For the many activists and intellectuals on the Right, who identify with the ambiguously defined Western civilization, a nostalgic and selective association with Western civilizationsphilosophical grandeur can be extremely appealing.


In a piece for Merion West several months ago, I discussed the various uses and misuses of philosophy. In this piece from this past September, I hinted that some ways are better than others when it comes to employing philosophical concepts and argumentation. Heated arguments about what philosophy is (and what philosophers should do) go back as far as the trial and execution of Socrates for corrupting the youth of Athens. This often assumes a very political dimension. For instance, the political left has often had a love-hate relationship with philosophy. In his Theses on Feuerbach, Marx famously chastised the philosophers and theorists for merely trying to interpret the world, when the point was to change it. This, of course, did not keep the erudite Prussian radical from devoting the rest of his life to writing dense theoretical works trying to interpret the world in all its dialectical complexities. These tensions carry on until today, with Current Affairs recentlyproducing a scathing article lacerating Slavoj iek foramong other sinsobscurantism. At the same time, Youtube channelssuch as Philosophy Tube and books like Give Them An Argument: Logic for the Left by philosophy professor Ben Burgis are generating much discussion.

One of the more interesting phenomena is that this ambivalence towards philosophy is not shared by the political right (and especially the far-right), which has frequently tried to gloss up its intellectual credentials by appealing to philosophical tropes and icons. Ben Shapiro was christened the cool kids philosopherby the New York Timesand recently published a work of theory trying to live up to that honorific (spoiler: the book has serious problems. I review it here). Dave Rubin has had a large number of Objectivist and nationalist philosophers on The Rubin Report. The far-right is no different than these commentators when it comes to a desire to invoke philosophical tropes. Much has been made of the far and alt-rights interest in philosophical luminaries like Nietzsche. Some of the major figures of the far-rightincluding Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneuxhave gone a step further and attempted to give their own readings of the history and uses of philosophy. Southern, famous for hawking conspiracy theories about the evils of Islam and the great replacement, has written a book about how tenured hippies have undermined the great Western intellectual tradition going back to the Greeks. In her words, we have traded Plato for bell hooks. Molyneux, who recently declared himself the most influential modern philosopher has even written a book called Essential Philosophy: How To Know What on Earth Is Going On.

Why is the Far-Right Interested in Philosophy

Now none of this is to say that these invocations of philosophy are especially rigorous or thoughtful. Generalizing broadly, the standards tend to get lower the more reactionary the figure in question. Sometimes they are actually very confusing. To give just one example, take Molyneuxs book. In Essential Philosophy,he offers a few definitions of the subject. In the space of a short book, he calls philosophy the study of truth, the methodology that helps you determine the difference between subjective experiences and facts then goes on to say, the heart of philosophyis morality. He also claims, the purpose of philosophy is to get you to change your moral habits. He asserts that the, very essence of philosophy is to differentiate between various states, to point to the best preferred. He says, philosophy is the rational hypothesis of empirical action, and he calls philosophy the, largest circle of mental disciplines. He suggests that, all philosophy is founded on hostility to authority, as well as that, the practice of philosophy is the creation of arguments. And he also writes, philosophy is like exercise. The same confusions pertain when he tries to define ethics. He defines ethics as the study of virtue, when listing it with the four other branches of philosophy (he lists metaphysics, epistemology, politics, and ethics but seems to miss logic and aesthetics). He calls it a theory of universal preferable behavior, as well as a discipline which needs to be taught. He considers it also to be a a moral framework within which there are specific ethical theories which must be based on moral arguments, which are rational. He describes ethics as a system and as a theory, as well as, generally dealing with deeds, not words. He says that ethics is generally deal[ing] with actions, not thoughts and that it is generally statements or preferred actions that are binding on others, as well as a set of rational ethical propositions, and as a relationship rather than a commandment. How and whether all these definitions of philosophy as a whole and ethics in particular are simultaneously tenable is a question I will leave to more patient readers. Certainly Molyneux is not providing many answers.

But pointing out these serious intellectual deficiencies does little to explain why the far-right is interested in philosophy in the first place? Why not simply ignore itor pull a Steven Crowder and insist that wasting money on a philosophical education is a bad life choice? I think there are a variety of answers to this question, and I will try to present them below.

The first and most obvious is that the far-right (despite its consistent trashing of cultural elites and intellectuals by figures like Tucker Carlson) desperately wants some form of intellectual credibility. This is why they will trash-talk education one minute and then insist on their academic credentials the next. It is also why Molyneuxin the same book where he describes academics and sophists (often the same thing) as highjacking philosophyalso goes out of his way to insist that he received an Ivy League education and was awarded top marks on his Masters thesis. A great deal of the animosity directed towards elites generally belies the far-rights anxiety that their intelligence and ideas are not respected. This is where appeals to philosophy can be exceptionally attractive. By glossing up otherwise questionable arguments with appeals to a venerated discipline and its icons, the far-right can posture as both intellectual credible and even somewhat dissident. To their followers, their ideas may not seem empty but, in fact, dangerous. Like Socrates or Nietzsche before them, the philosophers of the far-right are challenging an academic stranglehold on ideas exercised by sophists too afraid to get into a real argument. And notably these paragons of Socratic dignity seem to get flustered when they actually get what theyask for from professionals.

The second reason I think the far-right finds its skewed vision of philosophy appealing is more complex. This relates back to what Fredric Jameson might call their post-modern tendency to nostalgically construct a pastiche-like identity from cherry picked features of the past. For the many activists and intellectuals on the Right, who identify with the ambiguously defined Western civilization, a nostalgic and selective association with Western civilizations philosophical grandeur can be extremely appealing. It enables them to situate themselves in an auspicious tradition including Plato, Aristotle, Locke, and many others. In turn, this orientation allows these commentators and writers to speak with a certain degree of self-ascribed authority, given that they can present themselves as heirs to this tradition who have to defend it against the unworthy and the foreign. It also enables them to frame a philosophical enemy: an enemy in the form of cultural Marxism (or even post-modern neo-Marxism) whose goal it is to undermine Western thinking and replace it with various forms of egalitarian sophism. This is very fitting for the far-right, a fundamentally resentment-driven movement that needs to define itself through opposition. The far-right, after all, often needs to frame itself through the lens of opposition since it struggles to make its points constructively, as evidenced by the frequent ambiguities and incoherence in their claimsMolyneuxs book being a prime example.

Limits to the Far-Rights Reading of Philosophy

Of course, this nostalgic reading of Western philosophy misses a great deal, including where even some of the Golden Calves erected by the far-right contributed to the undermining of their more sacred ideals. To give one example, many of the far-right thinkers claim to be rationalists or empiricists, while also disdaining the collapse of reason and logic into nihilism and cynicism. This misses that for many philosophical commentators, the turn to Cartesian skepticism and Lockean empirical nominalism were foundational in the transition away from the big picture ambitions of the Greek and Christian philosophers. These early modern thinkers insisted that reason was fundamentally limited in its ability to understand the world with full objectivity; this is a project that would later be radicalized in the hands of figures like Immanuel Kant, who argued we can never know things in themselves but only how they appeared to us as phenomena (interestingly enough, Kant also did more than most to advertise making reason a priority in socio-political life).

Now, of course, one could push against this in defense of the fundamentally reasonable vision of modern philosophy, as, for instance, Jrgen Habermashas in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. My point is that the far-right often ignores these historical and philosophical complexities in favor of a radically simplified narrative that everything was all right and that philosophy committed to Big T Truth until some progressive radicals came and mucked everything up. This obfuscates the debt radical schools of thought from Marxism down to deconstruction owe to earlier theoretical and philosophical arguments. Indeed, even Socrates himself was something of a radical, undermining the religious and political authorities of the day and imploring the youth to think critically for themselves.

But, ultimately, the far-rights appeal to philosophy is not about philosophical ideas or the history of Western thought. To some extent, it is about presenting the far-right as smarter, as evidenced by the numerous SJW fail videos and memes generated in the dark places of the Internet. However, most importantly, it is about bastardizing the canon by skewing it in a politically correct manner, twisting the real history to give credence to a contemporary narrative. Like so much on the far-right, it is philosophy on the cheap designed to rationalize positions which are intellectually untenable and morally reprehensible.

Conclusion: What Should Philosophical Analysis Become?

In this concluding section, I want to sketch some thoughts about what a genuine Left interpretation of philosophy might look like. Contra the far-right narrative that progressive thinking is all about the cynical trashing of Western thought, I would argue that a progressive approach to philosophy actually tries to redeem what is best in the tradition, while incorporating a variety of other voices into the narrative. The modernist project has always been about emancipating human beings from the strictures of traditionalist reasoning (and a naturalistic teleology), which insists we have a fundamental purpose set be external powers that we are bound to live up to. By contrast, the moderns insisted that there was no such external power we could knowand that the function of philosophy is, therefore, not to know our purpose as ascribed by another but to construct it for ourselves. In the form of critique through the Marxist tradition and onwards, philosophy has rigorously exposed the ways that traditionalist reason has been instantiated as authority structures, which are falsely naturalized as inevitable and desirable. This is, of course, the narrative put forward by the far-right today. In its most reactionary form, uncritical ideology insists that the world as it exists today cannot be realistically changed and can merely be accepted and retroactively justified. But because we exist in a historical world where change is, indeed, inevitable, the paradox of such a reactionary view is that it will be forced to transform the world to try and keep it and its calcified hierarchies the same. The only way it can reconcile this paradox is through the application of force and fiatin some cases literally trying to build and arm a wall to keep the changes brought about by neoliberalism and traditionalisms own contradictory logics out. By contrast, a critical philosophy insists that we recognize all forms of authority as fundamentally contingent and subject to critique and reconceptualization. It rejects the tyranny of ahistorical naturalistic rationalizations and insists that because the world exists in time, its contours are never firmly set. The seemingly frozen relations, which are naturalized by defenders of the status quo, can be conceptually broken open through the proper application of critical philosophy, which can service the generation of novel political and economic possibilities.

Today, the most important task for such a critical philosophy is to think past the limitations of neoliberal society and its post-modern culture. Ironically, this means rejecting the cynical socio-political withdrawal associated with the Left by its critics and recognizing that the reactionary ascendency of post-modern conservatism is inherently unstable, representing the material overdetermination of an unequal system that is increasingly unable to reconcile its competing tendencies. The most obvious example is the incompatible reactionary demand that capital be allowed to commodify all spheres of life (in line with the logic of neoliberalism), while still maintaining homogeneous and meaningful cultures that provide sufficient existential direction to citizens and pacifies their democratic potential. Trumpism, its offshoots, and its various far-right defenders are a symptomatically inadequate reaction to this tension, which can only try to manage these difficulties through the application of force and executive fiat. A critical philosophy, instead, points us to the future, where recognizing the false necessity of the status quo is the first step towards developing a more emancipatory and equal social form. This is in service of fulfilling the ambition of the modernist project to overcome the limitations of naturalized authority and power. At the same time, it must overcome the limitations of modernism itself in incorporating those voices it excluded. The potential is, therefore, realized through the generation of new kinds of democratic and egalitarian politics.

Matt McManus is Professor of Politics and International Relations at Tec de Monterrey, and the author of Making Human Dignity Central to International Human Rights Law and The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism. His new projects include co-authoring a critical monograph on Jordan Peterson and a book on liberal rights for Palgrave MacMillan. Matt can be reached atmattmcmanus300@gmail.comor added on twitter vie@mattpolprof

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From Ben Shapiro to Stefan Molyneux: How the Right Uses Philosophy - Merion West

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January 20th, 2020 at 11:52 am

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How We Perceive the Past Has a Great Bearing on How We Live Now: Art Historian James Meyer on Why the 1960s Wont Fade Away – artnet News

Posted: January 18, 2020 at 4:44 pm

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In the opening pages of the curator James Meyers new book, The Art of Return: The Sixties and Contemporary Culture, we find ourselves on Marthas Vineyard in August 1971. It is the Summer of Love, and a mania for nude swimming and sunbathing has overtaken the beaches.

Meyer and a friend, determined to prove our independence, break free from their families and decide to hitchhike across the island. They walk and walk until theyre finally picked up by a man driving a VW bus. He has a beard, long hair, and he shouts,Come on in!

Meyer is only nine years old.

So begins the art historians perceptive study of the long 1960s (which actually covers roughly 1955 through 1975), and why that era continues to animate the imagination of artists, writers, and historianseven if, like Meyer, they mostly missed the period in question.

The books impressive sweep, which looks at 20 international artists, is motivated by a range of probing questions. What purpose do historical reenactments serve? How do events from past eras shade our understanding of the present? What are artists doing when they remember moments from before they were even born?

Artnet News spoke with Meyer, a curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, about the books genesis, his turn toFriedrich Nietzsche, and how todays right-wing politics grew from reactions against 1960s progressivism.

Anri Sala, still fromIntervista (Finding the Words) (1998). Courtesy of Idale Audience International, Paris; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Galerie Esther Schipper, Berlin; Galerie Rdiger Schttle, Munich; and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris.

What would you describe as the greatest challenge of the book?

Figuring out the topic itself. What I am writing about? What is the 60s return? How do you define it? How do you understand that history is not static, that it impacts later periods or bleeds into them?

My earlier workmy books on Minimalism and my exhibition on the history of the Dwan Gallery in Los Angeles and New Yorkreflected a structuralist understanding of history as a set of discursive, economic, and institutional conditions specific to their time. This book understands the long 60sthe period stretching from the mid-50s to the mid-70sas over and not over, a past that is not past.

Nietzsche, in his essay On the Use and Abuse of History for Life, proposes that history is a dynamic force. It can be a chain that binds us to the past, and a model of emulation. How we perceive the past has a great bearing on how we live now. As he says, we need to strike a balance between remembering and forgetting. It is vitally important to remember, yet not to the degree that we get stuck in the past. I discuss Kerry James Marshalls paintings about Civil Rights-era memory, the Souvenirs, along these lines.

Kerry James Marshall, Memento V (2003). Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri. Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

What about inserting yourself into the narrative? You write about your childhood early in the book. Was that difficult?

It was a challenge to write myself into the story. It was counterintuitive to my training to inscribe my voicemy memory and nostalgia for a period I experienced before I could understand what was happening around meinto my work. It turned out to be at the very core of what the book is about.

My generationthe children of the 60s and 70swas deeply impacted by what now appears to us as the last revolutionary period on a global scale. Revolutionary eras produce a surfeit of memory. They last longer because theyre more traumatic and more impactful than more quiescent eras. They return. I was forced to consider how my experiencethe impressions of childhood we each havehad inflected my research, and the work of so many others: why it is that so many artists, writers, scholars, and filmmakers of my generation, give or take 10 years, have felt compelled to revisit that time? The more I looked into it the more I realized the phenomenon is international and quite broad. My book discusses more than 20 figures from the US, UK, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. I considered 90.

Martha Rosler, Election (Lynndie), from the series House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, New Series (2004). Photomontage. Martha Rosler. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.

In the book, you make a number of connections between the George W. Bush years, with the Iraq War, and the turmoil of the 60s. What are the connections between the long 60s and the moment were living in now?

The most obvious connection is between Watergate and the growing scandal involving Russia and Ukraine. The adjective Nixonian comes up a lot, and you see Watergate-era veteransJohn Dean, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, and so onon TV regularly. What we have come to understand is this isnt Watergate. Practices of return, as I call them, force us to see the differences between then and now. The misinformation campaign and hacking of the DNC server by Russian state intelligence was a highly successful espionage action by a foreign government, damaging to the Clinton campaign and US democracy. The impact is ongoing. A failed burglary in DC seems almost quaint in comparison.

Martha Rosler, Red Stripe Kitchen, from the series House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home (ca. 196772). Martha Rosler. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.

The book was written over the course of a number of years. Were you ever concerned that its relevance might expire in the gap between writing and the books ultimate publication?

Just imagine, my first essay on the subject was published in 1998! I was indeed worried that the book would lose its contemporaneity. What I discovered in the course of writing it is the very point the book makes: there is the historical 60s, a period that came to an end, and a 60s that returns, each time differently, depending on whats happening in the current moment. It doesnt go away.

During the Bush era, comparisons were made between the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, and between the anti-war movement and the relative lack of activism on campuses during the 2000s, connections I explore in works by Martha Rosler, Nancy Davenport, and Matthew Buckingham. Watergate is clearly germane right now. But it is important to recognize that the fissures we are experiencing between red and blue electorates came into play then, with the emergence of the New Left, identity politics, and Johnsons Great Society programs, on the one hand, and the rise of Nixons Silent Majority on the other.

One could say that the reactionary turns since the 60santi-busing during the 70s, the election of Reagan in 1980, the rise of the Tea Party in 2010 and Trumpism in 2016are extensions of that division. Right-wing efforts to disenfranchise voters of color, the Supreme Courts 2013 gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the administrations efforts to curtail the Immigration Act of 1965 are other attempts to repeal the progressive gains of the 60s.

Amy Granat and Drew Heitzler, T.S.O.Y.W. (2007). Amy Granat and Drew Heitzler.

What about the other side of the battle? Are there connections between the popular movements of the 60s and the movements of today?

The Civil Rights, anti-war, feminist, and LGBTQ movements emerged then; each had a powerful constituency that developed around a particular issue. One can hope that climate politics and the Black Lives Matter and gun-control movements will be so impactful.

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How We Perceive the Past Has a Great Bearing on How We Live Now: Art Historian James Meyer on Why the 1960s Wont Fade Away - artnet News

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January 18th, 2020 at 4:44 pm

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What Nihilism Is Not – The MIT Press Reader

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In order to preserve nihilism as a meaningful concept, it's necessary to distinguish it from pessimism, cynicism, and apathy.

By: Nolen Gertz

Nihilism, not unlike time (according to Augustine) or porn (according to the U.S. Supreme Court), is one of those concepts that we are all pretty sure we know the meaning of unless someone asks us to define it. Nihil means nothing. -ism means ideology. Yet when we try to combine these terms, the combination seems to immediately refute itself, as the idea that nihilism is the ideology of nothing appears to be nonsensical. To say that this means that someone believes in nothing is not really much more helpful, as believing in something suggests there is something to be believed in, but if that something is nothing, then there is not something to be believed in, in which case believing in nothing is again a self-refuting idea.

It is easy therefore to fall into the trap of thinking Everything is nihilism! which of course leads to thinking Nothing is nihilism! Thus in order to preserve nihilism as a meaningful concept, it is necessary to distinguish it from concepts that are often associated with it but are nevertheless different, concepts such as pessimism, cynicism, and apathy.

If optimism is hopefulness, then pessimism is hopelessness. To be a pessimist is to say, Whats the point? Pessimism is often likened to a Glass is half empty way of seeing the world, but since its only half empty this scenario might still be too hopeful for a pessimist. A better scenario might be that, if a pessimist fell in a well, and someone offered to rescue him, hed likely respond, Why bother? In the well, out of the well, were all going to die anyway. In other words, pessimism is dark and depressing. But it is not nihilism.

If a pessimist fell in a well, and someone offered to rescue him, hed likely respond, Why bother? In the well, out of the well, were all going to die anyway.

In fact, we might even go so far as to say that pessimism is the opposite of nihilism. Like nihilism, pessimism could be seen as arising from despair. The fact of our death, the frustration of our desires, the unintended consequences of our actions, the tweets of our political leaders, any or all of these could lead us to either nihilism or pessimism. However, where these two roads diverge is over the question of whether we dwell on our despair or hide from it.

To be with a pessimist is to know that you are with a pessimist. But you can be with a nihilist and have no idea. Indeed you could yourself be a nihilist and have no idea. Such a lack of awareness is the point of nihilism, as nihilism is all about hiding from despair rather than dwelling on it. This difference was illustrated by Woody Allen in his movie Annie Hall (1977) when his alter ego Alvy Singer has the following exchange with a couple he stops on the street for advice:

ALVY (He moves up the sidewalk to a young trendy-looking couple, arms wrapped around each other): You-you look like a really happy couple. Uh, uh are you?


ALVY: Yeah! So h-h-how do you account for it?

YOUNG WOMAN: Uh, Im very shallow and empty and I have no ideas and nothing interesting to say.

YOUNG MAN: And Im exactly the same way.

ALVY: I see. Well, thats very interesting. So youve managed to work out something, huh?


Alvy Singer is a pessimist. The man and woman are nihilists.

What is most illuminating about this scene is that it shows how a pessimist can reveal the identity of a nihilist, just as it might be argued that the pessimism of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer helped reveal to Nietzsche his own nihilism. Before they are confronted by Alvy, they are just a happily shallow and happily empty couple. However, when he asks them to explain their happiness, they are no longer shallow and empty; they are instead forced to awaken from their reverie and to become self-aware. It is not that they are happy that reveals their nihilism; rather it is their attempt to explain to a pessimist why they are happy that reveals their nihilism. On the surface, they are soul mates who have found each other. But surface is all that they are. The attempt to go any deeper reveals that there is nothing deeper. And it is precisely a pessimist who, when confronted with such a happy couple, would ask the Why? that reveals their nothingness.

If, as I suggested earlier, nihilism and pessimism are opposites, then nihilism is actually much closer to optimism. To see the glass as half full is to think that we should be happy with what we have rather than focusing on what is missing. But being happy with what we have can also be a way of remaining complacent, of ignoring what is missing so as to avoid having to seek change. Similarly, to believe that everything will work out in the end, that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, is to believe that life is teleological, that there is some goal or purpose whether God or Justice operating invisibly behind what we experience.

It is by believing in the existence of superhuman goals and superhuman purposes that we lose sight of human goals and human purposes. Likewise, when we elevate someone like Martin Luther King Jr. to the status of a saint or a prophet, we see him as more than a mere mortal, thus freeing ourselves from the responsibility of trying to emulate him since we simply have to be hopeful that someone like him will come again. If optimism leads us to be complacent, leads us to wait for something good to happen, or for someone else to make something good happen, then optimism leads us to do nothing. In other words, it is not pessimism but optimism that is similar to nihilism.

In Ancient Greece, a Cynic was someone who lived like a dog (the Greek kynikos means doglike), or, to be more precise, was someone who lived by the Cynic philosophy of staying true to nature rather than conforming to what that person saw as social artifice. Today, a cynic is similarly someone who looks down on society and sees it as fake, though not because the cynic sees society as unnatural, but because the cynic sees the people who make up society as fake. To be cynical is to assume the worst of people, to think that morality is mere pretense, and to suppose that even when people seem to be helping others they are really only trying to help themselves. Believing in only self-interest, the cynic appears to others to believe in nothing. Consequently, cynicism can appear to be nihilism. But it is not nihilism.

A cynic can even enjoy life. In particular, a cynic can take pleasure in mocking those who claim that altruism exists, or that politicians are self-sacrificing public servants, and especially finds laughable the idea that we should try to see the good in people.

Cynicism, like pessimism, is about negativity. However, whereas pessimism is about despair, about the feeling that life is pointless in the face of death, cynicism is instead much more about disdain than despair. A cynic wouldnt say that life is pointless but would just say that what people claim about life is pointless. A cynic can even enjoy life. In particular, a cynic can take pleasure in mocking those who claim that altruism exists, or that politicians are self-sacrificing public servants, and especially finds laughable the idea that we should try to see the good in people.

Pessimists are not nihilists because pessimists embrace rather than evade despair. Cynics are not nihilists because cynics embrace rather than evade mendacity. A key part of evading despair is the willingness to believe, to believe that people can be good, that goodness is rewarded, and that such rewards can exist even if we do not experience them. But to a cynic such a willingness to believe is a willingness to be naive, to be gullible, and to be manipulated. The cynic mocks such beliefs not because the cynic claims to know that such beliefs are necessarily false, but because the cynic is aware of the danger represented by people who claim to know that such beliefs are necessarily true.

A skeptic waits for evidence before passing judgment. A cynic, however, does not trust evidence because the cynic does not trust that anyone is capable of providing evidence objectively.

A skeptic waits for evidence before passing judgment. A cynic, however, does not trust evidence because the cynic does not trust that anyone is capable of providing evidence objectively. The cynic would prefer to remain dubious than risk being duped, and thus the cynic sees those who do take such risks as dupes. For this reason the cynic is able to reveal the nihilism of others by challenging people to defend their lack of cynicism, much like how the pessimist reveals the nihilism of others by challenging people to defend their lack of pessimism.

Perhaps the best example of the revelatory abilities of a cynic is the argument between Thrasymachus and Socrates in the opening book of Platos Republic. Thrasymachus is first introduced as mocking Socrates for questioning others about the definition of justice and then demands that he be paid in order to tell them what justice truly is. Once appeased, Thrasymachus defines justice as a trick invented by the strong in order to take advantage of the weak, as a way for the strong to seize power by manipulating society into believing that obedience is justice. Thrasymachus further argues that whenever possible people do what is unjust, except when they are too afraid of being caught and punished, and thus Thrasymachus concludes that injustice is better than justice.

When Socrates attempts to refute this definition by likening political leaders to doctors, to those who have power but use it to help others rather than to help themselves, Thrasymachus does not accept the refutation like the others do, but instead refutes Socratess refutation. Thrasymachus accuses Socrates of being naive and argues that Socrates is like a sheep who thinks the shepherd who protects and feeds the sheep does so because the shepherd is good rather than realizing that the shepherd is fattening them for the slaughter. Socrates is never able to truly convince Thrasymachus that his definition of justice is wrong, and indeed Thrasymachuss cynicism is so compelling that Socrates spends the rest of the Republic trying to prove that justice is better than injustice by trying to refute the apparent success of unjust people by making metaphysical claims about the effects of injustice on the soul. Socrates is thus only able to counter cynicism in the visible world through faith in the existence of an invisible world, an invisible world that he argues is more real than the visible world. In other words, it is Thrasymachuss cynicism that forces Socrates to reveal his nihilism.

Here we can see that nihilism is actually much more closely related to idealism than to cynicism. The cynic presents himself or herself as a realist, as someone who cares about actions, not intentions, who focuses on what people do rather than on what people hope to achieve, who remembers the failed promises of the past in order to avoid being swept up in the not-yet-failed promises about the future. The idealist, however, rejects cynicism as hopelessly negative. By focusing on intentions, on hopes, and on the future, the idealist is able to provide a positive vision to oppose the negativity of the cynic. But in rejecting cynicism, does the idealist also reject reality?

Nihilism is actually much more closely related to idealism than to cynicism.

The idealist, as we saw with Socrates, is not able to challenge the cynics view of reality and instead is forced to construct an alternate reality, a reality of ideas. These ideas may form a coherent logical story about reality, but that in no way guarantees that the ideas are anything more than just a story. As the idealist focuses more and more on how reality ought to be, the idealist becomes less and less concerned with how reality is. The utopian views of the idealist may be more compelling than the dystopian views of the cynic, but dystopian views are at least focused on this world, whereas utopian views are, by definition, focused on a world that does not exist. It is for this reason that to use other-worldly idealism to refute this-worldly cynicism is to engage in nihilism.

Along with pessimism and cynicism, nihilism is also frequently associated with apathy. To be apathetic is to be without pathos, to be without feeling, to be without desire. While we are all occasionally given choices that do not particularly sway us one way or another (Do you want to eat Italian or Chinese?), such disinterestedness is what someone who is apathetic feels all the time. To be apathetic is thus to be seen as not caring about anything. The pessimist feels despair, the cynic feels disdain, but the apathetic individual feels nothing. In other words, apathy is seen as nihilism. But apathy is not nihilism.

The pessimist feels despair, the cynic feels disdain, but the apathetic individual feels nothing.

Apathy can be an attitude (I dont care about that) or a character trait (I dont care about anything). However, in either case the apathetic individual is expressing a personal feeling (or, to be more precise, feelinglessness) and is not making a claim about how everyone should feel (or, again, not feel). The apathetic individual understands perfectly well that other people feel differently insofar as they feel anything at all. And because the apathetic individual feels nothing, the apathetic individual does not feel any desire to convince others that they should similarly feel nothing. Others may care, but the apathetic individual does not, and because they do not care, the apathetic individual does not care that others care.

Yet apathy is still often seen as an affront, as an insult, as a rebuke by those who do care. For example, in MTVs Daria (19972002) a show about a highly apathetic high schooler Daria Morgendorffer and her friend Jane Lane have the following conversation:

DARIA: Tragedy hits the school and everyone thinks of me. A popular guy died, and now Im popular because Im the misery chick. But Im not miserable. Im just not like them.

JANE: It really makes you think.

DARIA: Funny. Thanks a lot.

JANE: No! Thats why they want to talk to you. When they say, Youre always unhappy, Daria, what they mean is, You think, Daria. I can tell because you dont smile. Now this guy died and it makes me think and that hurts my little head and makes me stop smiling. So, tell me how you cope with thinking all the time, Daria, until I can get back to my normal vegetable state.

DARIA: Okay. So why have you been avoiding me?

JANE: Because Ive been trying not to think.

The apathetic individual can thus, like the pessimist and the cynic, reveal the nihilism of others, though, unlike the pessimist and the cynic, the apathetic individual does this without actually trying to. Whereas the pessimist and the cynic challenge others to explain their lack of either pessimism or cynicism, the apathetic individual is instead the one who is challenged, challenged by others to explain his or her lack of pathos. In trying to get the apathetic individual to care, the person who does care is forced to explain why he or she cares, an explanation which can reveal just how meaningful (or meaningless) is the reason the person has for caring.

The apathetic individual doesnt care. However, not caring is not the same thing as caring about nothing. The apathetic individual feels nothing. But the nihilist has feelings. Its just that what the nihilist has feelings for is itself nothing. And indeed it is because the nihilist is able to have such strong feelings, strong feelings for something that is nothing, that the nihilist is not and cannot be apathetic. Nihilists can have sympathy, empathy, and antipathy, but they cannot have apathy.

Not caring is not the same thing as caring about nothing. The apathetic individual feels nothing. But the nihilist has feelings.

Nietzsche tried to demonstrate the feelings at work in nihilism in his argument against what he called the morality of pity. The morality of pity holds that it is good to feel pity for those who are in need, and it is especially good to be moved by such pity to help those who are in need. But, according to Nietzsche, what is often motivating the desire to help is how we are able to see ourselves thanks to how we see others in need, in particular how we see ourselves as capable of helping, as powerful enough to help.

The morality of pity is for Nietzsche not about helping others, but about elevating oneself by reducing others, by reducing others to their neediness, to a neediness that we do not have and that reveals how much we do have by contrast. Pity is nihilistic insofar as it allows us to evade reality, such as by allowing us to feel that we are better than we are, and that we are better than those in need. Consequently, we are able to avoid recognizing that we have perhaps only had better luck or have been more privileged.

The morality of pity drives us to feel pity and to feel good for feeling pity. Having such feelings is worse than feeling nothing, for if we feel good when we feel pity, then we are motivated only to help the individuals we feel pity for rather than to help end the systemic injustices that create such pitiful situations in the first place. Whereas apathy may help us to avoid being blinded by our emotions and to see situations of injustice more clearly, pity is instead more likely to motivate us to perpetuate injustice by perpetuating the conditions that allow us to help the needy, that allow us to see ourselves as good for helping those we see only as needy.

This is not to suggest, however, that we should try to achieve apathy, that we should try to will ourselves to feel nothing. Popular versions of Stoicism and of Buddhism advocate for calmness, for detachment, for trying to not feel what we feel. To force oneself to become apathetic is nihilistic, as to do so is to evade our feelings rather than to confront them. There is thus an important difference between being apathetic and becoming apathetic, between being indifferent because that is how one responds to the world and becoming indifferent because we want to be liberated from our feelings and attachments. Similarly, to become detached, not because of Stoicism or Buddhism, but because of hipsterism, is still to try to detach oneself from oneself, from life, from reality. So pursuing irony can be just as nihilistic as pursuing apatheia or nirvana.

Nolen Gertz is Assistant Professor of Applied Philosophy at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and author of Nihilism, from which this article is excerpted.

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Why Lifelong Learning is the Key to Entrepreneurial Success – Entrepreneur

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The key to success has less to do with obsessing over consuming the 'right kinds' of materials and more to do with how you use what you learn.

January 17, 2020 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"I realized that becoming a master of karate was not about learning 4,000 moves but about doing just a handful of moves 4,000 times. Chet Holmes

How can we make learning our default mode?

According to Holmes, its not about amassing random knowledge or memorizing copious amounts of information. Its about turning what we absorb into strategic action.

Many entrepreneurs get stuck believing they should acquire as much knowledge as possible or become a human Wikipedia. Its now easier than ever to Google anything our heart desires, but all of this rapid browsing gives us the illusion that were processing more than we actually are. True learning, on the other hand, goes far beyond hoarding facts.

In fact, Plato made the case against simply memorizing data: Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion, obtains no hold on the mind, he said.

Its not the same thing to spend a single afternoon studying how to meditate, for example, as it is to make it a daily practice. Sheer knowledge alone is often powerless. Bruce Lee understood this more than anyone: Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.

Thats why we cant settle for skimming over the surface of information, we have to cultivate the habit of digging deep and immersing ourselves in new experiences.

This is what allows our thinking to grow more elastic and less rigid, and which ultimately lets us generate new and original ideas.

Related: How Studying History Brings Success

A Harvard Business Review story by John Coleman illustrates the need to prioritize learning. He writes: Were all born with a natural curiosity. We want to learn. But the demands of work and personal life often diminish our time and will to engage that natural curiosity.

As someone who is constantly pulled in every direction, I know what its like to end up pushing things to the backburner. In the early days of building JotForm, having a busy calendar meant that I was always balancing my personal life with working toward my dream.

All of my free time went toward my family or company, and precious few hours were dedicated to reading and practicing what I absorbed. But its important to remember that creating anything of meaning comes from continuous, deliberate learning of what we take in on a daily basis.

For a long time, I made excuses for not reading and researching material that wasnt related to my work. But at a certain point, I realized that in order to become a more open-minded, creative and innovative leader, I had to make learning a lifelong habit. Here are four ways to do it.

Related:Don't Learn More, Learn Smarter. A Quick Guide to Agile Learning.

What are some concepts, thoughtsand practices youd like to explore? Having a variety of passions plays an important role in maintaining our interest, but the goal of learning should be to push us beyond our comfort zone. Part of this involves discomfort, and thats a good thing.

In order to manage and overcome mental barriers, we should have a firm understanding of our own limitations, and what wed like to change.

Heres something to keep in mind: you should learn more about the things that matter to you. What excites you. But also about what challenges your beliefs and previous ways of thinking.

Instead of spending your free time catching up on the latest Netflix show, actively seek out opportunities to stay up-to-date with growth opportunities.

Getting rid of distractions is a good rule of thumb when learning new material, but also focus on setting aside small, regular time allotments. This means setting up realistic goals like leaving your phone in another room for a 30-minute block of time.

Consuming knowledge in these bite-sized quantities gives your mind time to process and recover from intense concentration.

But remember: its the repetition that counts. The most successful entrepreneurs all share the same trait: they focus on a handful of practices and rinse and repeat until gaining mastery. American essayist and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, agrees:

That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased.

Related:Why You Should Strive to Be a Lifelong Learner

No matter where you are on your journey, turning to a community of like-minded individuals can help make learning fun and exciting. Whether you participate in online or offline courses, you can gain more insight by connecting with other learners.

Engaging and participating in activities with people that are better than us can also give us opportunities to examine our beliefs and expand our thinking. Were also able to learn from others experiences and providevalue to them in return.

Make specific goals of joining a group or signing up for a formal class on what interests you. Knowing that you have a community to share notes with and provide you with feedback can keep you on track.

Lifelong learners understand that smart goal setting means increasing our learning agility, or our ability to take knowledge from one concept and apply it to another.

Understandably, most of us will automatically think that the knowledge and skills directly related to our work should take priority. If you stick to reading business books, the thinking goes, youll have better results.

But what Ive discovered about being a lifetime learner is that significant progress can only be made by translating diverse concepts and applying them to my role as a leader. Regularly practicing a few minutes of meditation every day, for instance, creates a domino effect by helping me cultivate patience and awareness in other areas of my business.

Its a lesson every founder can understand. The key to success has less to do with obsessing over consuming the right kinds of materials, and more to do with how you use what you learn. This is what ultimately gives us a fresh perspective.

Simply put: Keep growing and dont settle.

Or to quote Friedrich Nietzsche The doer alone learneth.

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The Times view on human welfare and the future: Getting Better – The Times

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January 1 2020, 12:01am,The Times

Pessimism about the future is a recurring theme of political thought yet the world has never been a better or wealthier place

In every age, pessimism has its sophisticated exponents. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in 1895 that this progress is merely a modern idea, that is to say a false idea. In reality, even the history of the following century, despite two terrible world wars, refuted this dictum. Now, with 20 years of the 21st century having elapsed, it bears repeating that there has never been a better time to be alive.

Certainly there are global problems, such as climate change, international tensions and the risk of nuclear proliferation to autocratic states. Domestic politics has been convulsed by the issue of Brexit since 2016 and the task of finding a new place for Britain in the international trading system remains to be worked out. But on almost every

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January 2nd, 2020 at 7:46 am

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Temperature Data-loggers Market is estimated to witness the highest growth during the forecast period – Market Research Sheets

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Temperature Data-loggers Industry Analysis 2019-2025

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Good Friday Quotes and Wishes 2018 – Sunriseread

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Good Friday Quotes and Wishes:Want you all a really Blissful Good Friday 2018.Good Friday is a really well-known day for Christian individuals as a result of This is a crucial occasion in Christianity, because it represents the sacrifices and struggling in Jesus life. And for this concerning Ive greater than messages of Good Friday due to at the present time crucial day. If youd like greater than message then come right here Superior Blissful Good Friday SMS For Mates- Good Friday Message and take greatest Good Friday Wishes 2018, Ive additionally quoted of Good Friday if you would like that tremendousGood Friday Quotes then take a look at beneath and do share with your folks and household.

The phrase Christianity is already a misunderstanding in actuality there was just one Christian, and he died on the Cross. Friedrich Nietzsche

I imagine in individual to individual. Each particular person is Christ for me, and since there is just one Jesus, that particular person is the one particular person on the earth at that second. Mom Teresa

On this Good Friday could we always remember the true that means of Easter For when He was on the cross, I used to be on His thoughts.

If Christ is God, He can not sin, and if struggling was a sin in and by itself, He couldnt have suffered and died for us. Nevertheless, since He took essentially the most horrific loss of life to redeem us, He confirmed us actually that struggling and ache have nice energy.

See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised excessive and vastly exalted.

Father, into your fingers I commend my spirit. In you, O LORD, I take refuge; Let me by no means be put to disgrace. In your justice rescue me. Into your fingers I commend my spirit; youll redeem me, O LORD, O trustworthy God. Psalm 31

The Lord lights up our manner into everlasting bliss. Good Friday.

Stoning prophets and erecting church buildings to their reminiscence afterward has been the way in which of the world by way of the ages. At present we worship Christ, however the Christ within the flesh we crucified. Mahatma Gandhi

Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself based empires; however what basis did we relaxation the creations of our genius? Upon drive. Jesus Christ based an empire upon love; and at this hour tens of millions of males would die for Him. Napoleon Bonaparte

Christmas and Easter could be topics for poetry, however Good Friday, like Auschwitz, can not. The truth is so horrible, it isnt shocking that folks ought to have discovered it a stumbling block to religion. W.H Auden

Come up, shine; for thy gentle is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cowl the earth, and gross darkness the individuals: however the LORD shall come up upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1-2

At Sussen, the Satan carried off, final Good Friday, three grooms who had devoted themselves to him. Martin Luther

So we could be a part of the disciples of our Lord, preserving religion in Him despite the crucifixion, and preparing, by our loyalty to Him within the days of His darkness, for the time when we will enter into His triumph within the days of His gentle. Philip Ledyard Cuyler

Its Good Friday. Good as a result of 2000 years in the past the occasions of right this moment show that we matter to God.

By the cross we, too, are crucified with Christ; however alive in Christ. We are not any extra rebels, however servants; no extra servants, however sons!. Frederic William Farrar

Good Friday marks the slaying of our Jesus, The unblemished lamb, the right sacrifice. He took our guilt and blamed upon Himself

A person who was fully harmless, provided himself as a sacrifice for the nice of others, together with his enemies, and turned the ransom of the world. It was an ideal act. Mahatma Gandhi

For he taught his disciples, and mentioned unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the fingers of males, and they shall kill him; and after that hes killed, he shall rise the third day. Mark 9:31

Im the witness to his valiant passing. Im a token of his final assure, Forgiveness am the Cross, Blessings on Good Friday

Jesus is the God whom we are able to method with out pleasure and earlier than whom we are able to humble ourselves with out gloom.

By the cross we, as properly, are killed with Christ; nonetheless alive in Christ. We are not any extra revolts, but staff; no extra hirelings, but kids!

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Inspirational Good Friday Quotes

God so beloved the world that He gave His solely begotten son. John 3:16

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone however in each leaf in springtime. Martin Luther

Demise is the justification of all of the methods of the Christian, the final finish of all his sacrifices, the contact of the Nice Grasp which completes the image. Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine

We could say that on the primary Good Friday afternoon was accomplished that nice act by which gentle conquered darkness and goodness conquered sin. Thats the marvel of our Saviors crucifixion. Phillips Brooks

The cross was two items of lifeless wooden; and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it; but it was mightier than the world, and triumphed, and will ever overcome it. Augustus William Hare

No ache, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown. William Penn

* Good Friday, manner of the cross, fasting and abstinence, Study conscience. Have a extremely blessed Day. Blissful Good Friday 2017

God so beloved the world that he gave his solely begotten son. Jesus mentioned to her, Im the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will reside, though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me wont ever die. Blissful Good Friday 2017

Christmas and Easter could be topics for poetry, however Good Friday, like Auschwitz, can not. The truth is so horrible it isnt shocking that folks ought to have discovered it a stumbling block to religion. On the level when u face points in life, strive to not request that GOD take them away. Request that he exhibit His motivation, Request that methods how keep on a day searching his motivation down u.

See For :- Blissful Good Friday HD Photographs Within the occasion that Christ is God, He cant sin, and if enduring was a wrongdoing in and with out anybody else, He couldnt have languished and kicked the bucket over us. Be that as it could, since He took essentially the most horrible passing to get well us, He demonstrated to us fact be instructed that agony and torment have extraordinary drive.

He demonstrated to us the way in which He has for fairly a while been no extra However then in our souls His identify sparkles on. Want u a Holy Friday Father, into your fingers I reward my soul. In you, O LORD, I take asylum; Let me by no means be put to shame. In your fairness salvage me. Into your fingers I laud my soul; youll get well me, O LORD, O devoted God.

Jesus is the God whom we are able to method with out pleasure and earlier than whom we are able to humble ourselves with out gloom.

Good Friday is a day of mourning, and all of the ceremonies and rituals of the day are centered on the sensation of sorrow, on the ache and humiliation that Jesus underwent for the reason for goodness and humanity.

By the cross we, as properly, are killed with Christ; nonetheless alive in Christ. We are not any extra revolts, but staff; no extra hirelings, but kids!

Could the glory of our Savior Strengthen you & Could His Graces Shine Upon you On Good Friday & All the time !

2,000 years again one man acquired nailed to a tree for saying how superior it could be if all people was nice to at least one one other for a change.

The cross was two bits of lifeless wooden; and a powerless, docile Man was nailed to it; but it was mightier than the world, and triumphed, and will ever overcome it.

The Lord lights up our manner into inside bliss. Good Friday

* At Sussen, the Satan carried off, final Good Friday, three grooms who had devoted themselves to him.

Share this superior assortment of Blissful Good Friday Quotes and Wishes with your folks and family members. Dont overlook to share this Good Friday Quotes Wishes 2018along with your social circle on fb, twitter, google+, Pinterest and different social networks.

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