Reading Hegel’s Philosophy of Mind VIII: Hegel’s Nemesis

Note: This is the last journal entry of the Hegel series 13 years ago.

30 September 1999

In my previous journal entry, which was the last one for the Hegel part of my journal for this class, I mentioned a problem which I saw in the “Absolute Mind” section of Hegel’s Philosophy of Mind.

Simply put, if God as Reason (aka Absolute Spirit) is the underlying meaning in everything and, in the metaphor of circles, there is no clear beginning and end to God in His manifestations in the concrete — but Man’s Mind, upon becoming aware of God, is the actualization of God in the concrete unity, then does Man, in fact, create God?

It is understood that Hegel resolves this dialectically because God as Creator appears to be prior to God as Son (Logos), and so this a priori relationship, which mirrors the a priori relationship of God to Man, does exist.

But if one is to belief that such a revealed truth does not come from without (i.e., God) but comes from within (Man’s Mind), then who is to stop somebody from thinking that Man does, in fact, create this God?

This somebody, of course, is Nietzsche, and Nietzsche does away with the philosophical acrobatics that Hegel employs to account for the existence of God separate from Man.

He speaks relatively plainly: Yes, Man does create God as a way of giving himself limits in this wild and wide world of ours. Unfortunately, man forgot that God is created in his own image, has worshiped God like a graven image, and has lost touch of why he created God in the first place.

For thinkers like Nietzsche, with the advent of democratic socialism, in which everybody is like everybody else with the proverbial chicken in every pot, two cars in the two car garage, and social welfare programs to ward off the wolf at the door, God as savior to a problematic world is no longer needed, and all the trappings to worship this God no longer have any real meaning.

In this neglect, Man has killed God, and now he only gives tithes to a corpse.  Since Man, or, to use Nietzsche’s terminology, the herd, has forgotten that he created God in the first place, then, of course, the herd will not be aware that God is dead and, thus, real meaning is gone from their lives, replaced with ease, comfort, and drugs.

In seeing this culture of the herd — and the culmination of the herd, the Last Man — I cannot help but think about Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, in which Man has fashioned a Utopia for himself with social conditioning, secure jobs, universal healthcare and entertainment, and plenty of drugs (without the side effects) if one starts to feels uneasy with one’s self.

In such a world, drama cannot exist, poetry cannot exist, tragedy cannot exist, because the passions stirred up by such things will destroy this society.

In such a world, there can never be Overmen because all the Higher Men have been conditioned out, exiled, or killed in utero.

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About lizardqueen

If single-mothering were a paid job, I'd be rich. However, it doesn't, so I write (which doesn't pay the bills) and teach (which does). I'm overly-educated in the liberal arts, but that doesn't hinder my ability to be pragmatic and realistic. YAY.
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