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Nietzsche on Religion: Rhetorical Devices

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
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In Twilight of the Idols Nietzsche discusses his views on Christianity, other philosophers, and authors of his time.   Nietzsche’s main focus, however, is on Christianity and how its actions and views are means to an end.   He uses eloquent diction that sometimes loses the reader (he makes up for his articulate word usage with elementary sentences which describe his views very efficiently) along with syntax which is very informal - for the time - to describe his views on subjects quite exquisitely.   His logic is the logic which is always right; he never contradicts himself or makes a statement without support.   Nietzsche’s use of rhetorical strategies [i.e. diction, syntax, and figures of speech] helps him to make his points and support them in a style which help him attain his underlying goal: to make the reader think.


        Nietzsche uses an elevated level of diction to help him achieve his purpose, he uses Latin in many passages to make the reader look to the bottom of the page and thus think about what he is proposing.   His combination of elevated diction along with deductive reasoning can sometimes lose the reader, but just as fast as the reader is lost Nietzsche offers forth a formula which helps the reader follow his thinking.   Nietzsche believes that a person’s "virtue is the consequence of happiness," or that a person’s emotions are the product of their beliefs.   Nietzsche’s uses consequence to mean something more like cause than effect.   He interchanges monosyllabic and polysyllabic - in the form of metaphors - words in connotation to sometimes differ the reader from the beaten track of thinking.   He believes in a set course "that he became ill, that he failed to resist the illness," for humans and that they cannot deter from it (this is very far left in a time of conservative Europeans, late 19th century).   Even in his "formulas" Nietzsche’s meaning is not as straight forward as it seems.   It seems that he...

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