Nietzsche And Hobbes

How are the philosophies of Nietzsche and Hobbes different on topics of

Christianity, Human Nature, and Morality. The philosophies of Nietzsche and

Hobbes’ are radically different, Hobbes’ philosophy is dominated by loyalty
to the crown, riddled with references to the Christian scriptures, and a belief
that life is "nasty, brutish, and short"(Leviathan, 133); while

Nietzsche’s philosophy was dominated by the pessimistic Schopenhauer, a belief
that the human race was a herd, and that "God is dead"(Thus Spoke

Zarathustra, S. 13). Hobbes and Nietzsche look at the world completely
differently. Hobbes was a Christian who defended the bible, while Nietzsche
called "Christianity the one great curse"(The Anti-Christ, s. 62). On the
topic of human nature Hobbes thought life to be a "warre...of every man,
against every man"(Leviathan, 232) while Nietzsche took a nihilistic approach
and declared that " human nature is just a euphemism for inertia, cultural
conditioning, and what we are before we make something of ourselves..."(Human,
all to Human, 67). On morality these two philosophers have opposing views,

Hobbes views on morality were straight out of Exodus, while Nietzsche holds that"morality is a hindrance to the development of new and better customs: it
makes stupid [people]"(Daybreak, s. 19). These two philosophers lived at
different times, in different locations, and their differing philosophies
reflect the lives that they lived. Thomas Hobbes was born into an English upper
class family in 1588, his father was the parish priest. Thomas was educated by
his uncle until he was fifteen, when he was sent to Oxford to continue his
studies. In 1608 he finished his formal education and took up with the son of

Lord Cavendish, they undertook an adventure which saw them travel across Europe.

Hobbes remained in England until the start of the English civil war when he fled
to France. The civil war took place from 1642 till 1649, this conflict had a
profound affect on Hobbes, particularly the execution of Charles I in 1649. All
his writings after this event reflect Hobbes’ quest to find a peaceful, stable
form of government. Hobbes died in 1679. Fredrich Nietzsche was born into a
upper class family in Germany, on 15 October 1844, his father was tutor for the
royal family and also a priest. Nietzsche father died when he was twelve, this
had life-long impact on him. At age eight-teen he discovered the philosopher

Schopenhauer, the basis for much of his early work, and gave up Christianity. He
was educated at the University of Bonn, at the age of twenty-five Nietzsche was
appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Basle. He became close
friends with composer Richard Wanger, who’s work he enthusiastically
supported. Nietzsche most productive years were to be his last, he drove insane
by syphilis and died at the dawn of this century. Nietzsche declared in that"modern Christian civilization is sick and must be overcome"(The

Anti-Christ, 156), Hobbes would have found that excerpt to be repugnant having
declared that "God...when he speaks to any subject...he ought to be obeyed"
(Leviathan, 492). Hobbes was a Christian, while Nietzsche was a atheist, their
views on Christianity are completely opposite. Nietzsche held the belief
throughout his life that "Christianity has taken the side of everything weak,
base, ill-constituted, it has made an ideal out of opposition to the
preservative instincts of a strong life; it has depraved the reason even of the
intellectually strongest natures by teaching men to feel the supreme values of
intellectuality as sinful, as misleading, as temptations,"(The Anti-Christ, S.

5) Professor Howard Rainer of Davis University states that "Nietzsche was
uncompromisingly anti-Christian, for Christianity was the most potent force
against those values which he prized most highly." Nietzsche felt that

Christianity would hinder the emergence of the "overman"(The Will to Power,

546), a human being that follows their own path and not the herd’s. Hobbes
while being a Christian to the end, had a rather pessimistic view of it;

Professor Ian Johnston of Malaspina University states that " Hobbes believed
the public religion of the artificial state must serve the need for security to
protect the selfish economic interests of the individuals composing it."

Hobbes view of Christianity was quite radical for his time and he publicly
scorned for his belief that Christendom was nothing more economic security
blanket; Hobbes attacked the elements in the Christian church which profited
from religion. The times in which Hobbes and Nietzsche lived in were very
different, in Hobbes times "Deadly religious wars were fought across the

European continent. It was in this climate the Thomas Hobbes proposed...[his]
philosophy."(Howard Rainer, Lecture Notes) Nietzsche did not have to worry
about being hunted as a heretic if