NIETZSCHE AND IVAN KARAMAZOV
Nietzsche ( 1844-1900) was born on 15 October 1844 to devout Lutheran parents. While he was an implacable foe of Christianity, he nevertheless always discouraged convinced Christians from reading his books. When Nietzsche was composing Thus Spake Zarathustra, a young lady asked if he had been to church that day, to which he replied: Today, no. He said afterwards to a friend: If I had troubled that girl's mind I should have been horrified.
In a letter to his sister, who was a believing Christian, he wrote:
... What is it we are seeking? Rest and Happiness? No, nothing but Truth, however evil and terrible it may be ...So are the ways of men marked out;if you desire peace of soul and happiness, believe; if you would become a disciple of Truth,enquire ...1
This book is about truth, and from this quotation it would seem that Nietzsche might have approved of this enterprise. As a philosopher, I hope he would have done so, but the conclusion towards which this book is arguing is going to be radically different from his although I share with him a passionate commitment to the importance of truth.
Probably the largest single influence on Nietzsche was the work of Arthur Schopenhauer, whose gloomy, atheistic approach to life appealed to him strongly. In terms of outlook, however, Nietzsche