Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil

Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil

1999, Philosophy  -   332 Comments
Ratings: 8.57/10 from 112 users.

Nietzsche: Beyond Good and EvilA brilliant young man, he was appointed professor at the University of Basel aged 24 having not even finished his degree. His evanescent philosophical life ended 20 years later when he went insane and died shortly afterwards.

Nietzsche's argued that the Christian system of faith and worship was not only incorrect, but harmful to society because it allowed the weak to rule the strong - it suppressed the will to power which was the driving force of human character. Nietzsche wanted people to throw of the shackles of our misguided Christian morality and become supermen - free and titanic.

However, without God he felt that the future of man might spiral into a society of nihilism, devoid of any meaning; his aim was for man to realise the lack of divine purpose and create his own values. The core of Nietzsche's work, including Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-92), Beyond Good and Evil (1886), The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was to find a meaning and morality in the absence of God. (Excerpt from

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3 years ago

Ew the Richard Dawkins documentary.

Cinderella Sequeira
3 years ago

I think as Nietzsche was nearing 33 years of age, he felt that he doesn't have time; just like Jesus who died at the age of 33, Nietzsche felt that he also ought to accomplish everything before he is 33 years old. After 33, Nietzsche has stepped into madness until he dies. He has already died intellectually. Similarly, Zarathustra is 30 years when he starts his mission; just like Jesus.

Sigismund von Braun
3 years ago

Marx and Einstein? LMAO

3 years ago

'Think for yourself...question all things', and so on. Yet, if one reaches too far philosophy and everything else become repetitious, trite, and meaningless. With a grand possibility that our latent, innate madness will grow and with Nietzsche.

5 years ago

Many of you haters here lambasting Nietzsche: what have you offered the world except for your whiney sense of arrogance, as if you all had a better philosophy for life, lol. Go back to your playstations and pokemon go and be part of the herd.

6 years ago

To AntiTheist666
I highly recommended reading “Man's Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl.
You can also look up and actually watch Viktor E. Frankl speak in old interviews on YouTube and decide if you want to read his book too.

Leanna Lauber
6 years ago

Thoughtful commentary - I loved the specifics , Does someone know where my business might be able to access a sample AK DR-150 version to edit ?

7 years ago

just on a side note the swastika is symbolic of the black hole with its spiraling arms, its described as desire understand desire and see its nature reflected in the black hole. empty always hungry it can never be filled or satisfied. its described as the one eye monster because when your on the event horizon next to the massive black hole its absolutely terrifying. the ignorant nazi though was symbol for satan because saturn also embodies desire the desire for life that birth us into reality. surrounded by halo of truth hail saturn. above the lords of the underworld hades poseidon hera, isis ra and el , dont be a lucifaryian nazi fool here is the true understanding, these are the names of the proton neutron and the electron lords of the underworld isis void the swastika (m) ra the light (c) el (e)the little child the electric charge birth from the two opposite the movements of time space e=mc2 why we give them name as this is so you realize you seeing the effect of consciousness not making the mistake seeing the mechanical functions of a soulless universe described by decartes

chaos Beauty
9 years ago

his sister was a bitch . What she did was cruel , warping his work a bit
making him out to be pretty much a Nazi tho he was sick showing him
off like an animal in a zoo etc , is not compassion but cruel . he did
not seem like an awful man, the Nazis were awful , Hitler was psycho
cruel and an f d up person . the comparison is false and bull

10 years ago

one must not abide by or fall victim to society as is. leaving one to experience lifes true presence.

Matt Kukowski
10 years ago

The word God is too loaded of a word at this point. How about Nature. Mother Earth... that kind of thing. Obviously, without the Sun and a Healthy Earth, all life is doomed.

People are so confused, and so confusing.

10 years ago

Your tolerance is bias....some use more out of topic space than i ever do, here is a few examples...

The thinking atheist
"And the world would be a better place without you and those like you."

The thinking atheist
"Maybe he'll make another veiled threat and be banned from posting. Then I won't need to ignore him--and neither will anybody else."

2 out of hundreds in Why i am no longer a Christian (and many other accusations on any docs for not writing good enough for him)
"f I recall, the question about masturbation was written in response to someone who was condemning the practice? Therefore, the question was a perfectly valid one--nothing sick about it.
The correct preposition in your last line is by not with. "Direct elucidation" means not a direct explanation, i.e., not beating around the bush. So don't try to tell me I'm using big words improperly. You don't know what you're blogging about.
I" (and yes the f was at the beginning and the i at the end)

"I can understand I "comed" to the house. But it's certainly betrays ignorance on the part of anyone who writes it, except as an example.
And no, acceptable by general standards of English--and there are many fine books on the subject, just about all of them in agreement on the basics. Harry Markopolos of Madoff fame writes and speaks very diffierently than I do, but both his speech and his writing are by all means acceptable. So don't try the parochialism ploy on me. "

I'll stop here....just go to any religious docs and you can delete half the posts on them as most don't talk about the doc itself, their purpose is to bash all religious mind.

You guys are part of a clan, the attitude of this clan is to gang on anyone that places value on their beliefs, even people who declare not being religous but believing in a Designer. I too do not agree with many of what some take for granted but i also see that (the bashing and how it can escalate) is what keeps wars active and explosive on this earth. Perhaps my attitude of ignoring such post is no better to you, to me it is.

As for my out of topic posts.....delete all you want, including this one.


10 years ago

@ Admins
It was my fault on this occasion. I asked Az and she kindly answered me. Sorry, I'll try to say on topic better.

10 years ago

Yes my cue, will start to delete off topic posts starting from 2 days ago.

10 years ago


They were a small foreword squad feeling pretty safe, were poorly positioned and seemed to be hurried. They were making trail markers so there were others to follow. Not out lasting them didn’t seem to pose a problem but I was to avoid contact however and when ever possible. That said, there is always a plan B. Mine revolved around some M26A1’s a lovingly modified M14 and M1911. If plan B was the only option, my part of the mission would have been a failure. You can use your imagination and we’ll just leave that one right there. I obviously made it to extraction. You might call it an example of “being no one” and believe me that is one facet of that reality.

The real enemy turned out to be the press. The future objective was published (somehow) by an evening newspaper franchise. There were four of us and I had become separated, all returned safely with intel to no avail. There were more enemies to deal with then the ones below the roost. You learned respect for them and they could be evaded but not the others for which I have little to no respect. (A form of PTSD you may learn to understand but never find recovery.)

10 years ago

Did Nietzsche search for meaning or to destroy it?

I’ve been recommended a book called “Man's Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl

It sounds a bit grim to me, it would need to be rated – Most Excellent or Must Read for me to give it a go. Anyone Red this Book?

The Hectic One

10 years ago

Everyone (rationalist reductionists and others) nibbles around the edges. They dip their toes into the ocean but never take the plunge. (Sanity is not doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.) (Poe and “The Tell Tail Heart”…. Would a sane man…..Yet they do.) What is irony? Do you think anyone realizes the difference between atheist and anti-theist???

I’m a mix, almost Welsh. Great grandfather emigrated from Wales (through England) to the USA but somewhere an Irish ancestor emigrated from Ireland to mine coal in Wales, Swansea. His son’s better half was a Lyons (a Lyons from county Cork??) The other half of the heritage is Russki (Orthodox of course). I would say a well stirred Celt. Try that for a mix in instruction (states of mind) and holidays, two in each season every year, the same and yet different.

Spinoza, the blessed excommunicate, I would hope for such an epitaph. There is no good and evil in nature – that takes a human mind. (Agree) Determinism – agree in following vein (I hope these posts correctly):

1. I myself ? The content of the currently active transparent self-model.
2. Am seeing this object ? The content of a transparent object-representation and I am seeing it…
3. Right now ? as an element within a virtual window of presence.
4. With my own eyes ? The simple story of direct sensory perception, this sufficed for the evolutionary purposes of the brain.

And one step further: And it’s ONLY A SIMPLE STORY THE BRAIN TELLS ITSELF about direct sensory perception which sufficed for the evolutionary purposes of the brain. IN THE NOW, I KNOW THIS EXPERIENTIALLY.

In reference to deity (disagree) It is obvious that there is a cause, not impersonal but transparently shared and cooperative (knowing or unknowing agreement, like a universal translator, the universal unconscious seeping into the universal conscious and disrupting the balance of properties to manifest experience in all through all. The illusion is the impersonal, the aloneness within multitudes of dependences and then is in effect abstract. (A poor attempt at a description of the indescribable).

Does any of this translate?

My first encounter with unseen mirrored properties (potentials) interacting with a neutral property came at age five. I stuck a pair of scissors in one side of an electric outlet. It wouldn’t have mattered which side of the outlet, I as a neutral in an act of will disturbed the balance. That disturbance caused me to be a ground in reference to either. That was the beginning of a career.

I tend to see things as a simple equation. Manifestation = (negative property) * (positive property) and the cause of manifestation can be random occurrence [between active opposites] or a willful act that disturbs the natural balance, “midday”.

It’s a shame this revelry is only betwixt two. Are there none other? (If this keeps up I’ll get poetic and I’m not a good poet).

10 years ago

I'm just a spectator here today, covered in grass blades and sweat...
You guys keep going, it's fascinating!

10 years ago

You can't ask a woman about another woman, you'll always get a guarded answer no matter how much they 'like' each other. Better to ask Pysmythe, he's good with the ladies ;)

10 years ago


Never the twain shall meat!

No, I’m just teasing, I know you got it.

What about the bleedin questions bugger lugs! Or is Dear Arthur RIGHT!

The sweetest kind of lugs though!

10 years ago

''your jealous soul shall love no one, except the friend"
Poor friend, bearing all the love while we fluffy creatures (women) frolic unbothered ;)

10 years ago

I wonder, sometimes when I get a headache it would feel so much better if I could unscrew my ears, release the tension. He might have pulled at his own for the pain in his brain :(

11 years ago

In loving memory of Dear Friedrich, a small tribute.

The Tragedy of Birth

My Fellow Sufferers, to be born at all is tragedy. The greater the level of consciousness and intellect, the greater the tragedy. Thus spoke Nietzsche in “Beyond Good and Evil”. “Can a donkey be tragic?” He asks in “The Twilight of the Idols” as it perishes beneath a load it can no longer bear nor shrug off. This, he said, was the philosopher. I would extend this definition to include those capable of deducing their own demise and irrelevance, those with eyes and ears capable of reaching beyond the veil of Maya, those who can see truth in all its forms, a free spirit, a fearless one. You perhaps?

As much as it may seem irrational, illogical and counter intuitive, life in all its vain glory is meaningless. (1) Meaning = Morality, a perspective. Again in TTOTI Nietzsche says morality must be shot at to keep it on its toes. Perhaps to make it dance and sing? Our most firmly held truths surely deserve the most rigorous examination, yet many escape even the most basic of questioning and are simply taken for granted. E.g. Religion, Free Will, Politics, Justice, Ethics etc. Even after all my years I still find it stunning that the majority of people don’t question the nature of their existence. The herd instinct seems to have developed into a stampede of stupidity. Consumerism gone mad grips the western world and is choking it to death! Have they become the Last Man and stand blinking in the glare of their ignorance? There is no insult or scapegoating here, for many years I was he. Ignorance really is bliss.

I’m reminded of this quote by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

“It is no indicator of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”

For those not familiar with Nietzsche I would urge you to acquaint yourself with his thoughts by any means possible. Reading his life works would be best, though I would pay sceptical attention to “The Will to Power” which was cobbled together by his sister after his death. In them you will find the most thorough investigation of the human psyche. Written in some of the most engaging and enthralling prose ever put to page. Some ask where to begin with him and some have other negative reservations. Put all preconceptions to one side, the positives far outweigh the negatives. His updated published works in book form are best but you can access the whole archive online, most titles are available for download as audiobooks.

So, where to begin? Despite the title of this article, I would not start with “The Birth of Tragedy”, his first book, nor would I dive straight into the dizzying heights of Zarathustra. “Ecce Homo” is best read last of all. TTOTI subtitled “How to Philosophize with the Hammer” was written for those new to him and is short and sweet, though a little bitter and twisted in parts. All of his titles are well worth reading but if I had to stick my neck out and say to those who would not commit to reading even a single book, try this, just the first chapter of “Beyond Good and Evil”(2) titled “On the prejudices of philosophers”. Though any starting point is infinitely better than none at all. I hope all enquiring minds will not be able to resist going further.

What’s so important about Nietzsche? His enquiries into the values of truth, reason, morality and the nature of humankind are legend for good reason, but are not, it seems to me, being fully understood or applied by the general public. Was his salvation from nihilism not convincing enough? Is the most fundamental truth of all truths, that there is no such thing as free will, the most hard to bear? Have we learnt anything more than 100 years later? (See his letter below.)

Although I admire Nietzsche, he is not free from error or criticism. Should Nietzsche be shot at? With a rifle perhaps? But wait, - he already dances and sings beautifully! Should we deny him as he asked us to deny Schopenhauer? What would Zarathustra say of Nietzsche?

“Deny him? – No! Be ashamed of him”... methinks?

“Love him” say I - sing his “Hymn to Life”. Dance around the fallen Idols. (Ideals.)

When one has read and digested his beautiful words of wisdom, what then? What conclusions can we draw? His response to Schopenhauer’s subjugation of the will as an answer to pessimism was of course the yea saying superman. Who, if anyone, is right here? In this meaningless life full of suffering, boredom and Danse Macabre of Grand Folly humankind needs good answers. My own view is this; no one has a choice to do anything other than what they do. Determinism Rules! Although this might sound bleak, it is nevertheless true. We might as well adopt “Amor Fati” because that’s all we are going to get and we are all just pieces of it. The traditional method of understanding the self as an autonomous thing has to be revaluated, nay, transvaluated. (Sorry.)

You and I no longer exist... Be a creator and give birth to us.

Recreate humankind, become The Overcoming man.

Long live the Dionysian.

(1) See Arthur Schopenhauer’s “Studies in Pessimism” Chapter 2. “On the Vanity of Existence”

(2) Sils-Maria, September 24, 1886: Letter to Malwilda von Meysenbug

Esteemed friend.

This is my last day here in Sils-Maria; all the birds have flown; the fall sky is gloomy; it’s getting cold,—so “the hermit of Sils-Maria” has to be on his way.
[....] I have recently sent you a book. Its title is Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. (Forgive me! It isn’t that you're supposed to read it, much less give me your opinion of it. People will dare read it, I suppose, some time around the year 2000...) [....]

God, I’m sorry about how long this post is. And yet I have hardly said anything. Congrats to anyone who made it this far.


Sapere Aude

11 years ago

Like many great minds he lived before his time, before the people and the society were ready for his ideas... but for the rest of us that come after him we are forever grateful!

11 years ago

Does someone know which piece is played at the end?
sounds rather sad. -very beautiful!

11 years ago

The Parable of the Madman --- why was the madman carrying a lantern in the bright morning light?

To understand Nietzsche, one must first realize that he was very literary in his approach to his ideas, that he was sarcastic and 'tongue in cheek' in his use of language. He wrote during the same time as Oscar Wilde and with a similar sense of humor as GB Shaw (who represents the next generation). If you read Nietzsche with an understanding of his 'style' his 'author's voice' and in the context of his culture as a writer, you will better understand his philosophy and you will actually find him to be brilliantly entertaining and even quite funny at times, yet always incisively analytical.

To read him in a purely literal (non-literary) and simply linear way is to misunderstand him completely. However, he was dead serious about the challenge that humankind (ie. society) would face in the absence of religious compulsion and offered solutions on living a full life and how to be a decent human being. We're living in that challenge now...

And, by the way, Nietzsche went crazy because of untreated Syphilis, not because of his philosophy. Remember, there were no penicillin in his day.

Petros Petrosyan
11 years ago

It makes sense now , he was a crazy man. Ive read his stuff in school , i thought it was erratic and rambling. If man didnt have the consequences that religion instilled there would be no man today. Think about how as history progressed while ethics and morality decreased. There is alot of crazy **** that happens today that simply didnt happen as little as 50 years ago. The straying from religion and the creation of many false ones, can be correlated to the lack of faith in todays society. This is undeniable.

11 years ago

I believe that God had placed religions on earth to prevent people from misleading their way. To be a God is an invalid state, because you will never be aware of everything & nothing, and the sum of man's knowledge is constant if not growing. To be Godless has its impossibility but to be a human which is the highest rank of beasts is reachable. Nietzsche wanted to be a human, with no God on a cross. Maybe he needed a different religion but he chose a belief with no Godly word, but Godly laws that was designed to the birth of "human" but he questioned their existence and doubt is means to certainty.

11 years ago

Actually i readed not much of Nietzsche. But what i readed and from this documenatry, i fomr an opinion, that he wanted to go very high, but he couldnt and so he fall down. He felt like a horse or smth like that. He felt compassion to him, an animal, and broke down?

11 years ago

a PHILOSOPHER who went insane? If he was a well respected philosopher, he could've just became sane.
insanity is the world and society in which we live today.

11 years ago

i believe that the vary thing that made nietzsche a brilliant mind also doomed him too insanity he could not have operated under normal social dealings an follow his beliefs at the same time so if anything we should be amazed by this one mans inner strength to subject himself to these kind of self experiments if u will, all to find some sort of meaning in not just himself but in the lives of mankind in general a truly astonishing example of self sacrifice in the name of understanding

11 years ago

What would u do, if u would see a dog in a mirror???

11 years ago

@David Foster
>implying that the dead feel anything or are conscious of anything

nothing matters
11 years ago

I wonder how Nietzsche view the world if he ever try some weed or LSD.

11 years ago

who labelled him insane? that is the real evil.

Shane Van-Heer
11 years ago

did anyone ever figure out how the author became insane??? attempt figuring out what drove him bats "first".

leigh pierce
11 years ago

It has been said that: 'with all other religions in the world you have to work to be saved!, but with the Christian religion you are already saved - through Jesus Christ...'

barefoot cinderella
11 years ago

let us remember that he went insane

11 years ago

love some of his ideas, but my imput on the matter is that mankind should seek true and power , but to improve our being ,our life , conditions of living or better to find a better way to coexistence.we by definition have a free will , what we decide to do with it is up to us. sa human and by experience just remenber that no matter what your aspiration is it will always come back to hunt you down.

11 years ago

Nietszche was probably the first human to recreate himself over and over in his works, people sometimes miss the point that that was why he could never and will never be anything else but Nietszche. A true unique human being. His own ruler!

11 years ago

Hats off to all involved in the making of this great but all too short doc.

There are many comments below which state the film concentrates too much on his personal life and not enough on his philosophy. They have a small point but it would have been an impossible task to encompass the thoughts of a man who turned all previous philosophy on its head and came up with a new one in just 50 mins. That they get an outline of just some of his major points in the time allotted is no small achievement. Bear in mind also that this is one of a three part series with Heidegger and Sartre called “Human, all too human.” Which is a look into the lives of the founding fathers of existentialism, a philosophy which focuses on individual freedom and responsibility so it’s bound to be a bit personal.

For those who would like to know more about Nietzsche’s philosophy the best thing you can do is read his works. You will be rewarded with pearls of wisdom and some of the most beautiful prose ever written. I don’t agree with all he has to say but I am still a huge fan.

“He who writes in blood and aphorism does not do so just to be remembered, he wishes to be learnt by heart” (Thus Spake Zarathustra)

I’m happy to oblige dear Friederich.

There seems to be an all too barren wilderness in the realm of philosophy documentaries.

Drink well from this oasis.

11 years ago

An amazing and prolific person in any account even my own, which is post-mordum. Neitzcshe is the epitome of a genius and a amazing thinker. His ideals and principals are so well rounded in comparison to most peoples justifications of what is and what isn't, or how things should be -that in itself proves his worth in society.

11 years ago

he is my hero

rob introp
11 years ago

hi eem i left school quite young but am very much interested in nietzsche and other philosophers.. but find it very hard keep track of their talk.. is there any king of breakdowns of these that i could find... if anyone knows? bthanks rob..

12 years ago

I really enjoyed this, however i would prefer if they would have been more detailed in describing his philosophy. There was alot of info on his biography and life,which was really interesting, but too little on his ideas.

12 years ago

I like this documentary, but those British accents make me sleepy...

12 years ago

What is this beautiful string music that starts playing at 35:40?

12 years ago

Isn't it really about finding ones self and not about having the tools to do it. It is a personal journey and I thought they delivered that in this doc

12 years ago

Actually titled "Human, all too human". Also as others said, I was disappointed due to the focus on his life rather than his ideas.

12 years ago

good work.
I'm satisfied.