Sep 21, 2022Liked by Damon Linker

was pleasantly surprised to see someone engage these names — all are smarter and more interesting than claremont — and hope you do it more substantively in your next post

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Sep 21, 2022·edited Sep 21, 2022Liked by Damon Linker

So I’ve been wondering lately how much Heidegger has trickled down into right wing evangelical circles. Al Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, can smell a “Marxist” from two leagues away, even upwind. But I’m wondering how much of stuff like Francis Schaefer or Rushdoony is really just Heidegger.

And I wonder how much that stuff has impacted folks like Rod Dreher too. He has a post today at TAC about the end times stuff again. I’m not a Heidegger scholar, but it seems to me he and Nietzsche shared some view that modernity would inherently collapse on itself due to moral decay (although ironically Nietzsche attributed this in part to Christianity.) This impending eschatological disaster seems firmly imprinted into a lot on the right.

On Socrates, I always thought Polemarchus was right, that friendship was the highest good. My best paper I wrote for Dr. Lawler ran with this and connected it to Aristotle’s idea from the Ethics that friendship was the highest good, and then to Thomas Aquinas where I argued that love of - or friendship with God - was the highest form of that good.

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Great series Damon. Valuable series I've shared with my grad students. I guess the only remarks I'd want to qualify are those which suggest that Nietzsche and Heidegger themselves just somehow include immoderate passages, which could suggest they don't think such passages are not the inferential consequences of their deep positions. If Nietzsche eg advocates cruelty and even euthanasia for the sick (Twilight 36), or elimination of the misratenen (eg AC 2, many passages in KSA XI-XIV) if is because he wants to think radically through what an overcoming of Judaeochristian morality will take--the withdrawal of any sense of obligation to these folk, in the name of "the enormous energy of greatness". We need to get students to ask why they are attracted to radically antiliberal positions, and also what they read when they read these passages. Postmodernist Nietzscheans seem to almost literally read over all of this, and then criticise people who remind them that it is there in black and white, as if they were "cherry picking" (Kaufmann's word, which has stuck and shut down too many debates and questioning students). The result is that these thinkers are taught as benign figures, in ways which fails to confront that they were dynamitic, and wanted to be so. That's the only criticism I'd make, and it is perhaps predicated on a strong reading of certain sentences here only. Keep up the excellent work.

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Not that it would matter to these, except perhaps as confirmation of their rightness,but in Judaism to treat any text outside the canon of the Written and [notionally originally] Oral Law as sacred is idolatrous, and idolatry the father of all other sins.

Worship seems to me to be distinguished from respect or veneration by an inability to see any flaw in its object, which in this case (as 'APr. Matthew Sharpe' describes sub) extends to the authors of these texts. This seems only natural, as what sort of being were properly understood as independent of their context and as speaking to people of all generations equally well, but one that can describe itself best via 'I am that I am'?

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