I recently finished reading Jordan Peteron’s book and was taken aback by how much he respected Nietzsche. When I first read ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ by Nietzsche I was horrified by his arrogance. I believe that C. S. Lewis’ character Uncle Andrew in ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ reflects this profound arrogance and lack of love or humility.
Both Nietzsche and Uncle Andrew separate themselves into an elite class of people called, respectively, ‘philosophers’ or ‘magicians’. And their intent in doing so is to claim, by virtue of superior intellect or ‘will to power’, the right to transgress morality - to live ‘beyond good and evil’.
In the words of Diggory from Lewis’ ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ as he responds to Uncle Andrew, the magician’s, high and lofty words:
“As he said this he sighed and looked so grave and noble and mysterious that for a second Digory really thought he was saying something rather fine. But then he remembered the ugly look he had seen on his Uncle’s face the moment before Polly had vanished: and all at once he saw through Uncle Andrew’s grand words. ‘All it means,’ he said to himself, ‘Is that he thinks he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants.’”
Or, in words from Tolkien:
“There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of Men for this treachery.” -Tolkien, The Two Towers
I believe the attitude adopted by Nietzsche led and always is the precursor to terrible deeds - or at least an atmosphere where such terrible things are possible. And I simply wanted to lay it bare for what it is - petty contempt and a disregard for men who are made in God’s image. May the Lord Jesus keep us from such evil thoughts in our own time.
Uncle Andrew Quotes
“But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys—and servants—and women—and even people in general, can’t possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny.” -Uncle Andrew, The Magician’s Nephew, C. S. Lewis
"I had forgotten that you are only a common boy. How should you understand reasons of the State? You must learn, child, that what would be wrong for you or for any of the common people is not wrong in a great Queen such as I. The weight of the world is on our shoulders. We must be freed from all rules. Ours is a high and lonely destiny.” -Uncle Andrew, The Magician’s Nephew, C. S. Lewis
“I am the great scholar, the magician, the adept, who is doing the experiment. Of course I need subjects to do it on. Bless my soul, you’ll be telling me next that I ought to have asked the guinea-pigs’ permission before I used them! No great wisdom can be reached without sacrifice.” -Uncle Andrew, The Magician’s Nephew, C. S. Lewis
“That which serves the higher class of men for nourishment or refreshment, must be almost poison to an entirely different and lower order of human beings.” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“Signs of nobility: never to think of lowering our duties to the rank of duties for everybody” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong.” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“And how could there be a “common good”! The expression contradicts itself; that which can be common is always of small value.” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
"men, not sufficiently noble to see the radically different grades of rank and intervals of rank that separate man from man:—SUCH men, with their “equality before God,” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“with commonplace virtues: that is to say, a non-ruling, non-authoritative, and non-self-sufficient type of man; he possesses industry, patient adaptableness to rank and file, equability and moderation” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“He shall be the greatest who can be the most solitary, the most concealed, the most divergent, the man beyond good and evil, the master of his virtues, and of super-abundance of will; precisely this shall be called GREATNESS: as diversified as can be entire, as ample as can be full.” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“People have always to be born to a high station, or, more definitely, they have to be BRED for it: a person has only a right to philosophy—taking the word in its higher significance—in virtue of his descent; the ancestors, the “blood,” decide here also. Many generations must have prepared the way for the coming of the philosopher;” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“namely, what was LACKING in Carlyle—real POWER of intellect, real DEPTH of intellectual perception, in short, philosophy. It is characteristic of such an unphilosophical race to hold on firmly to Christianity—they NEED its discipline for “moralizing” and humanizing.” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“Where the populace eat and drink, and even where they reverence, it is accustomed to stink. One should not go into churches if one wishes to breathe PURE air.” -Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil