Sunday, November 28, 2010


Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:35 AM

A counterbalance to this morning's New York Times  story (see previous post) on a leftist Columbia University seminar might be C.S. Lewis's famous quote "It's all in Plato."  Unfortunately, a search for discussions of this quote yields, as the top result, a typically shoddy Christian polemic.

From a Christian professor at Seattle Pacific University

"Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) can serve us well as a negative example. Nietzsche's 'new morality' was 'mere innovation,' according to [C.S.] Lewis  [Christian Reflections ]. Nietzsche announced through Zarathustra (and numerous other ways) the relativity of all values and moralities, saying that each people had adhered to a different scheme of values worked out solely in connection with local conditions. 'Nothing is true, everything is permitted,' states Nietzsche, quoting one of Dostoevsky's characters."

No source is given for either the Nietzsche quote or the alleged Dostoevky quote.

This is from a web page titled "In Defense of the Permanent Things." The Christian professor is, according to a far better scholar, permanently wrong. See Note 8 on pages 586-587 of Walter Kaufmann's Basic Writings of Nietzsche  (Random House, November 28, 2000).

One hopes that a more capable scholar, such as Lewis himself* was, might at some point attack the Columbia University leftist nonsense— and Nietzsche— by quoting a more damning passage, such as

" 'Everything is false! Everything is permitted!' "

(from Kaufmann's edition of The Will to Power , Random House, 1968, page 326)

This version of the "Everything is permitted" quote is much more directly related to Nietzsche's relativism, as seen in this image of Kaufmann's edition—

   (Click to enlarge.)


* Or Steven Michels of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.
  See his "Nietzsche, Nihilism, and the Virtue of Nature"— in particular, note 29.

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