The faith of a heretic by Walter A. Kaufmann, Stanley Corngold

By Walter A. Kaufmann, Stanley Corngold

Originally released in 1959, The religion of a Heretic is the main own assertion of the ideals of Nietzsche biographer and translator Walter Kaufmann. a primary thinker in his personal correct, Kaufmann the following presents the fullest account of his perspectives on faith. even if he thought of himself a heretic, he used to be now not resistant to the wellsprings and impulses from which faith originates, pointing out it one of the most important and radical expressions of the human brain. starting with an autobiographical prologue that strains his evolution from spiritual believer to "heretic," the publication touches on theology, prepared faith, morality, ache, and death--all tested from the viewpoint of a "quest for honesty." Kaufmann additionally topics philosophy's religion truthfully, cause, and absolute morality to an identical heretical remedy. The ensuing exploration of the faiths of a nonbeliever in an earthly age is as clean and hard as while it used to be first published.

In a brand new foreword, Stanley Corngold vividly describes the highbrow and biographical milieu of Kaufmann's provocative book.

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There is no point in dialogue with a man who does not acknowledge this standard. In effect, this is generally recognized. Nobody says that he is not at all committed to honesty. Nobody entirely lacks the will to be honest; but most people settle for rather a small share of it. They favor honesty within limits, though they do not explicate these limits or reflect on them. This question, whether we should set limits to honesty and, if so, what limits, deserves discussion. And this theme, like the other motifs sounded in this Prologue, except the autobiographical note, will be developed in the following chapters.

What these men have in common, and what distinguishes them from the sages of the Upanishads in India, some of whom lived a century or more before the time of Thales, is a truly stunning lack of reverence for the past. The pre-Socratics shared the Indian sages’ and the Hebrew prophets’ scorn for the opinions of the common people of their day; but they did not counter these opinions by referring to the scriptures or traditions of the past. Far from reading their own views into, or out of, the inspired poetry of Homer, Hesiod, or some other ancient writer, they included the teachings of these poets in their cutting strictures.

My father had been released from a concentration camp after some hideous weeks, on condition that he leave the country; but he had no visa yet. In March Hitler took Czechoslovakia, and war seemed imminent. A month later, my parents reached London, where they were to spend the war years; but many others I loved were still in Germany, threatened with extermination. That summer I read Stone’s Lust for Life, a novel based on van Gogh’s life. He decided to live with the miners, to descend Prologue • 7 into the pits with them and share their miseries.

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