According to Nietzsche self-transcendence is the common essence of all moral codes: "Man is something that should be overcome." Self-transcendence is of the essence not only of morality, but of humans themselves; it is one’s authentic, civilized humanity. Nietzsche’s model of the self-perfected most authentically civilized man is the overman or the one who has overcome or transcended himself. Self-overcoming as the basis of self-transcendence and self-perfection is in brief what the Nietzschean conception of man is all about.
Confucius once said: "To overcome oneself and return to li is what is meant by jen." What Confucius means by li and jen may be put succinctly: li is what constitutes the civilized order by which our authentic humanity or jen is defined. To be more specific, li is the ritual propriety essential to civilized life; it is the civilizing factor or element -- the "civilized form", if you will -- that distinguishes human from non-human existence. The civilizing function of li lies precisely in its disciplinary power or the human power of self-command. Like the Nietzschean overman, the Confucian chun tzu or superior man is also an authentic, civilized human being: he, too, is one who has overcome or transcended himself.
Overcome humanity - the worst elements of humanity - to truly become human.
It continues -
There thus exists at least a notable formal similarity or parallelism between Nietzschean and Confucian philosophy in its conception of authentic humanity: namely, the recognition that the being of man is at heart moral in character. They agree that the process of being human, the civilizing process, is fundamentally a process of "moral creativity", namely, the creative transformation of human character by virtue of self-overcoming or self-command. But thus conceived, moral creativity is in truth human creativity: for Nietzsche, man is at once the "creator" and "creature" of his authentic existence. To put this in well-known existential phraseology, "Man is nothing but that which he makes of himself":4 the product of his own "self-making". What makes such creativity "moral" and defines the "moral" dimension of being human is none other than the power and reality of self-overcoming. There can be no question that in both Nietzschean and Confucian thought the human capacity of self-command is of the essence of one’s humanity: self-overcoming is the constitutive principle in the human.
"There can be no question that in both Nietzschean and Confucian thought the human capacity of self-command is of the essence of one’s humanity: self-overcoming is the constitutive principle in the human."
Brilliant. Self-command. Create. Overcome.
Yes. That's it.
Two great comments on "Having Your Own Ethics is Lonely." First is by Roy, thought-provoking, and also, I laughed a lot at how his final sentence wraps it all up:
Hello. Your comment to Stefanie about creating your own set of values and ethic being lonely, look pretty much like the concept of the Ubermensch from Nietzsche. So I'll say that anyone following this path is on the right path to the next level of human development. And I'll go farther on this. I think that Nietzche closed the loop on human nature. Copernicus discovered that we were not the center of the world which was a blow to human hegemony. Then came Darwin stating that human was not special and we are just another can of animal. This was a second blow on human hegemony. Then came Freud stating that human is not even the master of his thoughts and impulses. Which was yet just another blow to human hegemony. And to finalize it all. Here comes Nietzche stating that there is not a single system of ethics that bind us all. No human system and certainly not heavenly system of ethic stands. Which to me is the last blow on human hegemony.
Have a nice day.
Then Ryan replies -
I disagree somewhat with Roy's comment. Humans are special, what separates us from other animals is the ability to reason. Its true that we posess animal instincts like all creatures on this planet, and so by nature, man is corrupt. I believe there are ethics that bind all people, like the persute of being happy through the possession of freedom, wich requires discipline over ones own actions, wich requires some form of ethical standards. Just because you think it, does not mean you must do it. If you have no disapline, you become a slave to others, like too much debt for instance, you feel the shame of failure when the bill arrives. But do you work to solve it, or make it worse? The point is that we all fail some time or another, but its how you deal with your failures that can make you a good or bad person.
Freedom is often denied to many individuals, groups, and nations. The fact is that in no human societycan man be free in the absolute sense of the word. There must be some limitations of one sort or another, if the society is to function at all. Anarchy would prevail in lands where people have the freedom to live as they like. Freedom without restraints leads to corruption and immorality since they are not tied to higher moral values or self-control. The freedom that Islam grants is based on commitment and responsibility without which there can be no true freedom. Islam does not believe in giving man unbridled freedom to do whatever he likes. The right of freedom that man has been endowed with is sacred as long as he does not violate the Commandments of Allâh. Islam insists that man has freewill because that is the way that Allâh created him. It allows him to express this freedom and to practice it within the limits of commitment, responsibility, and self-control. Moreover, man has an obligation to choose the path of righteousness and to safeguard his freedom and that of others. One ofthe main objectives of Islam is to free humanity from superstitions, the soul from sin, and the conscience from fear. Every man has the right to freedom of belief, conscience, and worship. Islam expects man to think, ponder, affirm faith, and do good deeds. Every human being is personally responsible for his deeds and he is accountable for the consequences of all his actions. Man should therefore, practice his personal freedom without encroaching upon the rights of others and deviating from a correct moral conduct. In an atmosphere which respects the rights and freedoms of others, mankind can grow and prosper.
"The truth is from your Lord: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it). " [The Qurân, Ch: 18 Al-Kahf, V: 29]