Free Essay Comparing the Views of Nietzsche and King on the Treatment of Vulnerable Population

Published: 2022-05-09 07:54:02
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The views of Nietzsche and King on the treatment of the vulnerable population in the society are divergent. While King believes that all members in the society should be treated equally, Nietzsche, states that a society is built on ranks where some people have to be on top of others and look down upon them. Nietzsche states that this is the way the society prefers to have social order. On the other end, King's view could have been influenced by the suffering the black experienced in the USA as he was among that group hence he was venting himself as well. Hence, the paper shall focus on the treatment for the vulnerable in the society by comparing the view by Nietzsche and King in their Beyond Good and Evil and Letter from Birmingham Jail respectively.

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Nietzsche stated that the aristocracy system will always dominate the earth and people will fall into either the ruling or the subject class. He stated without such order in the society other pathos would not have erupted. He supported aristocracy as a way to maintaining social order where others will be issuing commands to be followed by the rest. At the end of section 257, Nietzsche stated that the barbarism was started by the noble caste system who were mentally superior to than the rest of the population, and fed their hunger for power on the weak and civilized people (Friedrich 151). Hence, since they have the mental capacity to rule the weak, it should be assumed as the only way to run the society. Also, in the Javanese climbing plant example at the end of section 258, the weak plant supports itself on the stronger oak plant and grows above the tree to enjoy the best light. This example could be compared to human beings as the few rulers on the top step on the majority to meet their selfish needs such as corruption. Moreover, according to Nietzsche argument on section 258, it is not wrong to beat down people as exploiting other does not belong to the primitive and corrupt societies but it is a fundamental organic function and an essence for being alive (Friedrich 153). On section 260 he stated that the weak and noble use each other. However, the non-contradictory principle is expressed regarding variable A cannot be both B and non-B. It means that if the weak can use the nobles and so the opposite is also justified and not to favor just one side despite their social status.

Nietzsche ideas about treating the vulnerable contracts with the view King, who believes that both white and black people should be treated justly. During his time the while people who were in power treated the black with brutality, for instance, they bombed their homes and killed them (Martin 2). The no-contradictory principle has been explained above, but in this context, it has been broken where the while people oppress the black but still show their disapproval through the court, for instance, the 1954 supreme court ruling that banned segregation at schools. This was a clear indication that the whites were contradicting themselves by continuing with acts of segregation. King furthermore used examples such as a just and unjust law defined by Aquinas to refer to the rule that uplift people and degrades them respectively. Also, he used the example of Buber that segregation is not only social, economically, and politically unsound but also morally compromised. Furthermore, he used Tillich's example of segregation as an act of sin, by stating that segregation is an existential for of separation hence should be avoided. He used different philosophical and religious ideas to support his quest for justice in American society. Moreover, he stated that the unjust laws are installed by the majority over the minority who did not have a part in establishing such rules, for instance through a democratic process. He was referring to the segregation rules in Alabama forged by its legislature (Martin 3). He stated the Alabama population was majority black, but still, they were the oppressed hence, they should be given democratic rights such as voting and conducting peaceful protests among other.

Despite the two arguments making their varied sense, I would choose the ideas by King. First, he is advocating for a just society that offers equal opportunity for all. He uses evidence from religious political, and other philosophers to supports his ideas. He even uses the legal evidence of the 1954 Supreme Court decision for stopping segregation at schools showing that even the oppressor had an ideas that they were unfair to the black race (Martin 3). Furthermore, his ideas originate from first-hand experiences, as a black person he faced all these challenges, he also wrote this letter from jail. Hence, his ideas sound more authoritative. On the other end, Nietzsche's ideas are philosophical thoughts and sound one-sided at time s they violate the non-contradictory principle, as he states that the rulers have a right to dominate the society as a form of social order.

In conclusion, the view by Nietzsche and king on treating the vulnerable in the society vary. By comparing their thoughts in their texts, it is clear that King was against the oppression of the weak while Nietzsche supported their exploitation claiming it's a pattern for promoting social order. The ideas by Nietzsche goes against the non-contradiction principle which is not the case for King who advocates for a just society where black gets a chance to enjoy the American democracy.

Works cited

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil in Fifty Readings in Philosophy, ed. Donald Abel, 4th ed. (New York City, NY: 2012), 378- 385.

Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in Fifty Readings in Philosophy, ed. Donald Abel, 4th ed. (New York City, NY: 2012), 484-491.

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