Nietzsche says there is no being behind the doing and I agree with this idea. He also says the weak separated the doing from the being in order to condemn the strong for using theirs strength.

My question is:

  • If strong people were imposed with the weak´s morality, Are they really strong?
  • If the weak where able to perpetuate their morality, Are they really weak?
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    well i think it's usually claimed that the higher / lower distinction is a fiction anyway. an example that seems to crop up is goethe. was he weak, or weakened, by morality? you could also ask yourself whether a pitiful person is really strong, rather than stronger, just because we pity them. i'm sure there's some fine answers to the question
    – user25714
    Jul 28, 2017 at 14:10
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    i don't think this question should have a negative score. it's a fairly interesting question, i think
    – user25714
    Jul 28, 2017 at 16:15
  • There is a matter of numbers, a strong person who can control 100 weak people might submit to 1000. This goes to his later focus on the individual and the herd. The herd can deprive the individual of the ability to deliver what is within himself by simply outnumbering him, and that is a tragedy.
    – user9166
    Jul 28, 2017 at 17:43
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    @idiotan the idea of weakness and strength being fictions as well is quite interesting. Haven't thought it that way.
    – nmomn
    Jul 28, 2017 at 19:46
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    I always read the notion of slave morality in the light of Hegel's master and slave dialectics with a twist, i.e. reading the slave as being merely imposed with rules, missing the empowerment that is a core theme in Hegel, as in morality you are only the master when making the rules yourself as means of emancipation. Do not know comments/literature on that, though, so no sources for affirmation atm.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Sep 27, 2017 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


I think the "trick" to understanding Nietzsche's critique of group morality would be to link his idea of strength with the idea that one "is" through "becoming" - those who continue to subscribe to group morality, or who were historically complicit in its development, are weak because they will not subscribe to this idea of strength; the source of "strength" for Christian group morality is precisely its weakness, because the point of man's weakness is the point where God can display His grace towards man - it is necessary to know that one is weak, in order to know God's strength, therefore the strength of the Christian comes from outside of him or her ... to the Christian, Nietzsche's idea of strength as sufficient daring to consider strength and weakness in terms of the individual setting himself deliberately against group morality, does not really make sense. One could regard Nietzsche's interpretation of the strength/weakness axis as a deliberate subversion of the idea of strength and weakness inscribed in Christian group morality; for Nietzsche, strength is an attribution of the individual who sets himself against group morality, and weakness is subscription to an idea of strength which places Christian believers at the mercy of God who asks them to glorify in their "weakness", because that is how He can display His strength in their lives


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