Nietzsche claimed that "we killed God". Thus, as Nietzsche thought, it would result in nihilism.

He also "introduced" an idea of the overman. This question is not about what the overman is. But I'm asking how is the overman different from, say, Kalki or Jesus. They all are the figures which are "yet to come". Isn't the overman simply the idea that gave meaning to Nietzsche's life like Second Coming gives meaning to Christian's life?

  • I suppose that if I get bored of reading and play some piano one could say that the piano is a replacement for the books. But then one can put anything with anything into this relationship. Nietzsche did not think the death of God would "result" in nihilism:"Nihilism is... not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one's shoulder to the plough; one destroys". Nietzsche's overman is not someone to wait for, but something to bring about. Now, that's different.
    – Conifold
    Dec 5, 2018 at 9:23
  • @Conifold Nietzsche himself never admitted he is an overman. So, I guess to him it was a figure he might wait for. Regarding "death of God", I mean that with no God to Nietzsche many people "lost" their meaning of life. Maybe I use nihilism not in the sense of Nietzsche himself: the notion of dessert is meaningless to me.
    – rus9384
    Dec 5, 2018 at 9:33
  • 1
    Psychologically, the concept is an apparent narcissistic substitute for God, wherein the source of goodness / object of praise shifts from something bigger or 'other' than the Self to some superior aspect of the more familiar and easily accessible Self. The most influential psychologists of Nietzsche's era, and possibly Schopenhauer as well, might have equated his Übermensch with some analytical term such as super-conscience. medium.com/@brian.cronin.3/…
    – Bread
    Dec 5, 2018 at 11:23
  • hunter.cuny.edu/jns/reviews/…
    – Bread
    Dec 5, 2018 at 11:24
  • @Bread Is "super-conscience" supposed to be super-consciousness? Schopenhauer died in 1860, Nietzsche was 16.
    – Conifold
    Dec 5, 2018 at 18:56

2 Answers 2


“How is the overman different from say kalki or Jesus”. It all depends on how you view Kalki or Jesus. Let’s use Jesus. Do you use Jesus as a substitute for being good or perfect? Do you go to church every Sunday to ask for forgiveness for being imperfect? The overman doesn’t need to follow in that sense. The overman takes responsibility for him/her self. The overman isn’t a replacement for Jesus, but perhaps, in a nietzsche sense, Jesus is an overman. Because Jesus accepts the consequences of his own purpose.

I know this sounds somewhat different than most interpret Neitszche as, or Jesus as, but it is inclusive. Did Jesus not want everyone to be like him and not just follow him? Nieszche argues Jesus, “as a child of god everybody is equal to everybody else”- twilight of the idols”

More reading

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/52263/52263-h/52263-h.htm section 41, etc.

I do realize it seems as though nietszche attacks “Jews”, but I do not feel the attack has anymore relevance than his attacks on German culture or Catholicism. It is merely an observation against people using others or majority’s or hiding behind imperfect ideologies.

Here is some more reading for those who enjoy knowing instead of understanding. http://www.joeledmundanderson.com/nietzsches-ubermensch-vs-jesus-christ/


The "Über" in Übermensch means : beyond, after, over; not necessarily "super" or "above".

See Keith Ansell-Pearson, Who is the Ubermensch? (1992), page 316 :

For decades now, generations of English-speaking commentators on Nietzsche have wrestled with the problem of how best to translate the word Übermensch. The question which any new reader of Nietzsche wants to ask is: what is meant by the term Übermensch? Is it, for example, the type of being in possession of superhuman powers, the superman of legend, or is it the symbol of the humanity of the future which has overcome the nihilism of the modem epoch and the world-weariness of modem humanity? In Ecce Homo Nietzsche states that the notion of Übermensch is not in any way to be conceived along Darwinian lines or as representing a transcendental ideal of man.

Why I Write Such Good Books, Sect.1 [page 261] : The word "overman," as the designation of a type of supreme achievement, as opposed to "modem" men, to "good" men, to Christians and other nihilists-a word that in the mouth of a Zarathustra, the annihilator of morality, becomes a very pensive word -has been understood almost everywhere with the utmost innocence in the sense of those very values whose opposite Zarathustra was meant to represent-that is, as an "idealistic" type of a higher kind of man, half "saint," half "genius."

Other scholarly oxen have suspected me of Darwinism on that account.

And see

Preface [page 217] : The last thing I should promise would be to "improve" mankind. No new idols are erected by me; let the old ones learn what feet of clay mean. Overthrowing idols (my word for "ideals")-that comes closer to being part of my craft.

  • I know that übermensh is something like "beyond-man". But that's not the question and I explicitly stated it. But I'm simply wondering why did Nietzsche need him? Did he try to make his own life meaningful? Were Nietzsche's values "übermensh is good, it is what I should live my life for"? But then Nietzsche himself would be the one who "created" values for himself. And therefore his purpose, his meaning would be paradoxical.
    – rus9384
    Dec 5, 2018 at 11:23

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