Nietzsche on Truth and Lie

Friedrich Nietzsche considered the problem of the truth lying in the extra-moral sense. In fact, Nietzsche explored the question from different points of view. Moreover, Nietzsche had different opinions regarding lie and truth. Friedrich Nietzsche presented lie to be the natural aspect of the human’s life as he noticed that people use lie in conditions when they are weak and powerless. Moreover, Nietzsche concluded that life without lying is boring. Nietzsche also tried to solve the ambiguity of the true and false values and to explain the truth and the deceit.

Firstly, any notion has axiological grounding. On the other hand, lie is a natural behavior of the human. Lie is defined as a flaw or the distortion of the truth. Thus, the definition of lie implies the existence of the truth that is distorted by the deceit. Actually, lie is non-existent when the person does not know the truth. Such a statement can be confusing, however, the person is not considered to be lying, when he/she is mistaken.

Secondly, lie is a form of self-defense that people use when they do not have power. What is important, truth is one of the basic moral virtues; truth is incorporated in human’s life based on the Christian principle “do not lie”. Truthfulness became a long-term habit for the people who are weak and are under the pressure of authority. Genuine (non-trivial) veracity involves the recognition of the fact that a lie is closely linked to human’s life.


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Moreover, the life without lie is boring. In fact, every human has personal truth; however, there is only one unique verity in the world. If the people are deprived from the opportunity to lie, their life will turn into a nightmare. Surprisingly, lie can save and at the same time, it can create a problem that is closely linked to human existence. Moreover, life without lying is monotonous and boring. In fact, the smallest dose of lie cab bring a lot of romanticism. Is the dream a lie? A fantasy? People enjoy lying much more than telling the truth.

Thus, such a radical thought reverses the traditional dichotomy of true-false using one gesture, which is one of the fundamental philosophies of the prejudice. However, Lying is not justified by the morality principles; lie appears to acquire the ontological significance. Lie is removed from the bottom-infernal layer of the culture as it rises to a higher level.  A lie is fundamental and significant. Nietzsche does not assert that lie has the value just like the true has worth; such thinking would be involve the upside down inversion of values. Nietzsche totally disregards the value of lie, but defines deceit to be inseparable from life. The following ideas make Nietzsche to distinguish between the true and false values. Lying does not have intrinsic value, but only valuable as a way of living.

Thirdly, there is false and true honesty, but moral people always lie that makes the notion of truth and falsehood extremely ambiguous. Such an ambiguity is incorporated in the works of Nietzsche. On the one hand, Nietzsche strongly condemns the false morality, false religion, false metaphysics, and distinguishes between false and true values. On the other hand, Nietzsche defines lie as the state of the world and a way for people to survive.

In order to get rid of the ambiguity, Nietzsche concludes that life is made up of illusions and the most dangerous of them is the illusion of truth. Such a statement means that the ambiguity could only reduced by linking the lie and truth. Such an idea is evident from the following statement: “the term truth is absurd”. The whole work is explained by the true-false statements that emphasized the relationship between the two terms. Nothing is true or false, as the truth and lie are correlated, and they do not have an objective criterion for the difference.

Thus, Nietzsche considers the formation of the whole culture as the evolution of the “will to power”. In fact, deception occurs even in the animal world, as the adaptive function of biological species. Lying is a way of self-preservation for the weak individuals.

In addition, the ability to lie reaches the highest development of the intellect in the human community. Deceit, flattery, secret evil masked by habit, hypocrisy present the natural manifestation of human nature. Nietzsche believes the reasons why the pure desire for truth could appear are incomprehensible. Thanks to the high development of intellect, the person lives in illusion and dreams most of the life. Truth and misleading should not include the content of knowledge and the personal attitude in their assessment. Nietzsche understands the truths as having moral assessment; truth is not only true, but also right, honest and fair. The opposite of truth is a lie.

To sum up, Nietzsche provided special importance to the fact that time needed artistic explanations not the scientific ones. Nietzsche tried to understand life and set new parameters the estimates of living. For this purpose, it was necessary to redraw the evaluation line that separates the truth and lie. So, Friedrich Nietzsche tried to explain the truth as something honest and right, however, sometimes people need to lie in order to make life more interesting. People need to create illusions. People need to lie when they do not have enough power as they use it to defend themselves.

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