(Please be advised that this post is part of a work in progress,
an extended essay concerning the applicability of Nietzschean philosophy to
Gorean philosophy. There is much
that has been omitted from here, and that will later be added. But, the information that has been provided gives an initial
survey of the topic and offers much for consideration and discussion.)
It seems simple enough that to be Gorean is to embrace a different notion of morality, how one determines what is right and wrong, than what most people of Earth embrace. Morality has long been a significant aspect of philosophy, at least since the time of Socrates, who is largely credited with being the first philosophy concerned with such issues. To follow a philosophy, but to exclude its morality, would be incomplete, rejecting an essential element. How can one be Gorean yet reject Gorean morality? How can one be Gorean and embrace Earth morality, sometime so different from Gorean morality?
Certainly can easily define what it means to be “Gorean” in any way they desire. It could even be defined as to exclude the necessity of Gorean morality. Yet is that not simply defining “Gorean” as to one’s own personal preferences? Is that not creating a biased definition, a more subjective than objective one? If the books clearly state that Gorean morality is different than Earth morality, then why shouldn’t Gorean morality be essential to being Gorean? And if Gorean morality can be ignored, then what other aspects of Gorean philosophy can also be ignored?
If we accept the significance of Gorean morality to being Gorean then we next need to determine and explain the nature of Gorean morality. Fortunately the books provide a lengthy passage that largely does that. In addition, there are a number of other passages in the books that support this view of Gorean morality. Yet for some strange reason, the following is not one of the passages that often gets discussed. It is not a passage that is commonly seen on Gorean websites or message boards. Why is that so? We can try to address that answer later. For now, let us present that passage.
“I wondered how men should live.
In my chair I had thought long on such matters.
knew only that I did not know the answer to this question.
Yet it is an important question, is it not?
Many wise men give wise answers to this question, and yet they do not
agree among themselves.
Only the simple, the fools,
the unreflective, the ignorant, know the answer to this question.
Perhaps to a question this
profound the answer cannot be known. Perhaps
it is a question too deep to be answered.
Yet we do know there are false answers to such a question.
This suggests that there may be a true answer, for how can there be
falsity without truth?
One thing seems clear to me,
that a morality which produces guilt and self-torture, which results in
anxiety and agony, which shortens life spans, cannot be the answer.”
Many of the competitive
moralities of Earth are thus mistaken.
But what is not mistaken?
The Goreans have very
different notions of morality from those of Earth.
Yet who is to say who is the
I envy sometimes the
simplicities of those of Earth, and those of Gor, who, creatures of their
conditioning, are untroubled by such matters, but I would not be as either of
them. If either should be correct
it is for them no more than a lucky coincidence.
They would have fallen into truth, but to take truth for granted is not
to know it. Truth not won is not
possessed. We are not entitled to truths for which we have not fought.
Do we not learn to live by
doing, as we learn to speak by speaking, to paint by painting, to build by
Those who know best how to
live, sometimes it seems to me, are those least likely to be articulate in
such skills. It is not that they
have not learned but, having learned, they find they cannot tell what they
know, for only words can be told, and what is learned in living is more than
words, other than words, beyond words. We
can say, “This building is beautiful,” but we do not learn the beauty of
the building from the words; the building it is which teaches us its beauty;
and how can one speak the beauty of the building, as it is?
Does one say that it has so many pillars, that it has a roof of a
certain type, and such? Can one
simply say, “The building is beautiful?”
Yes, one can say that but what one learns when one sees the beauty of
the building cannot be spoken; it is not words; it is the building’s beauty.
The morality of Earth, from the Gorean point of view, is a morality which would be viewed as more appropriate to slaves than free men. It would be seen in terms of the envy and resentment of inferiors for their superiors. It lays great stress on equalities and being humble and being pleasant and avoiding friction and being ingratiating and small. It is a morality in the best interest of slaves, who would be only too eager to be regarded as the equals of others. We are all the same. That is the hope of slaves; that is what it is in their interest to convince others of. The Gorean morality on the other hand is more one of inequalities, based on the assumption that individuals are not the same, but quite different in many ways. It might be said to be, though this is oversimple, a morality of masters. Guilt is almost unknown in Gorean morality, though shame and anger are not. Many Earth moralities encourage resignation and accommodation; Gorean morality is bent more toward conquest and defiance; many Earth moralities encourage tenderness, pity and gentleness, sweetness; Gorean morality encourages honor, courage, hardness and strength. To Gorean morality many Earth moralities might ask, “Why so hard?” To these Earth moralities, the Gorean ethos might ask, “Why so soft?”
I have sometimes thought that the Goreans might do well to learn something of tenderness, and, perhaps, that those of Earth might do well to learn something of hardness. But I do not know how to live. I have sought the answers, but I have not found them. The morality of slaves says, “You are equal to me; we are both the same”; the morality of masters says, “We are not equal; we are not the same; become equal to me; then we will be the same.” The morality of slaves reduces all to bondage; the morality of masters encourages all to attain, if they can, the heights of freedom. I know of no prouder, more self-reliant, more magnificent creature than the free Gorean, male or female; they are often touchy, and viciously tempered, but they are seldom petty or small; moreover they do not hate and fear their bodies or their instincts; when they restrain themselves it is a victory over titanic forces; not the consequence of a slow metabolism; but sometimes they do not restrain themselves; they do not assume that their instincts and blood are enemies and spies; saboteurs in the house of themselves; they know them and welcome them as part of their persons; they are as little suspicious of them as the cat of its cruelty, or the lion of its hunger; their desire for vengeance, their will to speak out and defend themselves, their lust, they regard as intrinsically and gloriously a portion of themselves as their hearing and their thinking. Many Earth moralities make people little; the object of Gorean morality, for all its faults, is to make people free and great. These objectives are quite different it is clear to see. Accordingly, one would expect that the implementing moralities would, also, be considerably different.”
(Marauders of Gor, p.7-9)
What is the context of this passage? At the start of Marauders of Gor, Tarl Cabot is sitting alone in the great hall within his residence in Port Kar. The left side of his body is paralyzed, an effect of wounds he suffered at the edge of the northern forests, possibility caused by poison. He begins thinking about how a person should live, something he has done often while sitting in this chair after his paralyzation. He then compares the moralities of Gor to those of Earth.
If we examine this passage, we see that Norman is stating that “many” Earth moralities, but not all, are “slave moralities.” He does not specifically identify which Earth moralities fall into that category but explains generalities about such moralities. Thus, one can examine for oneself which Earth moralities meet the conditions that Norman has outlined. In addition, Norman does not specifically identify the nature of Gorean morality, again providing generalities so that one can identify on their own to what he refers. Are the answers difficult? Can one easily identify the missing pieces? Has Norman provided sufficient clues to this puzzle?
To some individuals, the concepts within the above passage will seem
very familiar. They will resonate
within certain people, those who have a familiarity with the source material.
Thus, the answers will be quite obvious to them.
For others, who lack knowledge of the source material, the answers will
be more difficult to discern. And
there is a good chance that one might come to an incorrect conclusion.
Especially as most people on Earth are unfamiliar with certain types of
morality, and thus would not readily think of those unknown moralities as
This is one possible reason why this passage is rarely discussed online. For if numerous people are unsure as to the meaning of the passage, they may not wish to show their ignorance and raise the issue. There often seems to be a reluctance to ask questions, and thus evidence that one may not know something. Especially if such individuals claim that they are “Gorean.” For if they claim to be “Gorean,” but cannot identify what Gorean morality entails, then asking questions could reflect poorly on their claim to be “Gorean.”
Master morality vs. slave morality. Hardness vs. softness. Inequality vs equality. Resentment. Cruelty. These terms and concepts did not originate with Norman. In fact, Norman essentially paraphrased some key elements from the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, a famous and controversial German philosopher of the nineteenth century. So, to better understand what Norman intended, one needs to examine Nietzsche’s view in this area. Norman did not add to or alter Nietzsche’s views in the above passage. Thus, it appears he is adopting Nietzsche’s beliefs concerning morality for Gor.
If one feels Nietzsche is irrelevant to a discussion of Gorean morality, then one must address the reasons why Norman clearly paraphrased Nietzsche’s views. Why would Norman do so if he did not intend to rely on Nietzsche’s views? Where is the evidence that Norman’s views differ from Nietzsche in this regard? If it does differ, how does it then differ from Nietzsche? It is only logical that if Norman paraphrased Nietzsche when discussing Gorean morality, then Norman intended to use Nietzsche’s view on morality to explain Gorean morality. And if one delves deeper into the subject, one will find much support for this proposition within the Gor novels.
Although the beginnings of Nietzsche’s views on morality can be found in his earlier works, such as Daybreak and Human, All Too Human, it first was stated in full within Beyond Good and Evil and then later expanded in On the Genealogy of Morals. It is these two later books that address “master morality” and “slave morality.” Nietzsche praised master morality and saw slave morality as detrimental to mankind. At its simplest, master morality is based on virtue ethics and is best exemplified by the ancient Athenian Greeks. Slave morality is based on action-centered/rules based morality and derives from feelings of resentment against superiors, oppressors and masters. It is best exemplified by Christianity, Judaism and Kant.
So, let us now read a sampling of some quotes from Nietzsche concerning such morality. This will then give us some understanding of Nietzsche’s views and how they apply to Gorean morality.
Beyond Good & Evil
by Friedrich Nietzsche
inversion of values (which includes using the word ‘poor’ as synonymous
with ‘holy’ and ‘friend’) constitutes the significance of the Jewish
people: they mark the beginning of the slave rebellion in morals.” (Part 5, Chapter 195)
“In the beginning, the
noble caste was always the barbarian caste: their predominance did not lie
mainly in physical strength but in strength of the soul—they were more whole
human beings (which also means, at every level, ‘more whole beasts’).
(Part 9, Chapter 257)
“Their fundamental faith
simply has to be that society must not exist for society’s sake but only as
the foundation and scaffolding on which a choice type of being is able to
raise itself to its higher task and to a higher state of being---…”
(Part 9, Chapter 258)
“There are master morality
and slave morality—I add immediately that in all the higher and more mixed
cultures there also appear attempts at mediation between these two moralities,
and yet more often the interpenetration and mutual misunderstandings of both,
and at times they occur directly alongside each other—even in the same human
being, within a single soul. The
moral discrimination of values has originated either among a ruling group
whose consciousness of its difference from the ruled group was accompanied by
delight—or among the ruled, the slaves and dependents of every degree.”
“In the first case, when
the ruling group determines what is ‘good,’ these exalted, proud states of
the soul are experienced as conferring distinction and determining the order
of rank. The noble human being
separates from himself those in whom the opposite of such exalted, proud
states finds expression: he despises them.
It should be noted immediately that in this first type of morality the
opposition of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ means approximately the same as
‘noble’ and ‘contemptible.’ (The
opposition of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ has a different origin.)
One feels contempt for the cowardly, the anxious, the petty, those
intent on narrow utility; also for the suspicious with their unfree glances,
those who humble themselves, the doglike people who allow themselves to be
maltreated, the begging flatterers, above all the liars; it is part of the
fundamental faith of all aristocrats that the common people lie.
‘We truthful ones’—thus the nobility of ancient Greece referred
to itself.” (Part
9, Chapter 260)
is obvious that moral designations were everywhere first applied to human
beings and only later, derivatively, to actions.” (Part 9, Chapter 260)
“The noble type of man experiences itself as determining
values; it does not need approval; it judges, ‘what is harmful to me is
harmful in itself’; it knows itself to be that which first accords honor to
things; it is value creating. Everything
it knows as part of itself it honors; such a morality is self-glorification. In
the foreground there is the feeling of fullness, of power that seeks to
overflow, the happiness of high tension, the consciousness of wealth that
would give and bestow: the noble human being, too, helps the unfortunate, but
not, or almost not, from pity, but prompted more by an urge begotten by excess
of power. The noble human being
honors himself as one who is powerful, also as one who has power over himself,
who knows how to speak and be silent, who delights in being severe and hard
with himself and respects all severity and hardness.”
9, Chapter 260)
is the powerful who understand how to honor; this is their art, their realm of
invention. The profound reverence
for age and tradition—all law rests on this double reverence—the faith and
prejudice in favor of ancestors and disfavor of those yet to come are typical
of the morality of the powerful; and when the men of ‘modern ideas,’
conversely, believe almost instinctively in ‘progress’ and ‘the
future’ and more and more lack respect for age, this in itself would
sufficiently betray the ignoble origin of these ‘ideas.’” (Part 9, Chapter 260)
to slave morality, those who are ‘evil’ thus inspire fear; according to
master morality it is precisely those who are ‘good’ that inspire, and
wish to inspire fear, while the ‘bad’ are felt to be contemptible.” (Part 9, Chapter 260)
“Wherever slave morality becomes preponderant, language tends to bring the words ‘good’ and ‘stupid’ closer together.” (Part 9, Chapter 260)
Genealogy of Morals by
certain amount of historical and philological training together with a native
fastidiousness in matters of psychology, before long transformed this problem
into another, to wit, “Under what conditions did man construct the value
judgments good and evil?” And
what is their intrinsic worth? Have
they thus far benefited or retarded mankind?
Do they betoken misery, curtailment, degeneracy or, on the contrary,
power, fullness of being, energy, courage in the face of life, and confidence
in the future?” (Preface, Chapter
that it was the Jews who started the slave revolt in morals; a revolt with two
millenia of history behind it, which we have lost sight of today simply
because it has triumphed so completely.” (First
Essay, Chapter VII)
what is all this talk about nobler values?
Let us face facts: the people have triumphed—or the slaves, the mob,
the herd, whatever you wish to call them—and if the Jews brought it about,
then no nation ever had a more universal mission on this earth.
The lords are a thing of the past, and the ethics of the common man is
completely triumphant.” (First
Essay, Chapter VIII)
“The slave revolt in morals
begins by rancor turning creative and giving birth to values—the rancor of
beings who, deprived of the direct outlet of action, compensate by an
imaginary vengeance.” (First
Essay, Chapter VIII)
truly noble morality grows out of triumphant self-affirmation.” (First
Essay, Chapter VIII)
ethics, on the other hand, begins by saying no to an ‘outside,’ an
‘other,’ a non-self, and that no is its creative act.
This reversal of direction of the evaluating look, this invariable
looking outward instead of inward, is a fundamental feature of rancor.
Slave ethics requires for its inception a sphere different from and
hostile to its own. Physiologically
speaking, it requires an outside stimulus in order to act at all; all its
action is reaction. The opposite
is true of aristocratic valuations; such values grow and act spontaneously,
seeking out their contraries only in order to affirm themselves even more
gratefully and delightedly. Here
the negative concepts, humble, base, bad, are late, pallid counterparts of the
positive, intense and passionate credo, ‘We noble, good, beautiful, happy
ones.’” (First Essay, Chapter
the noble lives before his own conscience with confidence and frankness (gennaios
“nobly bred” emphasizes the nuance “truthful” and perhaps also
“ingenuous”), the rancorous person is neither truthful nor ingenuous nor
honest and forthright with himself. His
soul squints; his mind loves hide-outs, secret paths, and back doors;
everything that is hidden seems to him his own world, his security, his
comfort; he is expert in silence, in long memory, in waiting, in provisional
self-depreciation, and in self-humiliation.” (First
Essay, Chapter X)
a noble man feels resentment, it is absorbed in his instantaneous reaction and
therefore does not poison him. Moreover,
in countless cases where we might expect it, it never arises, while with weak
and impotent people it occurs without fail.” (First
Essay, Chapter X)
exact opposite is true of the noble-minded, who spontaneously creates the
notion good, and later derives from it the conception of the bad.
How ill-matched these two concepts look, placed side by side: the bad
of noble origin, and the evil that has risen out of the cauldron of unquenched
hatred! The first is a
by-product, a complementary color, almost an afterthought; the second is the
beginning, the original creative act of slave ethics.” (First
Essay, Chapter XI)
neither is the conception of good the same in both cases, as we soon find out
when we ask ourselves who it is that is really evil according to the code of
rancor. The answer is: precisely
the good one of the opposite code, that is reenvisaged by the poisonous eye of
resentment.” (First Essay, Chapter XI)
Romans were the strongest and most noble people who ever lived.
Every vestige of them, every least inscription, is a sheer delight,
provided we are able to read the spirit behind the writing.“ (First Essay, Chapter XVI)
Now, some of the above quotes may seem difficult to comprehend. Nietzsche is not the easiest of philosophers to understand, for several different reasons. So, it can be beneficial to rely on other philosophers to assist in deciphering the meaning of Nietzsche’s words, helping to build our comprehension. So, let us present another sampling of quotes which can hopefully benefit our understanding.
Nietzsche Really Said by Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins (Schocken
watchword of Nietzsche’s ethics comes, predictably, from the ancients, in
this case from the Greek poet, Pindar (522-438 B.C.E.).
Nietzsche writes, over and over again, ‘Become who you are!” (Page
of us, Nietzsche says, has a unique set of virtues, but by thinking that what
we really are is defined by a set of general rules or principles (categorical
imperatives), we deny that uniqueness and sacrifice those virtues to the bland
and anonymous category of ‘being a good person.” (Page
“It is not that Nietzsche
wants to defend immorality but rather that he wants to defend the idea of
human excellence that defines his ethics.”
live a good life one must live in a great city’ was a platitude among the
ancients.” (Page 107)
to put the matter simply, is more like Aristotle than like Kant.
In contemporary terminology, he defends an ethics of virtue rather than
an ethics of rational principles or obligations.” (Page
Nietzsche sometimes condemns as “herd morality” he also describes as
“slave morality,” a morality fit for slaves and servants.” (Page
in the singular sense presented in the Bible and defended by Kant, is slave
morality. In its most crude forms it consists of general principles
imposed from above (by the rulers or by God) that yoke and constrain the
individual. In its subtler and
more sophisticated forms, that external authority is relocated internally—in
the faculty of reason, for example. But
what is most characteristic of Morality in either its crude or its
sophisticated forms is that it is mainly prohibitive and constraining rather
than inspiring.” (Page 108-9)
“Master morality, by
contrast, is an ethics of virtue, an ethics in which personal excellence is
excellence is precisely what makes one happy, according to both Nietzsche and
Aristotle.” (Page 109)
do not like themselves, so the idea of becoming who you are is not
particularly appealing.” (Page 110)
morality takes as its watchword “Become who you are,” and whether or not
one turns out to be like anyone else, or even whether or not one is acceptable
to others, are matters of no concern.” (Page
it simply, one might summarize master morality as “being myself, and getting
what I want,” with the understanding that what one is and what one wants may
be quite refined and noble. (To
interpret “getting what I want” as an expression of selfishness reflects
an impoverishment of desire, a sure sign of slave morality.)
Not getting what one wants is bad, not necessarily in any larger sense
(such as causing disastrous consequences for the community, or violating
God’s laws and inviting divine retribution) but simply because it falls
short of one’s own aspirations and ideals.” (Page
“For the slaves, by contrast, getting what one wants is just too difficult, too unlikely, too implausible. Slaves do not like themselves, so the idea of becoming who you are is not particularly appealing.” (Page 110)
one might say that the perspective of master morality is in fact an aesthetic
perspective. It has to do with what is beautiful and excellent rather than
what is right or obligatory. Slave
morality, by contrast, has only to do with good and evil; aesthetic
considerations are ruled out, and the ominousness of evil dominates the
conversation.” (Page 110-111)
“In slave morality, the
simple distinction between good and bad gets replaced by the metaphysical
distinction between good and evil.”
“The contrast between
slave morality and master morality ultimately comes down to this emotional
difference: that the slave nurtures resentment until it ‘poisons’ him,
while the master, noble and self-secure, expresses his feelings and
emphasis on nobility and resentment in his account of master and slave
morality is an attempt to stress character, motivation, and virtue (and with
them, tradition and culture) above all else in ethics.
A Master morality of nobility is an expression of good, strong
“But one might say that the
perspective of master morality is in fact an aesthetic perspective.
It has to do with what is beautiful and excellent rather than what is
right or obligatory. Slave morality, by contrast, has only to do with good and
evil; aesthetic considerations are ruled out, and the ominousness of evil
dominates the conversation.” (Page
Living With Nietzsche: What the Great "Immoralist" Has to Teach Us by Robert C. Solomon (Oxford University Press 2003)
"Slavish values tend to deny joy and celebrate seriousness, decry risk and danger and emphasize security. They encourage cautious reflection and reject or demean passion and 'instinct.' In short, they "say 'no' to life." (Page 21)
"Nietzsche's theory of morality is suggested in his 'middle works" Daybreak and Gay Science but first fully spelled out in Beyond Good and Evil (1886) and, especially, in his On the Genealogy of Morals (1887)." (Page 25)
"He contends that what we call 'morality' originated among the miserable slaves, the Lumpenproletariat of the ancient world (that is, the lowest classes of society, a term introduced by Marx.) Morality continues to be motivated by the servile and resentful emotions of those who are 'poor in spirit' and feel themselves to be inferior. 'Morality,' however brilliantly rationalized by Immanuel Kant as the dictates of Practical Reason or by the utilitarians as 'greatest good for the greatest number,' is essentially the devious strategy of the weak to gain some advantage (or at least not be at a disadvantage) vis-à-vis the strong." (Page 25-26)
"He contrasts slave morality with what he variously calls 'noble' and 'master' morality, which he presents much more positively." (Page 44)
"Slave morality, according to Nietzsche, is obsessed with the category of evil, and its virtues are for the most part banal and mere obedience." (Page 52)
"The core claim of virtue ethics is the importance of moral character and virtues of character in determining moral worth." (Page 54)
"An action performed out of noble sentiments is a noble action, even if the act itself turns out to be rather insignificant and inconsequential. An action expressing vicious sentiments will be vicious, even if (through error in judgment, by chance or by some sublime act of fate) it turns out to have benign consequences." (Page 54)
"Resentment, for example, is above all an emotion obsessed with power and status-or rather, with the comparative lack of them. An ethics based on resentment, then, would strive ultimately to satisfy the resentment, even at the expense of pleasure and happiness." (Page 55-56)
"The emotions, according to Nietzsche, can be divided into two categories. In Twilight, he famously refers to these as the 'life-enhancing' and the 'life-stultifying' passions." (Page 81-82)
"Among those passions Nietzsche recognizes as 'life-stultifying,' the one which he by far spends most of his energy attacking is the singularly malevolent emotion of resentment, which he calls ressentiment." (Page 89)
"Slave morality, he tells us, is a defensive reaction against the values of the more powerful, a reaction that is born of resentment." (Page 89)
"Resentment is most obviously directed against others (as opposed to love and pity, for instance), but unlike hatred and contempt, for instance, it does so from a marked perspective of inferiority. Rather than taking responsibility for one's own inferior position, resentment always projects the responsibility onto other people (or groups or institutions). Simply stated, resentment is a vitriolic emotion that is always aimed outward and whose presupposition is one's own sense of oppression or inferiority." (Page 90)
"The ancient Hebrews and then the early Christians, Nietzsche argues, simmered with resentment against their ancient masters and concocted a fabulous philosophical strategy. Instead of seeing themselves as failures in the competition for wealth and power, they turned the tables ('revalued') their values and turned their resentment into self-righteousness. Morality is the product of this self-righteous resentment, which is not nearly so concerned with living the good life as it is with chastising those who do live it." (Page 90)
"Resentment undermines claims to authority, according to Nietzsche, because it is essentially pathetic. It is an expression of weakness and impotence. Nietzsche is against resentment because it is an emotion of the weak that the strong and powerful do not and cannot feel." (Page 92)
"Resentment is an emotion that does not promote personal excellent but rather dwells on competitive strategy and thwarting others. It does not do what a virtue or a proper motive ought to do-fore Nietzsche as for Aristotle-and that is to inspire excellence and self-confidence in both oneself and others." (Page 92)
"What is wrong with resentment is that it interferes with the good life as Nietzsche conceives of it, a life of rich 'inner' experience as opposed to a life of reaction against external threats and slights. It is thus a life-demeaning and life-stultifying emotion." (Page 101)
"I said that resentment is an emotion that is distinguished, first of all, by its concern and involvement with power. It is the self-recognition of one's own inferiority, and a desperate attempt nevertheless to salvage or create what power one can. Resentment is life-stultifying because it focuses all of one's energy on this salvage attempt." (Page 102)
"But physical and military prowess is not the 'power" that Nietzsche is endorsing,…" (Page 105)
"Buts as so often in Nietzsche, morality, strength, and weakness get viewed in aesthetic terms." (Page 106)
In Birth of Tragedy, he says that the Greeks were 'beautiful' because they had the strength to endure their suffering and render it creative." (Page 106)
"What was 'beautiful' and 'noble' in the Greeks was their 'self-overcoming,' not their blithe self-confidence." (Page 106)
"Slaves, by contrast, are 'ugly' because they are banal and boring. Their demeanor is servile and timid. They protect themselves with humorless, submissive smiles, withour character." (Page 106)
"Nietzsche insisted instead that life is not meaningless. Life is good, even if it is filled with suffering. The Greeks knew this. That is why, in Nietzsche's words, 'they were so beautiful.' (Page 117)
"But what is critical to an ethics of practice is not the absence of rules; it is rather the overriding importance of the concept of excellence or virtue (arête)." (Page 122)
"Nietzsche's ethics, like Aristotle's, can best be classified in introductory ethics readers as an ethics of 'self-realization.' 'Become who you are' is the slogan in the middle writings: the telos of the Ubermensch serves as an ideal from Thus Spake Zarathustra on. Indeed, who is the Ubermensch if not Aristotle's megalopsychos, 'the great-souled man' from whom Nietzsche even borrows much of his master-type' terminology. He is the ideal who 'deserves and claims great things.'" (Page 129-30)
"The rejection of bourgeois morality does not dictate cruelty but rather places an emphasis on excellence. The will to power is not Reich but Macht and not supremacy but superiority." (Page 130)
"Though Nietzsche may shock us with his elitist and warrior language, the Ubermenschen near to his heart are his aesthetic comrades, 'philosophers, saints and artists.' The unspoken but always present thesis is this: It is in the romantic practice of artistic creativity that modern excellence can be achieved and in an exquisite sense of personal taste and experience that it is realized." (Page 130-31)
"Elitism is not itself an ethics. Indeed, I think both Aristotle and Nietzsche might well object to it as such. It is rather the presupposition that people's talents and abilities differ. It is beginning with what is the case." (Page 131)
"The purpose of an ethics is to maximize people's potential, to encourage the most and best from all of them, but more by far from the best of them." (Page 131)
"It is the simple recognition that true talents (and the cultures that encourage their development) are very rare. It is also the recognition that any universal rule-however ingeniously formulated and equally applied-will be disadvantageous to someone, especially if it is the development of artistic talent and not politics that we have in mind. It is also an enormous waste as well as unfair (both authors worry more about the former than the latter) for the strong to be limited by the weak, the productive limited by the unproductive, the creative limited by the uncreative." (Page 131)
"It will not do to mask the point by saying that elitism does not treat people unequally, only differently. It presumes inequality from the outset and defends it by appeal to the larger picture. Aristotle does this by appeal to the well-being of the city-state and the natural order of things, Nietzsche by a more abstract but very modern romantic appeal to human creativity." (Page 131)
"What is essential to this view of ethics-let us not call it elitist ethics but rather an ethics of virtue, areteic ethics-is that the emphasis is wholly on excellence, a teleological conception. The virtues are both conducive to and constitutive of rich, aesthetic experience, and it is such experience that justifies both the virtues and the life that embraces them." (Page 131)
"What counts for much less is obedience of rules, laws, and principles, for one can be wholly obedient and also dull, unproductive, unimaginative, and a philistine." (Page 131)
"He advocated a very different way of thinking about ethics, one that encouraged living life to the fullest and cultivating a rich inner life." (Page 137)
"What is ultimately good, according to this viewpoint, is virtuous character, a person with the right virtues, a person with integrity or what Nietzsche calls 'nobility.'" (Page 137)
"There is much they share in common, beginning with the warrior culture that Aristotle lived in and Nietzsche fantasized through his reading of the Greeks. Thus courage, for both of them, is the chief virtue, the one that provides something for all of the others." (Page 139)
"Another critical shared feature, natural to the Greek arête but lost in the translation to German Tugend or English virtue, is the linkage between virtue and excellence, that is, extraordinary achievement rather than merely appropriate behavior. Nietzsche, like Aristotle, is interested in the 'great-souled man,' the hero-aristocrat, not just 'being a good person.'" (Page 139)
"Philosophically, what is of particular interest is that neither of their accounts of the virtues makes very much use of the supposedly basic distinction between 'moral' and non-moral' virtues." (Page 139)
".., I would suggest we follow Swanton, who defines a virtue as "a trait-specifically a human excellence whose possession tends to enable, facilitate, make natural the possessor's promoting, expressing, honoring, and appreciating value; or enhancing, expressing, honoring or appreciating valuable objects or states of affairs which are valuable." The emphasis on excellent is important because I would read Nietzsche as insisting that no virtue is good 'in itself,' but only as it contributes to something else of value, such as personal style and character, the production of beauty, an ecstatic personal experience, or the cultural enrichment of society." (Page 140)
"It is unfortunate, perhaps, that although Nietzsche clearly wants to defend aesthetic and artistic values and virtues, he so enjoys warrior-like metaphors that his perspective is easily lost or misread as something brutal and cruel." (Page 140)
"But more generally, Nietzsche defends a conception of ethics that has not (and had not) been adequately appreciated, either in contemporary ethics or in nineteenth-century German philosophy. And that is an ethics that focuses on the virtues and excellence, and the aesthetic virtues and excellences in particular." (Page 142)
"I have already suggested that courage, for Nietzsche as for Aristotle, serves as a key virtue and something of a prototype for all of the virtues. But for Nietzsche as for Aristotle, courage is not limited to or for that matter mainly concerned with battlefield bravery that both of them take as their apparent paradigm (or, in Nietzsche's case, as his most prevalent source of metaphors). There is, as I mentioned, the courage of one's convictions, which in the case of iconoclast Nietzsche was certainly more of a challenge than for good-old-boy Aristotle. There is the courage of facing up to life, …" (Page 148)
"Indeed, one tempting way to summarize Nietzsche's entire ethics is to say, like Confucius, that all moral values become aesthetic values, and one should look at one's life, as at the world, through aesthetic lenses, as 'a work of art.'" (Page 163)
"To see the world as beautiful, despite suffering, even because of suffering, remains one of his most explicit aspirations throughout his philosophy and one that he would certainly urge upon us." (Page 163)
"Nietzsche's insistence on 'hardness,' too, is misunderstood, typically as part of his dubious campaign against compassion and pity. But, Nietzsche put a strong emphasis on self-discipline." (Page 170)
The above is a lot of material to digest. But, after a careful examination and analysis of this information, comparing it to Gorean philosophy and morality, one will see the obvious applicability. And one will better comprehend what it means to be Gorean. Simply, Gorean morality is a type of virtue ethics, a master morality.
Here are some additional quotes from the Gor books that support these ideas on Gorean morality.