Roger Kimball’s Lazy and Banal Critique of Nietzsche

I just finished over half of this and I had to stop after he kept going on about Nietzsche’s personal life because it no longer seemed like this man had anything of value to actually say in his supposed critique. Needless to say, I have never been so disappointed by a supposed “critique” of Nietzsche. I had initially thought that this man would bring-up a few valid points because he pointed out Nietzsche’s misogyny, but the rest of it was inept and pathetic. Roger Kimball serves as a lengthy list of “critics” of Nietzsche who constantly harp on the man’s life as a way of pretending they know what they’re talking about when criticizing Nietzsche. Even more unsurprising, the disingenuous claim that Nietzsche constantly contradicted himself.

Perhaps that will seem harsh, but as a personal pro-tip to readers: if someone claims that all you need to know about a person’s life is their background history to understand their philosophy, they’re lying to you. This is borne from the callous, lazy, and banal thinking of people who believe the entire life of a person and their thinking capabilities can be defined and summarized by how their contemporaries viewed them. The reason this is false is actually quite simple and it is the very reason why I call such criticisms of Nietzsche out as lazy. The simple fact is that people can take disparate ideas that the majority of others haven’t thought of connecting and reshape them in a way that is relatively unique and sometimes devoid of any comparison to contemporary beliefs. You as a reader have surely at least thought of or done this in your lifetime. You don’t need me to give you an example of how you thought of an idea that was different from the contemporary view of any particular concept or set of beliefs. You also don’t need me to explain to you how difficult it can be to explain this unique concept that you may have wanted to share with people who don’t have a solid foundation to compare it; precisely because it is new. Likewise, your experience of learning a new concept that was devoid of any frame of reference in your contemporary life, you had to take time to fully understand it. This is what we all do when we thirst for knowledge, try to come-up with fun or goofy ideas for the sake of it, or have curiosity for the world around us. If you ruminate and allow ideas to diffuse and recontextualize themselves in your mind and you do not share these thoughts with anyone, how is it fair that the defined limits and social boundaries of your contemporary life should determine your interest in this unique concept of yours when the society that you live in has little to do with your cultivation of the idea? Even if the concepts came from the cause-and-effect of your personal life and its social customs, there are no parameters or designated limits to how you can think over this idea or how you wish to apply it, nor can anyone definitively say what inspired your idea unless you voluntarily share the particular life experience that you view as the cause. In short, summarizing your entire life experience is actually meaningless in understanding your pursuit of knowledge unless people can find the genuine causal factors based on hard evidence or you yourself share your values and why you have them.

What these supposed “critics” of Nietzsche invariably do is commit to the fallacy of ad hominem under the pretense of appearing reasonable. They talk about his sickness, his life growing up, his career, and his eventual mental breakdown and death. They express no actual facts or what Nietzsche’s personal interests were that may have led him to his philosophical views. Note the most important aspect of critiquing philosophy that they do not do: they do not ever attempt to critique the concepts in Nietzsche’s works. They use his own life as an anecdote for the appearance of having “refuted” him while also contending that they didn’t even research whether the accusations about his personal life are true or not. They do everything to ignore his actual philosophical works. They quote-mine and claim that he contradicted himself while never, ever showing any evidence that he did so. They do not attempt to read the context of what he wrote within his written works. It’s actually quite funny to me that these so-called “critics” argue Nietzsche constantly contradicted himself, presume without evidence that he was wrong about Christianity, make aspersions about his personal life that they admit they were too lazy to research, and curiously, they don’t realize that this sort of vain criticism about Nietzsche contradicting himself could more strongly apply to their beloved Christ figure. I can’t help but find it oddly fascinating that Nietzsche “contradicted himself” and yet when Jesus Christ contradicts himself then he’s merely speaking in “parables” and people are somehow too stupid for 2000 years to understand the “true meaning” of them. If it is worth anything, from my reading of Nietzsche, he mostly didn’t contradict himself as his philosophy was trying to be open-ended in solving the problem of nihilism and he tackled that self-imposed challenge from different angles. Likewise, his character of Zarathustra is an idealized character for his philosophical fantasy novel and separate from his own personal views; for example, while he did criticize Buddhism, he ultimately found it to be a positive life philosophy while he portrayed Zarathustra as utterly repudiating it.

The banality of these critiques by so-called Nietzsche “critics” are perhaps the saddest part. Lazy, insipid, always assuming Christianity is true without evidence and never bringing up any aphorisms of Nietzsche where he critiques the supernatural aspects of Christianity, and having nothing of genuine value to say which is why they always have to add a lengthy, pernicious ad hominem attempting to reduce his philosophy by completely ignoring it to talk about his tragic life over some feigned sympathy after maliciously quote-mining him. Since they like quote-mining him and presenting him in their infantilized version of evil, allow me to show lengthy quotes of their beloved savior figure they keep glorifying and present to you all precisely what motivates these malicious, insipid “critiques” of Nietzsche:

Luke 14:26-33 King James Version (KJV)

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.[1]


2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 King James Version (KJV)

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.[2]


In short, hatred is what motivates the defense of the cult of Jesus Christ. Hatred is what motivates their lazy assumptions that Christianity is truth or in anyway a good moral system to live by. Hatred is what motivates them to ignore the rape of their own children by their own Christian priests. Their hatred of Nietzsche is why they patronizingly reference his tragic life and ignore his actual philosophy. Just like the hateful, narcissistic ravings of their glorified child rape cult that promote forgiving child rape on the basis that everyone is born a sinner and can be forgiven of all sins; hatred is what motives these lazy conservatives to vilify Nietzsche. And hatred is why they will continue to ignore Nietzsche’s critiques and constantly parrot the lie that their cult of child rape doesn’t have any genuine problems as a direct result of the hateful, narcissistic ravings of a deluded megalomaniac from 2000 years ago. Even at the expense of violence being perpetuated upon their own children.

Do you believe that was heavy-handed to say? Well, think about this: maybe if they had actually read Nietzsche and disengaged from a cult of child rape, there would potentially be less victims. But, they presumed it was truth without evidence, they defended it without thinking why they believed in it, and the victims grew in number due to the continued defense of their child rape cult. Their continued defense at this point will result in more victims and their faith is precisely the reason that they slander Nietzsche and ignored a philosophy that could have shown them reasons why their faith was problematic. And it is clear this is what the Nietzsche “critics” do, because they never give a hint of reason why Christianity should be defended in the first place and never show evidence that they’ve read The Anti-Christ or the most insightful portions of his other works. It’s just quote-mining, regurgitating the same tripe, and promoting their deluded child rape cult as the answer to life’s problems. They do not want to think about it and I swear, every time, they never once put any effort or examination of even questioning their religious faith. That is a major red-flag that they’ve never genuinely made the effort to read Nietzsche, which is why they parrot the “he contradicted himself” line, because the vast majority of his criticisms throughout his entire corpus was critiquing the doctrinal problems, apologetic defenses, and real-life application of faith-based practices with Christianity as a major focus. They were too lazy to make the effort and now they try to claim their own children getting raped by their priests is not the fault of their religious teachings that their own holy book and their own religious savior explicitly state to be founded upon hatred.  It goes to show what the true standards that the Last Men whom Nietzsche warned about are: they are the lazy, incurious minds who never try to question the morals they’ve been taught to live by. They never seek to grow or change and no matter what, whenever anyone points out the stupidity of their moral framework, they see it merely as a challenge. They refuse to the umpteenth degree to ever question their morality. They don’t even care if their own children are being harmed by it. To hate them would mean to behave similarly to their narcissistic, megalomaniac of a savior. This is why Nietzsche viewed them as a herd and referred to them as rabble. They have the right to dwarf their minds and ignore all criticisms to the contrary for their narcissistic self-glorification; that’s their decision and they live the consequences of it. We all live in a free society and it is wrong to force change upon them. We have the right to separate ourselves from their herd and work to elevate ourselves by having genuine curiosity, a passion for life, and a desire to improve ourselves by embracing meaningful pursuits. We criticize when necessary whenever our own freedoms are being trampled upon by their narcissistic herd mentality to challenge their repulsive beliefs. That’s all.

*Correction: My fault for not triple-checking, the damn auto-correct set “ad hominem” to ” ad hominin” so my apologies about that. 

Works Cited

  1. [1] “BibleGateway.” Bible Gateway, Bible Gateway Blog, 14:25-33&version=KJV.


  1. [2] “BibleGateway.” 2 Thessalonians 1 KJV – – Bible Gateway, Thessalonians 1&version=KJV.

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