Philosophical Dialogue on Morality between Buddha, Nietzsche and me
At the loop. Buddha, Nietzsche and I are standing in a rather long line to get popcorn before our movies.
Nietzsche: (Looks at watch and groans) How long is this going to take?
Buddha: Patience is a good virtue to practice.
Nietzsche: But why should I be patient? Why should I tolerate people that spend ten minutesdeciding what topping they want on their popcorn when I’m getting late for my movie?
Buddha: Because waiting a few minutes won’t hurt you. These people waited too. It is the right thing to do.
Nietzsche: (Starts pushing people in front of him) No. They have popcorn. I want that popcorn. I will get it. That is the right thing to do.
Me: (Standing in front of Nietzsche so gets pushed) Ouch!
Buddha:See, because you desired to get to your movie on time, you desired that popcorn immediately, and to fulfill that desire you hurt someone in the process.
Nietzsche: I did nothing wrong. Desire is an innate natural quality. Every human is born with it. It is what drives us to attain greatness, to reach our full potential, to live a life fully. Moreover, I would go as far as to say that desire in factmarks a strong and healthy individual.
Buddha: I disagree. I think that... (Goes on to speak but is interrupted by Nietzsche)
Nietzsche: Hey you! (Pokes me) Have you ever desired anything?
Buddha: I am not disputing the fact that it is not natural but... (Interrupted again)
Nietzsche: (Still looking at me) Have you ever followed that desire and attained the thing you desired?
Me: YesI have.
Buddha: And in doing so, do think you hurt anyone in the process? Do you think that in getting what you desired, you crushed someone else?
Me: Well, I probably did because to be the absolute best, you have to overthrow the current best.
Buddha: There you go. Now, how can you deny the fact that desire leads you astray from right thought and right action? How can say that this “innatedesire” is in fact morally just?
Me: I see your point Buddha, in that it was desire that caused me to reach to the top, crushing everyone beneath me to get there. But I have to admit, that when I did get to the top, it felt good. I felt satisfied and content.
Nietzsche: Ah! There we have it. You preach rejecting society and meditating to get inner peace and happiness. But what if you get that samepeace and contentment from following your inner desires and human instincts to get what you want?
Buddha: It is morally unjust. What if this desire requires you to kill and steal? Will you be willing to that too? How do you justify that? And where is your humility child? You becoming the best will make you superior to your fellow beings. You duty is to love them, treat them like equals; not lookdown upon them and pity them.
Nietzsche: This is exactly the flaw of your philosophy Buddha! Your humility keeps man away from greatness. What is the use of this slave morality that prizes weakness over strength and humility over greatness? What is the use of such a morality that forces man to resign himself to “good” (mocks word by showing inverted commas through fingers) when that in factleaves him to a disadvantage?
Me: But I have to say Nietzsche, no matter how strong my desire, it will never be strong enough to make stealing or taking someone’s life justifiable for me, even to get to the top.
Buddha: And this is why desire can never get you contentment. Even if it is strong enough to convince someone to kill or steal, it will always leave one with a guilty conscience because wehumans have in us, essentially good qualities. And if you want no humility and no equality, how do you propose we live? Should we let our “instincts” control us and kill, lie and deceive our fellow creatures to get what we want?
Me: I agree with Buddha in that living a life on our instincts with no proper morals will result in havoc. But since we’ve already agreed on the fact that this desire is...
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