Nietzsche, Value and the Invention of Free Will
In his Genealogy of Morality, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that the gods were created by mankind to give meaning to suffering. In other words, Nietzsche suggests that morality, religion, ethical philosophy, economics, politics and values were all the result of man coming to terms with the ultimately unknown reason for its existence within a world that provided very little clues. Nietzsche saw it was time to move beyond a religious conception of morality after he determined that morality and its values underwent an evolutionary trajectory, its origins located within the dim past in poorly understood human psychology. Nietzsche concluded that it would be a mistake to consider his modern European Christian world of the late 19th century he lived in – was near the end of history, existing only to wait for the Second Coming of Christ. To continue within a mass superstition was not the only recourse for the advancement of civilization – there was also a postmetaphysical one, where values were not defined by an immature Master – Slave mentality or spirituality. Instead, there must be a new set of values that were based on transcending the old one.
The Genealogy of Morals is hopelessly marred by Nietzsche dragging in the “dominant blond Aryan” nonsense to support his thesis, which was apparently a popular European notion at the time, and his “proofs” of etymology to support his idea of moral evolution of the “good and bad” isn’t terribly relevant to his main points. However, Nietzsche is on firmer ground when he links the political and economical to the spiritual within his conception of moral evolution. The wealthy has always been considered “good” (Master) and the poor, “bad” (Slave). The “Slaves” eventually resent their “evil” inferiority and suffering, and resort to religious values like asceticism and religious beliefs to give their suffering and inferiority meaning. The Slaves even go as far of reversing the polarity and to place themselves as “superior” and the elite as “inferior.” This can be located within the Christian Gospels as the “First shall be the last, and the last first.” The problem for Nietzsche is that he believes that the Slave Morality which features aspects of religion, communalism, democracy and especially equality – as the inferior value system, which he believes saps the natural Masters of its strength, robbing Mankind of its collective vitality.
The Gospel of Economic Equality
Let’s go back for a moment of Nietzsche’s claim that the Slave moral values attempts to place their inherent inferiority as the superior value. This appears, as I have said, in the Gospel of Mark and there should be no doubt that Nietzsche was aware of its existence. What is fascinating is that in the Gospel of Mark, there is a little – publicized parable of Jesus that appears immediately before he warns his disciples of his impending capture. This parable involves an elite landowner personified as the “Kingdom of Heaven” which ends with the “First shall be the last” punch line, but not in the way one would expect.
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing in the marketplace idle;
4 and to them he said, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing; and he saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard.
8 And when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and pay them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they received it, they murmured against the householder,
12 saying, These last have spent but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.
13 But he answered and said to one of them, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14 Take up that which is thine, and go thy way; it is my will to give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? or is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16 So the last shall be first, and the first last.
Matthew 20 1- 16. English Revised Version 
What was Jesus saying here in this story? Why did he choose the figure of a landed elite as a wealthy vineyard owner to symbolize Kingdom of Heaven? Well, Heaven has the power to disburse money, which is tantamount as a godlike attribute as anything in this world, and this is as true for us today as it was in Jesus’ time.
What did Jesus mean to teach with having the workers coming to the vineyard to work at different times of the day, only to be paid the same as the earlier workers? The vineyard owner looks for those without work and agrees to pay them the same as those already hired, although it seems that he chooses to not reveal his reasoning behind the matter, only that he had the agreement of the group, individually, what each would be paid.
The workers who arrived earlier felt they were unjustly penalized, however, for they experienced jealousy of the latecomers. They felt that since they worked longer, they should have gotten more than the agreed price than those who worked “only for an hour.” They had no concern of the needs of the workers who came later, and yet, they all shared the experience of needing money to survive.
Jesus here is saying something significant in the psychology of the human being when it comes to money. It appears that the landowner may have acted unethically, for if he told the workers he would pay a penny no matter how long they worked, who would work all day when one could easily wait until the last-minute and get the same? But Jesus is shown to not explicitly give the reasons of why the landowner paid the same to everyone. We must pass over such objections in silence.
However, note verse 16: whoever edited Jesus’ words apparently didn’t realize that the punch line of “the first were treated as the last,” doesn’t exactly fit the scenario. Although one would expect that the moral or “right thing to do” would be to pay those who started earlier more, since they expended more effort and actually did more “work,” would it have been ethical for the workers to ask for more after the fact, thus changing the agreement and going back on their word? Those arrived last did not receive more than those who arrived later. The workers were treated equally by Lord of the vineyard, regardless of their imagined “Superior” position here symbolized by the early arrival of workers to the vineyard.
An Equal Money system will create much jealousy within those who see themselves as Nietzsche’s “Masters” that will be directed to those who will be given an equal amount of money to live. We have placed value in having “more” and “less” than others. They will need to get over themselves. A far more pleasant, sane and just world will be the result of such humbleness.
Nietzsche, Nature and the Problem of Value
“All sciences are now under the obligation to prepare the ground for the future task of the philosopher, which is to solve the problem of value, to determine the true hierarchy of values.”
We have discovered the true Hierarchy of Value, with the Principle of Equality surpassing all other opinions and philosophies but Nietzsche will not like the answer. He could not conceive of what he asked for because he was unwilling to consider Equality, viewing it as a slavish and weak morality instead of as the key to all principles and all moralities. Therefore he could not gauge the value of life because he operated from premises that destroyed the value of life because he choose the mechanisms of nature as his starting point, which he then linked to his philosophical constructs which led him away from the point of considering Equality as the Highest Value as the best for all. What Nietzsche wants, a superior value system that transcends the current “inferior” one, is something he can’t have without considering Equality.
“That every will must consider every other will its equal – would be a principle hostile to life, an agent of the dissolution and destruction of man, an attempt to assassinate the future of man, a sign of weariness, a secret path to nothingness.”
This conclusion descends from Nietzsche’s starting point of Mankind needing leaders who rule over the masses, in accordance to natural law, as Nietzsche understood it to be. We question this as there is no clear or inherent “reason” or evidence that nature is “superior” to man. Maybe Nietzsche meant nature of man was equal to the nature of animals in the environment, but Humanity surely isn’t equal to the natural world. Humanity has done a fantastic job in destroying what is left of the natural world, and that simply can’t be said of nature… yet. The Equality within nature is just more mechanistic and systematic. Nature does not operate within philosophy, morality or rationality. Nature is a biological computer. Nature does not have a philosophical component that looks for answers to its existence. Human beings are biological computers as well, but we have the burden of being acutely aware of our own suffering and that of others, of our mortality.
Nietzsche is correct: morality, free will and God are all inventions of human consciousness. He is dead wrong in appealing to natural law as a superior system to emulate. We are capable of attaining Equality because we are capable of conceiving a world where the value of life and the value of money are not mutually exclusive.
 Die Götzen-Dämmerung – Twilight of the Idols, Friedrich Nietzsche (1895)
 Mark 20:16, English Revised Version.
 On the Genealogy of Morality (1887). Essay 2, Section 11 Friedrich Nietzsche (1887)
 On the Genealogy of Morality