And yet, he said, “a little Nietzsche can be a dangerous thing. He thought some human beings were superior to others, and in a pathological state, people can see themselves as one of the superior types who can do anything they want because God is dead and inferior lives don’t matter,” Schacht said.

Eric Zorn reflects on the news that Steve Kazmierczak left a copy of The Anti-Christ with his girlfriend before the NIU shootings. Coincidentally, the outstanding Bookforum blog linked today to a very good philosophers’ roundtable on Nietzsche. The first question is particularly relevant, and gets good responses from Richard Rorty:

“I am most offended by the passages in which Nietzsche expresses contempt for weakness, and especially by the passages which argue that there is something wrong with Christianity because it originated among slaves. So it did, but those slaves had a good idea: namely, that the ideal human community would be one in which love is the only law.”

And Frantisek Novosad:

“The typical book from this [late, bonkers, maybe influenced by syphilitic insanity] period is The Antichrist. In this book, Christianity is presented exclusively as a religion of resentment, as a sublimation of the anger of the powerless, as the poison that destroyed ancient culture and which is now destroying modern Western society. Nietzsche formulated the majority of his ‘offensive’ statements precisely in the context of his analysis of the impact of Christianity on the mentality of the modern person. I think there is no special reason to interpret these passages from Nietzsche’s works, or give them justifying explanations. He thought what he wrote.”

FWIW, any admiration I have for his work peaks with The Birth of Tragedy, his first book, and goes downhill immediately afterwards. But that’s a very good read.