Applying Nietzsche's Will to Power in the Abortion Debate

Topics: Abortion, Pregnancy, Rape Pages: 6 (2472 words) Published: April 6, 2005
"The will to power." A strong statement made by the philosopher, Nietzsche. He explains this statement in his work, "Thus Spake Zarathustra." It can be found in multiple sections explaining different topics. When Nietzsche uses the phrase, "the will to power," he means the ability to extend oneself to the furthest of capabilities. He believes that humans have the ability to always do their best, and try their hardest to improve themselves. In this work, he says that humans must overcome themselves and move towards that which is hardest. Giving up is not an option for him, unless in giving up you are pushing yourself to be greater. Abortion due to rape cases is the most controversial reason for an abortion. For the most part, when you ask someone if they think abortions are moral, they will say yes or no. If they say no, half the time they say with the exception of rape cases. With this paper being about the morality of abortion due to rape cases, the "will to power" idea fits. It can be used to explain either side. Nietzsche explained the idea to mean working to be the best you can. Having an abortion can be looked at as using your will to power because having it done will make you to be a better person. However, it can also be used to back up someone choosing not to have an abortion in saying that by having the baby you are forcing yourself to do the harder thing, therefore helping yourself to grow. I think that even Nietzsche would have a hard time arguing the validity of both of those arguments. Pregnancy can be a way of extending yourself. Extending yourself means growing to be the best you can. Pushing yourself to do better is what Nietzsche feels every person should do. This is "the will to power." A person should always strive to do the best they can, whether it is to make themselves feel better or in competition with someone else. In having a baby and going through pregnancy, a woman is pushing herself to do what she feels is necessary to become a better person. Extending yourself involves facing difficulties. Facing difficulties in life helps you to grow. Part of what Nietzsche is saying in "the will to power" is that you have to conquer the hardest obstacle to make yourself better. An example would be a child learning to ride a bicycle. The hardest part is overcoming the fear of falling off. This is a big fear to conquer for children, but, knowing that the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is worth it pushes them to keep going. For women who face the choice of abortion, the choice to have the baby may be the harder one. A woman may feel that more work is involved in having the child than in giving it up right away. It might make a woman feel better knowing that she gave that "child" a chance to live life. In a twisted sense, the pregnancy can also be looked at as a form of punishment for the woman. In many rape cases, the woman feels she is to blame for "letting" it happen, which of course is never the reason. Still, because the woman feels she is to blame, going through the pregnancy is her way of teaching herself not to let it happen again. In both cases the women feel that in going through with the pregnancy they are bettering themselves. They would be using their "will to power." Pregnancy can be a difficult thing to go through with. While some women look at it as an amazing experience, others look at it as facing a difficulty. In the case of pregnancy due to rape cases, a woman is more likely to take the second view. The pregnancy, although she decided to go through with it to better herself, and possibly the life of the child in her, is a challenge because it was unexpected. It is hard to adapt your life to a new situation, and pregnancy involves changing almost your entire lifestyle. It affects everything from your clothing to your eating habits to working. These changes can be expensive and not welcomed. However, if the woman can go through with the...

Bibliography: 1. Thus Spake Zarathustra, by Nietzsche.
2., Heritage House '76, 1998.
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