Yeah, Nietzsche is kind of hit and miss for me. I prefer Voltaire. They seem to have come to the same conclusions by different paths. Sometimes I get them confused.
What I've been doing is eliminating imaginary things from my perspective of reality.
I really don't want to offend the faithful. But, If you ask me what I think you're bound to get an earful.
Well, I generally don't like Nietzsche, although I also disagree with people who say his ideas were the basis of fascism. To some extent, yes, but only after his sister edited some of his writings to make them more Nazi-friendly.
Reading Ayn Rand, especially Atlas Shrugged, I often get the sense that she essentially wants to argue for Nietzsche's "master morality" as a positive ethos for humankind. The interesting thing hiding behind it, of course, is the idea that the weak should serve the strong, and not complain.
As for Voltaire, I love the fellow, well except when he advocates for Enlightened Despotism. http://www.philosophybasics.com/philoso ... taire.html
Although he argued on intellectual grounds for the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France, suggesting a bias towards Liberalism, he actually distrusted democracy, which he saw as propagating the idiocy of the masses. He saw an enlightened monarch or absolutist (a benevolent despotism, similar to that advocated by Plato), advised by philosophers like himself, as the only way to bring about necessary change, arguing that it was in the monarch's rational interest to improve the power and wealth of his subjects and kingdom
Voltaire is often thought of as an atheist, although he did in fact take part in religious activities and even built a chapel at his estate at Ferney. The chief source for the misconception is a line from one of his poems (called "Epistle to the author of the book, The Three Impostors") which is usually translated as: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him". Many commentators have argued that this is an ironical way of saying that that it does not matter whether God exists or not, although others claim that it is clear from the rest of the poem that any criticism was more focused towards the actions of organized religion, rather than towards the concept of religion itself
In fact, like many other key figures during the European Enlightenment, Voltaire considered himself a Deist, and he was instrumental in Deism's spread from England to France during his lifetime. He did not believe that absolute faith, based upon any particular or singular religious text or tradition of revelation, was needed to believe in God. He wrote, "It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason
". Indeed, his focus on the idea of a universe based on reason and a respect for nature reflected the Pantheism which was increasingly popular throughout the 17th and 18th Centuries.
While not an atheist as such, he was however, opposed to organized religion. Certainly, he was highly critical of the prevailing Catholicism, and in particular he believed that the Bible was an outdated legal and/or moral reference, that it was largely metaphorical anyway (although it still taught some good lessons), and that it was a work of Man and not a divine gift, all of which gained him somewhat of a bad reputation in the Catholic Church. His attitude towards Islam varied from "a false and barbarous sect" to "a wise, severe, chaste, and humane religion". He also showed at one point an inclination towards the ideas of Hinduism and the works of Brahmin priests.
Can't disagree with his views on religion, nor his views of the Catholic Church at the time, which deserved his barbs. But he really basically was a Deist more than an atheist per se, as many Enlightenment thinkers were.
His advocacy of Enlightened Despotism, though, I find highly distasteful. It was one of Plato's bad ideas, and none of its more recent advocates, including Voltaire, improved on it.
Rule by elites is a wonderful idea, up until the point we have to come up with a criteria for defining the elite, which tends to devolve to the group wanting power suggesting it's themselves. While Voltaire rightly despised hereditary aristocracy, most of the attempts to argue for some other kind of aristocratic rule have not been much better.