Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 1 Complete Works, Volume Six

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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contradictions. In all
scientific determinations we always reckon inevitably with certain
false quantities, but as these quantities are at least constant, as,
for instance, our sensation of time and space, the conclusions of
science have still perfect accuracy and certainty in their connection
with one another; one may continue to build upon them--until that final
limit where the erroneous original suppositions, those constant faults,
come into conflict with the conclusions, for instance in the doctrine
of atoms. There still we always feel ourselves compelled to the
acceptance of a "thing" or material "sub-stratum" that is moved, whilst
the whole scientific procedure has pursued the very task of resolving
everything substantial (material) into motion; here, too, we still
separate with our sensation the mover and the moved and cannot get
out of this circle, because the belief in things has from immemorial
times been bound up with our being. When Kant says, "The understanding
does not derive its laws from Nature, but dictates them to her," it is
perfectly true with regard to the idea of Nature which we are compelled
to associate with her (Nature = World as representation, that is to
say as error), but which is the summing up of a number of errors of
the understanding. The laws of numbers are entirely inapplicable to a
world which is not our representation--these laws obtain only in the
human world.


20.

A FEW STEPS BACK.--A degree of culture, and assuredly a very high one,
is attained when man rises above superstitious and religious notions
and fears, and, for instance, no longer believes in guardian angels or
in original sin, and has also ceased to talk of the salvation of his
soul,--if he has attained to this degree of freedom, he has still also
to overcome metaphysics with the greatest exertion of his intelligence.
Then, however, a _retrogressive movement_ is necessary; he must
understand the historical justification as well as the psychological in
such representations, he must recognise how the greatest advancement
of humanity has come therefrom, and how, without such a retrocursive
movement, we should have been robbed of the best products of hitherto
existing mankind. With regard to philosophical metaphysics, I always
see increasing numbers who have attained to the negative goal (that
all positive metaphysics is error), but as yet few who climb a few
rungs backwards; one ought to look out, perhaps, over the last steps of
the ladder, but not try to stand upon them. The most enlightened only
succeed so far as to free themselves from metaphysics and look back
upon it with superiority, while it is necessary here, too, as in the
hippodrome, to

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Text Comparison with The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

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in a miserable "struggle for existence," but in a will to war, a Will to Power, a will to overpower! This is said to be the history of his first conception of that principle which is at the root of all his philosophy, and twelve years later, in _Thus Spake Zarathustra,_ we find him expounding it thus:-- "Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and even in the will of the servant found I the will to be master.
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I.
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But only a man who no longer dares to posit a will, a purpose, and a final goal can speak in this way--according to every healthy type of man, the worth of life is certainly not measured by the standard of these secondary things.
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(The remedy: militarism, for instance, from Napoleon onwards, who regarded civilisation as his natural enemy.
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The priest, the shepherd of souls, should be looked upon as a form of life which must be suppressed.
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Where must our modern world be classed--under exhaustion or under increasing strength? Its multiformity and lack of repose are brought about by the highest form of _consciousness.
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).
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Pain in all its various phases is now interesting to us: on that account we are certainly _not_ the more pitiful, even though the sight of pain may shake us to our foundations and move us to tears: and we are absolutely not inclined to be more helpful in view thereof.
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" And he has continued to act on these lines; during the period of the _moral idiosyncrasy_ he did not interpret his lofty and sublime moral states as "proceeding from his own will" or as the "work" of the person.
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In this way, the proverbial concept "conscience" is created: an inner voice, which, though it makes itself heard in regard to every action, does not measure the worth of that action according to its results, but according to its conformity or non-conformity to the "law.
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He understood the _great needs of the pagan worlds_ and he gave quite an absolutely arbitrary picture of those two plain facts, Christ's life and death.
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"Amelioration" regarded as the only duty, everything else used as a _means_ thereto (or as a force distributing, hindering, and endangering its realisation, and therefore to be opposed and annihilated .
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People say what they think, they are "truthful"; but _only under certain circumstances_: that is to say, provided they be _understood_ (_inter pares_), and understood with good will into the bargain (_once more inter pares_).
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The error can be shown to be an error, by examining the lives of those who represent it: a false step, a vice can refute.
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_ What we needed above all is absolute scepticism towards all traditional concepts (like that which a certain philosopher may already have possessed--and he was Plato, of course: for he taught _the reverse_).
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"Men must not.