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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 69

then into the feeling of absolute depravity it suddenly threw the light
of divine mercy, so that the surprised man, dazzled by forgiveness,
gave a cry of joy and for a moment believed that he bore all heaven
within himself. All psychological feelings of Christianity work upon
this unhealthy excess of sentiment, and upon the deep corruption of
head and heart it necessitates; it desires to destroy, break, stupefy,
confuse,--only one thing it does not desire, namely _moderation,_ and
therefore it is in the deepest sense barbaric, Asiatic, ignoble and


TO BE RELIGIOUS WITH ADVANTAGE.--There are sober and industrious people
on whom religion is embroidered like a hem of higher humanity; these
do well to remain religious, it beautifies them. All people who do
not understand some kind of trade in weapons--tongue and pen included
as weapons--become servile; for such the Christian religion is very
useful, for then servility assumes the appearance of Christian virtues
and is surprisingly beautified. People to whom their daily life appears
too empty and monotonous easily grow religious; this is comprehensible
and excusable, only they have no right to demand religious sentiments
from those whose daily life is not empty and monotonous.[4]


THE COMMONPLACE CHRISTIAN.--If Christianity were right, with its
theories of an avenging God, of general sinfulness, of redemption, and
the danger of eternal damnation, it would be a sign of weak intellect
and lack of character _not_ to become a priest, apostle or hermit,
and to work only with fear and trembling for one's own salvation; it
would be senseless thus to neglect eternal benefits for temporary
comfort. Taking it for granted that there _is belief,_ the commonplace
Christian is a miserable figure, a man that really cannot add two and
two together, and who, moreover, just because of his mental incapacity
for responsibility, did not deserve to be so severely punished as
Christianity has decreed.


OF THE WISDOM OF CHRISTIANITY.--It is a clever stroke on the part
of Christianity to teach the utter unworthiness, sinfulness, and
despicableness of mankind so loudly that the disdain of their
fellow-men is no longer possible. "He may sin as much as he likes, he
is not essentially different from me,--it is I who am unworthy and
despicable in every way," says the Christian to himself. But even
this feeling has lost its sharpest sting, because the Christian no
longer believes in his individual despicableness; he is bad as men are
generally, and comforts himself a little with the axiom, "We are all of
one kind."


CHANGE OF FRONT.--As soon as a religion triumphs it has for its enemies
all those who would have been its first

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Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

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Science has this in common with art, that the most ordinary, everyday thing appears to it as something entirely new and attractive, as if metamorphosed by witchcraft and now seen for the first time.
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of classical philology derived from this theory.
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Let us then examine the so-called _Homeric question_ from this standpoint, a question the most important problem of which Schiller called a scholastic barbarism.
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It is a common occurrence for a series of striking signs and wonderful emotions to precede an epoch-making discovery.
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It may be remarked as most characteristic of this hypothesis that, in the strictest sense, the personality of Homer is treated seriously; that a certain standard of inner harmony is everywhere presupposed in the manifestations of the personality; and that, with these two excellent auxiliary hypotheses, whatever is seen to be below this standard and opposed to this inner harmony is at once swept aside as un-Homeric.
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As it is difficult for us at the present day, and necessitates a serious effort on our part, to understand the law of gravitation clearly--that the earth alters its form of motion when another heavenly body changes its position in space, although no material connection unites one to the other--it likewise costs us some trouble to obtain a clear impression of that wonderful problem which, like a coin long passed from hand to hand, has lost its original and highly conspicuous stamp.
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Impossible for it to be in the construction of the complete works, said one party, for this is far from faultless; but doubtless to be found in single songs: in the single pieces above all; not in the whole.
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It is to this latter school that we must attribute the representation of the Homeric poems as the expression of that mysterious impulse.
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According to this view, the text itself and the stories built round it are one and the same thing.
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A certain mechanism forms part of the method: it must be explained--i.
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The design of an epic such as the _Iliad_ is not an entire _whole_, not an organism; but a number of pieces strung together, a collection of reflections arranged in accordance with aesthetic rules.
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On the contrary, this design is a later product, far later than Homer's celebrity.
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[2] [2] Nietzsche perceived later on that.
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It is but right that a philologist should describe his end and the means to it in the short formula of a confession of faith; and let this be done in the saying of Seneca which I thus reverse-- "Philosophia facta est quae philologia fuit.
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great homogeneous views alone remain.