The Twilight of the Idols - The Antichrist Complete Works, Volume Sixteen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 123

conclusion put a tremendous
check upon all investigation, upon the spirit of investigation and of
caution. Martyrs have _harmed_ the cause of truth. ... Even to this day
it only requires the crude fact of persecution, in order to create an
honourable name for any obscure sect who does not matter in the least
What? is a cause actually changed in any way by the fact that some
one has laid down his life for it? An error which becomes honourable,
is simply an error that possesses one seductive charm the more: do
you suppose, dear theologians, that we shall give you the chance of
acting the martyrs for your lies?--A thing is refuted by being laid
respectfully on ice, and theologians are refuted in the same way. This
was precisely the world-historic foolishness of all persecutors; they
lent the thing they combated a semblance of honour by conferring the
fascination of martyrdom upon it.... Women still lie prostrate before
an error to-day, because they have been told that some one died on the
cross for it _Is the cross then an argument?_--But concerning all these
things, one person alone has said what mankind has been in need of for
thousands of years,--_Zarathustra._

"Letters of blood did they write on the way they went, and their folly
taught that truth is proved by blood.

"But blood is the very worst testimony of truth; blood poisoneth even
the purest teaching, and turneth it into delusion and into blood feuds.

"And when a man goeth through fire for his teaching--what does that
prove? Verily, it is more when out of one's own burning springeth one's
own teaching."[10]


54

Do not allow yourselves to be deceived: great minds are sceptical.
Zarathustra is a sceptic. Strength and the _freedom_ which proceeds
from the power and excessive power of the mind, _manifests_ itself
through scepticism. Men of conviction are of no account whatever
in regard to any principles of value or of non-value. Convictions
are prisons. They never see far enough, they do not look down from
a sufficient height: but in order to have any say in questions of
value and non-value, a man must see five hundred convictions _beneath_
him,--_behind_ him.... A spirit who desires great things, and who also
desires the means thereto, is necessarily a sceptic. Freedom from every
kind of conviction _belongs_ to strength, to the _ability_ to open
one's eyes freely.... The great passion of a sceptic, the basis and
power of his being, which is more enlightened and more despotic than he
is himself, enlists all his intellect into its service; it makes him
unscrupulous; it even gives

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and in such circumstances, it would be regarded as a virtue to be ingenious and insatiable in cruelty.
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I belong to the devil, and with him I will go down to hell.
Page 58
_ I deny its hypotheses; but I do not deny that there have been alchemists who believed in these hypotheses and based their actions upon them.
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In the same way, if our power increases to a considerable extent the feelings of those who previously recognised it, and whose recognition we no longer require, likewise change: they will then try to reduce our power to its former dimensions, and they will endeavour to interfere in our affairs, justifying their interference by an appeal to their "duty.
Page 79
battle itself is hidden from my sight, as likewise is the victory, as victory; for I certainly come to know what I shall finally do, but I cannot know what motive has in the end proved to be the victor.
Page 95
--"If I am now telling a lie I am no longer an honourable man, and every one may say so to my face.
Page 98
These general aims must be recognised and encouraged by all those upright people who are seeking truth.
Page 113
of that period of our lives when we had mathematics and physics forced down our throats, instead of being first of all made acquainted with the despair of ignorance, instead of having our little daily life, our activities, and everything occurring in our houses, our workshops, in the sky, and in nature, split up into thousands of problems, painful, humiliating and irritating problems--and thus having our curiosity made acquainted with the fact that we first of all require a mathematical and mechanical knowledge before we can be allowed to rejoice in the absolute logic of this knowledge! If we had only been imbued with reverence for those branches of science, if we had only been made to tremble with emotion--were it only for once--at the struggles, the defeats, and the renewed combats of those great men, of the martyrdom which is the history of pure science! But, on the contrary, we were allowed to develop a certain contempt for those sciences in favour of historical training, formal education(4) and "classicism.
Page 126
--A German is capable of great things, but he is unlikely to accomplish them, for he obeys whenever he can, as suits a naturally lazy intellect.
Page 131
How frequently do we notice in Beethoven's music a coarse, dogmatic, and impatient tone; in Mozart, the joviality of an honest man, whose heart and mind have not overmuch to give us; in Richard.
Page 135
In former times a good musician was almost forced by the exigencies of his art to become a good man--and now! 240.
Page 138
--Insanity makes its appearance in the children of great geniuses, and stupidity in those of the most virtuous--so says Aristotle.
Page 144
") Crossed races are always at the same time crossed cultures and crossed moralities: they are, as a rule, more evil, cruel, and restless.
Page 149
"--"What I have said once I will do"--This manner of thinking is believed to indicate great strength of character.
Page 150
--When we set out to buy something our greed increases with the cheapness of the object--Why? Is it because the small differences in price make up the little eye of greed? 306.
Page 162
But the best remedy, my dear hypochondriac, is, and always will.
Page 166
The slight bitterness and hardness makes the kernel all the sweeter.
Page 173
--Unpretentious regions are subjects for great landscape painters; remarkable and rare regions for inferior painters: for the great things of nature and humanity must intercede in favour of their little, mediocre, and vain admirers--whereas the great man intercedes in favour of unassuming things.
Page 175
--First and foremost, there are the superficial thinkers, and secondly the profound thinkers--such as dive into the depths of a thing,--thirdly, the thorough thinkers, who get to the bottom of a thing--which is of much greater importance than merely diving into its depths,--and, finally, those who leap head foremost into the marsh: though this must not be looked upon as indicating either depth or thoroughness! these are the lovers of obscurity.
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UNUSUAL FORBEARANCE.