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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 13

themselves from degeneration by merely waging war upon it.
They cannot thus extricate themselves; that which they choose as a
means, as the road to salvation, is in itself again only an expression
of degeneration--they only modify its mode of manifesting itself:
they do not abolish it Socrates was a misunderstanding. _The whole
of the morality of amelioration--that of Christianity as well--was
a misunderstanding._ The most blinding light of day: reason at any
price; life made clear, cold, cautious, conscious, without instincts,
opposed to the instincts, was in itself only a disease, another kind
of disease--and by no means a return to "virtue," to "health," and to
happiness. To be obliged to fight the instincts--this is the formula of
degeneration: as long as life is in the ascending line, happiness is
the same as instinct.


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--Did he understand this himself, this most intelligent of
self-deceivers? Did he confess this to himself in the end, in the
wisdom of his courage before death. Socrates wished to die. Not Athens,
but his own hand gave him the draught of hemlock; he drove Athens to
the poisoned cup. "Socrates is not a doctor," he whispered to himself,
"death alone can be a doctor here.... Socrates himself has only been ill
a long while."


[1] It should be borne in mind that Nietzsche recognised two types of
criminals,--the criminal from strength, and the criminal from weakness.
This passage alludes to the latter, Aphorism 45, p. 103, alludes to the
former.--TR.




"REASON" IN PHILOSOPHY



1

You ask me what all idiosyncrasy is in philosophers? ... For instance
their lack of the historical sense, their hatred even of the idea of
Becoming, their Egyptianism. They imagine that they do honour to a
thing by divorcing it from history _sub specie æterni,--_when they
make a mummy of it. All the ideas that philosophers have treated for
thousands of years, have been mummied concepts; nothing real has ever
come out of their hands alive. These idolaters of concepts merely
kill and stuff things when they worship,--they threaten the life of
everything they adore. Death, change, age, as well as procreation and
growth, are in their opinion objections,--even refutations. That which
is cannot evolve; that which evolves _is_ not. Now all of them believe,
and even with desperation, in Being. But, as they cannot lay hold of
it, they try to discover reasons why this privilege is withheld from
them. "Some merely apparent quality, some deception must be the cause
of our not being able to ascertain the nature of Being: where is the
deceiver?" "We have him," they cry rejoicing, "it is sensuality!" These
senses, _which in other things are

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Unsre Socialisten sind décadents, aber auch Herr Herbert Spencer ist ein décadent, - er sieht im Sieg des Altruismus etwas Wünschenswerthes!.
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Und Seligkeit muss es euch dünken, eure Hand auf Jahrtausende zu drücken wie auf Wachs, - - Seligkeit, auf dem Willen von Jahrtausenden zu schreiben wie auf Erz, - härter als Erz, edler als Erz.