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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 78

the sake
of the instinct of life, it would certainly seem necessary to find some
means of lancing any such morbid and dangerous accumulation of pity, as
that which possessed Schopenhauer (and unfortunately the whole of our
literary and artistic decadence as well, from St Petersburg to Paris,
from Tolstoi to Wagner), if only to make it _burst...._ Nothing is
more unhealthy in the midst of our unhealthy modernity, than Christian
pity. To be doctors _here,_ to be inexorable _here,_ to wield the knife
effectively _here,--_ all this is our business, all this is _our_
kind of love to our fellows, this is what makes _us_ philosophers, us


It is necessary to state whom we regard as our antithesis:--the
theologians, and all those who have the blood of theologians in their
veins--the whole of our philosophy.... A man must have had his very
nose upon this fatality, or better still he must have experienced it
in his own soul; he must almost have perished through it, in order
to be unable to treat this matter lightly (--the free-spiritedness
of our friends the naturalists and physiologists is, in my opinion,
a _joke,_--what they lack in these questions is passion, what they
lack is having suffered from these questions--). This poisoning
extends much further than people think: I unearthed the "arrogant"
instinct of the theologian, wherever nowadays people feel themselves
idealists,--wherever, thanks to superior antecedents, they claim the
right to rise above reality and to regard it with suspicion.... Like
the priest the idealist has every grandiloquent concept in his hand
(--and not only in his hand!), he wields them all with kindly contempt
against the "understanding," the "senses," "honours," "decent living,"
"science"; he regards such things as _beneath_ him, as detrimental and
seductive forces, upon the face of which, "the Spirit" moves in pure
absoluteness:--as if humility, chastity, poverty, in a word _holiness,_
had not done incalculably more harm to life hitherto, than any sort of
horror and vice.... Pure spirit is pure falsehood.... As long as the
priest, the _professional_ denier, calumniator and poisoner of life, is
considered as the _highest_ kind of man, there can be no answer to the
question, what _is_ truth? Truth has already been turned topsy-turvy,
when the conscious advocate of nonentity and of denial passes as the
representative of "truth."


It is upon this theological instinct that I wage war. I find traces
of it everywhere. Whoever has the blood of theologians in his veins,
stands from the start in a false and dishonest position to all things.
The pathos which grows out of this state, is called _Faith:_ that is
to say, to

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What is tradition? A higher authority, which is obeyed, not because it commands what is useful to us, but merely because it commands.
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It is sad to have to say it; but for the time being _all higher sentiments_ must be looked upon with suspicion by the man of science, to so great an extent are they intermingled with illusion and extravagance.
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Imagine the ordinary man who can never efface the recollection of words like these: "Oh, eternity! Would that I had no soul! Would that I had never been born! My soul is damned, damned; lost for ever! Six days ago you might have helped me.
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At last he said to them: "God created all things, except sin: therefore it is no wonder that He does not like it.
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First of all, we may avoid the occasion for satisfying the impulse, weakening and mortifying it by refraining from satisfying it for long and ever-lengthening periods.
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The Greeks, who so often failed to employ moderation, coolness, fair-mindedness, and rationality in general, turned a willing ear to the four Socratic virtues,--they stood in such need of them, and yet had so little talent for them! 166.
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--Nations are deceived so often because they are always looking for a deceiver, _i.
Page 109
and mingle for a time with the large circle of their followers: what have they in common, what characteristics have they, that fill us, as we are now, partly with a feeling of nausea and partly with pitiful and touching emotions? First and foremost, the passion for appearing at all costs to be morally exalted, and then the desire for giving utterance to brilliant, feeble, and inconsequential remarks, together with their fixed purpose of looking upon everything (characters, passions, times, customs) as beautiful--"beautiful," alas, in accordance with a bad and vague taste, which nevertheless pretended to be of Hellenic origin.
Page 114
" "So much the better!" "Is it.
Page 125
The European virtues will travel along with these workmen far beyond the.
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have long been the faithful and honourable upholders of the doctrine propagated by the party, and who suddenly remark that one day a much stronger figure than themselves has got the ear of the public.
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--Do we not blush when we surprise ourselves in a state of violent aversion? Well, then, we should also blush when we find ourselves possessed of strong affections on account of the injustice contained in them.
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Have you experienced history within yourselves, commotions, earthquakes, long and profound sadness, and sudden flashes of happiness? Have you acted foolishly with great and little fools? Have you really undergone the delusions and woe of the good people? and also the woe and the peculiar happiness of the most evil? Then you may speak to me of morality, but not otherwise! 546.
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7 A hit at the German Empire, which Nietzsche always despised, since it led to the utter extinction of the old German spirit.