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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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system, the senses and the "mortal shell,"
we have miscalculated--that it is all!...


In Christianity neither morality nor religion comes in touch at all
with reality. Nothing but imaginary _causes_ (God, the soul, the ego,
spirit, free will--or even non-free will); nothing but imaginary
_effects_ (sin, salvation, grace, punishment, forgiveness of sins).
Imaginary beings are supposed to have intercourse (God, spirits,
souls); imaginary Natural History (anthropocentric: total lack of
the notion "natural causes"); an imaginary _psychology_ (nothing
but misunderstandings of self, interpretations of pleasant or
unpleasant general feelings; for instance of the states of the _nervus
sympathicus,_ with the help of the sign language of a religio-moral
idiosyncrasy,--repentance, pangs of conscience, the temptation of
the devil, the presence of God); an imaginary teleology (the Kingdom
of God, the Last Judgment, Everlasting Life).--This purely fictitious
world distinguishes itself very unfavourably from the world of
dreams: the latter _reflects_ reality, whereas the former falsifies,
depreciates and denies it Once the concept "nature" was taken to mean
the opposite of the concept God, the word "natural" had to acquire the
meaning of abominable,--the whole of that fictitious world takes its
root in the hatred of nature (--reality!--), it is the expression of
profound discomfiture in the presence of reality.... _But this explains
everything._ What is the only kind of man who has reasons for wriggling
out of reality by lies? The man who suffers from reality. But in
order to suffer from reality one must be a bungled portion of it. The
preponderance of pain over pleasure is the _cause_ of that fictitious
morality and religion: but any such preponderance furnishes the formula
for decadence.


A criticism of the Christian concept of God inevitably leads to the
same conclusion.--A nation that still believes in itself, also has
its own God. In him it honours the conditions which enable it to
remain uppermost,--that is to say, its virtues. It projects its joy
over itself, its feeling of power, into a being, to whom it can be
thankful for such things. He who is rich, will give of his riches: a
proud people requires a God, unto whom it can _sacrifice_ things....
Religion, when restricted to these principles, is a form of gratitude.
A man is grateful for his own existence; for this he must have a
God.--Such a God must be able to benefit and to injure him, he must be
able to act the friend and the foe. He must be esteemed for his good
as well as for his evil qualities. The monstrous castration of a God
by making him a God only of goodness, would lie beyond the pale of the

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Text Comparison with The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms.

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This music is wicked, refined, fatalistic, and withal remains popular,--it possesses the refinement of a race, not of an individual.
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Even "Wilhelm Meister" seemed to be only a symptom of decline, of a moral "going to the dogs".
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Only with morbid music can money be made to-day; our big theatres live on Wagner.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Chaos makes people wonder.
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The latter, which is a decline of character, might perhaps be defined provisionally in the following manner: the musician is now becoming an actor, his art is developing ever more and more into a talent for _telling lies_.
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When a musician can no longer count up to three, he becomes "dramatic," he becomes "Wagnerian".
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But let us leave morality out of the question, Hegel is a _matter of taste_.
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_ Postscript The gravity of these last words allows me at this point to introduce a few sentences out of an unprinted essay which will at least leave no doubt as to my earnestness in regard to this question.
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I have given the Germans the deepest books that they have ever possessed--a sufficient reason for their not having understood a word of them.
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Epilogue And now let us take breath and withdraw a moment from this narrow world which necessarily must be narrow, because we have to make enquiries relative to the.
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Even at the present day, France is still the refuge of the most intellectual and refined culture in Europe, it remains the high school of taste: but one must know where to find this France of taste.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} But those who form part of _that select_ France take very good care to _conceal themselves_; they are a small body of men, and there may be some among them who do not stand on very firm legs--a few may be fatalists, hypochondriacs, invalids; others may be enervated, and artificial,--such are those who would fain be artistic,--but all the loftiness and delicacy which still remains to this world, is in their possession.
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_of tragedy_, in a way which befitted him and his dignity, that is to say, with an extravagant, lofty and most malicious parody of tragedy itself, of all the past and terrible earnestness and sorrow of this world, of the most _ridiculous_ form of the unnaturalness of the ascetic ideal, at last overcome.
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The rarest of all things is this: to have after all another taste--a _second_ taste.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} We no longer believe that truth remains truth when it is _unveiled_,--we have lived enough to understand this.
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_ 12 Was Wagner a German at all? There are reasons enough for putting this question.