certain "believers"). _What is it that inspires
Sceptics?_ The hatred of dogmatists--or a need of repose, weariness as
in Pyrrho's case.
The _advantages_ which were expected to come from truth, were the
advantages resulting from a belief in _it_: for, in itself, truth could
have been thoroughly painful, harmful, and even fatal. Likewise truth
was combated only on account of the advantages which a victory over it
would provide--for instance, emancipation from the yoke of the ruling
The method of truth was _not_ based upon motives of truthfulness, but
upon _motives of power, upon the desire to be superior._
_How is_ truth _proved_? By means of the feeling of increased
power,--by means of utility,--by means of indispensability,--_in short,
by means of its advantages_ (that is to say, hypotheses concerning what
truth should be like in order that it may be embraced by us). But this
involves _prejudice_: it is a sign that _truth_ does not enter the
question at all....
What is the meaning of the "will to truth," for instance in the
Goncourts? and in the _naturalists_?--A criticism of "objectivity."
Why should we know: why should we not prefer to be deceived?...
But what was needed was always belief--and _not_ truth.... Belief
is created by means which are quite _opposed_ to the method of
investigation: _it even depends upon the exclusion of the latter._
A certain degree of faith suffices to-day to give us an _objection_
to what is believed--it does more, it makes us question the spiritual
healthiness of the believer.
_Martyrs._--To combat anything that is based upon reverence, opponents
must be possessed of both daring and recklessness, and be hindered
by no scruples.... Now, if one considers that for thousands of
years man has sanctified as truths only those things which were in
reality errors, and that he has branded any criticism of them with
the hall-mark of badness, one will have to acknowledge, however
reluctantly, that a goodly amount of _immoral deeds_ were necessary in
order to give the initiative to an attack--I mean to _reason...._ That
these immoralists have always posed as the "martyrs of truth" should
be forgiven them: the truth of the matter is that they did not stand
up and deny owing to an instinct for truth; but because of a love of
dissolution, criminal scepticism, and the love of adventure. In other
cases it is personal rancour which drives them into the province of
problems--they only combat certain points of view in order to be
able to carry their point against certain people. But, above all, it
is revenge which has become scientifically useful--the revenge of the
oppressed, those who, thanks to
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