The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 64

principles by means of rewards and punishment.


_Paganism--Christianity.--Paganism_ is that which says yea to all
that is natural, it is innocence in being natural, "naturalness."
_Christianity_ is that which says no to all that is natural, it is a
certain lack of dignity in being natural; hostility to Nature.

"Innocent":--Petronius is innocent, for instance. Beside this happy
man a Christian is absolutely devoid of innocence. But since even
the _Christian_ status is ultimately only a natural condition, the
term "Christian" soon begins to mean the _counterfeiting of the
psychological interpretation._


The Christian priest is from the root a mortal enemy of sensuality: one
cannot imagine a greater contrast to his attitude than the guileless,
slightly awed, and solemn attitude, which the religious rites of the
most honourable women in Athens maintained in the presence of the
symbol of sex. In all non-ascetic religions the procreative act is
_the_ secret _per se_: a sort of symbol of perfection and of the
designs of the future: re-birth, immortality.


Our belief in ourselves is the greatest fetter, the most telling spur,
and the _strongest pinion._ Christianity ought to have elevated the
innocence of man to the position of an article of belief--men would
then have become gods: in those days believing was still possible.


The egregious _lie_ of history: as if it were the _corruption_ of
Paganism that opened the road to Christianity. As a matter of fact, it
was the enfeeblement and _moralisation_ of the man of antiquity. The
new interpretation of natural functions, which made them appear like
_vices,_ had already gone before!


Religions are ultimately wrecked by the belief in morality. The idea of
the Christian moral God becomes untenable,--hence "Atheism,"--as though
there could be no other god.

_Culture_ is likewise wrecked by the belief in morality. For when the
necessary and only possible conditions of its growth are revealed,
nobody _will_ any longer countenance it (Buddhism).


_The physiology of Nihilistic religions._--All in all, the _Nihilistic_
religions are _systematised histories of sickness_ described in
religious and moral terminology.

In pagan cultures it is around the interpretation of the great annual
cycles that the religious cult turns; in Christianity it is around a
cycle of _paralytic phenomena._


This _Nihilistic_ religion gathers together all the _decadent elements_
and things of like order which it can find in antiquity, viz.:--

_(a)_ The _weak_ and the _botched_ (the refuse of the ancient world,
and that of which it rid itself with most violence).

_(b)_ Those who are _morally obsessed_ and _anti-pagan._

_(c)_ Those who are _weary of politics_ and indifferent (the _blasé_
Romans), the _denationalised,_ who know not what they are.

_(d)_ Those who are tired of themselves--who are

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Text Comparison with The Antichrist

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Most of this denunciation, of course, was frankly idiotic--the naive pishposh of suburban Methodists, notoriety-seeking college professors, almost illiterate editorial writers, and other such numskulls.
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It is easy to grasp.
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The tome is satisfactorily ponderous, but the meat of the cocoanut is left out: there is actually no discussion of the Nietzschean view of Christianity!.
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It preserves whatever is ripe for destruction; it fights on the side of those disinherited and condemned by life; by maintaining life in so many of the botched of all kinds, it gives life itself a gloomy and dubious aspect.
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When everything necessary to _ascending_ life; when all that is strong, courageous, masterful and proud has been eliminated from the concept of a god; when he has sunk step by step to the level of a staff for the weary, a sheet-anchor for the drowning; when he becomes the poor man's god, the sinner's god, the invalid's god _par excellence_, and the attribute of "saviour" or "redeemer" remains as the one essential attribute of divinity--just _what_ is the significance of such a metamorphosis? what does such a _reduction_ of the godhead imply?--To be sure, the "kingdom of God" has thus grown larger.
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There is no categorical imperative nor any disciplines, even within the walls of a monastery (--it is always possible to leave--).
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Here I barely touch upon the problem of the _origin_ of Christianity.
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-- 32.
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--In this place I can't permit myself to omit a psychology of "belief," of the "believer," for the special benefit of "believers.
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Moral: the priest does _not_ lie--the question, "true" or "untrue," has nothing to do with such things as the priest discusses; it is impossible to lie about these things.
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