What Nietzsche Taught

Page 17 of 74

You find your burden of life too heavy? Then you must increase the burden of your life. 2, 176

That the world is not the abstract essence of an eternal reasonableness is sufficiently proved by the fact that that bit of the world which we know—I mean our human reason—is none too reasonable. And if this is not eternally and wholly wise and reasonable, the rest of the world will not be so either. 2, 184

There exists a simulated contempt for all things that mankind actually holds most important, for all everyday matters. For instance, we say "we only eat to live"—an abominable lie, like that which speaks of the procreation[Pg 80] of children as the real purpose of all sexual pleasure. Conversely, the reverence for "the most important things" is hardly ever quite genuine. 2, 185

The doctrine of free will is an invention of the ruling classes. 2, 190

If a God created the world, he created man to be his ape, as a perpetual source of amusement in the midst of his rather tedious eternities. 2, 193

The robber and the man of power who promises to protect a community from robbers are perhaps at bottom beings of the same mould, save that the latter attains his ends by other means than the former—that is to say, through regular imposts paid to him by the community, and no longer through forced contributions. 2, 200

The sting of conscience, like the gnawing of a dog at a stone, is mere foolishness. 2, 217

Rights may be traced to traditions, traditions to momentary agreements. 2, 217

Morality is primarily a means of preserving the community and saving it from destruction. Next it is a means of maintaining the community on a certain plane and in a certain degree of benevolence. Its motives are fear and hope, and these in a more coarse, rough, and powerful form, the more the propensity towards the perverse, one-sided, and personal still persists. 2, 221

Moral prohibitions, like those of the Decalogue, are only suited to ages when reason lies vanquished. 2, 223

It is difficult to explain why pity is so highly prized, just as we need to explain why the unselfish man, who is originally despised or feared as being artful, is praised.

2. 224

The sum-total of our conscience is all that has regularly been demanded of us, without reason, in the days of[Pg 81] our childhood, by people whom we respected or feared. 2, 224

Every word is a preconceived judgment. 2, 225

The fatalism of the Turk has this fundamental defect, that it contrasts man and fate as two distinct things. Man, says this doctrine, may struggle against fate and try to baffle it, but in the end fate will always gain the victory. Hence the most rational course is to resign oneself or to live as one pleases. As a matter of fact, every man is himself a piece of fate. When he thinks that he is struggling against fate in this way, fate is accomplishing its ends even in that struggle. The combat is a fantasy, but so is the resignation in fate—all these fantasies are included in fate.—The fear felt by most people of the doctrine that denies the freedom of the will is a fear of the fatalism of the Turk. They imagine that man will become weakly resigned and will stand before the future with folded hands, because he cannot alter anything of the future. Or that he will give a free rein to his caprices, because the predestined cannot be made worse by that course. The follies of men are as much a piece of fate as are his wise actions, and even that fear of belief in fate is a fatality. You yourself, you poor timid creature, are that indomitable Moira, which rules even the Gods; whatever may happen, you are a curse or a blessing, and in any case the fetters wherein the strongest lies bound: in you the whole future of the human world is predestined, and it is no use for you to be frightened of yourself. 2, 228-229

In the first era of the higher humanity courage is accounted the most noble virtue, in the next justice, in the third temperance, in the fourth wisdom. 2, 230

Superficial, inexact observation sees contrasts[Pg 82] everywhere in nature (for instance, "hot and cold"), where there are no contrasts, only differences of degree. 2, 231

On two hypotheses alone is there any sense in prayer, that not quite extinct custom of olden times. It would have to be possible either to fix or alter the will of the godhead, and the devotee would have to know best himself what he needs and should really desire. Both hypotheses, axiomatic and traditional in all other religions, are denied by Christianity. 2, 235-233

Distrust is the touchstone for the gold of certainty. 2, 266

Wrath and punishment are our inheritance from the animals. Man does not become of age until he has restored to the animals this gift of the cradle.—Herein lies buried one of the mightiest ideas that men can have, the idea of a progress of all progresses.—Let us go forward together a few millenniums, my friends! There is still reserved for mankind a great deal of joy, the very scent of which has not yet been wafted to the men of our day! Indeed, we may promise ourselves this joy, nay summon and conjure it up as a necessary thing, so long as the development of human reason does not stand still. Some day we shall no longer be reconciled to the logical sin that lurks in all wrath and punishment, whether exercised by the individual or by society—some day, when head and heart have learnt to live as near together as they now are far apart. That they no longer stand so far apart as they did originally is fairly palpable from a glance at the whole course of humanity. The individual who can review a life of introspective work will become conscious of the rapprochement arrived at, with a proud delight at the distance he has bridged, in order that he may thereupon venture upon more ample hopes. 2, 284-285

[Pg 83]

Natural death is independent of all reason and is really an irrational death, in which the pitiable substance of the shell determines how long the kernel is to exist.... 2, 286

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