What Nietzsche Taught

Page 60 of 74

In the whole of the New Testament only one figure appears which we cannot help respecting. Pilate, the Roman Governor. To take a Jewish quarrel seriously was a thing he could not get himself to do. One Jew more or less—what did it matter?... The noble scorn of a Roman, in whose presence the word "truth" had been shamelessly abused, has enriched the New Testament with the only saying which is of value,—and this saying is not only the criticism, but actually the shattering of that Testament: "What is truth!" 195-196

No one is either a philologist or a doctor, who is not also an Antichrist. As a philologist, for instance, a man sees behind the "holy books" as a doctor he sees behind the physiological rottenness of the typical Christian. The Doctor says "incurable," the philologist says "forgery." 197

The priest knows only one great danger, and that is[Pg 271] science,—the healthy concept of cause and effect. But, on the whole, science flourishes only in happy conditions,—a man must have time, he must also have superfluous mental energy in order to "pursue knowledge." ... "Consequently man must be made unhappy,"—this has been the argument of the priest of all ages.—You have already divined what, in accordance with such a manner of arguing, must first have come into the world:—"sin.".... The notion of guilt and punishment, the whole "moral order of the universe," was invented against science. 199

The notion of guilt and punishment, including the doctrine of "grace," of "salvation" and of "forgiveness"—all lies through and through without a shred of psychological reality—were invented in order to destroy man's sense of causality: they are an attack with the fist, with the knife, with honesty in hate and love! But one actuated by the most cowardly, most crafty, and most ignoble instincts! A priest's attack! A parasite's attack! A vampyrism of pale subterranean leeches! 200

"Faith saveth; therefore it is true."—It might be objected here that it is precisely salvation which is not probed but only promised; salvation is bound up with the condition "faith,"—one shall be saved, because one has faith.... But how prove that that which the priest promises to the faithful really will take place, to wit: the "Beyond" which defies all demonstration?—The assumed "proof of power" is at bottom once again only a belief in the fact that the effect which faith promises will not fail to take place. In a formula: "I believe that faith saveth;—consequently it is true."—But with this we are at the end of our tether. 201

Holiness in itself is simply a symptom of an[Pg 272] impoverished, enervated and incurably deteriorated body! 203-204

Christianity is built upon the rancour of the sick; its instinct is directed against the sound, against health. Everything well-constituted, proud, high-spirited, and beautiful is offensive to its ears and eyes. 204

"Faith" simply means the refusal to know what is true. 205

The conclusion which all idiots, women and common people come to, that there must be something in a cause for which some one lays down his life (or which, as in the case of primitive Christianity, provokes an epidemic of sacrifices),—this conclusion put a tremendous check upon all investigation, upon the spirit of investigation and of caution. Martyrs have harmed the cause of truth. 208

Convictions are prisons. They never see far enough, they do not look down from a sufficient height: but in order to have any say in questions of value and non-value, a man must see five hundred convictions beneath him—behind him.... A spirit who desires great things, and who also desires the means thereto, is necessarily a sceptic. Freedom from every kind of conviction belongs to strength, to the ability to open one's eyes freely. 209-210

Whom do I hate most among the rabble, the Chandala apostles, who undermine the working man's instinct, his happiness and his feeling of contentedness with his insignificant existence,—who make him envious, and who teach him revenge.... The wrong never lies in unequal rights; it lies in the claim to equal rights. 220

The Christian and the anarchist are both decadents; they are both incapable of acting in any other way than disintegratingly, poisonously and witheringly, like[Pg 273] bloodsuckers; they are both actuated by an instinct of mortal hatred of everything that stands erect, that is great, that is lasting, and that is a guarantee of the future. 221-222

Christianity destroyed the harvest we might have reaped from the culture of antiquity, later it also destroyed our harvest of the culture of Islam. The wonderful Moorish world of Spanish culture, which in its essence is more closely related to us, and which appeals more to our sense and taste than Rome and Greece, was trampled to death(—I do not say by what kind of feet), why?—because it owed its origin to noble, to manly instincts, because it said yea to life, even that life so full of the race, and refined luxuries of the Moors! 226

I condemn Christianity and confront it with the most terrible accusation that an accuser has ever had in his mouth. To my mind it is the greatest of all conceivable corruptions, it has had the will to the last imaginable corruption. The Christian Church allowed nothing to escape from its corruption; it converted every value into its opposite, every truth into a lie, and every honest impulse into an ignominy of the soul. Let any one dare to speak to me of its humanitarian blessings! To abolish any sort of distress was opposed to its profoundest interests; its very existence depended on states of distress; it created states of distress in order to make itself immortal.... The cancer germ of sin, for instance: the Church was the first to enrich mankind with this misery!—The "equality of souls before God," this falsehood, this pretext for the rancunes of all the base-minded, this anarchist bomb of a concept, which has ultimately become the revolution, the modern idea, the principle of decay of the whole of social order,—this is Christian dynamite.... The "humanitarian" blessings of Christianity! To breed a[Pg 274] self-contradiction, an art of self-profanation, a will to lie at any price, an aversion, a contempt of all good and honest instincts out of humanitas! Is this what you call the blessings of Christianity?—Parasitism as the only method of the Church; sucking all the blood, all the love, all the hope of life out of mankind with anmic and sacred ideals. A "Beyond" as the will to deny all reality; the cross as the trade-mark of the most subterranean form of conspiracy that has ever existed,—against health, beauty, well-constitutedness, bravery, intellect, kindliness of soul, against Life itself....

This eternal accusation against Christianity I would fain write on all walls, wherever there are walls,—I have letters with which I can make even the blind see.... I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are too venomous, too underhand, too underground and too petty,—I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind.... 230-231

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