DCE, with an eye toward Nietzsche’s criticisms of Christianity

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This material will be posted under Forums for the Group Work for this class.

  1. A leader in each group should instruct all group members to cut and paste their text response for today and email it to the group’s recorder for the day.
  2. The leader will quickly assemble the responses into one document.
  3. The group will study and discuss its own responses, making use of the relevant section of Deus Caritas Est.
  4. The group will then formulate two to five bullet points that make available its best insights into what their section of the document offers as material that can be useful for the third paper of the course.
  5. The leader will post the group’s bullet points as well as the collection of the individual text responses.


Note:  Here is the text response prompt for today:


This text response is in preparation for your Nietzsche paper:


Nietzsche’s critique of Christianity has many dimensions. He offers a particular view of what Christ was really about and he argues that Christianity is a distortion.  He sees a Christianity based on belief as opposed to action and as out to squash healthy human instincts.

Read carefully the passages in DCE assigned to your group and explain one or two points that could be useful for constructing an intelligent Christian response to Nietzsche’s critique. 



Group Passages from Deus Caritas Est
1 1-7
2 8-14
3 15-21
4 22-28
5 29-35
6 36-42



Notes from Nietzsche’s The Antichrist – selections (passages 35-43)



35  Christ died as he lived and taught

Not to “save” mankind, but to show mankind how to live

It was a way of life

He does not resist; he does not defend his rights

He prays, suffers, and loves with those, in those, who do him evil

Not to defend one’s self, not to show anger, not to lay blames

On the contrary, to submit even to the Evil One—to love him



36   Christianity–   humankind on its knees to the antithesis of what was the origin and meaning of the Gospels

A grand example of a world-historical irony



37 Christianity is full of fables from the beginning, and then it absorbs all the subterranean cults of the Roman Empire.  A sickly barbarism finally lifts itself to power as the Church.

The incarnation of deadly hostility to all honesty, to all loftiness of soul, to all discipline of the spirit, too all spontaneous and kindly humanity.



38 Nietzsche despises modern man

He can be tolerant toward the past

Today they actually lie

Everyone knows that the ideas of the church are inventions – to debase nature and natural values

Last judgment, immortality of the soul—torturous inventions

A prince at the head of his armies

To be a soldier, to be a judge, to be a patriot, to defend one’s self; to be careful of one’s honor, to desire one’s own advantage, to be proud



39 There is only one Christian, and he died on the cross. The “Gospels” died on the cross.

What came to be called the gospels was their antithesis


To this day such a life (as a Christian) is still possible, and for certain men even necessary: genuine, primitive Christianity will remain possible in all ages . . .  Not faith but acts

Problem of reducing Christianity to the acceptance of truth

Closely examined, it appears that Christians have been ruled by their instincts.

Christians are far above the apes


40  The disciples invented Christianity when pondering the death of Jesus

They blame the ruling class of the Jews

The interpret Jesus as being in revolt against the established order

Jesus taught the opposite of condemning others

Jesus in his dying offered an example of freedom from and superiority to every feeling of ressentiment. He forgives others.

The disciples were instead possessed by a feeling of revenge

The cause cannot perish with Jesus’ death

Jesus had taught the equal right of all human beings to be children of God

The disciples instead elevate Jesus in an extravagant fashion

They make him into the only Son of God

They invent the Last Judgment and Eternal Life



41  The disciples invent that God gave his only son as a sacrifice for sin.

The blessed that Jesus taught is transformed into eternal life

They invent the Resurrection

The shameless doctrine of immortality as a reward



42  Jesus had offered a Buddhistic peace movement

Buddhism promises nothing but actually fulfills

Christianity promises everything but fulfills nothing

Paul represents the genius for hatred

He leaves behind the life, teaching, and death of Jesus
He shifted the center of gravity to the risen Jesus

Paul was a liar who knew what he was doing; he wanted power

Nietzsche comments on Mohammed borrowing from Christianity:

Only immortality and the Last Judgment

Tools of priestly tyranny and of organizing the mob



43  Placing the center of gravity in the beyond destroys all reason, all natural instinct

Why be public-spirited?

Why take an interest in descent and forefathers?

Why be concerned about the common welfare?

The only necessity becomes to focus on the salvation of individuals

The salvation of the soul =  “The world revolves around me”

The is an outrage against everything noble; against every step upward

Today we lack the courage for special privileges

Christianity underlies revolutions

Against the lofty and in favor of the lowly

ii etzsche, Friedrich. . Translated by Helen Zimmern. I{ew York: Boni and Liveright, Inc., rgl1, pp, 197-206. Cseprgn IX Wsar rs Nosrr? -257 – Every elevation of the type “man,” has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society and so it will always be–a society believing in a long scale of gradations of rank and differences of worth among human beings, and requiring slavery in some form or another. lVithout the pathos of distance, such as grows out of the incarnated difference of classes, out of the constant outlooking and downlooking of the ruling caste on subordinates and instruments, and out of their equally constant practice of obeying and commanding, of keeping down and keeping at a distance–that other more mysterious pathos couid never have arisen, the longing for an ever new widening of distance within the soul itself, the formation of ever higher, rarer, further, more extended, more comprehensive states, in short, just the elevation of the type “man,” the continued “self-surmounting of man,” to use a moral formula in a supermoral sense. To be sure, one must not resign oneself to pny humanitarian illusions about the history of the origin of an aristocratic society (that is to say, of the preliminary condition for the elevation of the type ..man,’): the truth is hard’ Let us acknowledge unprejudicedly how every higher civilization hitherto has originated! Men with a still natural nature, barbarians in every ten-ible sense of the word, men of prey, still in possession of unbroken strength of will and desire for power> threw themselves upon weaker, more moral, more peaceful races (perhaps trading or cattle-rearing communities), or upon old mellow civilizations in which the final vital force was flickering out in brilliant fireworks of wit and depravity. At the commencement, the noble caste was always the barbarian caste: their superiority did not consist first of all in their physical, but in their psychical power–they were more complete men (which at every point also impiies the same as ..more complete beasts”). -258- Com:ption–as the indication that anarchy threatens to break out among the instincts, and that the foundation of the emotions, called ..life,,, is conwlsed__is something radically different accoridng to the organization in which it manifests itself when, for instance, an aristocracy like that of France at the beginning of the Page -353- Revolution, flung away its priveleges with sublime disgust and sacrificed itself to an excess of its moral sentiments, it was comrption:–it was really only the closing act of the comrption which had existed for centuries, by virtue of which that aristocracy had abdicated step by step its lordly prerogatives and lowered itself to afunction of royalty (in the end even to its decoration and parade-dress). The essential thing, however, in a good and healthy aristocracy is that it should not regard itself as a function either of the kingship or the commonwealth, but as the significance and highest justification thereof–that it should therefore accept wit ha good conscience the sacrifice of a legion of individuals, who,for its sake, must be suppressed and reduced to imperfect men, to slaves and instruments. Its fundamental belief must be precisely that society is not allowed to exist for its own sake, but only as a foundation and scaffolding, by means of which a select class of beings may be able to elevate themselves to their higher duties, and in general to a higher existence’.like those sunseeking climbing plants in Java–they are called Sipo Matador,–which encircle an oak so long and so often with their arms, until at last, high above it, but supported by it, they can unfold their tops in the open light, and exhibit their happiness. -259 – To refrain mutually from injury, from violence, from exploitation, and put one’s will on a par with that of others: this may result in a certain rough sense in good conduct among individuals when the necessary conditions are given (namely, the actual similarity of the individuals in amount of force and degree of worth,.and their co-relation within one organizatron). As soon, however, as one wished to take this principle more generally, and if possible even as the fundamental principle of sociery*, it would immediately disclose what it really is–namely, a Wilt to the denial of life, a principle of dissolution and decay. Here one must think profoundly to the very basis and resist all sentimental weakness: life itself is essentially appropriation, injury, conquest of strange and weak, suppression, severity, obtrusion of peculiar forms, incorporation, and at the least, putting it mildest, exploitation;–but why should one for ever use precisely these words on which for ages a disparaging purpose has been stamped? Even the organization within which, as was previously supposed, the individuals treat each other as equal–it takes place in every healthy aristocracy–must itsell if it be a living and not a dying organization, do all that towards other bodies, which the individuals within it refrain from doing to each other: it will have to be the incarnated Will to Power, it will endeavor to grow, to gain ground, attract to itself and acquire ascendency–not owing to any morality or immorality, but because it Iives, and because life ls precisely will to power. on no point, however, is the ordinary consciousness of Europeans more unwilling to be corrected than on this matter; people now rave everywhere, even under the guise of science, about coming conditions of society in which’1he exploiting character” is to be absent:–that sounds to my ears as if they promised to invent a mode of life which should refrain from all Page -354- organic functions. “Exploitation” does not belong to a depraved or imperfect and primitive society: it belongs to the nature of the living being as.a primary organic function; it is a consequence of the intrinsic Will to Power, which is precisely the Will to Life.–Granting that as a theory this is a novelty–as a reality itis thefundnmental fact of all history: let us be so far honest toward ourselves! -264 – In a tour through the many finer and coarser moralities which have hitherro prevailed or still prevail on the earth, I found certain traits recurring regularly together, and connected with one another, until finally two primary types revealed themselves to me, and a radical distinction was brought to light There is masterntorality and slm,e-ntorality;-4 would at once add, however, that in all higher and mixed civilizations, there are also attempts at the reconciiiation of the two moralities; but one finds still oftener the confusion and mutual misunderstanding of them, indeed, sometimes their close juxtaposition–even in the same man, within one soul. The distinctions of moral values have either originated in a ruling caste, pleasantly conscious of being different from the ruled–or among the ruled class, the slaves and dependents of all sorts. In the first case, when it is the rulers who determine the conception “good,” it is the exalted, proud disposition which is regarded as the distinguishing feature, and that which determines the order of rank. The noble fype of man separates from himself the beings in whom the opposite of this exalted, proud disposition displays itself he despises them. Let it at once be noted that in this first kind of morality the antithesis “good” and ‘.bad” means practically the same as “noble” and “despicable”;–the antithesis..good’, and,,,eriP is of a different origin. The cowardly, the timid, the insignificant, and those thinking merely of narrow utiiity are despised; moreover, also, the distrustful, with their constrained glances, the selfabasing, the dog-like kind of men who let themselves be abused, the mendicant flatterers, and above all the liars:–it is a fundamentalbelief of all aristocrats that the common people are untruthful. “We truthful ones”–the nobiiity in ancient Greece called themselves- It is obvious that everywhere the designations of moral value were at first applied to men, and were only derivatively and at a later period applied to actions; it is a gross mistake,
therefore, when historians of morals start with questions like, “why have sympathetic actions been praised?” The noble type of man regards himself as a determiner of values; he does not require to be approved of, he passes the judgment: ‘lMhat is injurious to me is injurious in itself’; he knows that it is he himself only who confers honor on things; he is a creator of values. He honors whatever he recognizes in himself such morality is self-glorification. In the foreground there is the feeling of plentitude, of power, which seeks to overflow, the happiness of high tension, the consciousness of a wealth which would fain give and bestow:–the noble man also helps the unfortunate, but not–or scarcely–out of pity, but rather from an impulse generated by the super-abundance of power. The noble man honors in Page -355- himself the powerful one, him also who has power over himself, who knows how to speak and how to keep silence, who takes pleasure in subjecting himself to severity and hardness, and has reverence for all that is severe and hard..’lVotan placed ahard heart in my breast,” says an old Scandinavian Saga: it is thus rightly expressed from the soul of a proud Viking. Such a type of man is even proud of not being made for sympathy; the hero of the Saga therefore adds warningly: ‘TIe who has not a hard heart when young, will never have one.” The noble and brave who think thus are the furthest removed from the morality which sees precisely in sympathy, or in acting for the good of others, or in desinteressement, the characteristic of the moral; faith in oneself, pride in oneself, a radical enmity and irony towards “selflessness,” belong as definitely to nobie moraiity, as do a careless scorn and precaution in presence of sympathy and the’harm heart.”–It is the powerful who knowhow to honor, it is their art, their domain for invention. The profound reverence for age and for tradition–all law rests on this double reverence,–the belief and prejudice in favor of ancestors and unfavorable to newcomers, is typical in the morality of the powerful; and if reversely, men of “modern ideas” believe almost instinctively in “progress” and the’T;ture,” and are more and more lacking in respect for old age, the ignoble origin of these “ideas” has complacently betrayed itself thereby. A morality of the ruiing class, however, is more especially foreign and irritating to present-day taste in the sternness of its principle that one has duties only to one’s equals; that one may act towards beings of a lower rank, towards all that is foreign, just as seems good to one, or “as the heart desires,” and in any case “beyond good and evil”: it is here.that sympathy and similar sentiments have a place. The ability and obligation to exercise prolonged gratitude and prolonged revenge–both only within the circle of equals,– artfulness in retaliation, rffinement of the idea in friendship, a certain necessity to have enemies (as outlets for the emotions of envy, quarrelsomeness, arrogance–in fact, in order to be a goody’iend). all these are typical characteristics of the noble morality, which, as has been pointed out, is not the morality of “modern ideas,” and is therefore at present difficult to realize, and also to unearth and disclose.–It is otherwise with the second type of morality, the slave-morality. Supposing that the abused, the oppressed, the suffFering, the unemancipated, the weary, and those uncertain of themselves, should moralize, what will be the common element in their moral estimates? Probably a pessimistic suspicion with regard to the entire situation of man will find expression, perhaps a condemnation of marq together with his situation. The slave has an unfavorable eye for the virtues of the powerful; he has a scepticism and distrust, a reifrnement of distrust of everything “good” that is there honored–he would fain persuade himself that the very happiness there is not genuine. On the other hand , those qualities which serve to alleviate the existence of sufferers are brought into prominence and flooded with light; it is here that sympathy, the kind, helping hand, the wann heart, patience, diligence, humility, and friendliness attain to honor; for here these are the most useful qualities, and almost the only means of Page -356- supporting the burden of existence. Slave-morality is essentially the morality of utiiity. Here is the seat of the origin of the famous antithesis “good” and “evil”:– power and dangerousness are assumed to reside in the evil, a certain dreadfulness, subtlety, and strength, which do not admit of being despised. According to slavemoraiity, therefore, the “evil” man arouses fear; according to master-morality, it is precisely the “good” man who arouses fear and seeks to arouse it, while the bad man is regarded as the despicable being. The contrast attains its maximum when, in accordance with the logical consequences of slave-morality, a shade of depreciation– it may be slight and well-intentioned–at last attaches itself to the “good” man of this morality; because, according to the servile mode of thought, the good man must in any case be the safe man’. he is good-natured, easily deceived, perhaps a little stupid, ttn bonhomme. Everywhere that slave-morality gains the ascendence, language shows a tendency to approximate the significations of the words “good” and “stupid.”–A last fundamental difference: the desire for freedom, the instinct for happiness and the refinements of the feeling of liberry belong as necessarily to slave-morals and morality, as artifice and enthusiasm in reverence and devotion are the regular symptoms of an aristocratic mode of thinking and estimating.–Hence we can understand without further detail why love as a passion–it is our European speciality–must absolutely be of noble origin; as is well-known, its invention is due to the Provencal poet-cavaliers, those brilliant, ingenious men of the “gai saber,” to whom Europe owes so much, and almost owes itself. -26tVanity is one of the things which are perhaps most difficult for a noble man to understand: he will be tempted to deny it, where another kind of man thinks he sees it self-evidently. The problem for him is to represent to his mind beings who seek to arouse a good opinion of themselves which they themselves do not possess–and consequently do not “deserve,”–and who yet believe in this good opinion afterwards. This seems to him on the one hand such bad taste and so self-disrespectful, and on the other hand so grotesquely unreasonable, that he wouid like to consider vanity and exception, and is doubtful about it in most cases when it is spoken of He will say, for instance: “I may be mistaken about my value, and on the other hand may nevertheless demand that my values should be acknowledged by others precisely as I rate it:–that, however, is not vanity (but self-conceit, or, in most cases, that which is called ‘humility,’ and also ‘modesty’).” Or he will even say: ‘Tor many reasons I can delight in the good opinion of others, perhaps because I love and honor them, and rejoice in all their joys, perhaps also because their good opinion endorses and strengthens my belief in my own good opinion, perhaps because the good opinion of others, even in cases where I do not share it, is useful to me, or gives promise of usefulness:–all this, however, is not vanity.” The man of noble character must first bring it home forcibly to his mind, especially with the aid of history, that, from time immemorial, in all social Page -357 – strata in any way dependent, the ordinary man )?as only that which he passedfor’.– not being at all accustomed to fix values, he did not assign even to himself any other value that which his master assigned to him (it is the peculiar right of masters to create values). It may be looked upon as the result of an extraordinary atavism, that the ordinary man, even at present, is till alwayswaiting for an opinion about himself and then instinctively submitting himself to it, yet by no means only to a “good” opinion, but also to a bad and unjust one (think, for instance, of the greater part of the self:appreciations and selld
epreciations which believing v/omen learn from their confessors, and which in general the believing Christian learns from his Churih). In fact, conformably to the slow rise of the democratic social order (and its cause, the biending of the blood of masters and siaves), the originally noble and rare impulse of the masters to assign a value to themselves and to ‘1hink well” of themselves, will now be more and more encouraged and extended, but it has at all times an older ampler,and more radically ingrained propensity opposed to it–and in the phenomenon of ‘Vanity” this older propensity overmasters the younger. The vain person rejoices over every good opinion which he hears about himseif (quite apart from the point of view of its usefulness, and equally regardless of its truth or falsehood), just as he suffers from every bad opinion: for he subjects himself to both, hefeels himself subjected to both, by that oldest instinct of subjection which breaks forth in him.–It is “the slave” in the vain mans’ blood, the remains of the slave’s craftiness–and hor,v much of the “slave” is still left in woman, for instance!–which seeks to seduce to good opinions of itself before these opinions, as though’he had not called them forth.–And to repeat it again: vanity is an atavism. Page -358- NieCIsche, Friedrich, The Genealog.v of Morals’ translated by Horace Samuel (1911). New York: MacMillan, 1911, pg. 34-50′ 10 The revolt of the slaves in morals begins in the very principle of resentrnent becoming creative and giving birth to values–a resentment experienced by creatures who, depnved as they are of action, are forced to find their compensation m an imag:nary revenge. While every aristocratrc morality springs from a triumphant affirmation of its own demands, the slave morality says “no” from the very outsst to what is “outside itself,” “different from itsel{” and “not itself’: and this “no” is its creative deed. This volte-face ofthe valuing standpoint-this inevitable gravitation to the objective instead of back to the subjective–is typical of “resentment”: t}e slave-morality requires as the condition of its existence an external and objective world, to employ physiological terminology, rt requires objective stimulito be capable of aclion at all-its action is fundamotalty a reaction. The contrary is the case when we come to the aristocrat’s system of values: it acts and grows spontaneously, it merely seeks its antithesis in order to pronounce a more grateful and exultant “yes” to is own self;-its negative conception, “low,” “vulgar,” “bad,”is merely a pale late-bom foil in conparison with its positive and firndamental conception (saturated as it is with life and passion), of “we aristocrats, we good ones, we beautiful ones’ we happy ones'” When the aristocratic morality goes asffay and commits sacrilege on reaiity, this limited to that particular sphere with which it is not sufficiently acquainted–a sphere, tn fact, from the real knowledge of which it disdainfully defends itself. It misjudges, in some cases, the sphere which it despises, the sphere of the common vulgar man and the low people: on the other hand, due weight should be gwen to the consideration that in any case the mood of contempt, of disdain, or superciliousness, even on the supposition that it falsely portrays the object of its contempt, will always be far removed fromthat degree of falsity which will always characterize the attacks–in effigy, of course–of the vindictive hatred and revengefulness of the weak in onslaughts on their enemies. In point of fact, there is in contempt too strong and admixture of nonchalance, of casualness, of boredom, of impatience, even of personal exultation, for it to be capable of distorting its victim into a real caricature or a real monstrosity. Attention again should be paid to the almost benevolent nuances which, for instance, the Greek nobility imports into all the words by which it distinguishes the conunon people from itself; note how continuously a kind of prtY, care, and consideration imparts its honeyed flavor, until at last almost all the words which are applied to the vulgar man survive finally as expressions for “unhappy,” “worthy of pity”-and how, conversely, “bad,”‘1ow,” “unhappy” have never ceasedto tittg in the Greek ear with a tone in which “unhappy” is &e predominant note: this is heritage ofthe old noble aristocratic morality, which remains true to itself even in contempt. The “well-bom” simply felt themselves the ‘huppy”; they did not have to manufacture their happiness artificially through looking at their enemies, or in cases to talk and lie themselves into happiness (as is the custom with all resentful men); and similarly, complete men as they were, exuberant with strurg$, and consequently necessarily energetic, they were too wise to dissociate happiness from action–activity becomes in their minds necessarily counted as happiness-all in sharp contrast to the “happiness” of the Page -359- weak and the oppressed” with their festering venom and malignity, among whom happiness appears essentially as a narcotic, a deadening, a quietude, a peace, a “Sabbath,” an enervation of the mind and relaxation of the limbs,–in short, a purely passive phenomenon. While the aristocratic man lived in confidence and openness with himself, the resentful man, on the other hand, is neither sincere nor naif, nor honest and candid wrth himself. His soul squints; his mind loves hidden crannies, tortuous paths and back-doors, everghing secret appeals to him as his world, his safety, his balm; he is past master in silence, in not forgettrng, in waiting, in provisional self-depreciation and seH-abasement. A race of such resentful men will of necessity eventually prove more prudent than any aristocratic race, it will honor prudence on quite a distinct scaie, as, in fact, a paramount condition of existence, while prudence among aristocratic men is apt to be trnged with delicate flavor of luxury and refinement; so among them it plays nothing like so integral a part as that complete certainty of firnction ofthe goveming unconscious instincts, or as indeed a certain lack ofprudence, such as a vehement and valiant charge, whether against danger or the enemy, or as those ecstatic bursts of rage, Iove, reverence, gratitude, by which at all trmes noble souls have recognized each other. When the resentment of the anstocratic man manifests itself it fulfills and exhausts itself in an immediate reaction, and consequently instills no venom: on the other hand it never manifests itself at all in countless instances, when in the case of the feeble and weak it would be inevitable. An inability to take seriously for any length of time their enemies, their disasters, their misdeeds-that is the sign of the full strong natures who possess a superfluity of molding plastic force, that heals completeiy and produces forgetfulness; a good exampie ofthis in the modem world is Mirabeau, who had no memory for any insults and meannesses which were practiced on him, and who was only incapable forgvrng because he forgot. Such a man indeed shakes offwith a shrug many a worrn which would have buried itself in another; it is only in characters like these that we see the possibility (supposing, of course, that there is such a possibility in the world) of the real “love of one’senemies.” Whatrespectforhisenemiesisfound”forsooth,inanaristocraticman–andsuch a reverence is already a bridge to love! He insists on having his enemy to himself as his distinction. He tolerates no other enemy but a man in whose character there is noting to despise and much to honor! On the other hand, imagine the “enemy” as the resentful man conceives him– and it is here exactly that we see his work, his creativeness; he has conceived ‘the evil enemy,” the “evil one,” and indeed that is the root idea from which he now evolves as a contrastine and corresponding figure a “good one,” himself-his very self! tl The method of this man is quite contrary to that of the aristocratic man, who conceives the root idea “good” spontaneously and straight away, that is to say, out of himself, and from that material then cr
eates for himself a concept of “bad”! This “bad” of arisLocratic origin and that “evil” out ofthe cauldron of unsatisfied hatred-the former an imitaticn, an “extra,” an additional nuance; the latter, on the other hand, the original, the beginning, the essential act in the conception of a slave-morality–these two words “bad” and “evil,” how great a difference do they mark, in spite of the fact that they have an identical contrary in the idea “good.” But the idea “good” is Page -360- not the same: much ra.her let the question be asked, “who is reaily evil according to the meaning ofthemoralityof resentment?” In all stemness let it be answeredthus:–justthegoodman ofthe other morality, just the aristocrat, the powerfui one, the one who rules, but who is distorted by the venomous eye of resentfulness, into a new color, a new signification, a new appearance. This particular point we would be the last to deny: the man who leamt to know those “good” ones only as enemies, leamt at t}te same time not to know them only as “evil enemies,” and the same men to mter pares were kep so rigorously in bourds through convention, respect, custom, and gratrtude, through much more than mutual vigilance and jealousy inter pares, these men who in their relations with each other find so many new ways of manifesting consideration, self-control, delicacy, loyalty, pride, and friendship, tiese men are in reference to what is outside their circle (where the foreign element, a foreign country, begins), not much better than beasts of prey, which have been let loose. They enjoy there freedom from all social control, they feei that in the wrldemess they can give vent with impunrty to that tension which is produced by enclosure and imprisonment in the peace of society, they revertto the irurocence ofthe beast-of-prey conscience, like jubilant monsters, who perhaps come from a ghastly bout ofmurder, arson, rape, andtorture, wrth bravado and a moral equammity, as though merely some wild students’ prank had been played, perfectly convinced that the poets haven ow an ample theme to sing and celebrate. It is impossible not to recognize at the core of all these aristocratic races the beast of prey; the magnificent blonde brute, avidly rampant for spoil and victory;this hidden core needed an outlet from time to time, the beast must get loose again, must refum into the wildemess–the Roman, Arabic, German, and Japanese nobility, the Homeric heroes, the Scandinavian Vikings, are all alike in this need. It is the anstocratic races who have left the idea “Barbarian” on all the tracks tn which they have marched; nay, a consciousness ofthis very barbarianism, and even a pride in it, manifests itself even in their highest civilization (for example, when Pericles says to his Athenians in that celebrated funeral oration, “Our audacity has forced a way over every land and sea, rearing ever5rwhere imperishable memorials of itself for good and for evil’). This audacity as may be its expression; the incalculable and fautastic nature oftheir enterprises,–Pericles sets in special relief and glory the Athenians, their nonchalance and contempt for safefy, body, life, and comfort, tieir awful joy and intense delight in all destruction, in all the ecstasies of victory and cruelty,–all these features become crystallized, forthose who suffered thereby in the picture of the “barbarian,” of the “evil enemy,” perhaps of the “Goth” and of the “vandal.” The profound, icy mistrust which the German provokes, as soon as he arrives at power,–even at the present time,–is always still an aftermath ofthat inextinguishable horror with which for whole centuries Europe has regarded the wrath of the blonde Teuton beast (although between the old Germans and ourselves there exists scarcely a psychological, let alone a physical, relationship). I have once called attention to the embarrassment of Hesiod, when he conceived the series of social ages, and endeavored to express them in gold, silver, and bronze. He could only dispose of the contradiction, with which he was confronted, by the Homeric world, an age magnificent indeed, but at the same time so awful and so violent, by making two ages out of one, which he henceforth placed one behind another–first the age ofthe heroes and demigods, as that world had remarned in the memories of the aristocratic families, who found therein their own encestors, Page -361- secondly, the bronze age, as that corresponding age appearedtothe descendants ofthe oppressed, spoiied, ill-treated, exiled” enslaved; namely, as an age of bronze, as I have said, hard” cold, terrible, without feelings and without conscience, crushing everything, and besplauering everything with blood. Granted &e truth of the theory now believed to be true, that the very essence of all civilization is to train out of man, the beast of prey, a tame and civilized animal, it foilows indubitably that we must regard as the real tools of civilization all those instincts of reaction and resentment, bythe help of which the arisrocratic races, together with their ideals, were finally degraded and overpowered; though that has not yet come to be synonymous with sayingthat he bearers ofthosetools also representedthe civilization. It is ratherthe contrarythat is not only probably–nay, it is palpable today; tlese bearers of vindictive instincts that have to be bottled up, tJrese descendants of all European and non-European slavery, especially ofthe preAryan population–these people, I say, represent the deciine of humanity! These “tools of civilization” are a disgrace to humanrty, and constitute in reaiity more of an argument against civilization, more of a reason why civilization should be suspected. One may be perfectly lustified in being always afraid of the blonde beast that lies at the core of all aristocratic races, and in be[rg on cme’s guard: but who would not a hundredtimes prefer to be afraid, when one at the same time admires, than to be rmmune from fear, at the cost of being perpetually obsessed with the loathsome spectacie ofthe distorted, the dwarfed, the stunted, the envenomed? And that is not our fate? What produces today our repulsion towards “man”?–for we suffer from “man”, there is no doubt about rt. It is not fear; it is rather than we have nothing more to fear from men; it is that the worm “man” is in the foreground and pullulates; it is tllat the “tame man.” the wretched mediocre and unedifiing creature, has learnt to consider himself a goal and a pinnacle, an inner meaning, an historic principle, a ‘higher man”; yes, it is that he has a certain right so to consider himself, insofar as he feels that in contrast that excess of deformity, disease, exhaustion, and effeteness whose odor is beginning to pollute present-day Europe, he at any rate has achieved a relative success, he at any rate still says “yes” to life. 12 I cannot refrain at this last juncture from uttering a sigh and one last hope. What is it precisely which I find intolerable? That which I alone cannot get rid o{ which makes me choke and faurt? Bad air! Bad air! That something misbegoften comes near me; that I must inhale the odor ofthe entrails of a misbegotten soul!–That excepted, what can one not endure in the way of need, pnvation, bad weatler, sickness, toil, solitude? In point of fact, one manages to get over everything, bom as one is to a burrowing and bauling existence; one always returns once again to the light, one always lives again one’s golden hour of victory–and then one stands as one was bom, unbreakable, tense, ready for something more difficult, for something more distant, like a bow stretched but the tauter by every strain. But from time to time do ye grant me–assuming that “beyond good and evil” there are goddesses who can grant–one glimpse, grant me but one glimpse only, of sometiting perfect, firlly realized, huppy, mlghty, triumphant, of something that still gives cause for fearl A glimpse of a man that justifies the existqrce ofman, a glimpse of an Page -362- incarnate human happiness that realizes and redeems, for the sake of whrch one may hold fast to the belief in man! Forthe position is &is: i
n the dwarfing and leveling ofthe European man lurks our greatest peril, for it is this outlook which fatigues–we see today nothurg which wrshes to be greater, we surmisethattheprocess is always still backwards, still baclavardstowards something more attenuated, more inoffensive, more cunning, more comfortable, more mediocre, more indifferent, more Chinese, more Christian-man, there is no doubt about it, grows always “better”–the destiny of Europe lies even in this-that in losing the fear of man, we have also lost the hope in man, yea, the will to be man. The sight of man now fatigues-What is present-day Nihilism if it is not that?–We are tired of man. 1a “
t” us come back to it; the problem of another origin ofthe good-ofthe good, as the resentful man has thought it out–demands its solution. It is not surprising that the lambs should bear a grudge against the great birds of prey, burt that is no reason for blaming the great birds of prey fortaking the little lambs. And when the lambs say among themselves, “These birds of prey are evil, and he who is as far removed from being a bird ofprey, who is rather its opposite, a lamb,– is he not good?” then there is nothing to cavil at in the setting up ofthis ideal, though it may aiso be that the birds of prey will regard it a little sneeringly, and perchance say to themselves, ‘lMe bear no grudge aganst them, these good lambs, we even like them: noting is tastierthan a tender lamb.” To require of strength that it should not express itself as strength, that it should not be a wish to overpower, a wish to overthrow, a wish to become master, a thirst forenemies and antagonisms and triurnphs, is just as absurd as to require ofweakness that rt should express itself as strength. A quantum of force is just such a quantum of movement, will, action–rather it is no*ring else than just those very phenomena of moving, willing, acting, and can only appear otherwise in the misleading errors of language (and the fundamental fallacies of reason which have become petrified therein), which understands, and understands wrongly, all working as conditioned by a worker, by a “subject.” And just exactly as the people separate the lightning from its flash, and interpret the latter as a thing done, as the working of a subject which is called lightring, so also does the popular morality separate strength from the expression of strength, as though behind the strong man there existed some indifferent neutral substratum, which enjoyed a caprice and option as to whether or not it should express strength. But there is no such substratum, there is no “being” behind doing, working, becoming; “the doer” is a mere appanage to the action. The action is everything. In point of fact, the people duplicate the doing, when they make the lighhing lighten, that is a “doing-doing”: they make the same phenomenon first a bause, andtlen, secondly, the effect ofthat cause. The scientists fail to improve matters when they say, “Force moves, force causes,” and so on. Ourwhole science is still, in spite of all its coldness, of all its freedom from passion, a dupe of all the tricks of language, and has never succeeded in gslting rid of that superstitious changeling “the subject” (the atom, to give another instance, is such a changeling, just as the Kantian ‘thing-in-itself). What wonder, if the suppressed and steahhily simmering passions of revenge and hatred exploit for their own advantage this belie{ and indeed hold no belief with a more steadfast enthusiasm than this–“that ttre strong has the Page -363- optionofbeingweak,andthebirdofpreyofbeingalamb.” Therebydotheywinforthemselves the right attributing to the birds of prey the responsibility for being birds of prey: when the oppressed, down-trodden, and overpowered say to themselves with the vindictive guile of weakness, “Let us be otherwise than the evil, namely, good! And good is every one who does not oppress, who hurts no one, who does not atlack, who does not pay bac( who hands over revenge to God, who holds himsel{ as we don, in hiding; who goes out of the way of evil, and demands, in short, little from life; like ourselves the patient, the meelg the just,”–yet all this, in its cold and unprejudiced interpretation, means nothing more than “once for all, the weak are weak; it is good to do nothing for which we are not strong enough”; but this dismal state of affairs, this prudence of the lowest order, which even insects possess (which in a great danger are fain to sham death so as to avoid doing ‘too much’), has, thanks to the counterfeiting and self-deception of weakness, come to masquerade in the pomp of an ascetic, mute, and expectant virtue, just as though the very weakness ofthe weak–that is, forsooth, its being, its working, its whoie rurique inevitable inseparable reality–were a voluntary result, something wished, chosen, a deed, an act of merit. This kind of man finds the belief in a neutral, free-choosing “subject” necessary from an instmct of self-preservation, of self-assertion, in which every lie is fain to sanctifr itself. The subject (or, to use popular language, the soul) has perhaps proved itself the best dogma in the world simply because it rendered possible to the horde of mortal, weak, and oppressed individuals of every kind, that most sublime specimen of self-deception, the interprelation of weakness as freedom, of being this, or being that, as merit. 1Ala Will anyone look a little into-right into-the mystery of how ideals are manufacrured in this worid? Who has the courage to do it? Come! Here we have a vista opened into these grimy workshops. Wait just a moment, Mr. Inquisitive and Foolhardy; your eye must first grow accustomed to this false changing light-Yes ! Enough! Now speakl What is happening below down yonder? Speak out that what you see, man of the most dangerous curiosity, for now I am the listener. “I see nothing, I hear the more. It is a cautious, spiteful, gentle w{rispering and muttering together in all the comers and crannies. It seems to me that they are lyrrg; a sugary softness adheres to every sotmd. Weakness is tumed to merit, there is no doubt about it-it is just as you say.” Further! “And the impotence which requites not, is tumed to ‘goodness,’ craven basenss to meekness, submission to those whom one hates, to obedience (namely, obedience to one ofwhom they say that he ordered this submission–they call him God). The inoffensive character of the weak, the very cowardice in which he is rich, his standing at the door, his forced necessity of waiting, gain here fine names, such as ‘patience,’ which is also called ‘virtue’; not beurg able to avenge one’s self perhaps even forgiveness (fortheyknownotwhatthey do–we alone knowwhat they do). They also talk of the ‘love of their enemies’ and sweat thereby.” Further! Page -364- “They are miserable, there is no doubt about it, all these whisperers and counterfeiters in the comers’ although they try to get warm by crouching close to each otheq but they tell me that their misery is a favor and distinction given to them by God, just as one beats the doges one likes best; that perhaps this misery is also a preparation, a probation,’a traning; that perhaps it is still more something which will one day be compensated and paid back with a tremendous interest in gold, nay in happiness. This they cail ‘Blessedness’,’ Further! “They are now giving me to utderstand, that not only are t}tey better men than the mlghty, the lords of the earth, whose spittle they have got to iick (not out of fear, not at all out of fearl But because God ordarns that one should honor all authority)–not only are they better men, but that they also have a ‘befter time,’ at any rate, will one day have a ‘bstter time., But enough! Enoughl I can endure it no longer. Bad airl Bad airl These workshops where ideals are manufacrured-verily they reek of the crassest lies.,’ Nay’ Just one minute! You are saying nothing about the masterpieces ofthese virtuosos of black magic, who can produce whiteness, milk, and innocsrce out of any black you like: have you not noticed what a pitch of refinement is attained by their chef d’oeuwe, their
most audacious, subtle, ingenious, and lyrng artist-trick? Take care! These cellar-beasts. full of revenge and hate:what do they make, forsooth, out of their revenge and hate? Do you hear tlese words? Would you suspect, if you trusted only their words, that you are among men of resentment and nothing else? “I understand, I prick my ears up again (Ahl Ahl Ahl And I hold my nose). Now do IhearfortJrefirsttimethatwhichtheyhavesaidsooften: ‘Wegood,wearetherighteous’-what they demand they cail not revenge but ‘the tnurrph of nghteousness’; what they hate is not their enemy, no, they hate ‘unrighteousness,’ ‘godlessness’; what they believe in and hope is not the hope of revenge, the intoxication of sweet revenge (–“sweeter than honey”, did Homer call it?), but the victory of God, of the righteous God over the ‘godless ‘; what is left for them to love in this world is not their brothers in hate but their ‘brothers in love,’ as they say, all the good and righteous on t}re earth.” And how do they name that which serves them as a solace agarnst all the troubles of lifetheir phantasmagoria of their anticipated future blessedness? “How? Do I hear nght? They call it ‘the last judgment,’the advent of their kingdom, ‘the kingdom of God’–but in the meanwhile they live .in farth,’ ,in love,’ .in hope.,,, Enough! Enough! Page -365-