When reading through the plethora of Christian Apologist arguments against Friedrich Nietzsche, I’ve found an amusing amount commenting on his physical collapse which is of dubious authenticity and might be the product of literary fiction made after his mental breakdown. A mental breakdown which is now attributed to either dementia or a brain tumor and not syphilis. Nevertheless, these smear campaigns have done what it was really intended to do: insulting Nietzsche personally in order to ignore his actual written works and more specifically, to ignore his arguments against Christianity. Every single one of these social media groups and Christian apologists mention the horse collapse, which is more likely the product of fiction, and nearly none of them mention his actual written criticisms or why they were important. People don’t read and don’t know and I suspect they prefer it that way, because it means their religious faith is affirmed by their ignorance and they can ignore the actual challenges. In fact, when I shared some of Nietzsche’s quotes with some Facebook groups claiming to be fans of Nietzsche, I got tossed out for “trolling” and “insulting Christianity” when all I did was copy and paste the English translated quotes from Nietzsche’s works available for free on Gutenberg Press. When sharing Nietzsche’s arguments on anywhere but the Nietzsche subreddit, I’m argued to either be misinterpreting or lying about what Nietzsche said . . . even when I’m directly quoting the English translated versions; this applies to both old and new translations.
So, here are ten arguments Friedrich Nietzsche made that I’ve never seen challenged by Christian Apologists claiming to tackle his arguments. I’ve added some commentary and then the direct quote from Nietzsche himself to dissuade any accusations that I’m either lying or taking him out of context:
Your belief in your Immortal Soul is just Self-Deluded Narcissism.
While Nietzsche goes on to further ridicule equal rights within the same aphorism, the basis for it was his criticism of the belief in the immortality of the soul. To Nietzsche, the soul was not real, but rather a tool of flattery to manipulate ignoramuses into believing the world revolved around them and that these weekly preaching services within Christian Churches are just an affirmation of these set of vain beliefs.
Aphorism 43 from The Anti-Christ:
When the centre of gravity of life is placed, not in life itself, but in “the beyond”—in nothingness—then one has taken away its centre of gravity altogether. The vast lie of personal immortality destroys all reason, all natural instinct—henceforth, everything in the instincts that is beneficial, that fosters life and that safeguards the future is a cause of suspicion. So to live that life no longer has any meaning: this is now the “meaning” of life…. Why be public-spirited? Why take any pride in descent and forefathers? Why labour together, trust one another, or concern one’s self about the common welfare, and try to serve it?… Merely so many “temptations,” so many strayings from the “straight path.”—“One thing only is necessary”…. That every man, because he has an “immortal soul,” is as good as every other man; that in an infinite universe of things the “salvation” of every individual may lay claim to eternal importance; that insignificant bigots and the three-fourths insane may assume that the laws of nature are constantly suspended in their behalf—it is impossible to lavish too much contempt upon such a magnification of every sort of selfishness to infinity, to insolence. And yet Christianity has to thank precisely this miserable flattery of personal vanity for its triumph—it was thus that it lured all the botched, the dissatisfied, the fallen upon evil days, the whole refuse and off-scouring of humanity to its side. The “salvation of the soul”—in plain English: “the world revolves around me.”… The poisonous doctrine, “equal rights for all,” has been propagated as a Christian principle: out of the secret nooks and crannies of bad instinct Christianity has waged a deadly war upon all feelings of reverence and distance between man and man, which is to say, upon the first prerequisite to every step upward, to every development of civilization—out of the ressentiment of the masses it has forged its chief weapons against us, against everything noble, joyous and high-spirited on earth, against our happiness on earth…. To allow “immortality” to every Peter and Paul was the greatest, the most vicious outrage upon noble humanity ever perpetrated.—And let us not underestimate the fatal influence that Christianity has had, even upon politics! Nowadays no one has courage any more for special rights, for the right of dominion, for feelings of honourable pride in himself and his equals—for the pathos of distance…. Our politics is sick with this lack of courage!—The aristocratic attitude of mind has been undermined by the lie of the equality of souls; and if belief in the “privileges of the majority” makes and will continue to make revolutions—it is Christianity, let us not doubt, and Christian valuations, which convert every revolution into a carnival of blood and crime! Christianity is a revolt of all creatures that creep on the ground against everything that is lofty: the gospel of the “lowly” lowers….
Dying for your Religious Faith – even being persecuted and killed for your Religious Faith – doesn’t Prove that it is True.
In the Post-9/11 world and in an age where social media covers the global threat of suicide bombers, this is perhaps far less controversial than ever before, but back in the late 1800s, this was undoubtedly one of the most painful and harshest arguments repudiating Christianity which Christian Apologists claiming to challenge or refute Nietzsche, even into the 2000s and 2010s, have ignored.
Aphorism 53 of The Anti-Christ:
—It is so little true that martyrs offer any support to the truth of a cause that I am inclined to deny that any martyr has ever had anything to do with the truth at all. In the very tone in which a martyr flings what he fancies to be true at the head of the world there appears so low a grade of intellectual honesty and such insensibility to the problem of “truth,” that it is never necessary to refute him. Truth is not something that one man has and another man has not: at best, only peasants, or peasant-apostles like Luther, can think of truth in any such way. One may rest assured that the greater the degree of a man’s intellectual conscience the greater will be his modesty, his discretion, on this point. To know in five cases, and to refuse, with delicacy, to know anything further…. “Truth,” as the word is understood by every prophet, every sectarian, every free-thinker, every Socialist and every churchman, is simply a complete proof that not even a beginning has been made in the intellectual discipline and self-control that are necessary to the unearthing of even the smallest truth.—The deaths of the martyrs, it may be said in passing, have been misfortunes of history: they have misled…. The conclusion that all idiots, women and plebeians come to, that there must be something in a cause for which any one goes to his death (or which, as under primitive Christianity, sets off epidemics of death-seeking)—this conclusion has been an unspeakable drag upon the testing of facts, upon the whole spirit of inquiry and investigation. The martyrs have damaged the truth…. Even to this day the crude fact of persecution is enough to give an honourable name to the most empty sort of sectarianism.—But why? Is the worth of a cause altered by the fact that some one had laid down his life for it?—An error that becomes honourable is simply an error that has acquired one seductive charm the more: do you suppose, Messrs. Theologians, that we shall give you the chance to be martyred for your lies?—One best disposes of a cause by respectfully putting it on ice—that is also the best way to dispose of theologians…. This was precisely the world- historical stupidity of all the persecutors: that they gave the appearance of honour to the cause they opposed—that they made it a present of the fascination of martyrdom…. Women are still on their knees before an error because they have been told that some one died on the cross for it. Is the cross, then, an argument?—But about all these things there is one, and one only, who has said what has been needed for thousands of years—Zarathustra.
They made signs in blood along the way that they went, and their folly taught them that the truth is proved by blood.
But blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth; blood poisoneth even the purest teaching and turneth it into madness and hatred in the heart.
And when one goeth through fire for his teaching—what doth that prove? Verily, it is more when one’s teaching cometh out of one’s own burning!
The quotations are from “Also sprach Zarathustra” ii, 24: “Of Priests.”
A Person who places the convictions of their Religious Faith above their own Conscience lacks the personal integrity to verify the truth. Furthermore, a Skeptic is more trustworthy because they allow themselves to doubt their own convictions.
Nietzsche made a point to say that men of fixed convictions (and misogynistically added women in general to this) couldn’t really posit a goal for their own lives and constantly require the need to be used for some greater purpose; this sort of attitude leads to a discouragement for independent thinking and conflating their religious faith for their personal identity which discourages verifying whether what they believe is the truth or not. Whereas, a skeptic is more likely to hold their identity independently from their beliefs and not feel humiliation when their argument is proven wrong.
That sounds like a bunch of empty pabulum, doesn’t it? But, please consider this: what if we were to apply this to organized religious institutions? Once doing so, you might find this criticism to be essential to rectifying issues of abuse in certain religious organizations. After all, if you’re taught to have faith in your institution beyond any doubt, then are you likely to search for problems of abuse? Are you even willing to believe that events like child abuse can happen in your own local religious institution? Of course, this could also influence people to start questioning their religions more critically and possibly encourage leaving them entirely, since people would be more willing to look for evidence to verify whether their religious faith is true or not.
Aphorism 54 of the Anti-Christ:
Do not let yourself be deceived: great intellects are sceptical. Zarathustra is a sceptic. The strength, the freedom which proceed from intellectual power, from a superabundance of intellectual power, manifest themselves as scep ticism. Men of fixed convictions do not count when it comes to determining what is fundamental in values and lack of values. Men of convictions are prisoners. They do not see far enough, they do not see what is below them: whereas a man who would talk to any purpose about value and non-value must be able to see five hundred convictions beneath him—and behind him…. A mind that aspires to great things, and that wills the means thereto, is necessarily sceptical. Freedom from any sort of conviction belongs to strength, and to an independent point of view…. That grand passion which is at once the foundation and the power of a sceptic’s existence, and is both more enlightened and more despotic than he is himself, drafts the whole of his intellect into its service; it makes him unscrupulous; it gives him courage to employ unholy means; under certain circumstances it does not begrudge him even convictions. Conviction as a means: one may achieve a good deal by means of a conviction. A grand passion makes use of and uses up convictions; it does not yield to them—it knows itself to be sovereign.—On the contrary, the need of faith, of something unconditioned by yea or nay, of Carlylism, if I may be allowed the word, is a need of weakness. The man of faith, the “believer” of any sort, is necessarily a dependent man—such a man cannot posit himself as a goal, nor can he find goals within himself. The “believer” does not belong to himself; he can only be a means to an end; he must be used up; he needs some one to use him up. His instinct gives the highest honours to an ethic of self-effacement; he is prompted to embrace it by everything: his prudence, his experience, his vanity. Every sort of faith is in itself an evidence of self-effacement, of self-estrangement…. When one reflects how necessary it is to the great majority that there be regulations to restrain them from without and hold them fast, and to what extent control, or, in a higher sense, slavery, is the one and only condition which makes for the well-being of the weak-willed man, and especially woman, then one at once understands conviction and “faith.” To the man with convictions they are his backbone. To avoid seeing many things, to be impartial about nothing, to be a party man through and through, to estimate all values strictly and infallibly—these are conditions necessary to the existence of such a man. But by the same token they are antagonists of the truthful man—of the truth…. The believer is not free to answer the question, “true” or “not true,” according to the dictates of his own conscience: integrity on this point would work his instant downfall. The pathological limitations of his vision turn the man of convictions into a fanatic—Savonarola, Luther, Rousseau, Robespierre, Saint-Simon—these types stand in opposition to the strong, emancipated spirit. But the grandiose attitudes of these sick intellects, these intellectual epileptics, are of influence upon the great masses—fanatics are picturesque, and mankind prefers observing poses to listening to reasons….
Is there any factual difference between Believing on Faith and Believing in a Lie?
This one is relatively self-explanatory, but Nietzsche explores the issues that this question brings up even deeper in the aphorism itself and he uses the example of odious beliefs like anti-Semitism that German people during his time had faith in to point out how problematic believing on faith really is. Is faith really morally good, or is it merely – as Nietzsche argues – a falsehood that becomes a matter of principle because it serves a purpose?
Aphorism 55 of The Anti-Christ:
—One step further in the psychology of conviction, of “faith.” It is now a good while since I first proposed for consideration the question whether convictions are not even more dangerous enemies to truth than lies. (“Human, All-Too-Human,” I, aphorism 483.) This time I desire to put the question definitely: is there any actual difference between a lie and a conviction?—All the world believes that there is; but what is not believed by all the world!—Every conviction has its history, its primitive forms, its stage of tentativeness and error: it becomes a conviction only after having been, for a long time, not one, and then, for an even longer time, hardly one. What if falsehood be also one of these embryonic forms of conviction?—Sometimes all that is needed is a change in persons: what was a lie in the father becomes a conviction in the son.—I call it lying to refuse to see what one sees, or to refuse to see it as it is: whether the lie be uttered before witnesses or not before witnesses is of no consequence. The most common sort of lie is that by which a man deceives himself: the deception of others is a relatively rare offence.—Now, this will not to see what one sees, this will not to see it as it is, is almost the first requisite for all who belong to a party of whatever sort: the party man becomes inevitably a liar. For example, the German historians are convinced that Rome was synonymous with despotism and that the Germanic peoples brought the spirit of liberty into the world: what is the difference between this conviction and a lie? Is it to be wondered at that all partisans, including the German historians, instinctively roll the fine phrases of morality upon their tongues—that morality almost owes its very survival to the fact that the party man of every sort has need of it every moment?—“This is our conviction: we publish it to the whole world; we live and die for it—let us respect all who have convictions!”—I have actually heard such sentiments from the mouths of anti-Semites. On the contrary, gentlemen! An anti-Semite surely does not become more respectable because he lies on principle…. The priests, who have more finesse in such matters, and who well understand the objection that lies against the notion of a conviction, which is to say, of a falsehood that becomes a matter of principle because it serves a purpose, have borrowed from the Jews the shrewd device of sneaking in the concepts, “God,” “the will of God” and “the revelation of God” at this place. Kant, too, with his categorical imperative, was on the same road: this was his practical reason. There are questions regarding the truth or untruth of which it is not for man to decide; all the capital questions, all the capital problems of valuation, are beyond human reason…. To know the limits of reason—that alone is genuine philosophy…. Why did God make a revelation to man? Would God have done anything superfluous? Man could not find out for himself what was good and what was evil, so God taught him His will…. 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. In order to lie here it would be necessary to know what is true. But this is more than man can know; therefore, the priest is simply the mouthpiece of God.—Such a priestly syllogism is by no means merely Jewish and Christian; the right to lie and the shrewd dodge of “revelation” belong to the general priestly type—to the priest of the décadence as well as to the priest of pagan times (—Pagans are all those who say yes to life, and to whom “God” is a word signifying acquiescence in all things).—The “law,” the “will of God,” the “holy book,” and “inspiration”—all these things are merely words for the conditions under which the priest comes to power and with which he maintains his power,—these concepts are to be found at the bottom of all priestly organizations, and of all priestly or priestly-philosophical schemes of governments. The “holy lie”—common alike to Confucius, to the Code of Manu, to Mohammed and to the Christian church—is not even wanting in Plato. “Truth is here”: this means, no matter where it is heard, the priest lies….
The aphorism, which is headed “The Enemies of Truth,” makes the direct statement: “Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.”
A reference, of course, to Kant’s “Kritik der praktischen Vernunft” (Critique of Practical Reason).
The system of guilt and punishment for sin only exists to serve as the Priest’s personal method of manipulation, it is directly contradicted by Cause and Effect in the real world, and it is disproven by the Scientific Method.
For greater context, Nietzsche speaks of cause and effect and scientific knowledge more generally in the Anti-Christ, but it seems clear that scientific knowledge would require scientific research and he affirms that he means Christianity tries to ruin societies that are always ripe for scientific research, even blaming Christianity for ruining the Renaissance and Rome near the end of The Anti-Christ. Within the book, this fifth argument is mostly in Aphorism 49 of The Anti-Christ, but I decided to add Aphorisms 47 and 48 for both a fuller context of where he begins comparing Christianity to scientific knowledge. Also, I wanted to show his witty interpretation of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve in Aphorism 48. Aphorism 47 seems particularly useful as an analysis given the COVID-19 pandemic and how real world “faith healers” have been dying from the disease due to refusing to get vaccinated. If reading all of it is too much, then please just skip to Aphorism 49 for the most pertinent section:
—The thing that sets us apart is not that we are unable to find God, either in history, or in nature, or behind nature—but that we regard what has been honoured as God, not as “divine,” but as pitiable, as absurd, as injurious; not as a mere error, but as a crime against life…. We deny that God is God…. If any one were to show us this Christian God, we’d be still less inclined to believe in him.—In a formula: deus, qualem Paulus creavit, dei negatio.—Such a religion as Christianity, which does not touch reality at a single point and which goes to pieces the moment reality asserts its rights at any point, must be inevitably the deadly enemy of the “wisdom of this world,” which is to say, of science—and it will give the name of good to whatever means serve to poison, calumniate and cry down all intellectual discipline, all lucidity and strictness in matters of intellectual conscience, and all noble coolness and freedom of the mind. “Faith,” as an imperative, vetoes science—in praxi, lying at any price…. Paul well knew that lying—that “faith”—was necessary; later on the church borrowed the fact from Paul.—The God that Paul invented for himself, a God who “reduced to absurdity” “the wisdom of this world” (especially the two great enemies of superstition, philology and medicine), is in truth only an indication of Paul’s resolute determination to accomplish that very thing himself: to give one’s own will the name of God, thora—that is essentially Jewish. Paul wants to dispose of the “wisdom of this world”: his enemies are the good philologians and physicians of the Alexandrine school—on them he makes his war. As a matter of fact no man can be a philologian or a physician without being also Antichrist. That is to say, as a philologian a man sees behind the “holy books,” and as a physician he sees behind the physiological degeneration of the typical Christian. The physician says “incurable”; the philologian says “fraud.”…
—Has any one ever clearly understood the celebrated story at the beginning of the Bible—of God’s mortal terror of science?… No one, in fact, has understood it. This priest-book par excellence opens, as is fitting, with the great inner difficulty of the priest: he faces only one great danger; ergo, “God” faces only one great danger.—
The old God, wholly “spirit,” wholly the high-priest, wholly perfect, is promenading his garden: he is bored and trying to kill time. Against boredom even gods struggle in vain.What does he do? He creates man—man is entertaining…. But then he notices that man is also bored. God’s pity for the only form of distress that invades all paradises knows no bounds: so he forthwith creates other animals. God’s first mistake: to man these other animals were not entertaining—he sought dominion over them; he did not want to be an “animal” himself.—So God created woman. In the act he brought boredom to an end—and also many other things! Woman was the second mistake of God.—“Woman, at bottom, is a serpent, Heva”—every priest knows that; “from woman comes every evil in the world”—every priest knows that, too. Ergo, she is also to blame for science…. It was through woman that man learned to taste of the tree of knowledge.—What happened? The old God was seized by mortal terror. Man himself had been his greatest blunder; he had created a rival to himself; science makes men godlike—it is all up with priests and gods when man becomes scientific!—Moral: science is the forbidden per se; it alone is forbidden. Science is the first of sins, the germ of all sins, the original sin. This is all there is of morality.—“Thou shall not know”:—the rest follows from that.—God’s mortal terror, however, did not hinder him from being shrewd. How is one to protect one’s self against science? For a long while this was the capital problem. Answer: Out of paradise with man! Happiness, leisure, foster thought—and all thoughts are bad thoughts!—Man must not think.—And so the priest invents distress, death, the mortal dangers of childbirth, all sorts of misery, old age, decrepitude, above all, sickness—nothing but devices for making war on science! The troubles of man don’t allow him to think…. Nevertheless—how terrible!—, the edifice of knowledge begins to tower aloft, invading heaven, shadowing the gods—what is to be done?—The old God invents war; he separates the peoples; he makes men destroy one another (—the priests have always had need of war….). War—among other things, a great disturber of science!—Incredible! Knowledge, deliverance from the priests, prospers in spite of war.—So the old God comes to his final resolution: “Man has become scientific—there is no help for it: he must be drowned!”…
A paraphrase of Schiller’s “Against stupidity even gods struggle in vain.”
—I have been understood. At the opening of the Bible there is the whole psychology of the priest.—The priest knows of only one great danger: that is science—the sound comprehension of cause and effect. But science flourishes, on the whole, only under favourable conditions—a man must have time, he must have an overflowing intellect, in order to “know.”… “Therefore, man must be made unhappy,”—this has been, in all ages, the logic of the priest.—It is easy to see just what, by this logic, was the first thing to come into the world:—“sin.”… The concept of guilt and punishment, the whole “moral order of the world,” was set up against science—against the deliverance of man from priests…. Man must not look outward; he must look inward. He must not look at things shrewdly and cautiously, to learn about them; he must not look at all; he must suffer…. And he must suffer so much that he is always in need of the priest.—Away with physicians! What is needed is a Saviour.—The concept of guilt and punishment, including the doctrines of “grace,” of “salvation,” of “forgiveness”—lies through and through, and absolutely without psychological reality—were devised to destroy man’s sense of causality: they are an attack upon the concept of cause and effect!—And not an attack with the fist, with the knife, with honesty in hate and love! On the contrary, one inspired by the most cowardly, the most crafty, the most ignoble of instincts! An attack of priests! An attack of parasites! The vampirism of pale, subterranean leeches!… When the natural consequences of an act are no longer “natural,” but are regarded as produced by the ghostly creations of superstition—by “God,” by “spirits,” by “souls”—and reckoned as merely “moral” consequences, as rewards, as punishments, as hints, as lessons, then the whole ground-work of knowledge is destroyed—then the greatest of crimes against humanity has been perpetrated.—I repeat that sin, man’s self-desecration par excellence, was invented in order to make science, culture, and every elevation and ennobling of man impossible; the priest rules through the invention of sin.—
And if that was perhaps too unclear, he makes an unambiguous explanation of his meaning in Twilight of the Idols, in the section titled “The Four Great Errors”; where several of the arguments delve into Cause and Effect:
The Four Great Errors
The error of confusing cause and effect. There is no more insidious error than mistaking the effect for the cause: I call it the real corruption of reason. Yet this error is one of the most unchanging habits of mankind: we even worship it under the name of “religion” or “morality.” Every single principle from religion or morality contains it; priests and moral legislators are the originators of this corruption of reason. Here is an example. Everybody knows Cornaro’s famous book in which he recommends a meager diet for a long and happy life — a virtuous life, too. Few books have been read so widely; even now thousands of copies are sold in England every year. I do not doubt that scarcely any book (except the Bible) has done as much harm, has shortened as many lives, as this well intentioned oddity. Why? Because Cornaro mistakes the effect for the cause. The worthy Italian thought his diet was the cause of his long life, whereas the precondition for a long life, the extraordinary slowness of his metabolism, was the cause of his slender diet. He was not free to eat little or much; his frugality was not a matter of “free will” — he made himself sick when he ate more. But whoever has a rapid metabolism not only does well to eat properly, but needs to. A scholar in our time, with his rapid consumption of nervous energy, would simply destroy himself on Cornaro’s diet. Crede experto — believe me, I’ve tried.
The most general formula on which every religion and morality is founded is: “Do this and that, refrain from this and that — and then you will be happy! And if you don’t…” Every morality, every religion, is based on this imperative; I call it the original sin of reason, the immortal unreason. In my mouth, this formula is changed into its opposite — the first example of my “revaluation of all values.” An admirable human being, a “happy one,” instinctively must perform certain actions and avoid other actions; he carries these impulses in his body, and they determine his relations with the world and other human beings. In a formula: his virtue is the effect of his happiness. A long life, many descendants — these are not the rewards of virtue: instead, virtue itself is that slowing down of the metabolism which leads, among other things, to a long life, many descendants — in short, to Cornaro’s virtue. Religion and morality say: “A people or a society are destroyed by license and luxury.” My revalued reason says: when a people degenerates physiologically, when it approaches destruction, then the result is license and luxury (that is, the craving for ever stronger and more frequent stimulation necessary to arouse an exhausted nature). This young man easily turns pale and faints; his friends say: that is because of this or that disease. I say: he became diseased, he could not resist the disease, because of his pre-existing impoverished life or hereditary exhaustion. The newspaper reader says: this party destroys itself by making such a mistake. My higher politics says: a party that makes such a mistake has already reached its end; it has lost its sureness of instinct. Every mistake (in every sense of the word) is the result of a degeneration of instinct, a disintegration of the will: one could almost equate what is bad with whatever is a mistake. All that is good is instinctive — and hence easy, necessary, uninhibited. Effort is a failing: the god is typically different from the hero. (In my language: light feet are the first attribute of divinity.)
The error of a false causality. Humans have always believed that they knew what a cause was; but how did we get this knowledge — or more precisely, our faith that we had this knowledge? From the realm of the famous “inner facts,” of which not a single one has so far turned out to be true. We believe that we are the cause of our own will: we think that here at least we can see a cause at work. Nor did we doubt that all the antecedents of our will, its causes, were to be found in our own consciousness or in our personal “motives.” Otherwise, we would not be responsible for what we choose to do. Who would deny that his thoughts have a cause, and that his own mind caused the thoughts? Of these “inward facts” that seem to demonstrate causality, the primary and most persuasive one is that of the will as cause. The idea of consciousness (“spirit”) or, later, that of the ego (the “subject”) as a cause are only afterbirths: first the causality of the will was firmly accepted as proved, as a fact, and these other concepts followed from it. But we have reservations about these concepts. Today we no longer believe any of this is true. The “inner world” is full of phantoms and illusions: the will being one of them. The will no longer moves anything, hence it does not explain anything — it merely accompanies events; it can also be completely absent. The so-called motives: another error. Merely a surface phenomenon of consciousness, something shadowing the deed that is more likely to hide the causes of our actions than to reveal them. And as for the ego … that has become a fable, a fiction, a play on words! It has altogether ceased to think, feel, or will! What follows from this? There are no mental causes at all. The whole of the allegedly empirical evidence for mental causes has gone out the window. That is what follows! And what a nice delusion we had perpetrated with this “empirical evidence;” we interpreted the real world as a world of causes, a world of wills, a world of spirits. The most ancient and enduring psychology was at work here: it simply interpreted everything that happened in the world as an act, as the effect of a will; the world was inhabited with a multiplicity of wills; an agent (a “subject”) was slipped under the surface of events. It was out of himself that man projected his three most unquestioned “inner facts” — the will, the spirit, the ego. He even took the concept of being from the concept of the ego; he interpreted “things” as “being” in accordance with his concept of the ego as a cause. Small wonder that later he always found in things what he had already put into them. The thing itself, the concept of thing is a mere extension of the faith in the ego as cause. And even your atom, my dear materialists and physicists — how much error, how much rudimentary psychology still resides in your atom! Not to mention the “thing-in-itself,” the horrendum pudendum of metaphysicians! The “spirit as cause” mistaken for reality! And made the very measure of reality! And called God!
The error of imaginary causes. To begin with dreams: a cause is slipped after the fact under a particular sensation (for example, the sensation following a far-off cannon shot) — often a whole little novel is fabricated in which the dreamer appears as the protagonist who experiences the stimulus. The sensation endures meanwhile as a kind of resonance: it waits, so to speak, until the causal interpretation permits it to step into the foreground — not as a random occurrence but as a “meaningful event.” The cannon shot appears in a causal mode, in an apparent reversal of time. What is really later (the causal interpretation) is experienced first — often with a hundred details that pass like lightning before the shot is heard. What has happened? The representations which were produced in reaction to certain stimulus have been misinterpreted as its causes. In fact, we do the same thing when awake. Most of our general feelings — every kind of inhibition, pressure, tension, and impulsion in the ebb and flow of our physiology, and particularly in the state of the nervous system — excites our causal instinct: we want to have a reason for feeling this way or that — for feeling bad or good. We are never satisfied merely to state the fact that we feel this way or that: we admit this fact only — become conscious of it only — when we have fabricated some kind of explanation for it. Memory, which swings into action in such cases without our awareness, brings up earlier states of the same kind, together with the causal interpretations associated with them — not their actual causes. Of course, the faith that such representations or accompanying conscious processes are the causes is also brought forth by memory. Thus originates a habitual acceptance of a particular causal interpretation, which, as a matter of fact, inhibits any investigation into the real cause — it even excludes it.
The psychological explanation: to extract something familiar from something unknown relieves, comforts, and satisfies us, besides giving us a feeling of power. With the unknown, one is confronted with danger, discomfort, and care; the first instinct is to abolish these painful states. First principle: any explanation is better than none. Because it is fundamentally just our desire to be rid of an unpleasant uncertainty, we are not very particular about how we get rid of it: the first interpretation that explains the unknown in familiar terms feels so good that one “accepts it as true.” We use the feeling of pleasure (“of strength”) as our criterion for truth. A causal explanation is thus contingent on (and aroused by) a feeling of fear. The “why?” shall, if at all possible, result not in identifying the cause for its own sake, but in identifying a cause that is comforting, liberating, and relieving. A second consequence of this need is that we identify as a cause something already familiar or experienced, something already inscribed in memory. Whatever is novel or strange or never before experienced is excluded. Thus one searches not just for any explanation to serve as a cause, but for a specific and preferred type of explanation: that which has most quickly and most frequently abolished the feeling of the strange, new, and hitherto unexperienced in the past — our most habitual explanations. Result: one type of causal explanation predominates more and more, is concentrated into a system and finally emerges as dominant — that is, as simply precluding other causes and explanations. The banker immediately thinks of “business,” the Christian of “sin,” and the girl of her love.
The whole realm of morality and religion belongs in this category of imaginary causes or “explanations” for disagreeable feelings. These feelings are produced by beings that are hostile to us (evil spirits: the most famous being the labeling of hysterical women as witches). They are aroused by unacceptable acts (the feeling of “sin” or “sinfulness” is slipped under a physiological discomfort; one always finds reasons for feeling dissatisfied with oneself). They are produced as punishments, as payment for something we should not have done, for something we should not have desired (impudently generalized by Schopenhauer into a principle in which morality appears as what it really is — as the very poisoner and slanderer of life: “Every great pain, whether physical or spiritual, declares what we deserve; for it could not come to us if we did not deserve it.” World as Will and Representation II, 666). They are the effects of ill-considered actions that turn out badly. (Here the affects, the senses, are posited as causes, as “guilty”; and physiological calamities are interpreted with the help of other calamities as “deserved.”) We explain agreeable general feelings as produced by our trust in God, and by our consciousness of good deeds (the so-called “good conscience” — a physiological state which at times looks so much like good digestion that it is hard to tell them apart). They are produced by the successful termination of some enterprise (a naive fallacy: the successful termination of some enterprise does not by any means give a hypochondriac or a Pascal agreeable general feelings). They are produced by faith, charity, and hope — the Christian virtues. In fact, all these supposed causes are actually effects, and as it were, translate pleasant or unpleasant feelings into a misleading terminology. One is in a state of hope because the basic physiological feeling is once again strong and rich; one trusts in God because the feeling of fullness and strength gives a sense of rest. Morality and religion belong entirely to the psychology of error: in every single case, cause and effect are confused; or truth is confused with the effects of believing something to be true; or a state of consciousness is confused with its physiological origins.
The belief in Heaven (and all other beliefs involving an afterlife) is a worship of Death.
This is perhaps the most significant one against all religious faiths that gets ignored the most by even people claiming to support Nietzsche’s philosophy. It isn’t just Christians, but people more generally – including some atheists – who have ignored this argument. Nietzsche quite clearly, and repeatedly in multiple books, referred to all notions of an afterlife whether it was Christian Heaven, Islamic Heaven, or Buddhist beliefs in Nirvana, or Hindu beliefs in Moksha, and so on as variations of a coping mechanism to rationalize death. The concepts of a paradise after death or anything remotely beyond death was argued to be a tool to comfort the gullible into a slavish morality where Priests of all religious types exploit and abuse the ignoramuses for their own vanity. To truly get away with this exploitation, Priests provide a deluded form of equality after death that’s seen as a recompense for the abuse suffered, but is really just a delusion that people have been brainwashed into following.
From Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Chapter 9: The Preachers of Death:
IX. THE PREACHERS OF DEATH
THERE ARE PREACHERS of death: and the earth is full of those to whom desistance from life must be preached. Full is the earth of the superfluous; marred is life by the many-too-many. May they be decoyed out of this life by the “life eternal”! “The yellow ones”: so are called the preachers of death, or “the black ones.” But I will show them unto you in other colours besides. There are the terrible ones who carry about in themselves the beast of prey, and have no choice except lusts or self-laceration. And even their lusts are self-laceration.
They have not yet become men, those terrible ones: may they preach desistance from life, and pass away themselves! There are the spiritually consumptive ones: hardly are they born when they begin to die, and long for doctrines of lassitude and renunciation. They would fain be dead, and we should approve of their wish! Let us beware of awakening those dead ones, and of damaging those living coffins! They meet an invalid, or an old man, or a corpse—and immediately they say: “Life is refuted!”
But they only are refuted, and their eye, which seeth only one aspect of existence. Shrouded in thick melancholy, and eager for the little casualties that bring death: thus do they wait, and clench their teeth. Or else, they grasp at sweetmeats, and mock at their childishness thereby: they cling to their straw of life, and mock at their still clinging to it. Their wisdom speaketh thus: “A fool, he who remaineth alive; but so far are we fools! And that is the foolishest thing in life!”
“Life is only suffering”: so say others, and lie not. Then see to it that ye cease! See to it that the life ceaseth which is only suffering! And let this be the teaching of your virtue: “Thou shalt slay thyself! Thou shalt steal away from thyself!”— “Lust is sin,”—so say some who preach death—”let us go apart and beget no children!” “Giving birth is troublesome,”—say others—”why still give birth? One beareth only the unfortunate!” And they also are preachers of death. “Pity is necessary,”—so saith a third party. “Take what I have! Take what I am! So much less doth life bind me!” Were they consistently pitiful, then would they make their neighbours sick of life. To be wicked—that would be their true goodness. But they want to be rid of life; what care they if they bind others still faster with their chains and gifts!— And ye also, to whom life is rough labour and disquiet, are ye not very tired of life? Are ye not very ripe for the sermon of death?
All ye to whom rough labour is dear, and the rapid, new, and strange—ye put up with yourselves badly; your diligence is flight, and the will to self-forgetfulness. If ye believed more in life, then would ye devote yourselves less to the momentary. But for waiting, ye have not enough of capacity in you—nor even for idling! Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and the earth is full of those to whom death hath to be preached. Or “life eternal”; it is all the same to me—if only they pass away quickly! — Thus spake Zarathustra
Aphorism 15 from The Anti-Christ, where he unequivocally states his case against all Christian beliefs from souls to the afterlife:
Under Christianity neither morality nor religion has any point of contact with actuality. It offers purely imaginary causes (“God,” “soul,” “ego,” “spirit,” “free will”—or even “unfree”), and purely imaginary effects (“sin,” “salvation,” “grace,” “punishment,” “forgiveness of sins”). Intercourse between imaginary beings (“God,” “spirits,” “souls”); an imaginary natural history (anthropocentric; a total denial of the concept of natural causes); an imaginary psychology (misunderstandings of self, misinterpretations of agreeable or disagreeable general feelings—for example, of the states of the nervus sympathicus with the help of the sign-language of religio-ethical balderdash—, “repentance,” “pangs of conscience,” “temptation by the devil,” “the presence of God”); an imaginary teleology (the “kingdom of God,” “the last judgment,” “eternal life”).—This purely fictitious world, greatly to its disadvantage, is to be differentiated from the world of dreams; the latter at least reflects reality, whereas the former falsifies it, cheapens it and denies it. Once the concept of “nature” had been opposed to the concept of “God,” the word “natural” necessarily took on the meaning of “abominable”—the whole of that fictitious world has its sources in hatred of the natural (—the real!—), and is no more than evidence of a profound uneasiness in the presence of reality…. This explains everything. Who alone has any reason for living his way out of reality? The man who suffers under it. But to suffer from reality one must be a botched reality…. The preponderance of pains over pleasures is the cause of this fictitious morality and religion: but such a preponderance also supplies the formula for décadence….
The entirety of Genealogy of Morals is essentially this and here’s the conclusion from Genealogy of the Morals, Nietzsche surmises that it is the ascetic ideal in all religions that essentially leads into a Will to Nothingness:
“We simply cannot conceal from ourselves what’s really expressed by that total will which received its direction from the ascetic ideal: this hate against what is human, and even more against animality, even more against material things—this abhorrence of the senses, even of reason, this fear of happiness and beauty, this longing for the beyond away from all appearance, change, becoming, death, desire, even longing itself—all this means, let’s have the courage to understand this, a will to nothingness, an aversion to life, a revolt against the most fundamental preconditions of life—but it is and remains a will! . . . And to repeat at the conclusion what I said at the start: man will sooner will nothingness than not will . . .”
When you sing praises for Jesus Christ in Church, your Priests are really only exploiting you to worship themselves.
Nietzsche argued that Christianity provides a false equality meant to exploit people in Churches whereby singing praises to Jesus Christ as a savior figure is actually interpreted by the Priest as personal praises towards them coded in the language of the savior figure. He further argued this was how Early Christianity from Apostle Paul onward was formed as a corruption of Jesus Christ’s teachings for Paul and his followers’ personal vanity:
—The gospels are invaluable as evidence of the corruption that was already persistent within the primitive community. That which Paul, with the cynical logic of a rabbi, later developed to a conclusion was at bottom merely a process of decay that had begun with the death of the Saviour.—These gospels cannot be read too carefully; difficulties lurk behind every word. I confess—I hope it will not be held against me—that it is precisely for this reason that they offer first-rate joy to a psychologist—as the opposite of all merely naïve corruption, as refinement par excellence, as an artistic triumph in psychological corruption. The gospels, in fact, stand alone. The Bible as a whole is not to be compared to them. Here we are among Jews: this is the first thing to be borne in mind if we are not to lose the thread of the matter. This positive genius for conjuring up a delusion of personal “holiness” unmatched anywhere else, either in books or by men; this elevation of fraud in word and attitude to the level of an art—all this is not an accident due to the chance talents of an individual, or to any violation of nature. The thing responsible is race. The whole of Judaism appears in Christianity as the art of concocting holy lies, and there, after many centuries of earnest Jewish training and hard practice of Jewish technic, the business comes to the stage of mastery. The Christian, that ultima ratio of lying, is the Jew all over again—he is threefold the Jew…. The underlying will to make use only of such concepts, symbols and attitudes as fit into priestly practice, the instinctive repudiation of every other mode of thought, and every other method of estimating values and utilities—this is not only tradition, it is inheritance: only as an inheritance is it able to operate with the force of nature. The whole of mankind, even the best minds of the best ages (with one exception, perhaps hardly human—), have permitted themselves to be deceived. The gospels have been read as a book of innocence … surely no small indication of the high skill with which the trick has been done.—Of course, if we could actually see these astounding bigots and bogus saints, even if only for an instant, the farce would come to an end,—and it is precisely because I cannot read a word of theirs without seeing their attitudinizing that I have made an end of them…. I simply cannot endure the way they have of rolling up their eyes.—For the majority, happily enough, books are mere literature.—Let us not be led astray: they say “judge not,” and yet they condemn to hell whoever stands in their way. In letting God sit in judgment they judge themselves; in glorifying God they glorify themselves; in demanding that every one show the virtues which they themselves happen to be capable of—still more, which they must have in order to remain on top—they assume the grand air of men struggling for virtue, of men engaging in a war that virtue may prevail. “We live, we die, we sacrifice ourselves for the good” (—“the truth,” “the light,” “the kingdom of God”): in point of fact, they simply do what they cannot help doing. Forced, like hypocrites, to be sneaky, to hide in corners, to slink along in the shadows, they convert their necessity into a duty: it is on grounds of duty that they account for their lives of humility, and that humility becomes merely one more proof of their piety…. Ah, that humble, chaste, charitable brand of fraud! “Virtue itself shall bear witness for us.”… One may read the gospels as books of moral seduction: these petty folks fasten themselves to morality—they know the uses of morality! Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose!—The fact is that the conscious conceit of the chosen here disguises itself as modesty: it is in this way that they, the “community,” the “good and just,” range themselves, once and for always, on one side, the side of “the truth”—and the rest of mankind, “the world,” on the other…. In that we observe the most fatal sort of megalomania that the earth has ever seen: little abortions of bigots and liars began to claim exclusive rights in the concepts of “God,” “the truth,” “the light,” “the spirit,” “love,” “wisdom” and “life,” as if these things were synonyms of themselves and thereby they sought to fence themselves off from the “world”; little super-Jews, ripe for some sort of madhouse, turned values upside down in order to meet their notions, just as if the Christian were the meaning, the salt, the standard and even the last judgment of all the rest…. The whole disaster was only made possible by the fact that there already existed in the world a similar megalomania, allied to this one in race, to wit, the Jewish: once a chasm began to yawn between Jews and Judaeo-Christians, the latter had no choice but to employ the self-preservative measures that the Jewish instinct had devised, even against the Jews themselves, whereas the Jews had employed them only against non-Jews. The Christian is simply a Jew of the “reformed” confession.—
The set of values expressed by Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount directly contradicts the prophetic teachings of Judgment Day in the Bible.
This is probably the main reason why there’s so many different views on the figure of Jesus Christ in the Bible. Nietzsche pointed out that Judgment Day is a point-by-point repudiation of what he saw as the historical Jesus’s teachings in the Beatitudes. Nietzsche argued the “historical Jesus” in the Beatitudes taught forgiveness towards those who harmed you such as “turning the other cheek” and then Revelations Jesus is completely willing to send people into hell for not believing in him at all and for not worshiping him enough, because apparently if the entire world doesn’t slavishly worship his godhood then they go to hell for not stroking his ego. The “historical Jesus” according to Nietzsche taught “forgiveness” towards others regardless of if they persecuted you, the Revelations Jesus turns this message of peace into revenge porn with the system of guilt and punishment connected to the world blowing up so Christians can call themselves the most important people in the world.
It should be noted: Friedrich Nietzsche’s book, The Anti-Christ, was not about himself. He was calling Apostle Paul and Paul’s followers of the Early Christians the Anti-Christs. Nietzsche spent the entire book arguing that the historical Jesus’s message of extreme non-violence for the sake of peace was turned into the revolting insanity of Judgment Day, turning Jesus into a god-like figure and savior, and creating psychotic delusions that polluted and ruined what Nietzsche saw as the peaceful teachings of the historical Jesus Christ. That’s what he argues throughout the entirety of the Anti-Christ and I would recommend reading the entire book (not merely an abridged form or interpretations by others of his books) if you doubt this. The Anti-Christ was Friedrich Nietzsche accusing the Apostle Paul of being the Anti-Christ. Here’s just one aphorism as an example of how he felt Jesus’s teachings were “corrupted” by Paul and his ilk. But seriously, just read the whole book as that is the entirety of his argument and his reasoning for his hatred of Christianity:
—I offer a few examples of the sort of thing these petty people have got into their heads—what they have put into the mouth of the Master: the unalloyed creed of “beautiful souls.”—
“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city” (Mark vi, 11)—How evangelical!…
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (Mark ix, 42).—How evangelical!…
“And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire; Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark ix, 47.)—It is not exactly the eye that is meant….
To which, without mentioning it, Nietzsche adds verse 48.
“Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” (Mark ix, 1.)—Well lied, lion!….
A paraphrase of Demetrius’ “Well roar’d, Lion!” in act v, scene 1 of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The lion, of course, is the familiar Christian symbol for Mark.
“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For…” (Note of a psychologist. Christian morality is refuted by its fors: its reasons are against it,—this makes it Christian.) Mark viii, 34.—
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew vii, 1.)—What a notion of justice, of a “just” judge!…
Nietzsche also quotes part of verse 2.
“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” (Matthew v, 46.)—Principle of “Christian love”: it insists upon being well paid in the end….
The quotation also includes verse 47.
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew vi, 15.)—Very compromising for the said “father.”…
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew vi, 33.)—All these things: namely, food, clothing, all the necessities of life. An error, to put it mildly…. A bit before this God appears as a tailor, at least in certain cases….
“Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” (Luke vi, 23.)—Impudentrabble! It compares itself to the prophets….
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (Paul, 1 Corinthians iii, 16.)—For that sort of thing one cannot have enough contempt….
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (Paul, 1 Corinthians vi, 2.)—Unfortunately, not merely the speech of a lunatic…. This frightful impostor then proceeds: “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”…
“Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe…. Not many wise men after the flesh, not men mighty, not many noble are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” (Paul, 1 Corinthians i, 20ff.)—In order to understand this passage, a first-rate example of the psychology underlying every Chandala-morality, one should read the first part of my “Genealogy of Morals”: there, for the first time, the antagonism between a noble morality and a morality born of ressentiment and impotent vengefulness is exhibited. Paul was the greatest of all apostles of revenge….
Verses 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29.
The Christian views of Blessedness encourage Wallowing in Sickness which is a Real Threat to Your Health and Wellbeing.
This is more noticeable in aphorism 51, but for the purposes of a fuller context, I provided both 50 and 51 of The Anti-Christ:
—In this place I can’t permit myself to omit a psychology of “belief,” of the “believer,” for the special benefit of “believers.” If there remain any today who do not yet know how indecent it is to be “believing”—or how much a sign of décadence, of a broken will to live—then they will know it well enough tomorrow. My voice reaches even the deaf.—It appears, unless I have been incorrectly informed, that there prevails among Christians a sort of criterion of truth that is called “proof by power.” “Faith makes blessed: therefore it is true.”—It might be objected right here that blessedness is not demonstrated, it is merely promised: it hangs upon “faith” as a condition—one shall be blessed because one believes…. But what of the thing that the priest promises to the believer, the wholly transcendental “beyond”—how is that to be demonstrated?—The “proof by power,” thus assumed, is actually no more at bottom than a belief that the effects which faith promises will not fail to appear. In a formula: “I believe that faith makes for blessedness—therefore, it is true.”… But this is as far as we may go. This “therefore” would be absurdum itself as a criterion of truth.—But let us admit, for the sake of politeness, that blessedness by faith may be demonstrated (—not merely hoped for, and not merely promised by the suspicious lips of a priest): even so, could blessedness—in a technical term, pleasure—ever be a proof of truth? So little is this true that it is almost a proof against truth when sensations of pleasure influence the answer to the question “What is true?” or, at all events, it is enough to make that “truth” highly suspicious. The proof by “pleasure” is a proof of “pleasure”—nothing more; why in the world should it be assumed that true judgments give more pleasure than false ones, and that, in conformity to some pre-established harmony, they necessarily bring agreeable feelings in their train?—The experience of all disciplined and profound minds teaches the contrary. Man has had to fight for every atom of the truth, and has had to pay for it almost everything that the heart, that human love, that human trust cling to. Greatness of soul is needed for this business: the service of truth is the hardest of all services.—What, then, is the meaning of integrity in things intellectual? It means that a man must be severe with his own heart, that he must scorn “beautiful feelings,” and that he makes every Yea and Nay a matter of conscience!—Faith makes blessed: therefore, it lies….
The fact that faith, under certain circumstances, may work for blessedness, but that this blessedness produced by an idée fixe by no means makes the idea itself true, and the fact that faith actually moves no mountains, but instead raises them up where there were none before: all this is made sufficiently clear by a walk through a lunatic asylum. Not, of course, to a priest: for his instincts prompt him to the lie that sickness is not sickness and lunatic asylums not lunatic asylums. Christianity finds sickness necessary, just as the Greek spirit had need of a superabundance of health—the actual ulterior purpose of the whole system of salvation of the church is to make people ill. And the church itself—doesn’t it set up a Catholic lunatic asylum as the ultimate ideal?—The whole earth as a madhouse?—The sort of religious man that the church wants is a typical décadent; the moment at which a religious crisis dominates a people is always marked by epidemics of nervous disorder; the “inner world” of the religious man is so much like the “inner world” of the overstrung and exhausted that it is difficult to distinguish between them; the “highest” states of mind, held up before mankind by Christianity as of supreme worth, are actually epileptoid in form—the church has granted the name of holy only to lunatics or to gigantic frauds in majorem dei honorem…. Once I ventured to designate the whole Christian system of training in penance and salvation (now best studied in England) as a method of producing a folie circulaire upon a soil already prepared for it, which is to say, a soil thoroughly unhealthy. Not every one may be a Christian: one is not “converted” to Christianity—one must first be sick enough for it…. We others, who have the courage for health and likewise for contempt,—we may well despise a religion that teaches misunderstanding of the body! that refuses to rid itself of the superstition about the soul! that makes a “virtue” of insufficient nourishment! that combats health as a sort of enemy, devil, temptation! that persuades itself that it is possible to carry about a “perfect soul” in a cadaver of a body, and that, to this end, had to devise for itself a new concept of “perfection,” a pale, sickly, idiotically ecstatic state of existence, so-called “holiness”—a holiness that is itself merely a series of symptoms of an impoverished, enervated and incurably disordered body!… The Christian movement, as a European movement, was from the start no more than a general uprising of all sorts of outcast and refuse elements (—who now, under cover of Christianity, aspire to power). It does not represent the decay of a race; it represents, on the contrary, a conglomeration of décadence products from all directions, crowding together and seeking one another out. It was not, as has been thought, the corruption of antiquity, of noble antiquity, which made Christianity possible; one cannot too sharply challenge the learned imbecility which today maintains that theory. At the time when the sick and rotten Chandala classes in the whole imperium were Christianized, the contrary type, the nobility, reached its finest and ripest development. The majority became master; democracy, with its Christian instincts, triumphed…. Christianity was not “national,” it was not based on race—it appealed to all the varieties of men disinherited by life, it had its allies everywhere. Christianity has the rancour of the sick at its very core—the instinct against the healthy, against health. Everything that is well-constituted, proud, gallant and, above all, beautiful gives offence to its ears and eyes. Again I remind you of Paul’s priceless saying: “And God hath chosen the weak things of the world, the foolish things of the world, the base things of the world, and things which are despised”:this was the formula; in hoc signo the décadence triumphed.—God on the cross—is man always to miss the frightful inner significance of this symbol?—Everything that suffers, everything that hangs on the cross, is divine…. We all hang on the cross, consequently we are divine…. We alone are divine…. Christianity was thus a victory: a nobler attitude of mind was destroyed by it—Christianity remains to this day the greatest misfortune of humanity.—
The word training is in English in the text.
Corinthians i, 27, 28.
Free Will Doesn’t Exist and Humanity has No Inherent Purpose.
I had thought of adding his manifesto as a final point, but decided against it since I didn’t want to be wrongly associated with supporting any kind of violence. I want to be clear that I don’t support Nietzsche’s views on either Jesus Christ or on support for violence against Christian Priests in the manifesto that he wrote, but it is curious that Christian apologists were either unaware or didn’t care that he wrote a manifesto at the end of The Anti-Christ where he supported violence against Christian Priests. You would need to read the Anti-Christ for the full context as his Nazi-loving sister removed Nietzsche’s hate message against Christianity. It actually got taken out and some e-reader versions of the Anti-Christ still lack it, but I will not share it because I don’t support violence against Christians. The violent part is one specific line in the fifth section, whereas the other portions of the manifesto are just witty insults. At best, I’d like to think perhaps whatever mental ailment caused him to write that violent sentence, but I’ll never know for sure. Thus, I’ve settled for one which perhaps gives greater perspective for Christians on how old the arguments against Free Will actually are, as they aren’t a recent phenomenon with Sam Harris’s arguments against them as some may believe.
From the final portions of the “Four Great Errors” in Twilight of the Idols:
7. The error of free will. Today we no longer have any tolerance for the idea of “free will”: we see it only too clearly for what it really is — the foulest of all theological fictions, intended to make mankind “responsible” in a religious sense — that is, dependent upon priests. Here I simply analyze the psychological assumptions behind any attempt at “making responsible.” Whenever responsibility is assigned, it is usually so that judgment and punishment may follow. Becoming has been deprived of its innocence when any acting-the-way-you-did is traced back to will, to motives, to responsible choices: the doctrine of the will has been invented essentially to justify punishment through the pretext of assigning guilt. All primitive psychology, the psychology of will, arises from the fact that its interpreters, the priests at the head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves the right to punish — or wanted to create this right for their God. Men were considered “free” only so that they might be considered guilty — could be judged and punished: consequently, every act had to be considered as willed, and the origin of every act had to be considered as lying within the consciousness (and thus the most fundamental psychological deception was made the principle of psychology itself). Today, we immoralists have embarked on a counter movement and are trying with all our strength to take the concepts of guilt and punishment out of the world — to cleanse psychology, history, nature, and social institutions and sanctions of these ideas. And there is in our eyes no more radical opposition than that of the theologians, who continue to infect the innocence of becoming by means of the concepts of a “moral world-order,” “guilt,” and “punishment.” Christianity is religion for the executioner.
8. What alone can be our doctrine? That no one gives a man his qualities — neither God, nor society, nor his parents and ancestors, nor he himself. (The nonsense of the last idea was taught as “intelligible freedom” by Kant — and perhaps by Plato.) No one is responsible for a man’s being here at all, for his being such-and-such, or for his being in these circumstances or in this environment. The fatality of his existence is not to be disentangled from the fatality of all that has been and will be. Human beings are not the effect of some special purpose, or will, or end; nor are they a medium through which society can realize an “ideal of humanity” or an “ideal of happiness” or an “ideal of morality.” It is absurd to wish to devolve one’s essence on some end or other. We have invented the concept of “end”: in reality there is no end. A man is necessary, a man is a piece of fatefulness, a man belongs to the whole, a man is in the whole; there is nothing that could judge, measure, compare, or sentence his being, for that would mean judging, measuring, comparing, or sentencing the whole. But there is nothing besides the whole. That nobody is held responsible any longer, that the mode of being may not be traced back to a primary cause, that the world does not form a unity either as a sensorium or as “spirit” — that alone is the great liberation. With that idea alone we absolve our becoming of any guilt. The concept of “God” was until now the greatest objection to existence. We deny God, we deny the responsibility that originates from God: and thereby we redeem the world.
I have my own separate beliefs from Nietzsche’s views. Although I adore his philosophy, it isn’t the end-all, be-all of anything and he himself didn’t encourage people to simply worship everything that he said as he wanted to encourage people to have their own independent views from his own. I certainly don’t support any violence against Christians, I don’t agree with his views on Jesus Christ, and I’m skeptical even of his arguments in the Manifesto. If you’re still willing and curious, here’s a link to free copies of Nietzsche’s books on Gutenberg.
Unlike Nietzsche, who saw Jesus Christ’s movement as some sort of neo-Buddhist peace movement for non-violence, I see it merely as the raving lunacy of a narcissist with a god complex whose teachings are of no value to anyone in modern times. Unlike Nietzsche, who saw it as a falsification of natural instincts; I see it as a cult of child rapists, genocidal maniacs (as proven over and over and over in history from the persecution of the Jews even prior to the Holocaust to the genocide of the Native Americans and even to the lesser-known genocides that South and East Asia suffered at whip hand of European Christian powers), and racists (let us not kid ourselves with needing examples for this one). Furthermore, I view it as probably the dumbest theological system that has ever existed; Islam is pretty stupid in my opinion, but it has nothing on how absolutely stupid Christianity actually is. Christianity calls itself monotheist while believing in a trinity – no different than Roman, Celtic, or Greek Polytheistic concepts of Triple Goddesses – and the followers don’t realize that their teachings aren’t being misunderstood or misused, they just don’t work because they have no positive moral basis as their founding. Of course, your religion is going to have pedophiles and selfish preachers using the Church money for personal gain, what else can you expect from people who worship some ancient lunatic who called himself a god and said you should only live for him? The reason your preachers have god-complexes is precisely because they are emulating your narcissistic savior figure and not because they are somehow straying from his message. They aren’t straying at all; it’s the natural result of listening to Jesus Christ’s teachings. He was a self-obsessed narcissistic lunatic and I personally feel very thankful that Rome followed the law and rightfully crucified that hateful and bigoted megalomaniac because it is exactly what he deserved. I feel nothing but elation knowing Jesus Christ suffered on the cross, because he deserved to suffer for his crimes against humanity. His life is not more important than the victims of the Holocaust, the thorough genocide of the Native Americans, the genocide and war rape in China, and the genocide in India that your hateful, child raping cult of narcissists have committed upon the world to venerate your hateful, child rape forgiving god.