Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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In essential respects we are still the same men as those of the time of the Reformation; how could it be otherwise?  But the fact that we no longer allow ourselves certain means for promoting the triumph of our opinions distinguishes us from that age, and proves that we belong to a higher culture.  He who still combats and overthrows opinions with calumnies and outbursts of rage, after the manner of the Reformation men, obviously betrays the fact that he would have burnt his adversaries had he lived in other times, and that he would have resorted to all the methods of the Inquisition if he had been an opponent of the Reformation.  The Inquisition was rational at that time; for it represented nothing else than the universal application of martial law, which had to be proclaimed throughout the entire domain of the Church, and which, like all martial law, gave a right to the extremest methods, under the presupposition, of course, (which we now no longer share with those people), that the Church possessed truth and had to preserve it at all costs, and at any sacrifice, for the salvation of mankind.  Now, however, one does not so readily concede to any one that he possesses the truth; strict methods of investigation have diffused enough of distrust and precaution, so that everyone who violently advocates opinions in word and deed is looked upon as an enemy of our modern culture, or, at least, as an atavist.  As a matter of fact the pathos that man possesses truth is now of very little consequence in comparison with the certainly milder and less noisy pathos of the search for truth, which is never weary of learning afresh and examining anew.  634.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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