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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Previous Section   9. THE METAPHYSICAL WORLD   Next Section

THE METAPHYSICAL WORLD.  It is true that there might be a metaphysical world; the absolute possibility of it is hardly to be disputed.  We look at everything through the human head and cannot cut this head off; while the question remains: what would be left of the world if it had been cut off?  This is a purely scientific problem and one not very likely to trouble mankind; but everything which has hitherto made metaphysical suppositions valuable, terrible, delightful for man, what has produced them, is passion, error, and self deception; the very worst methods of knowledge, not the best, have taught belief therein.  When these methods have been discovered as the foundation of all existing religions and metaphysics, they have been refuted.  Then there still always remains that possibility; but there is nothing to be done with it, much less is it possible to let happiness, salvation, and life depend on the spider thread of such a possibility.  For nothing could be said of the metaphysical world but that it would be a different condition, a condition inaccessible and incomprehensible to us; it would be a thing of negative qualities.  Were the existence of such a world ever so well proved, the fact would nevertheless remain that it would be precisely the most irrelevant of all forms of knowledge: more irrelevant than the knowledge of the chemical analysis of water to the sailor in danger in a storm.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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