Friedrich Nietzsche, Miscellaneous Maxims and opinions (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche).

Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions, the first supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1879.  A second supplement, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten) followed in 1880.


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Previous Section   225. FAITH MAKES HOLY AND CONDEMNS   Next Section

Faith makes Holy and Condemns.  A Christian who happened upon forbidden paths of thought might well ask himself on some occasion whether it is really necessary that there should be a God, side by side with a representative Lamb, if faith in the existence of these beings suffices to produce the same influences?  If they do exist after all, are they not superfluous beings?  For all that is given by the Christian religion to the human soul, all that is beneficent, consoling, and edifying, just as much as all that depresses and crushes, emanates from that faith and not from the objects of that faith.  It is here as in another well-known case — there were indeed no witches, but the terrible effects of the belief in witches were the same as if they really had existed.  For all occasions where the Christian awaits the immediate intervention of a God, though in vain (for there is no God), his religion is inventive enough to find subterfuges and reasons for tranquillity.  In so far Christianity is an ingenious religion.  Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains, although I do not know who assumed that it could. But it can put mountains where there are none.  But it can put mountains where there are none.  

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