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.

  

  Friedrich Nietzsche Full Text EBook  
Previous Section   98. THEATRICALITY AND HONESTY OF UNBELIEVERS   Next Section

Theatricality and Honesty of Unbelievers.  There is no book that contains in such abundance or expresses so faithfully all that man occasionally finds salutary — ecstatic inward happiness, ready for sacrifice or death in the belief in and contemplation of his truth — as the book that tells of Christ.  From that book a clever man may learn all the means whereby a book can be made into a world-book, a vade-mecum for all, and especially that master-means of representing everything as discovered, nothing as future and uncertain.  All influential books try to leave the same impression, as if the widest intellectual horizon were circumscribed here and as if about the sun that shines here every constellation visible at present or in the future must revolve.  Must not then all purely scientific books be poor in influence on the same grounds as such books are rich in influence?  Is not the book fated to live humble and among humble folk, in order to be crucified in the end and never resurrected?  In relation to what the religious inform us of their "knowledge" and their "holy spirit” are not all upright men of science "poor in spirit"?  Can any religion demand more self-denial and draw the selfish out of themselves more inexorably than science?  — This and similar things we may say, in any case with a certain theatricality, when we have to defend ourselves against believers, for it is impossible to conduct a defence without a certain amount of theatricality.  But between ourselves our language must be more honest, and we employ a freedom that those believers are not even allowed, in their own interests, to understand.  Away, then, with the monastic cowl of self-denial, with the appearance of humility!  Much more and much better — so rings our truth!  If science were not linked with the pleasure of knowledge, the utility of the thing known, what should we care for science?  If a little faith, love, and hope did not lead our souls to knowledge, what would attract us to science?  And if in science the ego means nothing, still the inventive, happy ego, every upright and industrious ego, means a great deal in the republic of the men of science.  The homage of those who pay homage, the joy of those whom we wish well or honour, in some cases glory and a fair share of immortality, is the personal reward for every suppression of personality: to say nothing here of meaner views and rewards, although it is just on this account that the majority have sworn and always continue to swear fidelity to the laws of the republic and of science.  If we had not remained in some degree unscientific, what would science matter to us?  Taking everything together and speaking in plain language: "To a purely knowing being knowledge would be indifferent”.  Not the quality but the quantity of faith and devoutness distinguishes us from the pious, the believers.  We are content with less.  But should one of them cry out to us: "Be content and show yourselves contented"!  We could easily answer: "As a matter of fact, we do not belong to the most discontented class.  But you, if your faith makes you happy, show yourselves to be happy.  Your faces have always done more harm to your faith than our reasons!  If that glad message of your Bible were written in your faces, you would not need to demand belief in the authority of that book in such stiff-necked fashion.  Your words, your actions should continually make the Bible superfluous — in fact, through you a new Bible should continually come into being.  As it is, your apologia for Christianity is rooted in your unchristianity, and with your defence you write your own condemnation.  If you, however, should wish to emerge from your dissatisfaction with Christianity, you should ponder over the experience of two thousand years, which, clothed in the modest form of a question, may be voiced as follows: "If Christ really intended to redeem the world, may he not be said to have failed"?  
 

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

Kindle Version : $1 from Amazon!

PDA, Mobile/Smart phone : $1 from MobiPocket.com!

 

All works are unique editions by Lexido of public domain texts provided by kind permission of Project Gutenberg

Wiki Portal Quotes Quotations Frases Citas Citações Citations Zitate Citazioni Cytat цитат Aforismi Aphorism Sözleri Vida Biografia