Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten).

The Wanderer and his Shadow, the second supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1880.


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The Fatalism of the Turk.  The fatalism of the Turk has this fundamental defect, that it contrasts man and fate as two distinct things.  Man, says this doctrine, may struggle against fate and try to baffle it, but in the end fate will always gain the victory.  Hence the most rational course is to resign oneself or to live as one pleases.  As a matter of fact, every man is himself a piece of fate.  When he thinks that he is struggling against fate in this way, fate is accomplishing its ends even in that struggle.  The combat is a fantasy, but so is the resignation in fate — all these fantasies are included in fate.  The fear felt by most people of the doctrine that denies the freedom of the will is a fear of the fatalism of the Turk.  They imagine that man will become weakly resigned and will stand before the future with folded hands, because he cannot alter anything of the future.  Or that he will give a free rein to his caprices, because the predestined cannot be made worse by that course.  The follies of men are as much a piece of fate as are his wise actions, and even that fear of belief in fate is a fatality.  You yourself, you poor timid creature, are that indomitable Moira, which rules even the Gods; whatever may happen, you are a curse or a blessing, and in any case the fetters wherein the strongest lies bound: in you the whole future of the human world is predestined, and it is no use for you to be frightened of yourself.  

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