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Son of a preacher-man

“Even with the most modest claim to integrity one must know today that a theologian, a priest, a pope does not merely err in every sentence he speaks, he lies—that he is no longer free to lie ‘innocently,’ out of ‘ignorance.’  The priest knows as well as anyone that there is no longer any ‘God,’ any ‘sinner,’ any ‘redeemer’—that ‘free will,’ ‘moral world-order’ are lies—intellectual seriousness, the profound self-overcoming of the intellect, no longer permits anyone not to know about these things….  All the concepts of the Church are recognized for what they are: the most malicious false-coinage there is for the purpose of disvaluing nature and natural values; the priest himself is recognized for what he is: the most dangerous kind of parasite, the actual poison-spider of life….  We know, our conscience knows today—what those sinister inventions of priest and Church are worth, what end they serve, with which that state of human self-violation has brought about which is capable of exciting disgust at the sight of mankind—the concepts ‘Beyond,’ ‘Last Judgement,’ ‘immortality of the soul,’ the ‘soul’ itself: they are instruments of torture, they are forms of systematic cruelty by virtue of which the priest has become master, stays master….  Everyone knows this: and everyone none the less remains unchanged.  Where have the last feelings of decency and self-respect gone when even our statesmen, in other ways very unprejudiced kinds of men and practical anti-Christians through and through, still call themselves Christians today and go to Communion?” — Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ (trans. Hollingdale; emphases and ellipses in original)

Published inFriedrich NietzscheLit & Crit

2 Comments

  1. Son of a spider-man.

    (I must start reading Nietzsche.)

    • One of my Christian relatives was concerned when I shared this quote on Facebook yesterday.

      Not all Nietzsche is created equal. He was the pioneer cultural critic and the model for most such criticism as it is practiced in our day. Much of what he wrote is of interest only to Nietzsche scholars and students of his times. Since I have read all of his major works in translation, please allow me to recommend those you may possibly find engaging: Human, All Too Human; Daybreak; Beyond Good and Evil; Twilight of the Idols; and The Anti-Christ.

      Some people get really enthused about The Will to Power and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but I don’t think those are among his best works. And beware! He can be a bit of a misogynist.

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