Twilight of the Idols, or How to Philosophize with a Hammer.
THE FOUR GREAT ERRORS
7 The error of free will. Today we no longer have any pity for the concept of “free will”: we know only too well what it really is–the foulest of all theologians’ artifices aimed at making mankind “responsible” in their sense, that is, dependent upon them. Here I simply supply the psychology of all “making responsible.”
Wherever responsibilities are sought, it is usually the instinct of wanting to judge and punish which is at work. Becoming has been deprived of its innocence when any being-such-and-such is traced back to will, to purposes, to acts of responsibility: the doctrine of the will has been invented essentially for the purpose of punishment, that is, because one wanted to impute guilt. The entire old psychology, the psychology of will, was conditioned by the fact that its originators, the priests at the head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves the right to punish–or wanted to create this right for God. Men were considered “free” so that they might be judged and punished–so that they might become guilty: consequently, every act had to be considered as willed, and the origin of every act had to be considered as lying within the consciousness (and thus the most fundamental counterfeit in psychologicis was made the principle of psychology itself).
Today, as we have entered into the reverse movement and we immoralists are trying with all our strength to take the concept of guilt and the concept of punishment out of the world again, and to cleanse psychology, history, nature, and social institutions and sanctions of them, there is in our eyes no more radical opposition than that of the theologians, who continue with the concept of a “moral world-order” to infect the innocence of becoming by means of “punishment” and “guilt.” Christianity is a metaphysics of the hangman.