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.
1. All passions have a phase when they are merely disastrous, when they drag down their victim with the weight of stupidity–and a later, very much later phase when they wed the spirit, when they “spiritualize” themselves. Formerly, in view of the element of stupidity in passion, war was declared on passion itself, its destruction was plotted; all the old moral monsters are agreed on this: il faut tuer les passions. The most famous formula for this is to be found in the New Testament, in that Sermon on the Mount, where, incidentally, things are by no means looked at from a height. There it is said, for example, with particular reference to sexuality: “If thy eye offend thee, pluck it out.” Fortunately, no Christian acts in accordance with this precept. Destroying the passions and cravings, merely as a preventive measure against their stupidity and the unpleasant consequences of this stupidity–today this itself strikes us as merely another acute form of stupidity. We no longer admire dentists who “pluck out” teeth so that they will not hurt any more.
To be fair, it should be admitted, however, that on the ground out of which Christianity grew, the concept of the “spiritualization of passion” could never have been formed. After all, the first church, as is well known, fought against the “intelligent” in favor of the “poor in spirit.” How could one expect from it an intelligent war against passion? The church fights passion with excision in every sense: its practice, its “cure,” is castratism. It never asks: “How can one spiritualize, beautify, deify a craving?” It has at all times laid the stress of discipline on extirpation (of sensuality, of pride, of the lust to rule, of avarice, of vengefulness). But an attack on the roots of passion means an attack on the roots of life: the practice of the church is hostile to life.
We all live alone
pretending to look at the world through misformed glass
the windows don’t open in this cellar
we breathe through cracks we made
we love the fresh air to get in
not out there
My “fresh air”, so to say, is reading books from people that I can relate to. I would like to meet people that are still alive and have similar thoughts like these long-dead philosophers, but no one has taught me the secret sign that like-minded people give each other when they cross each other in life. I like to read Nietzsche, but it doesn’t really matter which philosopher you read because they all share a willingness to search and question and have all seen the underlying problems. Their answers might be different, but I don’t think that answers are that important to get wiser; maybe answers function is being an anchor, and having one might tempt you to throw it overboard in rougher weather or when tired of sailing
Underneath are some quotes from one of Nietzsche’s last books: Twilight of the idols, or how to philosophize with a hammer. The hammer he uses is not one we use for driving nails but one the doctor uses to test reflexes and abnormalities in the nervous system…just so you know. Stucked between these quotes is a famous one “Out of life’s school of war: What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” Because of all the (mis)use, it is now some kind of a platitude for me, but that doesn’t take away that you can still write a book about this one quote if you want.
8. What alone can be our doctrine? – Because no one gives man his qualities, neither God, nor society, nor his parents and ancestors, nor he himself (- the absurdity of this last idea has been rejected as “intelligible freedom” by Kant, perhaps even taught by Plato). No one is responsible for ensuring that he’s there, so and so constituted that he is that he is under these circumstances in this environment. The fatality of his nature is not disentangled from the fatality of all that was and what will be. It is not the result of an intention, a will, a purpose, not with him, an attempt is made to achieve an “ideal of man” or an “ideal of happiness” or an “ideal of morality,” – it is absurd his Being (Sein) in any way trying to pass a purpose. We have used the term “purpose” invented in the real world… lack of purpose it is necessary, it is a piece of calamity, one belongs to the whole, it is on the whole, – there is nothing that addressed our being, measure, compare, could condemn, because that would mean the whole set, measure, condemn, compare… But there is nothing out of the whole! – That will make no one more responsible, that the nature of existence can not be attributed primarily to a cause, that the world is neither as sensorium nor as ‘spirit’ is a unity, this is only the great liberation – thus only the innocence of becoming (Unschuld des Werdens) restored… The term “God” has been the greatest objection to existence (Dasein)… We deny God, we deny the responsibility in God: we only deliver to the world. – (Wir leugnen Gott, wir leugnen die Verantwortlichkeit in Gott: damit erst erlösen wir die Welt).