On the Genealogy of Morals

By Friedrich Nietzsche

First Essay Good and Evil, Good and Bad 15

First Essay

Good and Evil, Good and Bad




Belief in what? Love for what? Hope for what? There`s no doubt that these weak people at some time or another also want to be the strong people, some day their "kingdom" is supposed to arrive - they call it simply "the kingdom of God," as I mentioned. People are indeed so humble about everything! But to experience that, one has to live a long time, beyond death - in fact, people must have an eternal life, so they can win eternal recompense in the "kingdom of God" for this earthly life "in faith, in love, in hope." Recompense for what? Recompense through what?

In my view, Dante was grossly in error when, with an ingenuity meant to inspire terror, he set that inscription over the gateway into his hell: "Eternal love also created me." Over the gateway into the Christian paradise and its "eternal blessedness" it would, in any event, be more fitting to set the inscription "Eternal hate also created me" - provided it`s all right to set a truth over the gateway to a lie!

For what is the bliss of this paradise? . . . We might well have guessed that already, but it is better for it to be expressly described for us by an authority we cannot underestimate, Thomas Aquinas, the great teacher and saint: . "Beati in regno coelesti", he says, as gently as a lamb, "videbunt poenas damnatorum, ut beatitudo illis magis complaceat" ["In the kingdom of heaven the blessed will see the punishment of the damned, so that they will derive all the more pleasure from their heavenly bliss."]

Or do you want to hear that message in a stronger tone, something from the mouth of a triumphant father of the church [Tertullian], who warns his Christians against the cruel sensuality of the public spectacles. But why? "Faith offers much more to us," he says, "something much stronger. Thanks to the redemption, very different joys are ours to command; in place of the athletes, we have our martyrs. If we want blood, well, we have the blood of Christ . . . But think of what awaits us on the day of his coming again, his triumph!" - and now he takes off, the rapturous visionary:

"At enim supersunt alia spectacula, ille ultimus et perpetuus judicii dies, ille nationibus insperatus, ille derisus, cum tanta saeculi vetustas et tot ejus nativitates uno igne haurientur. Quae tunc spectaculi latitudo! Quid admirer! Quid rideam! Ubi gaudeam! Ubi exultem, spectans tot et tantos reges, qui in coelum recepti nuntiabantur, cum ipso Jove et ipsis suis testibus in imis tenebris congemescentes! Item praesides (the provincial governors) persecutores dominici nominis saevioribus quam ipsi flammis saevierunt insultantibus contra Christianos liquescentes! Quos praeterea sapientes illos philosophos coram discipulis suis una conflagrantibus erubescentes, quibus nihil ad deum pertinere suadebant, quibus animas aut nullas aut non in pristine corpora redituras affirmabant! Etiam poëtàs non ad Rhadamanti nec ad Minois, sed ad inopinati Christi tribunal palpitantes! Tunc magis tragoedi audiendi, magis scilicet vocales (better voices since they will be screaming in greater terror) in sua propria calamitate; tunc histriones cognoscendi, solutiores multo per ignem; tunc spectandus auriga in flammea rota totus rubens, tunc xystici contemplandi non in gymnasiis, sed in igne jaculati, nisi quod ne tunc quidem illos velim vivos, ut qui malim ad eos potius conspectum insatiabilem conferre, qui in dominum desaevierung. `Hic est ille, dicam, fabri aut quaestuariae filis (in everything that follows and especially in the well-known description of the mother of Jesus from the Talamud Tertullian from this point on is referring to the Jews), sabbati destructor, Samarites et daemonium habens. Hic est, quem a Juda redemistis, hic est ille arundine et colaphis diverberatus, sputamentis dedecoratus, felle et aceto potatus. Hic est, quem clam discentes subripuerunt, ut resurrexisse dicatur vel hortulanus detraxit, ne lactucae suae frequentia commeantium laederentur.` Ut talia spectes, ut talibus exultes, quis tibi praetor aut consul aut quaestor aut sacerdos de sua liberalitate praestabit? Et tamen haec jam habemus quodammodo per fidem spiritu imaginante repraesentata. Ceterum qualia illa sunt, quae nec oculus vidit nec auris audivit nec in cor hominis ascenderunt" (1. Cor. 2, 9.) Credo circo et utraque cavea (first and fourth tier of seats or, according to others, the comic and tragic stages). Through faith: that`s how it`s written.

[However there are other spectacles??that last eternal day of judgment, ignored by nations, derided by them, when the accumulation of the years and all the many things which they produced will be burned in a single fire. What a broad spectacle then appears! How I will be lost in admiration! How I will laugh! How I will rejoice! I`ll be full of exaltation then as I see so many great kings who by public report were accepted into heaven groaning in the deepest darkness with Jove himself and alongside those very men who testified on their behalf! They will include governors of provinces who persecuted the name of our lord burning in flames more fierce that those with which they proudly raged against the Christians! And those wise philosophers who earlier convinced their disciples that god was irrelevant and who claimed either that there is no such thing as a soul or that our souls would not return to their original bodies will be ashamed as they burn in the conflagration with those very disciples. And the poets will be there, shaking with fear, not in front of the tribunal of Rhadamanthus or Minos, but of the Christ they did not anticipate! Then it will be easier to hear the tragic actors, because their voice will be more resonant in their own calamity (better voices since they will be screaming in greater terror). The actors will then be easier to recognize, for the fire will make them much more agile. Then the charioteer will be on show, all red in a wheel of fire, and the athletes will visible, thrown, not in the gymnasium, but in the fire, unless I have no wish to look at their bodies then, so that I can more readily cast an insatiable gaze on those who raged against our Lord. "This is the man," I will say, "the son of a workman or a prostitute (in everything that follows and especially in the well-known description of the mother of Jesus from the Talamud Tertullian from this point on is refering to the Jews), the destroyer of the sabbath, the Samaritan possessed by the devil. He is the man whom you brought from Judas, the man who was beaten with a reed and with fists, reviled with spit, who was given gall and vinegar to drink. He is the man whom his disciples took away in secret, so that it could be said that he was resurrected or whom the gardener took away, so that the crowd of visitors would not harm his lettuces." What praetor or consul or quaestor or priest will from his own generosity grant you the sight of such things or the exultation in them? And yet we already have these things to a certain extent through faith, represented to us by the imagining spirit. Besides, what sorts of things has the eye not seen or the ear not heard and what sorts of things have not arisen in the human heart (1. Cor. 2, 9)? I believe these are more pleasing than the race track and the circus and both enclosures (first and fourth tier of seats or, according to others, the comic and tragic stages). Through faith: that`s how it`s written.






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Resources On The Web

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - have not perused this site much but it appears chalk full o info

The perspectives of Nietzsche - with a title like this....

Friedrich Nietzsche Society - always find these types of sites interesting

Nietzsche Chronicle - if its from Dartmouth, its got to be good

Nietzsches Features - claims to be the best resorce out there

The Influence of Nietzsche - An outline of the effects of Nietzsches ideas

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