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Friedrich Nietzsche

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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)
German philosopher who reasoned that Christianity's emphasis on the afterlife makes its believers less able to cope with earthly life

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Friedrich Nietzsche, from the Stoeving portraitWhich is it: is man one of God's blunders, or is God one of man's blunders?
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (1889), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

"Sins" are indispensable to every society organized on an ecclesiastical basis; they are the only reliable weapons of power; the priest lives upon sins; it is necessary to him that there be "sinning."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist (1888), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

One does not kill by anger but by laughter.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols "Things the Germans Lack" (1888), quoted from Encarta Book of Quotations (1999)

Convictions are greater enemies of truth than lies.
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, quoted from Tom Vilot, "Convictions" (visual art piece)

In former times, one sought to prove that there is no God -- today one indicates how the belief that there is a God arose and how this belief acquired its weight and importance: a counter-proof that there is no God thereby becomes superfluous. -- When in former times one had refuted the "proofs of the existence of God" put forward, there always remained the doubt whether better proofs might not be adduced than those just refuted: in those days atheists did not know how to make a clean sweep.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreaks, page 95, R J Hollingdale, translator

So long as the priest, that professional negator, slanderer and poisoner of life, is regarded as a superior type of human being, there cannot be any answer to the question: What is Truth?
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

One kind of honesty has been unknown to all founders of religions and their likes -- they have never made of their experiences a matter of conscience and knowledge. "What did I really experience? What happened in me and around me then? Was my mind sufficiently alert? Was my will bent against fantasy?" -- none of them has asked such questions, none of our dear religious people asks such questions even now: they feel, rather, a thirst for things which are contrary to reason and do not put too many difficulties in the way of satisfying it -- thus they experience "miracles" and "rebirths" and hear the voices of angels!
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, page 319

Whatever a theologian regards as true must be false: there you have almost a criterion of truth.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist (1895), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Insulting Quotations

A casual stroll through a lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

God is a thought that makes crooked all that is straight.
-- Friedrieh Wilhelm Nietzsche, quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

"Faith" means the will to avoid knowing what is true.
-- Friedrieh Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Antichrist

The only excuse for god is that he doesn't exist.
-- Friedrieh Wilhelm Nietzsche, quoted from a bumper sticker

Christians call it faith ... I call it the herd.
-- Friedrieh Wilhelm Nietzsche, quoted from a bumper sticker

One is not converted to christianity; one must be morbid enough for it.
-- Friedrieh Wilhelm Nietzsche, quoted from a bumper sticker

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882), quoted from Encarta Book of Quotations (1999)

One had better put on gloves before handling the New Testament. The presence of so much filth makes it highly advisable.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, quoted from Chaz Bufe, The Heretic's Handbook of Quotations

The soul must have its chosen sewers to carry away its ordure. This function is performed by persons, relationships, professions, the fatherland, the world, or finally, for the really arrogant -- I mean our modern pessimists -- by the Good God himself.
-- Friedrieh Wilhelm Nietzsche, quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

"God", "immortality of the soul", "redemption", "beyond" -- Without exception, concepts to which I have never devoted any attention, or time; not even as a child. Perhaps I have never been childlike enough for them? I do not by any means know atheism as a result; even less as an event: It is a matter of course with me, from instinct. I am too inquisitive, too questionable, too exuberant to stand for any gross answer. God is a gross answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers -- at bottom merely a gross prohibition for us: you shall not think!
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, Walter Kaufmann, translator

Christianity was from the beginning, essentially and fundamentally, life's nausea and disgust with life, merely concealed behind, masked by, dressed up as, faith in "another" or "better" life.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, page 23, Walter Kaufmann, translator

Christianity came into existence in order to lighten the heart; but now it has first to burden the heart so as afterwards to be able to lighten it. Consequently it shall perish.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, page 119, R J Hollingdale, translator

The preponderance of pain over pleasure is the cause of our fictitious morality and religion.
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

What distinguishes us [scientists] from the pious and the believers is not the quality but the quantity of belief and piety; we are contented with less. But if the former should challenge us: then be contented and appear to be contented! -- then we might easily reply:
     "We are, indeed, not among the least contented. You, however, if your belief makes you blessed then appear to be blessed! Your faces have always been more injurious to your belief than our objections have! If these glad tidings of your Bible were written on your faces, you would not need to insist so obstinately on the authority of that book ... As things are, however, all your apologies for Christianity have their roots in your lack of Christianity; with your defense plea you inscribe your own bill of indictment."
     -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Nietzsche's Assorted Opinions and Maxims, page 98, R J Hollingdale, translator

Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature -- is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreaks, page 89, R J Hollingdale, translator

Parasitism is the only practice of the church; with its ideal of anaemia, its "holiness", draining all blood, all love, all hope for life; the beyond as the will to negate every reality; the cross as the mark of recognition for the most subterranean conspiracy that ever existed-against health, beauty, whatever has turned out well, courage, spirit, graciousness of the soul, against life itself.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist (1895), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Insulting Quotations

I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are too venomous, too underhand, too underground and too petty -- I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind.
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Antichrist (1888), quoted from Encarta Book of Quotations (1999)

There never was more than one Christian, and he died on the Cross.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

Whoever has the blood of theologians in his veins, stands from the start in a false and dishonest position to all things. The pathos which grows out of this state is called Faith: that is to say, to shut one's eyes once and for all, in order not to suffer at the sight of incurable falsity. People convert this faulty view of all things into a moral, a virtue, a thing of holiness. They endow their distorted vision with a good conscience,--they claim that no other point of view is any longer of value, once theirs has been made sacrosanct with the names "God," "Salvation," "Eternity." I unearthed the instinct of the theologian everywhere; it is the most universal, and actually the most subterranean falsity on earth.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

When on a Sunday morning we hear the bells ringing, we ask ourselves: it is possible! This is going on because of a Jew crucified 2,000 years ago who said he was the son of God. The proof of such an assertion is lacking. In the context of our age the Christian religion is certainly a piece of antiquity intruding out of distant ages past, and that the above-mentioned assertion is believed is perhaps the most ancient piece of the inheritance. A god who begets children on a mortal woman; a sage who calls upon us no longer to work, no longer to sit in judgment, but to heed the signs of the imminent end of the world; a justice which accepts an innocent man as a substitute sacrifice; someone who bids his disciples drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins perpetrated against a god atoned for by a god; fear of a Beyond to which death is the gateway; the figure of the Cross as a symbol in an age which no longer knows the meaning and shame of the Cross — how gruesomely all this is wafted to us, as if out of the grave of a primeval past! Can one believe that things of this sort are still believed in?
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human

Friedrich Nietzsche, portrait in BaselThe Christian church is an encyclopædia of prehistoric cults and conceptions of the most diverse origin, and that is why it is so capable of proselytizing: it always could, and it can still go wherever it pleases and it always found, and always finds something similar to itself to which it can adapt itself and gradually impose upon it a Christian meaning. It is not what is Christian in it, but the universal heathen character of its usages, which has favored the spread of this world-religion; its ideas, rooted in both the Jewish and the Hellenic worlds, have from the first known how to raise themselves above national and racial niceties and exclusiveness as though these were merely prejudices. One may admire this power of causing the most various elements to coalesce, but one must not forget the contemptible quality that adheres to this power: the astonishing crudeness and self-satisfiedness of the church's intellect during the time it was in process of formation, which permitted it to accept any food and to digest opposites like pebbles.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreaks, page 70, R J Hollingdale, translator

Really unreflective people are now inwardly without Christianity, and the more moderate and reflective people of the intellectual middle class now possess only an adapted, that is to say marvelously simplified Christianity. A god who in his love arranges everything in a manner that in the end will be best for us; a god who gives to us and takes from us our virtue and our happiness, so that as a whole all is meet and fit and there is no reason for us to take life sadly, let alone exclaim against it; in short, resignation and modest demands elevated to godhead -- that is the best and most vital thing that still remains of Christianity. But one should notice that Christianity has thus crossed over into a gentle moralism: it is not so much "God, freedom and immortality" that have remained, as benevolence and decency of disposition, and the belief that in the whole universe too benevolence and decency of disposition prevail: it is the euthanasia of Christianity.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreaks, page 92, R J Hollingdale, translator

As long as a man knows very well the strength and weaknesses of his teaching, his art, his religion, its power is still slight. The pupil and apostle who, blinded by the authority of the master and by the piety he feels toward him, pays no attention to the weaknesses of a teaching, a religion, and soon usually has for that reason more power than the master. The influence of a man has never yet grown great without his blind pupils. To help a perception to achieve victory often means merely to unite it with stupidity so intimately that the weight of the latter also enforces the victory of the former.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, page 122, R J Hollingdale, translator

If the Christian dogmas of a revengeful God, universal sinfulness, election by divine grace and the danger of eternal damnation were true, it would be a sign of weak-mindedness and lack of character not to become a priest, apostle or hermit and, in fear and trembling, to work solely on one's own salvation; it would be senseless to lose sight of one's eternal advantage for the sake of temporal comfort. If we may assume that these things are at any rate believed true, then the everyday Christian cuts a miserable figure; he is a man who really cannot count to three, and who precisely on account of his spiritual imbecility does not deserve to be punished so harshly as Christianity promises to punish him.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, page 116, RJ Hollingdale, translator

After Buddha was dead, his shadow was still shown for centuries in a cave -- a tremendous, gruesome shadow. God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. -- And we -- we still have to vanquish his shadow, too.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, page 108, Walter Kaufmann, translator

Priests ... these turkey-cocks of God.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist (1888), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

Friedrich NietzscheThat which does not kill me strengthens me.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, (attributed: source unknown)

After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, "Why I Am a Destiny" (1888), quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

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