The Will to Power

Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
I: Criticism of Morality

§257   Formerly it was said of every form of morality, “Ye shall know them by their fruits”. I say of every form of morality: “It is a fruit and from it I learn the Soil out of which it grew”.

Again, the claim that morality is not ‘out there,’ but arises out of circumstances, and that communal expectations reflect a consensus about the behaviors that are necessary for the tribe to flourish. This explains why some moral demands are universal, and others are local. It is everywhere inimical to order if theft and murder are commonplace, for example, but only a small tribe whose very existence is precarious has any reason to be concerned with same-sex relations.

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Dismal theology tweet for the day


Never ever forget: Y’all are no damn good.

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Every picture tells a story

Golly, what do you think is the story behind this picture of Indiana Governor Mike Pence signing a bill that permits discrimination against gays?

For even people who take pride in their unthinking bovine obedience to ancient texts written by anonymities, this is low. I would have preferred a video, frankly, so we could see whether any of those nuns, monks, friars, rabbis, and sundry Holy Men are squirming with justified embarrassment at the frank malice of the bill, or its all-but-certain unconstitutionality.

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Quote for the day

The rapid realignment of public and judicial opinion over the last decade toward gay rights has embroiled the Christian right in an existential crisis. That’s the way they see it, at least, which is why they’re framing the advance of gay rights in America as an assault on “religious freedom” generally, and Christianity specifically. It’s a bogus argument — the religious freedoms of Christian conservatives are not and never have been dependent upon the denial of rights to gay people — but the cause is being championed by conservatives in state governments who have moved to pass laws protecting discrimination against gays as an expression of “religious freedom.”

Simon Maloy

“But-but-but — what if I’m asked to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding? Isn’t that an infringement of my religious freedom?”

No, it is not. A bakery or flower shop is not a religious ministry; they are for-profit commercial enterprises, which do business at public sufferance — and the public has the right to demand civil behavior in public spaces.

I am shocked, every day, by the things Americans don’t know about their own country, its history and its laws — and in the case of the evangelical Right, about their own religion. These are the lunch-counter cases, again, which were argued half a century ago on the exact same grounds. The ‘religious freedom’ yahoos are wrong on homosexuality, wrong on the law, and wrong morally; they are not part of the decent, educated world.

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Meet my neighbors, ctd

Dave Miller of SBC Voices, went to a conference and took notes of a talk given by Daniel Akin, president of the local Southern Baptist seminary.

At Southeastern in the 90s. A student fired from his church because some black students came to VBS. They came and presented themselves for membership and the deacons immediately fired him because these black children came for baptism and membership.

There are Southern Baptist churches all over this area, and seminary students often work at them as a sort of work-study thing; the church gets some cheap labor, the seminarian gets some experience. What is more, I’ve heard an almost identical story 3-4 times about a church scarcely a mile from my house; indeed, that church might be the actor in this story. I don’t have any difficulty believing it.

Make no mistake: American slavery was economic — but the Bible was used to justify it, and the racist legacy and all the wasted, ruined lives belong to the Godly.

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Discerning His will

Oh, boy — this is what you get when nutcases are indulged instead of ignored.

  • In Colorado, lawmaker Gordon Klingenschmitt and radio host Kevin Swanson instruct the Pious that the recent case in which a woman’s baby was stolen via an ad hoc C-section may have been organized by God in order to graphically demonstrate that abortion is wrong.

  • George Zimmerman says God is in control and must have wanted Trayvon Martin to die.

    In a video released on Monday by the law firm Ayo and Iken, which represents Zimmerman, the 31-year-old said he has a clear conscience and does not believe things could have turned out differently that day in Sanford, Florida.

    “I believe God has his plans, and for me to second-guess them would be hypocritical, almost blasphemous,” he said in the video.

  • After tornadoes swept through Oklahoma on Wednesday — killing one, injuring dozens, and the de rigueur demolition of a couple of trailer parks — some pitiful yahoo took the photo at the right and happily pronounced God in control.

    Curiously, nobody has yet blamed the tornadoes on His dismay at Oklahoma’s efforts to frustrate same-sex marriage by allowing only clergy to perform weddings, or a bill which would require businesses which will not serve gays to make a public announcement of it, though that is at least as reasonable as anything Gordon Klingenschmitt ever said.

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The Will to Power

Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
I: Criticism of Morality

§256   Under “Morality“ I understand a system of valuations which is in relation with the conditions of a creature’s life.

iconiconThis is such a short and reasonable-sounding note that it’s easy to overlook that Nietzsche is making here an epochal break with the whole of prior Western thought. Morality, he is saying, is not something pre-existing and ‘out there,’ as the Abrahamic faiths have taught for more than 3000-years (e.g., “The Invisible Wizard says so.”), but something located in the facts of life right here. This was the subject of one of his most famous, widely-read books, The Genealogy of Morality.

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The Will to Power

Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
I: Criticism of Morality

§255   All virtues should be looked upon as physiological conditions: the principal organic functions, more particularly, should be considered necessary and good. All virtues are really refined passions and elevated physiological conditions.

Pity and philanthropy may be regarded as the developments of sexual relations, justice as the development of the passion for revenge, virtue as the love of resistance, the will to power, honour as an acknowledgment of an equal, or of an equally powerful, force.

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Jeb Bush: Unacceptable to the loonies

We all knew this would happen, right?

Fearing that Republicans will ultimately nominate an establishment presidential candidate like Jeb Bush, leaders of the nation’s Christian right have mounted an ambitious effort to coalesce their support behind a single social-conservative contender months before the first primary votes are cast.

In secret straw polls and exclusive meetings from Iowa to California, the leaders are weighing the relative appeal and liabilities of potential standard-bearers like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and the former governors Rick Perry, of Texas, and Mike Huckabee, of Arkansas.

It was during the Terri Schiavo grotesquerie that I realized how sick the Republicans had actually become, and Jeb Bush played no small part in that. I like his support for immigration reform, however, and his support for Common Core, so I wouldn’t say the Schiavo fiasco rules him off the table.

But … Cruz? Jindal? Perry? Huckabee? Could they possibly be serious?

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Dismal theology quote for the day

We can be Americans best if we are not Americans first.

Russell Moore

This is a reprise, of course, of the Southern Baptist teaching about marriage: Your Invisible Friend must always come first. Have I mentioned lately that the Southern Baptists are growing more cultish by the day?

Moral reasoning entered the world as reflection about the behaviors necessary for the tribe to flourish, in the days when people actually did live in tribes. But, now, we belong to many tribes — the immediate family comprised of spouse and children, the company tribe, the national tribe — and on close inspection, most ethical conflicts have their roots in the question, Which tribe’s interests has first claim in this situation? The Southern Baptist answer — We, the people of the Invisible Wizard! Always! — is predictable, but childish. Life is more complicated than that.

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