Dismal theology tweet for the day


Because, you know, y’all are no damn good.


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The Will to Power

Book One: European Nihilism
II: Nihilism

§ 55 Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones but by extreme positions of the opposite kind. Thus the belief in the absolute immorality of nature, in aim — and meaninglessness, is the psychologically necessary affect once the belief in God and an essentially moral order becomes untenable. Nihilism appears at that point, not that the displeasure at existence has become greater than before but because one has come to mistrust any “meaning” in suffering, indeed in existence. One interpretation has collapsed; but because it was considered the interpretation it now seems as if there were no meaning at all in existence, as if everything were in vain.

That this “in vain” constitutes the character of present-day nihilism remains to be shown. The mistrust of our previous valuations grows until it becomes the question: “Are not all ‘values’ lures that draw out the comedy without bringing it closer to a solution?” Duration “in vain,” without end or aim, is the most paralyzing idea, particularly when one understands that one is being fooled and yet lacks the power not to be fooled.

Let us think this thought in its most terrible form: existence as it is, without meaning or aim, yet recurring inevitably without any finale of nothingness: “the eternal recurrence.” This is the most extreme form of nihilism: the nothing (the “meaningless”), eternally!

The European form of Buddhism: the energy of knowledge and strength compels this belief. It is the most scientific of all possible hypotheses. We deny end goals: if existence had one it would have to have been reached.

So one understands that an antithesis to pantheism is attempted here: for “everything perfect, divine, eternal” also compels a faith in the “eternal recurrence.” Question: does morality make impossible a pantheistic affirmation of all things, too? At bottom, it is only the moral god that has been overcome. Does it make sense to conceive a god “beyond good and evil”? Would a pantheism in this sense be possible? Can we remove the idea of a goal from the process and then affirm the process in spite of this? — This would be the case if something were attained at every moment within this process — and always the same. Spinoza reached such an affirmative position in so far as every moment has a logical necessity, and with his basic instinct, which was logical, he felt a sense of triumph that the world should be constituted that way.

But his case is only a single case. Every basic character trait that is encountered at the bottom of every event, that finds expression in every event, would have to lead every individual who experienced it as his own basic character trait to welcome every moment of universal existence with a sense of triumph. The crucial point would be that one experienced this basic character trait in oneself as good, valuable — with pleasure.

It was morality that protected life against despair and the leap into nothing, among men and classes who were violated and oppressed by men: for it is the experience of being powerless against men, not against nature, that generates the most desperate embitterment against existence. Morality treated the violent despots, the doers of violence, the “masters” in general as the enemies against whom the common man must be protected, which means first of all encouraged and strengthened. Morality consequently taught men to hate and despise most profoundly what is the basic character trait of those who rule: their will to power. To abolish, deny, and dissolve this morality — that would mean looking at the best-hated drive with an opposite feeling and valuation. If the suffering and oppressed lost the faith that they have the right to despise the will to power, they would enter the phase of hopeless despair. This would be the case if this trait were essential to life and it could be shown that even in this will to morality this very “will to power” were hidden, and even this hatred and contempt were still a will to power. The oppressed would come to see that they were on the same plain with the oppressors, without prerogative, without higher rank.

Rather the opposite! There is nothing to life that has value, except the degree of power — assuming that life itself is the will to power. Morality guarded the underprivileged against nihilism by assigning to each an infinite value, a metaphysical value, and by placing each in an order that did not agree with the worldly order of rank and power: it taught resignation, meekness, etc. Supposing that the faith in this morality would perish, then the underprivileged would no longer have their comfort — and they would perish.

This perishing takes the form of self-destruction — the instinctive selection of that which must destroy. Symptoms of this self-destruction of the underprivileged: self-vivisection, poisoning, intoxication, romanticism, above all the instinctive need for actions that turn the powerful into mortal enemies (as it were, one breeds one’s own hangmen); the will to destruction as the will of a still deeper instinct, the instinct of self-destruction, the will for nothingness.

Nihilism as a symptom that the underprivileged have no comfort left; that they destroy in order to be destroyed; that without morality they no longer have any reason to “resign themselves” — that they place themselves on the plain of the opposite principle and also want power by compelling the powerful to become their hangmen. This is the European form of Buddhism — saying No after all existence has lost its “meaning.”

It is not that “distress” has grown: on the contrary. “God, morality, resignation,” were remedies on terribly low rungs of misery: active nihilism appears in relatively much more favorable conditions. The feeling that morality has been overcome presupposes a fair degree of spiritual culture, and this in turn that one is relatively well off. A certain spiritual weariness that, owing to the long fight of philosophical opinions, has reached the most hopeless skepticism regarding all philosophy, is another sign of the by no means low position of these nihilists. Consider the situation in which the Buddha appeared. The doctrine of the eternal recurrence would have scholarly presuppositions (as did the Buddha’s doctrine; e.g., the concept of causality, etc.).

***

What does “underprivileged” mean? Above all, physiologically — no longer politically. The unhealthiest kind of man in Europe (in all classes) furnishes the soil for this nihilism: they will experience the belief in the eternal recurrence as a curse, struck by which one no longer shrinks from any action; not to be extinguished passively but to extinguish everything that is so aimed and meaningless, although this is a mere convulsion, a blind rage at the insight that everything has been for eternities — even this moment of nihilism and lust for destruction. — It is the value of such a crisis that it purifies, that it pushes together related elements to perish of each other, that it assigns common tasks to men who have opposite ways of thinking — and it also brings to light the weaker and less secure among them and thus promotes an order of rank according to strength, from the point of view of health: those who command are recognized as those who command, those who obey as those who obey. Of course, outside every existing social order.

***

Who will prove to be the strongest in the course of this? The most moderate; those who do not require any extreme articles of faith; those who not only concede but love a fair amount of accidents and nonsense; those who can think of man with a considerable reduction of his value without becoming small and weak on that account: those richest in health who are equal to most misfortunes and therefore not so afraid of misfortunes — human beings who are sure of their power and represent the attained strength of humanity with conscious pride.

***

How would such a human being even think of the eternal recurrence?


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A sucker born every minute

Janet Mefferd surveys the wreckage surrounding Mark Driscoll and wonders: What the hell is wrong with those people who put up with him, anyway?

Everyone knows plagiarism is a horribly unethical thing to do, I thought, and the church will be outraged! Plagiarism ends careers in academia and in journalism; how could Christians ever tolerate it from a pastor, who should live by the highest of standards? Plus, Driscoll has publicly condemned plagiarism himself! So Christians will no doubt listen to this information, be horrified, and then his publisher will dump him, and his church will probably ask him to step down. Right? Because true Christians have top-notch ethics and morals, right? We wouldn’t dare allow a pastor who’s done this to get away with it. Right?

Ha.

[ ... ]

Pick your moment of revelation: Should it have been when Mark Driscoll claimed that God called him to be a pastor in a “weird charismatic moment?” How about when Donald Miller dubbed him “the cussing pastor?” Or maybe when he started having “pornovisions” or angrily screamed, “How dare you? Who the (blank) do you think you are?” at his church members? How about when he referenced the “pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus” that would result from people not getting on board with his “vision?” The pile that “by God’s grace … will be a mountain by the time we’re done?” Or the Elephant Room 2 debacle — might that have been a good time to abandon support for Pastor Mark and his cult of personality?

I simply don’t get it. Why didn’t the entire membership of Mars Hill get up and head for the exits at any of those points? Why didn’t his Christian fans unfollow him on social media, stop reading him, stop watching him and stop listening to him?

Christianity is predatory, a well-tested line of schtick for enslaving the insecure and using them to ruin those who who don’t fall for the line. That’s it — everything you need to know. Once you grasp that, you understand that the rest is inevitable.


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The Will to Power

Book One: European Nihilism
II: Nihilism

§ 54 It is my good fortune that after whole millennia of error and confusion I have rediscovered the way that leads to a Yes and a No.

I teach the No to all that makes weak — that exhausts.

I teach the Yes to all that strengthens, that stores up strength, that justifies the feeling of strength.

So far one has taught neither the one nor the other: virtue has been taught, mortification of the self, pity, even the negation of life. All these are the values of the exhausted.

Prolonged reflection on the physiology of exhaustion forced me to ask to what extent the judgments of the exhausted had penetrated the world of values.

My result was as surprising as possible, even for me who was at home in many a strange world: I found that all of the supreme value judgments — all that have come to dominate mankind, at least that part that has become tame — can be derived from the judgments of the exhausted.

Under the holiest names I pulled up destructive tendencies; one has called God what weakens, teaches weakness, infects with weakness. — I found that the “good man” is one of the forms in which decadence affirms itself.

That virtue of which Schopenhauer still taught that it is the supreme, the only virtue, and the basis of all virtues — precisely pity I recognized as more dangerous than any vice. To cross as a matter of principle selection in the species and its purification of refuse — that has so far been called virtue par excellence.-

One should respect fatality — that fatality that says to the weak: perish!-

One has called it God — that one resisted fatality, that one — corrupted mankind and made it rot. — One should not use the name of God in vain.

The race is corrupted — not by its vices but by its ignorance; it is corrupted because it did not recognize exhaustion as exhaustion: mistakes about physiological states are the source of all ills.

Virtue is our greatest misunderstanding.

Problem: How did the exhausted come to make the laws about values? Put differently: How did those come to power who are the last. — How did the instinct of the human animal come to stand on its head?


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The Will to Power

Book One: European Nihilism
II: Nihilism

§ 53 Even the ideals of science can be deeply, yet completely unconsciously influenced by decadence: our entire sociology is proof of that. The objection to it is that from experience it knows only the form of the decay of society, and inevitably it takes its own instincts of decay for the norms of sociological judgment.

In these norms the life that is declining in present-day Europe formulates its social ideals: one cannot tell them from the ideals of old races that have outlived themselves.

The herd instinct, then — a power that has now become sovereign — is something totally different from the instinct of an aristocratic society: and the value of the units determines the significance of the sum. — Our entire sociology simply does not know any other instinct than that of the herd, i.e., that of the sum of zeroes — where every zero has “equal rights,” where it is virtuous to be zero.

The valuation that is today applied to the different forms of society is entirely identical with that which assigns a higher value to peace than to war: but this judgment is antibiological, is itself a fruit of the decadence of life. — Life is a consequence of war, society itself a means to war. — As a biologist, Mr. Herbert Spencer is a decadent; as a moralist, too (he considers the triumph of altruism a desideratum!).


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