The Will to Power

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

§140   The philosopher considered as the development of the priestly type: He has the heritage of the priest in his blood; even as a rival he is compelled to fight with the same weapons as the priest of his time; he aspires to the highest authority. What is it that bestows authority upon men who have no physical power to wield (no army, no arms at all — )? How do such men gain authority over those who are in possession of material power and who represent authority? (Philosophers enter the lists against princes, victorious conquerors and wise statesmen.) They can do it only by establishing the belief that they are in possession of a power which is higher and stronger — God. Nothing is strong enough: every one is in need of the mediation and the services of priests. They establish themselves as indispensable intercessors. The conditions of their existence are: (1) That people believe in the absolute superiority of their god, in fact believe in their god (2) That there is no other access, no direct access to god, save through them. The second condition alone gives rise to the concept “heterodoxy “; the first to the concept “disbelievers” (that is to say, he who believes in another god).

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The Will to Power

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

§139   The priest wishes to make it an understood thing that he is the highest type of man, that he rules even over those who wield the power, that he is invulnerable and unassailable, that he is the strongest power in the community, not by any means to be replaced or undervalued.

Means thereto: he alone knows; he alone is the man of virtue; he alone has sovereign power over himself- he alone is, in a certain sense, God and ultimately goes back to the Godhead; he alone is the middleman between God and others; the Godhead administers punishment to every one who puts the priest at a disadvantage, or who thinks in opposition to him.

Means thereto: Truth exists. There is only one way of attaining to it and that is to become a priest. Every good in order, nature, or tradition, is to be traced to the wisdom of the priests. The Holy Book is their work. The whole of nature is only a fulfilment of the maxims which it contains. No other source of goodness exists than the priests. Every other kind of perfection, even the warrior’s is different in rank from that of the priests.

Consequence: If the priest is to be the highest type, then the degrees which lead to his virtues must be the degrees of value among men. Study, emancipation from material things, inactivity, impassibility, absence of passion, solemnity; — the opposite of all this is found in the lowest type of man.

The priest has taught a kind of morality which conduced to his being considered the highest type of man. He conceives a type which is the reverse of his own: the Chandala. By making these as contemptible as possible, some strength is lent to the order of castes. The priest’s excessive fear of sensuality also implies that the latter is the most serious threat to the order of castes (that is to say, order in general) — Every “free tendency“ in puncto puncti overthrows the laws of marriage.

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Overseas missions: Looking a lot like church

Every pastor knows perfectly well that the majority of men sitting in church on Sunday morning were dragged there by their wives, that the average man has no interest in listening to some pissant preacher berate him — especially if that man has done the hard work of getting himself a gen-u-ine education and knows for a rock-solid, bolted-down fact that most of what the preacher says is excruciatingly stupid nonsense.

Well, what do you know? It turns out — to their inestimable credit — that fewer men are willing to glorify Jesus these days by going to remote pestholes where the people eat bugs. Let those National Geographic characters figure it out for themselves appears to be the attitude.

The irreverent phrase that not-so-gently stepped on the little twinkies of our young, single, male seminarians was, “SNIVELING WIMPS.” How impolite, and impolitic of Plodder to call the few, the called, the proud, the chest thumping, set-the-world-on-fire young male Southern Baptist seminarians ‘sniveling wimps’. Why do that?

Here’s why: You can’t get these guys to go overseas and serve the Lord in some of the more difficult places where the Gospel is needed the most…but you can get girls to do it.

Interesting, no? Every plausible explanation that I can come up with to explain this entails the word ‘delusional,’ so I guess I’ll keep my speculations to myself. But you braver, and single, sorts are welcome to use the comments.

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The Will to Power

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

§138   Priests are the actors of something which is supernatural, either in the way of ideals, gods, or saviours and they have to make people believe in them; in this they find their calling, this is the purpose of their instincts; in order to make it as credible as possible, they have to exert themselves to the utmost extent in the art of posing; their actor’s sagacity must, above all, aim at giving them a clean conscience, by means of which, alone, it is possible to persuade effectively.

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Those collapsing roofs in Buffalo

As most of you probably know by now, the huge snowfall in Buffalo has caused many roofs to collapse. Let me digress for a few minutes to explain how engineers design for this problem.

Engineers do NOT design roofs, and the beams and trusses that hold up the roof, to accommodate the heaviest possible snowfall; they design to accommodate some experience-based fraction of the heaviest possible snowfall. This is because there is usually a lot of wind associated with an epochal snowfall like the one that just plastered Buffalo, and the wind blows most the snow right off.

If the 100-year storm — I’m just picking numbers here — is 48-inches in one day, then the local code might require design for 18-inches of snow, because experience has taught that a blizzard like that is usually accompanied by a lot of wind that blows most of the snow off a pitched roof.

Engineers do not design for some nightmarish ‘worst case.’ Engineers design for what experience has taught is the worst that can reasonably be expected.

“Engineering is the application of scientific principles to the economical solution of real world problems.” That is, word-for-word, the definition of engineering that was drummed into my head decades ago at Michigan Tech, and the key word in that definition is ‘economical.’ Engineers could easily design a house with a roof that would support 72-inches of snow — but you couldn’t afford to live in it.

There are no easy answers in engineering design, just hard choices.

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