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Friedrich Nietzsche's Quotes

"The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice: the sacrifice of all
freedom, all price, all self-confidence of spirit; it is at the same time
subjection, self-derision, and self-mutilation..."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, "Beyond Good and Evil," 1886

"The last Christian died on the cross."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"There is not enough religion in the world to destroy the world's religions."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"What was a lie in the father becomes a conviction in the son."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Antichrist" 1888

"I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"God is a thought who makes crooked all that is straight."


-Friedrich Nietzsche,"Thus Spake Zarathustra"

"One should not go into church if one wants to breathe pure air."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"Nothing is more pathological in our pathological modernity than this disease of Christian pity."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Antichrist" 1888

"However un-Christian this may sound, I am not even predisposed against myself."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"You who hate the Jews so, why did you adopt their religion?"


-Friedrich Nietzsche, addressing anti-semitic Christians

"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine."


-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). "Thus Spake Zarathustra"

"His (the theologian) basic instinct of self preservation forbids him to respect reality at any point or even to let it get a word in."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"Man is the cruelest animal. At tragedies, bullfights, and crucifixions he has so far felt best on earth; and when he invented hell for himself, behold, that was his very heaven."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"Christianity has the rancor of the sick at its very core--the instinct against the healthy, against health. Everything that is well-constructed, proud, gallant and, above all, beautiful gives offense to its ears and eyes."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Antichrist" 1888

"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" 1888

"Sins" are indispensable to every society organized on 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

"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, from "The Birth of Tragedy", p.23, Walter Kaufmann transl.

"Once the sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and these sinners died with him. To sin against the earth is now the most dreadful thing, and to esteem the entrails of the unknowable higher than the meaning of the earth."


-Zarathustra, in Friedrich Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", First Part

"One should not be deceived: great spirits are skeptics ... Strength, FREEDOM which is born of the strength and overstrength of the spirit, proves itself by skepticism. Men of conviction are not worthy of the least consideration in fundamental questions of value and disvalue. Convictions are prisons."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, "The AntiChrist"

"I bring against the Christian church the most terrible of all the accusations that an accuser has ever had in his mouth. It is, to me, the greatest of all imaginable corruptions; it seeks to work the ultimate corruption, the worst possible corruption. The Christian church has left nothing untouched by its depravity; it has turned every value into worthlessness, every truth into a lie, and every integrity into baseness of soul."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Antichrist" 1888

". . . an absurd problem came to the surface: 'How COULD God permit that (crucifixion of Jesus Christ)!' . . . the deranged reason of the little community found quite a frightfully absurd answer: God gave his Son for forgiveness, as a SACRIFICE . . . The SACRIFICE FOR GUILT, and just in its most repugnant and barbarous form -- the sacrifice of the innocent for the sins of the guilty! What horrifying heathenism!"


-Friedrich Nietzsche

"Wherever there are walls I shall inscribe this eternal accusation against Christianity upon them -- I can write in letters which make even the blind see... I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty -- I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind ..."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Anti-Christ", aph. 62 (1895)

"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, from Daybreaks. 95, R.J. Hollingdale transl.

"The Christian concept of God is one of the most corrupt conceptions of God arrived on earth; perhaps it even represents the low-water mark in the descending development of the God type. God degenerated to the *contradiction of life,* instead of being its transfiguration and eternal Yes! In God a declaration of hostility towards life, nature, and the will to life! God is the formula for every calumny of 'this world', for every lie about the 'next world!' In God nothingess defied, the will to nothingness sanctified . . . .


-Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

"Paul thought up the idea and Calvin rethought it, that for innumerable people damnation has been decreed from eternity, and that this beautiful world plan was instituted to reveal the glory of God: heaven and hell and humanity are thus supposed to exist -- to satisfy the vanity of God! What cruel and insatiable vanity must have flared in the soul of the man who thought this up first, or second. Paul has remained Saul after all -- the persecutor of God."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, from "The Wanderer and his Shadow", R.J. Hollingdale transl.

"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", p.319

"The belief that the world as it ought to be is, really exists, is a belief of the unproductive who do not desire to create a world as it ought to be. It is a measure of the degree of strength of will to what extent one can do without meaning in things, to what extent one can endure to live in a meaningless world because one organizes a small part of it oneself." All the beauty and sublimity we have bestowed upon... imaginary things I will reclaim as the property and product of man... with what regal liberality he has lavished gifts upon things so as to impoverish himself and make himself feel wretched!"


-Friedrich Nietzsche, from "The Will to Power"

"For the old gods, after all, things came to an end long ago; and verily, they had a good gay godlike end. They did not end in a "twilight," though this lie is told. Instead: one day they *laughed* themselves to death. That happened when the most godless word issued from one of the gods themselves--the word: "There is one god. Thou shalt have no other god before me!" An old grimbeard of a god, a jealous one, thus forgot himself. And then all the gods laughed and rocked on their chairs and cried, "Is not just this godlike that there are gods but no God?" He that has ears to hear, let him hear!

-Zarathustra, in Friedrich Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", First Part

"The advent of the Christian God, as the maximum god attained so far, was... accompanied by the maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness on Earth. Presuming we gradually enter upon the reverse course, there is no small probability that with the irresistible decline of faith in the Christian god, there is now a considerable decline in mankind's feeling of guilt; indeed, the prospect cannot be dismissed that the complete and definitive victory of Atheism might free mankind of this whole feeling of guilty in- debtedness towards its origin... Atheism and a kind of second innocence belong together."


-Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Genealogy of Morals

"Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place and cried incessantly: 'I am looking for God! I am looking for God!' - As many of those who did not believe in God were standing together there he excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him then? said one. Did he lose his way like a child? said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? or emigrated? - thus they shouted and laughed. The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. WE HAVE KILLED HIM - you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, foreward, in all direction? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light candles in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him."


-Friedrich Nietzsche

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