THE ANTICHRIST
By
Friedrich Nietzsche
Translation: H.L. Mencken

48.

--Has any one ever clearly understood the celebrated story at the beginning of the Bible--of God's mortal terror of science? . . . No one, in fact, has understood it. This priest-book par excellence opens, as is fitting, with the great inner difficulty of the priest: he faces only one great danger; ergo, "God" faces only one great danger.-- The old God, wholly "spirit," wholly the high-priest, wholly perfect, is promenading his garden: he is bored and trying to kill time. Against boredom even Gods struggle in vain.21What does he do? He creates man--man is entertaining. . . But then he notices that man is also bored. God's pity for the only form of distress that invades all paradises knows no bounds: so he forthwith creates other animals. God's first mistake: to man these other animals were not entertaining--he sought dominion over them; he did not want to be an "animal" himself.--So God created woman. In the act he brought boredom to an end--and also many other things! Woman was the second mistake of God.--"Woman, at bottom, is a serpent, Heva"--every priest knows that; "from woman comes every evil in the world"--every priest knows that, too. Ergo, she is also to blame for science. . . It was through woman that man learned to taste of the tree of knowledge.--What happened? The old God was seized by mortal terror. Man himself had been his greatest blunder; he had created a rival to himself; science makes men Godlike--it is all up with priests and Gods when man becomes scientific!--Moral: science is the forbidden per se; it alone is forbidden. science is the first of sins, the germ of all sins, the original sin. This is all there is of morality.--"Thou shalt not know"--the rest follows from that.--God's mortal terror, however, did not hinder him from being shrewd. How is one to protect one's self against science? For a long while this was the capital problem. Answer: Out of paradise with man! Happiness, leisure, foster thought--and all thoughts are bad thoughts!--Man must not think.--And so the priest invents distress, death, the mortal dangers of childbirth, all sorts of misery, old age, decrepitude, above all, sickness--nothing but devices for making war on science! The troubles of man don't allow him to think. . . Nevertheless--how terrible!--, the edifice of knowledge begins to tower aloft, invading heaven, shadowing the Gods--what is to be done?--The old God invents war; he separates the peoples; he makes men destroy one another (--the priests have always had need of war....). War--among other things, a great disturber of science !--Incredible! knowledge, deliverance from the priests, prospers in spite of war.--So the old God comes to his final resolution: "Man has become scientific--there is no help for it: he must be drowned!". . . .

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