PHL 303 Final Review Questions
Leon, Fall 07
1) How is resisting instincts a symptom of decline in Nietzsche?
for all of life is based on semblance, art, deception, points of
view, and the necessity of perspectives and error. 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. Hatred of 'the
world,' condemnations of the passions, fear of beauty and
sensuality, a beyond invented the better to slander this life, at
bottom a craving for the nothing, for the end, for respite, for 'the
sabbath of sabbaths' - all this always struck me, no less than the
unconditional will of Christianity to recognize only moral values,
as the most dangerous and uncanny form of all possible forms of
a 'will to decline' - at the very least a sign of abysmal sickness,
weariness, discouragement, exhaustion, and the impoverishment
of life. For, confronted with morality (especially Christian, or
unconditional, morality), life must continually and inevitably be in
the wrong, because life is something essentially amoral - and
eventually, crushed by the weight of contempt and the eternal
No, life must then be felt to be unworthy of desire and altogether
worthless. Morality itself - how now? might not morality be 'a will
to negate life,' a secret instinct of annihilation, a principle of
decay, diminution, and slander - the beginning of the end?
Hence, the danger of dangers?
A people perishes when it confuses its duty with duty in general.
Nothing ruins us more profoundly, more intimately, than every
"impersonal" duty, every sacrifice to the Moloch of abstraction.—
How could one fail to feel how Kant's categorical imperative
endangered life itself! .
.. The theologians' instinct alone protected
it!— An action demanded by the instinct of life is proved to be
right by the pleasure that accompanies it; yet this nihilist with his
Christian dogmatic entrails considered pleasure an objection .
What could destroy us more quickly than working, thinking, and
feeling without any inner necessity, without any deeply personal
choice, without pleasure—as an automaton of "duty"? This is the
very recipe for décadence, even for idiocy .
Nietzsche thinks “a life bright, cold, careful, aware, without and in resistance to instincts”
is sick and it’s a formula to decadence to have to fight instincts.