Abstract

Abstract:

In the last numbered section of The Antichrist, Nietzsche pronounces his "eternal indictment" of Christianity. If we focus on his condemnation of the moral emotion of compassion (Mitleid) and on the mendacity and vengefulness he attributes to priests and theologians, we are likely to conclude that his indictment is a moral one. But Nietzsche himself clearly and decisively resists this conclusion, twice characterizing his analysis as "moraline-free [moralinfrei]." In this article, I argue that we must take this caveat seriously, and that if we do, we will discover that the real target of this treatise is a sickness, "a pathos that calls itself belief [Glaube]," of which the tradition of Pauline Christianity, in which only "faith [Glaube] makes blessed," has been only the most virulent strain. I demonstrate that this diagnosis aligns Nietzsche with a long tradition of doxastic (as opposed to epistemic) varieties of skepticism, which treat "belief" in similarly pathological terms.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4594
Print ISSN
0968-8005
Pages
pp. 187-209
Launched on MUSE
2019-11-15
Open Access
No
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