Tag Archives: philosophy

Cantos XVII, XVIII, XIX, and XX

“LO! the fell monster with the deadly sting!
Who passes mountains, breaks through fenced walls
And firm embattled spears, and with his filth
Taints all the world!”  Thus me my guide address’d,
And beckon’d him, that he should come to shore,
Near to the stony causeway’s utmost edge.

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Cantos IVX, XV, XVI

SOON as the charity of native land
Wrought in my bosom, I the scatter’d leaves
Collected, and to him restor’d, who now
Was hoarse with utt’rance.  To the limit thence
We came, which from the third the second round
Divides, and where of justice is display’d
Contrivance horrible.  Things then first seen
Clearlier to manifest, I tell how next
A plain we reach’d, that from its sterile bed
Each plant repell’d. The mournful wood waves round
Its garland on all sides, as round the wood
Spreads the sad foss.  There, on the very edge,
Our steps we stay’d.  It was an area wide
Of arid sand and thick, resembling most
The soil that erst by Cato’s foot was trod.

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Cantos XI, XII, and XIII

UPON the utmost verge of a high bank,
By craggy rocks environ’d round, we came,
Where woes beneath more cruel yet were stow’d:
And here to shun the horrible excess
Of fetid exhalation, upward cast
From the profound abyss, behind the lid
Of a great monument we stood retir’d,

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Cantos IIX, IX, and X

MY theme pursuing, I relate that ere
We reach’d the lofty turret’s base, our eyes
Its height ascended, where two cressets hung
We mark’d, and from afar another light
Return the signal, so remote, that scarce
The eye could catch its beam.  I turning round
To the deep source of knowledge, thus inquir’d:
“Say what this means?  and what that other light
In answer set?  what agency doth this?”
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On the Genealogy of Morals, A Polemical Tract by Friedrich Nietzsche

First Essay
Good and Evil, Good and Bad

1

—These English psychologists whom we have to thank for the only attempts up to this point to produce a history of the origins of morality —in themselves they serve up to us no small riddle. By way of a living riddle, they even offer, I confess, something substantially more than their books—they are interesting in themselves! These English psychologists—what do they really want? We find them, willingly or unwillingly, always at the same work, that is, hauling the partie honteuse [shameful part] of our inner world into the foreground, in order to look right there for the truly effective and operative factor which has determined our development, the very place where man’s intellectual pride least wishes to find it (for example, in the vis inertiae [force of inertia] of habit or in forgetfulness or in a blind, contingent, mechanical joining of ideas or in something else purely passive, automatic, reflex, molecular, and fundamentally stupid)—what is it that really drives these psychologists always in this particular direction? Is it a secret, malicious, common instinct, perhaps one which cannot be acknowledged even to itself, for belittling humanity? Or something like a pessimistic suspicion, the mistrust of idealists who’ve become disappointed, gloomy, venomous, and green? Or a small underground hostility and rancour towards Christianity (and Plato), which perhaps has never once managed to cross the threshold of consciousness? Or even a lecherous taste for what is odd or painfully paradoxical, for what in existence is questionable and ridiculous? Or finally—a bit of all of these: a little vulgarity, a little gloominess, a little hostility to Christianity, a little thrill, and a need for pepper? . . . But I’m told that these men are simply old, cold, boring frogs, who creep and hop around and into people as if they were in their own proper element, that is, in a swamp. I resist that idea when I hear it. What’s more, I don’t believe it. And if one is permitted to hope where one cannot know, then I hope from my heart that the situation with these men might be reversed, that these investigators and the ones peering at the soul through their microscopes may be thoroughly brave, generous, and proud animals, who know how to control their hearts and their pain and who at the same time have educated themselves to sacrifice everything desirable for the sake of the truth, for the sake of every truth, even the simple, bitter, hateful, repellent, unchristian, immoral truth. . . . For there are such truths. —

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Religion Does Not Correlate with Morality

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I’m sure this goes against everything you’ve been taught, but right and wrong do exist. Just because you don’t know what the right answer is — maybe there’s even no way you could know what the right answer is — doesn’t make your answer right or even okay. It’s much simpler than that. It’s just plain wrong. -Gregory House