Book Two: A Criticism of the Highest Values That Have Prevailed Hitherto
I: Criticism of Religion
§202 This was the most fatal form of insanity that has ever yet existed on earth: when these little lying abortions of bigotry begin laying claim to the words “God”, “last judgment”, “truth”, “love”, “wisdom”, “Holy Spirit”, and thereby distinguishing themselves from the rest of the world; when such men begin to reverse values to suit themselves, as though they were the sense, the salt, the standard and the measure of all things; then all that one should do is this: build lunatic asylums for their incarceration. To persecute them was an egregious act of antique folly: this was taking them too seriously; it was making them serious.
The whole fatality was made possible by the fact that a similar form of megalomania was already in existence, the Jewish form (once the gulf separating the Jews from the Christian-Jews was bridged, the Christian-Jews were compelled to employ those self-preservative measures afresh which were discovered by the Jewish instinct, for their own self-preservation, after having accentuated them); and again through the fact that Greek moral philosophy had done everything that could be done to prepare the way for moral-fanaticism, even among Greeks and Romans and to render it palatable — Plato, the great importer of corruption, who was the first who refused to see Nature in morality and who had already deprived the Greek gods of all their worth by his notion “good”, was already tainted with Jewish bigotry (in Egypt)?