Quote: Culture of Pity

“Some have dared to call pity a virtue (in every noble ethic it is considered a weakness); and as if this were not enough, it has been made the virtue, the basis and source of all virtues. To be sure—and one should always keep this in mind—this was done by a philosophy that was nihilistic and had inscribed the negation of life upon its shield. Schopenhauer was consistent enough: pity negates life and renders it more deserving of negation.

Pity is the practice of nihilism. To repeat: this depressive and contagious instinct crosses those instincts which aim at the preservation of life and at the enhancement of its value. It multiplies misery and conserves all that is miserable, and is thus a prime instrument of the advancement of decadence: pity persuades men to nothingness!”

— Nietzsche, The Antichrist

by DA user Satanoy

2 thoughts on “Quote: Culture of Pity

  1. Nietzsche is one of my favorite philosophers – my absolute favorite among modern philosophers. This was a man who was well beyond his peers while living, and beyond comprehension to those who twisted his words to serve a destructive political agenda. And with this, I think he was right: pity does lessen us. It may be a matter of semantics; but I think compassion is a good thing to have … and pity is the state where compassion is taken far enough that it gets traded for an air of superiority. When I have compassion for someone, I see him or her as my equal, in need of help. When I pity someone, I assume I am better; and may be tempted to believe that person is beyond help. This does not lessen the other person, of course – but it lessens me.

    1. There are things I don’t like about his writing because it lacks a bit of nuance. But I think we start to know each other a bit, huh? I love to nuance strong, intense declaration. It makes them real for me! 🙂

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