Today I cooked a bunch of food. I made homemade salsa, set up the slow cooker for dinner tomorrow with friends, and made a poppy seed chicken casserole recipe (shared by a friend). All the while I was listening to some Nietzsche on my IPod, trying to assure that more than my belly grew in the dinner process. I will admit that I have found Nietzsche very interesting ever since a fundy preacher from Australia yelled about how God isn‘t dead and taunted Nietzsche before thousands of pumped up teenagers at Cornerstone. Any way, without speaking to the eternal destination of anyone’s soul I would like to share a passage from Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals and ask if there is any irony (or a crippling shot) in this passage for the Australian preacher who decided to use Nietzsche’s presumably not-so-pleasant final destination as a rallying cry for a crowd of conservative evangelicals?
Belief in what? Love for what? Hope for what? There’s no doubt that these weak people at some time or another also want to be the strong people, some day their “kingdom” is supposed to arrive…they call it simply “the kingdom of God,” as I mentioned. People are indeed so humble about everything! But to experience that, one has to live a long time, beyond death…in fact, people must have an eternal life, so they can win eternal recompense in the “kingdom of God” for this earthly life “in faith, in love, in hope.” Recompense for what? Recompense through what?
In my view, Dante was grossly in error when, with an ingenuity meant to inspire terror, he set that inscription
over the gateway into his hell: “Eternal love also created me.” Over the gateway into the Christian paradise and its “eternal blessedness” it would, in any event, be more fitting to set the inscription “Eternal hate also created me”…provided it’s all right to set a truth over the gateway to a lie!
For what is the bliss of this paradise? . . . We might well have guessed that already, but it is better for it to be expressly described for us by an authority we cannot underestimate, Thomas Aquinas, the great teacher and saint: “In the kingdom of heaven the blessed will see the punishment of the damned, so that they will derive all the more pleasure from their heavenly bliss.” (1.15)