Still aiming for the knockout blow, Nietzsche offers another scalding explanation for the rise of Christianity. As belief in a God tends to wane or ossify (as in 1st Century B.C.E. Palestine) there grows the belief that the debt to God cannot be paid (as with the state, the relationship between God and man is that of creditor and debtor). At first this realization brings horrible guilt; later man turns against his creditor (God, or nature, or even existence  ); eventually man finds alleviation in the unique claims of Christianity: that God, the creditor, has sacrificed himself out of love for his debtor! Tamed man, following Christian dictums, turns his natural instinct for cruelty against himself, and psychologically impales himself on the opposing horns of God and the devil. Or he completely eschews the pleasures of this life, mortifying his flesh in hopes of pleasure and reward in the next.
The tremendous achievement which I have referred to in Daybreak [The Dawn] as "the custom character of morals," that labor man accomplished upon himself over a vast period of time, receives its meaning and justification here — even despite the brutality, tyranny, and stupidity associated with the process.
Nietzsche called "Zarathustra" the new Bible, and told the world to "throw away all other books; you have my "Zarathustra." It is intoxicating rhetoric, and it has captivated adolescents for generations. It was written in only a few days, in a frenzy, perhaps of literally demon-inspired "automatic writing." No book ever written contains more Jungian archetypes, like a fireworks display of images from the unconscious.
Its essential message is the condemnation of present-day man as a weakling and the announcement of the next species, the Superman, who lives by "master morality" instead of "slave morality." God is dead, long live the new god!
"The Twilight of the Idols" explores the consequences of "the death of God." (Of course God never really lives, but faith in Him did. Now that is dead, says Nietzsche.) With God dies all objective truths (for there is no mind over ours) and objective values, laws and morality (for there is no will over ours). Soul, free will, immortality, reason, order, love-all these are "idols," little gods that are dying now that the Big God has died.
7, 13, 16), theessential work of a man on his own self in the longest-lasting age of the humanrace, his entire pre-historical work, derives its meaning, its grandjustification, from the following point, no matter how much hardship, tyranny,monotony and idiocy it also manifested: with the help of the morality of customand the social strait jacket, the human being was rendered truly predictable.
We find—as the ripestfruit on that tree—the sovereign individual, something which resembles onlyitself, which has broken loose again from the morality of custom—theautonomous individual beyond morality (for "autonomous" and"moral" are mutually exclusive terms)—in short, the human being whopossesses his own independent and enduring will, who is entitled to makepromises—and in him a proud consciousness, quivering in every muscle, of whathas finally been achieved and given living embodiment in him: a realconsciousness of power and freedom, a feeling of completion for human beingsgenerally.
A third school of thought sees Nietzsche as a wolf indeed and not a sheep, but as a very important thinker because he shows to modern Western civilization its own dark heart and future. It's easy to scapegoat and point fingers at "blacksheep" like Nietzsche and Hitler, but is there not a "Hitler in ourselves" (to quote Max Picard's title)? Did not Nietzsche let the cat out of the bag? The demonic cat that was hidden in the respectable bag of secular humanism? Once "God is dead," so is man, morality, love, freedom, hope, democracy, the soul and ultimately, sanity. No one shows this more vividly than Nietzsche. He may have been responsible (quite unintentionally) for many conversions.
Nietzsche's first book, "The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music," single-handedly revolutionized the accepted view of the ancient Greeks as all "sweetness and light," reason and order. For Nietzsche, the tragic poets were the great Greeks, and the philosophers, starting with Socrates, were the small ones, pale and passionless. All the Western world had followed Socrates and his rationalism and moralism, and had denied the other, darker side of man, the tragic side.
But the sort of mischief this prejudice cancause, once it has become unleashed as hatred, particularly where morality andhistory are concerned, is revealed in the well-known case of Buckle: theplebeian nature of the modern spirit, which originated in England, broke outonce again on its home turf, as violently as a muddy volcano and with the samesalty, overloud, and common eloquence with which all previous volcanoes havespoken (1).
This autonomous, more than moral individual (the terms autonomous and moral are mutually exclusive) has developed his own, independent, long-range will, which dares to make promises; he has a proud and vigorous consciousness of what he has achieved, a sense of power and , of absolute accomplishment.
He saw love as "the greatest danger" and morality as mankind's worst weakness. He died insane, in an asylum, of syphilis-signing his last letters "the Crucified One." He was adored by the Nazis as their semi-official philosopher.