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TO BE JUST or TO BE JUDGES February 1, 2012

Posted by aldelsol in FREE WILL.
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The Wish to be Just and the Wish to be a Judge.

—Schopenhauer, whose profound understanding of what is human and all-too-human and original sense for facts was not a little impaired by the bright leopard-skin of his metaphysic (the skin must first be pulled off him if one wants to find the real moralist genius beneath)

—Schopenhauer makes this admirable distinction, wherein he comes far nearer the mark than he would himself dare to admit:

“Insight into the stern necessity of human actions is the boundary line that divides philosophic from otherbrains.”

He worked against that wonderful insight of which he was sometimes capable by the prejudice that he had in common with the moral man (not the moralist), a prejudice that he expresses quite guilelessly and devoutly as follows:

“The ultimate and true explanation of the inner being of the entirety of things must of necessity be closely connected with that about the ethical significance of human actions.” This connection is not“necessary” at all: such a connection must rather be rejected by that principle of the stern necessity of human actions, that is, the unconditioned non-freedom and non-responsibility of the will.

Philosophic brains will accordingly be distinguished from others by their disbelief in the metaphysical significance of morality. This must create between the two kinds of brain a gulf of a depth and unbridgeableness of which the much-deplored gulf between “cultured” and “uncultured” scarcely gives a conception. It is true that many back doors, which the “philosophic brains,” like Schopenhauer’s own, have left for themselves, must be recognised as useless. None leads into the open, into the fresh air of the free will, but every door through which people had slipped hitherto showed behind it once more the gleaming brass wall of fate. For we are in a prison, and can only dream of freedom, not make ourselves free. That the recognition of this fact cannot be resisted much longer is shown by the despairing and incredible postures and grimaces of those who still press against it and continue their wrestling-bout with it.

Their attitude at present is something like this:“So no one is responsible for his actions? And all is full of guilt and the consciousness of guilt? But some one must be the sinner. If it is no longer possible or permissible to accuse and sentence the individual, the one poor wave in the inevitable rough-and-tumble of the waves of development—well, then, let this stormy sea, this development itself, be the sinner. Here is free will: this totality can be accused and sentenced, can atone and expiate.

So let God be the sinner and man his redeemer.Let the world’s history be guilt, expiation, and self-murder. Let the evil-doer be his own judge, the judge his own hangman.” This Christianity strained to its limits—for what else is it?—is the last thrust in the fencing-match between the teaching of unconditioned morality and the teaching of unconditioned non-freedom. It would be quite horrible if it were anything more than a logical pose, a hideous grimace of the underlying thought, perhaps the death-convulsion of the heart that seeks a remedy in its despair, the heart to which delirium whispers: “Behold, thou art the lamb which taketh away the sin of God.”

This error lies not only in the feeling, “I am responsible,” but just as much in the contradiction, “I am not responsible, but some one must be.” That is simply not true. Hence the philosopher must say, like Christ, “Judge not,” and the final distinction between the philosophic brains and the others would be that the former wish to be just and the latter wish to be judges.

HTH -II-33

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