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greatest superfluity of all is the lagging of the Incomplete when once the Complete has come to being. [428W-{9-12/49} The Artwork of the Future: PW Vol. I, p. 83]

Especially absurd for Feuerbach and Wagner was the idea that a good God could have created either the terrible world we know, or even a supposedly innocent world which could potentially be corrupted. According to Feuerbach:

“[P. 311] The fall of the creature … is only an hypothesis by which faith drives from its mind the burdensome, [P. 312] disquieting contradiction, that Nature is a product of God, and yet, as it actually is, does not harmonize with God, i.e., with the Christian sentiment.” [164F-EOC: p. 311]

And here Wagner expresses his own doubt about pre-fallen innocence:

“R. slept well, he walks in the garden with the children, again sees a lizard catching a glowworm, but the children rescue it. ‘If it were not for the assumption that the world was made by a good God, one would find it all easy to understand. But none … can free himself of the idea that once all was Paradise … .” [1017W-{6/25/80} CD Vol. II, p. 496]

No, Feuerbach and Wagner agreed that man is a product of the natural evolution of animal life which culminated, in one evolutionary lineage, in human consciousness. Feuerbach said, for instance, that:

“There is a necessary relationship between the organic and the inorganic. (…) Man … owes his existence and origin to the interrelation of all nature. (…) The earth is what it is only because of the place it occupies in the solar system, and it was not so placed in order that man and animals might be able to live on it, but the other way around.” [231F-LER: p. 128]

And he further explained that:

“A temperature in which water can exist not as vapor or ice but as water, where there is water that men can drink and plants absorb, air that can be breathed, light of an intensity compatible with the eyes of men and animals – there we have the elements, the first grounds and origins of animal and plant life, and where they are present it is natural, necessary in fact, that there should be plants suited to the animal and human organisms, and serving as food.” [232F-LER: p. 129]

Wagner’s version of Feuerbach’s pre-Darwinian theory of evolution is the following:                                       

[P. 251] “Just as we know that there are heavenly bodies which have not as yet, or never will have, attained the birth of those conditions fundamentally necessary to the existence of human beings: so do we know that at one time our own Earth, also, had not as yet evolved such attributes. (…) Only where this ‘Climate’ resolves the fixed and all-dominating uniformity of its influence into a [P. 252] pliant chain of broken contrasts, do we see arise that infinitely manifold series of organic creations whose highest grade is conscience-gifted Man.” [446W-{2/50} Art and Climate: PW Vol. I, p. 251-252]

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